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Tokyo Tony

Bending the barb

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Hello fellow bassers  ;D  First of all, I'm glad to be registered with this site.  I've been surfing around if for a few days now and it is very cool.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience with bending the barbs down on your hooks.  I only do it when I'm catching a bunch of little fish and I want to be able to release them quickly, but I was wondering...Does anyone do it all the time?  I know it would make setting the hook a little easier, but do you think you'll lose a significant number of fish (especially jumpers) due to the lack of a barb?  

I think the difference may not be as noticeable with a worm hook, but with treble hooks it seems to me the barbs really keep the fish buttoned.  

I'd prefer to bend all the barbs down on all my lures (for the sake of the fish), but not if it's going to cost me a lot of fish.

Any thoughts?

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I have recently done away with all my barbs. Though it has not been that long yet, so far, so good. If you get a good hook set, you usually got him>

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i have bent ALL my barbs on all my rattle tras, crankbaits, top poppers, ant thing that uses 2 trebles (due to a hook into finger axident last year. but i really dont lose fish, as long as u get both hooks into him and it is a good hook set, just try to make sure they dont jump, just in case

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Welcome aboard!

I don't bend barbs down on any type of hook or lure.

I want my smallmouth to jump, that's what excites me!

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Thanks guys, I guess I'll stick with using the barbs then unless I'm catching a bunch of little fish.  It's not worth possibly losing a nice fish.

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Guest btlva
Welcome aboard!

I don't bend barbs down on any type of hook or lure.

I want my smallmouth to jump, that's what excites me!

AMEN to that!

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I bend the barbs down on everything and have for over 30 years. I loose a few fish but then I lost a few fish before I started bending barbs down. Barbs down equals easier on the fish, easier on me and faster release.

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For LM and SM bass, I crush the barbs most of the time.  Sometimes I forget.  I don't think it costs me any fish, but I expect that depends on how you play them.  I have a friend who almost always loses the bend in his rod when he cranks down, and he loses a lot of fish even with barbs.  I keep the bend in my rod and lose very few.

My son argues that with the barbs crushed he gets more hook sets as the hooks penetrate more easily.  I'm not sure of that, but he catches a lot of fish.

Since we do only catch and release for bass, the release is so much easier on the fish-less damage at the hook, faster back into the water.  If I lose a fish now and then, so what?  Often we will give them slack when they are at the boat and they get off without our handling them.  It's hooking them and the fight that are the most fun of the fishing experience-once they are done, the easier the release the better.

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I don't think the bard effects catch & release at all.

I want to land all my fish, say Hi! and Good-bye.

Barbs are NOT an issue.

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I don't think the bard effects catch & release at all.

I want to land all my fish, say Hi! and Good-bye.

Barbs are NOT an issue.

I agree 100% with RW's post.

Barbs are an extra insurance that keeps the fish on.  They don't harm the fish any more than a barbless hook, and their not that much harder to extract from the fish's mouth.

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Would it be easier to dehook a fish who has been gut hooked with a barb-less hook?

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It's definitely easier to unhook a gut-hooked fish when the barb is down.  It's noticeably easier to remove any barbless hook from a fish, and I find it does do less damage when removing the hook from a fish (you don't tear the flesh as much), but from the above replies, I will continue not to bend the barb down unless I'm catching a bunch of dinks.

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Anyone who uses Gamagatsu tube jigs and has tried it both ways knows without a shadow of a doubt that it is easier on the released fish to have the barb crushed.  I just verified it again today when I forgot to crush one and I had to really hold on to a little bass and the hook "crunched" heavily as it finally came out.  Maybe with less aggressive barbs it makes less of a difference, but no difference?  Can't buy that at  all.

Also, I had little bass that took the tube pretty deep, and with a crushed barb, the jig simply had to be pushed down with hardly any effort, and it popped right out.   Doesn't do that with a full barb.

Oh, I did lose a couple.  What a horrible day!

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Interesting discussion! I am in favor of crushing down the barbs on some hooks. I use mainly inline, circle type hooks and always crush the barbs. Rarely do I ever loose a fish that way. However, with the drop shot and very light line (4# test), I leave the barb. I loose far too many fish on the first jump if I don't. And most times the fish are lip hooked anyway, so it's not an issue. When I use tube jigs and TX rigged plastics however, I crush the barbs to facilitate hook removal. To say that keeping the barb is no more harmful than not having it, cannot be substantiated by DNR authorities or literature. Especially if hooked deeper than the lips of your quary. I don't know how many times a bass has literally tried to swallow a Senko, regardless as to how fast I try to set. And a large off-set hook buried in the gullet cannot possibly be removed without a greater incident of damage to the fish when the barb remains. This is yet another incidence where I can't remember the last time I lost a fish before releasing it - without a barb. IMHO.

