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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FEEDER FISHING

STEVE RINGER’S

ULTIMATE

GUIDE TO

FEEDER

BIG

VALUE!

ONLY £6.99

RIGS - BAITS - TACKLE - TACTICS - ADVICE - TIPS LIMITED EDITION

FISHING

EVERY FEEDER & BOMB TACTIC

EXPLAINED IN THIS

132-PAGE BUMPER GUIDE!

L IMI T ED

EDITION

HOW TO TIE STEVE’S

GREATEST FEEDER RIGS

COMPLETE GUIDE TO

THE TACKLE YOU NEED

STEP-BY-STEP ADVICE ON

PREPARING YOUR BAIT

BANKSIDE ADVICE TO HELP

YOU CATCH MORE FISH


WELCOME

WELCOME

Steve Ringer’s Ultimate guide to

Feeder Fishing is produced by Angling Times.

Contact us at Bauer Media, Media House,

Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA. Call

01733 468000

EDITORIAL

Written by Steve Ringer

Editor: Richard Grange

Art Editor: Peter McClelland

Art Director: Hakan Simsek

Photography: Lloyd Rogers

Sub Editor: Nick Fletcher

PRODUCTION

Print production: Andrew Stafford

Printed by Stephens and George Print Group

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Editor-in-chief: Steve Fitzpatrick

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Group MD: Rob Munro-Hall

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W E L C O M E T O M Y

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO

FEEDER FISHING

IT WASN’T that long ago that fishing the

feeder was viewed as an inferior way

of catching, almost a last resort that

required less skill and more luck than

fishing the pole or waggler. Times have

changed a bit since then!

In fact, fishing the feeder has become a bit of

an ‘in vogue’ thing in the UK and indeed across

the continent with new feeder-0nly match

competitions springing up every few months

and more and more tackle companies producing

feeder kit to keep pace with the demand.

And I suppose I’ve been at the vanguard of

this trend, having been lucky enough to be

selected for the England Feeder Team in 2011

and then be crowned World Champion in 2014.

The feeder is a method I love, whether that’s

casting a long way for bream at Ferry Meadows

or plopping a tiny Method to the far side of a

snake lake. What I love the most is that, like any

way of fishing, there are lots of little things that

you can do to get a bite.

I’ve pooled my knowledge about the many

aspects of feeder fishing alongside the best of

my features from my Angling Times columns

into this exhuastive bookazine and the finished

product offers all you’ll ever need to know

about using the feeder from catching carp on

commercials to winkling

out a few bream when the

odds are against you.

I hope you enjoy it!

3


WHAT’S IN STORE INSIDE

C O N T E N T S

66-85

TACKLE

HYBRID FEEDER

6-9 F EEDERS EXPLAINED

Know your Methods from

your Hybrids with Steve’s

at-a-glance guide

10-11 S ET UP CORRECTLY

Organise your peg to fish the

feeder efficiently

12-13 T HE RIGHT RODS

When to use a 9ft bomb rod

over a 13ft distance model

14-15 R EEL CHOICES

Put yards on your cast by

selecting the right reel

16-17 L INES & BRAID

Tie mono to braid and

discover the hooklength

materials Steve uses

18-19 A LL ABOUT HOOKS

The only patterns you’ll ever

need for fishing the feeder

20-21 A CCESSORIES

Gear up with the little bits

and bobs to make your

feeder rigs deadly!

METHOD FEEDER

22-39

42-43 H YBRID RIG

Tie the perfect rig with this

brilliant new feeder

44-48 O N THE BANK

See how Steve fishes the

Hybrid in this great feature

49-51 M INI HYBRID

Keep on bagging in the cold

with this toned down attack.

52-53 H YBRID BAITS

Why Wafters are the number

one hookbait to use

PELLET FEEDER

56-57 P ELLET FEEDER RIG

Turn every bite into a

guaranteed fish in the net by

fishing this brilliant rig

58-61 H OW TO FISH IT

Steve proves that bream love

pellets just as much as carp

on mixed fisheries.

62-65 M ICRO PELLET FEEDER

How you can catch big

weight by scaling down your

feeder tactics

GROUNDBAIT FEEDER

68-69 B REAM FEEDER RIG

The famous Ferry Meadows

rocket feeder rig explained

70-71 F EEDERLINKS

Tie your own and eliminate

annoying tangles

96-107

78-79 C AST FURTHER!

Six simple fixes from Steve

82-85 S CALED-DOWN CAGE

Drop down to a cage feeder

to get bites in winter

MAGGOT FEEDER

STEVE’S TOP MATCHES

108-109 FAVOURITE MATCHES

A very special day with a

new match record and a ton

of big bream!

110-113 I RISH BAGGING

Full speed ahead for Irish

roach at the World Pairs.

116-119 K ING OF THE WORLD!

Re-live how Steve became

World Feeder Champion

24-25 M ETHOD RIG

How to tie Steve’s winning

rig for this popular summer

feeder attack

26-30 P OP-UP METHOD

Catch well in the summer

with this unusual take on the

traditional Method feeder

32-36 W INTER METHOD

Keep bites coming in the

cold with top advice and a

few simple tweaks

72-75 L ONG-DISTANCE SLABS

On the bank with Steve in

search of big bream

76-77 T OP BREAM BAITS

Bream love hair-rigged

worms – find out why

86-93

88-89 MAGGOT FEEDER RIG

How to put together this

simple set-up for F1s

90-93 M IGHTY MAGGOTS!

The maggot feeder is not

just for river chub, as Steve

shows at Packington Somers

STRAIGHT LEAD

98-101 T HE BOMB DEBUNKED

Get the most out of the lead

in this exhaustive feature

120-121 F ISHING FOR ENGLAND

What it takes to pull on the

three lions fishing shirt

...AND FINALLY

122-125 W HERE TO FISH

Fill you boots by visiting one

of Steve’s top 10 UK venues

for fishing the feeder.

126-127 E SSENTIAL KNOTS

How to tie the knots you

need for safe feeder rigs

38-39 M ETHOD BAITS

What to put on the hook and

around the feeder

102-105 A NEW TYPE OF BOMB

Get on the Impact Bomb this

summer for big-fish action

122-125 G LOSSARY

Every feeder fishing term

explained in detail.

5


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

KNOW

YOUR

FEEDERS

When should you fish a Method

over an open-end? All is revealed...

IT’S not only floats that can send

your head into a bit of a spin when it

comes to picking the right one to suit

your fishing – feeder choice is just as

perplexing, given the sheer number of

types on the market.

Years ago it was a straight pick between a

plastic open-end for lake bream or a blockend

for river chub, but the advent of commercial

carp has introduced a whole new breed of

feeders. They keep on coming, too, with the

Guru Hybrid the latest feeder to hit the banks.

Standard open-end feeders are sub-divided

into cage, rocket and plastic varieties, so it’s

no wonder that you can easily pick the wrong

feeder before you’ve even wet a line.

To help you make the right choice, over the

next few pages I’ve broken down each type of

feeder in my box and when it is best used.

I store my feeders in a large

box as this makes locating the

right one a quick and easy job

– no rummaging around here!

BULLET FEEDER

This is a type of maggot feeder with the

weight built into one end. That makes

for a feeder that casts accurately and

goes a long way in windy weather.

METHOD FEEDER

I’ll pick a Method when I want to be

attacking with my feeding in the

summer and get lots of pellets into the

peg when carp are the main target.

WINDOW FEEDER

Ireland’s big loughs seem to respond to

this unique feeder. Brilliant for getting a

quantity of particle baits to the bottom,

especially chopped worm and caster.

HYBRID FEEDER

A cross between a Method and pellet

feeder that’s a little more refined than

both. Side walls stop the bait breaking

away on the way down.

PELLET FEEDER

I don’t use a pellet feeder that much

nowadays but they do allow you to

regulate your feeding precisely and are

very good in late autumn/early winter.

MAGGOT FEEDER

Great on winter venues when there’s a

stock of mixed fish such as F1s, barbel

and skimmers that are tuned into eating

maggots rather than pellets.

6


FEEDER CHOICE

TACKLE

On commercial fisheries, the Method or

Hybrid feeder now rules the roost.

7


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

O P E N - E N D

F E E D E R S

LARGE CAGE FEEDER

These massive cage

feeders see the light of day

when I want to get lots of

groundbait and particles

down quickly for bream.

CAGE FEEDER

Lets bait out as it falls

through the water, and

is excellent for putting

attraction in the swim when

after roach and skimmers.

INLINE CAGE FEEDER

Should you prefer to use an

inline cage, these are the

ones to pick. I use them on

commercials when fishing

for F1s and skimmers.

SOLID OPEN END FEEDER

A standard open end

feeder but without the

holes. This ensures that

nothing comes out of the

feeder until it hits bottom.

B O M B F E E D E R S

OPEN-END E N FEEDER

E E This is the open-end feeder

that most of us will be

familiar with. They still take

some beating for bream,

fished on a moderate cast.

GURU CUBE

My standard bomb for carp work. The

square shape casts very well, and with

the supplied stem there’s the option to

fish it as an elasticated version.

GURU IMPACT BOMB

When the carp want a bit of feed but

not feederfuls, these bombs let you

introduce small helpings of micro

pellets alongside your hookbait.

FEEDER WEIGHTS

It’s not only the overall size of feeder

that should dictate the feeder you pick

– weight is just as important to ensure

accurate casting each time.

8


FEEDER CHOICE

D I S T A N C E F E E D E R S

TACKLE

GURU ROCKET FEEDER

These are due out in the coming months

and are a standard weight-forward

rocket feeder for bream fishing. They

also feature changeable weights.

MATRIX BULLET FEEDER

A real brute of a feeder for wild

conditions – especially Ireland! Their

shape helps with long casts while the

cage means a quick release of bait.

MINI DISTANCE FEEDER

Effectively the same as the Kev Leach

feeders but in a smaller size for shorter

casts and when not too much feed is

needed to keep the fish happy.

KEV LEACH DISTANCE FEEDER

The distance feeder that’s won me lots

of matches at Ferry Meadows! With

the weight built into one end, they cast

superbly and are deadly accurate.

INLINE OR ELASTICATED?

Where permitted I will always opt to

use an inline elasticated feeder. They

offer security against hook-pulls when

playing fish under the rod-tip.

Match elastic

strength to

size of fish.

9


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

ARE YOU SITTING

COMFORTABLY

TO FISH THE TIP?

Set up correctly and see your catch rate rocket with Steve’s advice!

FEEDER fishing is not like using the

pole or waggler, where you’re quite

active throughout the day with

casting and feeding – instead you’ll

be spending a lot of time sitting still

watching and waiting for the tip to be

pulled round.

It therefore figures that your platform to fish

from should be as comfortable as you can make

it, with everything you’re likely to need easy to

get to and in its rightful place.

Look at my feeder set-up and you’ll see differences

from how you may organise your kit for

fishing at 16m of pole, for example.

Put simply, when the tip goes round I want

to be able to focus on what the fish is doing and

not be groping around for the landing net that’s

up the bank behind me!

4

1

7

8

6

7

10


COMFORT ON THE BANK

TACKLE

LANDING NET

I actually use a second Reaper

back rest to place my landing net

1

on. This keeps it off the floor,

where it can too easily get broken or

slide into the lake!

SEATBOX

You may see some anglers that

are fishing the feeder position

2

their box at a slight angle off to

the side so it points roughly in the same

direction as the rod will out into the

lake. I don’t do this – instead I have the

box facing forwards as normal. This

allows me to fish the pole later on in the

day if I set it up, and also lets me net

fish directly in front of me.

REAPER BACK REST

A few years ago I would have

popped the rod handle on my

3

side tray or my lap, but carp bites

are fierce and can drag the rod in!

Guru’s Reaper back rest actually grips

the handle to prevent it being dislodged

by a carp. A brilliant little gadget!

FEEDER ARM & REAPER ROD REST

How you angle the rod is down to

personal choice but I like to leave

4

around a 45° angle. This still

shows up bites, even from skimmers.

Daiwa’s feeder rest is rock solid and the

Guru Reaper rod rest allows me to place

the rod in multiple positions so I can get

the perfect tension.

SPARE FEEDERS

Over the course of a session you

may need to up the size of feeder

5

that you are using or, if you’re

unlucky, replace it after a crack-off.

They’re too heavy to keep in the

seatbox so I have a carry case packed

full of feeders that I place behind my

box. This lets me organise feeders so

that I can find a specific one in seconds.

SIDE TRAY

In winter my tray probably won’t

have many bait tubs on it but in

6

summer, especially at venues

such as Ferry Meadows when I’m after

bream, I can have several baits as well

as groundbait on the go at once. As a

result, I need a big stable tray to take

this weight and take casters, worms,

dead maggots, corn, micro pellets and

meat. My tray is made by Fab Trays and

is perfect for the job.

9

2

3

BAITS AND ACCESSORIES

These are what will take up most

of the space on your tray. I try to

7

use as big a bait tub as I can so

that I can have as much bait as possible

to hand. There’s nothing worse than

running out of micro pellets and having

to get off your box to find some more.

I’ll also have things such as chopped

worm scissors for bream fishing, baiting

tools, disgorger and spare Hybrid or

Method feeders made up and ready to

go on the tray, along with my flask if the

fishing isn’t very good!

HAND TOWEL

If you’re the sort of angler that

wipes their hands down the front

8

of their trousers or top after

landing a fish, do yourself a favour and

get a decent quality hand towel. Having

clean hands makes baiting up so much

easier, especially when it’s cold and

raining, and a towel is a godsend when

dealing wih bream slime or for wiping

groundbait off your hands.

10

KEEPNET

This is placed on the opposite

side of my swim to where the rod

9

is pointing, and basically clears

more open water in front of me to net a

fish without it trying to get behind the

net. You can even use a keepnet as a

basic rod rest if needed.

5

SPARE RODS

On so many matches nowadays I

will set up more than one feeder

10

rod, and to avoid having them get

tangled up in the grass or bankside

nettles I use this smart rod holder

system that slots on to my box leg. This

can take three rods and can be angled

to keep spare rods away from mischief.

11


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

PICK THE

RIGHT

ROD FOR

THE JOB

Does a 12ft rod make any difference

to your fishing? Steve reckons so...

HOW times have changed! When

I was a kid I had one feeder rod

that could be used for everything

from catching bream on rivers to

throwing out a bomb with a bit of

corn on the end for carp.

Not today, though. That’s because every

good tackle manufacturer now makes a range

of feeder rods to achieve very specific jobs –

such has been the changing face of fishing in

the UK over the past 30 years.

Commercial carp have played a big role

in that, but on rivers and lakes we’ve found

the need for longer and more powerful rods

for bream and skimmers. The days of giving

yourself a hernia trying to cast 60 yards with an

11ft rod are thankfully no more!

