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Barbel - Even Closer


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Bryan Baron (with a little input from Graham Marsden) takes an even closer look at the new barbel DVD by Guy Robb and Stuart Morgan.

Barbel - Even Closer

RRP: £ 14.99


  • Published by Stuggy Films
  • Presented by Stuart Morgan and Guy Robb
  • Approx 110 minutes running time

website: Banksidetackle.com

Publisher's Overview

Well known barbel anglers Stuart Morgan and Guy Robb are back again.... this time bringing us even closer to their favourite fish, the barbel.

Filmed in their usual 'off the wall, as it happens' style, the pair reveal how close observation from above and below the surface has lead to a greater understanding of the barbel itself and how such information has helped put more fish on the bank, including a record fish from the Thames.

Fascinating underwater footage takes you into the barbel's world on many rivers. Stuart and Guy reveal their thoughts and techniques on fishing rivers such as the Bristol Avon, Hampshire Avon, the Severn, the Thames and more, which makes this DVD compelling viewing for any river anglers. Also featuring tips and advice on bait ingredients, pellets and boilies from experts in their field.

"Though not intended to be a how to do it production, we hope that barbel anglers of all abilities will gain something from it, and above all, enjoy watching it." - Stuart and Guy.


I first heard about this new title at the 2007 Barbel Society annual conference, where the gathered crowd were given a brief look at the near completed DVD by Guy and Stuart.

Their earlier series 'Barbel - Up close and Personal' was compulsory viewing for all anglers in search of the hardest fighting fish our rivers have to offer. So it was with great anticipation I awaited its release. Sadly this was a long 12 months but finally it arrived.

So with the order sent to Banksidetackle.com I awaited delivery. It arrived after a couple of days in a very insubstantial envelope which resulted in the DVD case being damaged. The DVD inside was OK though. So with only a week to the start of the season and needing a Barbel fix I slipped the DVD into the player and had a little laugh as the two presenters made their entrance by dancing their way along a small footbridge. The laughter came throughout as they showed all the clips that would have been the outtakes in any other DVD.

With their previous offerings they were mainly fishing and filming on the Bristol Avon and on the Great Ouse, which lend themselves to filming due to their clear waters. In this sequel they have attempted to show us more from the larger rivers such as the Thames and Severn. There is the odd trip to the smaller rivers.

The DVD contains plenty of advice on rigs and bait to get you thinking about your own methods and tactics. With segments from John Baker and new ones from John Finch and Glynn of 3RB. Stuart's use of pop-ups really got me thinking and I would have liked to see more on this. Also check out the size of Guy's baits.

There are some cracking fish caught including the Thames record and some lovely doubles. Also plenty of standard fish that we all catch and it was good to see them with smiles on their faces when they caught these perfect little specimens.

The quality is not always the best but as it's done on standard hand-held camcorders. This does not detract from the experience but adds to it. The images of barbel feeding on the Royalty and also of a barbel feeding on the surface in the middle of a weed bed, taking pellets trapped in the weed, will stay with me for a long time.

Overall a good viewing experience and at just short of two hours long there is plenty of advice and some super shots of the barbel, just as there was in their past offerings. But I did feel it was lacking something. I personally think they tried to cover too much and they would have been better going into more depth and splitting the subjects over a couple of DVD's.

Graham Says:
In many ways the DVD is a low budget job, filmed with camcorders and even to the disks being burned on a DVD recorder rather than being professionally pressed.

But that's the only real criticism, if you can call it that, that I can offer, for the overall production is a real joy and a credit to Stuart and Guy. I loved their sense of humour throughout the filming, sadly lacking in many videos and DVDs that were apparently made by anglers who looked like they'd had less fun than a typical teenager with a chronic case of acne or, even worse, two very nice boys out for a picnic.

I don't want to offer too many spoilers but I have to mention that one of the funniest shots was the one when the bubbles came up from the housing that encased one of the underwater cameras as water slowly seeped in....... You have to watch it!

So enough from me, just go out and buy it. If you're a barbel angler you'll be a mug not to as you'll learn something and be royally entertained.

rating: 9/10

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