How to Clean Rusty Fishing Hooks

Rate this post

For all offshore fisherman, the most annoying issue to deal with is rusty hooks. Unfortunately, rusting is not something you can avoid if you do a lot of saltwater fishing. Both the fishing hooks and lures can fall victim to rust even if you wipe it down every time you return from your fishing trip?

Does that mean you will have to invest in a new set of hooks and lures every time it rusts? Yes, that is one and also the easiest way to deal with the problem. However, going this route means you will have to constantly keep buying new gear, which might not be very practical for most people.

If you can clean your rusty fishing hooks, you can use them again for fishing without losing any of the efficiency. In this article, we will give you a quick guideline on cleaning your rusty fishing hooks so that you do not have to throw them away.

Cleaning a Rusty Fishing Hook

Thankfully, cleaning a rusty fishing hook is not that difficult if you are willing to put in the time and the effort. There are multiple ways to handle this task. We will give you a few different ways so that you can go with the one that seems easiest for you.

  1. Salt and Lemon Juice

A mixture of salt and lemon juice works wonders when it comes to removing rust from fishing hooks. Since both of these materials are available at your home, you do not need to spend any money on this method. It is extremely effective if you use it before the rust becomes too thick.

All you have to do is mix the two materials until it becomes a thick paste. You can then cover the fishing hook with the paste and leave it for a few minutes. It can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes.

Once you feel like enough time has passed, you can scrub it off. If you have steel wool, you can use it for scrubbing. Wrapped aluminum foil can also work as a good scrubber.

After scrubbing, get rid of the leftover paste by rinsing it under fresh, runny water. Let the hook dry, and then lightly coat it with oil. If you have a hook sharpener, you can use it now. Voila, your fishing hooks should feel as new.

  1. Baking Soda

Another handy solution to get rid of rust on fishing hooks is using baking soda. It is also a home remedy; however, with baking soda, you can get rid of tougher rust with minimal effort.

You need to mix a few drops of water into the baking soda and stir it until it turns into a thick paste. Then you can apply the paste to the hooks and lines. Make sure you cover all the rusty parts.

After that, take kitchen paper and wipe it clean. You can also use cloth, but you will most likely ruin the cloth. This would be a highly effective solution if the salt and lemon juice method did not work for you.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

If you have a jar of apple cider vinegar at home, you can also use it as an effective material to remove rust from your fishing hooks. Because of the alcoholic property of vinegar, it can yield excellent results when removing rust.

However, keep in mind, this method is not as fast as the other two we have mentioned above. It can take at least 24 hours to remove the rust effectively.

All you have to do is place the rusty hook inside a jar filled with the material. Make sure the entire hook is covered in vinegar. It would be best if you can monitor the rust removal progress from time to time instead of leaving it as is.

Once you see the rust come loose, you can take the hook out of the jar, rinse it and let it dry. You can afterward use the hook for your next fishing trip.

  1. Using a Sandpaper

Rubbing the fishing hook thoroughly with sandpaper can remove most of the rust from it. Make sure you detach the hook from the lure, or you might damage it while rubbing.

You want to use medium grit sandpaper and take your time so that you do not break the hook by accident. If you have a rotary grinding tool, you can also use that at low speed to remove rust.

If you do decide to go with this method, you should wear all the proper safety equipment. Eye protection is a must since there is a chance of metal parts flying, especially if you are using a rotary tool.

Additionally, make sure the hook is strong enough to handle the grinding. A weak hook can easily break if you grind it or use sandpaper. Also, you want to wear gloves while handling the fishing hook as it might still be sharp even if it is a bit rusty.

How to Prevent Rust from Fishing Hooks

Yes, you can remove rust from fishing hooks, but preventing rust is almost always better than removing it. By being a disciplined angler, you can prevent rust from settling in on your fishing gear.

You should always keep your used hooks and lures separate from unused ones. Every time you return from a fishing trip, you want to take a moment and thoroughly rinse and dry the used gear.

A good practice is to have a separate box for your used gear. You can spray a bit of vegetable oil or WD-40 inside the box once you return, and it will protect your gear from rusting.

Final Thoughts

Fishing is becoming popular as a favorite pastime among people for many reasons. No matter you are a professional or you do fishing just as a hobby you should take care of your fishing gear.

Rusty fishing hooks are definitely a problem for any saltwater angler. However, with our help, you should have no trouble dealing with this issue any longer. Furthermore, if you follow our tips, you should be able to protect your gear from rusting easily.

You are viewing this post: How to Clean Rusty Fishing Hooks. Information curated and compiled by along with other related topics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here