Barbed or not.

DutyDruid

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Jun 20, 2020
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87
Just a newbie question. Or put another way. No.1 of the silly questions to be asked.
Why do nearly all the pics of newly tied fly's show hooks that are barbed. I was under the impression that barbed was on the way out and I know that the barbs can be squished, to make them barbless. I am in now way having a dig at the fly tyers. Just curious.
Ps. The work that you guys put into them is awesome. They are works of art albeit deadly ones. Thanks for sharing the images.
 
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mac 10

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Sep 27, 2010
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Hi,

I think it's still down to personal preference. Some prefer barbed and some don't.

It also depends on the circumstances . For example if you were doing a catch and release session you would fish barbless from the start and most fisheries will insist on this.

Or, if you were fishing a competition that required you to keep the fist 2 fish then continue catch and release you might fish barbed until you got your first 2 fish then continue with barbless. Again, competition rules would probably tell you to do this as well.

Some people will only fish barbless for everything as they believe it doesn't make a difference. Others think barbed gives an advantage.

Not a silly question either. Ask away on here. Great bunch of people who will help you out whenever they can. We were all newbies once and you never stop learning either.

Hope this helps,

Nick.
 

DutyDruid

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Jun 20, 2020
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87
Hi,

I think it's still down to personal preference. Some prefer barbed and some don't.

It also depends on the circumstances . For example if you were doing a catch and release session you would fish barbless from the start and most fisheries will insist on this.

Or, if you were fishing a competition that required you to keep the fist 2 fish then continue catch and release you might fish barbed until you got your first 2 fish then continue with barbless. Again, competition rules would probably tell you to do this as well.

Some people will only fish barbless for everything as they believe it doesn't make a difference. Others think barbed gives an advantage.

Not a silly question either. Ask away on here. Great bunch of people who will help you out whenever they can. We were all newbies once and you never stop learning either.

Hope this helps,

Nick.
Thanks very much for the concise and very well presented reply Mac. Most appreciated
 

anzac

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Dec 17, 2012
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One of the places my youngest son fishes in Southern California is catch and keep for trout. Barbless hooks would be a bit of a nuisance fishing there.
 

DutyDruid

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One of the places my youngest son fishes in Southern California is catch and keep for trout. Barbless hooks would be a bit of a nuisance fishing there.
Very understandable, think I might have inadvertently, looked at this subject with a coarse fishing outlook, and not a fly fishing outlook. Also quite narrow mindedly stuck to my own country, and not taken into account that this is a world wide past time and sport. Thanks very much for your response and opening my eyes to this.
 

webblade

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Jun 6, 2013
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Kildare Ireland
Hi DutyDruid,
I only fish barbless or debarbed hooks. If you keep a tight line to the fish it shouldn't make a difference. If a hook pulls because it barely had purchase in the first place it then would pull with either style. When I go spinning for pike which is seldom nowadays I also pinch the barbs flat on my lures. I haven't noticed any loss in catch rate and I have a hell of an easier time releasing the pike than my friends do with their barbed lures. Its possible you might even get a better hook set with barbless but that's debatable.
 

anzac

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Barbless and debarbed hooks make perfect sense for C&R. Catch rate while important isn't the primary concern. Causing as little injury as possible to the fish is.
 

BobP

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One of the places my youngest son fishes in Southern California is catch and keep for trout. Barbless hooks would be a bit of a nuisance fishing there.
I fail to see why. I actually find it quite hard to deliberately lose fish when using barbless hooks. As long as the fish is moving through the water it will be towing line and leader with it. That alone will keep the hook in place. I've tried going slack on fish at Farmoor to see if they will shed the hook and very few do. Oddly enough, once the fish is in the net the hook drops out in about 60% of cases allowing for very quick release.
 

anzac

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I fail to see why. I actually find it quite hard to deliberately lose fish when using barbless hooks. As long as the fish is moving through the water it will be towing line and leader with it. That alone will keep the hook in place. I've tried going slack on fish at Farmoor to see if they will shed the hook and very few do. Oddly enough, once the fish is in the net the hook drops out in about 60% of cases allowing for very quick release.
It may be a matter of experience. He fishes only a few times each year when he has time between work, family commitments, and his wife's endless 'honey do' list.

