I've been out a few times this season in the hunt for barbel, trying to get out when there's been some extra water in. This morning I woke up not knowing quite where to go, but with a bit of water in the river I knew I should give it a try.
Set up was my Wychwood Rogue Barbel 1.75lb (though yet to get a bend from a barbel on it!) and Korum KXi 50 reel, a suprisingly nice reel for the price. A glugged 14mm halibut was hair rigged to 10lb drennan sink link, with a 5oz running ledger and pva bag of 6mm pellets completing the set up. This was cast as close as I dared to the far bank where a few snags and overhanging bushes were present. The water was up but looked a bit like tea, which apparently is a bad sign (not talking from experience here!).
After an hour or so the rod plunged down and a fit-fighting barbel was hooked. I'd already lost 2 this year and wasn't planning on having the same happen again, so I put plenty of pressure on, and the rod showed it's tue colours (a lovely bit of kit!). After the initial few surges I played it under my feet for a minute or two before landing it, a lovely barbel of 6lb 1oz. Well happy!