Barbel Rigs and Bait

Following on from our recent barbel fishing posts (see here) this is a recent Q&A courtesy of the Quest Baits Blog

I have recently retired and returning to coarse fishing. Always enjoy chub and barbel fishing. Luckily I live on the River Wye. I’m a bit mesmerised by all the different tackle used etc. 
Which barbel rod would you recommend I buy – budget £100. bracket. What’s a good everyday bait? What basic bolt and feeder rig?

Hope you can advise me.


Hi Paul,
Personally I have used Free Spirit Fishing rods for almost all of my angling since their launch and can not fault them. The Tamer X-Wrap should fall within your budget. The site the link takes you to will also show your nearest stockist. I would opt for the Big River if you are limiting yourself to one rod so as to cope with feeders in high water as well.

I use boilies with a paste wrap for most of my barbel angling. The hook bait I usually pre-shape with scissors which helps to release the flavour much quicker and also gives a better shape for the paste to cling to. The most consistent boilies I know of for barbel (and chub) are Special Crab, Rahja Spice and Absolute Seafood. All are available from Quest Baits and all work instantly. The Special Crab and the Rahja spice definitely work well on your local River Wye as I have caught on both from the Red Lion stretch at Bredwardine.

I use running rigs for barbel myself as the tight lines created by the flow generally turn them into bolt rigs anyway but also allow me to detect small plucks on the bait from smaller species which can be important when using soft baits to know if the bait might have been whittled away by smaller fish.

My main rig is simplicity itself. First thread a tail rubber and standard safety lead clip onto the line followed by a bead. Next tie on your swivel and your hook link attached to that. When using a feeder I tend to use a hook length of around 4 – 6 ft and add a section of silicone tubing to the swivel to protect the hook link from the feeder. This also helps to kick the hook link over and help prevent it tangling with the feeder on the cast.

Hope this helps
Best wishes
Shaun, Quest Baits

For more information on Barbel fishing click here.


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