Lee Swords Fishing

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Barbel hooks….getting to the point of it

What are you looking for when seeking out good barbel hooks? And who makes the best hooks for barbel?

That is a question I am often asked, well I am very much “old school” when it comes to the hooks I use for my barbel fishing in that I use Drennan Super Specialists ( DSS) Hooksfor pretty much 50% of what I am doing, almost all the rest of time I am fishing  I use Drennan Barbel Super Specialists ( DBSS)…the almost 50-50 breakdown is generally dictated on cash terms…when I am flush I use the DBSS and when I am skint I use the DSS it is as simple as that…

The DBSS sell between £3.50 and £4.00 whereas the DSS sell for between £1.20 and £1.50 for packets of ten.

Given a choice I would go with the DBSS 100% of the time but the daughter wants a pony and the wife wants a sports car so I have to make savings somewhere.

One thing I will do though is change hooks regularly and I very rarely re-use hooks because even the DBSS only work out at 35-40p per go…would I want to bump a good fish for want of having a sharp hook on my line?


But why do I stick with the same hooks? There are dozens of patterns out there…I have an old saying in regards to my fishing ” If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

I know how much ‘tonk’ one of these hooks will take, I know how sharp they are and I know how best to rig them up and that’s why I feel confident with these hooks, they very very rarely let me down, in fact I can only think of one occasion when I have been “pinned” and that was when I was fishing an eel head on a size 2 DSS on Collingham and I had a take that smashed my rig to bits as soon as I dropped out of the bait-runner function…I think it was a Wels…I also think it was lucky.

Because I would have eaten it…

Barbel Maxx

On occasion I try my hand fishing fishing a little heavier than I normally would and try to bag something a bit bigger and that’s when I may use something like the Barbel Maxx, a reasonable hook I bought in bulk, heavier gauge than the two previous hooks and not quite as sharp in my opinion but a decent hook all the same.

That’s another thing…Can a hook be too sharp?

I have friends that swear by the Owner Iseama hooks and I have to say that they are incredibly sharp  but I had four fish bump me on these hooks one after the other…the last bump had a bit of barbel lip left on the hook on the retrieve…it was my opinion that these hooks were cutting themselves free.

I changed to a DSS and within five minutes had a fish on the bank, coincidence ? Possibly but it was also the result in a collapse in confidence, don’t get me wrong the Owner hooks are awesome and they do have their place…just not in my barbel gear.

Preston PR 39

The only other hook that I have caught barbel on over the last few years is the PR 39 from Preston, an absolutely cracking hook I use for my steak and mince and small breadflake fishing when after chub …But…just as when you are after barbel, chub will arrive uninvited, the same thing works vice-versa!

The last barbel I had in 2012 was caught by accident on a small bread flake bait intended for chub, it wasn’t a big fish but the hook held well and did not show any weakness!

We really are spoiled in this day and age in that we have a lot of good gear at our disposal, Korum also make a very good range of hooks for barbel and I would be amiss not to mention them…Why don’t I use them instead?

I have confidence in what I use…End of.

Chub 6lb 12

One Response to “Barbel hooks….getting to the point of it”

  1. I use both the drennans for barbel and occasionally the gardner wide gape talon tip , for my flake and steak I’ve stuck with the drennan carbon feeder hook and landed barbel to 10lb , tried other patterns but these are the ones I always come back to

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