What Are Chemically Sharpened Fishing Hooks?

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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Chemically sharpened fishing hooks are hooks treated with an acid solution to create a uniform, extremely sharp point. This process ensures maximum sharpness and penetration, enhancing hooking efficiency. These hooks are favored by anglers for their increased performance and ability to hold onto fish better.

Have you ever looked at a box of fishing hooks labelled as “chemically sharpened” and wondered what does it mean?

Sure, most of you might have even bought them because they sound fancy but do you know what these actually are and what purpose they serve? Don’t worry even you don’t, we got you covered. In this article, we will discuss each and everything about chemically sharpened hooks, from their working to their pros and cons. So, if you want to know more, keep reading!

What Are Chemically Sharpened Fishing Hooks?

Chemical sharpened hooks as their name suggests are sharpened through a chemical process rather than a mechanical one.

You can define chemical sharpening as a process in which the fishing hooks are made sharp using some chemical solution or an acid.

Traditionally, the hooks were made sharp by manual process. But over time, they sharpened using electric tools. Chemical sharpening is a modern method that doesn’t involve any manual or machine work, instead use a chemical for the desired job.

These hooks are becoming extremely popular due to the excellent sharpening they provide. And as they say, the sharper the hook, the better it is!

How Chemical Sharpening Works?

Chemical sharpening is a simple but effective process. First the fishing hook is manufactured normally and then it is dipped in a chemical or acid solution that sharpens it by attacking its surface. Since barb is the thinnest part of the hook, it gets attacked by the acid the most which result in an extremely sharp finish.

However, you also have to keep in mind that the quality of hook will be slightly deteriorated on coming in contact with the acid. Generally, a hook is sharpened mechanically in the same way of a knife. This makes sure that the quality of metal doesn’t deteriorate. At most, it will leave a few scratches or ruts and that’s about it. But in case of chemical sharpening, the entire metal surface is subjected to acid solution which might turn it weak.

If you are really interested have a look at the US Patent for chemically sharpening hooks.

How They Are Different From Mechanically Sharpened Hooks?

As we already discussed, the main difference between the chemically and mechanically sharpened hooks is their sharpening process.

While one uses manual or power equipment, the other uses chemicals for achieving the desired sharpness level.

Mechanically sharpened hooks are not that sharp. They get blunt very quickly. Also, the barb is moderately sharp. But on the positive side, they can be re-sharpened again and again and they have a stronger metal.

On the other hand, chemically sharpened hooks are super sharp and are corrosion – resistant. They are great for fighting large fish species. On the downside, they can’t be re-sharpened again because of deteriorated metal quality.

For this reason, it is recommended to replace the chemically sharpened hooks instead of re-sharpening them.

Advantages Of Chemically Sharpened Fishing Hooks

Chemically sharpened hooks provide you with excellent sharpness which is the dream of every fishing enthusiast. This means the hook is more likely to catch the fish when it bites your bait – I have lost too many fish over the years to poor quality equipment, which is why I always get the sharpest hooks I can find.

Depending on the type of fish you are targeting having a sharper hook can be a really significant advantage. Fish that have tough or bony mouths will often spit a blunt hook.

If you feel that you are getting a lot of strikes but losing a lot of fish then you might want to consider switching to a sharper hook.

Another good thing is, the acid doesn’t take away that much of the metal as compared to the mechanical sharpening. This gives you an opportunity to hook fish in a better way using your sharp hooks.

Adding to the benefits, chemically sharpened hooks are anti-corrosive. This is because a majority of these hooks are coated with an anti-rust solution after the acid wash. This slows down the rusting process. If taken care of, they can last for a longer period of time and that too without any need of re-sharpening.

Disadvantages Of Chemically Sharpened Fishing Hooks

Just like everything else, chemically sharpened hooks also come with their own downsides. There is no doubt that they are one of the best fishing tools to invest in, you have to compromise on certain aspects.

The first issue with these hooks is, they are slightly more expensive than the mechanically sharpened tools. This is because the chemical process is expensive and the demand of these hooks is pretty high due to their quality.

Another downside of chemically sharpened hooks is, they can’t be re-sharpened because the metal becomes weak when it’s treated with chemicals. But the good thing is, manufacturers have found a way to preserve the metal quality and strength.

Because these hooks come with super sharp and thinner points, they can easily attack the fish’s mouth or can hit the hard rock bed. While the former is not a big deal and most of us develop a habit to deal with such situations, the latter one can be frustrating. Also, it sometimes becomes difficult to fish certain areas in a hard lake bed.

Things To Keep In Mind While Buying The Chemically Sharpened Fishing Hooks

Sharper hooks are more likely to get blunted easily. This is because they are more fragile.

So, you should always invest in a good quality hook from a branded manufacturer. In this way, you will be able to make the most out of your purchase.

Some people get attracted to the cheaper prices offered by the local manufacturers and later regret buying decisions.

To extend the life of your hooks and to prevent them from any kind of damage, don’t use them on fishing spots with hard rocky bottoms. These include a churning river or a small lake with a rocky bottom. If you ignore this, you will end up bunting your hook.

Although most of the chemically sharpened fishing hooks come with an anti-corrosive coating, it is not always guaranteed. So, to stay on a safer side and to increase the life of your hooks you should prevent them from corrosion. Even the anti-rust hooks can corrode over time because of the differences in pH levels of water from different sources. So, keep your hooks protected with a dab of vaseline of some sort of similar material.

So, that’s pretty much everything about the chemically sharpened hooks. We hope it helps you in making an informed decision.

Happy fishing!

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