For casting up to 90 yards, a 13ft feeder rod

will make the job so much easier, whereas a

gentle lob with a small feeder would suit a 9ft or

10ft bomb-style rod.

Action needs to be considered when picking

a rod. What I look for is backbone in the lower

part to provide casting power, changing to a

softer through action in the middle and tip of

the rod to avoid lost fish on the strike.

Too soft a rod and you won’t be able to cast

accurately... too stiff and you’ll lose more fish

than you land. Finding the balance is key.

Picking the correct rod will make

hitting your mark an absolute doddle.

QUIVERTIP EYES

Just as you would

when considering rings

on the main rod, so the

guides on a quivertip

should be correct.

Braid fishing requires

bigger rings to let

shockleader knots pass

through, while straight

mono fishing suits

standard guides.

12


CHOOSING A FEEDER ROD

TACKLE

DAIWA TOURNAMENT 9FT

This is a very slender rod with no real

casting backbone. It’s perfect for winter

bomb fishing or for flicking a small

feeder underarm to snake lake far banks

in windy weather. It is incredibly soft in

its action and so is ideal for F1 work.

DAIWA TOURNAMENT 10FT

Very similar to the 9ft Tournament but

with that extra foot of length to allow

longer casts. I use this rod for much of

my general commercial fishery work

when casting to islands up to 30m away.

or into open water.

DAIWA TOURNAMENT 11FT

My favourite rod of the range. It is very

versatile and can be used for carp work,

although I think it is a brilliant roach

and skimmer rod for use in Ireland – in

fact, this is the rod that I used to win the

World Champs at Inniscarra in 2014.

DAIWA TOURNAMENT 12/13FT

We’re in the realm of the big boys now,

and this multi-length rod is designed

for long casts on commercials such

as Barston Lakes or in Ireland, on the

big loughs. I tend to use it almost

exclusively at its 12ft length.

DAIWA TOURNAMENT 13FT HEAVY

When I need to cast a long way, this is

the rod to do it! I can throw a feeder

up to 90 yards at Ferry Meadows with

ease and because of its power, it is best

suited to big-fish situations as opposed

to catching skimmers and roach.

TEAM DAIWA POWER MATCH 11FT

Relatively new, but a rod that I’ve

already grown to love. This is a brute of

a rod with lots of power and can cast a

bomb or feeder a very long way. I use it

a lot in winter at Boddington Reservoir

when I’m after big carp.

Pick each

rod to do a

specific job.

13


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

WHY

REEL

CHOICE

MATTERS

JUST as it is vital to pick a rod that’s

suited to the type of feeder fishing

that you plan on doing, so too should

the reel that’s going to be strapped

on to the handle be fully capable of

getting the job done.

This is something I’ve learned in the last

decade or so, when I’ve found more and more

of my feeder work requiring longer casts. A

normal match-type reel hasn’t got the guts to

go the distance. These smaller reels are built

for trotting floats or casting wagglers up to 30

yards. Beyond this they struggle.

Fortunately, the big-carp world has stepped

in. Carp anglers regularly cast over 100 yards

and use massive reels to suit – so by slimming

these ‘big pit’ models down to suit match

fishing, we now have big reels for big casts.

The difference they make is astounding.

But if you don’t need one of these beasts for

your feeder fishing, you can invest in a feedertype

reel. This will share many of the traits of

a mini big pit, but at half the

size and price!

From mini ‘big pits’ to beefed-up

match models, they all play their part

1

14


CHOOSING A FEEDER REEL

The TDR 4012

is my general

feeder reel.

2

For big casts

you can’t beat

the Cast’izm!

TACKLE

THE REELS STEVE USES...

RATHER than getting bogged down

with several reels on my rods, I’ve cut

my choice down to just two Daiwa models

for all my feeder work both at home

and when fishing abroad. Although both

come in different sizes, I find that one

size really does fit all!

DAIWA TDR 4012A

TDRs are legendary among float

anglers in the smaller sizes and

1

the bigger 4012A is just perfect in

terms of size, power and casting for

much of my general feeder work on

commercial fisheries and lakes. It packs

a lot of winding power and I do get

asked a lot why I use such a heavy reel.

My answer is that I’m not actually

holding the rod unless I’m playing a fish,

so it doesn’t matter!

DAIWA CAST’IZM 25QDA

Daiwa’s mini big pit reel is a bit of

a beast, and that’s fine by me!

2

The cranking power is awesome

and that makes it capable of battling big

carp and bream at range, while the big

spool produces less friction on the cast

to let me throw a bomb or feeder a long

way. This is the reel I use when I am

chucking up to 90 yards at Boddington

Reservoir or Ferry Meadows.

“THE DIFFERENCE THAT A MINI

BIG PIT REEL MAKES TO YOUR

CAST IS ASTOUNDING!”

15


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

GET ON THE

RIGHT LINES!

From braid to mono, here’s how to make

sense of line for feeder fishing use

Braid fishing requires a

shockleader to cut down on

lost fish under the rod-tip or

crack-offs on the cast. I build

around four turns of 8lb or 10lb

Daiwa Tournament ST into my

rig to act as that vital cushion.

AT FIRST glance, picking a line for

feeder fishing can be a daunting.

Do you go for mono? When does

baid work? Is fluorocarbon worth it?

The days of winding a spool of 4lb

Maxima on to your reel and asking it

to do everything are gone.

I think that most of us understand breaking

strains relative to the size of fish being targeted

but there is more to it than meets the eye.

Mono still rules the roost and is my mainline

for 90 per cent of my fishing but there are times

when braid is utterly dominant and occasions

when a heavier mono shockleader built into

your rig can help your fishing.

Even hooklength materials can throw up

questions in terms of diameter and the material

you’re using in the first place, but I have some

very simple rules that you can follow when the

times comes to reload your reels with line.

I’m happy to fish either Guru

Pulse or Daiwa Hyper Sensor

as mono mainlines as both are

supple, tough and sink well

after a few casts. Around 150m

is ample to load on to a reel.

Here’s a line that sees the

light of day when I go over to

Ireland fishing for roach and

skimmers. Drennan Double

Strength is very strong for its

diameter, but incredibly fine.

16


CHOOSING LINES FOR FEEDER FISHING

TACKLE

STEP-BY-STEP – TYING BRAID TO MONO

1

The first job is to create a loop in the

braid. I make mine 1.5ins-2ins long to

give some flexibility. Simply pass the

braid back on itself to start.

2

Time to tie the loop off. I use the figure

of eight knot and this is done to begin

with by passing the doubled braid back

over itself, as above.

Fluorocarbon isn’t something

that you’ll see a lot of feeder

anglers using but in winter,

when the water is clear, it plays

a part for smaller fish such as

skimmers and F1s. I wouldn’t

use it for carp, though!

Braid’s lack of stretch means

that bites are magnified and its

low diameter makes for long

and accurate casting. I use

0.10mm Guru Pulse 8 for my

short-range work, Tournament

Evo for longer casts.

3

Now pass the end of the braid

underneath the loop that you have

made and back to bring it through the

loop. Pull tight to create the knot.

4

This is the finished loop. It has to be big

enough to pass the shockleader mono

through but the knot must be small

enough to pass through the rod rings.

5

Take the shockleader mono and thread

it through the loop. I like to have around

four turns of shock leader on my reel

when the feeder’s ready to cast.

6

Now it is time to tie the leader on to the

braid. This uses a double tucked blood

knot that will take into account any

slippage of the knot when fishing.

Guru N-Gauge isn’t just a line

for making pole rigs from –

it is also my main hooklink

material for feeder fishing on

commercials or for big bream

work at home and in Ireland.

7

Once the double tucked blood knot is

tied, I make sure that the tag ends on

both the braid and mono are trimmed

very short to help on the cast.

8

The finished knot that’s very neat, won’t

cause tangles and can pass through the

rod rings with ease when casting. It is

also very strong and extremely flexible.

17


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Steve ties his hooks

in advance and stores

them on spools.

M A K I N G T H E

RIGHT

HOOK

CHOICE

They’re the most important part

of your rig, but are you picking

the right one for the job?

AS THE part of your rig that is in

the most direct contact with

a fish, it stands to reason that

selecting the right hook is the

most important choice to make

when tackling up on the feeder.

Because you are fishing at

reasonable ranges, a lot of presure is placed

on the hook during the strike and battle. You

may also need to hair-rig baits in summer or

scale down with small baits in cold weather.

That means having a versatile selection

in your hook box. I limit my selection to the

following six patterns for my feeder fishing...

TUBERTINI SERIES 18

My standard hook for roach and hybrid

fishing in Ireland. The Series 18 is very

strong for its size and I tend to use them

in big sizes (10-14). Another bonus is

that they stay sharp for a long time.

KAMASAN B512

For catching small fish at speed in

Ireland the B512 is my favourite, as it

has a long shank that makes unhooking

fish so much faster. They’re also a very

sharp and durable pattern.

18


THE RIGHT HOOK FOR THE JOB

TACKLE

GURU LWGF FEEDER SPECIAL

When fishing natural venues for

skimmers and when I want to hook baits

normally (ie. not hair-rig them) these

are superb in sizes 12 to 16.

GURU QM1

A legendary hook on commercial

fisheries – an out-and-out carp pattern

for hair-rigging pellets, boilies and

Wafters. I use them in sizes 10 to 14.

GURU SUPER MWG

If I am fishing for more of a mixed

bag on commercial fisheries (F1s and

skimmers) then I change from the QM1

to these hooks in sizes 14 to 18. Being

eyed, they’re perfect for hair-rigging.

GURU MWGB BARBED

A barbed hook comes into play on

bream waters like Ferry Meadows, but

it still needs an eyed pattern to hairrig

worms or corn. I can’t fault these in

sizes 18 and 16.

19


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

LITTLE THINGS

THAT COUNT

Why those small bits and bobs can make such a difference

FEEDER fishing is about much more

than just a rod, a reel and a feeder.

There are dozens of little accessories

that can be used in rigs or employed

to make the job a whole lot easier.

A good feeder arm and rod rest head are

essential, and a pair of distance sticks will

ensure you’re fishing at the same range if you

need to tackle up again after a crack-off.

When it comes to rigs, I’ve got a boxful of

little bits and pieces – some borrowed from the

carp world – to help make my set-up as effcient

as possible. They all have their part to play!

REAPER BACK REST

This gripper-style back rest

will hold the rod butt securely

in place, stopping it being

dragged in by a savage

carp bite. It also adds to the

overall stability when you are

waiting for a take.

DISTANCE STICKS

S

These let you make a

note of the distance you

are fishing at so if you

have to tackle up again

you know that you’re

right on the money.

FEEDER E E ARMS

Invest in a good quality feeder arm and

you’ll immediately have a rock-solid

platform to put the rod on – no more

rods nodding like a donkey.

REAPER ROD REST

With multiple positioning

points you can get the

correct tension in the

rod-tip every time.

20


ESSENTIAL FEEDER ACCCESSORIES

TACKLE

BAIT BAYONETS

There is the odd occasion when I won’t

want to band or hair-rig a bait in the

normal way. These bayonets allow me to

pierce a boilie or piece of meat quickly.

BAIT BANDS

Banded pellet is a deadly bait on the

bomb or feeder. Guru’s Micro Bands are

very strong and can take a battering

and a 6mm pellet with ease.

HAIR STOPS

These are standard stops for securing

hair-rigged baits in place. They’re

especially useful for softer baits, and

the small size makes them unobtrusive.

LEAD CLIPS & SNAP LINK SWIVELS

Snap links let me change open-end

feeders quickly, while lead clips help to

create an anti-tangle rig when fishing

with light bombs.

SILICONE TUBING

I’ll pop a tiny piece of tubing into the

hook shank when hair-rigging as this

will keep the hair in place and increase

the chances of a proper take.

SPEED E STOPS

S

Another type of bait stop, and one that

is important for me when fishing for

bream with worms. I can hair-rig with

these and know that they are secure.

LINE STOPS

S

Some of my running feeder rigs will

have a line stop to act as a secure buffer

and to prevent the feeder from sliding

down the hooklength.

SPEED BEADS

Another type of buffer on running

rigs, these let me change hooklengths

quickly so I can try a different hookbait

without having to bait up.

21


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

METHOD

FEEDER

22


METHOD RIG

Create the ultimate

Method rig that’s 100%

safe and hugely effective.

PAGES 24 - 25

SUMMER METHOD

Add a pop-up boilie to

your summer Method

attack and bag up!

PAGES 26 - 30

WINTER METHOD

There’s no need to bin

the Method in winter if

you follow Steve’s advice.

PAGES 32 - 36

METHOD BAITS

Make your decision an

easy one by picking from

these top hookbaits.

PAGES 38 - 39

23


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

FISH THE

METHOD

FEEDER

Go positive for a big net of carp

ANGLERS who fish commercial

waters for carp will be familiar with

the Method feeder, a very positive

way of catching carp and F1s

throughout the year but one which

I believe works best in warmer

weather when fish are at their most

active – and hungry!

In fact, the Method was the first style of

feeder that I used for carp way back in the day

on places such as Castle Ashby Lakes, fishing

with massive Emstat and Kobra models that

featured a central brass stem as the weight and

which were all elasticated.

This was the set-up I used to win the Fish

O’Mania final in 1998 at Hayfield Lakes.

Today, though, we now have the pick of inline

or elasticated feeders and a range of sizes and

weights to suit the water we’re fishing, but one

thing remains the same.

The Method is very positive and very

attacking, letting you get plenty of feed into

the swim over a session, making it ideal for

catching lots of hungry carp.

W H E N T O U S E I T

For catching big weights of carp in

warmer weather when lots of feed is

needed to hold the fish in the swim.

W H Y U S E I T ?

The Method feeder allows you to

place the hookbait in among the feed

at long range so that when a carp

breaks open the ball of goodies, it

finds your hookbait immediately.

H O W T O T I E I T

1 Thread feeder on to the mainline.

2 Take the line and create a 6ins

twizzled loop that the feeder can

slide down with ease.

3 Within this twizzled length tie in a

Guru Speed Bead, trapping it at the

end of the twizzled loop.

4 Run the feeder down the line so that

it sits against the bead.

5 Now attach your hooklink and hook

on to the crook of the bead.

Hook

That’s a Guru QM1

every time – it’s the

perfect hair-rigging

hook for carp, in sizes

14 or 16.

Hooklink

Most fisheries insist

of a minimum of a

4ins hooklink and I

fish with 0.17mm Guru

N-Gauge.

Speed Bead

This acts as a buffer

and lets me change

hooklinks (and so use

different hookbaits) in

a matter of seconds.

24


ANATOMY OF A METHOD FEEDER

METHOD

FEEDER RIG

Stems

When allowed, I

would fish the Method

elasticated using black

or white Hydro based

on the size of fish.

