I can't catch Barbel.

Zerkalo

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That's what I thought as my biggest so far was weighed at 7lb. But I'm just going to try it and see. Seemed like a good choice at the time.
 

Silverfisher

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I’m obviously only guessing at the size that fish might have been but a 4 pounder a few casts earlier came in like a skimmer by comparison so I assume it was a good 3 times that size and even that would have been fine if not for the rocks.
 

Zerkalo

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The small Barbel I caught really shot off in summer but the biggest one (7lb) came in like a snag which I'm guessing is because it was in winter.
 

Silverfisher

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Was probably the only coarse fish I’ve ever hooked on fairly appropriate tackle where I thought I’m in trouble here. Was a bit like when you hook a double figure carp on roach gear lol
 

NoCarpPlease

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I'm obviously fishing for a different species of Barbel ;) as I've had double figure fish on 20s hook and 0.10 hooklength (not that I'd target Barbel with that type of tackle).

Different approaches obviously demand different gear. I'm holding one rod and fishing the bow to an "upstream feeder". The top half of the rod is above the rod rest as well. I don't get bust on the bite (famous last words :rolleyes:).
If you're fishing downstream tight line and are sitting in a bedchair away from the rods - then you might well get smashed up on the kind of tackle that I use.
 

Silverfisher

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I think alot depends on what you are used to @NoCarpPlease. Given you are primarily a river match angler and I'm primarily a river and semi natural stilwater pleasure angler for in the most part the smaller species we are possibly much more used to fishing light tackle and therefore dealing with decent sized fish on that tackle than the carpers, commercialers (not a word!), barbelers, pikers, specimen hunters etc.
 

NoCarpPlease

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I'm also lucky enough to have been catching Barbel since the early 1980s.
And to be fair - i've also lost a fair few that I've hooked on less than suitable gear when roaching.
They're great fish but there's always more than one way to approach catching fish - I've seen several low doubles caught on the pole for example.
 

Zerkalo

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Most Barbel anglers I see are using heavy tackle opposed to a match style approach. Maybe it's a played out way of catching them but it seems like the sensible option if you want to land what you hook. 8lb to me is the lightest option out of Korum Barbel Line.
 

Silverfisher

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It’s all horses for courses I guess really. Be a bit daft to use say 12lb line on a flat snagless bit of river in July conditions but potentially equally daft to use 8lb in a snag pit in typical say November conditions.
 

squimp

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On the rivers me and my pals fish our std gear is 12lb robust mainline And a rod of 1.75 - 2lb tc. We have mainly fished the B Avon, Severn, Ouse and Thames. One of my mates had held both the B Avon record and the national barbel record.

Barbel are basically easy to catch - in the right conditions.

we lose hardly any because we use decent hooks/gear and we don’t cast right into snags. We tend to feed the fish to where we want to hook them.

we dont tend to use lots of bait. But we do sometimes prebait with very small quantities of top quality boilies. Basic tactic is a small PVA bag or a small stringer.

the MOST important ingredient for (any) successful specialist angling is to be able to go fishing at the right time. The river might only be’ right’ For a couple of days every month. you HAVE to be there on those days - it is as simple as that.

once you work out the patterns you fish less time but you catch more fish. But it takes plenty of work to get to that stage.

the alternative approach is to fish every day and you will catch them; eventually. But it is seriously boring.
 

Zerkalo

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Bad luck Arch.

I was snapped the other day on 8lb Korum Barbel Line hooklength and 1.75lb Korum Rod. My own fault as it was under the rod tip and I should have anticipated it having another run. Decent fish too, maybe could have beat my PB of 7lb. Made me think not only should I be more careful playing fish under the rod tip, I should also step up my terminal tackle.

My limited Barbel experience also tells me that being on the right peg in the right conditions is almost everything. That’s why I like certain stretches of the Severn.
 

Zerkalo

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Weren't you saying earlier that 8lb was strong enough ? ?

I wouldnt use less than 12lb line when specifically targeting Barbel

No the opposite! :) It's what I chose as a kind of medium between a lighter 'match' approach and a proper 'Barbel' set up. I always expected it to be a push on a Barbel rod but put 10lb line on my reel so that's what I went for. Looks like I might be changing to 12lb reel line and a 10lb hooklength as the next step up and I'll keep going upwards until I feel confident with it.
 

Silverfisher

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I think it’s very unlikely you’d have been “snapped off” on 8lb more likely “cut off” on something. You’d have to hook one hell of a barbel in a summer state river to get broken off without the assistance of a snag.
 

Dave

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I've known lads get snapped just on the take with 12lb line when the baitrunner wasn't set right - it's the sudden lunges that finds the weak points in your gear
 

jpwebster

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Personally I wouldn't go below 0.28mm HL on a rod with that powerful an action @Zerkalo , I'd be happy using 0.20/0.22 on a Match/Pellet waggler actioned type rod though, just depends on the situation.
 

Silverfisher

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Oh yeah Dave if you haven’t got your clutch set right or using a too heavy rod then you can break anything. I’ve seen people break 20lb braid doing that and done it with 15lb myself. But if you’ve got your gear set up right you’d do well to break 8lb line away from your knots.
 

Dave

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Nope, still beg to differ, as Zerkalo found he lost what could have been his new PB and that was on 8lb line.

Balanced tackle will win every day, but then you've also got to think of the time it takes to get the fish in if you are having to lightly tease it in on light gear. Barbel, especially, get exhausted and the longer it takes to land them the more risk there is of harm to them.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying bully them in with winch gear, but balance your tackle and then balance it to what you are after catching.
 

Zerkalo

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Sudden lunge under the rod tip was what did it, clutch set light enough for them to take line but I think you need to slacken it when they're under the rod tip as it didn't take much of a sudden shake for it to go.
 
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