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Debarbing Hooks


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13 replies to this topic

#1 tctrout

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 07:15 PM

I am an advocate when it comes to both catch & release fishing and barbless hooks. I purchase hooks that have barbs, though I always debarb prior to tying nearly all of the time. In my newest YouTube tutorial, I explain the two methods I use, which are based upon the style of vise you use.

TC

 


Thanks for viewing my website: http://www.troutandfeather.com
 
Feel free to also check out my fly tying tutorials here: 
 

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#2 mikechell

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:48 PM

Sorry.  I tried to watch the video but 8 minutes to show how to crush a barb is about 7 minutes too long.  I am sure there will be plenty of people who will appreciate the depth of explanation you give.  


Barbed hooks rule!
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#3 Piker20

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 02:19 AM

I was advised not to use the vise jaw as it may damage it. I prefer flat nose pliers
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

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#4 Crackaig

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 03:40 AM

I'm with Colin. Vice jaws are not made for de barbing hooks, use the correct tool for the job.

 

The best solution will always be to buy barbless hooks in the first place. In the manufacturing process the hook is formed before the final coating (bronzing etc.) is applied. When you de barb you will inevitably break this coating, making your hook more prone to rusting. A barbless hook will always be preferable to a de barbed one. Barbless are more available in a wider range of shapes and styles than ever before. Until recently you could have been excused for thinking if you fish barbless you must fish dry fly. The only barbless hooks were all light wire. Not so today. Also buying barbless saves you a job.

 

Some people de barb while the hook is in the vice. This is prone to breaking the hook point off as, for all intents and purposes, the hook is held solidly in a fixed position. Hooks, as Tim observes, are better today, but the process of forming a barb hasn't changed in the last hundred years. Automation has only automated the process, doing by machine what was done with hand tools before. A blade cuts into the wire  turning up the top part of the wire to form the barb. At the root of this cut you will get very small fractures in the metal. That is why hooks will still break while being de barbed. Lots of people have observed that if the pliers are used end on, rather than across the barb, the hook doesn't break. A friend of mine recently posted this elsewhere. He said that he didn't know why it works only that it does. (Being an engineer the answer is so obvious I couldn't believe he didn't see it). I did him this sketch to explain why hooks break, and why turning the pliers 90 degrees stops it.

Attached File  De Barbing.jpg   189.28KB   1 downloads

 

Smooth jawed pliers, as Tim uses, can be difficult to find. If you are struggling look for jewellers tools or lapidary supplies.

Cheers,

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
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holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#5 tctrout

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 09:04 AM

Thanks for the comments, and for continuing the discussion.  ***Craig - Great drawing regarding the use of pliers, which really does an excellent job of explaining the differences.  

 

To further everything, I agree with selecting the right tool for the job, though debarbed every hook with my Renzetti for over ten years (and other vises for ten years prior) with no incident to the vise.  Additionally, I can only think of a handful of hooks that broke, though I believe nearly all were due to imperfections in the hooks themselves.  I am not a commercial tyer, thus would not be comfortable personally making a recommendation for an individual tying in bulk (though others have).  As the video continues, vises with the jaw mechanism similar to a Stonfo Kaimen or Regal are absolutely not recommended for this purpose.

 

From personal experiences, I have had to sharpen more hooks after debarbing them with the pliers "end on," though definitely acknowledge the engineering perspective that Craig so expertly diagrammed.  When taking the additional sharpening into consideration, the obvious answer is barbless hooks.  We are fortunately in a time when the selection of barbless hooks has been constantly improving, with the cost decreasing, as Craig pointed out.

 

Many fly fisherman still prefer a barb, hence one of my purposes of this video is to educate and gently prod those to debarb and hopefully purchase barbless in the future. 

 

Thanks again for the comments to continue this topic, and I hope you enjoyed my story regarding my Uncle John's Light Cahill during the video!

 

TC

 

I'm with Colin. Vice jaws are not made for de barbing hooks, use the correct tool for the job.

 

The best solution will always be to buy barbless hooks in the first place. In the manufacturing process the hook is formed before the final coating (bronzing etc.) is applied. When you de barb you will inevitably break this coating, making your hook more prone to rusting. A barbless hook will always be preferable to a de barbed one. Barbless are more available in a wider range of shapes and styles than ever before. Until recently you could have been excused for thinking if you fish barbless you must fish dry fly. The only barbless hooks were all light wire. Not so today. Also buying barbless saves you a job.

