If I Had a Hammer....

maverick 7

Well-known member
Went fishing today in the Trent......lovely place at Thrumpton Weir but very difficult to get banksticks in the ground there so I have a rubber mallet and if I have any difficulty....out comes the mallet.

I am aware of the possible disturbance this action may create and how it could be perceived by others...particularly those "dedicated" barbel angler types. I say "possible" because in 50 years of barbel angling this action has never bothered the fish that I have caught over the years...however, I am also aware that this action COULD be to blame for the days when I have blanked...but I am not sure about that ...just like nobody can be sure if this action actually DOES disturb the fish.

Anyway, this guy in the next peg to me who had this humongous tripod set up started packing up and moving his gear to another peg.....out of courtesy I asked something about him moving (can't exactly remember what it was)...and to my amazement....he replied, "Yeah mate...all the banging will have scared them off for a bit"...so I'm moving......

...Oh really?......makes you wonder how anybody ever managed to catch barbel before they invented tripods....doesn't it?

I spoke to the guy in the next peg on the other side to me and he thought he was being very pedantic and OTT about the minimal noise created by the mallet...it certainly didn't bother him.

I might add that the complainer and his mate had driven both their cars at water level (the banks are similar to a beach) to their pegs...some 80 yards of water level rumbling....and he complains about a few taps with a mallet.

What do you guys think?



As a rule I keep noise/vibration to an absolute minimum, it just seems like good practice to me.

I can't say in your case as there are still many variables but given that the lateral line is sensitive to vibration then it goes without saying to keep things to a minimum, I certainly wouldn't be tempted to use a mallet myself.

You can now turn all that on its head when I say that I fish a number of swims which have a railway bridge right above them and, whether or not because of the structure, they are barbel hot spots despite the fact that you can feel the vibrations from passing trains thumping through the ground.

Maybe all down to familiar and unfamiliar noise/vibrations as to whether or not they will spook?


He could always knock himself up one of these...

Fully independent levelling chair, fully adjustable arc for a single or double rod rest, silent operation even in the hands of the most ham fisted...

Did I ever tell you the story of how it came about? :eek:mg: :eek:mg: :eek:mg:


Well-known member
Hi Mav, last week I fished the Trent myself for a Barbel or two on the float. It started pretty well with a first cast fish. Then a few more untill it went quite.Then two guys appeared on the upstream opposite bank who immediately began hammering their banksticks in with a mallet ( wasnt you by any chance).
My first thought was " Well, that you sorted for a few hours" then, "Thanks for pushing em down to me".
My swim did in honesty stay quite but an hour before I left I had two more with another lost.
They were fishless when I departed and I reckoned they would most likely do so untill failing light.
To be honest making loads of banging on the waters edge, particularly on a hard bottom is contrary to everything I was brought up to believe which as often quoted on here is "study to be quite".
Surely its the best approach?.


Well-known member
If you f@rt in your chair without getting up the vibrations will scare the $hit out of the fish - what chance have you got bashing in a bankstick..............

peter crabtree

Well-known member
If you f@rt in your chair without getting up the vibrations will scare the $hit out of the fish - what chance have you got bashing in a bankstick..............
I'd say a lot better chance Jerry, after all...

How do you fart with a bankstick up your jacksy?

john step

Well-known member
These will do the trick. I use one with 3 long rod rests. The top will take a rod rest or indeed a buzz bar and alarms.
This has come up before but worth repeating.

Ebay this.....

Fishing weigh weighing tripod block boss adaptor
Bison stainless steel pocket tripod rod pod adaptor.

Both under £5.



Well-known member
Never taken a mallet/hammer river fishing. Always pushed in banksticks. The less stuff I can take, the better.

I wouldn't consider it 'good form' to be banging things with other anglers nearby.

Carp forums are full of posts complaining about hammering in bivvy pegs. But every lake I've been to seems to have guys banging in their pegs? I can normally hear their conversations from 80 yards away too...........


Well-known member
Years ago I always took a 2lb lump hammer with me when fishing, nowadays it's half a house brick and 500 needles ranging from 1mm thick to knitting needles to 1 1/2 cm thickness.

If my peg is hard I begin making a hole by pressing down the 1mm needle with the brick (no noise) and proceed for the next couple of hours with the rest of the needles until the hole is wide enough to insert my bank stick.

Sumtimes I fall asleep, sumtimes I don't.


