Due to customer demand and increasing requests we have introduced a small range of Barbless Flies, and we will be increasing the patterns available during the coming year.
However we feel there is another reason to fish barbless which has nothing to do with the obvious point of protecting fish and everything to do with increasing your strike to hook-up ratio. Simply put, it is easier to achieve a solid hook set when using barbless flies because you do not have to overcome the resistance of the barb. Admittedly, a barbed hook will hang on to a fish better than a barbless hook, but you have to bury the barb in the tissue of the lip or mouth first. Have you ever set the hook, doubling the rod over for the briefest of moments, only to have the hook "pull" and rod subsequently straighten. The barb actually inhibits hook penetration and a certain percentage of "missed strikes" with barbed hooks can be attributed to this fact.
Some anglers will rightly point out that numerous studies show no difference in mortality rates for barbed or barbless fishing. But personal experience in the field over the past few years, make this very hard to swallow.
Many anglers feel they loose too many fish by going barbless, and this may well be true. But look at it this way... you’re doing the fish a big favour. If you need to harm a fish in order to catch it, maybe you need to work on your hooking and playing skills. And that is exactly what will happen if you stick with the barbless approach. It will teach you to play a fish properly by forcing you to keep tension on the line while playing the fish. A properly set barbless hook followed by solid fish playing skills will land far more fish than a barbed hook, food for thought.
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