Mainline

Something tough is

needed when casting

regularly, and I pick

Guru Pulse in 8lb

breaking strain.

Feeder

Guru’s X-Safe feeders

allow me to fish inline

or elasticated. I fish

the 36g size in most

situations.

Feed

Nothing more than

pellets, namely

Ringers Method Micros

dampened down to

help them stick.

25


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

I N T R O D U C I N G T H E

POP-UP METHOD

Get on this new set-up that’s transformed Steve’s feeder fishing

SOME of the best ideas in fishing

are often the simplest, and Guru’s

Method feeder clip most certainly

falls into that category.

This brilliant little device transforms

a normal Method feeder into one that

allows you to fish popped-up baits on it.

Now, pop-ups are very effective when fished

on the feeder but I’ve never felt they were being

presented properly. The biggest issue I always

had was keeping the hookbait in among the

loose offerings. It always tended to move away

due to both the stiffness of the hooklength and

the fact that it was attached to the base of the

feeder.

The answer was, of course, to attach the

hookbait to the middle of the feeder, therefore

keeping it in the perfect position amid the loose

offerings. This is where the Method feeder clip

comes in.

26


POP-UP METHOD

METHOD

FEEDER

27


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Without the clip, you just wouldn’t get

enough bites fishing a pop-up on the hook!

28


POP-UP METHOD

THE METHOD FEEDER

HOOKBAIT

Nothing more complex than an

8mm or 10mm pink or yellow

Ringers pop-up!

METHOD

FEEDER

CLIP POSITION

Fix the Method clip in the

middle of the feeder to put the

pop-up amid the pellets.

LENGTH OF LINK

Altering the clip leaves 2ins of

line for the link, which speeds

up how fast I get a bite.

FEEDER CHOICE

As always this is the reliable

Guru X-Safe... the weight

depends on how far I need

to cast.

Pink and yellow are top bait colours.

HOW IT WORKS

The Method clip comes in two sizes, small and

large, and is designed to fit the two sizes of

Guru Method feeders that I use.

It’s easy to attach and basically sits on top of

the feeder’s bait platform in the middle of the

feeder.

The clip has a rubber slot in the middle which

safely grips the hooklength, so that once a fish

sucks in the hookbait it feels the bolt effect a lot

quicker. The chances of a fish getting away with

it are vastly reduced too.

Once the fish is hooked, the line is pulled free

from the clip so you are able to play the fish in

the normal manner.

The beauty of the clip is that it’s so easy

to vary the length of your hooklength while

maintaining perfect bait presentation.

HOOKLENGTHS

I still use a 4ins hooklength, as would normally

be the case when fishing the Method, but by

varying where I put the line in the clip I can fish

with as long or short a hooklength as I want,

depending on how the fish are feeding on

the day. Where I’m looking to catch mainly

carp from 3lb to well into double figures I use a

4ins hooklength of 0.19mm N-Gauge to a size

12 QM1 hook and pop the bait up 2ins from the

feeder.

When fishing a pop-up, and having

experimented a lot, I like to start off a session

with the hookbait popping up around 2ins from

the feeder.

Once the feed breaks down, this leaves the

hookbait just clear of the loose offerings and

it is therefore the first thing a fish will see as it

approaches the feeder, massively increasing

your chances of a bite.

One in the

net for the

pop-up Method!

A little tip when using the clip is to fish with

a relatively short hair. If it is too long there’s a

chance the fish will feel resistance before the

hook is actually in its mouth.

With a short hair (with the bait just sitting off

the back of the bend) this can’t happen. Long

hairs, in my opinion, are not suited to short

hooklengths.

In terms of what to fish on the hook, two of

my favourite summer colours for carp are pink

and yellow with the Ringers 8mm or 10mm the

most productive sizes for me.

Around the feeder go dampened Ringers

Method micro pellets – I leave groundbait out

completely when fishing for carp.

29


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

STEP-BY-STEP LOADING THE POP-UP FEEDER

1

Add the device to the bait platform on

your Method feeder with the rubber

hooklength clip upwards.

2

Pull your hooklength into the rubber

clip and set it at the height you want the

bait to sit – 2ins is a good starting point.

3

Fill your mould with your chosen bait – I

have pellets here – and create a small

indentation for the hookbait to sit in.

4

Add more of your pellet feed to the

mould so it fills the mould and covers

your hookbait.

5

Push the feeder into the mould as

normal, applying plenty of pressure to

make sure the pellets stick to the feeder.

6

Remove the feeder. For more bait I put

extra pellets in the mould and then pop

the feeder back in for a second layer.

30


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BREA

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BREAKING


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

GET

ON THE

METHOD

THIS

WINTER

Think the Method feeder is a

summer-only tactic? Think again…

MANY anglers think of the Method

feeder as being very much a

summer approach to catching

on stillwaters. But, providing it

is fished in the right manner, I’ve

found it works all year round

and it’s a tactic I’ve been using

recently with a great deal of success.

A lot of winter tip fishing is done with a

straight lead and a single hookbait, and if you

are on a shoal of carp this is a great way of

catching them.

However, there are times when it simply

doesn’t work, and quite often I’ve chucked the

Method feeder out and left it as a last resort,

only to find that the tip goes around and I start

catching fish!

The benefit that the Method has over a

straight lead and single hookbait is that the

feeder offers that bit of extra attraction which

might just be enough to get a bite or two.

I’ve spent matches in winter solely on the

Method, so don’t just think it’s a ‘get out of jail

card’ trick to get a bite.

Depending on the venue you’re fishing, you

can make it work for you for the whole session –

you just need to refine your approach and take

the conditions into account.

This will determine how you fish the feeder,

the baits you use, and ultimately what you’ll

catch.

GROUNDBAIT OR PELLETS?

This is the first choice you have to make, and

it’s all about taking the conditions into account

before deciding which bait to put around your

feeder.

If it’s been a wet winter then many venues will

be extremely coloured, and in such cases

32


WINTER METHOD

METHOD

FEEDER

33


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

I feel carp tend to rely more on their sense of

smell than sight to find food.

When the water is coloured I tend to opt for

a mix consisting of mainly pellets with a small

amount of groundbait, and will add flavour to

boost the mix.

You don’t need a lot of groundbait, in fact just

three handfuls is often enough for two pints

of wetted-down 2mm Ringers Method micro

pellets. The groundbait just gives me that little

bit of extra attraction and smell which the carp

can home in on.

As well as using groundbait I’m a big believer

in flavouring my pellets, again just for added

attraction.

IN CLEAR WATER

Normal winter conditions, however, mean

clear water and in this instance things change

in terms of bait. I will drop the groundbait from

the mix as I feel its effectiveness is lost in clear

water. Instead look to use micro pellets with a

boost of colour.

By adding just a pinch of Mainline’s boilie dye

in either orange or yellow to the wetted-down

micros I can enhance the colour of the pellets

and give the carp something to home in on

visually in the clear water.

It also I feel gives me an edge over those

around me – after all, if everyone is using the

same pellets, why will a carp come to yours as

opposed to someone else’s? That bit of colour

in clear water can make all the difference,

which is why this is a trick I use a lot.

PULLING POWER

One of the reasons I use Ringers Method

micros is that they take on flavour and colour

really well. My favourite winter flavour for

micros is Mainline’s Activ-8 liquid. This has a

really meaty flavour that carp in the cold seem

to love.

I always add the Activ-8 once the pellets have

already been soaked, rather than adding it to

the water as some anglers do – this just dilutes

the flavour and reduces the pulling power.

SEAL IN THE GOO

Another additive I use in coloured water is Goo,

but rather than soaking it into the pellets I add

it to the feeder when I’m forming the Method

ball and then seal it in with a layer of pellets.

This gives a slower release of the Goo and

therefore prolonged attraction.

I’ve had most success with the Caramel

Cloud and Tutti Frutti Power Smoke versions.

CASTING – IS DISTANCE KEY?

A lot of anglers will tell you that on big waters

such as Boddington or Clattercote Reservoirs,

the further you cast, the more carp you’ll catch.

Vary how far

you cast to

find the carp.

Now, there will always be days when the carp

can be at range, and under these circumstances

it’s well worth learning how to cast in excess of

80m. More often than not, though, you’ll find

the carp a lot closer in.

I well remember a match on Boddington

where I fished at 70m-90m for the first three

hours and managed just one carp. That left me

scratching my head a bit.

With little to lose, I dropped in at 45m after

seeing others catch there and managed six carp

for 48lb and a section win.

I guess the message is that being able to cast a

long way does gives you an extra string to your

bow but location is everything, as is often the

case with carp in winter.

The quicker you can work out the right

distance to fish, the more you’ll catch.

MY TOP WINTER FEEDER HOOKBAITS

1 2 3

RINGERS ALLSORTS BOILIE

Hookbait choice is entirely personal

but I catch loads of fish on the orange

Allsorts boilie in both coloured and clear

water. I have caught on other colours

too, but orange is very much my go-to

colour and having spoken to others they

also choose this as their favourite.

PUNCHED MEAT SLICE

Instead of using a whole cylinder of

meat I cut the piece into a disc using

my baiting needle. This makes the

hookbait smaller and easier for the carp

to suck up. It’s also perfect for burying

in a Method ball, as there is no risk of it

being crushed – it is already flat!

BREAD DISCS

This is probably the best winter bait of

all. I compress the bread so that it sinks

and I then fish three pieces of 8mm

punch on the hair. Once the bread is in

the water it swells up, and as a target

bait in clear water it really does take

some beating.

34


WINTER METHOD

METHOD

FEEDER

Give each cast

roughly 20

minutes before

winding in.

TIMING YOUR BITES

I really can’t stress how

important this is in

winter. Nine times out

of 10, if I’m getting a

few bites a pattern will

develop, and this will

dictate how long I fish

each cast for.

As a rule I’ll kick off

by fishing 20 minutes a

cast and let bites dictate

matters from then on.

If I haven’t had a bite

inside 20 minutes I wind

in and repeat the process

by casting to a new spot.

Winter Method fishing

isn’t about building a peg

but more about trying to

find the fish.

35


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Use a feeder that’s heavy

enough to stay put once

you have cast it.

STEP-BY-STEP MAKING THE WINTER METHOD FEEDER

1

Add a thin layer of pellet and

groundbait mix to the mould and drop

your hair-rigged hookbait on top.

Ensure the hook is lying flat on its side.

2

I like to seal in a small amount of Goo

liquid additive. I drop it directly on to

my hookbait to give it added attraction

once the feed has done its job.

3

Now cover the hookbait with more of

your pellet and groundbait mix so that

the mould is overflowing. This ensures a

neat ball is produced each time.

4 5

Give the feeder an extra-hard squeeze.

This will seal the bait to the feeder... the

pellets will compress but then return to

their natural state in the water.

It’s now time to turn the feeder out of

the mould. The Guru Speed Mould is

made of flexible rubber so there’s no

danger of the ball breaking apart.

6

The finished feeder is streamlined

for long-range fishing if necessary,

and packed with visual and flavour

attractants – what carp could resist it?

36


GET THE BEST FROM YOUR METHOD FISHING

METHOD

TIPS

TEN TOP

METHOD

TRICKS

Master the basics of Method fishing

1 ALWAYS BURY YOUR HOOKBAIT

It never ceases to amaze me the number

of anglers I see fishing the Method

who leave the hookbait hanging out of

the bottom of the feeder. The whole

idea behind the Method is to get carp

feeding on the loose offerings on the

feeder, so it makes perfect sense to put

your hookbait in among them.

2 PICK A HEAVY FEEDER

Choosing the right weight feeder is far

more important than a lot of anglers

realise. It’s absolutely vital that once the

feeder hits the bottom you don’t move

it. If the feeder moves, the hookbait

gets pulled away from the loose

offerings. When fishing into open water

I use one as light as 24g. However, if I’m

casting up to an island where it is likely

that the feeder will be resting on a slope

I will opt for 36g model.

3 GIVE YOURSELF A SAFETY NET

If allowed, I will always opt to use

an elasticated feeder. The thinking

behind it is that when I’m playing a fish

the elastic acts as a shock absorber

and helps to minimise hook-pulls,

particularly when the fish is under the

rod-tip and ready to be netted.

2

1

4 CLIP UP TO BUILD A SWIM

As with any type of feeder fishing the

key to success with the Method is to

build a swim up by regularly casting to

the same spot. The best way of doing

this is to use the line clip on your reel’s

spool to ensure you are hitting the same

spot every time. I also try and pick an

immovable marker to cast at.

5 THINK ABOUT YOUR HOOKBAITS

I use two types of hookbaits – ‘blend

in’ and ‘stand out’. Blend in baits

match the bait around the feeder. For

instance, if I’m fishing 2mm pellets

around the feeder I’ll use a 6mm hard

pellet hookbaits. At the opposite end of

the spectrum we have stand out baits

such as mini fluoro boilies. These work

because they are bright and highly

visible to fish.

6 A 4ins HOOKLENGTH IS BEST

Having experimented a lot I believe 4ins

is the optimum for Method hooklengths.

Such a hooklength is long enough

to allow the hookbait to behave in a

natural manner, which is important in

terms of getting the carp to pick the

hookbait up in the first place.

7 TRY GROUNDBAIT AND PELLETS

I will always opt for 2mm coarse pellets

around the feeder, as they are a safe

option. I will however, always have

some groundbait with me just in case.

That way, if nothing is happening on

pellets, I can easily switch to groundbait

– whereas if pellets are right on the

day, the fish will let me know within the

space of a few casts!

5

8 DEAD MAGGOTS

Dead maggots are something of a

forgotten hookbait for the Method, but

that doesn’t mean they are any less

effective. Normally, for carp, I like to fish

three or four on a size 14 LWG whereas

for F1s I will fish one or two on a size 16

or 18 in the same pattern.

9 SOFT RODS ARE A MUST

When using the Method feeder in the

margins I am always likely to be fishing

at relatively close range, so a short rod

is needed. With this in mind my choice

is a 10ft Daiwa Tournament Quiver. This

rod has a soft action which I find perfect

for absorbing the lunges of big fish.

10 HOW OFTEN TO CAST

As a guide, to kick off on a normal

commercial I will look to cast every

three to five minutes to start with to try

and get some bait down. That means

that when the carp do turn up I can hold

them for that little bit longer. In the last

hour you’ll often find the swim will be

solid with fish, as by this time there is

plenty of bait on the bottom and the

fish will be properly on the feed anyway

due to the time of day.

37


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

BEST BAITS FOR

THE METHOD

Make this decision an easy one by going for pellets or boilies!

THERE are a lot of baits that’ll catch

on the Method feeder but I’d say 90

per cent of the time I using either

pellets or boilies in their various

guises. That’s because of what I put

around the feeder – pellets.

