On the second day of my mini Herefordshire getaway and due to the heavy rain fall in the Welsh hills the river had risen again and was still rising, so on advice of the very helpful and knowledgeable bailiffs that control the river we decided to see if we could get amongst some of the river Wye’s barbel as the river levels were not conducive to fishing either the bolo and whip methods we had enjoyed the day previous.

No room for weaknesses

These conditions did allow me to try out the 13’ Black Viper III 140g Feeder Rod fished with the 3oz tip and paired with the Black Viper Compact 845 reel, loaded with Black Magic Gold 0.23mm mono. With the river running hard a 4oz feeder was needed fished on a considerable bow to hold bottom in an attempt to put down a nice bed of feed, high in smell and attractions for the barbel to locate. A Sphere Beast size 12 hook was tied knotless knot style to a four foot hook length made from 0.20mm Cenex Hydro Power Mono allowing for a punched meat pellet to be presented on the hair.

Safety conscious

The feeder was set to run on a doubled up eight inch length of line between two rubber stops that would slide off the line in the event of getting stuck in one of the many snags, ensuring the fish could go free without being tethered to a big 4oz feeder.

Laying the table 

Distance wise and due to the height, pace and debris coming down the river I fished this line on a short chuck on the inside crease at about 10m from the bank. Bait choice was 12mm punched luncheon meat on the hair with a mix of halibut pellets, hemp and 6mm luncheon meat with a large dosing of halibut pellet oil for added attraction and a little Champion’s Choice Formula Fish groundbait for binding placed within the cage feeder.

A big Wye barbel.

Silky smooth and a pleasure to use.

Time to deliver a carpet of feed. 

The first one is always special.

"I had a further three barbel with the last fish weighing a staggering 9lb"

A Wye nine 

Fishing was slow to start with, but after a bite-less first hour of casting out every five minutes a large drop back bite signalled a fish on and a very powerful battle ensued, these river barbel in the flood water go off like a steam train and you definitely need strong reliable tackle, and after a great fight a pristine 7lb river Wye barbel graced the landing net. Over the next couple of hours I had a further three barbel with the last fish weighing a staggering 9lb, the fight was sensational and the Black Viper rod and reel combo soaked up the powerful runs and lunges and had the back bone needed to steer these large powerful fish away from the many snags that reside in the river.

For my first trip to the river I was very impressed with how well it was kept and how amazing and varied the fishing was. I am already planning my next visit.

Tim Bruce

Tim’s Tackle

13 Black Viper III 140g Feeder Rod

Black Viper Compact 845 Reel

0.23mm Black Magic Gold Mono

Sphere Beast Size 12 Hook

0.20mm Cenex Hydro Power Hook Length

4oz Cage Feeder

Tim’s Bait

Luncheon Meat

Halibut Pellets


Halibut Pellet Oil

Champion’s Choice Formula Fish Groundbait

A great days fishing.

Black Viper III rod a proper barbel tamer!

Sphere Beast hooks, strong, sharp and reliable.

Punched meat, great in a flooded river.