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I just read Doug Hannon's answer to question #14 and he said he crimps the barb on ALL his hooks.  What?  Do you think that's true?  If he's actually caught over 800 10 lb+ fish with no barb, it's hard to argue.  I STILL think no barb = fewer landed fish....confusing.

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I generally bend the barbs down on finess baits or anything that im fishing slow but the faster moving baits that  usually hook fish in the lip area i leave the barbs on,The barbs dont seem to be an issue on these baits because of very few fish get hooked deeply

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I have always left the barbs untouched.

Never had a lot of problems so why change? I pretty much lip hook all my fish. Especially because I use circle hooks most of the time for wacky rigging which is one of my favorite styles.

Don't think I would want to try and fish for smallies with a barb crushed. That's just asking for a big fish to jump off.

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i really don't see a point to bending down barbs when fishing for bass... there mouth is tough and they can handle it

but when it comes to rainbow trout fly fishing in creeks then thats another story... their mouth can be damaged from barbs sometimes.

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I was having trouble with the smallies swallowing everything yesterday.  The first one tried to swallow my rocket shad!!

So, I pinched the barb on my 3,0 hook.  The very next cast I hooked into a monster which got off just by the boat.  I have no doubt it was becasue I pinched the hook.  I'm not complaining, but I switched back to a regular hook and did not lose another fish.

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I guess it all boils down to how badly you "need" to get every fish in the boat or landed. To me, sport fishing is one of the finest of outdoor experiences; which I do not associate the same way as with tournament fishing. The thrill for me is hunting the quary, using the correct presentation, catching the fish and maybe landing it. The landing is not a crucial aspect of the satisfaction I get out of this sport. A "quick release" by the fish jumping beside the boat or near the bank is - for me - a good thing! It just means that that fish will live well and grow that much larger the next time I catch him/her. And this kind of release tells me that I was successful in achieving my goal. This is why I would recommend crushing barbs on every hook possible - not all hooks (see my previous post), but most, IMO.

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Attaboy, Crestliner.  I couldn't have said it any better (which is obvious, since I didn't), and I agree with you 100%.  A nicely balanced approach to the issue.

I might add that in my opinion, most losses of fish occur due to not doing the first thing my dad told me about fighting a fish- about 60 years ago - and not due to crushed barbs- "Keep a tight line."  

Many fishermen lose the tight line when they reel down.  You can see it when their rod loses its bend.  If the rod isn't bent, the line has no tension, and the fish can often use that as an opportunity to get the hook out.  How many fish have you caught where the lure fell out as you went to take it out, barb or no barb?  If your line is always taut, then the chances of losing the fish are much less.

Yes, I know jumping bass change the odds, but the principal is still the same.

Mick

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I guess it all boils down to how badly you "need" to get every fish in the boat or landed. To me, sport fishing is one of the finest of outdoor experiences; which I do not associate the same way as with tournament fishing. The thrill for me is hunting the quary, using the correct presentation, catching the fish and maybe landing it. The landing is not a crucial aspect of the satisfaction I get out of this sport. A "quick release" by the fish jumping beside the boat or near the bank is - for me - a good thing! It just means that that fish will live well and grow that much larger the next time I catch him/her. And this kind of release tells me that I was successful in achieving my goal. This is why I would recommend crushing barbs on every hook possible - not all hooks (see my previous post), but most, IMO.

I like that line of reasoning quite a bit.  Not to mention it makes me feel A LOT better about losing a fish at the boat.

:)

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Often we will give them slack when they are at the boat and they get off without our handling them.  It's hooking them and the fight that are the most fun of the fishing experience-once they are done, the easier the release the better.

i could never do that.....not even handle the bass??? i think thats a part of the battle

id do that for tiny fish maybe

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I agree Johnny - a large part of the fun for me is actually holding the fish by her lower lip and taking a close-up look while trying hard to resist the strong urge to kiss her  ;D .  Weird?  Maybe a little...

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