- By: Fly Rod and Reel
This is a follow-up note to our article “Pacific Bones” in June 2009 on catching big bonefish off Honolulu, sent to us by Capt. Terry Duffield, a k a Coach Duff: Here’s a pic of an 11½ pound Hawaiian bonefish landed a few weeks ago; it took Coach Duff’s 1/0 Plate Lunch Crab fly, and was caught by my client Luke Conner from Alaska. Aloha and many Mahalos!
I would like to commend you on two aspects of the December 2009/January 2010 issue. First, the cover photography is superb. It is such a pleasure to see someone actually fishing on a fishing magazine cover. And, of course, electing Thomas McGuane Angler of the Year and asking Nick Lyons to write the profile is a double stroke of genius. Well done.
Sent via e-mail
Looks at Hooks
Professor Buzz, recently you were queried about barbless verses barbed hooks. And, unfortunately, your response was (technically/scientifically) incorrect. Actually, there aren’t two sides to this story, there are three: barbed versus pinched; and barbed versus barbless. Please let me explain.
Know, first, that I’m old enough to remember Sir Stirling Moss’ win at the LeMans 24 hours, after he drove his Ferrari GTO to the race. Which he won, wearing a polo shirt, while listening to the race being broadcast on his car radio. (Of course, in those distant, halcyon days fire-resistant suits and seat belts were unheard of.) But that’s just about the time this whole catch-and-release thing began to be debated. So I well remember the barbed vs. pinched barb vs. barbless debates from the Sixties and Seventies.
You should be aware that many (myself included), to this day, despite every shred of evidence, believe an ultra-sharp barbless hook will hold better than any barbed hook in actual fishing—and will get you more fish, anyway, since the barbless hook slides in more easily. And I don’t care what the scientific testing shows. (As I never do. Except, of course, when it proves that I’m right.)
Still, when barbed, pinched barb and barbless were all scientifically tested against each other, on actual fish, with underwater cameras and scientists and everything, it was discovered that, of the three—surprise!—the pinched barb was the best, holdingest hook of all. Though I can’t help wondering: if you yourself believe barbed hooks work best—or if, as I do, that barbless hooks work best—won’t you have more confidence during the fight because you are fishing the equipment you most believe in? And won’t that confidence contribute to the ultimate outcome of the contest? Of course, there’s no way to scientifically test that one.
Chico Fernandez has his own opinions, not scientifically tested but persuasive, in his Salt Water column on page 30.—ed.