The Best Barbel Rods - (Complete Guide On Top Fishing Rods For Barbel)

best barbel rods in the uk

Looking to bag yourself a Barbel? We're afraid that broom handle you call a rod just isn't going to cut it.

We want something that mixes delicateness with power simultaneously (sounds a bit like my wife).

In this article, we've assembled a list of the best Barbel rods around and will answer some common questions we get asked all the time.

If you are serious about Barbel fishing, you need to know this…

Strapped For Time?

If you haven't got the time to read the full article then you may want to skip straight to our list of the best Barbel rods. For ease, here are 3 top choices.

Alternatively please read on to see more information on the best barbel rods as well as more detail on what goes into our chosen products.

What Is A Barbel Rod?

Unlike with a discipline such as carp fishing, you can afford to be a little more flexible with what you would consider a barbel rod.

Consider a good barbel rod in the same kind of sphere as a feeder rod (possibly with a little bit of a heftier test curve and one that is slightly more 'mid action'). You need the delicateness to present baits well and the power and backbone to fight the fish effectively.

Aside from the fish, you need to think about where you will be fishing too. Barbel can often be found in deep rivers with strong currents, so it won't just be the fish you are fighting. Pick a good barbel rod that is up to the task!

What To Look for In the Best Barbel Rods?

You are looking for a couple of key features in the best barbel rods. In short, these are: -

  • A good test curve – By 'good', we mean somewhere in the 1.5 – 1.75lb region as a minimum. You could go higher, but for most barbel and venues, this is probably overkill.
  • A fast to mid-action – You'll want something fairly similar to an Avon style rod but will also want a little bit of flex in the midsection to really put pressure on the fish. Don't forget, if you've done your homework, you'll be pairing it with a great barbel reel that will also share the work.

If you are looking for something with a little more casting power, we've got a great article on the best feeder rods right here.

Can You Use Carp Rods for Barbel Fishing?

Yes, in a pinch, you could use carp rods for barbel fishing. After all, the fish aren't choosy about what is at the other end of the line.

But that said…

Fishing for barbel with a carp fishing rod is pretty far from optimum. Unlike carp fishing, you aren't going to be casting huge distances, and we are highly dubious that you will hook into anything weighing 30lbs when fishing for barbel.

If you are only an occasional angler, you might want to use your regular carp rod. But we've got a better idea. Why not check our budget selections for the best barbel rod below, and then you can get properly kitted out really cheaply?

The Best Barbel Rods

The best barbel rods are those with an optimum test curve and action that will help you play and land barbel efficiently.

Strength, robustness and versatility are also key traits of the best barbel rods.

Combined with a barbel reel that compliments the rod and a decent barbel bait then you will have all the artillery needed to catch a lot of barbel.

The following list exude all of these characteristics and are considered some of the best barbel rods on the market today...

best barbel rods in the uk

#1. Daiwa Infinity Evo Barbel Rod

How much?

Listen, forget that.

When it comes to the best Barbel rods, this is your end game.

Rod for life? Don't mind if I do. This is pukka, make no mistake.

Don't let the super-slim blank fool you. There is serious power under the bonnet here. The progressive action is exactly what you should be looking for in a good Barbel rod.

Aside from Barbel, you'll be equipped with a good all-rounder and even able to land mid-sized carp.

Aside from the action, there are plenty of truly premium features. Fuji SIC guides are fitted as standard along with a low profile Fuji reel seat.

This rod is also extremely lightweight and is almost certainly our pick of the bunch.

best barbel rods in the uk

#2. Daiwa Powermesh Barbel Rod

If the above is a little too designer, you will want to check this next one out.

You'll still get all of the quality that is associated with Daiwa.

And you'll also get all of the good things that you'll be wanting, including a 1.5lb test curve, a slimline Fuji carbon pipe reel seat and super-lightweight performance.

It's a bit cheaper because you'll have made a few compromises, but that doesn't mean the performance will suffer.

The rod features stainless frame guides. They still weigh next to nothing and are also super durable.

