SOME people favour using big wagglers, especially if it’s windy, but most of the time when trotting for barbel I use two types of float – Chubbers and Avons.
Avon floats, with their large shoulders and heavy wire stems, are best suited to deeper water and slower flows, while the more streamlined Chubbers, or Loafers as they’re sometimes called, work best when used in shallower, faster water.
It’s important to use a big enough float to boss the river, rather than letting it boss you, so I rarely use a float with less than 3AAA loading and, depending on flow and depth, I will use them as big as 5SSG.
I start with the bulk of the shot set 50cm-60cm from the hook, with a single dropper shot, generally a BB, between the bulk shot and the hook.
Although barbel will sometimes take a bait presented off the bottom, I want my bait running along the bed of the river as that is where it is most likely to be taken, so my shotting is designed to get the bait down to the feed area as quickly as possible.