Hart's Hints - Little things can make a difference

by Andrew Hart

Fish can often be very frustrating. Many people find themselves going fishing for an afternoon of relaxation, and end up getting all uptight because of some little, annoying thing that could have been avoided.

There are many simple, innovative ideas that can make the wonderful world of fishing a whole lot easier. Some of these ideas are available at your local tackle shop, others can be put into practice around the house.

In this, the first article of a series, listed are some useful tips, techniques and accessories that make a huge difference.


Split Ring Pliers

Split ring pliers are essential for any lure fisherman. These pliers enable quick and easy change of split rings.

Split ring pliers have an easy design that really works very effectively. To look at, they appear to be needle nose pliers, however, on the split ring pliers the very tip of the nose is turned in.

A good pair of split ring pliers should be made from stainless steel and cost over $40. There are many cheaper pairs available, however, these will rust, and corrode, and will only be good to use for a short time. Fishing gear is like everything, the more you pay the better you get.


The first thing about a knife is that it must be razor sharp. It is obvious that a sharp knife will prepare your catch for the table much more safely, and effectively than a blunt one.

The next thing that one must take into account is for what purpose they will be using the knife. All knife manufacturers make specific knifes for specific situations. A bait knife is very stiff where as a fillet knife made for filleting such fish as Trout is very flexible.

Hook Removers

When fishing for a fish with big, sharp teeth, a hook remover or hookout is often a good idea.

There are several different brands and styles or hookouts, each doing the same thing. Hookouts are simple to use, just attach it to your hook and let the design get the hook free.


Over the past five years, chemically sharpened hooks have been popular amongst anglers. These hooks are very sharp straight out of the packet, and need no touch up work after continued use.

Gamakatsu make top quality chemically sharpened hooks in a wide range of styles and colours, from huge livebait hooks to the tiny bait holder hook. Another chemically sharpened bait and general purpose hook to look for is the Kamasan. Eagle Claw and VMC also make superb hooks that are not chemically sharpened, but are very sharp straight out of the box.

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