My own view is that hook shape is more important than micro vs barbless ... interestingly the 808 looks very similar to the Kamasan b560 - which is a great hook for keeping dace on. I don't use it much for that myself as I prefer caster as bait and I find it more difficult to bury the hook quickly with that shape.Just keep going to the same venue until you master it, choose pegs with a steady flow until you get used to controlling the float properly, try top and bottom floats as well as bottom end only get used to what each float can give you in running water catch a few fish then when you are confident move onto to different venues. I was lucky that I learned my running water fishing in fairly fast flowing spate rivers so got used to controlling a float in fast water pretty quickly. As for barbless hooks I only use barbless and when I switched over I found my catch rate increased as I was converting more bites into fish in the net as I feel a barbless hook gives good penetration so you set the hook quickly in the mouths of fast biting fish, and yes that includes dace (they were my main quarry for most of my fishing) as long as you keep the line fairly tight between rod tip and fish you should be OK, yes you will lose a few but I found that this was negated by the extra bites I was hitting, maybe try changing hook pattern I would thoroughly recommend giving Tubertini 808's a try
River Fishing can be a challenge but that's what makes it satisfying when you get it right. It's all about Water Craft.Had a slight downstream wind yesterday but even with that I didn't have too much trouble controlling the line to my surprise as it's nice and slow, using the rod at 13ft. Probably casting 20m as there was quite a lot of slack on the inside on this peg as it's quite wide there, I felt like I'd be better on the edge of the main flow but that was just a guess. I felt if I fished a stick I'd be fishing in the slack and have no flow.
Hooks I was using were size 16 Drennan Silverfish Pellet with double maggot on the hook. Feeding caster and hemp to start with but started feeding maggot when all I was catching was Perch and bites dried up a bit anyway.
River Fishing can be a challenge but that's what makes it satisfying when you get it right. It's all about Water Craft.
A swim that was dead during the day can come alive once the sun goes down.
Fish start to move about feeding once the sun drops and can be caught under your rod tip!
My advice would be travel light, bait many spots where you think fish are holding up in bright conditions, wear polaroids and fish as light as you can.
Shallow flowing water running into deeper water is always good in Summer.
A tip I got from reading Mark Everard's book Redfin Diaries (Excellent by the way) on catching Roach or any other fish in bright conditions, is to fish for them where they hold up in bright conditions.
His example was fishing a 15g Drennan Mesh Feeder with 6lb Maxima downstream under a Willow Tree.
He cast as close to the roots of the overhanging tree as possible and used the current to pull against the thick Maxima line to bring it closer to the tree roots and the bunched up Roach under the tree with great success.
Another tip I learned is put some Geranium Oil on Sweetcorn and Waggler fish upstream and just mend the line as it comes back to you.
He fishes a Waggler way undershotted and drags a BB near the hook and gets sail away bites!
Food for thought from a man who's caught 100's of 2lb Roach