Kick-start your fishing: Feeders basics

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Feeders come in two main types – groundbait or maggot feeders. Maggot feeders are closedand have holes in the walls to allow the maggots to crawl out and feed the swim. Groundbait feeders are designed to allowgroundbait to be introduced to the swim and are generally open ended.

Hook to the line

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Always fish with a hook length slightly lighter than the reel line. In summer 6lb reel line to 4lb is a good carp beating choice. For autumn/winter 4lb to3lb is better. Good strong hooks like Preston Innovations PR28 for summer and the lighter Tubertini 808 pattern for Autumn/winter.
Quiver Tips
Feeder rods have built in quiver tips which are fine enough to detect bites from quite shy biting fish. However these rods generally have quite a lot of power in the butt and middle section to cast heavy feeders. The rods should be coupled with a good quality open faced reel because feeder fishing can be quite demanding on the tackle.

Summer and Winter feeders

Maggots in feeder
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Maggots in feeder

Which feeder to use groundbait or maggot depends on the time of year and to some extent the species of fish. A groundbait feeder tends to work better in summer when the fish are more active. Maggot feeders work well in winter.

The Rig
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The Rig

The Rig
White Acres rules are that the feeder must be free running on the main reel line so that in the event of the hook length breaking the fish will not be forced to tow the feeder around. The simplest way to set the rig up is to slide a link swivel onto the reel line and clip the feeder onto the swivel. A bead cushions the sliding feeder against the hook length connection.

Sticky maggot feeder

Sticky maggot feeder
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Sticky maggot feeder

The term ‘sticky maggot feeder’ confuses many anglers but is basically a cage feeder plugged with maggot bound together using one of the proprietary maggot binders. This feeder works well in spring and autumn and feeds the swim with concentrated patches of maggots, baiting the hook with a bunch of maggots brings best results.

Casting

Casting
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Casting

should be overhead aiming the feeder towards a far bank marker to aid with straight line accuracy. For small fish like skimmers and sluggish fighters like bream use the reels line clip to achieve the same distance each and every cast. However for bigger fish like carp its safer to mark the line with a piece of fluorescent pole elastic or liner marker to signal the correct fishing distance.

The Strike

The Strike
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The Strike

Bites from carp are usually quite obvious and sometimes very fast pull rounds that will end up dragging the rod in if you do not react! Just lift the rod and use the reel to slow down the run of the fish. Then you can start to regain line and wind the fish in. Shier biters will not be likely to pull the rod in and you will have to strike the bites. In these circumstances when the tip signals a bite by pulling round strike lifting the rod away from the direction of the fish to set the hook.

Get positioned

Get positioned
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Get positioned

After casting the rod should be positioned so that you can easily read the tip. An angle between 45 and 90 degrees should suit most situations so the rod can cushion violent bites from carp allowing you time to pick the rod up. Pointing the rod at the fish will only result in line breakage. Use a suitable rod rest and allowe the handle of the rod to lay across your lap so that you can hold the rod but and control the reel.