Hi folks, I’d like to also reply to all the emails we have had asking me and Tom about the methods we use to catch barbel. My rig is based upon the same simple principles as Toms. At the end of the day why make fishing expensive and complicated when a basic rig can land you great barbel !
My rig has some slight differences to Toms. Those being only the lines and hooks we use. These are down to our own thoughts on what we believe is the best set up for hard fighting river barbel ! The main difference between our setupsis that we use different mainlines, tom prefers to stick with his well trusted 12lb Maxima Chameleon Mono mainline and I prefer Power Pro 18lb Braided mainline. The reason I believe that a braided mainline is superior is simply the diameter difference between mono and braid. My Power Pro 18lb Braid is 0.13mm dia and the 12lb Maxima Tom uses is 0.32mm dia ! This means that the braid I am using gives me far less resistance in the current, enabling me to hold bottom with less weight on my feeder. This comes in to its own when the river is up and it is hard work holding bottom in the faster flowing water that barbel love. Using a braided mainline can also help with casting distance, also due to its finer diameter.
For my hook lengths I have two different approaches, depending on the river colour.
If the river is clear I use E.S.P Soft Ghost 10lb (0.30mm dia) fluorocarbon. I use this because it is virtually invisible to the fish even though it has a large diameter. It has a specific gravity of 1.78, which makes it denser than water and ensures that my hook length lies on the bottom and presents my bait as naturally as possible.
When the river is coloured I use 18lb Power Pro braid straight through. I find that when the river is coloured the barbel can’t see the braided line with its fine diameter and the coloured water.
The hooks i use are Kevin Nash Fang X size 10, a really strong hook that is sharp and perfect for baits up to about 12mm. When I am using bigger baits such as pellets and boilies of around 16 and 20 mm I prefer a wider gaped hook. Korum S3 size 10 hooks are great for these bigger baits.
When it comes to swivels I use drennan size 8 along with a drennan swivel rubber bead for my clip swivel to slide up to so it doesn’t damage my knot to my swivel. It is also important to select your clip swivel with the view to casting a heavy feeder or lead across wide sections of river. I have found out the hard way that you need a strong clip swivel, to stop it pulling open, when using heavy feeders and casting along way.
For feeders I use large cage feeders and pack them full of ground bait mixed with pellets and hemp. Fiskys Fantastic Feeders are the bees knees when it comes to large cage feeders tailored for fast flowing rivers. When buying your feeders don’t be shy with the weight of them, at times last season both me and tom used weights of up to 7oz just to hold bottom ! As a rule anything between 4oz and 6oz is plenty for 90% of the time.
If you have any more questions about our rigs don’t be afraid to ask via our “contact us page”!
Get yourself on the river bank next season and remember keep it simple !!!
Posted by craighalks on March 25, 2013
Hi, I have had some requests for me to show you how I rig up when fishing for barbel. I like to keep things simple, I find when entering a tackle shop with walls full of terminal tackle it can be a daunting task choosing your tackle, particularly if its your first time out. I’ve been there. A lot of the things for sale are out to catch the angler not the fish. So keep it simple. As you know or may have heard barbel are an incredibly strong fish, and when fishing with heavy feeders on big rivers it is essential that you tackle up for the task. Firstly here is a picture of my basic barbel rig :-
The simple way to catch barbel
Starting with my mainline and working down. I find 12lb Maxima Chameleon to be as strong if not stronger than what it states and the tin. It’s very abrasion resistant which is good when a powerful barbel is dragging you all over a gravel riverbed. A quick change bead or swivel is up to you, I like to use them so I can swap feeders if I’m struggling to hold bottom or if I want to switch to a straight lead.
The feeder is the special part. You may or may not of heard about Fiskys Fantastic Feeders and let me tell you, Fantastic they are!! Paul Fisk makes the feeders at home and in the barbel world they are second to none. So strong and durable and come in very large and heavy sizes. In fact pretty much any size you want, making them extremely popular. For the Derwent I find 4oz, 5oz and 6oz plenty to tackle the Derwent even with 4 feet of water on. The Trent is mainly the same. Occasionally bigger when it gets a bit savage on the Tidal stretches. I will put details at the bottom of the post to contact Paul about buying feeders.
Ok, hook length line. There are two which I prefer to start with generally when I go barbel fishing and that’s 10lb ESP Ghost Fluorocarbon which is fantastic and I also like Browning Hybrid Power Mono in .20 (9lb 12oz). This is very supple and very strong. When the water is coloured sometimes I prefer to use a braided hook length. Don’t be shy with braid size because it has a thinner diameter, I use Kryston Mantis Dark in 15/25lb. As for length, a varied approach is always best. Starting longer and getting shorter, but it can vary from day to day.
With hooks they have to be very strong and handle a lot of abuse from the river bed and fish! I use Pallatrax ‘THE HOOK’ which is an outstanding range of hooks. Theses eyed hooks stay sharp and are very, very strong which they need to be when encountering snags etc. on the riverbed.
Finally I use a Korum quickstop in place of your normal hairstop or boiler stop to save time. There is nothing worse than fiddling around with a baitstop when you could be fishing. The quickstops use a special Korum quickstop baiting needle which you push through your bait of choice (Pre-drilled pellet, boiler or softhooker) leaving the quickstop to keep your bait on the hair.
