'Why sharpening works'
And welcome back to the second of my monthly pieces for the team at Rig It Tackle. One of the biggest drawbacks in using the word ' sharpened ' is that it really doesn't describe what is being done or sought to be achieved. Ask anyone about how sharp a hook is and they will simply touch the point and say ' owch that's sharp '. Well if the only thing that matters is the VERY tip that's all well and good but that definately is NOT the point...no pun intended ! Virtually ALL hooks when touched on the VERY tip feel ' sharp ' but that's like saying all boilies / rods / buzzers are the same ; clearly they are not ! When a carp samples a hookbait and touches the hook inevitably the hookpoint will touch the inner of the carp's mouth. You don't get any prizes for that happening ! That hook needs NOT only to touch the flesh but to penetrate the flesh deep enough to secure a hook hold so that when the carp moves / panics the hook goes far enough in to connect you to that fish and land it . So if all / most hooks ' feel ' sharp when you touch the very tip why do I get my hooks ' sharpened ' ?
I use the word ' sharpened ' as that's the common word used but the real word to use is ' fined down' or ' thinned down '. Hopefully the image of a packet hook and a sharpened hook says it all. When a hook is sharpened it is not the very point that is attended to but the 5 - 7 mm of hook behind the point. This metal is thinned down which allows the hook to PENETRATE when the point touches the flesh and any weight / force is applied to it. That force could simply be the shot under the pop up, the hooklength tightening up, the weight of the hookbait etc. Think of a baiting needle and a disgorger. Press both against your flesh and see what happens ? The same amount of pressure applied to the baiting needle will pierce your flesh and hurt you ! That's how a sharpened / thinned hook works. The same amount of pressure applied to a sharpened hook will sink it home, whereas a packet hook may well just bounce out. The bigger the hook, the less confident the carp is feeding, the more cautious it is, the thicker or tougher the flesh the more chance a bog standard hook WON'T find a home. That's why dropping hook sizes in the cold to get more bites used to work so well NOT because the carp couldn't see the smaller hook but that it was THINNER so penetrated further.
I make no apologies for spending so long on this point as it's so misunderstood / misquoted etc. The thinner the metal behind the VERY tip ( which is what Rig It Tackle do when sharpening them ) the easier that hook finds a PROPER hold and the more converted pickups you will get .... And that my friends means more carp in your nets and in your albums!
Have a great Christmas and New Year and I'll see you in January.