Unrelated to banging in rod rests but my old mate always complained about the weight of his old Shakespear box. So, one day, before leaving the car, we went through it. As well as the four-layer float box (he always fished the feeder) there were at least 30 feeders and as many leads, plus 4 spare reels, 2 tins of spam and a great big lump hammer which he told me he found in a field where the circus had been.
When we went through his rod bag as well as the half dozen spare rods in tubes I found another 5 tins of spam.
No wonder he was struggling.

Those tiny tripods are useless for the Trent Peter. I used to use a cheap beach tripod and hang a plastic bag of stones or collapsible bucket of water on it to stabilise it. I also modified it to take my Delkims.


Well-known member
Better swims than the weir at Thrumpton, I fished there for a number of years until Billy Smarts started fishing there.


Well-known member
It does kinda go against the grain for me but in the past I have done exactly the same thing when faced with a swim that was impossible to push or screw a bank stick in, but still caught fish. Most places I go it is not a problem the banks are soft enough so I don't carry a mallet. The odd time I have done it I borrowed the mallet from a guy I went with who was a regular there, so he obviously thought nothing of it.

I do have a chair with attachments but never take that to the river. it's too heavy when I might be moving about a bit or walking a good way to my chosen swim. It's great for a day at a pond when I will be static though.

I don't go to carp lakes much at all, I have heard the carp boys complaining about people banging bivvy pegs in etc. Then you can hear them talking from several swims away.
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Well-known member
This was illegal and to be fair my mate put them back after a couple of weeks and it was a very long time ago and he and I were ignorant of the law then. --
What he did was to put about 4 or 5 Rudd he had caught in a big fish tank at home. We noticed every time we walked into the room the fish would start darting about in panic. We tested this by standing at the other end of the room and tapping our feet lightly on the floor to increasing degrees. We were surprised how even the lightest of taps would send them into a panic as the vibration traveled through a carpeted floor into the water in the tank. In fact it was barely a tap at all. They only panicked for a few seconds but, it taught me how sensitive wild fish are to a bit of vibration.
OK its not barbel in a big river where I imagine a few thuds might not have much affect. And the other thing is the fish in the tank soon settled down again which is what I think may happen in a river.
Depends on how I was fishing, close in and someone started hammering away, i might be a bit mired but, I don't think I would move or complain, just think the fish will settle down quickly enough if they got disturbed and I have had to hammer in a stick a few times myself.
However, I don't think I would do it very near another angler or, at least I would inform him of what I was about to do, mention I will do it as quickly possible with the least noise I could muster and see what he says first. Maybe the best policy.
I think in most cases the angler would appreciate your consideration for him and wouldn't complain.
If he said he has fish feeding near him, he would rather you did not, then I would not.
Be fair Mav, I would bet a penny if this happened to you, you would be on here complaining about it the other way round.
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Senior Member
No, I would have been livid, I'm afraid....Not only that, it is totally unnecessary with all the various bit of gubbins available to make up something which gets over the problem, the angler these days where one never needs a mallet or suchlike.
On hard flat banks I use an old Fox rod pod even when I'm float fishing and I've even given similar to pals who've struggled with rests. That said, I would never use a mallet and prefer ' make do ' with some cobbled together creation from the bag if the swim was sloping or awkward in some other way.

All I have ever read on the subject of vibration, from **** Walker onward has shown that vibration is a killer if you want the best from your fishing and I avoid it at all cost. That's not to say banging with mallet or tramping up and down the bank will stop you catching fish, BUT IMHO doing either is best avoided and again IMHO unfair to anglers around you.....All too many times I've seen fish take off or sink from view just from foot fall let alone mallet banging, and thta's enough for me !

Walker gave a reasonable example of this when he related a story when fishing at Redmire. Roughly speaking he was fishing on a hot day with many carp on the surface. Some bright spark 100yds away pulled up in a car, got out and slammed the door, at which time every carp turned turtle and disappeared. May well've been pressure as well as vibration, but either way it didn't do the fishing much good....................

maverick............NONE of the above is meant to be confrontational, but you did ask for an opinion and that is what I've tried to give....At the end of the day, why make any more noise than necessary and possibly upset folk around you. Personally, I cannot believe any form of noise will IMPROVE your fishing, but everyone sees things in a different way..........

All the best

Tee Cee

ps I have one or two books which deal with lateral lines of fish and vibration etc etc ..must rake them out but the titles don't come to mind............
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terry m

Well-known member
Battering in banksticks or bivvy pegs is of course undesirable for many reasons, but I would keep it in perspective.

Whilst there is not likely to be any positive side effects, I also believe that negative side effects are short lived.

Watch fish in a river or stream surreptitiously, then stamp your feet or do whatever to spook them. If you return to your cover, it does not take long for them to return to their previous behaviour patterns.