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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, Scotland and the Spey in particular are getting into the catch and release mode. I have been sorting out my fly boxes and trying to debarb some of my favourite flies. I am using a pair of pliers (orthodontic) The barbs squash down ok but I would not describe the as barbless.

What should I do now? Rub with a file ?

I have broken a couple of hooks as well were they weak anyway or am I being to rough and squashing too hard.

We still fish trebles and doubles as well as singles, has anyone any evidence that trebles are any worse than sinles or doubles for unhooking. Remember I have a life time supply of trebles so do not wish to bin them lightly.

Malcolm
 

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debarb

be careful. i used a plier on a 3/0 alec jackson that had wide jaws as do most multifunctional fishing pliers.it did the job on the barb,but took some pressure that detempered that little bend near the barb.needless to say, the first hook set broke the hook. i now only use debarbing pliers. that are made only for that one function.they have narrow jaws. i have had no problem since changing to them. the barb usually breaks off clean with lite properly placed pressure. no mashed down barbs or bent or broken hooks. Beau
 

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debarbing hooks

I pinch mine with a fly tying vise before I tie the fly. Then if I break one, there is no great loss. However, recently I have had some hooks break at the barb while fishing with them. May have to look into debarbing pliers.
 

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Don't think I have ever seen debarbing pliers have to ask my fly shop guys.

I have used a needle nose plier but have a broken a couple of hooks in the process.

Do it before you tie the flies save you a lot of anguish after tying a beautiful fly. :(

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Since I debarb ALL hooks I use, I use a dremel tool with a narrow cylindrical grinding bit for larger hooks and pinch trout flies with a small electronics-style plier.

For hvy wire flies (#6-6/0), the dremel does the job best. After the first hundred or so the grinding bit takes a groove like a stone in nature and it becomes perfectly suited to the task. My favorite is a re-chargeable power-pak version that fits into my traveling fly-tying kit.

I debarb a large number of hooks first and tie later, never debarb after tying or risk ruining a good tie when dealing with the barb.

This works for stainless ocean gamefish hooks, standard bronze, hard alloy black salmon hooks (which I assume Malcolm uses most). It does leave a tiny alloy-colored spot where the barb used to be on black hooks.

The quality of the hook makes a big difference. Cheap hooks usually have humongous barbs, like the low-end Mustads. I prefer to use TMC, Daichi, etc - or the newer high-end mustads whether for stripers or steelhead.

It's hard to find factory barbless hooks, but for summer patterns, I really like the Tiemco Barbless version of th e200R, which has a bend similar to the bartleets in a bronze color but sans the loop eye. I use this hook on a number of steelhead patterns and it's a winner despite the straight eye.

As far as losing more fish, I say "myth". I lose no more fish than before my self-imposed no-barb policy as long as I maintain rod pressure at at times, which is good all-around (angler + fish).

Happy de-barbing!
 

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Dremel Tool

Thought Juro would respond to this one since he was the one that got me using it.

I use the Dremel and a small diamond-coated insert to take the barbs off my hooks. Takes only a few seconds for each one, you don't have that annoying "hump" or a broken-off barb.

;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For those of you who do not know I am a dentist. Small fast rotating equipment should be no problem, now how do I keep the dressing out of the way. Cancel tommorrows patients 1000 flies booked in emergency
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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How using about a rubber dam! :devil:

Man, I hate those things but recently had a quick filling without it... blech! I'll never complain again, it's nice not having all that stuff flying around inside your mouth. As I have grown older I have learned that when you are young, you need to go to the dentist a lot and hate it, then when older, you don't need to go so much but if you are wise you go anyway. If you don't you will go again when you're even older just like you had to when you were a kid! I am learning that the hard way :rolleyes:

Of course the barbs are ground before you tie... but did you need to debarb all of your existing flies?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Juro,
The Spey Fishery Board have spoken see
http://www.speyfisheryboard.com/spey_news_master.htm

and I quote from the method part,
2. METHOD

Where possible anglers should be encouraged to fish with a fly.
Where spinning is allowed only one set of barbless hooks may be used on a lure.
All hooks should be ‘pinched’ or barbless.

I would hate to find the fly I needed was barbed, you can imagine the senario you remember the fly that took a fish in similar conditions 10 years ago search the boxes find the fly then realise it is still barbed. AHHHHHHHHHHHH you would probably be woken with the wail of despair.

Do not go down the item 3 road work already restricts my fishing effort.

Malcolm
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Funny you should mention it, I recall debarbing a fly a friend had given me in a time of it's "calling" using two suitable stones from the bank which took me a good 20 minutes to locate!

Nowadays I always use the inexpensive personal nail clippers for my fishing needs, buying three at a time and putting a spare in my vest and one in the car. These can pinch a barb in a pinch (no pun intended) although afterwards they won't cleanup the tag ends very well (hence the spares). I go through perhaps a dozen in a season or more, and as an avid saltwater angler as well I need something I won't get very attached to because they will corrode quickly. The expensive ones make no sense to me, I've owned one and decided it was too dainty for my rough handling style.

Very interesting how the elevated temperatures from distillery burns may be affecting salmon. Quite the dillema...
:devil:

Of course there is no evidence at this time but it would seem that cooling the water before release would be fairly inexpensive and prudent.

Thanks for the link... someday I shall fish the Spey.
 

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Here in Washington we're allowed to use barbed hooks during regular winter steelhead season, but barbless only during spring and summer seasons. Wanting every advantage for such hard-won prizes as steelhead, I tie my winter hooks with barbs, and when February rolls into March I debarb them with a common little pair of blunt nose pliers, worth 50 cents at a yard sale. I take a little care to keep the opening parallel to the hook point, so I've broken the points off no more than three or four. (If in doubt after the squeeze, hold the hook up to the sky; if you can't see light under the barb, it's legal.) If you're without pliers, pinch the barb between two coins and squeeze like hell.
By the way, I carry the pliers (which have a hole in one handle), my hook hone, and leader clipper on a 1-foot teather of old fly line. One end is looped to a D-ring on my vest. I just drop the other end down inside my waders, where the tools are out of the way but instantly available.
 

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FWIW, I use round jawed pliers that I bought at a craft shop to debarb my hooks. The round jaws soprt of roll over the barb and bend it down. I have been using this for years and have never had a hook break.
 

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I have seen those pliers at the craft stores, I am going to get one now. Thanks

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If You get Hooked

Not only do the fish need to be released easily, it makes a world of difference if you are the one on the receiving end of the hook. I have been there twice and it would have been a trip to the ER if there had been a barb.

And yes, you can hook yourself spey fishing, if you are not careful in the wind.

The micro barbs are by far the easiest to work with. I have used mitten clamps, hemostats and narrow plires and never had a failure with the micro barbs. I debarb before tying.
 
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