Re: Barbed hooks? What's your opinion?
Unless it's a matter of following the law, if a person chooses to use barbed hooks, then that should not be anyone else's business. It's like choosing to use bait, flies or lures. It's your choice. Someone else does not have to like it, agree with it or do it, but as long as it's legal I have no issue with it, provided others are not doing stupid things, like ripping hooks out of a fish they cannot keep. That becomes an entirely different issue.
For me, regardless of tackle, not just for flies, I debarb most of my hooks, even trebles on lures. However, sometimes I forget. Somewhere that requires barbless or debarbed hooks by law, I make sure I'm within the law.
I cannot say I ever recall any occasion where I've lost a fish due to there being no barb, so it's an easy choice for me. I've also been stuck enough times to know that a barbless or debarbed hook is so much easier to remove from my flesh, that it makes little sense to use a barbed hook.
I own two nets, one is very large, and is only used occasionally when Striper fishing or for larger catfish. The other is a small C & R type net that cradles the fish. I got it primarily for panfish, because I got tired of getting stuck with fins. I would use this type of net if I did any trout fishing, but with C & R, I would make sure to keep the trout in the water. Improper use of any net can likely be as much of an issue as anything we do.
I feel that the type of netting used is more of an issue too than whether a net is or isn't used. I've seen folks pick up fish around the mid section & squeeze so hard trying keep a grip, that they surely do some damage. So even not using a net can cause harm. It's all in how you handle the fish.
The old single strand nylon type nets that are typically used for crabs or the cotton knotted nets are not good for fish, they can cut them or remove too much of their outside coating and can do too much damage. A net with a wide material, like some of the rubber coated nets, the "C & R" types are much better if you're going to use a net at all.
Still, regardless of how you choose to handle a fish, with a net or not, you have to use some common sense about it! That, is indeed a big issue these days!