pinch or not

do you pinch your barb or not


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mikechell

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Women ... never.
Hook barbs ... never.
Fly materials on a hook ... sometimes.
Wife ... sometimes.
Tobacco ... never.
Of salt on my food ... always.
 

ratherfish

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Women ... never.
Hook barbs ... never.
Fly materials on a hook ... sometimes.
Wife ... sometimes.
Tobacco ... never.
Of salt on my food ... always.
Well, well, well - ain't you just real funny! Actually a good response, and it was funny, funny boy. LOL - now, go answer the poll, you know what I meant :rolleyes:
 

scotty macfly

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Always. It's just something I do religiously to make it more of a sport giving the fish a better chance to throw the fly while I practice keeping tension on the line. And of course, it does help greatly in releasing the fish without tearing their mouth apart. The fish was nice enough to take your offering, so we can at least return the favor.
 

JoJer

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I seldom buy flies, I tie most of what I use. I pinch barbs at the vise. A lot of the water I fish is single, barbless only. My steel head fly box is marked with a big "PINCH" label on so I remember to check each fly when I change out.
 

don_p

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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.
 

r reese

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I catch and release. Just makes it easier. Yes I do loose more fish but so be it. Fish onnnn!!!
 

knotjoe

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Sometimes and it depends on the fly.

Light and small, I usually pinch as it makes removal easier. Heavier streamers I leave the barb in place to avoid throwouts, the weighted streamers seem to back barbless hooks out with an annoying degree of frequency. Happens mostly with warmer water smallmouth when they jump & and shake, not so much in cooler seasons.

I could have two boxes for this, one barbless and one barbed for different seasons, but I don't and like to keep it simple.

On any circle hook use, I always pinch barbs and bend hook to be inline. Never understood the point of offset circs as they are deep hookers and near impossible to remove if barbed and offset. Really stupid idea there.

I like cone-nosed jewelry pliers for mashing and local craft stores have an endless variety of these types of tools. Good hook/wire benders, too.
 

pnc

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When I saw title first thought was.... you got to be kidding. Guess I've been in Florida to long.

I don't pinch barbs. I crush them. Sometimes grind off with dremel. Without all the reasons for this. I strongly believe. When a fish throws a hook. It is because of hook being dull. And not being set. Barbs are often the reason for this. When hook is taken the point doesn't always find flesh. Sometimes bone. And when the barbed part of the hook gets to bone it stops. That is if the hook were sharp enough to begin penetrating bone.

........ pc
 

karstopo

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Pinching barbs isn’t something that’s ingrained in me. I’ve done it but it still feels weird. Decades of not pinching is a hard habit to overcome.

I could do it to all my freshwater flies since I release all of those fish. I should do it because I once stuck a big treble with an intact barb into my thumb past the barb with a thrashing redfish attached to the hook. That experience should have cured me of any hesitation to pinch down barbs. I should do it because the wind often swirls around on the lake I fish and can send a hefty bass or catfish pattern whizzing inches by my ear or thump me hard in the shoulder like it did this afternoon. I should do it because on the flies I’ve fished with pinched down barbs I really haven’t noticed a big difference in getting the fish to hand.

I want to pinch barbs, but walking the talk has been a little short on my end. I’ll do it tomorrow, those kind of excuses.
 

knotjoe

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I want to pinch barbs, but walking the talk has been a little short on my end. I’ll do it tomorrow, those kind of excuses.
Well, if you actually decide to do it tomorrow, please allow me to caution you a bit. Only do a few of each kind and see how they work across seasons and a wide range of species with regard to the heavier stuff.

I used to mash 100% and that's what's responsible for the more choosey approach today. The membrane in a bass lip just doesn't hold straight metal very well when they go airborne with heavy streamers. Even the tiny barbs on Diiachi hooks make a huge difference.

Admittedly, I do miss the C&R convenience of simply pushing back on the streamer and doing the one-handed release on smaller bass, but the big one's that throw it were hard to overlook. Keeping the barb changed everything in the latter scenario.
 

karstopo

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Well, if you actually decide to do it tomorrow, please allow me to caution you a bit. Only do a few of each kind and see how they work across seasons and a wide range of species with regard to the heavier stuff.

I used to mash 100% and that's what's responsible for the more choosey approach today. The membrane in a bass lip just doesn't hold straight metal very well when they go airborne with heavy streamers. Even the tiny barbs on Diiachi hooks make a huge difference.

Admittedly, I do miss the C&R convenience of simply pushing back on the streamer and doing the one-handed release on smaller bass, but the big one's that throw it were hard to overlook. Keeping the barb changed everything in the latter scenario.
Bass going airborne is when I typically lose them. Knowing myself, it’s unlikely I’ll actually mash down all or many of my barbs, but I might try a few more as an experiment. I might work on filing down the barbs some. I like hooks with the tiny barbs.

Bass seem pretty tough and able to handle the trauma of a hook barb and the handling around being caught. When I was a kid, I used to catch the same bass identifiable by a certain scar over and over again with a metal spoon sporting a large barbed treble hook. My fly hooks with their relatively tiny barbs are a lot less menacing than that treble. Catfish and redfish are crazy tough fish. I’m not worried about them and hook trauma. Redfish take a beating from lots of natural sources like dolphin, sharks, crabs, etc. My relatively tiny fly hooks are the least of their worries. Redfish don’t even react right away half the time on the hookset as they are so used to being poked, finned, or pinched by their breakfast.