A banded hard pellet is brilliant in

summer but as the water cools, small boilies or

Wafters take over thanks to their bright colours

and their ability to be fished off bottom slightly.

The decision is slightly easier when choosing

what to make the ball of Method feed out of.

I’d say 99 times out of 100 that’s plain micro

pellets, only adding groundbait on venues

where skimmers could play an important part.

I’ll dye these micros too, especially in winter

on clear water where turning them from their

natural brown colour to a very visible yellow

or red will complement perfectly the use of a

brightly-coloured hookbait.

Wafters offer a different

presentation, with the bait sitting

just off bottom. I use 8mm and 10mm

sizes, with yellow and pink good.

A selection of hardpellet

hookbaits for

the Method.

When the carp are sitting off bottom,

slipping an 8mm or 10mm pink or

orange pop-up on to the hook will

pick them off.

38


PELLETS AND BOILIES FOR THE METHOD

METHOD

BAITS

STEP-BY-STEP

DYEING MICROS

1

Put the micros in a bag and add a slug

of Ringers yellow liquid.

2

Seal the bag and give it a good shake to

coat each pellet fully.

3

After 10 minutes the pellets are ready –

look at the difference dye makes (left)!

39


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

HYBRID

FEEDER

40


HYBRID RIG

Follow Steve’s step by

step guide to create this

deadly fish-catcher.

PAGES 42 - 43

HYBRID FEATURE

All you need to know

about fishing the Hybrid

this summer.

PAGES 44 - 48

MINI HYBRID

Think small and keep the

carp coming with this

scaled-down attack.

PAGES 49 - 51

HYBRID BAITS

Discover why the Wafter

is so highly rated by

Steve for the Hybrid.

PAGES 52 - 53

41


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

HYBRID

– DOUBLY

EFFECTIVE

Mainline

Because carp are the

number one target,

I wouldn’t go lower

than 8lb Guru Pulse,

even in winter.

Carp feeder fishing enters a new era!

FOR years, fishing the feeder for carp

on commercial waters has revolved

around either the Method or pellet

feeder – that was until Guru came up

with the Hybrid feeder which, as the

name suggests, it a combination of

the best elements of both pellet and

Method models rolled into one.

Since then, they’ve won hundreds of matches

and have rapidly replaced the Method in my

attack on commercials, whether that’s in high

summer or the depths of winter.

The principles of fishing the Hybrid are much

the same as the Method, putting your hookbait

right in amid the feed at long range but the

Hybrid takes less feed and so comes into its

own when you need to keep tabs on how much

bait is being introduced.

The ‘walls’ of the Hybrid also hold the bait in

until it hits bottom, meaning that I can be 100

per cent confident that the feed is in exactly the

right place and not wafting down to the bottom

after breaking up too early.

Stems

Should I be using an

elasticated Hybrid I’d

pick the stem with the

heavier black elastic

running through it.

W H E N T O U S E I T :

The Hybrid has proved its worth for

catching big carp throughout the

year in conjunction with big baits,

although a smaller version is equally

deadly for smaller fish and F1s.

W H Y F I S H I T ?

Similar to the Method feeder, the

Hybrid lets you regulate the amount

of feed going into the peg.

H O W T O T I E I T

1 Thread the feeder on the mainline.

2 Take the line and create a six-inch

twizzled loop that the feeder can

slide down with ease.

3 Within this twizzled length tie in a

Guru Speed Bead, trapping it at the

end of the twizzled loop.

4 Run the feeder down the line so that

it sits against the bead.

5 Now attach your hooklink and hook

on to the bead’s crook.

Feed

As with the Method

feeder, I almost

exclusively use

dampened micros

inside the Hybrid.

42


THE VERSATILE HYBRID FEEDER

HYBRID

FEEDER RIG

Feeder

Match the weight of

the feeder to how far

you need to cast – 36g

is a good starting

point on many lakes.

Hooks

Baits will be hairrigged

on the Hybrid

so the Guru QM1 is the

only choice, fished in

sizes 14 and 16.

Speed Bead

Using this gadget lets

me have hooklinks

with different baits

ready to be swapped

over in seconds.

Hooklink

No more than four

inches of 0.17mm Guru

N-Gauge makes up

my links and I’d rarely

shorten them either.

43


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

HYBRID FEEDER...

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Splice together two of the most popular feeders on the market and you get this deadly fish-catcher!

Hybrids are so good

that I now rarely fish

the Method feeder!

44


HYBRID FEEDER

HYBRID

FEEDER

EVERY now and again an item of gear

comes along that you quickly realise

is something very special and will

help you put more fish in your net.

TheHybrid feeder certainly falls into

that category. For those of you who don’t

know of it, the best way I can think of to

describe it is a cross between a conventional

Method feeder and a Banjo feeder – hence the

name ‘Hybrid’.

The Hybrid actually started from an idea that

Guru brand manager Adam Rooney and myself

had, and with the help of some design tweaks

from top commercial angler Paul Holland we

went about creating the perfect feeder.

Months of testing followed and I can honestly

say the results with it, for me personally, have

been exceptional, starting with a winter match

win at Boddington on its first outing.

For me the Hybrid feeder ticks every box as it

casts well, offers superb bait presentation, and

is dead easy to load with bait.

If I had to pick one key point, though, it would

be bait presentation. The way the Hybrid works

is that you get a little ‘bowl’ of pellets with your

hookbait on top that carp simply can’t miss.

I’m so confident in these feeders now that

under certain circumstances I now prefer them

to a Method. Apparently I’m not alone, as I see

and speak to so many anglers who are converts

to the Hybrid.

SHORT HOOKLENGTHS RULE

Just like when I’m fishing the Method, I find a

4ins hooklength to be the ideal length on the

Hybrid feeder.

45


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Experiment

with your

hookbaits to

get the best

out of the

Hybrid.

Not only does it comply with most fishery

rules, but it also gives the hookbait that little bit

of extra movement to enable it to behave in a

more natural way once a fish sucks it in.

Hook size and line diameter depend on what

species and size of fish I’m targeting.

For venues like Barston Lakes, where I’m

looking to catch a mixed bag of skimmers, F1s

and carp, I will use a size 16 MWG to 0.17mm

Guru N-Gauge.

However, on bigger waters, like Boddington

Reservoir – where it’s all about carp and the

average fish is 8lb-plus – I’ll set up with a size 12

QM1 hook to 0.19mm line.

BLEND IN OR STAND OUT?

When it comes to hookbaits there are two

distinct camps that they fall into – blend in and

stand out.

Blend in baits such as 6mm or 8mm hard

coarse pellets are used to match the feed, and

can work really well when the fish are proving

a bit cagey and you can trick them into eating

a hookbait which is masked among the loose

offerings.

Stand out hookbaits, such as mini 8mm fluoro

boilies, work in the opposite way in that they

give the fish a bait they can really home in on.

However, the best hookbait of all for the Hybrid

has to be the Ringers Chocolate Orange Wafter.

This is a bait that has neutral buoyancy and

when fished on a hair rig it will naturally sit a

tiny bit off bottom and, more importantly, act

very naturally to a feeding carp.

Both types of hookbait can be extremely

effective – it’s all about working out which is

right on any particular day.

WHERE TO PUT YOUR FEEDER

The beauty of the Hybrid feeder is that it can

be fished in pretty much any situation, ranging

from shallow water tight to islands or in the

margins to big, deep, open-water lakes. This is

because it’s available in a range of sizes.

Because the majority of the bait is enclosed

inside the feeder, very little feed is lost on

impact after casting, so even in deep water you

can rest assured that your bait will hit the

Match end tackle to the size of the fish.

46


HYBRID FEEDER

THE HYBRID FEEDER

HYBRID

FEEDER

SIDE SLOTS

During testing of early

versions one of the problems

encountered was getting the

bait to break down once the

feeder was on the bottom.

This is where Paul Holland’s

advice came in. His idea was to

put holes in the base and slots

in the side. These helped to get

the bait out, and gave pellets a

bit of extra purchase to grip on

to when being loaded.

PICK THE RIGHT SIZE

Getting the right size and

weight of feeder for your

fishing is crucial, and allows

you to not only reach longrange

spots but also to

regulate the amount of bait

that you’re putting in.

I use all three sizes of feeder.

The Mini weighs 24g and is

perfect for winter on small

waters. The Small version is a

more general-sized feeder for

year-round use and comes in

24g and 36g weights.

A ‘Big Bertha’ version, in both

28g and 45g, allows you to get

a lot more feed out, and it’s the

45g size that I love for venues

such as Boddington.

BOTTOM LIP

The lip at the bottom of the

feeder is raised. This makes it

a lot easier to load and adds

weight forward, meaning that

accurate casting even at range

becomes a little easier.

You’ll notice the feeder has

long stems too. All sizes are

compatible with the X-Safe

system, which means they can

be fished inline or elasticated,

just by changing the stems.

47


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

bottom intact and you’ll be fishing effectively.

The secret to getting the best out of this tactic

is regular casting in order to try and build the

swim up. Using ythe line clip on your reel plus

a far-bank marker as an aiming point is vital to

ensure you hit the same spot every time.

Building the peg

up will result in a

bite every chuck in

the closing stages.

HOW OFTEN TO CAST

As a guide, to kick off on a normal commercial

fishery I will look to cast every three to f ive

minutes to start with in order to try and get

some bait down into the peg early doors.

That means that when the carp do turn up I

can hold them for that little bit longer.

What you will find when fishing in this

manner is that you will get little bursts of fish –

such as four quick carp, nothing for 20 minutes,

and then three more fish in quick succession.

In the last hour of a session you’ll often find

the swim will be solid with fish. By this time

there will be plenty of bait on the bottom and

the fish will be properly on the feed anyway at

this late stage of the day.

This is a very positive way of fishing and it has

caught me a lot of big weights already this year.

STEP-BY-STEP – HOW TO LOAD THE HYBRID

1

First job is to prepare the micro pellets

for use. That’s done by dampening them

down for a few seconds, as you’ll need

them to stick into the feeder.

2

With bait prepared, I now take a good

helping of micros and pour them into

the feeder frame. Go overboard with the

amount, as you’ll be compressing them.

3

Now squash the pellets relatively firmly

with your finger to pack them into the

frame, effectively creating a layer of

micros in the base.

4

The hookbait is placed on top of the

pellets and can even be pressed gently

into them. A banded 6mm pellet is hard

to beat in my opinion.

5

To complete the feeder, I now take more

prepared micros and pop them on top

of the feeder, but only squeeze them

hard enough to create a dome.

6

The finished Hybrid! Once it hits bottom

the gently-squeezed pellets will break

down fast, revealing the hookbait. The

bottom layer is next to break down.

48


MINI HYBRID FEEDER

HYBRID

FEEDER

WHEN SMALL REALLY

IS BEAUTIFUL!

The scaled-down Hybrid packs a punch for winter carp, as Steve reveals...

THERE is a massive misconception in

fishing that as soon as it goes cold

the feeder stops working – what

nonsense!

Okay, I have to admit that I’m a huge fan

of bomb and single hookbait fishing on

big stillwaters in the winter but there are

times – especially on some of our commercial

lakes – when the fish will respond to a bit of bait

at range, just as they do on a pole line.

However, you need to refine your approach,

in particular paying attention to the size of your

feeder, hooks, and lines, as well as the spots

where you cast to.

Get it right and there can be plenty of bites,

and fish, to be had. Here’s how to get the best

out of my micro feeder attack…

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FEEDER

When the water is cold and clear there is

nothing worse than crashing a great big feeder

into the lake – all it does is scare the fish.

This is the time for a small, stealthy feeder

and I’m having a lot of success using the Guru

Mini 24g Hybrid.

Not only is this a very small feeder, it’s also

not too heavy so it won’t make a big impact as it

hits the surface.

The other point worth making is that the Mini

Hybrid doesn’t carry lots of bait, and at this

time of year I’m looking to put just enough bait

in to catch a fish, rather than trying to build up

a swim.

The only change I make to the feeder itself is

to remove the inline stem that it comes with

and attach a small, elasticated ‘X-Safe’ stem

49


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

In winter I will always cast into the deepest water

available, as this is where you’ll find the carp.

50


MINI HYBRID FEEDER

HYBRID

FEEDER

as I feel I lose less fish with elastic in the feeder.

This is particularly the case when the hooked

fish is around the net.

FINE DOWN YOUR HOOKLENGTHS

Depending on the size of carp I’m likely to

encounter I like to fine things down a little, but

not too much! Take a venue where the carp

run from 2lb-6lb... in this instance I’d fish a

4ins hooklength of 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge line

(6lb) to a size 18 Super MWG hook.

I don’t see any need to go lighter than this as

I want to land every fish you hook. There’s no

point working hard for a bite if you can’t land it!

SAFE BAITS TO USE

Groundbait can work in the cold, but for me

pellets are far more reliable. My first choice is

2mm Ringers Method micros in particular.

These are relatively low in oil, so easier for the

carp to digest, and light-coloured to offer visual

attraction too.

They need to break down quickly, and being

a blend of different pellets they are designed to

do just that.

If you are in any doubt as to how quickly your

pellets are breaking down, it’s worth having a

little tub of water on your bait tray which you

can use to check the breakdown time.

USE BRIGHT HOOKBAITS

Hookbaits are all about colour! In clear water I

want to give the carp a hookbait they can spot

easily. My favourite is a 6mm orange Dumbbell

Wafter, brightly coloured and very light so it

just sinks under the weight of the hook.

You don’t have to fish orange all the time, and

if I don’t get an immediate response I’ll try a

change. As a guide, in clear water I like to stick

to four colours – orange, white, pink and yellow.

WHERE TO FISH

It’s important to remember that areas that hold

feeder fish in the summer rarely do so in the

winter.

When it’s freezing cold you aren’t going to

Gear up

correctly

so you land

every fish.

Carp can’t

fail to notice

a bright

hookbait!

catch carp in inches of water against an island,

but drop the feeder into deeper water and you

just might!

For example, in summer I would be casting

tight across to far-bank rushes in the shallow

water, but at this time of year when the water

is cold and clear the carp just don’t want to be

there.

Instead I’m looking to target the deeper

water, in this case the bottom of the far shelf

or in open water, the main depth of the lake.

The carp feel safer in the deeper water and as a

result are more likely to feed.

Another little tip on this subject is that in

winter you have to try and find the fish. By all

means clip up at the start, but it is pointless

casting to the same spot every time if you are

getting no bites or indications.

If after a couple of casts you haven’t had any

signs, look to take the clip off and cast to a new

piece of water.

Carp won’t move far in the cold, so it’s

important you try and find them.

When you do, bites are virtually guaranteed

- the difference a few feet can make really is

amazing.

