Getting Right to the Point

A better mousetrap?

A better mousetrap?

It’s one of the most common tips given to bass anglers – always sharpen your hooks – or at least it used to be. Now days, we have things like needle point, chemically sharpened, specially tempered, cutting edge, etc., etc., type hooks. Maybe it’s not so critical now, but chances are, most every bass boat you enter has a small file sitting around somewhere to put that razor sharp edge back on your bait. But in the name of technology, there is always a better way to do things; or at least the manufacturers want you to think so. Let’s look at one such “better mousetrap” from the angling accessories file today.

Back around late 1987, a company called Pointmatic out of Michigan came out with that better mousetrap, and they called it the Hook-Hone-R. No longer did you need to take multiple swipes on multiple hook points to sharpen everything, risking damage to your skin or fingernails. Simply put the tip of your treble into this fancy gadget and press the button. In a matter of seconds, and after some loud whirring sounds from the gears, your hook is good to go with an automatically filed conical point. The upgraded version to follow, the Hook-Hone-R II, featured a longer shuttle tube to accommodate more hook styles, along with improved ceramics and planetary gearing. It even featured a set of rechargeable batteries, which was great if you did all your sharpening from home where you had standard electrical service. They even had a fancy catch-phrase: Leave the Stone Age Behind.

Unfortunately, it was the unit that ultimately got left behind. By 1993, word was they were bought out by Johnson Fishing, and you could still get parts and such. But records show the company (Pointmatic) was dissolved in 1995. I’m not certain how much longer they might have stayed on the shelf somewhere, but I’m guessing it wasn’t soon after when you couldn’t buy one anymore.

I actually owned one of the versions myself, but never could quite get the hang of it. Seemed like maybe I wasn’t getting the hook points in straight or far enough to do the fast, consistent job they advertised. Not being able to see into the tube to view the relationship between the hook and the ceramic stone kind of made things a little difficult. Not certain of the ultimate fate of my unit, but likely it got tossed in the trash one day from sitting around so long. Any other readers own one of these sharpening tools? Did you have any better luck with yours? I’ve read some old forum posts where apparently, at least a few people really liked theirs and kept them in use for a number of years.

  • Ralph Manns

    In the 70 and 80s It was hard to buy really sharp worm hooks and trebles. To sharpen the True Turn wormhooks I then used a vertical grinding wheel called the Point Maker by Texas Tackle Products. It
    worked very well to prepare ultra sharp triangular points. In the boat I found a diamond-dust nail file worked most conveniently and easily and I still use these files today to repair blunted points.

    Nowdays, Gamakatsu and Owner provide hooks sharp enough to meet all of my needs. I don’t think we really need hooks that cost over a buck apiece, regardless of sharpness out of the box.

    The only really sharp trebles I found back then were a product of Partridge of Reddich, a now defunct British company. I still use Partridge trebles on many old- favorite lures. After 30+ years in my tackle boxes the needle-points are still sharp.

  • Andy Williamson

    Yes, Brian, I had an original Hook-Hone-R in the late 80s. Some hooks, attached to a lure, were hard or impossible to get into the tube, but other than that it worked well. The batteries/charger finally failed, and I disposed of it. Currently, I use a similar shaped sharpener by Berkley that is powered by 2 AA batteries along with various hook hones.