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Thread: "Calling" barbel on a fly rod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Limpopo
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    Default "Calling" barbel on a fly rod

    I spent the holiday period with my folks in Bloemhof. I remembered a schematic I saw a long long time ago in a magazine (can't remember which!) of a popper with a dropper fly attached. As my family loves "calling" barbel on conventional tackle, I decided to take my 8 weight along and try the setup. My son and I got in the inflatable (him using conventional tackle) and started fishing around fallen trees and where ever we saw barbel swirling. I managed 4 barbel in a hour with the biggest being around 8 kilo's. He got only 2, but his biggest was well over 10 kg's.

    The more suttle pop of the popping head (I did not use a popper fly) with the pauses after the pop definitely outfished the normal "calling" method. Though my son quickly recognised this and started calling less violent with longer pauses and notched up his fish.

    It is yet another great way to fish the vaal with a fly rod! Any one else use this set up for barbel? It seems very effective as I called the big one out of a fallen tree in quite deep water.

    There is a lot of Grass Carp in the river these days! I saw some feeding and flicked a white booby in front of one on a 6 weight and notched up a new species. Is this invasion a good or a bad thing? Maybe I should post that question seperately.....

    Cheers!
    Blikoor,

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Corefly showed me the exact same method when I fished for Barbel with him last year Jan. Popper fly with a dropper. We struggled early in the morning and then switched to the popper dropper, which after 3 casts from Corefly turned out the first fish.
    Frederick

    "If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking, how come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time?" - Billy Connolly

    "The harder you try, the luckier you get" - Gary Player.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Its a very good technique.Especially for beginners who struggle to cast a long line (not meaning its not for experienced anglers)but it keeps the fly in the right place and you can plop pause as you wish.I have found however that using just the popper head and fastening it with a toothpick wroks better,especially for casting wind resistant flies.
    The one thing that the system does is keep the fly in the same spot.Catfish tend to come up very close to the plop and if the fly sinks too fast it passes them as they come up and you miss them.I have also found that if your dropper sits too deep you also miss a lot of fish that come up just below the popper to investigate.30cm is a good distance.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2011
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    Limpopo
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    Corefly, I had one fish come for the popping head and not the fly. I was fishing at about 40-45 cm away if I had to gues now. I tied a few half-a-chikens with a rabbit tail and only a small bit of weight. They produced nice movement in the water at the slightest pull on the line and the barbel loved them. I will add a bit more weight next time as they tend to come up behind the popping head if you pop to successive pops.
    Blikoor,

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional!

  5. #5
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    But thats perfect.I find the slower sinking fly catches much more fish.As i say,they tend to come in very close to the sound.So if it sinks slower they pick it up easier on their way up.If you see it go for the popper just slowly pull the fly in its path and it stays higher up where the fish uis because its lighter.Also if you see cruisers its easier to get them too with the lighter fly.
    That said nothing is writen in stone and sometimes a heavier fly stripped very slow and deeper works well.
    Look at how real Klopping is done.The guys klop a few times them hover the bait just below the surface for a while before dipping it up and done a bit to see if the fish is not there but at a certain level.
    It harder on fly because you need to change fly.i usually start with a slower sinking fly and if I dont get a fish when i know i should have,i change to popper/dropper and keep it short,the pops a bit quieter and long pauses inbetween.Only if that fails do i fish heavier or bigger and do a very very slow retrieve.
    I find in clear water the fish tend to "snap" at the fly more,so if you place it very close to his head he gulps violently for it.If he misses you might get one very quick chance again to cast at him but after that he will be gone.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2011
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    Sounds right. Thanks for the tips. This is definitely something I will do more as it is great fun.
    Blikoor,

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Bloemfontein, Free State
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    I was out in a place core fly showed me and initially there was no action. My son and I carried on walking and something said turn around, I did and there were cats all over on the surface. Having learned that the "popper dropper" works well I started with it but noted that every time I popped the popper the fish would dive. After a few misses I tried popping more gently and bang fish on. Caught another in quick succession before all the fish went down not to come up again but I went home with a smile. Lesson adapt to what the fish want.

  8. #8

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    Try a leadhead fly - tied on a largish hook - black feathers and a bit of red in the tail...paint the leadhead black and give it a red eye

    Now approach active barble quietly with leadhead about 1 - 2 feet below your rod tip and lower into water - gently tap water with tip of rod making a splashing sound - the love it - will come up to investigate and the first thing they see is the leadhead a foot or two below the tapping rod tip and nail it - hold on !

    Try it - it works !

    Steve

  9. #9

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    Glad the pop n drop helped you out... brilliant on some venues. not always the best option but always good in cleaner water or with spookier fish. in coloured water i usually prefer to splash. often with 2 flies one bigger and slightly slower sinking fly followed by a smaller faster sinking second.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameronA View Post
    Glad the pop n drop helped you out... brilliant on some venues. not always the best option but always good in cleaner water or with spookier fish. in coloured water i usually prefer to splash. often with 2 flies one bigger and slightly slower sinking fly followed by a smaller faster sinking second.
    That sounds interesting. And on which fly in the two fly setup do you get the most bites?
    Blikoor,

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional!

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