How to Make Fishing Hooks Barbless

Written by jennifer hudock
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How to Make Fishing Hooks Barbless
Fish Hook (Flickr L. Marie)

Many fishermen believe that using a barbless hook will help reduce trauma and mortality during catch-and-release fishing. You may also need to remove the barbs from a hook in the event that you accidentally get a hook caught in your skin. Removing the barbs from fish hooks is a relatively easy task, and very few tools are required.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Fine grit sandpaper sponge

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  1. 1

    Making sure your hands are dry, align the centre of your pliers over the barb in your fish hook.

  2. 2

    Clamp the pliers down hard on the barb until it snips through the metal, separating it from the hook.

  3. 3

    Snip away at the area that once contained the barb until it is smooth and in line with the rest of the hook.

  4. 4

    Repeat this process on every barb on your fish hook until the previously barbed areas are smooth.

  5. 5

    Wet a fine grip sandpaper sponge and sand burs in the metal where the barbs used to be. Sand until smooth.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase barbless hooks from most bait shops and hardware stores.
  • Be careful when working with barbed fish hooks. Catching a barbed hook in your skin is painful and may be difficult to remove.

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