Here’s a top rig to help you catch more barbel while fishing on the river. Dai Gribble explains why he favours this rig when conditions are difficult and the barbel are easily spooked.
A while back I ran a guided trip with an angler who’d been on the river for four days without a bite.
When I looked at his set-up it was clear he’d been using short hooklengths. We switched to a long, 4ft hooklength with a small pellet hookbait and we caught fish almost immediately.
Long hooklengths don’t spook fish, and keep the hookbait clear of any weed build-up on the mainline.
My running rig incorporates a buffer bead, an anti-tangle sleeve, and a quick-change swivel so I can switch hooklengths very easily.
The hooklink is Avid Carp Captive braid with the last 6ins of coating stripped back.
This gives the hooklink superb anti-tangle properties, and the flexibility of the section around the hook assists with hooking.
- Strip back around 6ins of your coated braid hooklink material – I favour Avid Captive. Tie a small overhand loop knot in the end of the stripped braid – this is for your hair rig bait stop.
- Add your hookbait to the end of the braid and secure with a bait stop, then tie your hook on with a knotless knot. The hair should be just long enough for the bait to hang 3mm below the bend of the hook.
- Remove around 1m of the coated hooklink from the spool and thread the anti-tangle rig sleeve on to the opposite end from your hook. You can use a baiting needle for this.
- Tie an overhand loop in the end of the coated braid, attach it to the quick-change link on the running rig, then slide the anti-tangle sleeve over the link. This kicks your hooklength away from lead or feeder.