Fishing-tackle.-Fish-hooks are made of iron, not steel, wire. While the piece of wire is straight, it is laid along a little groove in a block of wood, and there barbed by the stroke of a chisel, slantwise across it. The other end is flattened by a tap of the hammer, or roughened, that it may be held by the whipping; then the point is sharpened by a file, and finished on a stone. The proper curvature is next given, and then the hook is case-hardened (see “Case-hardening”); lastly, the proper temper is given, by heating the hook red hot, and quenching it in grease.
A traveller should always take a few hooks with him: they should be of the very small and also of the middling-sized sorts; he might have a dozen of each sort whipped on to gut; and at least a couple of casting-lines, with which to use them: also several dozens of tinned iron fish-hooks, of various sizes, such as are used at sea; and plenty of line.
Fishing-lines.-Twisted sinews will make a fishing-line. To make a strong fine line, unravel a good silk handkerchief, and twist the threads into a whipcord. (See also “Substitutes for String”.)
Gut is made from silkworms; but the scrapings of the membrane in the manufacture of catgut (see “Sinew-thread”) make a fine, strong, and somewhat transparent thread: twisted horsehair can almost always be obtained: and boiling this in soap-lees, takes away its oiliness