• You need to be a registered member of Barbel Fishing World to post on these forums. Some of the forums are hidden from non-members. Please refer to the instructions on the ‘Register’ page for details of how to join the new incarnation of BFW...


Graham Elliott

Senior Member
Yes it was a bit silly. That Howard Bloke went Saturday and only managed about 50. Hindered by a centrepin
( smiley)
I am trying to find a way of just trying for the roach....but even hemp and caster midwater might bring in the hordes.
No Super G groundbait next time though!!!

Howard Cooke

Senior Member
They basically filled the lake with carp and then added water. But a shoddy effort by me I must say. But I did at least manage 1 silver fish, a pretty Rudd that might have tipped the scales at 4oz. First Rudd I've caught in over 10 years I reckon.

Getting to the big roach is going to be quite a challenge.
Started putting more effort into targeting roach on my local river this year. Although i'm landing a fair few between the 1-1.5lb bracket, I seem to be losing a lot of the better fish due to hook pulls. Lost an absolute corker a couple of months back...devastated me for weeks!

Can any of you lads advise how you avoid hook pulls when targeting roach?

I should mention that I mainly fish for them on the tip at the minute. I have tried incorporating 6inch of drennan feeder gum to the hooklink, which has help somewhat, but still losing more than I believe I should be.

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
If you are getting hook pulls then you usually need to look at your hooks and how heavily you play your Roach.What you might find is the hook is opening,releasing the roach and then returning to its shape(so looks fine).Try a heavier wired hook and playing the fish with soft hands(a bit hard to explain but being very careful /gentle playing the fish).you could also try lengthening the hooklength to enable the fish to take the bait better.What do you use as bait at the moment and what rod and terminal tackle?. Try using a soft action feeder rod like a bomb rod.Fish a small open end feeder,liquidised bread(sieved finely) and punched bread on the hook.Use the large fox or drennan punches and you can then fish a bigger hook,size 10 or 12. If you can trot, then fish a float with bulked shot down with a dropper shot by the hook,the same punched bread on the same size hook feeding regularly a small ball of liquidised bread.Sometimes Roach just do not play ball and you hook them very lightly during the day,and they often come off, that last hour of daylight can be, 'swallow anything' for roach and you can get away with stronger tackle
Funnily enough you are the second person to mention about the hook flexing today Mark, never even considered it possible with smaller species before. I use a kamasan B983 pattern, which is certainly not a strong hook and so the action you describe could well be an issue. I do put a 6inch length of feeder gum on the hooklink to attach to the mainline though, so this should mitigate against the jagged head shakes somewhat. This addition has helped, but still getting more hook pull than I believe what you would class normal.

I tend to use a 6mm pellet on a long hooklink (2-4ft), as i've found this mainly produces a better stamp of fish for me than caster, maggots etc. and I don't have to worry about whether the bait has been mauled by minnows/small fish. The rod I use at the moment is a Tackle Box Darent Valley 11ft (0.75lb) Specialist Rod, and whilst not a tip rod, it has a pretty progressive action. Possibly not ideal though. I did switch from a Drennan series 7 specialist avon in 1.25, but this was far too heavy handed. Do you have any recommendations on a nice soft feeder rod that could do the job better? Don't mind getting a new setup if needs be if this is likely the issue.

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
You can sometimes go to a smaller forged hook and not lose any roach,yet bounce off on a bigger pattern.I used to use a cheap shakespere bomb rod with push in tips but last year bought a drennan matchpro quiver.I have not seen any difference in hook pulls though feel happier with the cheaper rod because i have to contend with lots of barbel and chub.I never fish with powergum but do fish very light open end feeders and have to strike bites rather than fish bolt style.I worry that too much lead around a hooked fish leads to them coming off.Try changing our hooks first that might solve your problem.
Thanks for the sound advise Mark. Someone has suggested recently to try the Matrix Rigger hooks, and so I'm going to have a do with these next time I'm out. I had never considered going smaller in hook size to bump less fish. My next point of call was to go up a size in all honesty, but this would obviously be at the expense of presentation. I think that train of thought was just because of when I've caught decent ones on barbel gear they never come off, but this is probably just because you can keep them moving without too many head shakes rather than the hook size when thinking about it.

Definitely a frustrating, yet rewarding fish to target.

Graham Elliott

Senior Member
I'm happily still using red maggot hooks size 14 for roach grayling and the odd 4lb+ chub with few loses. And no bending.
Both for trotting and series 7 avon with quivertip.

I did move to a 3oz tip for easier casting and faster WA and Severn flows.

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
Anthony do you think maybe the powergum is working with the weight on your feeder and causing bounce which is popping the hook out?
Been speaking to a few lads on another forum and the general consensus is that the feeder gum must go as it acts as an inertia recoil string and serves to bump fish off, as Mark has also just pointed out. I included this to try and compensate for using a rod that was stiffer than I'd like, but hadn't really considered this problem.

Also, the flexing of the hook seems to be a common problem others have encountered, and so I think some thicker gauge hooks are in order. The regularity in which roach take static barbel baits on the river I fish gives me confidence that the difference in presentation will have negligible impact.

There is also the issue of the way I generally bring roach to the net i.e rod high rather than low and to the side. Apparently playing roach in this way limits the way they shoot to the surface and roll, and you can get them to glide in with less of the jagged head shakes of which they're renowned. This is something I'm going to work on next session.

I try to match the weight of the feeder to the flow so that as little extra resistance causes it to dislodged as possible. I've found this to be around 15gr in the majority of the areas I fish at normal river levels. I set this up free running on a swivel bead to a quick link and attach the feeder. A couple of beads are then place above the hook link swivel to kick it away from the feeder. Nothing more complicated than that really, don't like to use complex rigs as a general rule, as I think in most situations they're a hindrance.

Thanks for all the feedback so far. Is the above in line with your experience when tackling roach?

Guy Leeder

Senior Member
Personally, I would look at an inline feeder, no gum etc. and a slightly thicker gauge hook. Reduce feeder bounce as much as possible and you should be in business.