' Looking after your edge ' Part 1
Hopefully you've read the first three and are now in a position to decide when and when not to use a hand sharpened hook ? So you've ordered your chosen pattern of hook from Rig It, they've dropped on the mat... what next ? Which is precisely what this fourth piece is all about. Getting the best, and caring for your sharpened hook.
1 - Whilst I know we are all different but unless you are living on the water I see no advantage in tying your rigs on the bank. When you are lakeside you should be watching the water ( particularly at this time of year ) not looking at your rig box tying up rigs. Don't give me that old ******* about not knowing what rig to use until you get there either. Yes you may well vary length of hooklength or size of hook but I'd hope you have a favoured / go to setup for bottom, wafter or pop ups ? I do the research on the waters I'm targeting to ensure that when I arrive all I need to do is open the relevant rig box to find the right presentation. I may well use it at 5, 7 or 9 inches, it may well be a 4 or 5 and it may well be a supple or coated braid but that's about it. Time on the bank is for fishing not rig tying ! Everybody can find an hour at home to tie up half a dozen rigs .... don't try to kid yourself otherwise !
2 - So you've decided on which presentation to use now get it tied up. Hand sharpened hooks from Rig It Tackle come with point protectors so until you are tying up your rig keep them on. For goodness sake don't let them rattle about in tackle boxes uncovered. Mine stay in the packet and only come out when I'm rig tying. Usually I do 10 at a time to ensure that I'm always ready for red letter days.
3 - So sat at the kitchen table I take 10 out of the packet and carefully remove all 10 point protectors. I usually have a pile of hooks, point protectors, bait screws, shrink tubing and obviously the hooklength choice I've gone for. Doing this at home, on a clean kitchen table with no disturbance ensures I can tie them EXACTLY the same each and every time. Doing that on the bank in crap light, with the danger of a run at anytime...absolutely crackers !
4 - And now I tie up the rig. The sharper a hook point is the finer the hook point must be. The finer the point the easier it is to damage on or off the bank. In Part 2 I will cover care on the bank but in Part 1 let's keep it to care off the bank. If you are clumsy or not confident in your rig tying abilities it's often best to keep the point protector on as you tie up the presentation. Having tyed up thousands I'm fine without them BUT I do take care.
5 - Once I've tied up the rigs ( as I said usually 10 at a time ) I replace the point protectors carefully. The tip of the hook needs to go EXACTLY in the same hole it was extracted from not just forced on. If you need to then use an eye glass. To be honest it's just practice but it's important.
6 - Virtually all my presentations involve the use of shrink tube so steaming them at home is a must. Steaming them on the bank with a metal kettle ? I don't think so ! Because a sharpened hook has had metal filed off it's important to keep that tip covered by the point protector when you are steaming it. Steam is water and water can corode in time be it sat in a rig box or cast out ! The point protector stops this happening.....in the rig box that is.
7 - Once you've tied up your rigs then store them properly. Personally I favour rig boxes where you put the hook over the metal bar and loop the hooklength ( supple, coated or stiff ) round a pin in the cork. Always put the hook CAREFULLY around the metal bar being CAREFUL not to knock the point protector off which could allow the point to get damaged. All 10 done and secure ? Then close the box. Even if your store your presentations in plastic bags ensure the point protectors stay on !
Right that's Part 1 completed, join me next month when I cover care and usage on the bank to ensure you get the best from your sharpened hook.