' And when I don't '
The more experienced an angler you are the quicker you pick up on when you need to change things even if NORMALLY you would stick with same old / same old. No amount of watching Youtube videos, bloggs or vloggs will change this....you can't buy time served. That's why anglers like Springate, Rod, Maylin and co made it look easy... they'd put so many hours/days/weeks/months/years in already so that they could spot patterns so quickly. When it comes to sharpened hooks it's so easy to trot out either ' I never use them ' or ' I always use them '.... neither would be entirely correct or clever. Let me explain once I've set the parameters.
Most of the time that I use a pop up I use a sharpened hook
Most of the time that I use a bottom bait or wafter I fish a packet hook
Simple to trot out, easy to knock but this is why. Sharpened , or thinned / fined down hooks are more successful than out the packet in that when mouthed they are more likely to find flesh to hook and panic the carp with ( see Parts 1 / 2 of The Rig Diaries ). However that relies totally on the thinned point being immaculately thin when it comes into contact with the carp's flesh. From hitting the deck to being inspected it needs to be as good as when Lee first sharpened it . Usually if the point is off the deck then it will be. You may need to add gel to the point to stop it rusting / discolouring ; you may need to use PVA foam nuggets on the cast BUT generally if the hook is pin sharp when touched then a sharpened hook is the one. However there are times when it's better to have your hookbait on the deck and if your hookbait is on the deck so will be your hook. Let me be clear I'm not a bottom bait / wafter fan but I'm even less of a fan of blanking ! I watch what others are doing, I compare my results and if it needs to be on the deck then on the deck it will go.
(If I can see the hook and where it sits I may use on on the deck)
Once you put a sharpened point on the deck, particularly a sharpened straight point hook like a Twister 4 then it is far more likely to ' turn ' on the deck. A turned point is not only less likely to hook the carp it will sometimes NOT hook the carp. Be it weed, chod, sand, gravel if that hook is on the deck it can easily turn. (I wouldn't want a sharpened hook sat in this)
For that reason I tend to drop a hook size ( 5 ) and fish it out the packet. I'll check the point with an eye glass, I'll give it a gentle rub with a fine stone but not so much as to fine it dramatically. Maybe you could use an inturned point to possibly avoid this but I've never been a fan of that hook point so can't answer that.
The second situation that I don't use sharpened hooks is when I'm fishing short range properly locked up. Short range means under ten yards and locked up means clutches tight, stick in front of the reel handle etc. What I've found is that with no stretch / give a fine point can cut out too easily. Rather than use a sharpened one I use a smaller hook, give it a polish and bingo. I may up the lead size a bit but that's all.
Would I ever fish a sharpened hook on the deck ? Very rarely to be honest. Stalking in the edge where I can see where the hook is lying possibly ? Fishing in clean soft silt maybe too?(Short range hook and hold on the weed screams packet to me)
Hope that is of interest to you and remember any questions you can always contact me on social media via
Facebook Julian P Cundiff