The hook has been used since the very beginning of fishing as we know it today. The origins of the hook can be traced back to very early ages when long pieces of sharpened bone was inserted into the bail so that when taken the bone turned and 'hooked' the fish.
In early times fishing was for subsistence and the whole point of the exercise was to catch fish as food. Hence, catch and release would have seemed a very strange idea.
As fishing, and civilization progressed, the need to live a subsistence lifestyle was reduced and (eventually) the 'art' of fly fishing was born. It became less important to catch fish for the table and more time could be spent experimenting and developing the 'Sport' of fishing. During this development the idea that fish must be killed and eaten faded and the discovery that fish were not, in fact, an infinite resource and stocks were dwindling due to higher fishing pressure lead to the development of modern 'Catch and Release' practices.
The barbless hook was born so that fish hooked for 'sport' would suffer as
little physical damage as possible during the experience and could be
released to fight again and also reproduce. All hooks are potentially
barbless and a quick squeeze of a pair of pliers renders then such.
The hook is one of the most important items an angler can purchase as, without the hook, the thousands spent on rod, reel, line and attire, are worthless in fishing terms. No hook - No fish.
To this end, when shopping for hooks, buy good quality, sharp fine pointed and barbless hooks. Penetration, strength and resistance to corrosion are qualities that we all need in a modern fishing hook.
Courtesy of Carl