All ashima hooks are produced in Japan in a small specialised production plant. Ashima has developed a hardening protocol which is used to harden all the hooks in exactly the same way. A hook that is too hard will break, but if it is too soft it will bend. It is essential to get the balance right and will depend on the wire thickness and to some degree the pattern of hook that is being made. All Ashima hooks undergo a chemical process which leaves the surface matt black, has an even lower coefficient of friction than PTFE and is one of the hardest subtances known which wears much less than any other hook coating. Ashima hooks are not only sharp new but remain sharper longer.