Best Barbel Rod | Reviews & Buying Guide

Over the last few years, barbel fishing has grown immensely in popularity, especially in European countries and areas with a lot of river access. Because of its growth, people are starting to look wherever they can for the best range of barbel fishing rods to make the experience more fruitful and overall better.

When it comes to barbel fishing, you cannot overlook the rod, and compromising on your rod could be detrimental. If your rod cannot perform for the job, you will not be able to land that fish you have been fighting with. Here is our guide to some of the best barbel rod options out there, so you ensure that you get the top choice for your goals.

Best Barbel Fishing Rods

Below we will look at some of the best barbel rods to suit your fishing needs – from a free-spirit barbel rod to fox barbel rod. To professional anglers or fishing hobbyists, there is a rod out there for everyone.

1) Korum Barbel Rod

The Korum Barbel rod is among the most well-known barbel rods out there. These rods are customized to be suitable for all of your needs as a big-fish angler. In particular, this rod is roughly 13 feet in length, making it powerful and durable in most barbel fishing circumstances.

Korum Barbel Rod
  • 11’ 1.75lb – Perfect for smaller rivers and big barbel....
  • 12’ 1.75lb – A superb all-rounder. Maximum casting weight...
  • 12’ 2lb – Perfect for casting big weights on larger rivers....
  • 13’ 2.5lb – Great for casting long distances with big...

Its length combined with white tips to detect bites, slender cork handles, and SIC lined rod guides make the Korum Barbel rod perfect for chasing down large barbel.

Pros & Cons

  • Great for handling large barbel carp
  • Lightweight and easy to grip
  • It comes well packaged and in great condition
  • Bite detecting white tips
  • Longer than other options
  • The ceramic eye may fall off
  • You get what you pay for
  • It may not be durable for extremely heavy fish

2) Daiwa Black Widow Twin Tip Barbel Rod

This specialist twin tip barbel rod is incredibly versatile. Though it is slim, it is quick to respond and able to tackle some of the most worthy opponents. The Daiwa Black Widow barbel rod has both a tubular and quiver tip for light legering. It is able to wrangle heavy feeders and lightweight barbel alike.

The full-carbon makeup of this rod makes it incredibly durable and able to withstand some of the toughest fish fights.

Pros & Cons

  • Secure and durable
  • Great control and handling over fish
  • Great length
  • Slim and easy to store
  • Able to handle light and heavy barbel
  • Only pulls up to 15 pounds
  • Not everyone likes the two upper sections
  • A cheaper option, not as nice as others

3) Shakespeare Sigma Supra Barbel Rod

The Shakespeare Sigma Supra barbel fishing rod is both durable and lightweight, making it a perfect choice for fishing for barbel on the river. It is crafted from heavy-duty carbon blank to ensure that it will hold up while allowing you to easily feel for nibbles.

Shakespeare Sigma Supra Barbel 2lb Rod-2 Piece, Black/Grey,...
  • Slim and strong 24 ton carbon blank Titanium Oxide insert guides...

The rod is twelve feet long and is constructed of 3 pieces that come apart for easy transport. This barbel rod is available in both 1.5- and 2-pounds test curves and comes with a cloth carrying bag.

Pros & Cons

  • Great for barbel and other carp
  • Able to withstand up to twelve pounds easily
  • It breaks down into multiple pieces for easy transport
  • There is more than one size option available
  • Only withstands up to about twelve pounds
  • Stock runs out quickly

4) Ron Thompson Evo2 Barbel Rod

The Ron Thompson Evo2 Barbel fishing rod is a great addition to your barbel rod collection. It provides you with the capability to not only fish for barbel but other species of carp as well. This rod is lightweight and multi-purpose, making it an addition that packs a punch.

Like most barbel rods, the Ron Thompson is made with composite blank and features a graphite reel seat. It currently only comes in one casting weight and length.

Pros & Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Made from quality materials
  • Used for more than just barbel fishing
  • Only currently offered in one size
  • It does not have as high of a weight capacity as other options

What to Look For When Choosing a Barbel Rod

Barbel fishing is not entirely complicated; therefore, it does not require a lot of knowledge when it comes to finding the right barbel rod. Most barbel rods are customized to fit the needs of each big fish angler. However, there are a few key features that you need to take into consideration before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Bite Detection

A good barbel rod will come equipped with white tips to allow for better bite detection. In general, when the white tip is pulled under the water, you likely have a fish on the line, which means that it is time to consider bringing it in. When looking for the perfect rod for barbel fishing, always pay attention to the bite detection features as they will make your life much easier when out on the water.


The majority of barbel rods have cork handles that are easy to grip. The ideal rod will have cork handles that are slim and lined with durable SIC. The last thing you want when fishing is for the rod to slip out of your grip or snap under the pressure of the fish. Ensuring that you have the best handle on your barbel rod is something worth taking into consideration.

Size and Capacity

One of the most important characteristics of a good barbel rod is the length of the rod combined with the rod’s ability to hold heavier fish. The one that is best for you will likely depend on the area you fish in and the average size of the barbel in that particular river. There are a few size options that have proven to be the most desired over time.

  • 11’ 1.75lb. These barbel rods are ideal for small rivers that are home to larger barbel. With this rod, the maximum casting weight is around five ounces. The line can withstand between about eight and fifteen pounds.
  • 12’ 1.75lb. This size is a fantastic option all around as it is one of the more popular choices. It has a maximum casting weight of five ounces and can withstand between eight and fifteen pounds on the line.
  • 12’ 2lb. This is a slightly larger size option that is a good one to consider if you do a lot of your barbel fishing on large rivers and tend to bring in heavier fish. They have a maximum casting weight of six ounces and a line weight capacity that caps out at about ten to eighteen pounds.
  • 13’ 2.5lb. If you cast longer distances and fish for larger barbel, this is a better size option to consider. The maximum casting weight of a rod of this size is eight ounces, much larger than other options, and the line weight can handle between ten and eighteen pounds.
  • 12’ Barbel Quiver. This one is worth mentioning because it is an optimal choice for fishing in lower water. It has enough capacity to bring in some of the fish that are willing to put up more of a fight than others. These generally come with two tips as well.
  • 12’ 2.5lb. If you prefer to fish in more extreme conditions, this is your size. It is perfect for using large feeders in rivers with a faster current and deep water. This rod size is built for bringing in big fish.

Bait for Barbel Fishing

Chances are, if you are looking for a barbel fishing rod, you may wonder a little more about barbel fishing in general. One of the most essential things to think about is which bait you should use in combination with your barbel rod.

In general, you should begin with whichever bait has been tested among anglers and deemed the best in a particular river. You can find this information at a local tackle shop or by looking at online forums. You can also ask around on the river bank; most people are willing to help each other out.

Fish become accustomed to the baits that they are exposed to most, so introducing a new bait to the habitat may not get you the results you want. On the other hand, if there is a bait that has been used too much, the fish will begin to understand that it likely means they are in danger and will not bite. Common barbel baits include:

  • Boilies
  • Carp Pellets
  • Boilie Pastes
  • Spam or lunch meat
  • Worms

Final Thoughts

Overall, choosing the right barbel rod is going to take a bit of time and research. If you are a true angler, you should be able to come to a conclusion quickly by looking and asking around your favourite spots. We’ve gone over a few of the best options available to give you an idea of where to look. The best thing you can do is take your time and try to figure out what works best for the area you fish in. The fish will come if you put in the work.

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