barbless flies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: barbless flies


natty
02-18-2006, 06:49 AM
Does anyone know any online tackle shops that sell barbless flies?

Thanks in advance :)

Sandman Caranx
02-18-2006, 06:59 AM
Why is that a consern, press down the existing barb with a set of pliers, or am I missing something ??

Morania
02-18-2006, 08:36 AM
or he wouldn't have come to us for help. Here. Watch this.....

Hi Natty. Thanks for practicing humane catch-and-release procedures.

There aren't many barbless fly suppliers out there. (Haven't really surfed for any, though.)
You're going to have to keep a small pair of hard pliers in your vest and flatten the barbs yourself. Some guys advised me to file them completely off but so far I've found that the fish will slip right off with the barb pinched down.

Hope this helps.

juro
02-18-2006, 08:49 AM
Natty -

I buy barbless hooks which saves a step then tie my own, or you can try Kaufmanns Streamborn who does in fact sell barbless flies in certain patterns.

Again, it's very easy to just flatten the barb with a pair of pliers as mentioned above, I recommend doing it before you leave home so you don't need to think about it on the water.

Some brands of hooks have a very large barb that is not easily flattened or not at all. I would avoid flies tied on such poor quality hooks if you care about barbless.

For some large saltwater hooks I tie I grind the barb off with a dremel tool.

Barbless is much safer for the angler too - especially when teaching children or fishing in wind. Keeping constant tension with a bent rod makes it nearly impossible for the fish to throw the hook. Good idea fishing barbless in my book.

teflon_jones
02-18-2006, 10:33 AM
Not trying to start a debate here, but I've never had a trout or any other species die because I use barbed flies. With the soft tissue in a trout's mouth, removing a barbed hook really isn't very difficult. I could also argue that the barbless angler is more likely to play to fish less aggressively in order to reduce the chances of the hook coming out, and you're much more likely to kill a fish because you play it for too long than because it takes an extra 5 or 10 seconds to get a hook out. But to each their own, fish what you want! :)

I understand why people think that barbless flies are better, but there's really no scientific evidence to back up any benefit to them. This link has quick summaries to a lot of different studies that support this, and there's a ton of other info on the web that shows no link between barbed flies and fish mortality.
http://www.reellife.co.nz/reellife/13/issue2_regionnews_article_sthland2.asp

juro
02-18-2006, 11:03 AM
Debate can be a good thing, they bring out good points as long as no one takes them personally.

With very few exceptions I fish barbless all the time for a number of reasons. I didn't start out that way, but switched because of what I saw with my own eyes and experienced in a lifetime of fishing.

I watch people struggle to get hooks out all the time. It's criminal what people do to fish. My eyes have told me "don't be like that" so I went barbless.

Most people lose fish without barbs and switch back. I stuck it out and will go head to head with anyone landing fish on barbless hooks, yes it took a little while but I am a much better angler. The secret is not to baby the fish as you mentioned but to keep a bend in the rod - therefore possibly being more aggressive in getting the fish in than the barbed angler's propensity to allow slack into the line.

Barbless hooks have taught me to keep a bend in the rod like nothing else!

Besides, there are many people learning to flyfish lately and their casting and thinking about wind is not immediately going to lead them away from the risk of hooking oneself.

A barbless hook is an ouch while a barbed hook is a trip to the hospital.

I am not trying to provoke either, but just to show how people do have differing opinions I feel barbed hooks are like training wheels, you only need them if you can't keep a fish tight. :lildevl:

To be perfectly honest each fishery influences my choice. I fish barbless for trout, steelhead, stripers, bonefish and salmon which are my primary target species. But for tarpon I might keep the barb at least for the first one of the day, etc.

.02

photog
02-18-2006, 11:26 AM
Scott,

Thanks for the link. Interesting info.

Bill

chromer
02-18-2006, 11:38 AM
I understand why people think that barbless flies are better, but there's really no scientific evidence to back up any benefit to them. This link has quick summaries to a lot of different studies that support this, and there's a ton of other info on the web that shows no link between barbed flies and fish mortality.
http://www.reellife.co.nz/reellife/13/issue2_regionnews_article_sthland2.asp

Thats a debate between treble hooks and single hooks onthat link there looks like
:confused:

teflon_jones
02-18-2006, 01:56 PM
Thats a debate between treble hooks and single hooks onthat link there looks like
:confused:
About half of the quotes are for treble versus single, but half are for barbed versus barbless.

juro
02-18-2006, 02:20 PM
I understand why people think that barbless flies are better, but there's really no scientific evidence to back up any benefit to them.

