We’ll start with what may likely be the most important topic in Esox release: hook cutting. We’ve been over this a bunch, but will never stop.
This is a subject that may not have nearly as much importance for folks going barbless (more on that later), since with no barbs, hooks easily back out with no ripping or tearing. However, even when barbless, sometimes it’s just easier and quicker to cut hooks. Sometimes angles are such that it’s just simpler to cut a shaft, hook eye, or split ring rather than try to get the right angle to back a hook out – which brings us to the first part of John’s question: “when to cut ’em.”