Tag Archives: discussion

End of November News Update

After 3 months or so since the idea was conceived, fertilized and germinated, the Association of Barbel Fishers’ ‘birth’ was confirmed to the angling public and the membership was opened on 19th November 2010.

Whilst some of the original invited participants were becoming a little anxious that things were not progressing, there was an awful lotof hard work done behind the curtains. Our technical/admin guys, Conrad & Paul, were making sure they ironed out most if not all the bugs & idiosyncrasies of the Word Press ‘engine’ as related to your Forum. We all, collectively, drew up the association rules, guidelines etc., clarified and cleaned them up to a point where they were acceptable to the original members and then pushed the button.

We were admirably supported by BFW and at their suggestion posted our announcement on the main board, where to date it has had >10,000 views and 150+ replies and a very, very good reception from most, generating a membership acceleration to 100+ in the first week.

We need to hopefully maintain this momentum during the coming weeks, through the festive season and into a bright new year, so that we can start to programme in some of the already suggested activities which may generate further interest in our venture. It is reassuring to note at this time that although there has been some ‘anti-activity’ to the venture, we all have refrained from becoming involved in internet jousting with the detractors. This was one of our agreed stated aims and should remain there, high on our list of ‘things-to-not-do’.

We did consider holding an inaugural meeting to coincide with the public launch but agreed that this was maybe too onerous a step at this time of the year. It is now a probability that we can and should organise such an event to follow the season end in March 2011 and possibly during the better weather of April, better for travelling is what I mean. This meeting should also be deemed as our initial Annual General Meeting (AGM), for the members, which could be held immediately prior to the ‘inaugural’ meting for all-comers to meet us.

In addition to the proposed meeting(s) and now we have attained 100+ members it may be prudent to consider the ‘ways-and-means’ of instituting the desired nomination & voting system, to allow the membership to select the candidates/nominees for the Committee positions, to replace the original management team. Some of the team I am sure may be willing to continue if selected and some may wish to handover their responsibilities. Conrad has already hinted that he has ideas for the process but we will need to programme the process to meet the requirement for an elected Committee to be in place by November 2011.

I have already started the search for waters where we can either become affiliated with owning clubs/associations or waters that may be or become available in the near future, where we can budget for acquisition/leasing.

I believe the ‘Away days’ initiative, whereby members can arrange exchanges with colleagues, appears to be self-starting on the Forum. Let us not allow it to stall but promote it among ourselves so that it becomes an attractive feature of the association. I know it is not

really an opportune time at present, with the current adverse weather but there may be plenty of occasions between January and the end of season to get involved. These ‘Away days’ are not intended to be large parties, just members getting together in small groups, one-on-one or a couple or so at most joining up with individuals or colleagues with little or no organisation required.

The ‘Fish-Ins’ will be the association functions where we can make ourselves highly visible to the angling fraternity and these can be both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ affairs. The ‘closed’ type fish-ins are probably more suited to something organised for the relative newcomers to the sport of barbel fishing, of which there are possibly a fair number in the membership already and to come. The ‘open’ type will probably be more suited to promotion of the association to those who could become valued members, by inviting them along to meet us.

The ‘Fish-Ins’ are also considered to be the likely source of funding for the association intention of support for charities/deserving causes. These recipients are to be selected by the members and will not assigned by any individual desire.

We would appreciate any views any member has on any of the above points and such views can be posted on this thread or by PM to me,should anyone wish to initially retain some privacy.

To those new members I have missed a ‘welcome’ to, please accept this news update as your own welcome as well as a big ‘Thanks’ from me for joining us,


The Only Rig You Will Ever Need.

By Dave Burr

There are few articles written about barbel rigs because, let’s face it, they aren’t usually that difficult to tempt. But there are considerations to be made and some of the dog’s dinners I’ve seen anglers using have made me shudder.

Let’s get one thing straight from the off – barbel are not carp. If you use carp tackle, especially lead clips, you are risking damage or death to fish in the event of a break off. I have recovered rigs with lead clips that I have had difficulty pulling apart with my hands so a tired, tethered barbel would have no chance.

Over the years I have tried numerous adaptations on a theme and have made all the mistakes that everybody else makes but, I have kept experimenting. I now have a rig that I haven’t changed for two or three seasons which means that I am quite happy with it. It ticks all the boxes and I believe that it is just about perfect – the only one I and hopefully you, will ever need.

The hook and leader are adaptable to conditions, more of that later. The important part for me is where the lead connects to the hooklink. This area is where we have to place most consideration to the fish’s welfare as a fish towing a lead is in severe danger. Also, and of great concern to me, was the number of times I lost a fish when the leader wrapped around the lead link. A barbel in full panic flight will make short work of most leader materials if they are tied around a lead or link swivel, recovering a short, broken hooklink is usually a sign that this has happened. I tried beads, sometimes two or three in a row to create a stand off effect and this usually worked but not always, the same is true of tail rubbers. Using a link swivel is always liable to create a tangle just by virtue of the amount of drop from the main line. Any roll on your end gear, something we often do to provoke a take, is likely to tie the whole lot into a knot.

So, let’s get to the point – Korda anti tangle sleeves (Kats), the answer to the barbel angler’s prayer. The pictures will show what I am on about so have a look first at the old, tangle prone version.

Now look at the one with the Kats. Immediately it is apparent that the stand off effect is exaggerated which helps us no end. But the clever bit comes when we eliminate the swivel from the link to the lead. By taking the swivel out of the equation we remove most of the problems associated with tangles. By using just the link and attaching it directly onto the Kats we create a semi-fixed, self-hooking rig that is generally what we are looking for when barbel angling. The taper of the sleeve allows us to fine tune the amount of tension on the link and, in the event of the fish snapping you off and by carefully attaching the link at the correct point on the Kats, the lead will easily slip off and the fish will not become tethered. It really is simplicity itself and works with leads and feeders.

But, I here you ask, what about when I want to use a running lead? Easy, just slide the link off the Kats and away you go, a running lead. If you want to be cute and, in true Boy Scout manner, prepared, simply add a bead above the Kats when you set up. Now, if you are roving and altering your approach in different swims, you simply reattach the link above the bead which will stop it from riding up the Kats and give you a perfect running rig.

You can even do away with the swivel at the end of your mainline and use a quick change link. This allows you to switch and swap your terminal gear as well as going from fixed to running lead with the absolute minimum of fuss.

My last bit of fine tuning is to cover anything shiney – usually the link when its been on gravel for a while – with bits of modelling clay which will stay in place as there are no moving parts such as you have when using a link and swivel.

For the bit between the Kats and the hook, well that’s a whole article in itself. I am certain that many of you have your own opinions of hooklinks and I have tried them all. For the record, I generally start off with a length of Fluorocarbon which gives me a hooklink that will sink and sit well on the bottom. This may go directly to the hook or, when I feel it is necessary, I will form a combi-rig by attaching a short braided hooklink to the fluoro via a mini swivel.

I believe that Conrad is setting this up so that comments can be added below the articles so please, discuss, argue and add your observations.

The rig in fixed mode
In running mode
With bead for the full boyscout mode
All the bits you need