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Hook Sharpening Service

Fancy using the biggest edge in carp fishing? Read on...

In issue 45 of CARPology, Jason Hayward revealed an edge that was so big it's gone onto created its own part of the angling industry. Said article was a two-parter about how to sharpen your hooks to make them razor sharp which, in Jason's own words, "is the single most important factor that an angler can change on a rig that will significantly result in more takes and therefore fish on the bank."

Jason has been sharpening his own – and those 'in the known' – hooks for years, but this month he's revealed to CARPology that he's now offering a hook sharpening service called 'Specialist Sharpened Hooks' so all of us can cash-in on this outrageous edge. We caught up with him at his workshop to find out a bit more about SSH and what it will be offering its customers.

Thanks for taking the time to chat to us, Jason. Firstly, tell us about your new hook sharpening service.
The company, 'Specialist Sharpened hooks' does offer a hook sharpening service for those anglers that have already purchased their hooks, but our main business is selling hooks from all the top manufacturers that I have already sharpened to absolute perfection. They are the sharpest hooks available today, simple as that. We sharpen them and then fit them with our own little point protectors that can be re-used. Customers can also have the Jag Solution applied to the points as well if required.

So why have you decided to offer this service?
I have sharpened hooks for an awful long time for other people, and it was just demand that forced us into turning it into a legitimate business.

When we announced you were offering this service on our Facebook page (search 'CARPology Magazine') it was meet with mixed views – with some followers baffled why you'd pay someone to sharpen your hooks. What would you say to this?
People slagging off stuff on the internet? Really?! Well, as I said earlier, sharpening other people's hooks is part of the set-up, especially if they require an obscure pattern or size, but I'm now giving everyone the chance to buy their hooks ready sharpened, and I mean REALLY sharp, not just a little touch up. I'm taking hooks to a whole new level of sharpness which is a massive edge in all aspects of angling.

There is loads of gear out there which can offer the angler a more convenient and sometimes better alternative to what they can do themselves. I don't hear people 'hating' about ready-tied rigs, pre-formed shrink tube, ready-rolled boilies and ready-to-use particles, so what's the difference?!

The hooks are far sharper than anything available anywhere, without the hassle, time and uncertainty of cocking them up that goes with it. My hooks are bespoke items and only available from us or selected specialist tackle shops.

Can you tell us which "big named" anglers are currently using this service?
No. But some of the biggest names in the carp fishing fraternity have had their hooks sharpened by me... it would raise a few eyebrows I can tell you! So unless they specifically ask me to make their name public, I won't.

What hooks do you stock, sharpen and sell then?
We hold good stocks of all the top brands, like Korda, Fox, Drennan, Nash, Gardner, Atomic with more to follow, but it's impossible to hold stock of every pattern in every colour in every size. We only hold stock of barbed hooks, but we can get barbless, however we just ask customers that require a special order pattern etc. to purchase a minimum of five packs.

So what's the cost and turn around time?
The sharpened hooks are currently priced at £7.99 or £8.99 a pack. These prices reflect two things. What the hooks cost us and how long they take to sharpen. For instance, the Gardner Muggas are hugely popular hooks that are known for their 'staying in' qualities, but they require time, skill and a different technique to sharpen, oh and they are right buggers to get right as well, but the end result is verging on frightening! The turn around time is from immediate dispatch if they are in stock and have been sharpened to 7-10 days if we have to order them in for a special order, but we turn all orders around ASAP and keep customers fully informed by e-mail of the progress of their order.

Not everyone has this amount of disposable income yet still want an edge. What advice would you give someone who wants to sharpen their own hooks – i.e. the equipment they need and how they go about doing it?
Well, to be honest, does anyone really consider 79 pence for a hook, a large amount of disposable income?

To catch a carp or two what has the angler spent? Leaving out the thousands of pounds already spent on actual tackle on the bank, such as rods, reels, bivvy, bite alarms, bedchairs etc., etc. Anglers dump their leads (£1+), use a few kilos of bait (£20) hooklink material, beads, leadcore, (£5), then moan about spending a few more pence on the singularly MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF THE JIGSAW! Come on! You can buy hooks for pennies, but they will NOT be as sharp as the ones we sell, because we put a lot of time and effort into ours, to make them the best available.

All of the most successful anglers I have ever met have one thing in common and that is they never, and I mean never, have any part of their set-up left to chance. My hooks are probably the biggest edge that any angler can have in his tackle armoury today, for EVERY rig. A bold statement but true nevertheless.

Going back to the last part of your question, I have given thousands of hook sharpening demos at the shows and the gear JAG produce is without doubt the best. The concept was born out of the articles I first wrote about sharpening chemically sharpened hooks, which were first published in this very magazine. A few years later JAG saw the potential and I helped develop it. A whole lot of thought went into that range and it wasn't just a standard, readymade item bought off-the-shelf from some Chinese factory. JAG has sold thousands of these kits – and there's a reason for that – they're brilliant.

This article was taken from issue 112 of CARPology magazine. For the very latest articles and best deals subscribe to CARPology magazine.