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Barbless or de-barbed?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When it is NOT necessarily a requirement to use barbless hooks, and whether or not C&R is in operation for the waters you fish, what is your usual prefence for the use of hooks on flies (hooked flies or tubes)?

Mike
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Mike,

Barbless for me, always. I am curious to know why there are 3 choices as to how we get there for barbless, and why that is important?
 

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That Guy in PEI.....
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I have noticed a tendency to have hook points break(especially Partidge Supreme) after crushing the barb with needle nosed pliers so i usually file them down in the vise now.
I always fish barbless on a single hook,, regardless of water, river, color,,etc,,etc.
SC
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
3 choices...

Poppy,

Some hook patterns/sizes that folks prefer use may not be available in barbless, and I put in the 2 choices for de-barbing as I have used one (flattening), but heard of the other.

I wanted to bring out the choices folks are making riverside (or at home) for converting barbed to 'barbless' hooks, as I have had hook points break after barbs have been flattened/crushed.

Mike
 

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I fish Barbless hooks, weather or not I can find them manufactured barbless when ever I need them is another is another story, I find myself pinching them down most of the time.

Thanks for the tip Dwayne, I'm tieing on a bunch of Bartleet Supreme's now, I'll file them all down. Time to plug in the ol' Dremel :hihi:
 

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If you file down the barb , doesn't it expose the carbon steel ?? Does this rust out the hook after a few uses ??

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rust...

Yes, but elsewhere you will see on this board that quite a few recommend keeping the hooks sharp by honing them, presumably with a diamond (or similar) abrasive sharpener. Same effect.

Dry those flies at the end of the day, but all hooks do have a limited life anyway.

Mike
 
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I've been fishing barbless exclusively for over a year now as I've pointed out in a couple of threads. Now I've also made a few other changes in that time also like going to a shorter spey rod and different hooks. But during this time my landed/hooked ratio for steelhead has improved quite a bit. I actually think most of it is due to the use of barbless hooks tho I must admit it has caused me to pay more attention to keeping a tight line.
I was getting to barbless by simply flattening the barb with pliers. At first I was simply coming in perpendicular to the hook point to do this. But Bob Clouser pointed out that this can lead to weakening of the hook. He recommends flattening also, but the way to do it, he says, is to have the plier jaws in line with the shank as you do the flattening to avoid weakening of the hook. I like this method better also for the reason that the flattening is easier and more certain.
I might add it really pains me when I damage a fish. With barbless the release is so easy that I have yet to have a situation where I feel I may have damaged a fish.
 

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Yes, but elsewhere you will see on this board that quite a few recommend keeping the hooks sharp by honing them, presumably with a diamond (or similar) abrasive sharpener. Same effect.

Dry those flies at the end of the day, but all hooks do have a limited life anyway.

Mike

Good Point !!!

So in saying that , I think I will file my barbs now . It will make for a slightly lesser profile . Increasing ease for penetration and less damage to the fish . Thanks !!

Mike
 

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Some of the mortality studies I looked at a few years back showed the greatest factor influencing incidental mortality in anadromous fish was barbs. The impact of barbs was far greater than the type of lure (fly v. bait). I don't have a choice in that my waters are all single barbless but after reading this, I would never fish barbed again.

One other comment on this. Some WDFW officers have been known to do the "shirt test" for barbless. They will stick the point into the arm of their shirt and then see if it catches when removed. Sometimes pinched barbs will break and the lip has enough of an edge to catch in the shirt. Having said that, I used to file but mostly any more I'm lazy and pinch.
 

