BEST BARBEL RIG SIMPLICITY ITSELF
A pellet ‘sandwich’ will catch all day long...
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.