Barbel Rods

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Jan 16, 2002
Hi everyone, I wonder if any of you could give me some advice. I was thinking of buying a specialist barbel rod, something with 1lb 1/2 test curve, but how necessary are they? I have a extra heavy feeder rod Shimano Ultegra which states a 3-6lb hook length, I know a 6lb hook length would probably handle any barbel I am likely to catch, so am I wasting money buying a specialist rod? I know that you need the backbone to bully these fish away from snags in fast flowing water, but would the feeder rod still do the job, I would like all of your opinions and anyone who has first hand experience in catching big barbel, e.g. double figures.

Thanks very much.

j white


Account Locked
Jan 24, 2002
hi jel
i havnthad much exp with barbel but i fished a national on the trent last year & fishing 6lb line straight through on a heavy feeder rod & got smashed 3 times by what i believe to be barbel mind you twice was when i tried to stop it going through the next peg 50yds away(dbl pegged) i may have got them if it had been a pleasure session but in this type of match its different
youll get better advice from some of the other MDs that have better exp.this is my limited knoledge on this subject

tight lines.


Regular member
Mar 29, 2002
Hi Im not a barbel expert but have caught a few.
The rod I always use is a medium feeder rod.
Have caught fish on the Teme,Severn,and Warickshire Avon.
When fishing for barbel I always use 6lb Maxima straight through to a good quality carp hook,and have not had any problems.
As I said Im not an expert and am always willing to learn and listen to advise.
Good Luck


' Victor '
Mar 11, 2002
Jel, it all depends on the size of the barbel you expect to catch.

Despite what I said in another thread the man to ask is Andy Thatcher. He is usually very free with infomation and as far as barbel are concerned not noted for giving duff info.

You can put the cheque in the post


Not fishing? Then talk to your friends on MDs.


Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Aug 8, 2001
Hi Jel,

A stiff actioned medium feeder rod is all I use. Barbel don't usually like bullying at the best of times and in my experience they are the ones that are usually bullying me icon_smile_big.gif
I think a good reel with a reliable drag is more important as many a barbel has been lost by a sudden surge.
Some of the better fish have been landed using centrepins which give the ultimate in control.


Andy Thatcher

Jan 22, 2002
You reckon Del ?

Hi jel,

"something with 1lb 1/2 test curve, but how necessary are they?"

Depends on your viewpoint. Mine may seem a little over the top but hey as you asked !

My only concern when fishing is to be absolutely certain that every fish I hook is landed and the hook removed. This is not something I will compromise. If I want to bet if I catch a fish, as I would be by using light tackle, then I'll go to the bookies.

As a result I do not use or recommend less than 10lb line if you even think about fishing for barbel. At present I am using between 14 and 20lb braid as a mainline, depending on which spool I use, for them.

I used various 1.25lb tc rod's for barbs for over a decade and never thought I had a problem until I was fishing with a friend with a stronger rod.

He hooked a large fish and landed it. Nothing surprising about that other than he landed it far faster than I would of been able to on my Avons. Again nothing to remark about but the benefit to the fish was the thing that made me sit up and take notice.

The fish swam away strongly with only a short time in the water recovering.

Barbel are the same as us in that prolonged physical effort means that te levels of lactic acid builds up in their muscles and is the reasom that you have to hold them in the water to recover.

With a stronger rod the barbel does not have it all it's way and so is landed faster, so needs less recovery time, so must be better for the fish.

I now use either a 1.75lb Harrison or a 2lb Shimano.

So after this tirade the choice is yours jel.

As you may have gathered I believe a specialist type rod is not a waste of money but a neccessary investment for the health of the fish.

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