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Thread: Rusty hooks

  1. #1

    Default Rusty hooks

    Here is my question:
    How many of you replace rusty hooks? Does it make a difference in how many fish you catch?
    I have always either not used them or replaced them, but how many of you use rusty hooks for halibut and still catch fish? Lings? Rocks? Salmon?

    Just wondering.

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default depends

    on how rusty. If it is just surface rust I'll keep them as a "back up" otherwise I toss them. Always make sure to sharpen them if I have to use them, but I always sharpen my hooks before use anyways. My kids also know that if they are going to rummage through dad's takle that if they use the rusty hooks they won't have to replace them if they loose them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    A rusty halibut hook is no problem, but anything small like a fly will get thrown out by me.

  4. #4


    The fish don't care, if it is baited and sharp, that is all that is needed.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Juneau, Alaska

    Default Some Rust Is Not Problem For Halibut

    In a past life I turned-over thousands and thousands of 16/0 circle hooks on commercial halibut long-line gear. Hindsight being 20/20 I would have preferred launching no rusted hooks off the stern, but because of a lot of different circumstances just about every set had plenty of rusted but very sharp hooks attached. When we would haul back there didn't appear to be much difference in catch rate between bright new hooks and those that were rusted.

    Some rust isn't going to make much difference if the bait is fresh and the hook itself is scary sharp. I replace my sport hooks if they have been filed so many times they no longer have a long tapered point. While you are sharpening a hook you can run your stone or file over the rusted spots and make them more shiny but I believe the surface of the halibut hook is cosmetic.

    Now with salmon gear I change hooks at the very first sign of rust - whether it is on a herring leader, a hootchie leader, a spoon, or a plug. I believe that rust of any kind DOES make a difference in the production of salmon. It may be a chemical reaction from the oxidation process that the fish can sense but in my experience a rusted hook decreases the amount of strikes and potential hook-ups. Also - rust discoloration in the area of the eye on a siwash hook that has been closed onto the ring on a spoon (or swivel on a plug) is a signal that the hook eye is weakened and brittle. It is time to replace it before a fish is lost because a broken hook. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Aberdeen WA


    In my local salmon fisheries, we are required to use barbless hooks.

    A prominent PNW outdoor writer advocates rusty hooks when fishing barbless. The rust adds a lot more textured surface area to the hook that resists the hook backing out.

    I continue to recycle rusty hooks as long as the point can still be filed to razor sharpness. Sure hasn't hurt the catch rate for my vessel.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    The KeenEye MD


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