Well that to me is a failing of the 'scientists' involved since there is mountains of anecdotal evidence. Just watch saturday morning fishing shows. Boy do they struggle to remove a hook! Mine slip right out once I land the fish and let the slack into the line. Ever see the guys that smash the 'hairball' jig to get the barb to release? Might as well punch the fish in the face.

In fact there is plenty of scientific evidence in the juvenile pacific salmon fishery. In fact so much that it is law to use barbless hooks. The difference between barbed hooks and barbless hooks when releasing 'shakers' (juvenile ocean feeding coho, chinook, pink, sockeye, chum salmon) is beyond significant.

In fact BC requires the use of a hook reversing tool which works with barbless hooks to avoid touching or boating the young salmon.

In my own experiences the release technique of a barbless fisherman involves significantly less handling of the fish. No grappling involved, just a little reversal and out it comes in the blink of an eye.

The 'evidence' is in the way the fish swims away - like a lightning bolt after having not been handled at all.

FWIW / IMHO the perception that barbless is not better for the fish is held by those who do not persist long enough with it to discover the benefits.

.02

chromedome
02-18-2006, 03:55 PM
The 'evidence' is in the way the fish swims away - like a lightning bolt after having not been handled at all.


I've also felt that a good guage of how healthy the fish is going back in the water is how vigorously it swims away.

griz
02-18-2006, 05:46 PM
i'm actually surprised to hear someone argue for barbs. for once, i actually agree with juro...:lildevl: :D

besides it being better and less damaging for the fish ,it's just less work for me too. Also, I do 99.99% catch and release so if i lose a fish in a fight then so be it.

I have used barbed hooks up in AK on rough days though but ,if possible, crush the barb before removal. Then continue using the now barbless fly because the skunk has left the river.

Xiphias
02-18-2006, 07:29 PM
I fish flies but also fish plugs if, having cast all morning, and I need a fish.
My reasoning:
One morning out in my canoe I trolled a spin rod and a fly rod so of course the both hooked up. I pulled in the schoolie on the fly rod and a much larger fish on the spin rod. As luck would have it the larger fish through the lure which lodged it lightly in my hand the schoolie then started bouncing firmly seating three trebles in hand. OUCH.
My rule is:
ALL flies barbless. Lures with trebles debarbed and only one treble if it does not affect the lures action or is not a large lure.
Forget releasing the fish I want to be able to release me.
Mark

Capt.PeteRowney
02-18-2006, 09:37 PM
As a full-time flats guide in the Florida Keys I tend to have my hands on a lot of fish. Depending on what we're fishing for and what make of hook I will either flatten the barb entirely, round it or leave it be. Barbless or not, I absolutely do not use stainless. Catching a tarpon with six feet of algae covered leader attached to a stainless hook will demonstrate that stainless hooks have no place in your arsenal. I hate rusty hooks but a little freshwater and a waterproof box go a long way to keeping your flies look good. If I know I am going trout fishing or mackerel fishing and we're going to be hooking a large number of fish- no barb. There is no sense in tearing the lips off of fish when you're getting them every other cast. I hate beating fish up and the truth is if you stay tight to the fish you are going to get him boatside, with or without a barb. Much of the time I will round the barb; crimp it but not entirely flatten it when fishing for snook and reds. The only reason I do this is because I want the fish in the boat and some of my anglers are less experienced than others in keeping constant pressure on the fish. I do this with hooks with larger barbs like Mustad. You get better hook penetration and you don't tear the fish up as much on removal. The only time I leave the barb is when I am fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon. The reason- the opportunity. Simply getting one of the above on fly is a good day and I don't want to leave anything to chance. Almost all of my bonefish, permit tarpon flies are tied on hooks with smaller barbs like Owner, Gamakatsu, Tiemco and Daiichi. These chemically sharpened hooks stay stuck and are easier to remove with a smaller barb. Remember- No Stainless! -Pete

juro
02-18-2006, 10:21 PM
i'm actually surprised to hear someone argue for barbs. for once, i actually agree with juro...:lildevl: :D

Well then I've changed my mind!

Just kidding, I think we are very alike in spirit :)

Capt. Pete -

I've spent seasons full time guiding up here in striper country too and have observed that most do use stainless up here because the flies don't get popped off very often, very rarely. I don't think stripers have a problem ridding themselves of a barbless stainless single fly.

If bluefish are around the hook is gone in a split second, but they just chew it up and spit out the little ball of shrapnel later. Ok seriously, the point about stainless is valid when applied to bluefish although I believe they will also expel the hook in short order.

