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how to restore old rusty fishing hooks | Category: Fishing Talk

Mark Totzke 7 months ago

If you fish in a saltwater environment, you'll inevitably end up with a lot of rusty hooks and lures.
It get's pretty expensive to replace them, especially if you're fishing with jig heads and other lures where replacement hooks can cost an arm an a leg.
The easiest way to keep them in top shape would be to rinse them after each fishing trip and spray them with a bit of WD-40.

Unfortunately I'm not that disciplined - so I usually end up with a lot of rusty hooks.

One way to restore them is to mix up salt and lemon juice until you get a thickish paste.
Then cover and soak your hooks in this solution for a while and scrub them clean afterwards.
A bit of aluminium foil wrinkled into a ball makes a good scrubber to get the hooks shiny again.

Then rinse the hooks with fresh water, let them dry completely and give them a fine dust with oil.
I usually also use a small hook sharpening stone to get them nice an sharp again.

Depends how rusty they are - you might have to do this a few times.
And if they've been rusting away for a few years it might be to late.
Too much rust will weaken the hooks and they might break off when you hook into that big one.

Another tip to get those hard body lures shiny again is to mix up some baking soda with a few drops of water into a thick paste.
Then use kitchen paper to wipe them clean with this paste. It works magic.

I should have done a before and after photo. This is just after the cleaning.
You should have seem them before - it was just one big pile of rust.

How do you guys keep your hooks in good condition?
Do you have any other solutions?

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 7 months ago

Sounds like some good advice Mark.

After fishing in salt water you should always wash your gear after,

I simply don't put any used tackle back in the main tackle box. I have a small dedicated box for used tackle. I simply spay the inside on the "used" box with cheap vegetable oil. When I need a hook I always check the used box first and I only get one from the main box if I don't have a used one. It is a kind of stock rotation.

Things like lures that do get put back in the main boxes, are thoroughly washed, dried and lightly spayed with vegetable oil.

I guess prevention is always better than cure.

I have a little Shimano reel, I think it is a 2000 size. It was given to me because it has some serious salt "cancer" on the spool. This might be the excuse I need to actually start restoring it . I will give your salt and lemon idea a try.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 7 months ago

yeah I agree, best to prevent the rust in the first place.

I always try to use the two box system like you suggested. It's a great idea.

But for some reason after each trip everything is mixed up in all boxes.
When fishing gets hot I just throw my stuff wherever is most convenient at that moment.
Normally all over my paddle board or right back into the big box.
You need a good dose of self discipline to keep your tackle organised while fishing

Using vegetable oil is also a great idea.
Probably better then the WD-40 I've been using.

I now feel inspired to get a bit more organised
Think I need a few new tackle boxes next.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 7 months ago

Haha...If I took all boxes with me on each trip --- I would need a bigger boat !!

The trick is, have a fishing tackle box (used box)...and a storage tackle box. The fishing box only needs to hold what you want to use on that trip, so in most cases if it fits in your pocket it is big enough. It only has to hold a few hooks, some sinkers and a couple of swivels etc, and Unce's ya Bobble.

It is like having a shop front with you...But back at home is your warehouse

I like your idea though...I am going to give it a try...This is the little reel, it is a 2000. I don't know if salt and lemon juice will work OK on an aluminum spool, but we will find out...

As you can see it is a CX2000R. Frankly, not worth restoring, which is probably why I have not bothered with it yet.

But, it would be interesting to see if your lemon and salt works on this. Also, the reel itself is seized. Obviously, a seized reel means a strip down. This might be worthy of a new Topic. I am not overly familiar with the CX2000R. I assume the R means rear drag, as this little baby has a rear drag. The body looks similar to the IX and RX so I would assume they have used bushes rather than ball races...All right, I will give it a go and see what I can't do with it !!

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
itsaboat 7 months ago

Oh...PS...Since you did not have before pics, I might make some rusty hooks too

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 7 months ago

Would be interesting to see if the lemon salt works on your reel or if it only works on rust.
Otherwise you could also try the baking soda paste and scrub it in with a toothbrush.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
dazzling79 7 months ago

Why not using Toothpaste? I used to clean my necklace with it. Afterwards, they got shiny ever.