Video Pro Tips: Why You Should Fish Barbless, and Lots More

In the latest episode of a series called “Q&A” from Brian Flechsig of Mad River Outfitters in Columbus, Ohio, he explains why he always fishes barbless, how he crimps the bards, and some tools that will help. Other topics include how to use split shot, delivery vs. presentation, and whether or not it’s okay for your fly rod to get wet. These videos are long, but they’re full of good info.

One place we disagree is when Flechsig advocates for lead split shot. Orvis no longer sells lead split shot, and many states have outlawed it. This passage from the New York DEC website explains why:

Unfortunately, lost sinkers, especially split shot, may be mistaken for food or grit and eaten by waterbirds such as ducks, geese, swans, gulls, or loons. Toxic effects of even a single lead sinker can cause birds to sicken and increases the risk of death through predation, exposure, or lead poisoning

Please use non-toxic split shot.

3 thoughts on “Video Pro Tips: Why You Should Fish Barbless, and Lots More”

  1. can’t count the number of times I’ve fatally injured fish I would have preferred to release using barbed hooks. I think barbed hooks and “circle” hooks should be used exclusively by commercial fishermen.

  2. No reason to be a Barb-barian! Lot’s of really good reasons to fish barbless or pinched, micro-barb:
    1) Better for the health of the fish re less tissue damage and back in the water quicker
    2) Better for your flies, less force needed when disgorging
    3) Better for human tissue if hooked
    4) Better for clothing/fabric if hooked
    5) Better for your fishing experience fast release and quickly fishing again
    6) Better hooking

    Look to the comp style hooks for the best barbless hook holding design. That up-curve is far superior compared to a straight point. When de-barbing straight point hooks (i.e. majority of barbed hooks) leaving a bump or micro-barb will add to fish holding mechanics.

    And a special note to big ass articulated streamer fans: stop mangling fish jaws you degenerate barb-barians!

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