Top Tips with Dave Roberts – Part 3 – Barbel Master Class

We spoke last time about the tackle and tactics needed on the big rivers for barbel. I touched on hook baits and the fact that regular changes in hook baits can keep fish coming.

One thing I haven’t spoken about yet and it’s something that catches me an awful lot of fish when other baits fail is the use of paste. Paste can be tremendous bait to use and a large 10mm Halibut Marine pellet wrapped in paste can quickly kick start a fading swim. There are a few points to remember with this though as a standard coarse type paste is no good!

This must be a firm textured ‘stiff’ paste as you want it to leach out attractors in the flow but not fully breakdown too quickly!


The ingredients for my barbel paste are very simple. Each item does however have a very specific job. I use the Bait-Tech Halibut Marine groundbait as a base for the mixture. I see no point in using any other ready-made pastes or carrying extra tubs to the bank. The fish I’m catching are attracted to the scent of the groundbait I am feeding therefore it makes perfect sense to use the same mixture for the base of my paste. The fish like it and want to eat it!


I add the groundbait to the tub and rather than add water I crack an egg into the mix then add a generous squirt of Bait-Tech Omega 3 Fish Oil. This is used to bind the mixture and also add an extra fishy boost to the mix. This will give me a very stiff oily mix that will stay on the hook well and breakdown slowly.


Once left to fully absorb all the oils and egg you will be left with a texture a bit like putty. Although this is made from the Bait-Tech Halibut Marine groundbait you can see I have changed the consistency by mixing it this way. This will now stay on the hook when casting and slowly breakdown when in the flow leaving a huge scent trail for the fish to find.


This came within seconds of the feeder landing. A fading swim kicked back to life instantly by the use of a pellet wrapped in a big ball of paste. As you can see by the bend in a powerful rod, these things don’t half pull!


The culprit! A hard fighting, paste eating Wye barbel! Is there anything better?

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