Among the methods of bottom fishing, fishing with a feeder rod and feed basket has become one of the most popular methods of catching fish at peace, because the feed basket attracts fish even from far away and we set up a very precise feeding place and in the middle of it our hook bait. This method is one of the best to put bream, roaches, barbels and co. on the scales, only fish living close to the surface should not be counted, but I have also caught them with the feeder rod. In this guide I will show you how to feed simply and correctly.
The right equipment for fishing with feed basket
First of all, the equipment: If you just want to feed and don’t want to cast big feed baskets, you should perhaps just go out like this, with a rod with a soft tip and a strong backbone and try the technique. You only have to consider the rather high weight of a filled feed basket and cast accordingly more sensitively. Only with carp rods or similar you should not use feeders, because the rod tips are usually not sensitive enough.
The best for this fishing method are of course the feeder rods specially developed for this fishing technique. Only these have tips that are sensitive enough to show every bite cleanly. Normally they come with at least 1-2 interchangeable tips so that you can adapt perfectly to every situation. You can read more about feeder rods in my test overview >>. There you can also find more information about the topic.
The spinning reel
This fishing technique does not place any special demands on the reel – unlike classical carp fishing we do not need a free spool, which is why a spinning reel is also used. Nevertheless there are special fishing reels for feeding and match fishing. It is important to have a clean line and a line clip, why do you read this below in the article.
Monofilament line is mostly used for the following reasons
- Monofilament line takes the strain off the rod due to the slight buffering effect and thanks to the higher elongation
- Monofilament line sinks, which makes bite detection easier and prevents a large line bow
- Other pros and cons of monofilament line you can find here on my page >>
The higher elongation compared to braided line and therefore slightly worse bite detection is normally accepted. Braided lines are suitable for long distance feeder fishing or if you have difficulties with bite detection.
Other important fishing accessories for the feeder
In order to make fishing with the feeder as comfortable as possible, there are special rod holders that allow you to hold the rod at a certain angle to the water and to pick it up easily.
The most important last thing and actually self-evident: for fishing with the feed basket you need a feed basket
Feed basket models
There are different models (see picture), all of which have their special area of application. In general, for lakes and ponds and river sections with very little current, open feed baskets are the best choice or feed spirals.
There are also completely closed plastic food baskets with small openings, these are designed to be filled with maggots or worms, which is a great method especially for perch, as they react very well to the movement of small animals.
The right weight for the feed basket
For the weight of the feed baskets the rule is, as almost always, as light as possible as heavy as necessary. Therefore, for example, baskets of 100-200 g are necessary in the Rhine, while in a small lake it is also possible to fish with 10 g. It is important that the feed basket remains in place even when empty and does not drift off. With heavy baskets you always have a certain self-hooking effect.
Attention: in the meantime you often see feed baskets with many pre-assembled leaders and hooks, of course these are not allowed. Depending on the water regulations, however, a leader with two hooks may be permitted.
Fishing with a feed basket
There are many assemblies for fishing with a feed basket. The easiest assembly is probably with a simple feeder boom.
This assembly is basically the same as a freewheel assembly. The only difference is that here we don’t attach the feed basket to the main line, but to a feeder boom threaded on the main line. This almost always prevents very effectively that our leader gets entangled. The other frequently used assembly is the loop assembly. However, the self-hooking effect is best with a fixed side arm assembly, but in this case heavy feeders should also be used.
The length of the leader in a feeder
Choosing the right length of the leader is an art in itself. Mostly leaders of 45 to 70 cm length are used. If you have a lot of bad bites and very careful fish you tend to use longer leaders, especially in winter. This can sometimes be over 140 cm. During the summer or when the fish are in place and greedy, 20-40 cm long leaders offer a more accurate bite indication. Also the fish do not swallow the bait so quickly with such short leaders.
But with the first mentioned golden mean from 45 to 70 you are usually right. I would also recommend this to beginners.
My simple basic food recipe
A very simple recipe consists mainly of breadcrumbs (about 500g) and some flavour, for example a bottle of anise or vanilla flavour from the supermarket. Sometimes I also simply cut a ready mix with breadcrumbs if I am particularly lazy. In addition, a handful of 1.5 or 3 mm pellets are added, not to forget a few maggots, worms or whatever else I have on the hook. Almost always I also take some canned corn with me, which I crush a little bit with my hand to release more aroma. How I mix it all up is written under the next heading.
The recipe works almost everywhere simply because many anglers fish in this way or very similarly and the fish know the food. Because: almost all anglers fish with maize and feed with it, that’s why maize works so well on all fish.
How to moisten your food for the food basket
The biggest mistake many beginners make is to make a dough out of a basic food that you can knead very well and maybe even use as hook bait, but it won’t come off the food basket and in the worst case will feed the fish. Sense and purpose of the food is to spread a food trace and thus also a scent trace in the water. Therefore our food must detach itself from the basket.
So the trick is not to make the food too moist but to moisten it step by step. This is done as follows: by starting with very little water and then stirring the feed properly. Then I add some more water until I have the desired consistency. When the food is ready, it draws some more water so that after 20-30 minutes you can add some more moisture if the food has become too dry.
For a slowly flowing water the forage is just right if you can form a bale which easily disintegrates with increased pressure with your thumb.
The feeder professional also sifts his feed before he uses it to eliminate all coarse particles and lumps of feed. Personally I don’t think it’s really bad if there are a few lumps in the feed.
Special case fast flowing current
Here the food should stick much more and you can add a little more water, because thanks to the rushing current it will still come off the food basket.
Another trick is to simply mix pebbles into the food.
This is how you fish with the feed basket
Here is a simple list of all the steps you need to do to fish with the feed basket:
- Mix the feed and let it pull
- Either feed with the feed basket (3-6 times) or throw in bales of feed exactly on the spot
- Throw the assembly with feed basket and hook bait at the feeding place
- After the assembly on the ground, pull in the line once according to the leader length, then the bait lies exactly in the food
- Tension the assembly slightly so that the rod tip bends slightly
- The line should now move away from the rod tip at a 45° angle
- Watch the rod tip permanently
- Bite, drill and fish!
This is of course the ideal case, but it does not always bite so quickly. Most professionals hold their rods permanently in their hands and usually fish with only one rod, because once the fish are in place, bite after bite follows.
Feeding with the feed basket
In order not to scatter our feeding place too much and cast the same spot over and over again we have the following trick. First you look for a prominent spot or object on the other bank and throw in this direction from then on. To throw the same distance you clip the line after the first cast to the right place in the line clip or roll.