HOW OFTEN TO CAST

There’s no golden rule here, but one thing you

definitely don’t want to be doing is recasting

every two minutes, unless of course the tip is

going round inside that time!

Regular recasting just for the sake of it is a

sure-fire way to spook fish in clear water.

As a guide, providing I’m happy with the cast

(as in where and how it’s landed) I will leave the

feeder out for 20 minutes.

In fact as the match goes on, if the fishing is

hard, I will leave it out even longer.

In the past I have found that in winter the

longer the feeder is in the water, the more

chance there is of getting a bite.

STEP-BY-STEP – LOADING THE MICRO FEEDER

1 2 3

The first step is to cover the bowl of

the feeder with a decent layer of your

dampened micro pellets.

I like to push the pellets into the bowl so

I know they will get to the bottom even

if the feeder doesn’t land quite right.

Place the hookbait on top and add

enough pellets to cover. The pellets

should sit just above the edges.

51


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

PICK PELLETS

FOR THE HYBRID

A bag of micros is the perfect partner for a Wafter

THE Hybrid feeder isn’t that different

from a Method in terms of the baits

and feeds that I use, and looking

back, I can limit my picks to just a

handful – micros in the feeder and a

Wafter on the hook.

Whether I’m fishing in summer on

waters such as Barston Lakes or waiting for a

pull on Boddington Reservoir in winter, this

combo gives me enormous confidence.

Wafters, in particular, will outfish a pellet

or a boilie every time, offering a more

natural presentation to wary carp.

To create sticky pellets I give

them a good squirt of Mainline’s

Stick Mix Liquid, then disperse

it for an even coating.

52


HYBRID FEEDER PELLETS

HYBRID

BAITS

STEP-BY-STEP PELLET PREPARATION

1

The Guru Pellet Strainer makes prepping

micros so much easier! The micro pellets

I use for all Hybrid and Method feeder

work are Ringers Method Micros.

2

The strainer slots perfectly into a bait

tub and into this I pour the dry pellets.

Don’t overfill the strainer, though, or

you’ll end up with water everywhere!

Without a doubt the bait of the

moment is the chocolate orange

Wafter for winter and summer

work. I use 8mm and 10mm sizes.

3

Add water to generously cover the

pellets. If you wish, at this point you can

also add any liquid flavourings to the

water to seal them into the pellets.

4

Allow a few minutes for the water to be

absorbed and then lift the strainer out,

making sure to drain the water into the

bait tub. Give it a good shake at the end.

Natural-coloured pellet Wafters

come into play in summer, or on

waters that see lots of pellets.

Again I fish 8mm and 10mm baits.

5

The micros will now be evenly wetted

and start to soften. Pop them into your

bait tub. You’ll find that they now don’t

stick together in the tub in a clump!

6

A few more minutes to let the pellets

stand will produce the perfect

consistency to mould around a Method

or cram into a Hybrid feeder.

53


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

PELLET

FEEDER

54


PELLET FEEDER RIG

Often overlooked, this

set-up rules the roost on

pellet-dominated waters.

PAGES 56 - 57

HOW TO FISH IT!

Steve shows that spring

bream love pellets just as

much as carp do.

PAGES 58 - 61

MINI FEEDER MAGIC

When autumn arrives,

pick a tiny pellet feeder

from the bag.

PAGES 62 -65

55


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

PELLET

FEEDER

POWER!

Mainline

With both carp and

F1s likely, 8lb Guru

Pulse will deal with

specimen fish and

regular casting.

Get on this superb feeder attack now

THERE are some waters that I fish

where the Method or Hybrid feeder

can be superceded by the pellet

feeder, a totally different-looking

approach that still aims to achieve

the same job – putting the bait on a

short hooklink right where the fish

can’t fail to see it.

But which waters am I talking about?

Generally, I’d count fisheries with a high

proportion of F1s that see lots of pellets fed

either on the pole or waggler. Unlike carp, F1s

need slightly more moderated feeding, often

just a pinch on each cast to get a quick reponse,

and the pellet feeder does this perfectly.

You’ll struggle to cram much more than a

small palmful of micro pellets into the feeder

and as they are often smaller overall than a

Method or Hybrid, they’re brilliant for casting

into gaps in reeds against islands as they make

less disturbance when landing.

The pellet feeder is also a good pick in winter

when appetites are lessened by the cold and

tiny helpings of bait are the way to go.

Stems

When allowed I’ll go

down the elasticated

route, picking the

white elastic unless

fishing for big carp.

W H E N T O U S E I T

On waters where pellets dominate

from spring to autumn, especially

where F1s are the dominant species.

W H Y F I S H I T ?

Accuracy when casting to islands is

unrivalled and the hookbait will ‘pop’

out of the feeder as the bait breaks

down – right in front of the fish.

H O W T O T I E I T

1 Thread the feeder on the mainline.

2 Take the line and create a six-inch

twizzled loop that the feeder can

slide down with ease.

3 Within this twizzled length tie in a

Guru Speed Bead, trapping it at the

end of the twizzled loop.

4 Run the feeder down the line so that

it sits against the bead.

5 Now attach your hooklink and hook

to the bead’s crook.

56


PELLET FEEDER FINESSE

PELLET

FEEDER RIG

Feeder

The Guru Inline Pellet

Feeder lets me fish an

elasticated feeder in

safety. The 28g model

is just perfect.

Hooklink

This is made up of

0.15mm Guru N-Gauge

and I always use a

short 4ins link for the

pellet feeder.

Feed

Dampened Ringers

Method Micros go

into the feeder –

occasionally I may add

a touch of groundbait.

Hooks

On the pellet feeder

you’ll be banding hard

pellets or a dumbell,

so a size 16 MWG lets

me fish a hair rig.

57


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

As the weather warms up

bream will come to the feeder.

S W I T C H T O

T H E P E L L E T

F E E D E R F O R

EARLY

SEASON

BREAM

Not just for carp, the pellet feeder

can catch bream by the dozen!

WHEN the weather begins to warm

up, one of the first fish to start

to come to the feed are bream

– and if there’s one thing I know

about bream it’s that they love

‘yellow’ baits.

Yellow groundbait, dyed pellets and

meat and, of course, sweetcorn are the staple

baits every angler needs to have on their side

tray over the next few months as our stillwaters

wake up and bream become the target species.

I’ve learned a lot about catching early

season bream in recent years and now have a

three-pronged approach that works for me – it

revolves around a groundbait feeder, the bomb,

and even a pellet feeder.

On standard commercials my bream set-up is

normally a small cage feeder and a short,

8ins hooklength in order to keep the hookbait

close to the feeder itself.

Over the years I’ve caught a lot of bream using

this approach but always felt that it could be

improved, and that got me thinking about the

pellet feeder as a viable option.

I have always felt that I want to get my

hookbait close to the feeder as possible when

bream fishing, and the pellet feeder allows me

to do this compared to a cage or open-end.

In fact I can bury my hookbait in the feeder

itself, where it couldn’t be any closer to the

feed. Perfect!

The bomb comes into play during a session as

sometimes bream can shy away from the feeder

crashing in and a couple of casts with a light

bomb can help you pick up a few shy fish during

the day when the bites have tailed off. A simple

change can make a huge difference.

There are some big weights on the cards once

the fish get on the feed, so grab your feeder rod,

dig out your yellow baits and get catching…

USE A YELLOW MIX

Fishmeal groundbaits are my first choice for

bream, and my mix is made up of Ringers

Original Bag Up with a little bit of powdered

yellow dye added to enhance the colour.

I’m a big believer in bream liking bright baits

and the addition of the dye makes the mix really

stand out on the bottom.

Bream seem to love the colour yellow.

58


PELLET FEEDER FOR BREAM

PELLET

FEEDER

59


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

The perfect

big bream

spread for

early season.

MY PELLET FEEDER RIG

ADD MICROS

A particle-rich mix is crucial when bream

fishing, and I will add 2mm Ringers Method

micro pellets which are wetted down with

water prior to adding to my groundbait mix.

I also add a sprinkling of yellow boilie dye to the

prepared pellets.

As they’re so small they allow me to put a lot

of individual particles down, which helps me to

hold the bream in the swim for much longer.

DROP IN A FEW HOOKBAITS

I also add corn to the mix - being bright yellow

it stands out and gives the bream something to

home in on – plus it gives me another hookbait

option. For the same reason I will also add a few

larger expander pellets to the feeder mix.

These bigger baits help stop the fish

becoming preoccupied with one size of

Ensure that your bream feed is packed with

particles to hold big fish in the swim.

I can’t fault the

MWG hook for

bream work.

particle, which can lead to them ignoring your

bigger hookbaits.

FIND A HOTSPOT

Bream love to patrol around the bottom of

shelves where food collects and they can get an

easy meal. Therefore it makes sense to target

them there.

If I genuinely don’t know the venue at all I will

always have a cast about with a bomb to try and

build a picture of exactly what’s in front of me,

things like drop-offs or depth changes. If I can’t

find any variations on the bottom I’ll pick a

comfortable distance and just fish it for the day.

PUT SOME FEED OUT

I always like to get a few feederfuls of bait out

into the swim at the start of my session and use

a large cage feeder to put out a lot of particles

quickly. On a normal session I will look to put

in six large cage feeders full of groundbait,

expander pellets, micros and corn.

EMPTY ON THE TOP

I will empty at least two of the baiting-up

feeders as soon as they hit the surface. This

gives you a much bigger spread of bait as it falls

through the water, giving the fish more room to

feed over.

The way to do this is to plug the feeder lightly

then, as soon as it hits the water, shake the

contents out.

FEEDER CHOICE

The 24g Guru X-Safe

Pellet Feeder holds

1

enough bait and it

heavy enough to cast

accurately even in windy

conditions.

HOOKLINK LENGTH

I’m trying to get a

bream to take the bait

2

quickly so that means

no less than 4ins of 0.15mm or

0.17mm N-Gauge.

TOP HOOKS

3

Even with the chance of

a carp I’d go with a size

16 Guru MWG pattern.

BAIT SELECTION

Yellow is the key here

so that means corn,

4

dyed meat discs or a

yellow mini boilie. Corn is

always my starting bait.

PACKING THE FEEDER

Bream love groundbait

so this forms the core

5

of my feed. To it are are

added plenty of dampened

micro pellets and a few grains

of corn.

LOAD THE PELLET FEEDER

I always bury the hookbait. The way to do

this is to load the pellet feeder with a mix of

groundbait and micros and then flatten the end

with your thumb.

I then place the hookbait on the flattened

area and cover it with a little more groundbait.

As the feeder hits the bottom the first thing

to come free will be the hookbait, once the

groundbait starts to break down.

GEAR UP PROPERLY

My 6lb mainline is tied direct to a 24g,

small Guru X-Safe pellet feeder with a 4ins

hooklength of 0.15mm or 0.17mm to a size 16

MWG hook. Hooklength diameter depends on

whether there are any bonus carp or tench in

the venue. If it’s all bream then I’ll use 0.15mm.

60


PELLET FEEDER FOR BREAM

PELLET

FEEDER

1

2

5

4

3

HAIR-RIG THE BAITS

Hair-rigging your baits is vital to ensure better

hook-ups, especially when using baits like corn.

I hair-rig a single grain lengthways with the

bait stop on the outside of the rounded end

of the bait – this way the hook is left clear for

better hooking potential.

TRY A MEAT DISC

Switching hookbaits can really pay off when

bream fishing, as they can be really picky. One

bait I really rate is meat discs. I punch out

8mm cylinders of meat and then cut them into

narrow discs around 5mm long. These discs are

dyed yellow and then hair-rigged.

SWITCH TO A BOILIE

One of my favourite bream hookbaits is a

yellow, 8mm Ringers Allsorts boilie fished on a

hair rig and once on the bottom this looks just

like a grain of corn and is therefore sucked in

with confidence.

The advantage the boilie has over other

hookbaits is that it’s a lot more robust. If small

nuisance fish are a problem this can be a big

plus, as you can fish in confidence knowing that

your hookbait is still intact!

LEAVE IT OUT

You’ll often find the first hour of your session

can be quite slow when fishing for bream, but

this doesn’t bother me and I actually prefer not

to catch during this opening spell.

Anglers often ask me how long they should

be leaving the feeder out at this time. I reckon

that around 10 minutes for each cast is fine, but

if you’ve not had an indication then reel in, fill

your feeder and go back out again so that you

are building the swim up over time.

TOP UP YOUR SWIM

Quite often you’ll find you’ll get a few bites and

indications before the swim goes quiet again,

and when this happens you have a decision to

make.

You can either sit tight and hope the bream

come back and settle again, or you can top the

swim up and try to pull them back.

Personally I prefer the latter, so when it goes

quiet I will put three more big cages of bait in

and then cast the pellet feeder back over the

top. Quite often this will provoke an immediate

response as the bream come straight back to

the feed and you’re catching again.

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

The Mini Pellet Feeder

drops just enough

feeder into the swim on

each cast.

I N S T A N T A C T I O N

ON THE MICRO FEEDER

How to catch big weights now by scaling down your tactics

62


MICRO FEEDER FOR QUICK RESULTS

MICRO

FEEDER

IF YOU’RE out on the bank of your local

commercial in autumn then doubtless

you’ll notice the colour of the water is

starting to drop out as the feeding of

the fish slows down.

For me that’s the signal to adapt my tactics

and adopt a more ‘softly softly’ approach,

especially when it comes to fishing the feeder.

Instead of using big feeders to put plenty of

bait in, it’s all about ‘less is more’, using a

micro-sized feeder to put in just enough bait to

catch a fish without spooking them.

Rather than the Method or groundbait feeder,

I often reach for Guru’s Micro Pellet Feeders.

These are barely bigger than a pound coin and

so are perfect for keeping both disturbance and

feed going into the peg to a minimum.

It might be getting colder, but there’s still the

chance to catch big weights of carp from most

fisheries – if you get things right, of course.

This means limiting how often you cast so as

not to cause too much commotion in the swim,

as well as regulating just how much feed is

going into the peg.

PELLETS FOR THE FEEDER

As the name suggests, these feeders are

designed for fishing with pellets.

That isn’t to say groundbait can’t be used in a

pellet feeder because it can, but I feel that in

63


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Always begin with a 6mm hard pellet.

the cold pellets are a better option.

The type of pellets you use is crucial. I prefer

coarse pellets, as they are lower in oil than

others and so are a lot easier for carp to digest

in water that’s turning colder each day.

I don’t think you can go wrong with Ringers

Method Micros, as they are not only low oil but

light in colour. This means they offer a visual

attraction too, although any low oil pellet will

do the job!

In terms of pellet size, I like to use a mixture

of 2mm and 4mm pellets and will mix them so I

have two-thirds 2mm to one-third 4mm.

