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View Poll Results: do you pinch your barb or not

46. You may not vote on this poll
  • never

    3 6.52%
  • sometimes

    12 26.09%
  • always

    31 67.39%
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Thread: pinch or not

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Tulsa, aka - T-Town

    Default Re: pinch or not

    Quote Originally Posted by jpbfly View Post
    Always,when I don't use BL flies which doesn't happen very often.
    What's a BL fly?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: pinch or not

    I've been mashing the barbs down on all my hooks since I was too young to drive for one reason: trying to pull a large hook with a barb on it out of my skin is not fun at all. When I was 15 I managed to stick myself with a 5/0 hook in the meaty part of my thumb. Refer to the pic linked above for a size comparison if you're not familiar with 5/0 hooks. Well there was no pulling it out the way it went in, so I ended up having to clip the hook at the shank (ouch), and then drive it through my skin and out the other side (higher level ouch), where I could get a hold of it with my needle-nose pliers and pull it through (long-lasting ouch).

    After that bit of fun, I mashed down the barbs on every lure and bait I owned (about 300 of them). The process has become a mandatory part of my fishing regimen at this point (no pun intended. Okay maybe a little).

    This worked out in my favor when I first was learning to fly-fish about 12 years ago when I accidentally hooked myself between the shoulder blades with a #4 clouser. All I had to do was take a length of fly line that was already hanging all over me and slide it down over my shoulders, easily pulling the hook out of my back. I was back fishing in less than 2 minutes. If the barb had still been on that hook, I'd have had to go find help.

    Most recently I was up on the Gunnison R. at Smith Fork trying to lift a fish out of my net when he thrashed at the right moment and stuck me with both flies. Both hooks were in me well past where the barbs would've been, and my tippet was now well-wrapped around the fish. Since my flies didn't have barbs it was a simple and fast process to remove both hooks from my fingers and release that fish. There was some cussing of the fish, but otherwise it went back in the water unharmed.

    Mash your barbs people. Think about Murphy's Law and then think about places on your body you would never want a barbed hook stuck in. 'Nuff said.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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  4. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Hudson, Florida

    Default Re: pinch or not

    I think in the evolution of hooks. The hook came first. Then the barb. I could be wrong.
    Barbless hooks could blow mfg theory for barbs out of the water. Or processes for each could he totaly different. Never thought of process before.

    My experiences dealing with barbs. In fish or me were never favorable moments. But more in mind when de barbing a hook. Or sharpening...... and re sharpening. Is quicker more positive penetration of point.

    ....... pc

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  6. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    North Central Indiana

    Default Re: pinch or not

    Quote Originally Posted by pnc View Post
    I think in the evolution of hooks. The hook came first. Then the barb. I could be wrong.
    You're not wrong, I was speaking of modern mass manufacturing with wire. Bone circle (style) hooks we're, I believe, some of the earliest examples of hook technology found. It's rather interesting that something reminiscent of the earliest design has enjoyed a resurgence of late, the mighty circ is once again catching fish. Simple, yet highly effective design.

    There's probably quite a bit on the web for hook making. Somewhat long ago (pre-internet), American Angler and a few other mags would run articles on hook making and DIY hook cooking for temper. Never tried it, but the articles had great descriptions and pics on the process both for the DIY and mass production methods. Never tried it myself, some folks probably still do it for the satisfaction elements.

    Edit to add...
    Found a tutorial for abalone circs (much nicer than the earlier "gorge" hook technology)

    Abalone Circular Fish Hook

    Interesting to note, some of the earlier hook designs did have barbs/notches in them. The J-hook v/s Circle hook thing started long ago, I'm thinking the gorge idea was probably the earliest as it's the most simple. Basically, a swallower hook/gullet wedge. Wood ( or a skinny rock) would suffice, but be harder to find in the archeological record as opposed to bone or abalone.
    Last edited by knotjoe; 12-05-2017 at 08:17 AM.

  7. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Albuquerque, NM

    Default Re: pinch or not

    Always pinch, or crush, whatever you want to call it. On the flies I tie, I do it before I put the thread on the hook. And now, I try to do it with my purchased flies before they go in the box, so I don't forget later. I fish in and out of quality waters, and so one issue is just not having to worry about regulations--I'm always in compliance with the barbless hooks.

    I've told this story before, but once when fishing the San Juan, I was replacing my rig, and after tying on my first fly, I held the fly lightly between my lips as I searched for my dropper fly. The rod was pinched between my upper arm and chest, and I must have had my tongue half-sticking out or something--I am a Neandarthal--but when the rod slipped, the fly caught in the tip of my tongue. I had not yet pinched down the barb. It was one of those moments when you just GO, and I ripped off the Band-Aid, so to speak, and ripped the fly out of my tongue, with a little piece of flesh on it, and spit blood for a few minutes. My tongue was swollen, and I couldn't eat green chile for a several days. As a friend of mine is fond of saying...when you're dumb, ya gotta be tough.

    I don't pinch the fly between my lips any more.

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  9. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Southern NH

    Default Re: pinch or not

    I said 'always'.
    Quite a few places I fish for trout require it, anyway. I release all of them. Pinching the barb just makes it easier.
    In salt water, with bigger hooks, it's partly self-preservation. Twice this season I've hooked myself with a 2/0 hook. I've been really glad those had been pinched shut.
    Today is always the first day of the rest of your life.
    Use it wisely.


  10. #27

    Default Re: pinch or not

    I'm always barbless in freshwater, but will keep the barb for some saltwater situations. Fast running species can create a lot of drag on the fly line when they turn. This will reduce the tension on the fly line and cause a barbless hook to fall out, especially if your vessel is bobbing with decent waves.

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  12. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone

    Default Re: pinch or not

    Quote Originally Posted by don_p View Post
    Always! I mash the barb prior to assembly at the vise when tying them, it makes the task of removal much, much easier..... from the fish and from myself.
    What I find as a total pain is just trying to purchase barbless hooks!
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

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