Do You Flatten Barbs on Circle Hooks? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Do You Flatten Barbs on Circle Hooks?

05-04-2002, 08:29 AM
I usually crush the barbs on my hooks. One of the flies I received in the fly swap was tied on a circle hook, and I wasn't sure if I should flatten the barb or leave it intact. What do you guys do? Thanks.

05-04-2002, 01:11 PM
Q...I was out just this morning and was using a circle hook herring flatwing tied late last night...for some reason I had neglected to de-barb at the bench...(it's a good idea to do so before getting it wet)...I got to tango with six striped volunteers and the first one to chase away the skunk smell was a "stinker" setting free. Pliers to the rescue...adios amigo!
The shape of the circle hook lends itself to going barbless...release is eased and stress to the victim is minimized! And the fish like it too!
Do the right thing!

John Desjardins
05-04-2002, 08:03 PM
Crush the barb. While I dont use them for flies I've found that with circle hooks its tough to release fish unless its crushed.

05-04-2002, 10:00 PM
Thanks guys, that's what I figured. I just thought I'd ask first since it's an irreversible procedure.

05-06-2002, 08:40 AM
In a much older thread, same subject, I mentioned filing barb away. I've noticed I don't necessarily flatten or crimp barb as much as I seem to snap it off flush to the shoulder. When I go to crimp a barb. the pliers just SLAM closed at a point where, on inspection, I discover I've unceremoniously snapped the barb off. So, while the hook is mounted in the vise, it's worth it to me to take a file to the barb shoulder.

Has anyone else noticed a similar trend? I'm not using any exotic hook material, just Mustad or Varivas or TMC.

Regarding the circle hook: crimping can't be bad.

John Desjardins
05-06-2002, 09:00 AM
Dave, I've noticed that some barbs snap off when pinched. It seems to happen more often on hooks that are more difficult to sharpen. I think it is related to the parameters of the hardening process during manufacture.

I haven't filed off the barb on these for 2 reasons. First, they are hard to get a good bite with the file on them. Second, if I use a dremel tool I stand a 50-50 chance of overheating the metal and annealing the point by mistake.

05-06-2002, 10:05 AM
I use toolmaker's die files or a simple single cut bastard file. If I chuck the hook far enough back in the jaws and file on a bias, I get the required metal cut I want, or tip the jaw slightly up and clamp almost on top of the barb for resistance. I didn't think of manufacturers' processing; thanks. Further, I can see using a Dremel if the hook's just being kissed enough times to take away the material, no constant heat generated. Since somebody stole all my tools, I haven't replaced the Dremel.

Mark F
05-09-2002, 03:05 PM
One of the benefits of my Regal vise is that the spring loaded jaws are more than capable of pinching the barb flat. Plus I have on a rare occasion had the hook break on me when I've pinched a barb while out on the water. This usually happens when I put the pliers across the barb in a perpendicular fashion in relation to the hook point. By pinching the barb at the tying table before I've put any thread on the hook, I've saved some time and materials by breaking a bare hook as opposed to one fully dressed. Plus too, you know that every barb you've tied has been pinched.