Reviewed by Paul Hiom
**Real Reviews by Real Anglers**
I think it is fairly clear even to the most untrained eye, that the title of this book is a little presumptuous given that most of Roger’s experience of barbel appears to be based on his exploits on the River Wye in Herefordshire.
Forgive me Roger if I am wrong, but the majority of pictures and fish seem to relate to this river. John Bailey writes the first few chapters on observing barbel and their habits and again, no disrespect to John, these observations seem to typify the behaviour of fish in the Wye, although reference is intimated or given to other rivers and I know John has good knowledge of the Wensum (I’ve read and liked many of his books and prefaces) amongst others.
Personally, I was a little disappointed with some of the pictures, which whilst showing some superb photography, didn’t actually give the weights of the fish caught, and whilst some may say it doesn’t matter, to me, this helps build a picture and an assessment of the experience of the angler and potential of the waters.
However, all minor criticism considered, there is a wealth of useful knowledge within this book and I would say plenty of information to get the novice barbel angler well on the way to catching his first barbel.
Plenty of references to tackle for different circumstances, excellent chapters on the difference between summer and winter barbel fishing and enough rigs to sail an Armada to the Bay of Biscay.
Some will make reference to carp tactics for barbel and it is clear that there is an influence here, with combi-links, method feeders and bolt rigs. However, it seems to me that anyone who approaches their barbel fishing with the slightest hint of modernism will come in for some stick from the barbel snooties. Each to their own I say and If received by Roger, It is not deserved here as all methods of barbel angling old and new are covered in reasonable detail with much thought having gone into the author’s own fishing.
If you are a seasoned, traditional barbel angler, you may find this book a little irritating, but I say broaden your outlook. However, if you are one of the growing number of barbel anglers keen to discover new methods and ways to approach your fishing, you could do worse than to buy this book.
TITLE: The Complete Barbel Angler
AUTHOR: Roger Miller
PUBLISHER: Crowood Press
PRICE: £ 19.95
ISBN NUMBER: 1-85223-980-8.