I fish tube flies more and more which gives me flexibility for the hook I choose. A non-stainless hook is a fine choice there.

But I have striper flies that are several years old and have caught countless stripers and if not for the damage to the dressing from fish they would be as good as new.

I think I will always fish non-stainless for tarpon based on your point. However I don't see it as being an issue for stripers. Blues I need to think about it. But I have never caught or seen a blue with someone elses fly in it's mouth although an incredibly high number of flies are lost to blues each season so I have to assume they are expelled effectively. I have caught a very large blue off Fisher's Island with a bent piece of steel in it's gut about 5 inches long.

This is another cause for barbless hooks, to allow the fish to easily expel it with no tension from the line when lost.

Sean Juan
02-19-2006, 12:58 AM
Just a couple tips if you are making your own barbless hooks.

I'd advise mashing the barb before you tie the fly, its easier and on the off chance you damage the hook its before you tie the fly.

My favorite means of barb mashing is to place the barb between the jaws of an old regal vise - been doing it for a long time on a vise thats probably close to 30 years old.

One other point though a minor one is that its easier to set a barbless hook than a barbed one, this is especially true of circle hooks.

FishHawk
02-19-2006, 08:58 AM
Another thing to consider is if your hooked it's much easier to get a barbless hook out than one with a barb. FishHawk

Dble Haul
02-20-2006, 01:21 PM
Why barbless?

Better hooksets
More aggressive fish fighting
Easier on the fish
Easier on you if hooked accidentally

For these reasons, most already described very well by posters in this thread prior to me, I feel that barbless is the way to go. Like Juro, I wasn't always of this mind set. But after several seasons of using barbless hooks very frequently (especially in my pike fishing), I've seen the light.

Capt.PeteRowney
02-20-2006, 08:46 PM
I have to say Juro, I am amazed at the speed of your response to my post. I am amazed because I still have unconfirmed email receipts to you dating 11/26 and 12/7 regarding sponsorhip/advertising for my guide business. I had initially posted a fishing report and was immediately reprimanded for not being a sponsor. Not a problem. The only thing is have been waiting for close to three months to get a response to my email regarding my potential sponsorship. If you'd like I can cut and paste all of the emails to refresh your memory. Thanks- Pete.

amortdal
02-20-2006, 10:28 PM
I am a firm believer in the barbless hooks although I have heard one argument against it. Apparently, and I do not know if this is true, if you do not keep good tension on a fish a barbless hook can bounce around in a fishes mouth and actually cause more damage. That said, a good angler will always keep the tension and barbless hooks clearly unhook more easily.

Does anyone know for sure what the regs say? I fish in a lot of catch and release barbless only areas and am curious as to whether a crushed barb equates to a barbless hook. One warden in Idaho told me it did but also said that if I ran into the wrong guy, it might not.

just curious.

adam

juro
02-20-2006, 10:49 PM
I have to say Juro, I am amazed at the speed of your response to my post. I am amazed because I still have unconfirmed email receipts to you dating 11/26 and 12/7 regarding sponsorhip/advertising for my guide business. I had initially posted a fishing report and was immediately reprimanded for not being a sponsor. Not a problem. The only thing is have been waiting for close to three months to get a response to my email regarding my potential sponsorship. If you'd like I can cut and paste all of the emails to refresh your memory. Thanks- Pete.

Is this intentionally repeated? or a misfire?

cuttbow
02-22-2006, 02:28 AM
QUOTE=natty]Does anyone know any online tackle shops that sell barbless flies?

Thanks in advance :)[/QUOTE]


Yes mustad tmc eagle claw and gamakatsu all make barbless hooks for flytying check at cabelas or bass pro shops or any other big name fishing shops for availibility

BigDave
02-22-2006, 09:09 AM
I use both but tend to use barbless more for trout fishing these days. If you think barbed flies don't injure trout go fish the Swift somtime. Many of the fish in there have deformed or missing lips torn off by barbed hooks. Done it myself.

Striper schoolie fest in May gets the barbless treatment. Same for bluefish as it makes removing the hook from razor-mouth less of a hassle.

Big bass and tunoids get the barb. If you are fishing chemically sharpened hooks with mini barbs (Gami, TMC) there is not much difference in hook-setting IMHO.

FishHawk
02-22-2006, 03:18 PM
Big Dave the same is true for the Farmington. I fished over this large bow for over an hour and just couldn't seem to hook the fish. Finally , I got him and when I checked out the fish he had about an inch of his corner jaw missing!!!!
No wonder I couldn't hook that fish. FishHawk:smokin: