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Downstream rod

Neil Smart

Senior Member
I very rarely use more than one rod when Barbel fishing, however I get the fact that two baits in or possibly three will increase your chances..But it seems to me that more often than not the downstream rod is the one that gets more attention.
Really interested in what others think.
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
My thoughts are that no matter how you introduce bait, other than a bait dropper, a lot of the bait ends up further downstream than you think it does. Combine that with the lesser disturbance caused by the lead or feeder landing in the swim and it is the ideal place for fish. To take advantage of this you need a sleeper rod with a long lasting hook bait that doesn't need to be checked and re-cast every ten minutes.
 

Ian Grant

Senior Member
Like Richard I think it much depends on the Swim Neil. Some swims naturally favour one or the other.
some swims that are pre cut on club or syndicate stretches have been positioned solely with a downstream cast in mind, such as having large overhanging bushes or trees on the upstream cast, making an upstream cast difficult or even impossible.
There are times when I choose a swim regardless of whether I can comfortably cast up or down, because the upstream cast looks so good, and of course vice versa.
Most often I do use two rods, but I do like to have a good distance between my baits, it's pretty pointless in my opinion having both baits only a few yards apart, if the swim is too tight to cast two baits, then I'll opt for one rod, but the single spot has to be very appealing or at least have form, where I'm happy enough to fish one rod.
I'm always looking at all options, up, down and both, there are for me two advantages for considering the upstream cast, that is often the Barbel aren't used to getting hooked in these areas, even though the upstream spot is not very far from the danger spots downstream it can still be a major advantage.
secondly there usually is no need for back leading, because the flow even a very gentle one will pin you line down for you, the possible exception being when there is a stiff flow you're casting much further out into the flow.
But having said all that I would guess more than 90% of my Barbel fishing involves a downstream, and upstream cast, only very occasionally will i opt for one or the other
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
Generally I favour just fishing a single rod these days, even on the Middle Trent. Although on the Lower I've gone back to two rods just because I'm trying to fathom out new swims etc. But generally when two rodding on the Middle, I've always found the downstream rod to get more bites, particularly during the day. Nowadays I generally prefer a single rod fished just downstream of the bait dropped area, often with a straight lead rather than a feeder, and a long tail, even when using maggots and casters and small hooks. The trick I find is make sure your bang on the downstream line of the baited area, even being out foot or so either way can make a big difference. This is my approach during the day.
 

Simon Archer

Senior Member & Supporter
I always fish two rods. Simply because my time on the bank is limited and I want to maximise my chances of a fish. In my experience it's normally my upstream rod that goes for me. Normally a G/B feeder is on the upstream rod, with a single bait on the bottom rod with a few freebies loose fed. Some times on the same line as the upstream rod, others to a nearside feature.
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
I always fish two rods. Simply because my time on the bank is limited and I want to maximise my chances of a fish. In my experience it's normally my upstream rod that goes for me. Normally a G/B feeder is on the upstream rod, with a single bait on the bottom rod with a few freebies loose fed. Some times on the same line as the upstream rod, others to a nearside feature.
My thinking behind fishing just the one rod is that it's about maximising my chances.
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member & Supporter
2 rods in the right case scenario can really help with increasing my chances of success especially given that there just isn’t that many fish to go at and if I can get two features, lines or on the same line in two places fished in one sitting without compromise then I’ll definitely do it.
Quite often I’ll take two rods but just fish the 1 with the second baited up on standby to maximize my time. Time is the biggest killer for me with my clubs strict rules on when we need to be off the venue and baits need to be in the water as quickly as possible especially as dusk falls. If I net a chub or blunt a hook or even need to change a bait the second rod goes straight out on the mark before I even think about sorting the issue with the first one. Taking 2 but not always using them at the same time has definitely put afew extra fish on the bank for me simply by maximizing my bait in water time.
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member & Supporter
My plans are to start the season on a single rod fished downstream, with more of a match fishing approach - small baits & feeders, regular & accurate casting.This assumes normal summer levels and only applies to certain pegs where I know there will be fish holding and of course no-one immediately downstream of me. This isn't a big fish approach but with balanced tackle the shoal fish are fantastic sport.
If all them pegs are taken I'll still fish a single rod and concentrate on specific areas, looking to coax a fish from cover/snags> normally a better stamp of fish. This could be up or down, depends where I can get the best cast and considers snags, nearside willows etc..

I generally find 2 rods a hassle on smaller rivers like the Swale where a fast moving fish can be through a second line in a heartbeat. I don't catch any more fish with 2 rods, but some sessions I just want to chuck baits out and unwind and default to 2 rods( must be the piker in me)
On the stretches of the Wye I know, 2 rods all the time as I have a lot more water to go at and can feed 2 distinct lines simultaneously. And of course there is a much bigger head of fish and plenty of distance between the lines.
And I would say the majority of the fish fall to the downstream rod which as already mentioned would suggest that bait travels a lot further downstream than we imagine on these big powerful rivers
My friend fishes exactly as Gavin says, never deviates, still catches plenty and generally a better stamp.
 

Alex Dalton

Senior Member & Supporter
Most of my better tidal trent barbel have falllen to the downstream rod, which can end up quite a long way downstream towards the end of my usual overnighter, baits vary but tend not to fish meat on the downstream rod as lots of other tiddlers can whip it easily and left with nowt on the hook and not always a discernable tap either, let's hope mittens are not too bad this season, otherwise it will be lobs again and avoid the eel fest if I can .
 

Richard Parsons

Senior Member
I tend to fish two rods, usually one upstream and the other downstream, where the swim allows. Both close in (using a 'pin) and leave both baits in as long as possible. Casting too often spooks the fish (if there are any), so for me, less is more.
As to which rod gets the spoils, it depends on the swim.
I'm chomping at the bit now to get on the bank. All this talk is unhealthy! 🤣
 

Paul Whiteing

Administrator
Staff member
It was always two rods for me, like Richard, one up and one down. Both with c'pins and both close in, leaving alone for hours to hope to entice the wary bigger fish. Not for everyone, you need faith :D

Generally I reckoned fish mooch around several times in a session heading upstream close in, so they'd likely come across the downstream bait first, but I think the better fish came to my upstream bait mainly, I think, as there was less chance of them detecting line or weight.
 

Anthony Pearson

Senior Member
A couple of questions for those fishing two rods, particularly on small to medium sized rivers
1. How many bites do you miss because either your attention is divided or you are caught out when baiting a hook/casting out/unhooking a fish?
2. How would you land both fish in a double hook-up scenario?

For those who know me, yes it's a bit rich of me asking this!😁
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
If I fish two rods that are not side by side I always put an alarm on the rod furthest from me. As for the second question; never happened yet. But I live in hope.
 

Steven Hodges

Senior Member & Supporter
A couple of questions for those fishing two rods, particularly on small to medium sized rivers
1. How many bites do you miss because either your attention is divided or you are caught out when baiting a hook/casting out/unhooking a fish?
2. How would you land both fish in a double hook-up scenario?

For those who know me, yes it's a bit rich of me asking this!😁
In a double hook up situation all you can do is leave the one rod on the baitrunner and play the fish on the other rod first.
I have found in the past that often the second fish after an initial run will lay quiet until you start to bring it in.
However 3 seasons ago I had a different type of double hook up, a Barbel picked up the downstream bait without registering a bite them swam upstream and picked up the second bait then swam off.
It was a very interesting fight trying to control 2 rods and when I eventually landed it both hooks were in it's mouth.
Nowadays I try to use just 1 rod as invariably it is the downstream rod that catches.
 

David Craine

Senior Member
A couple of questions for those fishing two rods, particularly on small to medium sized rivers
1. How many bites do you miss because either your attention is divided or you are caught out when baiting a hook/casting out/unhooking a fish?
2. How would you land both fish in a double hook-up scenario?

For those who know me, yes it's a bit rich of me asking this!😁

Like this .. On the Wye last year .

Question 1 , as far as I know I have never missed bites when baiting up the second rod.

22696DE7-31E5-4EFF-A1D3-5A3369E0AB25.jpeg

Question 2 .

The Barbel took the large bait fished close in downstream, whilst landing it the upstream and across rod leapt into life and a half decent Chub was hooked as well. Luckily the Barbel was only a few seconds from being netted, the net stayed in the water, the barbel rod laid aside and the chub was netted as well One net, two fish. Both rods were matched with ‘pins with the ratchet on, so just like a baitrunner really.

TBH this scenario has only happened twice in many years of angling, all you need to be is prepared and have a net large enough .


David.
 
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Neil Smart

Senior Member
A couple of questions for those fishing two rods, particularly on small to medium sized rivers
1. How many bites do you miss because either your attention is divided or you are caught out when baiting a hook/casting out/unhooking a fish?
2. How would you land both fish in a double hook-up scenario?

For those who know me, yes it's a bit rich of me asking this!😁
Certainly fishing two rods say on the Wye in its prime barbel best would be foolhardy. I remember when you could get a hook up before the feeder hit the deck...crazy stuff.
Maybe fishing a rod upstream on the bottom, and trotting a float downstream would ease the boredom? I have fished in the day trotting for silver's and at dusk settle down with the barbel rod, the thinking that any loose feed might temp a barbel.
Problem I have I get bored just sitting and waiting for the ever elusive barbel bite, I'm fine on rivers when there is some action on the tip, match style, but God the boredom drives me nuts...I start thinking, what if the bait is covered, by a mussel, or stone, or lost the bait completely...so just have to fiddle and recast! Worst thing you could possibly do, I know...😔
 
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