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saltRon 01-08-2002 08:06 PM

Just A thought on Catch & Release
This is not to be construed as a holyier than though comment on one of our prime comitements which is conservation buuuut the majority of the flys posted in living colour [great pics.] show that big old barb still in place:whoa: Now I know we can say that we crush them or remove them before fishing which I am sure is correct in most instances.

The reason I make the coment is that as this board grows we are viewed from many parts of the country and many parts of the world where catching was more important than fishing. We have the comitment to conserve and this one small item can show that we practice what we preach.

Just my .02 saltRon

Any Coments pro or con

Adrian 01-08-2002 11:45 PM

Good point saltron. I routinely squash the barbs down before tying saltwater patterns which is a lot less hassle than dealing with or forgetting to do it on the water...

Saying that, the trout flies which I tied for the swap still had barbs on...:confused:

Many of the flies given me on the water still have barbs in place as do all flies sold in shops. Maybe fly shops could offer free "barb crushing"?


saltRon 01-09-2002 12:58 AM

The Barb
Hi Adrian I have allways been of the opinion that if you were going to create a barbless hook that you flattened said barb before tying as some times, depending on the mfg you could breake the hook in that process.

One Mans opinion saltRon

FishHawk 01-09-2002 04:31 AM

For safety reasons its a good idea to go barbless. Makes it a lot less difficult to remove a hook byyourself without the barb. I never keep any fish. FishHawk:smokin:

artb 01-09-2002 05:47 AM

I think these hook manufacturers should offer barbless hooks, I know they do for some freshwater, but I don't know of any for saltwater, tongue-in-cheek. I would think that it also would be cheaper for the manufacturers to do this. I have lost very few fish on barbless, or crushed barb hooks, aso much easier to release fish.:)

Roop 01-09-2002 07:37 AM

Better get a new cup of coffee, a stream of consciousness follows....

Good point. I'll play devil's advocate though. (Terry must be getting to me)


For a more "sensitive" fish like trout in a spring creek barbless is the only way.

My experience with several different species of saltwater fish ( striper, blues, tarpon, barracuda, jacks & lemon sharks) leaves me to believe that a barb on a hook (a single hook) is the least of their worries. When you're slugging it out with an aggressive fish in the salt and it's using structure, current & leverage to fight the pull of your hook & fly line - you are leaving more than just the pin hole from a barbless hook in it's mouth.

That said, I do practice & promote C&R and, I do favor and use barbless hooks for the majority of my salt fishing.

However, there are a few spots I have been fortunate enough to frequent that hold larger fish and I am guilty of having occasionally left the barb on for these fish. In retrospect it's probably just a mental crutch for me.

My intention for the 2002 salt season is to fish barbless all the time - to really put a bow in the rod when I have a fish taking off with my line & backing. My reasoning for this decision is to increase my abilities as a fly rodder, reduce stress on the fish (does it really though if you're fighting a fish more "gingerly" because you have a barbless hook?) and for the ease of removing the fly from my person and anyone else unfortunate enough to be hooked by me.


Lefty 01-09-2002 08:09 AM

Like Roopy, I fish 99.9% barbless and teach it to my kids and nieces and nephews on their spin gear.
But with tunoids, forget it. They turn and run at you, your line goes slack, fish off.
For the recent fly swap, I left all my hooks barb on. Those flies are going to other people , it's their choice.
SO it's species and size dependent. Smallmouth are another contender for my "semi barb" setup. Sometime I mash the barb down 3/4 of the way leaving a small bump to help out. There is an in between world. Smallmouth come out of the water, dart sideways, spit the hook back at ya. A little barb helps. I lost way to many last year and kill none. In fact, I don't think I killed one fish last year.


Adrian 01-09-2002 09:10 AM

Some very good thoughts. I have tied flies with many different hook brands and to me, it seems like some are better at holding fish than others without a barb.

I tied some flies up on the new Tiemco dark bronze hooks last season and found that I was dropping more fish than normal. Probably not enough to be statistically significant but another piece to the puzzle?

John Desjardins 01-09-2002 01:10 PM

I'm curious about the comments on some hooks that have the barb bent down losing more fish than others. Does anyone feel that this is related to whether the barb breaks or bends down leaving a hump? I've noticed that on the sharper, harder and more expensive hooks the barb will break off while on cheaper and softer hooks the barb will bend over into a hump.

Adrian if you, or anyone else, want the barb pinched down on a fly for the trout fly swap tell me and it will be done before the picture is taken.

Adrian 01-09-2002 01:38 PM

John, sure, lets have a barbless archive:)

John Desjardins 01-09-2002 03:20 PM

Adrian, consider it done.

Lefty 01-09-2002 08:43 PM

Rereading this post I finally get the spirit of it. Therefore check out:THIS REVISED RECIPE :)


striblue 01-09-2002 09:12 PM

I must give my opinion here.. I go barbless in the spring when going after schoolie stripers.. However, like Roop My deep sand eels still have the barb on.. I have fished maybe 50% barb and50% barbless during the summer months... fishing the surf.. big currents in the summer make water conditions tougher. But more importantly, I do not see any additional damage when I have removed a barb hook from a big blue or 36 inch striper.. That is not to say I advocate barb hooks and will plan on fishing barbless exclusively this year.. but when drifting in a boat off south beach or the crashing surf I will ponder whether it really is doing the damage on those fish as it can on small fish, trout or other soft mouth fish. The real danger with barbs is when there is a full swallow.. but superficial mouth hook ups is not the same. Barbless started , I think ,because of the gut hook potential and removal of type of hook. Barbless can be removed much easier down deep than barbs. It really was not begun for mouth hook up releases... just my opinion.

juro 01-09-2002 09:51 PM

Totally, unequivocally barbless and I never land any fish I hook. :smokin:

Jimmy 01-10-2002 07:45 AM

Great topic. I fish 99% barbless. If I have a barb on my hook, that just means I was in too much of a hurry. I fish barbless for several reasons. I would rather loose a fish due to a lack of a barb than risk serious damage to the critter. If I loose a fish, that's OK. Another one will swim by sooner or later. For me it's the spirit of the whole thing. Catching a good size fish on a barbless hook just seems more rewarding. Finally, it makes for much easier hook removal. Not only for the fish, but on those occasions I find my self hooked in the ear....the hand....the butt.... :hehe:

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