A pel­let ‘sand­wich’ will catch all day long...

Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

IMPLICITY and strength are the two main con­sid­er­a­tions when it comes to mak­ing the per­fect rig for tar­get­ing sum­mer bar­bel.

The hard-fight­ing species is par­tic­u­larly fond of pacey, snaggy stretches of wa­ter, so there’s no place for fine lines or sub-stan­dard hooks.

The three main com­po­nents for a bombproof rig that will catch bar­bel from any river in the UK are a large (30g-60g) open-end ground­bait feeder, a hook­link of abra­sion-re­sis­tant 8lb to 12lb mono or coated braid, and a strong hook in the size 8 to 12 range.

The ex­act strength of the com­po­nents used should re­flect the stretch of river be­ing fished and, to a lesser ex­tent, the baits be­ing used.

On stretches where the bot­tom is lit­tered with rocks and other tackle-bash­ing fea­tures, then 12lb main­line, a 10lb hook­link and a strongly-forged size 8 hook should be the start­ing point. Con­versely, when faced with a clean riverbed, low sum­mer flows and clear wa­ter con­di­tions, it’s pos­si­ble to drop down to a lighter hook­link (8lb) and smaller hook (size 10 or 12).

Bar­bel adore fish­meal and other savoury of­fer­ings, so to get the best out of this rig you need a damp­ened fish­meal or other savoury ground­bait, a bag of mixed pel­lets and a pot of your cho­sen hook­baits (10mm-14mm drilled pel­lets or 10mm boilies are both great choices).

It’s then a sim­ple case of us­ing the ground­bait to plug both ends of the feeder, with a large pinch of pel­lets or bro­ken boilies trapped in be­tween, mount­ing your hook­bait and cast­ing out.

For­get about us­ing back­leads or any other form of leader when fish­ing for bar­bel, es­pe­cially on snaggy venues – it will only lead to snagged lines or, worse still, teth­ered fish.

A long (2ft-4ft) hook­link is all that’s needed to keep feed­ing fish away from the main­line and avoid line bites which may spook the shoal of feed­ing fish.

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