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Discussion Starter #1
I recently went to a lot of work finding a good sharpener which would work easily on the smaller hooks I use here in Colorado. My previous sharpener had been purchased and used in Michigan where the average fly size is pretty big. I did find (and purchased) a sharpener which I think is pretty great. It puts a needle point on even dull hooks with only a few strokes. Some of my nymphs get pretty dull from bouncing along the bottom and being snagged occasionally. Here is a link to the one I bought:
http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/DMT-Mini-Sharp-with-Fishhook-Groove-P13C0.aspx

This sharpener folds up and it you sharpen routinely it fits on the vest front pretty well. I have no affiliation with the above company.

Here is how it looks on the vest front:


I apologize if this is the wrong place for this kind of posting, but I get pretty excited when I find a good piece of gear.
EdwardS
 
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That looks like a cool sharpener! My problem is that I always carry one and seldom use it. ???
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sharpening hooks is a habit I acquired early in my fishing career. I sharpen or at least test for sharpness every fly I tie on by seeing if the point will 'hook' in my thumbnail with light pressure. If the hook is dull it will skid over the nail instead of catching. Whenever I have a momentary hook up (where a fish hits the nymph and I feel the weight for just a moment then the fish is gone) I wonder if a sharper hook would have resulted in a solid set. We all probably have some kind of fishing superstition and this one is mine! :)
 

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how do you like that simms? I might be in the market for a new vest sometime soon... though I really shouldnt be... haha... I lose flies to fast to use a sharpener... lol...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Simms vest is great. I bought it because the flybox pockets have a stiffener which shapes the pocket and allows the pocket to be zipped open and closed with only one hand. My old Orvis vest sagged too much to get the zippers to work with only one hand pulling. It's a small thing, but small problems which happen all day long on the river become pretty irksome. The Simms vest is also, as put by silicone boy, "stylin".   8)
 

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One time when I was having an exceptional day catching fish I suddenly lost 4 fish in a row. I dragged the copper john along my finger nail and it skidded. Did not have a file so I put another CJ on and went back to hooking fish.
 

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Now thats a "Gucci" vest...sweet ;)

Ok, heres a few questions...what other sharpeners do you folks think is decent? is there one that can be easily used with both large and small hooks? also, is there a preferred technique to use when attempting to sharpen a hook? the only hooks ive ever sharpened were some bronze hooks used in saltwater with live bait...The guy i fished with was big into night time snook fishing with live greenbacks, and preferred bronze because he said if you break off any fish (which happens a lot it seems when you fish pilings and docks for snook at night) the hook deteriorates fairly quickly, unlike stainless ones. The only problem we found with the particular style hook he preferred were that they were never that sharp...so we had to touch them up some...but i was never confident in the technique i was using and think that thier might be a better way...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just hold the hook, with the point parallel to the surface of the diamond stone, and stroke the point along the sharpener groove. I usually stroke one time straight, one time turned slightly to one side and then one time turned to the other side. Kind of like you're trying to sharpen a three sided point on the hook. It would look like this    _  then /  then \  . I then check the hook for sharpness and repeat. Some of the nymph hooks are hard to do as the point tips up a bit relative to the shank angle. A good and less expensive sharpener which I actually bought first is this one:
http://www.888knivesrus.com/product/SMITHAC123

I think all of these grooved sharpeners would work on both large and small hooks. Big hooks are easy to work with but the tiny ones are sometimes impossible. The important thing is to check the sharpness with your thumbnail and keep plugging away until you get a good point. When the point is really, really sharp it's pretty impressive.
 
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