The Winning Edge

Over the years, I’ve observed several common traits amongst that often-quoted one percent of elite anglers who are consistently successful and who regularly out-fish the rest of the field. One of the most crucial of those traits is an absolute insistence on using the sharpest possible hooks every time they put a bait, lure or fly in the water. That means using hooks with points so wickedly keen they instantly grab anything they touch. We call this “sticky sharp”.

Luckily, most hooks come from the factory “sticky sharp” these days, but they can easily dull through corrosion, wear-and-tear and contact with fish jaws or other hard surfaces — even bouncing around in tackle boxes.

Regularly testing and touching-up hooks is a common habit among that top one percent of anglers, but you need the right tools to do it properly. In my opinion, these three products are the best on the market. The Dr Slick Hook File is perfect for fiddley little hooks on smaller flies and lures, the Eze-Lap Diamond Hones are best suited to all hooks up to about 3/0 or 4/0 in size, while the Luhr-Jensen Original Hook File is ideal on larger, heavier-gauge hooks… Take your pick, or get all three!

Constructed of stainless steel with dual diamond grit surfaces, this 4” (100mm)  model has a fine side featuring 600 grit, and a medium side with 300 grit, plus an easy-grip handle and small lanyard loop. Use it on the tiniest of hooks (including flies), up to about 2/0 or 3/0 models.



This set of four colour-coded Eze-Lap sharpeners or hones contains one of each of the following grades: super fine (1200grit); fine (600 grit); medium (400 grit); and coarse (250) grit. Start with the coarse grade and work down to super fine to create the ultimate hook point or knife edge.

Each sharpener is ¾” (19mm) wide by 6” (152mm) long, with a diamond surface measuring 19 x 51mm.

Made in the USA, they are long-lasting, durable sharpening tools for hooks, knives and other cutting or penetrating edges and points. I wouldn’t be without a set of these sharpeners, especially for hooks in the No. 12 up to 4/0 or 5/0 sizes.


For those bigger jobs on heavier hooks (single, double and treble) from about 2/0 up to the most massive marlin, tuna and shark models, it’s hard to go past the Luhr Jensen Hook File with its bright, easy-grip and very comfortable plastic handle. Utilising improved, high-carbon steel, this 5 ½” (140mm) file will quickly and easily produce an ultra-fine cutting or penetrating edge or point on the biggest and bluntest of hooks, gaffs, knives, tomahawks or whatever else you choose to use it on.