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Old 06-07-2013, 09:43 PM
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Default barbless hooks

I started debarbing all my hooks this year and I have been losing a lot of fish. Lost 2 yesterday casting downstream and pulled the hook out of their mouths. Lost 3 today while trying to bring them in to net them reached for my net and they got off. seems like if they get any slack they fall right off. I wouldn't really care but I was trying to catch some for my gramp to eat. Anyone else have this sort of problem?
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

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Originally Posted by dewbar View Post
seems like if they get any slack they fall right off.
Yes slack will give them the chance to get off the hook. Need to keep the line tight, true in general but especially with barbless. If you mash the barb, try leaving more of a bump where the barb was. It will still be easy to release the fish but the more pronounced bump will hold them better.

I don't know that pulling the fly out of the fish's mouth is a barb issue, probably more how you time your hook set or fish are rejecting the fly at the last second. They can't stop their forward momentum before hitting the fly as they turn away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dewbar View Post
I wouldn't really care but I was trying to catch some for my gramp to eat. Anyone else have this sort of problem?
If you're fishing for keeps use barbed, unless you catch too many small ones and worry about releasing them. Still, a lot of people just fish barbed all the time.


ps. Don't forget, if you lose a fish that you had hooked, just call it a 'long distance release'! I think there's a formula for measuring the fish too. Something like, for every 5 feet the fish was away from you when you lost, I mean released it, you get to add an inch to the average size of fish in the stream.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

Yeah, don't feel like you have to used barbless just to appease anyone. When I use them I do it to appease myself - when I'm releasing and find it easier to do quickly. It makes fishing more pleasurable for me, period.

There's nothing morally wrong with using barbed hooks -- anyone who tells you otherwise is a moron.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

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Originally Posted by dewbar View Post
I wouldn't really care but I was trying to catch some for my gramp to eat.

The whole point of a barbless hook is to make releasing the fish easier. If you're fishing for food and intend to kill the fish anyway, there's really no reason to use a barbless hook in the first place.

Maybe all your flies are barbless now so you didn't have any choice, but in the future it'd be wise to have a barbed assortment as well as your barbless ones.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

I suspect we'll all get used to barbless hooks sooner or later. Here in the Pacific Northwest many waters (fresh and salt) already require their use. Large barbless hooks can be found at almost any well stocked out door store, but small ones are almost impossible to find ..... even on line.

I actually have mine sent to me from out of the UK.

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Old 06-08-2013, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

Fred, Allen Fly Fishing has a few trout size barbless hooks at a good price.
The big name companies make a very small selection of barbless and then they jack up the price.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

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Originally Posted by darwin View Post
Fred, Allen Fly Fishing has a few trout size barbless hooks at a good price.
The big name companies make a very small selection of barbless and then they jack up the price.
Thanks for the heads up Darwin; will give Allan an immediate look-see.
Fred

Edit: So they do, only 'problem' is it appears a size 10 is as big as they offer. That said, no reason not to ask if they can get larger. For Salmon and Steelhead you can get away with a size 10 on a very thin tie. Smaller than that and you're pretty much kidding yourself.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

I've used the Allen hooks and liked them. If they don't have the size you're looking for I picked up some Saber hooks at the Denver show and have been impressed. They carry barbless down into 22's and 24's. They have one style that gets as big as an 8 and another up to a 6

However if the original poster doesn't need to fish barbless but does to make release easier, it is probably best to buy barbed and just partially mash down the barb to leave a bit of a bump.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

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Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
I've used the Allen hooks and liked them. If they don't have the size you're looking for I picked up some Saber hooks at the Denver show and have been impressed. They carry barbless down into 22's and 24's. They have one style that gets as big as an 8 and another up to a 6

Thanks for the heads up William; don't think I've heard of the Saber hooks. And the 6 and 8 is exactly what I'm looking for.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: barbless hooks

They only hooks I don't de-barb, are ones I use for bait, such as when targeting catfish. The barb helps keep the bait on the hook. Otherwise, I'll mash down barbs, even on trebles I use for big saltwater lures. I have yet to feel that I've lost a fish due to a de-barbed hook. Not saying I don't lose fish, just that there is usually another reason.

I've even tested the de-barbed hooks with hooked fish by intentionally giving slack & very few have tossed the hook. Those that have, as far as I could tell, were not hooked well to begin with. Not saying it can't happen, and certainly some species of fish are more difficult to keep hooked than others, but a solidly hooked fish is often not dependent on the barb to stay hooked. Proper fighting technique will improve your chances of not losing fish, but it still can happen.

If you're de-barbing hooks, take great care not to damage the hook point! It can happen, particularly with light wire & smaller sizes. Test them, make sure they're "sticky" sharp & remain that way. I test every fly as I begin to tie it to my tippet! If it's not sharp, it doesn't get used, or I'll sharpen it then depending on the type of hook.

I had a fellow many years ago tell me that he doesn't use barbless or de-barbed hooks because he lost too many fish. Then I fished with him! He never checked the hook point after continued use, & wouldn't change flies!
We were fishing for bass & both using flies tied on Mustad 3366 hooks. They're not particularly sharp to begin with & not a high quality hook. The point on his fly looked like it had been mashed with a hammer!

Hooks do get dull in use, and if they do, don't expect them to penetrate as they did when new!

Won't matter if the hook has a barb or not, don't get a good hook set for any reason & you're going to lose fish!
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