What is the difference between barbed and barbless hooks?
The barb on a hook is the sharp prong which enables the hook to grip and hold onto the fish preventing it from breaking free. A barbless on the other hand does not have this so catches are able to escape more frequently, however it is easier to catch and release the fish without causing harm to them.
In some countries barbed hooks have been made illegal, and in countries where they still remain legal, certain clubs ban them from use as survival rates for catch-and-release fish can be increased.
What should I do if I have flies with barbed hooks, but I've found out that I can no longer use them where I fish?
Don't threat, if you have discovered that barbed hooks are illegal or frowned upon at your waters or club, or that you no longer wish to use them, it doesn't mean you have to go and throw away all your brilliantly tied flies! A simple way to convert barbed to barbless hooks is to pinch the barb with a small pair of pliers or cutters. So long as the barb is no longer sharp and won't dig into the fish's mouth you should be fine.
Flies relating to Barbed
Barbed is mentioned in 78 flies within our catalogue. Of course, there are most likely more flies relating to this, but here is just a sample of the patterns: