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One Fly Fisherman's View on Barbless Hooks

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“The ease of removal is the primary reason that I am an advocate of the use of barbless hooks. Since I fish for sport and not for food the object of my pursuit is sport, and since I intend to release everything that I catch barbless hooks enable to me to do this quickly and effortlessly.”


Since I do not want anyone to thinks that fly fishermen are lead slinging brutes with no redeeming qualities, I thought I would put up a link to another article from Fly Anglers on Line. To be sure, on this issue, fly fishermen are spread across the spectrum from never barbs to always barbs. Here is one fly fisherman’s take on the question.




Barbless hooks are a great tool for C&R angling. Probably commercial fishermen, tournament anglers, and guides have other needs not well served by barbs. Anyway, if my livelihood depended on getting fish in the boat, I would give it some more thought befor going barbless.

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"Mini-barbed" hooks.

Didn't even know they existed.


Interesting article.


This will likely turn into an opinionated thread.


That's why I recently started a blog, so I don't have to chime in about controversial topics on message boards.



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Guest rich mc

i normally debarb the hooks. i really got into it when using the chenille worms. on occasion the chenille will get caught on the point and trying to remove it from past the barb would damage the material. and when fishin with kids its safer. makes one wonder why they have barbs on circle hooks? rich

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Good point, Rich.


I could copy and paste some research, but people can read for themselves-






There are a number of important differences to understand between the use of J hooks and circle hooks. First, notice that the point of the barb of the circle hook is pointed towards the shank of the hook and is not exposed along the lateral path of travel like the J hook. The J hook is designed to snag anything along its path of travel, while the circle hook is designed to snag in one place and one place only: the corner of the mouth.
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I debarb for safety........mine and others, the fish can receive the other benefits.


Anyone who fishes eventually gets stuck and with todays needle sharp hooks its even easier. Believe me its much easier and way less painful to remove a hook on site than take a trip to the ER. Cheaper to.


I have also heard about two Musky lure hookups, in people, that were really ugly. Also theres the e-mail going around of the lure in the eye. Probably wouldnt want to try to remove that one on site but having the barb pinched might have saved some damage and you wouldnt lose your vision.

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