barbell fishing for the beginer

Matt86

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Afternoon all ,

Since now got some more time for myself i would like to do a bit of barbell and chub fishing and never done barblell fishing before and only caught chub of smaller rivers , so a few questions here .

1, I am from Swindon in wiltshire and looking for a River / and section of river that it good to get into a few , not after size of course just barbell but a 5lb plus chub would be nice ! so any recondations ?

2 , Rods and reels , i have 3 Powermesh specialist rods 2 and 1.75 and 1 at 1.5 , reels are shimano x aero 4000 baitrunners loaded with 10 and 8lb line . Im guessing use the 1.75 with 10 lb and start with 1 rod ?

3 , feeders and leads , i know there can be a huge aray of feeders and leads for the circumstances ... feeders or pva mesh bags ? I do have some gripper leads , will dig them out and see what i have .

4 , hooklengths , braid vs flourocarbon . Well i only fish with uncoated braid if im using solid bags with the lead inside the bag otherwise i prefer flourocarbon . But what sort of lengths and then its if your fishing with meat or pellet .

5 , last one if fishing with meat i seen videos which seems to use a fairly big chunk of meat lets say 2" cubed or more and then pellet big donkey chokers or smaller 8/10mm on a band ? I guess the smaller ones you will end up with chub but have been told a longer hair helps get over the chub .

I know may seemed to answered a few of questions there but more me just thinking out loud and asking to be steered in right direction .

cheers , Matt
 

Keith M

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"Matt I think the tackle you have already mentioned is fine for fishing for Barbel on most venues.

Let me explain the tackle that I use on the streams and rivers where I normally fish for beards.

I don’t know where you will be fishing because I don’t live anywhere near Swindon, but I usually like to fish the smaller rivers and streams varying from about 5 mtrs wide up to about 25 mtrs wide and the Barbel stream in the pic below is currently my favourite venue where I do a quite a lot of my Barbel fishing; and as you didn’t mention trotting (which is one my favourite methods for Barbel) I’ll just stick to legering here.


My favourite local Barbel stream

I use the following rods and reels if I am fishing semi static baits on the bottom.

1.5lb and 1.7lb Barbel rods loaded with either 7lb, 8lb or 10lb line depending on the water conditions and the time of year and in flood conditions I’ll step up to a 2lb Specialist rod.
NB: In the autumn when the Barbel are putting on weight to see them through the colder months I will sometimes step up my line strength.

I usually use a 5000 series Shimano reel when I’m after barbel but very occasionally I’ll step down to a stradic 4000 reel especially when the water is low and clear and I have dropped down in line strength a bit. In most situations a 3000 reel would be sufficient if you don’t possess a larger reel. I have used my Centrepin before without problems, in fact I prefer my pin when I’m rolling a bait along the bottom in the right swims.

In normal to low water conditions I’ll usually be using half oz flat leads to keep tight to far and near reedbeds but If I am trundling a bait along the river bed then I’ll either be using a string of SSG shot or a normal rounded lead (lead substitute) then with a gentle lift of my rod tip it will set the lead trundling a foot or more further downstream before coming to rest again.



The size of my hooks depends on the size of my bait and I usually use size 6 and 8 hooks, and usually use a spicey flavoured luncheon meat or a fishmeal or crabmeal pellet coated in a soft fishmeal paste which will slowly dissolve and send a flavour trail downstream leading up to my baited hook. I do occasionally use other baits but the former mentioned baits are the ones I use the most.

I don’t normally use feeders as I’m usually not fishing far away and can loose feed quite easily, and if I’m fishing a bit further away then I’ll use PVA stocking (not bags which can trap air) attatched to my hook or lead.
I will occasionally lay a bed of feed using a bait dropper if there are not Barbel already in the swim.


PVA Stocking ready to attatch to my lead or hook

If I want to avoid Chub when I’m using meat then I’ll mount my meat on a longer length hair but otherwise I’ll mount it directly onto the hook or use a very short hair.

