Sticking Point?
by Capt. Craig 
Home Salmon Busters™ Great Lakes Info Tips and Trix Capt. John's Log


Please pay attention to this article.  Hooking fish can not be accomplished with dull, cruddy, rusted, or cheap hooks.  With our style of fishing, it's next to impossible to set a hook.  This is done most of the time by our downrigger releases, or how our divers are set.  Hard "Bill Joe Bob" bass hook sets seen on TV can and will cause the hook to tear hook once you got a fish on straight line directly towards to you.  If you doubt this, stretch out a 100' of mono, in your backyard and have the rod handler jerk the rod.  You'll soon find out the stretch factor negates the force of even the hardest hook set.

I'm no expert in metallurgy, but I know the hooks that are stronger have a greater propensity to break.  Softer more bendable hooks can straighten out.  Most hook damage occurs in the net from the fish thrashing around.  It's a delicate balance to have a good strong hook and one that won't snap.  The stuff about sharp out of the package will lull you to sleep, cuz no hook maintains a razor sharp point after it's dug into a few fish and hit bone.  Then, there's issues with the type of point of prefer:
long dragger-like stiletto, or short, sharp and semi-blunt. The last 2 photos in the article are as good as it gets for a durable point that won't fold over.

Lastly, I need to thank Capt. Craig aka "Codfish" from our message board for the excellent magnification images and the explanation directed at "Getting to the Point".  Without his expert help this article would never came to light! ...Capt. John King 5/16/08

11.2X  Magnification

The photograph above is of one point on a new treble hook. The photograph was taken at 11.2X magnification and a “fold” forms at the point during the manufacturers “sharpening” process. This fold typically occurs as the metal gets too hot resulting in “soft” metal at the point. The hook is covered with a black over coat to keep rusting at bay.

32X Magnification

The same point was photographed at 32X to better show the fold at the point.

11.2X  Magnification

The same point after sharpening with a file was taken at 11.2X magnification. Two key benefits occur by having a good sharp point: #1 the fold is gone which allows for easier penetration into the fish’s mouth and #2 the softer metal has been removed from the point region by filing to get down to the harder metal.

The same point photographed at 32X.

100X  Magnification

The same point photographed at 100X – this hook is sharp enough to hang on your fingernail and the will stay sharp until rusting starts.

Once the coating is removed – corrosion of the hardened steel occurs more easily due to the higher carbon content in the steel. That is part of the reason why year old hooks will always need a very slight touchup – to remove the corrosion which very slightly dulls the point.

Published 5/16/08

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