 

Some people de barb while the hook is in the vice. This is prone to breaking the hook point off as, for all intents and purposes, the hook is held solidly in a fixed position. Hooks, as Tim observes, are better today, but the process of forming a barb hasn't changed in the last hundred years. Automation has only automated the process, doing by machine what was done with hand tools before. A blade cuts into the wire  turning up the top part of the wire to form the barb. At the root of this cut you will get very small fractures in the metal. That is why hooks will still break while being de barbed. Lots of people have observed that if the pliers are used end on, rather than across the barb, the hook doesn't break. A friend of mine recently posted this elsewhere. He said that he didn't know why it works only that it does. (Being an engineer the answer is so obvious I couldn't believe he didn't see it). I did him this sketch to explain why hooks break, and why turning the pliers 90 degrees stops it.

attachicon.gifDe Barbing.jpg

 

Smooth jawed pliers, as Tim uses, can be difficult to find. If you are struggling look for jewellers tools or lapidary supplies.

Cheers,

C.


Thanks for viewing my website: http://www.troutandfeather.com
 
Feel free to also check out my fly tying tutorials here: 
 

http://www.youtube.com/tctrout

 


#6 Crackaig

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 02:25 PM

Funnily enough one shop I supply likes to receive his flies without them being de barbed. He does it when the customer selects the flies. This he says is an extra service, so the customer feels they are getting more. Each to his own.

 

Yes de barbing with the pliers point on can turn the hook point.

 

Cheers.

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#7 tctrout

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 03:09 PM

Ha ha...very interesting customer service!  

TC


Thanks for viewing my website: http://www.troutandfeather.com
 
Feel free to also check out my fly tying tutorials here: 
 

http://www.youtube.com/tctrout

 


#8 Crackaig

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 03:22 PM

I'm not bothered. Less work for me!

 

Cheers,

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#9 JoeBillingsley

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 09:03 PM

I still prefer to debarb my hooks vs. buying barbless. I like the little "nub" it leaves because I tend to fish a double fly rig a lot and attach the second tippet and fly to the bend of the top hook. The little nub keeps it from slipping off as easily.

 

Joe



#10 Crackaig

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 01:34 AM

Joe, Have you tried the "two in the eye" method (second tippet tied into the eye of the first fly), rather than tying onto the bend? I've found it works just as well.

 

Cheers,

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#11 heavynets

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:12 AM

I'm not a commercial tier, but I have smashed hundreds of barbs with my Peak vise and the jaws are still as smooth as when new. I don't see how a properly designed jaw that is made with the appropriate steel and heat treatment would ever have a problem smashing a tiny barb when the same force is used to hold the hook during tying.

I have never broken a hook either. I did have the barbs break off (rather than be crushed) on some cheap no-name hooks I once used.

#12 JoeBillingsley

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:23 AM

Joe, Have you tried the "two in the eye" method (second tippet tied into the eye of the first fly), rather than tying onto the bend? I've found it works just as well.

 

Cheers,

C.

 

Hi, Crackaig.

I have done that and I, too, find it works just as well. I really think it works even better than tying the second tippet to the bend when the first fly is a dry because on so many dry fly patterns the bulk of the material to help float the fly is close to the eye. However, my leader maintenance skills - sometimes called laziness - are so lacking that many times I have enough trouble getting the first tippet through the eye much less another one.

 

Joe 



#13 flytire

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 06:59 AM

mono+dropper+loop+1.jpg

 

 

a pair of these at the bench or in your vest and youre ready to go. no video required

 

31On4g1kd2L._SS500_.jpg


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#14 trapdrumr

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 12:28 PM

The last barbed fly I ever used was in 1983 and it ended up in my upper lip.  I had to go to the doctor to have it surgically removed.  I have used smooth-jawed pliers like the ones in the picture above ever since.  The only thing is that you have to check the integrity of your hook point after you carefully squeeze the barb to a rounded attitude (rather than flattening it).  If you hear a snap, it usually means that you have fractured the hook wire under the barb and it will no longer work.  Be careful doing this, but do it.  It facilitates release fishing better than anything else.  I will say that fishing barbless requires different thinking when ya got one on.  You really have to keep the pressure on or the fish can get off.  Oh well, there's plenty more fish.  I've certainly lost my share but I was gonna release em anyway.