Rebel Lures Wants to Open National Park Waters with Barbless Baits

“Barbless is more than a lure. It’s admission.”

The words welcome you to a new website,, set up by Rebel Lures to help anglers set a hook inside of America’s National Parks.

The National Parks are mystifying in ways. The 58 parks criss-cross the United States from Maine to Hawaii, calling in travelers from around the globe. If nature is a cathedral, America’s National Parks represent her Sistine Chapel. But for decades, it’s been difficult for everyday anglers—those using spinning or casting combos—to access the fish living in some of the most incredible waters on Earth.

Now, Rebel Lures wants to change that. And they want to do it by playing the National Parks Service’s game—by building lures specifically designed to meet delicate fishing requirements within the parks and giving any angler an all-access pass to those waters.

Want to drop a line at Yellowstone? The National Park Service says you’ll need a barbless hook. Fishing for trout in the Yosemite Valley? You’ll need a barbless lure there, too. Regulations vary for all parks under the NPS banner, however, a barbless hook is required by many, as well as other state-protected fisheries around the nation which require a special hook to cast a line.

“I think traditionally, spin fishermen and cast fishermen have looked at those as fly fishing places,” said General Manager of PRADCO Outdoor Industries Bruce Stanton, “but single hook barbless means single hook barbless, not fly fishing.”

barblessluresrebellures[divider]Opening the gates[/divider]

Rebel’s revolution in barbless fishing began last summer when they introduced the MicroCritter lineup, consisting of the MicroMinnow, MicroCrawfish, MicroHopper and MicroPop-R. Those lures are all barbless, and are all legal in National Parks. However, Rebel is already upsizing the MicroCritters concept into full-size, barbless beasts capable of hauling in whatever anglers find lurking in our nation’s most scenic waters.

First to the dock is the Rebel Bluegill, of which I am now a firm believer.

Squeezed between Canyonlands National Park and Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll find the San Juan River. There, in the green-tinted waters of the San Juan, I became a believer in Rebel’s new, barbless bluegill as veteran outdoor writer Jeff Samsel and I traded smallmouth strikes. In reality, traded is hardly a fair statement. Samsel, armed with a Rebel Bluegill, spent most of the day schooling me in a two-to-one trade of San Juan River smallies. Because of the lure’s shallow run and square bill, Samsel was able to pitch the Rebel Bluegill into cover that my more conventional crankbait would have been uncomfortable in. And the barbless hooks? They didn’t affect the final score.

The trick, Samsel says, is to keep tension on the line. Fast releases of the fighting smallmouth were made safer without barbs on the bait’s treble hooks. “You don’t have to worry about reaching out and grabbing them,” said Samsel. “These will still poke you, but they won’t get stuck.”

In fact, the only thing that got stuck on that day was my fish count as Samsel continued to smoke me with his barbless crankbait.

[divider]How to sell barbless[/divider]

Back at PRADCO—Rebel’s parent company—Bruce Stanton says MicroCritter sales are going strong. “Academy Sports has supported the MicroCritters introduction with end caps in more than 80 stores,” he adds.

“Rebel is the only major brand of lures that is offering a full line of barbless lures—both single and trebles. Going to market specifically to address special regulations and National Parks fisheries, as well as overall angler safety, helps create more consumers and more fishing opportunities for consumers.”

Stanton says buying staffs are behind the barbless movement; and Rebel will be introducing the latest barbless lure, the TD47 Tracdown Ghost Minnow, at ICAST. “It features two No. 10 barbless treble hooks. And there will be more barbless product introductions in the years to come,” says Stanton.

For many, a trip to one of America’s National Parks is a bucket list item. However, until now, it’s been difficult to fish their exquisite waters without a background in fly fishing. Now, thanks to Rebel, anglers hoping to put a few fish in their dream bucket have the perfect solution.


Now that you know what to fish with in America’s National Parks, see the 7 Most Unique Places to Drop a Line inside of the parks.