We sold approx. 350 - 700 lbs. of home cured cob smoked bacon every week (one 55 gal. barrel held 350 lbs of bellies and we'd pull and smoke 1 - 2 barrels a week; and likewise put down 1 - 2 barrels of bellies a week too, rotating in the brining cooler, each barrel numbered and put on a chart w/date it was put down).
We hung the bellies in the smokehouse and smoked for 9 hours at 165°. All bellies had the rind on. We would pull approx. ½ of the batch and take the rind off for rind-off bacon, and leave the rest for rind-on. We displayed and sold both, giving the customer the choice, rind-on or rind-off, along with their choice of thickness and packaging (1 lb. per package, ½ lb, ¼ lb., etc.)
The bellies closest to the walls cooked faster than the middle ones and we'd pull them first and when hot, it was easy to loosen the skin around the edge and then pull off the entire rind. If we cooler'd the remainder and still needed more rind-off bacon, we'd skin off a few slabs more by knife, removing the whole belly skin as one piece.
It is MUCH easier to skin off the rind after smoking than before! Plus, the lower fat is white and clean, whereas skinned bellies that are then smoked are bumpy and bubbly and a layer of smoke on them that people thnk is 'another rind layer' that has to be removed also. We'd do custom hog cutting also, and many hogs started coming in skinned vs. scalded and scraped, and their bellies looked like bumpy jelly after curing and smoking, and more than once I'd have to remove a thin layer to get the smoke imprint off for a fussy housewife who didn't believe it was truly rindless, or who didn't like the jelly belly effect on the back.
Hams and bacons hanging in the drip cooler; you can see some of the rind showing on the back of the bellies: