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Thread: Why barbless?

  1. #1
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    Default Why barbless?

    First of all, I crimp down all barbs on flies larger than an 18. I believe in protecting fish as much as possible while still bring them to the net as often as possible. (I also use a ghost net for the same reason.)

    It seems to me that until fly tying companies and local fly shops start tying all their flies on barbless hooks (or the majority, or at least a good sampling), the movement will not take hold. It seems like a mixed message to encourage amateur fishermen to hold themselves to a certain ethical standard when it is the large companies and local shops that set the standard in the first place. Plus, I can't even find a good assortment of barbless hooks locally, and Colorado has a fly shop around every corner. On the other hand, felt soles are being slowly phased out for similar philosophical reasons. That industry has taken a stand on an important environmental issue and forced the consumer's hand. Non-lead weight is available all over the place.

    Anybody know why the "industry" doesn't make this more of a focus, other than the almight dollar? Until they do, I have a hard time criticizing anglers who use barbed hooks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why barbless?

    I believe it is a demand market. Although some fly fishermen may prefer barbless hooks the manufactures are probably looking at the broader market for hook manufacturing and sales. I would expect that until such time that there were a well organized boycott of all barbed hook sales there will be no sweeping changes to the hook selection at the local shops.

    On another note, for dry fly fishing I do either buy or make barbless hooks but not always. To me the advantage of a barbless hook has always been to reduce mortality on those fish that manage to get hooked all the way back at the gill raker's. I almost always left the barb on my streamers, I'm not sure why.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why barbless?

    Interesting post on a thought provoking topic. I hadn't even considered how felt soles are being phased out but that barbed hooks are still in out there in the masses. I only know of one fly shop that I have been in that offers flies tied on barbless hooks. Even at that, the selection of which ones are barbless is minimal.

    Maybe it's a one of those things in life that require us to walk before we run? I think overall, there's still a long way to go with Catch and Release, and improving the habitats of fishing--at least here in PA anyway. WI does an outstanding job managing their fisherie, I'm sure there are other states as well but that's one that sticks out to me based on first hand experiences there.

    Back to barbless hooks, I will buy barbless if I see a size and specific hook style I'm looking for. If not, I just pinch the barb down and go from there.
    ~*~Leave only your footprints~*~

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why barbless?

    When I was younger The only barbless hook offered was from Mustad and they were size 16. I tied almost everything on 16's.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why barbless?

    i'm with you mister Cordray,
    any measure that protects the fish is an absolute

    without fish you only have hours and hours of casting practice.
    it never occurred to me to put pressure on the hook guys , we, me and my fishing pals atumaticlly mashed the barbs down

    looks like the hook companies could easily skip the step of barbing hooks
    all good
    keep up the good work''

    buzz

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why barbless?

    It has always been my understanding that barbs were no more than to help hold bait on a hook. Why are they even there on fly hooks? I want to get fish unhooked as quickly as possible. Hard to do with a barb. Plus I don't ever want to worry about crossing lines into a barbless area (heavy fine). I tie barbless or pinch them all at the vice.

  7. Default Re: Why barbless?

    It is easy enough to smash (is that a word, i guess?) the barbs and I think I am going to do this most of the time from now on. I was out with a guide several weeks back and ask if the barb really makes much difference, he said in his opinon he could tell no difference with regard to landing fish, we then proceeded to smash the barbs on the flies I used for the rest of the day. I could not tell any difference.

    A couple of weeks ago I caugh a very small bow maybe 2 inches and I know the barb was very hard on him, to me that is enough of a reason to remove them.
    Ray

  8. Default Re: Why barbless?

    I have read and heard several posts regarding this subject. They clearly state that they both leave holes in the fish and that Barbless DOES do as much damage.

    Google search and you will see this.

    My thought is, the faster you can get the hook out and the fish back on it;s way, the better and that is where BARBLESS rule. That and those non rubberized nets...ARGH!

    I hear the Bait fishermen freaking out over the lead issue and I am sure, they would freak out more if they couldn't have that little keep on the hook tip.

    I agree, as for fly fishing, not needed, but I do like the perk of squishing the barb and that nice little bump for a dropper in the river.

    I do try to squish mine before tying as I have broke hooks when doing it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why barbless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    I believe it is a demand market. Although some fly fishermen may prefer barbless hooks the manufactures are probably looking at the broader market for hook manufacturing and sales. I would expect that until such time that there were a well organized boycott of all barbed hook sales there will be no sweeping changes to the hook selection at the local shops.
    Ard hit the nail on the head.

    MP

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why barbless?

    Not only is it better on the fish to a degree its also easier on the fly! Nothing gets my goat more than mashing a hackle trying to dig a barbed hook out. Not to mention put one in your own skin on a bad cast and you'll be wishing you had pinched the barb! As far as industry goes in regards to felt vrs rubber in comparison its alot easier to pinch a barb than replace felt.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

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