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Ronnie rigs for barbel?

Neil Smart

Senior Member
If the Barbel are in the swim they will normally have your baited hook. Don't think any special rig other than a chunk of spam on a size 4 sharp hook can be bettered imo. The problem is the Barbel in the swim bit, but if they are, their having the spam. :D
 

Richard Barrett

Senior Member
Just one point to make. In a large deep river, how do you know whether you have a problem or not? You can't see the fish that manage to eject the bait.
Love this buddy. With a flowing Trent, I expect a flick, flip, dip, pip, slick, slop, top rig would all work in one way to another. I'll stick to how the Match guys fish, but with just a touch more strength in my tackle, keeping it ultra simple like James Robbins uses, or Martin Bowler.

However, I will say some of the bigger rivers are so unlike some of the little streams many fish, maybe you need all the extra bits. But I've always liked as little between me and there fish as possible, I'd free-line if I could.
 

Richard Barrett

Senior Member
Thats why i go fishing for them ! Not just to doze by the river , im pretty singe minded in that i want to catch every time i go, im disappointed if i dont, not everyones thinking i know but every edge that increases my chances im on it , my time is pretty limited so i try to capitalise every opportunity i get be it bait, rigs , swim choice , as i say pretty clinical i know but thats just me
Chris. I respect your view and situation. But I don't think having something on the line that's not required an edge, if thats what you're referring to? Plus when you lose it all, it has to be replaced at additional costs. Some places on the Trent require you to re-tackle several times in a session, your fishing may be different to mine I expect? Best wishes.
 

Alex Gowney

Senior Member
Adam, probably 95% of barbel will hook themselves no matter what rig you use. But the 5% left are those special cute ones that take fishing for and you never forget them. Now that number probably gets a lot higher the more pressured the fishery and the lower and clearer the river. The Thames is probably not one of those, especially if in flood. I have posted about this before, a few years ago a very big Barbel on a small stream without a river record did me over (donked me) on what you call a 'flip rig' with a back lead and pva bag, something i take for granted as nailing a high percentage of pick ups. The fish had run up a side stream in floods and was locked in a 30yd pool, shallows at both ends unable to get out. The fish did not come back for a second try even though i relocated the hook bait with great care. The next evening i got her very quickly using a pop up fished similar to a Ronnie rig,a big shot on the longshank hook eye. That fish did not ram the rod over,the tip shook as she was trying to eject the hook. I have a few very effective presentations, that i go to, one is probably unique, but they are kept for when i need them not general use.
Interesting comment about the bite Mark. That is exactly how my pb took the bait, a rattling tip and a very slowly ticking bait-runner. I had a good idea what was happening and had that been a carp no fish would have been hooked. Barbel do indeed have problems ejecting hook baits but I'm sure it's not for the want of trying and I'm equally sure that sometimes they do succeed. The Ronnie Rig is simple but it's probable effectiveness for barbel as well as carp is plain to see.
 

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
Just one point to make. In a large deep river, how do you know whether you have a problem or not? You can't see the fish that manage to eject the bait.
Ian, if you hold the rod and get one very solid thump that moves the tip about 3 inches and then nothing else you have been 'donked' or done by a Barbel. My view is they usually do not come back unless you relocate the bait .Obviously if you feel or see nothing and are holding the rod you will never know . I have had small Barbel and big barbel do this to me its not always down to size. I find most Bream and chub usually give you a longer tap tap or a few tests or a more gentle judder. Because i fish small rivers i am usually fishing with the rod in my hand, line between the fingers and know it. If you fish a big river with two rods on alarms and rests/pod its going to be harder to see. If you get any very short quick single solid pulls and then nothing maybe its worth changing your presentation, even very slightly. I have seen very pressured barbel on a low clear Great Ouse pick up a bait very carefully, push backwards with their pecs,feel resistance and spit it out, that one is almost impossible to feel, you almost sense it.
 

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
Alex, i have seen pressured Barbel capable of ejecting baits very easily but its usually because they have been caught on the same rig a number of times. Something different even a slight change can make them slip up. I saw one of the record Adams mill fish twice pick up a bait, ram the rod round 4 feet, and remove the boilie from the hair, just like some Dorset Stour chub. I used to fish the Kennet at Padworth years ago when it was prolific with a mate Rob. The first evening i fished it i had over 20 pick ups but did not realise what was happening, i was waiting for a rap round. On the drive home i thought about what i was doing wrong. Unlike most Barbel these shoal sized fish were giving very small taps and ejecting the 8mm pellet. This was probably because of the competition, their size and the size of the bait. They were going to miss out on food if they raced off with every small bait so each fish worked a small area.The next time i went back i think 16 barbel came to the net in a morning and we both had a very successful summer hitting very tiny bites with a banded pellet and quiver tip rod. We could probably have caught using bigger baits and had better bites but the numbers would have been down. I will admit its a very rare occurrance but 3 summers and hundreds of fish told us it was worth doing.
 

Graham Elliott

Senior Member
I agree regards the odd tremble bite but invariably these fish are hooked and will wrap.

Chub will sometimes hold the bait lightly on the tip because their mouth shape allows it. Common on some waters especially in winter for big fish. On the Loddon for the bigger chub the tip would tremble intermittently as if being attacked by minnows. Usually would go eventually.

Over the years my view is on hair rigged baits for barbel, is that IF you are set up correctly regards hook size and bait size......and they mouth the bait, they should have the hook in their mouth and with the slightest movement be hooked.

Most fish are missed by wrong set ups re hook v bait v hair length than anything IMO.

I watched one guy that missed 4 screaming runs on his baitrunner.
( I don't use one when fishing apart from coffee/ pee / baiting up )

Believe it or not he had a hair 3 inches long. Didn't want to hook chub he said.....
Surprisingly not a novice.
Meanwhile I landed 5 from 5 bites into df from 2 swims down.
 

Mark Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi men ,

A bit like the underwater Korda videos , sometimes ignorance is a virtue . Because of the way me and Sue wanted to fish , sight fishing , watching them feeding and picking up baits ( ultimately why we have given up altogether) we learnt that they pick up hookbait many more times than you know without getting hooked , 100% getting away with it many times . This lead us to a few things . We fished with the fantastic Guru leadclip and swivel , so they took the lead with them , as we see on many many occasions them pick up a bait and drag line through a running rig with the lead bumping across the bottom producing what, if you never see it with your own eyes , would put down to a line bite . This also helped in snagy areas as the lead would come up off the bottom , and not get caught in bedrock etc . The hook was tied either KD style , but with more turns up the hook before the last turn trapping the hair , or a blowback silicone tube style on a Nashy fang giving a nice exit from the eye.

Without doubt barbel have anti-eject mouths , and people can happily fish how they want and catch , but if anyone thinks they straiten the hooklength and it's game over then carry on thinking that , because if you watch the Korda videos it will do your head in 😁.

I know it's been a while since I got the barbel rods out , but I can confidently say there was not a single item that had not had been influenced and developed by carp fishing . I don't find that a problem ? .


Hatter
 
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Adam Francis

Senior Member
Thanks again for everyone's comments. One of the many wonderful things about this site is that a keen angler like myself, who is by no means an expert, can ask questions or other's opinions and it's possible to have a sensible conversation online.

I fish the Thames, this season it's become really apparent how nomadic the fish are. Bites are occurring within short periods and 2-3 fish at times being caught in less than 2 hours. My tactics going forward are going to be ambush, laying traps via a spopper, another informative thread that was extremely helpful, with particle and trying to maximise the opportunity when the fish are present.

I fish short hook lengths and previously the flip rig because I feel this is an efficient set up to hook enquiring fish. I obviously have no idea if I get 'done' but would see no reason why I wouldn't? The point being unless you can see the fish as Mark described above then you will never know. I'll try this rig because of the properties described, I use high quality bait now for the same reason - I'm trying to maximise my chances. Small percentages and all that.

We all catch on different set ups etc etc but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved. I think it's great that others use paternosters, freeline etc etc and catch but if we never look to evolve or improve then carp anglers would still be using a bloody great hook in a spud!

Erm, perhaps that wouldn't be such a bad thing :)
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
Hi men ,

A bit like the underwater Korda videos , sometimes ignorance is a virtue . Because of the way me and Sue wanted to fish , sight fishing , watching them feeding and picking up baits ( ultimately why we have given up altogether) we learnt that they pick up hookbait many more times than you know without getting hooked , 100% getting away with it many times . This lead us to a few things . We fished with the fantastic Guru leadclip and swivel , so they took the lead with them , as we see on many many occasions them pick up a bait and drag line through a running rig with the lead bumping across the bottom producing what, if you never see it with your own eyes , would put down to a line bite . This also helped in snagy areas as the lead would come up off the bottom , and not get caught in bedrock etc . The hook was tied either KD style , but with more turns up the hook before the last turn trapping the hair , or a blowback silicone tube style on a Nashy fang giving a nice exit from the eye.