I also think barbless hooks may be a rarity there.
 

arkle

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As a now "ex" commercial tyer, over the 40/50+ years of tying, one does accumulate some "stock" though my own preference now is for barbless &/or de-barbed I still have many 1,000's of barbed hooks available. I now tie very few in comparisson, partly due to eye problems, though I will if asked help out friends every now & again. I will always ask, if they don't specify the type of hook etc. & de-barb if so required, as the pattern range, although expanding is nowhere near as comprehensive as yet.

Excepetions to this are the "Rangely" style streamers & virtually all salmon & sea-trout patterns, though I don't fish for either myself.
 

themind

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Kent, garden of England with a hosepipe ban!
I think there can be a number of reasons
  • Favourite shapes / weights not being available in barbless
  • Trust in a manufacturers hooks and that pattern not being available in a barbless version
  • Having a large stockpile of hooks already from the past
  • Cost - often the barbless hooks were more expensive, not really true these days but true several years ago.
Personally I crush the babs on hooks I already have but am not buying barbed any more, there are just too many interesting shaped barbless for me to need to buy barbed in the future.

Steve
 

Vermontdrifter

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I prefer barbless myself or debarb before tying. Was reminded of a side benefit on Tuesday when someone coming to look at a fish I was releasing tangled in my leader and pulled the hook into my thumb. Just pulled it back out but with a barb would have been a different and more painful story.
 

GEK79

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May 16, 2020
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Just a newbie question. Or put another way. No.1 of the silly questions to be asked.
Why do nearly all the pics of newly tied fly's show hooks that are barbed. I was under the impression that barbed was on the way out and I know that the barbs can be squished, to make them barbless. I am in now way having a dig at the fly tyers. Just curious.
Ps. The work that you guys put into them is awesome. They are works of art albeit deadly ones. Thanks for sharing the images.
Personal choice I think too.. Up until a short while ago I fished with barbs and caught a great 5inch lough trout when using the forceps to remove hook the fish bled.. After a conversation with my dad he mentioned trout have little blood in there system.. I stand to be corrected.. So using a barbed hook now should eliminate brut removal of hooks and less damage to the fish I release..
Gary
 

Paul_B

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I have a load of barbed hooks from the YGA days, I particularly like the B170. It doesn't take long to crush the barb with a pair of small pliers before popping the hook in the vise.

Barbed or hooks with a crushed barbs come out of the fishes mouth without any problems :)
 

mrnotherone

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Monmouthshire
This comes up as often as which tippet!

I suspect habit and hook stocks are one reason. If you are going to wack the fish it clearly doesn't matter.

For any fish you intend to release, is there any benefit of barbed hooks? I believe none. Firstly, you handle the fish a lot less and 75% of the time the hook falls out in the net. Secondly there is less damage removing a hook and less risk of bleeding. Thirdly, who wants to have to remove a barbed hook from your own skin.

I did read some published papers concluding that survival rate were no different between fish caught with barbless and barbed hooks. The studies were pretty old and didn't reproduce a wild environment for returned fish. Obviously modern barbless hooks weren't used. Even if good science did show no survival rate differences, there are other reason to stick with barbless hooks like less fish handling and self harm.

Do I lose more fish with barbless hooks - don't think so and anyway, so what...
 

GEK79

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I'm all for barbless
Oddly in the carp world (I've been fly fishing for them) there are some fisheries that insist on barbed!
I though it was a mistake on their website, but no; apparently there's an argument that barbless hooks move about in the mouth and do more damage
Seems logical to me and if that's the club requirements then that's that really.. But it comes down to personal choice.. That's all.
 

flathead

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I'm all for barbless
Oddly in the carp world (I've been fly fishing for them) there are some fisheries that insist on barbed!
I though it was a mistake on their website, but no; apparently there's an argument that barbless hooks move about in the mouth and do more damage
There is also an argument that they penetrate more deeply and can cause more damage.

Unfortunately the barbless v barbed debate is no longer based on any evidence or science but more on faith and dogma
 
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