A method feeder enables you to offer bait around your hook. The feeder allows the bait to break into a cloud around your hook in the water, luring fish toward it. Method feeding is usually used for fishing catfish and carp but it can also work well for other fish species.
Method feeders are commonly used in Europe as well as Asia, although they can be used to fish in most locations. They are rarely used in North America despite that they work well there. There are a variety of method feeder types. A fixed method feeder has eyes and is tied directly onto your fishing line. Whereas, in-line method feeders enable the line to slip down easily, similar to a slip-sinker. In-line method feeders are available weighted and non-weighted. There are also spring and cage versions of method feeders which are common in Asia.
Rigging an In-line Method Feeder
There is a range of ways to set up an inline method feeder, however, a simple rig often works best. Choose a freely sliding rig for a simple and easy setup. The method feeder will be covered with the bait, making it heavy and adding extra weight to the main rig. The method feeder thus works in the same way as a sinker, however, this feeder attracts fish as the bait breaks off into the water meaning that you will not have to reel in the weight.
You can rig a method-feeder that is placed on a sliding-rig in a similar way to a Carolina set up, however, you need to replace the main weight with the method-feeder set up. Start by inserting the line into the hole or the tube of the method-feeder and thread it through the opposite side. Then, push a bead on the line so that it protects the knot as a shock absorber. Then, tie on the swivel.
If you are fishing catfish or carp you may want to consider a stronger swivel. On the opposite end of the swivel, tie in the leader. Usually, you are looking for the line to break first, before the main line does. If you are fishing carp, you may simply add a hair-rig, if not, attach a piece of line as well as a hook.
You can choose to bait the hook with a bait that compliments the one on the method feeder. However, you may decide to switch things up. You could decide to cover the feeder with bread and then add a worm to the hook. You could also add a thin dough mix to the feeder and use a heavier version on the main hook.
If you are fishing carp, any quality carp bait is fine. You can also choose boilies or corn that work in combination with a method feeder.
You can then either push the bait around the hook covering the method feeder or allow it to drop simply at the line’s end.
Rigging a Fixed Method Feeder
If you choose to use a fixed method feeder, the rigging process will be slightly different. This method is commonly utilized in Asia, especially for fishing smaller fish such as barbs. A fixed method feeder usually has a small hook at the bottom. This method allows a bait cloud to form in the water, attracting fish. The fish will see bits of bait around the hooks.
Setting up a fixed method feeder is simple. Just tie the line through the loop. However, using a fixed method feeder is slightly more difficult. In some locations, these rigs are illegal, especially if it has multiple hooks. Another difficulty is finding the specific line and hooks used for fixed method rigs. Multiple hook setups are used for specific purposes.
However, you can also find fixed method feeders that do not have hooks, using these is similar to an inline method feeder, they just don’t slide down the main line. Tie the main line through the hole on one end, tie on the hook, and the leader onto the opposite end.
There is a range of issues when it comes to fishing with these types of feeders. One of the main problems is the quality and durability. Despite that they are metal, they may bend or break if you catch a larger fish. You do not want to risk losing a potential catch because of a weak piece of tackle. When using sliding inline feeders you will not come across this problem because the line, as well as the knots, hook, and swivel will support the weight of any fish.
A fixed method feeder is also restricted to a specific place on the main line, whereas a sliding method-feeder will slide down the swivel as you cast off. As the fish is caught, the main line will pass through the feeder. In this method, there is no additional weight to drag it down and the bait appears more natural and free for the fish. Thus, most choose to use sliding in-line method-feeders in these cases.
Baiting a Method Feeder
Using a method feeder replicates baiting the location that you intend to fish. You can utilize a range of bait options to do so. Many people choose to reflect the bait that they use on the hook with the method feeder however others like to switch things up to add variety.
The easiest way to bait a method-feeder is likely to use bread or a doughball. Another good option is to utilize a method mix or ground bait that is designed for method feeding, however, this can be more expensive.
You can also bait the method feeder with pellets. Empty a bag of pellets into your bait box and cover with river water or tap water. Allow the pellets to sit in the water for about an hour. They should have soaked up the water and softened at this time. Then, squeeze a portion of bait into a ball and mold around your method feeder.
Alter the bait’s consistency by altering the amount of water. If you are fishing in an area of fast current, choose a bait that will break off more slowly. In a still area, you will likely look for the bait to flake into a cloud immediately as it dips below the surface of the water.
No matter what bait you decide to use, the baiting process for a method feeder will likely be the same. Take the bait and add a small amount of water to moisten it. Then push the bait into the feeder so that it sticks while you cast. However, make sure that the bait will break up as it hits the water to attract the fish.
Some inline method feeders that are specifically designed for fishing carp come with a baiting mold or tool that enables you to initially push the bait around the mold and then push the method feeder into it. As you remove the method feeder, it will be readily baited.
To Sum Up
Method feeding is a perfect choice if you are looking to catch tench, carp, or bream. Find your preferred bait whether it be pellets, breadcrumbs, or ground bait, and attract fish to your hook.