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Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:59 pm
by johnnybg
I've been thinking of going barbless for a while. The main reason is that 99% of my fishing is c&r. Besides, being better for the fish and its survival (which is a very valid point) are there any benefits to the angler and here I'm not thinking of the time is set the fly in my jacket, ear or similar.

Are there any advantages in regards of:
- Setting the hook
- Landing the fish
- etc.

I believe that I might loose more fish, but I'm not sure how significant a role the barb plays in this regard.

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:00 pm
by johnnybg
Oh, my fishing primarily consists of stillwater (saltwater) fishing for sea run browns if that's an important information

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:24 pm
by Lasse Karlsson
A barbless hook penetrates easier all the way to the bend, when its deep, and one keeps tension on the line, it is practucally impossible for the hook to fall out.

So nada to loosing more fish 😉

Cheers
Lasse

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:57 am
by Paul Arden
Hi Johnny,

I haven’t fished a barbed hook in over 25 years. It’s a simple matter to crush the barb with some flat needle nosed pliers.

If it was up to me I would outlaw barbs and make them a thing of the past. I don’t allow anyone who fishes on my boats to fish barbed flies. So that should tell you what I think about them :D

C&R is for the future. Barbless is definitely the way to go. You’ll never look back! And well done for making this important step.

Cheers, Paul

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:29 am
by Paul Arden
Longer answer (was having breakfast :D)

It’s my opinion that you might lose the odd fish at first, when you make the transition, ultimately you will hook and land more. So for that reason there are no reasons not to change. However even if we did land the odd less fish it wouldn’t matter to me at all. It would be a tiny price to pay for the ease of release, less damage to the fish and a lower mortality. After all, we are doing this for fun, fish are part of that game; barbs really have no part in that. For me barbs is like a big “fuck you” to the fish.

I’m going to tell you this... Sometimes barbless hooks drop out in the net. Very rarely do they drop out while playing fish. Sometimes even with barbless hooks it’s hard to release the fly and you need to cut the line close to the fly to save the fish. Getting broken with barbless flies is not so much of a problem because you know the fly will drop out easier. I’ve been broken on fish on poppers and found my popper floating five minutes later :laugh:

I just tell everyone the rules in the Jungle are barbless hooks, C&R only. I’ll be helping manage a Mahseer fishery next year and those WILL be the rules :laugh:

One final thought if you are losing fish after the change then have a close look at your hooks. Long shanked hooks with short barbless points can lever out while playing. But apart from that - and a few issues on Intermediate lines when I first changed - never any problems.

Cheers, Paul

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:48 pm
by Limpe Iven
What about hook-thickness?
Thinner hooks make smaller holes, less chance of losing that thinner hook (when keeping pressure)? Makes sense?

Depending on targeted species of course.

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:40 pm
by johnnybg
Sounds right. I believe it's the same principle that applies when pinching the barb and getting a lower wire diameter so to speak. Also, Jens Bursell conducted some studies on this topic: http://bursell.dk/artikler/saltwater/hook-test.pdf

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:42 pm
by Paul Arden
Thanks guys I’ll read the article. It’s not something I’ve ever considered when it comes to hook choice and I’ve always looked at shape, weight, strength and how the hook swims.

Thanks,
Paul

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:26 pm
by ACW
My first action when dressing all my flys ,that includes salmon flys is to debarb,been doing it for years .
Rarely have fish fall of
even did it for the grayling bugs i used to give guests on my grayling days

Re: Barbes vs barbless

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:50 pm
by Paul Arden
Interesting article. But it is all about barbs :( Penetrating beyond the barb or the fish is lost. If that is the problem then you’re better off with barbless. Even if you are fishing for the pot, you are always going to catch small undersized fish. Barbs in my opinion are for holding bait on the hooks, not for holding fish during the fight. It’s completely unnecessary to have them on flies. I thought barbs were a thing of the past. I was rudely awakened last year when I was told 80% of Tasmanian anglers were still fishing barbs. I guess that’s not the only place!!

Very odd and I think it’s mostly about confidence. We promote ourselves as being good for fish, we protect their environment, we are C&R, we fish barbless. I was shocked in Tasmania and I’m shocked again. I think we probably have to start promoting the fact that if you fish barbless hooks then you’ll get a better hook hold and land more fish. And that’s probably the reality.

But it’s mostly about releasing the fish. It’s so easy to remove a barbless hook. With a barbed hook sometimes it’s a real pain. Especially if they are deeply hooked. Why are we fishing in the first place? To catch lots of fish and have a good time. Everything we can do to minimise damage to the fish is a no-brainer. It’s not even an argument for me; I would never dream of fishing a barbed hook. And as I wrote, anyone who fishes with me MUST fish barbless otherwise I’ll leave them in the jungle with the tigers.

Cheers, Paul