By mixing the sizes of the pellets I feel it helps

to prevent the fish getting too preoccupied on

one size of food item. That can cause problems

when you want to get the fish to pick up a

Mix the pellet sizes to get bites quicker.

hookbait which is bigger than the free offerings.

HARD PELLET HOOKBAITS

There are a couple of bait types I have a lot of

faith in for this approach.

The first is either a 4mm or 6mm hard pellet.

These are what I call ‘blend in’ baits as they

match the pellets in the feeder and I believe

they are sucked up by a feeding fish without it

even realising until it’s too late!

I will kick off on a 6mm bait but if I start to get

a few indications (tiny taps and knocks) that

suggest there are fish around the feeder and I’m

not getting proper bites then I will switch to a

smaller 4mm offering.

A 4mm pellet matches the baits in the feeder

that bit better, so if there are a few wary carp

feeding, the chances of one making a mistake

are a lot higher.

My back-up hookbait is a single grain of corn.

This works very differently to the hard pellets

as it stands out and gives the carp something

they can home in on.

Normally I will just alternate the two baits to

see what gets the better response on the day.

As a rule, though, the harder the fishing, the

more effective the corn is. I believe in the cold

carp feed on sight a lot more, and therefore

highly visible hookbaits come into their own.

BAIT AND WAIT

With the water being cold and clear, regular

casting is very much a no-no as far as I’m

concerned. Even a pellet feeder as small as this

one going in can spook fish by repeated casting,

so realistically it’s all about making every cast

count and only reeling in when a carp is on!

Of course, in practice that isn’t always

possible but to kick off I would be looking to

fish each cast for between 10 and 15 minutes

unless I saw something that made me think I

needed to cast more regularly.

As the session or match progresses I might

work out a bite time, for example between five

and six minutes, and work around this but until

I do I will keep any potential disturbance to a

minimum by only recasting when I need to.

Of course, being super-accurate is also vital as

just one misplaced cast can spook the fish.

Keep the feed amount

minimal and the tip

will keep going round!

64


MICRO FEEDER FOR QUICK RESULTS

STEVE’S MICRO PELLET FEEDER SET-UP

MAINLINE

I use 8lb Daiwa Hyper

Sensor. That might

sound heavy for

short-range work but

with it being a low

diameter line I find

this negates any loss

in presentation that

8lb line might bring

and gives you extra

security for bigger fish.

FEEDER SIZE

The feeders come in just

one size and weight – 24g

– which is ideal for shortrange

work, casting either

tight to islands or into open

water on smaller fisheries.

1

MICRO

FEEDER

HOW TO LOAD

THE MICRO FEEDER

Fill the feeder with pellets before

compressing them with your

finger. That way, not only do they

stay in the feeder but at the same time a

flattish area is created on which to place

the hookbait.

2

Position the hookbait at the back

of the feeder before adding

another covering of pellets to

keep it enclosed.

3

Once the second lot of pellets are

compressed into place the feeder

is ready for casting.

HOOKLENGTH

This depends on the size of

fish I’m looking to catch. If

the fish are predominantly

2lb-4lb I’ll opt for 4ins of

0.15mm Guru N-Gauge to a

size 18 Super MWG hook.

This is tied using the

knotless knot, with a micro

bait band replacing the

conventional hair. If the fish

were 4lb-8lb I’d step up to a

0.17mm hooklength.

ELASTICATED/INLINE

Pellet feeders come inline

but where allowed I prefer to

fish them elasticated with a

short stem pushed through

the feeder with light white

or heavy black elastic. The

white elastic is spot-on for

F1s and carp to 5lb, while

for anything bigger I use the

black elasticated version.

The great thing about the X-Safe

4

elasticated system I use is that it

features a clip at the top. This

allows me to prepare feeders in

between bites. It’s simply a case of

reeling in and clipping on a new

pre-loaded feeder to save time. The

more time I can spend with bait in the

water, the more fish I can catch!

65


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

GROUNDBAIT

FEEDER

66


BIG BREAM RIG

Gear up with Steve’s

distance feeder rig that’s

won him lots of matches.

PAGES 68 - 69

FEEDERLINKS

Create the ultimate

anti-tangle set-up with

these clever links.

PAGES 70 -71

ON THE BANK

See how Steve does it on

a bream-packed day at

Ferry Meadows.

PAGES 72 - 75

BEST BAITS

What to put on the

hook to catch slabs and

skimmers on the feeder.

PAGES 76 - 77

CAST FURTHER

Simple advice to help

you chuck further and

more accurately.

PAGES 78 - 79

GROUNDBAIT MIXES

When to use fishmeal

over traditional sweet

groundbaits for bream.

PAGES 80 - 81

CAGE FEEDER

Keep catching in winter

by scaling down with this

‘scratching’ approach.

PAGES 82 - 85

67


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

BREAM

FEEDER

SET-UP

Shockleader

Essential when using

braided mainline and

casting a long way.

This line acts as a

shock-absorber.

Get on Steve’s no-tangle big slab rig

OF ALL the different types of feeder

fishing that I do, I’d have to say that

groundbait feeder work for bream

has changed the most down the

years, both in terms of the rig and

the way that it is fished.

Twenty years ago, this would have

involved using target boards and striking at

tiny knocks on the quivertip with light lines

and small hooks, but bream, especially big fish

today, are very aggressive feeders that produce

positive bites and which will take big hookbaits

with complete ease.

This now means fishing large hair-rigged baits

alongside regular feed, fishmeal as opposed

to sweet groundbaits, braided mainlines to

help casting and bite registration, and weightforward

‘rocket’ feeders that will cast up to 80

yards whatever the conditions.

All that said, my rig isn’t hard to tie and, more

importantly, it is also very hard to tangle.

This means that I can be confident that it will

be fishing properly and not lying in a tangled

heap after casting!

Feederlink

This prevents the

feeder from tangling

around the hooklink

during casting. See

p66/67

Feeder

For long casts nothing

can beat a rocket or

distance-style feeder

with the weight built

into one end.

W H E N T O U S E I T

For bream and skimmers that require

plenty of feed at long distances

throughout the year.

W H Y U S E I T ?

Groundbait and bream are perfect

partners so you need a big feeder to

build up a fed area over which a shoal

of fish can graze for hours.

H O W T O T I E I T

1 Once your shockleader is tied to the

braid mainline (see page 17), slide

feeder and feederlink on to the line.

2 Now slide a float stop on to the line

below the feeder.

3 Take the line and create a tightlytwisted

loop of around six inches.

4 Slide the float stop down to rest

above the twisted section.

5 Attach the hooklink to the twisted

loop via the loop-to-loop method.

Feed

A mix of fishmeal

groundbait, micro

pellets, casters,

chopped worm and a

few pieces of corn.

68


THE RELIABLE GROUNDBAIT FEEDER

GROUNDBAIT

FEEDER RIG

Twizzled loop

Six inches of

shockleader twizzled

tightly creates a stiff

boom so the hooklink

stands clear.

Hooklink

Because big bream

are the target, don’t

go light – 0.17mm

Guru N-Gauge is spot

on for fish to 8lb.

Hook

I like to hair-rig baits

and so I pick a size 14

Guru MWG Barbed

pattern used with the

knotless knot.

69


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

KISS GOODBYE TO

RIG TANGLES!

How to create my feeder link. You’ll wish you’d done it years ago!

AKEY component of my bream and

silverfish feeder rigs is the use of

a feeder link – a short, stiff length

of line that runs off the mainline

with the feeder attached at the

opposite end.

The benefits of using a link are many

and for me, it cuts down on tangles that can

often happen when fishing with a paternoster.

I also think that it results in a neater overall

set-up and better presentation.

Making your own links is very quick and

easy - here’s how I do mine.

STEP-BY-STEP – HOW TO TIE MY FEEDER LINK

1

Take the length of line – I use 0.47mm

Korda Mouthtrap – and thread a 0.6mm

small double-barrelled crimp on to it.

2

Now pop a small plastic bead on to the

line behind the crimp. Mine are from

Hobbycraft and cost pennies.

3

The line is doubled back and passed

through the crimp. Everything is pulled

tight to leave the bead at one end.

4

Take a pair of pliers and firmly crush the

crimp to trap the line, ensuring the bead

is sitting snugly against the crimp.

5

This is how one end of the link should

look. Try not to leave a gap that will

allow the bead to move freely.

6

At the opposite end of the link thread

on another crimp and then a snaplink

swivel to attach the feeder to.

7

Repeat step 3, doubling the line back

through the crimp and leaving the

snaplink trapped tightly in place.

8

Crush the crimp with the pliers, being

sure to hold the line tight so that a stiff

boom is created to form the link.

9

And that’s it! The finished feeder link

should have no movement in the bead

or snaplink at either end.

70


TIE STEVE’S E S FEEDER E E LINK

FEEDER

E E LINKS

A very short link of around 2ins-3ins

is good for days when the fish are

coming to the feeder to get at the

bait. This link then puts the feeder

very close to the hookbait and should

result in a quicker bite.

A very long link comes in handy for

days when I want to put the feeder

well away from the hookbait. In this

instance, the link could be 10ins long

– just make sure that it is not longer

than your hooklength!

This is a standard feeder link of

around 6ins, and would be the one

I’d use for most situations. The key

here is to try and work out how

positively the fish are approaching

the feeder before making changes.

“ A FEEDER LINK WILL CUT DOWN ON TANGLES

AND MAKES FOR A NEATER OVERALL SET-UP”

71


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

GO LONG

FOR BIG

BREAM

SUCCESS

Reach for the horizon with Steve’s

distance attack that’s seen him

break records on a favourite venue

I’VE always had something of a love

affair with Ferry Meadows Lakes near

Peterborough ever since I was a kid.

These vast gravel pits hold lots of big

bream that don’t give themselves

up easily, but they offer a handsome

reward to the angler who gets their

approach right.

Thankfully, the lakes are now holding

regular open matches, and these are among

the highlights of my fishing year. Combine

them with two-day mini festivals and big

memorial matches and it’s no surprise that

I’m a regular there throughout the spring

and summer.

One of my favourite feeder matches of all

time was when I broke the match record

for the lakes in a Steel City two-day event

in 2016, a benchmark that has since gone

again but which lives long in the memory as

a special match to treasure.

As a result, I get asked a lot both on

the bank and on social media about my

approach for fishing Ferry, where long and

accurate casting is needed but where the

bream can reach double figures.

I could spend all day talking about this, but

I reckoned it would be quicker if I boiled it

all down to the six key things that form the

bedrock of my bream attack at Ferry.

BRAID

If you’d have asked me five years ago about

using braid for bream then my answer

would have been very different – back then

I never used it, whereas now I wouldn’t fish

without it!

In case you are wondering why I rate braid

so highly there are two real benefits as far as

I can see. First, and perhaps most obviously,

bite detection is massively enhanced. With

braid having literally zero stretch, any

72


DISTANCE FISHING FOR BREAM

GROUNDBAIT

FEEDER

73


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Kev Leach’s feeders make short work of a

long cast or an awkward cross wind!

indication on the tip is magnified, meaning that

even when fishing at distance bites tend to be

very positive and as a result are far easier to hit.

Second, braid is very low in diameter

compared to nylon which makes a big

difference in terms of casting distance. Because

braid is so fine I use 0.10mm Pulse8. This flies

through the rod rings and makes fishing at long

range a whole lot easier.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT FEEDERS

Most of my bream fishing at Ferry is done at

distances in excess of 55m, so choosing the

right feeder is vital.

Of course, you can cast 55m with a normal

open-end feeder but I’m a big believer in

making things easier for myself.

I tend to use a Kevin Leach feeder in either

30g or 40g. In case you don’t know what a Kevin

Leach feeder is, basically it’s a weight-forward

cage feeder. The advantage with this type of

feeder is that it flies a lot straighter and a lot

truer, improving my accuracy no end. Guru is

due to bring out its own range in the not too

distance future.

I always kick off on a big six-hole feeder with

a view to getting a bit of bait down, and as for

weight, I stick to either 30g or 40g - which one I

choose depends on the conditions.

If the wind is kind I will stick to 30g, but if I

have an awkward cross wind then 40g is ideal

for punching through it and making sure the

braid is straightened on the cast.

HAIR-RIG YOUR WORMS

If I had to pick just one bait for bream fishing

then without doubt it would have to be worms.

To put it quite simply they have caught me

more bream than I care to remember, and in

years to come I have no doubt they will catch

me a lot more!

The only downside to fishing worms is

that they have a tendency to either spin your

hooklength up on the retrieve or, alternatively

and without doubt more annoyingly, they have

a tendency to go over the hookpoint and mask

it, leading to lost fish.

This used to be a real bugbear of mine, but

that all changed when I started hair-rigging my

worms. The advantage of hair-rigging is that

the hook is left totally free, with little risk of the

worm being anywhere near the hookpoint.

On top of that the worm sits a lot straighter

when hair-rigged so you don’t get anywhere

near the amount of line twist when reeling in.

One point regarding my hookbait is that

I always like to fish two pieces of worm as

opposed to one. I feel it makes the hookbait

stand out that little bit better.

It also means that it looks just like a couple of

Dyeing

your micro

pellets

yellow

makes them

stand out

to fish.

Dead reds aren’t such a

good bait as worms.

You can

get away

with big

hooks when

fishing

worms.

74


DISTANCE FISHING FOR BREAM

GROUNDBAIT

FEEDER

CHOP YOUR WORMS

Whenever the fishing is hard, the bait I

always turn to is chopped worm.

It gives out loads of fish-attracting

scent which bream love, so if I’m

struggling I will take the other loose

offerings out of the feeder and pile in

chopped worm.

To keep the food value down I chop

the worms into a very fine mush so I

don’t overfeed any bream in the peg.

That said, if I get the bream really

feeding in the swim I will put more solid

food offerings on the bottom.

That means roughly chopped worm

pieces of around an inch long. These are

very similar in appearance to what I am

fishing on the hook.

pieces of chopped worm on the bottom, which

arguably is even more important.

COLOUR YOUR PELLETS

I have always been a great believer in the fact

that bream love bright colours, yellow in

particular. If you think about it, some of the

best bream groundbaits are yellow and corn,

another bait that bream love, is yellow too!

I think this all boils down to visibility, in that

yellow baits give the bream something they can

see and then drop down on. With this in mind

I like to dye my feed pellets yellow, just to give

them a boost in terms of colour.

The way I like to do this is to take a mixture

of 2mm and 4mm coarse pellets and then soak

them in the normal manner. I cover them in

cold water for 30 seconds, then drain the water

off and leave them to stand overnight.

Then, to add the colour, I just sprinkle on a

little yellow Mainline Baits boilie dye and give

the pellets a shake until they all turn yellow.

