How to Remove Barbs From Fishing Hooks

How to Remove Barbs From Fishing Hooks
Most fishing hooks feature barbs that help catch a fish's skin and hold the hook in place. Some anglers have an issue with these barbs and consider them inhumane. Much of this has to do with removing hook from the fish, which is often bloody and can create such extensive damage that the fish dies from injuries, even when it is released back into the water. Some fishing locations also require you to use barbless hooks when fishing. If you have a bunch of barbed hooks, easily remove the barb to make these hooks safer.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Needle-nose pliers
Step 1
Hold the end of the hook in your hands with the hook end pointed toward the ground.
Step 2
Take a pair of needle-nose pliers in your free hand and pinch the barb as tight as you can. This will weaken the metal and make it easier to remove the barb.
Step 3
Twist the pliers to remove the metal barb.
Step 4
Squeeze the hook with your pliers gently to pat down any remaining metal sticking out sharply.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.