Lee Swords Fishing

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Barbel baits…Tweaks and Twists

Barbel baits come in many sizes and many shapes, for me long passed are the days when a big lump of Spam would be my first choice offering followed by maggots and casters presented over a bed of hemp, nope those baits are not for me anymore.

 big pellet clusterI have to be honest, I cannot be bothered with them, for me the simplicity and ease of storage coupled with their effectiveness means that  pellets and boiled baits with their accompanying paste wraps are now my number one choice of offering.

Pellet clusterUnfortunately they are also the number one of almost everyone else on the river these days so I find that I have to be pushing onward all the time if I am to keep my little “edges” fresh and ahead of the game and staying ahead of the game is vital for anyone that does not possess massive amounts of “disposable time” as in they do not  have a wife/ husband, child, job and other interests apart from fishing.

If a person has a lot of disposable time then they are very lucky indeed because it really doesn’t matter if their edges are as blunt as a flaccid dick they can still bore a fish out of the water regardless and kid themselves on that they are really good anglers, for the rest of us mere angling mortals that have to content ourselves with day sessions, the occasional 24 hour session and the once in a blue moon 48 hour session we have to actually think about what we are doing or face the prospect of repeated and continual failure.

feed bait


The first thing to consider is what we will introduce into the swim as a stimulating atractor and holding agent or as I call it and “atractivator” for me that is always small particles and pellets because  that is what barbel like to feed upon, small stuff. Barbel do not generally feed on fist sized objects they graze on micro organisms and mini-beasts that live beneath rocks and gravel.Micro pellet is the key ingredient to all atractivatorsSteak based attractivator for chub

and so our free feed should replicate this fact because it is feeding upon these natural sized items that will calm their nerves No you cannot drill this pelletand result in less spooky fish, this is the reason hemp and caster works so well, it is the right size.

But what of our hookbaits?

How can we present a small hard bait?

Use a drill?

Nope we use  cyanoacrylate or C5H5NO2 for those that love their chemistry, most people however know this stuff as superglue! Cyanoacrylate is an acrylic resin that forms its strongest bond (cures) almost instantly. The only trigger it requires is the hydroxyl ions in water, which is convenient since I generally find that casting into the Trent moistens the area to be bonded quite nicely!!

that is what a pellet cluster should look like...9lb line size 14 hook...job doneSuperglue really is a boon when it come to Perfect for rigging boillie fragmentsconcocting weird and wonderful presentations, its fantastic on maggots and can even affix small fragments of boilie crumb to a hair without the need for stops or drilling.

However once the bait is on the hook I am still not finished with it, I use a lot of glugs and dips to give an extra boost to the hook bait so that it gets “cherry picked”

With the addition of an overcoat I can beDipping into the "Gloop" assured that my hook bait has a little bit A "gloopy"of extra pulling power, this I either do with the Hook Bait Company’s “Gloop” A "Dusted Gloopy"or via a paste wrap, this year as I have previously said I am working with the Hook Bait Company and one product that I heard about all the time whilst I was with Teme Severn was 3B, 3B paste ballI couldn’t use it then because that wouldn’t have been cool but now I can and can testify that it really does work as well as the rumours said it did.


Another little trick is to use the actual free offerings as a wrap, now this wrap will only last for a few minutes before breaking down but Micro pellet is the key ingredient to all atractivatorsthat is the beauty of it, it is just like a little PVA bag around the hook bait, that’s Polyvinyl Acetate(C4H6O2)n by the way and not the closely related Polyvinyl Alcohol which is something totally different!pellet wrap!!

The problem with this type of wrap however is that it is very fragile and will fly off the hook on casting any distance and that is why I generally sit mine on top of the feeder for casting, I call it the “Swim Feeder Paste Ball Ballista” but I think it may actually closer resemble a Trebuchet Paste Ball Ballista..Ready to give them Hell!in its action…I always get those two medieval weapons mixed up.

Anyway, that is enough of my little tricks out in the open for now, if you would like to get some of the Gloop or any of the other baits that I am currently using give Darren a  ring at The Hook Bait Company or drop them an e-mail.

The Hook Bait Company – 15 Dixon Close, Greetland, Halifax, West Yorkshire. HX4 8JX.

Tel: 07917 007827

Email: hookbaits@yahoo.co.uk

Web: www.hookbaits.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hookbaits

Barbel 13lbA nice Trent Barbel!9lb of aggression!


All the best and ta-ta-for-now!!

4 Responses to “Barbel baits…Tweaks and Twists”

  1. I really do like your take on stuff Lee….I rarely enjoy the monotonous grind of literary pap that surrounds specimen angling these days, the pioneering spirit as gone, its all about emulation these days, with little inspiration…..but I like your style bud, thanks for sharing your thoughts and catches.


  2. Humbled…Cheers!

  3. As Lawrence said, its a refreshing change to read a blog such as yours.
    Its a serious read, but with a comical twist.
    Too much emphasise is put on bait and tackle sponsorship these days and the endless dribble thats put about makes me not want to read any of it, one of the reasons I stopped buying the magazines.

    Anyway enough of my dribble, keep up the good work mate :)

  4. Many thanks…I try to keep things balanced and do include some stuff that is “advertorial” but only where it is fitting, I am never going to be putting my name to anything that is shitty

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