Feeder rods are not only great for basket fishing, they can do even more and are also perfect for normal bottom fishing with an ordinary lead. The special thing about them is the very sensitive rod tip, which indicates even the finest bites and ensures a reliable bite indication. Normally the tips are differently coloured and interchangeable. A feeder rod is usually delivered with at least two tips, often there are even three.
The demands on a rod when fishing with a feeder are very high, because a full feeder weighs a lot. For fishing in the Rhine, the weight of the lead on the feeder basket must be sufficient and we cast several hundred grams with our rod. Feeder rods therefore have a very fine tip, which can still handle very high casting weights.
A tip for every occasion – The colours of feeder rod tips explained
Most manufacturers usually follow a colour code, which indicates the relative strength of the change tips for feeder rods. Often the tips of feeder rods are made of fibreglass to withstand the enormous loads. However, there are also carbon tips which are more sensitive and transmit even fine bites even to the wrist.
- Yellow – yellow tips are usually the lightest for the lighter casting weight range of the rod
- Green – is the medium tip for the medium casting weight range
- Red – intended for the upper casting weight range
This is what a feeder rod needs
There are two ways of fishing with a feeder rod. Either you put the rod in a rod stand high up on the rod stand and it doesn’t matter how heavy the rod is. This variant is also common for bottom fishing or eel feeder fishing. A bend light or an eel bell at the tip makes it easier to spot the bite. The other variant is to hold it in your hand roughly parallel to the water and place the rod on a single bank stick with a special feeder rod rest. If you expect many bites, this is the more sensible method, because you can react immediately to bites. In this case it makes sense to fish a rod with a lower weight and a pleasant high-quality grip. Most of the time the professionals fish like this.
The material of the tips and the effect I have discussed under the last heading and will not do this here anymore. Important with a feeder rod is of course the right length for the water. If long casts are required and I can cast freely at my fishing spots, rods of 3.6-4.2 m are required. If I am fishing on a small river or lake in the vicinity, the number of rods may be correspondingly less.
As with all other rods the workmanship should be good and it is always a bonus if the rod design suits you.
Cheap feeder rods for beginners
If you just want to have a taste of feeder fishing, I recommend these very cheap rods to try out. Often they have a high glass fibre content and are therefore a bit heavier but cheap to make. Who feeds more often and is looking for higher comfort, I recommend to have a look at the middle class rods. Feeder rods are generally much cheaper than spinning rods.
Cormoran Sportline HF
HF stands for heavy feeder, so it is a heavy rod which is also suitable for
strong current. The rod is much stronger than the Ninja Feeder (see below) and is made of fiberglass composite material. This makes the rod more robust but also heavier. With its strong backbone the rod is also excellent for use as an eel feeder rod.
Top feeder rods in the overview table
All rods are also available in different versions.
- For small baskets up to 30 grams and still waters such as lakes and slow flowing rivers rods with a casting weight of up to 50 grams are sufficient
- For some current and baskets up to 60 grams rods with a casting weight of around 90-140 grams are recommended
- For strong currents, for example on the Rhine, it may well be the heaviest rod you can find, i.e. around 200 grams casting weight
These are of course all rough guidelines.
Medium class feeder rods
There is already a lot on offer here. Full carbon rods with changeable tips, which can be held comfortably in the hand for a long time, are only one example. A good feeder rod does not have to be expensive. If you only need a short rod and you often fish on the river or lake, the Spro Petri Feeder is perfect.
Spro Petri Feeder
A really great rod for the money, available mainly in shorter versions. In the 2.7 m version it is therefore perfectly suited for fishing under trees or in places where there is not much space. Of course the rod also becomes generally more handy. I was completely convinced by the comparatively very slim and well manufactured rod. However, the rod comes only with two changeable tips, which are two-coloured. Two friends of mine have been fishing this rod all year round and are both more than satisfied especially with the price.
Daiwa Ninja Feeder
My favourite is the Daiwa Ninja Feeder, which is available in different versions and has been tested extensively by me. It is very light and after the sensitive tips it has an enormous backbone, which even in the light version can be a good carp. Another very positive feature for me is the small packing size of the tripartite rod (plus 3 tips). Unfortunately there is no rod version which is also suitable for strong currents.
Professional Feeder Rods
If you consider feeder rod fishing to be one of your favourite techniques or if you plan to do it in the future, you should take a look at these feeder rods
Browning Jens Koschnick World Champion feeder
With the low casting weight the rod is clearly designed for light feeding with baskets of 10 to 40 g in still water or slow flowing river or calm areas. The rod is the lightest in comparison with the other rods only 170 g. So holding it in your hand for hours is no problem. Both tips are made of carbon and allow even fishing with the method feeder.
Sportex Carboflex Class X-Feeder
Unlike the Browning rod, the Sportex rod is much faster and semi-parabolic. Also the casting weight range of the rod is rather in the middle range with 40-120 g. The handle of the rod is made of EVA. Nevertheless all tips are made of full carbon, so even the finest bites are passed on to the hand part and do not swallow them like glass tips. With this action the rod also casts quite far.
Spro CRESTA Blackthorne Feeder
When Spro demands an upscale price for a rod, you get a lot on offer and can expect top quality. Where the other two top rods stop in terms of casting weight, the Blackthorne Feeder rod just starts. With the length of 4.2m and the fast action for a feeder rod, you can cast very long casts and fish where other anglers can’t. A very nice detail is the lower rubber cork handle, which is meant for the (mostly left) feeding hand, so you don’t mess up your nice cork handle with food. Clearly the rod is meant for rivers with strong currents, where even 100 gram baskets are common.
The rod was also rated as a tackle tip in the Fish and Catch issue 8/2018.
Here you will find on my site a guide to fishing with the feed basket
Fishing with the feed basket a guide