As a rule I only use one rod at a time as I like to touch leger with my finger across my line so that I can feel what is happening down by the hook and I can only do this with one rod. if you can’t see the bottom it’s possible to feel what the bottom is like through your finger (gravel or silt etc.) and tell the difference between streamer weed rubbing against your line and bites developing.

As I said I’m usually fishing the smaller rivers and streams (and some could tackle it differently), and maybe someone else could explain here how they fish the larger and more powerful rivers and the methods and tackle to suit.

Tight lines

Keith
 
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valetudoguy

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You will need a fair old magnet to hoist one of those out of a river!


...... Sorry, couldn't resist ??????
 

Matt86

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Cheers Keith, I'm thinking it will be the Severn or the wye . I also heard about people putting in a more less damp groundbait with pellets in a feeder and use that as a bait dropper . After unclip fix a lead on and you hook length. Now the question is pellets or meat ;)

Generally I like to fish with what I'm feeding but all worth a try . Hooklengths do I start off with 12" as minimum or something like 24" ?

Cheers , Matt

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mikench

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Good to see you back Matt and asking questions and well done to Keith for an informative and very useful answer.
 

Matt86

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Well when comes to barbell I'm clueless !

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Keith M

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Now the question is pellets or meat ;)

For Hook bait:

You’ll probably have to ask around to see what’s going well, or make the decision yourself on the day.

If it were me then; A couple of small tubs of different flavoured and different sized Sonu-Bait drilled pellet hookbaits or some lamprey pellets doesn’t take too much room, and some soft fish meal paste to coat my hook pellets in, plus a tin or two of decent and fairly firm spicy/chilly flavoured luncheon meat.

For Feed:

For feed I usually like using hemp plus a few small pellets and very occasionally I might add a few grains of corn as well.

Don’t use the tiny 2 to 3mm pellets if you decide to loose feed because a lot of them will have problems sinking through the surface film and end up a few hundred yards downstream before they start to sink, but the next size up (about 4 to 5mm) is usually fine as long as you know where they are hitting the bottom.

If I’m using luncheon meat I usually use the green Seymo meat punch which punches just over half an inch wide tubes of meat (as in the pic) and I break up the bits in between the circular holes which are left and loose feed those bits as well.



Hooklengths, do I start off with 12" as minimum or something like 24" ?

Cheers , Matt
Length of hooklink:

I’m only guessing but I should imagine that if you have a very rocky bottom on the Wye or the Severn then a very long hooklength waving about in the current might get caught up on a bolder or a large rock so I would probably err on the side of shorter hooklengths, but I may be wrong as my experience on the Wye is fairly scant and on the Severn nil.

I normally start off with a hooklength of around 8 to 10 inches and if I’m night fishing I will tend to use even shorter hooklengths of down to 4 or 5 inches but generally the more weedier and/snaggier then the shorter my hooklengths tend to be. Plus I usually like my bait to be on the bottom and don’t like my bait waving off bottom too much.

tight lines

Keith
 
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Matt86

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Thanks Keith, the picture of the hook and the punched meat looks like a korum push stop ready tied ? I get them with bands on .

I know I'm going to need a long net handle, as some banks can be very steep

Matt

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Keith M

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Thanks Keith, the picture of the hook and the punched meat looks like a korum push stop ready tied ? I get them with bands on .

Matt
Yes it is a korum with pre tied Quickstop Matt, but I also use Korda wide gape Teflon coated hooks and Drennan Specialist barbel hooks and also short shank Fox Armapoint hooks.

For hook mounted meat I tend to use the Drennan Specialist Barbel hooks because their slightly longer shank and wide gape makes hooking meat directly on the hook a little easier, and for hair links I use slightly shorter shanked Teflon wide gape hooks with an offset point (Fox sell these), or like in my picture: the Korda push stop hooks with the push stops already attatched.