Hook makers have always put barbs on hooks. It can’t all be about satisfying the expectations of the angler and not be because barbs actually do help keep fish on the hook. In the history of the hook, Barbs must be an improvement over barbless in keeping the fish on or otherwise why do the vast majority of hooks have barbs? Or is putting barbs on hooks some giant misdirection, mistake or otherwise fraud that has somehow escaped detection until very recent times?

I think your advice is sound, do a few and see how they work over the seasons and with different fish. Seems like a lot of the barbless interest, requirements, and push is centered on Coldwater trout and helping those fish survive the repeated hooking in heavily pressured waters. That’s like less than one percent of my fly fishing and I’ll happily go barbless or mashed down barb for them.

The best reason to go barbless might be to protect me and my not so tough hide. Do they make hook proof clothing? I’m still pretty good at the chunk and duck.
 

trout trekker

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The short answer, I buy barbless hooks and file those I can't.

The vast majority of the Trout water I fish is barbless. All of my working dry and nymph trout hook inventory was converted over to barbless models many years. With larger hook models ( Streamers, saltwater, etc. ) that are not available in a barbless model, I file down the barbs. In that case, I'll grab a 100 ct. box of saltwater hooks and a file when I have a little time on my hands and prep them all. That way I'm not doing it piecemeal and I can concentrate on tying. In my case, it's a quality control issue, when I'm concentrating on just filing hooks down, I tend to get greater continuity. It's the way I approach most of my tying, for instance, if I'm going to put up a couple of dozen dries of the same pattern and size, I pre-select & gauge all the hackle I'll need for the project. Doing that saves time, (I'd likely be picking from the same small area of a cape. Picking all those hackles at one time means I won't need to find the sweet spot over and over, as I complete each fly or am ready for the next set of hackles. ) and if I put away anything that's not necessary to the next step in the process, I have less clutter at my work station, so I don't have to go searching for strays or things that have gotten shuffled under some larger item, like a cape.
If you've ever had an onlooker spill a cup of coffee on your tying station at a show and seen your grade #1 cream cape get a Starbucks dye job, you'll appreciate that.

Dave
 

knotjoe

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In the history of the hook, Barbs must be an improvement over barbless in keeping the fish on or otherwise why do the vast majority of hooks have barbs?
I believe it has to do with manufacturing equipment, the barb is created by/as a hold for bending and shaping. For a time, barbless were (perhaps still are) more expensive to make on account of this.

Picture a sharp, chisel like wedge that digs into the wire and secures it for bending. Useful manufacturing artifact, I gather they killed 2 birds w/1 stone and refined the precise placement of it.

I'm sure a lot of trout have been killed with downriding hook/traditional nymphs with the barb left intact. Some folks notice they have a fish about the time the fly is halfway to the trout's a-hole. If they're lucky, it'll slide forward and only hang in the gills where they can reach it:upset:. It's flyfishing and depending on how it's done and the individual's skills, strike detection can be an elusive achievement.

I think the barbless trout rules are probably a prudent idea, they tend to be delicate.
 

Ard

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I was a Sometimes reply on your poll. It's sometimes because when I fish where there is a chance that I may hook a small trout or grayling while swinging for salmon or steelhead I pinch barbs. Over the past few years I've dropped down to a size 8 hook for steelhead and large trout and I don't pinch them because the hooks seem small enough that there is little damage. I haven't had a deeply hooked fish in many years so there have been no bleeders. If I get one hooked in the tongue I'll cut the hook off and hope for the best.
 

Rip Tide

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I'm an "always" and like Mr. pnc, on hooks where it fits, the barb gets obliterated with the Dremel tool rather than just "pinched"'
But I have to admit, my main reason this is for my own safety rather than that of the fish. :eek:
I don't have many personal horror stories about being hooked and I'd like to keep it that way.
However, being somewhat of a klutz, I do seem to get a hook lodged in my clothes nearly every time out.
When I can just back that hook out instead of ripping a hole it my shirt, that's a plus right there.
 

mjkirshner

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I don't pinch barbs. I crush them.
I have a cheap old vise, no longer used for tying, mounted on a workstation that holds my thread and tools, so I start every new tie by putting the hook point into the jaws of the old vise and twisting it lightly. Either the barb will flatten or break off, depending on the type of hook. It works better than pliers because the vise jaws are smooth, so they don't leave a mark on the hook. It is much easier to get the hook out of the fish, especially a bass that has inhaled the fly and is hooked halfway down its gullet. I've had a couple of those die on me while I was trying to remove a hook that I accidentally left the barb on. If I was planning to keep the fish, I would just cut the tippet and remove the hook later, but torturing the fish while trying to get the hook out feels lousy.
 

ratherfish

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I believe it has to do with manufacturing equipment, the barb is created by/as a hold for bending and shaping.......Picture a sharp, chisel like wedge that digs into the wire and secures it for bending. Useful manufacturing artifact, I gather they killed 2 birds w/1 stone and refined the precise placement of it......
Guess I never thunk about that...
 
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