This rod certainly looks the part. Peer closely, and you'll see an intricate carbon fibre weave pattern.

Paired up with a decent reel, it's a proper eye-catcher and will look just the part when perched on your chosen rod holder.

best barbel rods in the uk

#3. Korum Barbel Rod

For the money, this is something super special.

These Barbel rods by Korum are packed with good things.

Such as?

Well, for a start, you'll get a two-piece rod with a high-quality slimline cork handle.

Moving down the rod, you'll find them expertly finished with SIC lined guides (basically ceramic).

We really like the anti frap tip guide, designed to stop line looping around the end section (which can be terminal with a big enough fish).

Which to go for. If we were buying, we'd choose the 12' 1.75lb edition. This is a jack of all trades and will enable you to cast and catch big.

Checkout this video that showcases the fantastic Korum Barbel Rod...

best barbel rods in the uk

#4. Fox EOS Barbel Specialist Rod

12ft and 1.75lb test curve? That sounds about right to us!

Provided you don't go too heavy, this will be more than adequate for most Barbel fishing situations.

The fox 'slik' guides make casting and retrieving an absolute dream. 

We are particularly fond of how lightweight this rod is. For the money, it feels as high quality as anything offered by one of the 'big names'.

Another standout feature that you won't fail to miss is the white glass tip section. This makes bite detection an absolute breeze.

And the low resin blank gives plenty of pulling power once you have spotted a bite.

Checkout this video that demonstrates the Fox EOS Barbel Rods in action...

Drennan 12ft Specialist

#5. Drennan 12ft Specialist Twin Tip Duo 1.5lb

Speaking of 'big names,' they don't get much bigger than Drennan.

Fortunately, the price isn't as high as their reputation.

We'll be honest. This one is a bit of a bargain.

The rod features a lightweight locking reel seat, which is just what you need with a big old barbel on the line.

This, paired with low friction SIC guides, will give you a tackle setup that feels extremely well balanced.

The standout feature for us is the interchangeable tips, so you can tweak and tune the rod depending on the venue and conditions.

Look at it this way, it might be in a slightly higher price bracket, but essentially you are getting two rods in one package.


#6. Sonik Specialist Barbel Rods - 12ft - 1.75lb

Are you the kind of angler who wants to go for big Barbel?

Both the 1.75 and 2.0lb editions are meant for one thing. Serious pulling power.

The action of these rods by Sonik is sublime, featuring a through action with just a little bit of speed around the tip.

Perfect for battling all the way to the net, with a little soft suspension for those runs that Barbel are prone to.

We love the way the slim cork handles feel in hand. When paired with a lightweight reel, this setup feels extremely well balanced, and in a blind test, we'd struggle between this and Daiwa's best.

Even the best Barbel fishing rods take a lot of punishment. With this effort by Sonik, you are covered as the guides are epoxied and reinforced.

Best Budget Barbel Rod


#7. Daiwa Black Widow Barbel Rod

Yes another Daiwa entry, but that's such because they are probably the best out there for manufacturing quality rods.

These rods would work great, both for big Barbel or as a good all-rounder if you are interested in pursuing other species such as carp or big Tench.

The parabolic action is just the ticket for handling paddle tailed battlers.

The 24-ton high modulus carbon blank is practically unbreakable!

Don't think that a strong rod has to mean something big and heavy. This Barbel rod is featherlight and a real joy to use.

Final Thoughts

The best Barbel rods don't need to be unduly expensive or particularly advanced. Essentially they are an upgraded version of Avon rods.

This, of course, means you'll also be able to use them in this style, should you so choose.

Pick something with around a 1.75lb to 2.25lb test curve and with as many features as you can for the money, and you won't go far wrong.

We've got plenty of gear guides if you are in the market for a treat. After you are done here, why not head on over to our other articles. We cover everything from the best fishing chairs to feeder fishing tips and everything in between!

Thank for reading.

Tight Lines!

All of the fishing tackle featured in this article can be found at one of the following online shops...

Total fishing tackle

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