I hope this helped, any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
If you wish to contact Fisky then here are his contact details – Paul Fisks Feeders - email@example.com
Posted by TomNoton (Angling Heroes) on July 15, 2012
Caught on rolling meat
I had arranged a day of out and out barbel fishing on the Lower River Derwent and enlisted the help of good friend and fishing guide Patrick oliver (of Three Rivers Angling Adventures ) to help put me on the fish. Now, as many of you reading this will probably know, barbel are a species of fish which have become increasingly popular and could possibly be heading towards the status of ‘the new carp’ that would explain the lines of bivvies i see lining the banks of the trent…? Anyway Barbel are fish i am a massive fan of and i couldn’t wait to get going. I had arranged to meet Patrick in the carpark at 2pm, we would identify the swims and pick and approach in which hopefully we could snare a barbel or too. I arrived around 2 hours early (Jumped the gun a little) and strolled the banks to find I was the only angler at the venue. With the river just on its way down after a small summer flood the colour was just right and the weather was warm. Perfect conditions!!
Patrick is a keen barbel angler and an excellent guide and coach, with his knowledge and conditions on our side I knew we was in for a good day! We arrived at a swim we both agreed looked very fishy. We traveled light, which tends to be my favorite approach to river fishing. Carrying to much gear can hinder you in your quest for barbel as it can require moving around or roving for the fish. To begin we got a bed of Groundbait, hemp and mixed pellets down. After tackling up and getting the rods ready for action, it was time for the first cast of the day. Both rods went out with a big fat oily pellet for hookbait. From what I know of barbel fishing, during the day can often be slow, but not today. No longer than being in the water 2 minutes my upstream rod clattered around tearing line off the bait runner. As I picked into to what felt like a good barbel I remember why baitrunners are a great idea for barbel fishing… Patrick slipped the net under a cracking fish of 10lb. 3oz. A new PB and on my first cast?!? Good news!!!!
First Fish of the day and the first PB of the day weighing it at 10lb 3oz
Off to a flyer maybe? I was right, after reeling in and having a chat with Patrick we decided that maybe a go a rolling a piece of meat through the swim would be a good idea if they are ‘having it’. Now, rolling meat is what I was really interested in and something I have been wanting to try for some time now. The idea is simple, a weight made from a drilled pebble, down to a big hook, with a big piece of meat. Letting the meat bump down through the swim feeling it with your fingers on the line as you go. You can feel every bump and stone the meat and weight bobbles over. Then when in position, theres a waiting game to see if the meat has taken interest from any barbel patrolling the swim. I felt a small pluck, before I could open my mouth to tell Patrick the rod whipped round, sending an electric shock all the way up through my arm and into my body. The feeling of the fish picking up my bait and tearing off with it is simply unbelievable. A fine fish of around 5lbs came to the bank in fin perfect condition. (Picture in gallery below)
Roving the river me and Patrick managed to tempt another 4 barbel on rolling meat and setting another PB for myself!
We ended the session settling into a very likely looking swim which Patrick new well. Putting down a lot of ground bait, hemp and crushed pellets to get the barbel confident. It didn’t take long for another suicidal barbel to try and take my tackle into the river once again. This is the fish that set off about going to the Trent, and not coming back. The power of this fish in particular was unmatched by the others. It was extremely strong! After a fight of 25 minutes the fish came to the top, there was me thinking i had latched into the river record… I hadn’t, but what a cracking fish. Thanks to patricks extremely good photography skills i have these photos to remind me of this true red letter day and this stunning fish can be seen at the top of the post. What a cracker!
A day totalling in 7 barbel including 1x 11lb 2x 10lb 2x 9lb and 2x 5lb!! Cracking stuff!! That’s 2 PB’s in 1 day!!
A big thank you to Patrick at ( www.threeriversanglingadventures.co.uk ) for a truly stunning day on the river.
Photographs from the session follow :
Posted by TomNoton (Angling Heroes) on July 13, 2012
Fishing was tough on the day, but I managed to catch this lovely chub
After battling with the weather all day craig managed to slip the net under this stunning chub of 4lb 11oz
We arrived at the Earl of Harrington stretch of the river Derwent above Borrowash bridge around 7am, after walking the bank we new we were going to have our work cut out. The river was running low and it was bitterly cold. After starting the day in which we thought was a good looking swim turned out to be teaming with minnows. Fishing a waggler across to the deeper water on the far bank against a fallen tree where i thought i would tempt a fish or two. Whilst craig fished a maggot feeder from his swim, again accross to the deeper water. Minnows and small fish seamed to be an unstoppable force and after piling in the bait to no avail all we received for our efforts was a foul hooked pike of around 6lb’s which ran me all over my swim, we decided it was time to move. We settled into a peg with a cut running into the main run of river between two trees, with the flow on the far bank. After feeling around with a straight lead we found the far side of the swim under the trees considerably deeper, when looking for chub in colder weather this is often a good place to start.
Feeder Fishing Tactics for Chub
Fishing a groundbait feeder on a running loop of the 6lb mainline, laced with chopped worms and small cubes of meat.
A hook length made consisting of 2 feet of 5lb mono
The business end of the rig, a big piece of spicy meat hair rigged to a size 10.
Things started slow as they often do at this time of year, but with regular casting it didn’t take long to get some interest with the tell tale knocks and plucks of chub to start coming thick and fast. We landed 2 lovely chub just before we lost the light in the ‘dangerous hour’. The move was definatly worth it and it can often pay to move pegs on stretches you are not familiar with.
A good stretch of water and will defiantly be returning this season for other species.
Posted by TomNoton (Angling Heroes) on July 12, 2012