Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pinch me

Am I the last fly angler pinching his or her barbs? I've been talking to some fishing buddies lately and they said they either rarely or never pinch their barbs. I always do, and I often lose my biggest fish when they do that whole-body-flail-back-and-forth maneuver that big fish do. Some say that barbless hooks penetrate deeper, so they keep more fish on. Others say that barbed hooks are more humane, for the same reason. So I'll give it a shot...
 Maybe I'd have lost those other big ones anyway, but my first trip out with barbs yielded my biggest fish since awhile back. I'm thinking I'll keep my barbs on, for now anyway.

12 comments:

DP said...

I crush every barb in the vise when I tie and purchased ones with the hemostats when I tie it on.

Josh said...

As did I - it's a tough habit to break. Glad I'm not the only one.

Ivan said...

i go barbless. it is a lot less traumatic for both parties involved. The overwhelming guilt associated with being unable to remove a hook because of a barb is a feeling that I do not enjoy. Cuts down on the amount of time I have direct contact with fish which i believe increases it's chances to survive our encounter.

Jay said...

The majority of the places I fish require them to be pinched. For places that it is not required, I dont pinch them unless I am chuckin and ducking with a big streamer and a hefty tailwind.

Flyfishermanrichard. said...

I thought the USA was always way ahead of us in fish protection, maybe I'm wrong.

I've been on barbless hooks for over 20 years. First crushed, now barbless. One, it's easy to get hooks out of a fish. Two, it does little or no damage to the mouth.
Three, if I get one in the finger,or eye it's not a hospital trip.

I don't get mad about much, most folk think I'm very laid back, BUT if you release fish don't let me catch you with barbs on?/

All catch and release places in the UK inforce barbless.

Bigerrfish said...

I leave the barb on, until the fly turns hot, then I squash it.. just so I dont mess up my fly.
The flies I give away have barbs, not going to take a chance at the greenie getting bummed out.

Brian J. said...

On small flies, say 16's down to 22's (which is the smallest i really fish) I leave the barbs on-- but I also buy tiemco hooks which have fairly small barbs in the first place.

Bigger hooks and hooks with large barbs, I like to squash 'em down. Or when I fish waters where barbless is required.

Josh said...

I think I'm gonna keep mine on for awhile to see if it improves my big-fish-landing rate, or if it ups my kill rate. I haven't had a fish die on me in years - that I know of.

Tim Gerke said...

Barbless! I don't know that I have ever lost a fish because I didn't have a barb on my hook. I also don't believe it significantly increases or decreases kill rates. I just like to be able to easily pull the hook out, and if it doesn't lead to losing fish, why not?

Troutdawg said...

Barbless most times and almost always when fishing for small trout

Stephanie and Dustin said...

We pinch ours.

David Payne said...

The mashing of barbs makes releasing a human much easier that's for sure. I mash the barbs for client's flies because they've come to expect it. I mash my own when I remember but I don't lose much sleep over it if I don't. I release my fish without touching them or lifting them out of the water by simply grabing the fly with the hemos and twisting. 9 times out of ten the fish is off when it kicks the first time. I, like a lot of angler's hold fish to take photographs. I have to admit to that. Barbed flies or not, this activity is far tougher on fish. So being one of the culprits, I'm a little reluctant to chuck spears at anyone else for their handling habits. By the way, I couldn't help but notice all the fine fish shown here in the profile pics.....