Keith
 

Matt86

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Ahhh , I can tie my own quick stops and have done but with meat fishing on still waters I found the main issue is if there is smaller fish or smaller carp say less than 4lb you get done as nibble it off !

I have found most success with the meat spirals , tie a hook with a hair and wind spiral onto the loop . But then that's only with lakes but bet works well on rivers .

I looked out the leads I have and have a range of grippers from 1oz - 5 oz .

Matt

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Keith M

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Ahhh , I can tie my own quick stops and have done but with meat fishing on still waters I found the main issue is if there is smaller fish or smaller carp say less than 4lb you get done as nibble it off !
Barbel in rivers don’t tend to nibble at your bait Matt, the first thing you usually get is your line screaming off, although you do occasionally get one mouthing the bait as it moves over it, before it decides to scream off.

Even the Chub don’t really nibble a lot, if they’re in a feeding shoal they tend to pick the meat up in their lips and try to move off away from the others around it before trying to swallow it properly unless they are really big when they’ll swallow it straight away, so a very short hair or hook mounted meat usually works best for them.

It’s the fish like gudgeon, Roach, Dace, bleak and minnows that do most of the nibbling on a river; that’s if they can get near the bait before the Chub and Barbel find it.

The Quickstops work fine on smaller lumps of meat but any larger then I’ll use a normal hair with meat stops and short lengths of tubing over the hair (pushed inside the meat) to prevent the hair from cutting through the meat.

Im not really a great lover of having rubber bands placed around my bait so banded baits are out for me, but the spirals you mention look ok.
I do have a couple of packets of hooks with spirals attached but the ones I have are a little too small for mounting big chunks of meat on.

Keith
 
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whitty

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Barbel in my opinion is all about location,something that is more difficult on the majority of venues as barbel populations have fallen,also strong tackle,by this I mean books that will not open before your line breaks,knots,rigs etc,rods must be capable of stopping the fish fairly quickly,depending on the river your fishing,weed,snags all have to be taken into consideration,I know this sounds obvious,but lots of anglers underestimate barbel,chub are poor fighters in comparison(and I love chub),when on barbel tackle I can stop a chub dead in its tracks,if I think I need to,most times I don't have to,which is good as it's better for the fish. Tight lines Matt....
 

barbelboi

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Barbel in my opinion is all about location,something that is more difficult on the majority of venues as barbel populations have fallen,
My thoughts too Alan. I also don’t believe that the biggest barbel are in the fast weir water quite as much as some believe. Certainly some will be there (and I’ve caught quite a few there over the years) but with so many smaller ones in residence the odds are not that good. If I want the bigger fish I prefer to try to locate them in steady swims in the main river and spend quite a bit of time with polaroids when the water is clear enough. I also believe that the bigger fish moving into slacks and backwaters isn’t confined to cold water or flood conditions – I’ve also come across them in summer, why I don’t know. They probably don’t stay there in summer, just visit for a few hours every few days feeding/looking for food until they believe that the larder is empty.....

There was a stretch of the Loddon years ago that pre-baiting/introducing loose feed was a waste of time.Once you knew the swims that they tended to visit it was lob a single bait in and the take was often instant – if there was no response within around 10 minutes it was off to the next spot................
 

Keith M

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I know this sounds obvious,but lots of anglers underestimate barbel,chub are poor fighters in comparison(and I love chub),when on barbel tackle I can stop a chub dead in its tracks,if I think I need to,most times I don't have to,which is good as it's better for the fish. Tight lines Matt....
One stretch of small Hertfordshire river that I fish usually has a few Carp swimming up and down it, and when I’m barbeling I occasionally hook one of these similar sized Carp but I can usually tell it’s a Carp straight away because although it does put up a spirited fight; compared to the Barbel in this streamlike river the Carp don’t fight anywhere near as hard and come in fairly easy compared to one of the similar sized Barbel in there.

So as Whitty said don’t under estimate the fight of a Barbel.

Keith
 
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