GO LONG

Like most match anglers I am always looking

for an edge when bream fishing on big waters,

and one such edge is to fish at distance so you

are out past those around you.

This way I will have my own water to pull fish

from, as opposed to sharing it with the anglers

around me.

If you think about it, if I’m in a line of anglers

all clipped up at 50m then it’s going to be hard

to draw any fish in. If, however, I fish at 60m in

that line then not only am I pulling fish from

further out but from the left and right too.

This might not seem that significant but at

times it can make a massive difference, and

turn a peg worth maybe 25lb into one that’s

capable of 50lb-plus.

To try and gain this edge, what I like to do is

keep an eye on the anglers around me when

they are clipping up before the start and then

try and fish 5m-10m past them.

How finely

I chop the

worms will

depend on

how the

fishing is

progressing.

Hair-rigging

pieces of

worm has

been a bit of

a revelation

to me.

75


STEVE E RINGER’S R ULTIMATE FEEDER E E GUIDE

PERFECT

RECIPE

FOR BIG

WEIGHTS

Set the table for a big net of slabs

with my spread of brilliant baits

THE old adage of giving bream

enough bait to keep them feeding

still rings true, and on venues like

Ferry Meadows my mix is made up

of several ingredients.

Chopped worm, corn, pellets, casters

and, of course, groundbait all play their

part, while for the hook I swear by hair-rigging

two pieces of worm for catching really big

bream. However, dead maggots are still good

for smaller fish or when the going is tough.

Even two bits of corn or a small yellow boilie

can have their day – experimentation is key!

1

2

1

GROUNDBAIT

This is a simple 50/50

split of Ringers Original and

Dark. The Dark helps in clearer

water and the mix should be on

the damp side – not dry!

2

FISHMEAL IS KING

Even on big natural waters

like Ferry Meadows, fishmeal

rules! That means a groundbait

to suit, plus the addition of

micro pellets into the mix.

76


FEEDER E E BAITS FOR BREAM

BREAM

BAITS

STEP-BY-STEP

- S T E P

HAIR-RIGGING

R I G I G

WORMS

4

5

CHOPPED P WORM

I’ll chop my worms

relatively fine to give off

maximum leakage and scent.

This works particularly well in

clear water conditions.

3

5

A

Using a Speed Stop will not only anchor

the worms on the hair for casting but

also make getting them into position in

the first place so much easier.

4

SWEETCORN

Only a sprinkling of corn is

fed, simply to give the bream a

taster. On the hook, I’ll fish two

grains on a hair rig and always

use the natural yellow colour.

B

Using the Speed Stop Needle, pierce the

first worm through the top. I use around

a third of a normal worm to make it look

similar to the chopped worm feed.

3

MAGGOTS AND CASTERS

Casters are used as a feed

only and I add plenty of them.

Dead maggots come into play

for the hook when smaller

skimmers are the target.

C

With worm number one in place on the

hair, the second is pierced and threaded

up into place. The stop can now be

folded over to hold the bait securely.

77


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

H I T T H E S P O T :

ADDING

YARDS

TO YOUR

CAST!

Blast a feeder to the horizon with

Steve’s six top tips for casting.

THERE’S little point in having the

correct rig, lovingly-prepared bait

and groundbait and a good peg to

fish if you can’t cast your feeder far

enough in the first place.

You may think that you can cast well

and put a feeder out a long way but, trust

me, there are always a few little things that can

be added to your technique that’ll put 10 or 20

more yards on the cast.

On big waters where casting further than the

anglers around you might be important, these

little improvements will mean more fish.

My casting has certainly improved since

regularly fishing places like Ferry Meadows and

Boddington Reservoir, where up to 90 yards is

the required range.

But even on fisheries where a more moderate

one is required, casting correctly will not

only mean greater accuracy but also a lot less

pressure on your body.

Think about it. Trying to force a feeder a

long way with a bad technique will put undue

strain on your back, shoulders and arms and

inevitably lead to you casting all over the place.

Do it right, and the process will be smooth

and the feeder will land in the same spot each

time. You’ll also get fewer tangles and a reduced

chance of an embarrassing crack-off.

The six tips on the opposite page are the key

points that I recommend to anyone who asks

me about casting further - and they don’t need a

mega-expensive rod or a physique like Charles

Atlas to achieve!

“ CAST CORRECTLY AND THE

PROCESS WILL BE SMOOTH

AND ACCURATE”

78


DISTANCE FEEDER CASTING

CASTING

TIPS

Get the

basics right

and you’ll

be surprised

how far you

can cast.

GET THE RIGHT ‘DROP’

This is the length of line between

feeder and rod-tip before you

1

cast. If it is too short then you

won’t achieve the force to cast far

enough – around 5ft of line is ideal,

allowing you to really compress the rod.

USE YOUR OTHER HAND

I see too many anglers casting

using just the hand and arm

2

holding the rod around the reel.

This is wrong. Your other hand that’s on

the bottom of the handle is just as

important, as this should ‘pull’ on the

rod as you cast, creating speed on the

cast to propel the feeder further.

POINTING THE ROD

When the cast is finished, the rod

should be pointing directly to the

3

spot where the feeder has gone

into the water. This will tell you that

you’ve been accurate, and is achieved

by following through with the rod in a

straight line as the feeder flies through

the air.

RELEASE AT THE RIGHT POINT

When to release line from the

spool mid-cast makes a big

4

difference. It should happen

when the rod is roughly pointing to

11 o’clock on an imaginary clock –

12 o’clock will be the point immediately

above your head. Let go too early and

the feeder will go in a more upward

direction, while too late and it’ll crash

into the water 20 yards out!

STAND TO ATTENTION

For really long casts you’ll have

to stand up. This creates more

5

clearance behind you to get the

right ‘drop’ between feeder and rod,

and also allows you to use the weight of

your body to propel the cast.

GIVE THE ROD A WORKOUT

Modern feeder rods are designed

for casting a long way, so don’t

6

be afraid to put a lot of force into

the chuck and fully compress the rod. It

might look as though it’s bending

alarmingly but that’s what it’s built to

do – the rod won’t break!

79


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

G R O U N D B A I T S

IT’S ALL

IN THE

BLEND

Use my fantastic four and bag up!

GROUNDBAITS – now there’s a topic

that could keep anglers talking for

ages! From whether to use fishmeal,

to how wet to make the mix or

whether bream really need brown

crumb, the options and possibilities

as to what your pour into your

bucket are virtually endless.

We all have our own mix; the one we get on

well with every time we go fishing. There’s

nothing wrong with that, but you have to be

willing to change, depending on the species and

the size of fish that you are targeting.

In my experience, big bream need something

totally different from skimmers, while a roach

mix won’t be right for catching F1s. On these

two pages are the four mixes I most commonly

use for feeder fishing. Many take in the same

types of groundbait to help make your decision

in the tackle shop that much easier.

A fishmeal

mix is used for

bigger bream.

B R E A M M I X

YEARS ago you’d have taken

nothing but a sweet groundbait

plus brown crumb for bream

fishing but now, even on natural

waters, fishmeal is very much the

order of the day.

When fishing for big bream, my

standard mix is a 50/50 blend of

Ringers Original and Ringers Dark,

resulting in a fishy groundbait with

a darker edge that helps in clear

water.

This is mixed the night before to

fully absorb the water, and should

end up being on the wet side.

80


GROUNDBAIT MIXES

TOP FEEDER

MIXES

M E T H O D M I X

IF I’M being honest, groundbait

doesn’t play much of a part in my

Method feeder fishing. The only

time I’ll add some is when I may

catch some skimmers in among

the carp and F1s.

In this instance I’ll add Dynamite

Baits Swim Stim Match Sweet

Fishmeal in a ratio of 95 per cent

pellets to 5 per cent groundbait.

This should be mixed wet so that

it binds the pellets around the

feeder. Too dry and it’ll absorb

moisture from the micros and it

won’t stick to the feeder.

S I L V E R F I S H M I X

WHEN faced with a venue holding

skimmers and roach in the UK, I’ll

fish the cage feeder. This demands

something different to my big

bream or Irish silverfish mix.

I go for 70 per cent Ringers

Original for a fishmeal

hit to 30 per cent Van

Den Dynde G5, a sweet

traditional silverfish

groundbait. The G5 is

added with an eye on

catching those roach as

they aren’t always keen

on a full-on fishmeal mix.

I R I S H R O A C H M I X

IRELAND is stuffed with roach and

my feeder mix is made up three core

ingredients to suit the deep water that

you’re often faced with.

I use brown crumb, Dynamite Baits

Silver X Bream and Frenzied Hemp Black

Split in equal parts, to create a dark mix.

This is mixed to end up being sticky so it

gets down to the bottom without spilling out

of the feeder too early.

81


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

TURN ON TO THE

CAGE IN WINTER

Keep on catching in the cold with this brilliant ‘scratching’ approach

82


WINTER FEEDER TACTICS

C A G E

FEEDER

THERE will be times in winter when

water temperatures are low and

the fish really aren’t in the mood

to feed, but this doesn’t mean you

have to wave the white flag and

wait for things to warm up – all you

need to do is rethink your approach

and develop what match anglers call a

‘scratching’ mentality.

Combining smaller baits, less feed, light

hooks and lines and a smaller feeder all add up

to a method that will wring out a few fish from

the peg in the most desperate of conditions. In

this instance, catching anything that swims is a

real bonus.

For me, there’s nothing to beat the cage

feeder if the venue I am fishing holds skimmers,

roach, perch and the odd carp or F1. Silver fish,

provided they are big enough, can soon make

a decent net at the end of the day but landing

a big feeder and large hookbaits that you’d

normally use in summer on top of the fish will

only result in a motionless quivertip.

Decision-making is important too, and by

this, I mean working out when to change the

distance you are fishing at or what freebies you

can or can’t introduce through the feeder.

Put simply, there will be some fish in front

of you on well-stocked fisheries such as

Meadowlands near Coventry and they will

want to feed at some point. It’s down to the

angler to work out what’s right, and the cage

feeder will give you the best chance of success.

But why is the cage so good? Read on...

83


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Steve is a big fan of

fluorocarbon hooklinks

when the going is tough.

Dead maggots and a few micro pellets

are added to the groundbait.

Changing

feeder

size can

transform

your catch

rate.

Lightly

squeeze the

feeder on

hard days.

WHY A CAGE FEEDER?

The main difference between a cage feeder and

an open-end version is that the cage has bigger

holes from which the feed can exit. This is why

it is so good in the cold.

I know that before the feeder has hit bottom

it will have begun to give off particles of

groundbait and perhaps a few loose offerings

into the water. This is useful, because in cold

water the fish will be sitting just off the deck.

They then see these bits coming off the feeder

and follow the trail down to the lakebed where

they will find the feeder and the hookbait. In a

nutshell, the cage is all about putting attraction

into the water.

CHANGING FEEDER SIZE

The cage feeders that I use are small Nisa

models and despite their size, I can introduce

more or less bait by picking a feeder with more

or fewer holes. The four-hole model is my

starter as this gets a reasonable dollop of bait

down, but if I felt that the fish were backing

off after I’d caught a few, this would tell me to

change over to the smaller three-hole feeder.

This not only lets me put less feed through it,

but the smaller size will make less commotion

when it enters the water, something that can

spook roach and skimmers in clear water. A 22g

model is heavy enough to cast where I want.

PICKING THE RIGHT DISTANCE

On a well-stocked fishery I don’t see the need

to cast miles provided that there is a decent

enough depth in the first place.

Should your venue see a lot of pole fishing

84


WINTER FEEDER TACTICS

C A G E

FEEDER

take place, casting a few metres past this point

– say 14.5m or 16m – can be a great place to start.

I’m a big fan of beginning by casting shorter

in winter as this gives me the option to move

further out as the day goes on.

However, I would also keep an eye on anglers

around me and judge where those that are

catching are casting to. If I was struggling, I

would follow them out to the same distance.

The most important thing for me, however, is

to try and fish in my own bit of water.

By that, I mean that I will cast past or

sometimes shorter than anglers near me. This

way, I know that I won’t be competing with the

others in trying to draw fish into the area.

LIGHT TACKLE IS A MUST

Although you may catch the odd big fish, I’d

bet that most bites in the cold will come from

roach, perch and small skimmers so fishing

heavy tackle has no value. It’ll also mean fewer

bites in the first place, which defeats the point.

My cage feeder rig uses 4lb Guru Pulse

mainline with the feeder on a feeder link

running on the mainline, featuring a 6ins

twisted section above the hooklink.

The 18ins hooklength is 0.12mm Guru

Fluorocarbon, which is invisible, stiff to

prevent tangles and heavy, so that it lies on the

bottom properly.

Hook choice might surprise you in that I pick

a size 16 Guru F1 Pellet. This barbless hook is

surprisingly strong, yet light and super-sharp,

but more importantly its shape perfectly suits

the hookbaits that I plan on using.

GROUNDBAIT AND FEED

The cage feeder mix is 70 per cent Ringers

Original to 30 per cent Van Den Eynde G5 to

add a little sweetness, mixed on the damp side

to ensure it stays in the feeder on the cast.

Crunch time comes when deciding what to

put in the mix. Chopped worm is one obvious

option but I would hold my horses with this

and instead begin by adding a sprinkling of

micro pellets, dead maggots and pinkies.

Worm is left out initially until I can be certain

that the fish want it. In cold water, chopped

worm can be like poison if the fish aren’t in

the mood and can kill a swim before it has got

going. My plan is to see which anglers around

me are chopping worms and then, if they are

catching, I will begin to add some worm.

However, if I know that the venue I’m fishing

responds to worm I can be confident enough

to begin by feeding it. The worms are chopped

very finely into a mush to kick out as much

attraction as possible.

ACCURACY ISN’T THAT IMPORTANT

I’m a big advocate of being deadly accurate with

your casting but in winter, on the cage feeder,

that’s only partically true.

At the start I will be dead eye with my casting,

especially with the opening three casts that see

me using a slightly bigger feeder to get down an

initial hit of groundbait and freebies before I

then change back to a a smaller feeder.

The early stages of a session demand accuracy

using the reel’s line clip and a far-bank marker,

but as the day goes on and the fish begin to

show signs of moving about, being inaccurate

can catch more fish.

Often, a cast that is slid to the left or right of

my main spot, only by a yard or two, can pick

off a bigger fish that may have backed off the

original area, so don’t be afraid to go off course.

SIMPLE HOOKBAITS

Silver fish are your main target in this situation

and I’d pick three fluoro pinkies or double dead

red maggot as my number one choices.

The alternative would be a small segment

of worm, but only if I was having success by

feeding worm in the groundbait.

GIVING IT A GOOD PLUG

When every bite counts, the smallest things

about your approach can make a big difference.