Without doubt barbel have anti-eject mouths , and people can happily fish how they want and catch , but if anyone thinks they straiten the hooklength and it's game over then carry on thinking that , because if you watch the Korda videos it will do your head in 😁.

I know it's been a while since I got the barbel rods out , but I can confidently say there was not a single item that had not had been influenced and developed by carp fishing . I don't find that a problem ? .


Hatter
Great post Hatter.
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
It is fascinating
My very good friend is a 100% barbel angler and has been for many, many years. He does fish through the winter when conditions are favorable, will always carefully monitor water temperatures, moon cycles etc and everything in his fishing is very considered. He always fishes ' locked up' and monitors every single knock, tremor, dink - whatever you want to call it and without question catches fish I would have missed.
His concentration levels are beyond my comprehension.
He would be quite happy not having any indication after 2 hours , with the rationale being the trap is set for one bite and the party hasn't been crashed by chub or shoal sized barbel.I would be changing tactics/ moving swims.
We cannot sight fish on our stretch but he has spent years observing them on other stretches and he has long been an advocate that big barbel are far from being 'thick' and can be the trickiest of adversaries. He will give you detailed accounts of BIG fish he has witnessed expertly ejecting baits.
I believe years ago this theory was completely at odds with the 'experts' and the 3 ft twitch fits all argument and he got a lot of stick for it.
and even now he gets ' done' every season by what he is sure are big barbel.
Yet he wouldn't dream of deviating from a tried and tested rig, which is very simple and a typical running rig.I have suggested on occasion that he tries a slightly different approach but he is happy with his formula. With his ultra-methodical approach that does indeed incorporate percentages, might he catch a few more biggies with a slightly modified rig? I guess we'll never know.
I am the polar opposite. I will try new things, will search swims a bit more, move about, always fish on a bait-runner and so on.
But earlier this year after a weeks fishing together i had 26 fish, he had 25 - similar spread of weights , it was uncanny.And I would imagine if we monitored fish per rod hour across the season on our home stretch results would probably be similar.
I would definitely like to be more like he is at the back end of the season and sit on my hands, but I lack the discipline and it just doesn't happen; big chub, pike , perch and of course barbs all there to be caught and not a lot of time to do it. Last season the planets aligned and I had a fantasy session; 3lb perch, some big 5lb chub and low double barbel. Probably never happen again as it was just right place right time, not by design. But I know I'll go for another one this back-end.
And I suspect he has a sneaking admiration for my ' intuitive' approach to angling, but hell will freeze over before I see him on there with a tip rod.
Main thing is we both love what we do and it seems to work for us.
 

Neil Kirk

Senior Member
I think that it is not necessarily a fancy rig that makes the difference but maybe a completely different bait or different presentation that can have the most impact.

I will give an example of a water with a large head of barbel, heavily fished but not renown for being a difficult water. An angler was fishing a standard barbel bait on a standard ledger rig in a swim with a raft of weed covering a large part of it . He had a couple of barbel over a 5 hour period and packed up early afternoon.

Along came another angler shortly after the first angler had gone and freelined large pieces of bread flake drifted down under the raft and took 7 barbel in about 45 minutes.

Those fish had been there all along but eagerly took a different bait presented in a different way.

Excellent angling - it wasn,t me though!
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
I think that it is not necessarily a fancy rig that makes the difference but maybe a completely different bait or different presentation that can have the most impact.

I will give an example of a water with a large head of barbel, heavily fished but not renown for being a difficult water. An angler was fishing a standard barbel bait on a standard ledger rig in a swim with a raft of weed covering a large part of it . He had a couple of barbel over a 5 hour period and packed up early afternoon.

Along came another angler shortly after the first angler had gone and freelined large pieces of bread flake drifted down under the raft and took 7 barbel in about 45 minutes.

Those fish had been there all along but eagerly took a different bait presented in a different way.

Excellent angling - it wasn,t me though!
There's a few lessons to be learned in that post....IMO ;)
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
There is absolutely nothing wrong with experimenting so long as the experimented rigs are absolutely safe then yeah go for it and post up your findings as it’s doing no harm.

I fish small rivers, low, clear fast running backwaters with seriously big cautious fish in relatively low numbers and my experience is in most cases they really don’t give a monkeys about the rig so long as they can’t feel it around them.
What they do give a monkeys about on these waters is your presence. Johnny 5 thumbs bouncing down the bank with a trolley and enough gear to see the week out isn’t going to get much of a look in on some of the really small backwaters I fish. Where as a very stealthy approach dropping a bait here there and every where creeping up on them is going to produce the goods and in all honesty the rig isn’t gonna bother them if they don’t know you are there.
 
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