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Barbless always. I don't really care how they get that way although I wish there were more styles of factory barbless available. I believe it actually helps the hooking/landing of steelhead using barbless. Some of the old-timers used only barbless flies for steelhead before it was law or hip and regardless of weather they were keeping fish or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here is....

the study that confirms that barbless are better than barbed hooks:-


North American Journal of Fisheries Management 1992;12:760–767

A Meta-Analysis of Hooking Mortality of Nonanadromous Trout
MATTHEW J. TAYLOR and KARL R. WHITE

Department of Psychology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-2810, USA

Abstract.—The results of 18 studies of hooking mortality of nonanadromous trout were integrated with meta-analysis. Studies were coded for all variables suspected of having a relationship to rates of hooking mortality. The analysis showed that trout caught on bait died at higher rates than trout caught on artificial flies or lures, that fish caught on barbed hooks had higher mortality rates than fish caught on barbless hooks, that brown trout Salmo trutta had lower mortality rates than other species of nonanadromous trout, and that wild trout died at higher rates than hatchery-reared trout. Other variables, including size of hooks, number of hooks, and water temperature, did not show a statistically significant relationship to hooking mortality. The results of this review should assist fisheries management agencies in refining and developing policies regarding fisheries regulations.


Mike
 

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I fish predominantly barbless (occasionally forget). However, I was reading Bob Arnold's Steelhead and the Floating Line and he advocates barbed hooks. He sites Lee Wulff as his source and agrees with many of Wulff's findings.

He sites the ability to allow the steelhead to run on a slack line which he argues tires it more quickly allowing for a quicker fight and earlier release.

Just found it to be an interesting perspective that you don't hear too often these days.

Gillie[
 
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I seen some of you were talking about rusting hooks and thought I would mention these. I am by no means a fan of Orvis but there rust proof fly boxes really do work. I have been using them for 2 years and have never seen even the slightest sign of any rusting going on with hooks that have been sharpened "or any of them for that matter". Thought I would mention them since they have worked for me. As for the hooks I use if they are not already barbless when I get them I just lightly crimp it down with my hemo's. I squeeze only hard enough to flatten the little barbs down to keep from possibly damaging my hook.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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However, I was reading Bob Arnold's Steelhead and the Floating Line and he advocates barbed hooks. He sites Lee Wulff as his source and agrees with many of Wulff's findings.

He sites the ability to allow the steelhead to run on a slack line which he argues tires it more quickly allowing for a quicker fight and earlier release.
Yes I have read that. I would like to have Mr. Wulff and Mr. Arnold here sitting on my couch drinking coffee and eating some of Mrs. Red Shed's cookies. When they started to tell me this great therory I would get a couple of "AJ's" with barbs out of my fly tying box and ask them who wanted to be first to let me stick that hook through their ear and then back it out.

Anyone with any common sense knows it is easier to get a barbless hook out of a fish (or a person) then a barbed one.

Please don't read the above to mean I don't like either Lee Wulff or Bob Arnold. I think they were/are talented anglers and interesting authors. I just don't agree with this particular therory.
 
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I have spoken to Bob about this particular quote and he never said it was better on the fish. He simply believed it held a fish better and in some circumstances tired the fish more quickly. Of course he also said he would lay down his rod and run to the car for the camera. :eek:
 

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I have spoken to Bob about this particular quote and he never said it was better on the fish.


You are quite right. What he said was "It takes me only a moment longer to release my fish and I am certain the fish undergoes only a modicum more trauma."

I just know my own experience and it takes me a lot longer to get a barbed hook out of a fish then a barbless hook.

Over here on the Clearwater in Idaho we have the barbless rule for steelhead. I don't think the game wardens check for it all that much, maybe the boat anglers but I've never been checked for a barbless hook.

The rule here seems kind of redundant when you can use a treble big enough to anchor the Queen Mary as long as the barbs are mashed.
 

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Mike,

I completely agree that it is far easier to me and the fish if the hook is barbless. This is from memory as it has been over a decade since I hooked a fish with a barb. Actually the last thing I hooked with a barbed hook was some dumbs*** who forgot to smash the barb at the tying vise and then attempted a spiral roll just as a downstream gust of wind hit. Man that guy was stupid :chuckle:

Back to Bob's book, I still can't get past the laying the rod down and running to get the camera while leaving the fish on a slack line. Good for Bob but that is recipe for a "Perfect" disaster in my book.
 
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