Sorry Rapala I have to agree with Mark from an engineering point of view and IMHO the bend of the hook takes nearly all the loading and this is well below the barb. Therefore debarbing should not create a weak spot that could break during a fight. I would suggest that any weakening of the hook is caused during the manufacturing of the barb and unless you butcher the hook whilst taking off the barb there should be no difference. A good argument for barbless again though..;-);-)
They make similar plastic clips for pirking, sounds a decent idea but would have to be trialed. You would only want them to fail when you are at the point of walking backwards with the rod or wrapping the braid around a cloth to pull it out. If it takes that sort of loading..I know the pirk ones do...then why shouldn't it work...I guess it's more a case of having the confidence to trust it...
Sorry lads I should have made myself clearer - it was more in response to AJ's comment - I was not implying debarbing trebles makes them weaker, just compromises the hook hold, and therefore increases the risk of losing a fish of a lifetime... thats the point I was trying to make.
Even the best anglers in the world lose fish that are kept on a tight line due to the lure being shook off whether using barbed or unbarbed hooks, **** happens etc, but the very design of a barb since cavemen times is so to reduce this risk. Sure a tight line to the fish is what we try to maintain, but in some cases slack line must be given to a fish to prevent the line snapping on rocks or ledges it may have swam around.
There is also a strong school of thought that debarbed hooks provide a better hook hold in that they provide a deeper hookhold due to easier penetration... but I think we are drifting even further off topic now.
The only proof would be provided by long term use and records of one versus the other in that case. I certainly keep the barb on when bait fishing I don't have the confidence to debarb my bait hooks but remove the barbs on my trebles. Sorry off topic....;-);-)
IMHO neither debarbing nor luresaver split rings decrease the chance of losing fish (any fish)
debarbing actually increases the chance that the hook will seat fully meaningh you're more likely to land it
if you use luresaver split rings and they fail then you have issues with the way you try to wind in fish - not with the luresavers LOL