That’s true with the cage feeder with regard

to how hard you plug the groundbait into the

When bites are at

a premium, the

cage feeder will

produce.

feeder before casting.

Normally, I would squeeze the mix in with

plenty of force so I know that it will get to the

bottom, giving off a few bits and bobs on the

way down.

But if the fishing is very hard and I feel that

I need to make something happen, gently

plugging the feeder means that the mix will

disperse quickly, creating a cloud in the water.

CHANGING LINES

So when do you make the switch to a longer or

shorter cast? It is easy to sit and think ‘they’ll

turn up soon’ but this isn’t the answer in cold

weather. You have to find the fish.

If I wasn’t catching then I’d pay close

attention to anglers that are, see where they are

casting to and join them at this range.

On the flipside, if I caught a few fish and bites

then stopped, I would take a few turns off my

reel and cast a little longer to see if the fish had

backed further out into the lake.

85


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

MAGGOT

FEEDER

86


MAGGOT FEEDER RIG

Light lines and small

hooks and feeders are

the key to this tactic.

PAGES 88 - 89

ON THE BANK

A session at Packington

Somers proves how good

the maggot feeder is for

cold-water F1s.

PAGES 90 - 93

87


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

NOT JUST

FOR THE

RIVER!

Turn to the maggot feeder for F1s

YOU may normally associate the

maggot feeder with catching

chub on a river rather than F1s on

commercial fisheries, but when

the cold weather bites hard and

the name of the game is winkling

out every fish that I possibly can,

turning to a tiny maggot feeder will tip

the balance in my favour.

I know from fishing venues like Tunnel Barn

Farm in winter on the pole, where F1s are the

main species, that maggots are a million miles

in front of pellets when it comes to catching

consistently and so the same should ring true

with a feeder rod in hand.

Indeed, Packington Somers is one water I

can think of where from November onwards

the maggot feeder rules for catching F1s when

casting to islands.

I’ll also include a few of these in my bag on

places like Tunnel Barn’s snake lakes, when I

may need to cast a tiny maggot feeder across to

pick off a few extra fish.

Additionally, it comes in handy in very strong

winds that can rule the pole out completely.

W H E N T O U S E I T

On waters with a good head of F1s

and quality silverfish such as barbel,

skimmers, roach and tench.

W H Y U S E I T ?

At certain times of the year, especially

in cold weather, fish will turn on to

maggots as opposed to pellets. In this

instance, the maggot feeder offers

them exactly what they want.

H O W T O T I E I T

1 Slide the maggot feeder and

snaplink swivel on to the mainline.

2 A float stop goes on to the line

underneath the feeder.

3 Six inches of mainline are then

twizzled into a tight loop to create a

stiff boom.

4 Finally the hooklink is attached

loop-to-loop style.

Mainline

This consists of Guru

Pulse in 6lb breaking

strain, as I wouldn’t

expect to be catching

many carp!

Hook

These should be on

the fine side, and I

can’t fault the Guru

LWG in size 18 to take

double maggot.

Feeder

Feeders range from

large weight-forward

models for long casts

to tiny cut-down ones

for use in the cold.

Feed

Not a tough one this –

maggots! I’ll use reds

and whites and go for

the freshest bait that I

can get hold of.

88


MAGGOT FEEDER FOR WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

MAGGOT

FEEDER RIG

Twizzled loop

As with most of my

feeder rigs, a six-inch

twizzled loop is used

to prevent tangles

when casting.

Hooklink

Don’t go too heavy,

given that F1s are the

target. Around 0.11mm

N-Gauge will get the

job done.


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

MAGIC

OF THE

MAGGOT

FEEDER

The old school tactic that works

as well for a big net of commercial

carp as it does for river chub!

Seek out the

deeper water just

off an island and

you’ll find the fish.

EVERY now and again a longforgotten

tactic comes back to

the fore, and in recent winters

that without a doubt has been the

maggot feeder – it’s a real blast from

the past!

In the cold, maggots are the number one

bait as far as F1s are concerned and so it really

shouldn’t come as a surprise that on venues

such as Packington Somers, where there

are a lot of F1s, the maggot feeder proves so

successful to match and pleasure anglers.

It’s not only a match winner. On pegs where

it’s a struggle to even get a bite on a pellet or

Method feeder the maggot feeder sees the tip

pulling round on a regular basis and turns a

blank into at least a few fish on the bank.

And if I’m being honest it’s actually a really

nice way of fishing, and one that I’ve enjoyed

getting back into fishing – although I have to

admit I had to raid the back of the garage, it’s

been that long since I used them!

ADAPTING YOUR FEEDERS

There are loads of blockend feeders on the

market but many of them are simply too big

for what I want, so I set about making a few

alterations to tailor them perfectly to my F1

fishing.

To begin with I only want to feed 8-12

maggots a cast so I take some of the original,

green Drennan Feederlink feeders and cut

them down with scissors to a size that allows

them to take much less bait.

I also make a change to the weights they carry.

The original base weights just aren’t heavy

enough, so I take the leads off the Drennan

Carp Feeder models as these fit perfectly.

This way I can have a tiny little maggot feeder

that has as much as 25g of weight on it, so that

in a nasty cross wind I can still cast accurately

to keep the feed tight.

Of course, 25g is the exception rather than the

rule. If the wind is kind I find 15g is about right,

as this ensures I can still be accurate with my

casts and keep any disturbance to a minimum.

If you haven’t got any of the original feeders

knocking around then from what I’ve seen the

smallest of the Drennan Carp Feeders is the

next best thing.

FINDING THE RIGHT SPOT

Fishing a maggot feeder is all about building a

peg rather than casting about looking for fish,

so the line clip is key to ensuring that every cast

lands on the same spot.

Where to start? When the water temperature

is low and I know the fish aren’t going to be

too confident in the cold, clear conditions this

means keeping away from any shallow water or

islands and chucking into deeper water at the

bottom of a far shelf on an island peg, which is

probably 4m short of the island itself.

In this deeper water carp and F1s are more

likely to feel confident enough to feed, and if I

need to chase them later on in the session I still

have the room to do so.

What normally happens is that I will catch

a few before the fish back off. It can then be

a case of simply taking a yard of line off and

going further to keep in touch with the fish. in

warmer weather I would chance casting up to

the island where F1s, especially, may be but in

this instance, a pellet feeder would be better.

90


MAGGOT FEEDER FOR COMMERCIAL CARP

MAGGOT

FEEDER

A spot of DIY soon produces a feeder heavy enough to hit

the spot but small enough to take just a dozen maggots.

91


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Fish pellets

and you

wouldn’t

catch F1s

like this!

HOW MANY MAGGOTS?

As far as bait goes it’s all about maggots, and for

a five-hour session or match I find a pint-and-ahalf

to be more than enough.

I like to have a mix of whites, reds and fluoros

as this gives me more options in terms of

hookbaits.

On top of the maggots I also like to have a few

pinkies with me. These are mainly for the hook,

but if it’s really cold and the fishing is rock

hard I will put a few in the feeder just to try and

entice an F1 or two into feeding.

REGULATE YOUR FEEDING

The way you feed might seem very simple with

this approach, as most anglers just keep filling

the feeder up every cast with the same amount

of maggots.

However, I prefer to mix things up somewhat

and will kick off my session by feeding around

10-12 maggots every cast and then take things

from there.

If I’m getting lots of indications and bites

then I will up the feed and put even more

maggots in the feeder.

However if bites are few and far between then

I will cut right back and put just 4-6 maggots in

the feeder every cast. After all, there is no point

in doing the same thing every cast if you aren’t

getting any bites!

Basically, fishing a maggot feeder is just like

any type of fishing, in that you have to think

about what you are doing and react to the fish’s

moods on the day.

Just filling the feeder up every cast will, of

course, work if you are on a pile of fish, but if

you’re on an average peg it won’t allow you to

get the best from it. Varying the quantity of

maggots in the feeder will.

SWITCHING HOOKBAITS

As far as hookbaits go, in the main it’s all about

double maggot. The only real variable would be

a combination of a red and a white, two reds, or

a red and a fluoro.

I find it’s well worth experimenting with your

hookbaits, as finding the right combination

can make a massive difference. As a rule I find a

red and a white or a red and a fluoro best, as the

little bit of extra colour from a lighter-coloured

maggot seems to result in quicker bites.

The only exception to this is when it’s really

cold and the fishing is rock hard. Under these

conditions I tend to catch a lot of really big F1s

fishing double pinkie. I can only think pinkies

work better because they are small and brightly

coloured stand-out hookbaits.

GIVE IT A TWITCH

If I’m not getting any bites, a great little edge is

to give the maggot feeder a quick twitch around

30 seconds before reeling in.

Doing this has two benefits – it helps to fully

empty the feeder and it gives the hookbait that

little bit of movement which can be all that’s

needed to induce a bite.

To twitch the feeder all I do is turn the reel

handle slowly until the tip winds right round

and then slowly drops back again.

I don’t want to make the feeder move too

quickly as this could potentially spook any fish

in the swim, so I do it nice and slowly.

HOW MUCH TO FEED

When it’s solid, you can

cram the feeder, but on hard

days Steve may only half-fill

the feeder with maggots.

Clip up to keep

the feed in a

tight area.

92


MAGGOT FEEDER FOR COMMERCIAL CARP

MAGGOT

FEEDER

TIE STEVE’S SIMPLE

MAGGOT FEEDER RIG

2

3

1

TWISTED NAINLINE

Many of my feeder rigs use a 6ins

length of mainline that’s twisted

1

tightly to create a stiff piece of

line. This doesn’t tangle and also helps

to act with self-hooking as the feeder

runs along it, hits the knot at the top

and helps set the hook.

4

LIGHT HOOKLINK

When the water is cold and clear,

scaling down to a light hooklink

2

really does make a difference.

That means 0.11mm N-Gauge matched

to a size 18 LWG hook.

FLOAT STOP

To stop the feeder running down

the hooklink I build a small float

3

stop into the rig, which offers

minimal resistance to a fish taking the

bait.

FEEDER LINK

My home-made feeder link

prevents tangles by ‘kicking’ the

4

hooklink and hook away from the

feeder. See pages ?? and ?? for how to

tie these yourself.

‘DIY’ FEEDER

Taking a pair of scissors to the

feeder body will reduce the

5

length and therefeore the

bait-carrying capacity. I also remove the

weight at the base and swap it for a

heavier one, as found on the Drennan

Carp Feeders.

5

Winter F1 fishing is all about

light lines and small hooks.

93


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

THE

BOMB

94


BOMB RIG

Whether you fish inline

or elasticated, this simple

bomb rig is easy to tie.

PAGES 96 -97

MASTER THE BOMB

Leger perfection with this

feature that’s packed full

of top advice and tips.

PAGES 98 - 101

IMPACT BOMB

Steve lifts the lid on this

brilliant new method for

warmer weather.

PAGES 102 - 105

BOMB BAITS

Learn why high-visibility

hookbaits can’t be

beaten on the bomb.

PAGES 106 - 107

95


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

BOMBING

ALONG

FOR CARP

Mainline

As big carp are the

target, I take no

prisoners with reliable

and robust 8lb Guru

Pulse.

Turn to the lead when it gets cold

THERE’S a lot of snobbery

surrounding bomb fishing among

anglers, as so many see it as a

method that needs no skill. The

angler simply slings out the rig and

waits until the rod gets pulled off

the rest – but as always, there’s a

little bit more to it than that!

In fact, fished correctly, the bomb can be

every bit as effcient at catching carp as a feeder

while enjoying the benefits of not introducing

any bait into the swim. In unfavourable

conditions this can wreck a swim before it’s had

the chance to get going.

Rightly, the bomb is seen as a winter method

for presenting a single hookbait for the fish to

find, and although that may seem like a massive

leap of faith, there are plenty of things that you

can do to get bites – as you’ll see in the features

following these pages.

But the bomb isn’t just for winter and I’ve

had some big weights in August using the lead

in conjunction with loosefeeding pellets over

the top.

So is the bomb really boring? Not a bit of it!

W H E N T O U S E I T

Although the bomb can work in

summer, it is most effective in winter

when fished with highly-visible single

hookbaits for big carp.

W H Y U S E I T ?

Little, if any feed at all, is used with

the bomb. The angler instead relies

on that hookbait to be seen clearly by

any fish swimming around.

Feed

Very occasionally I will

fire out two or three

6mm or 8mm hard

pellets with a catapult

over the top.

H O W T O T I E I T

1 If picking an elasticated set-up, the

mainline is attached via a large loop

to the top end of the stem.

2 As the elastic runs through the

stem, the lead is now slid into place.

3 A Speed Bead is attached to the

elasticated end.

4 To finish, slide the hooklink over the

crook of the bead.

96


THE RELIABLE INLINE BOMB RIG

BOMB

RIG

Bomb

Guru’s X-Safe Lead

lets me fish either

inline or elasticated,

if allowed. I’d pick the

⅔oz size.

Speed Bead

This acts as a stopper

if fishing an inline lead

and it lets me change

over hooks and

hookbaits in seconds.

Hooklink

In keeping with the

strong mainline and

big hook in this rig

I use 0.19mm Guru

N-Gauge.

Hook

A size 12 Guru QM1 is

used as this is ‘sit and

wait’ fishing – you

don’t want to lose

what you hook!

97


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

When the leaves fall

from the trees it’s time

to get on the bomb.

98


CATCH ON THE BOMB IN WINTER

BOMB

FISHING

CATCH IN

WINTER

ON THE

BOMB!

Master this winning cold-water

method with Steve’s expert advice

AS SOON as the temperature starts

to drop there is one method that

always seems to come to the fore

on commercials across the country

– bomb and pellet.

I’m actually not sure why the bomb is

so effective at this time of the year but

results don’t lie, and from November until it

warms up I wouldn’t mind betting that it will

win more matches than any other tactic.

If you look at the way it’s fished, the bomb

is actually a very negative way of fishing and

maybe that’s why it works so well in the cold.

After all, the fish are beginning to slow up

their feeding at this time of year so they don’t

want loads of bait, and the bomb tends to work

best with a relatively frugal feeding regime.

With the water also being clear on a lot of

commercials the carp have started to back away

from the bank, yet with the lead they are always

within reach – something that can’t be said

about the pole on bigger waters.

BOOSTED BAITS

On the bait front it’s all about feeding and

fishing with 8mm hard coarse pellets.

Which brand you choose is up to you, but I’m

a big fan of Dynamite XL carp pellets. These

are a low oil coarse pellet and being relatively

light in colour I find them perfect for this time

of year.

I do like to give them a boost, though, and

this comes in the form of Mainline Baits’

Meta-Mino, an amino-based compound

that has a really meaty smell which, in my

experience, carp love.

To apply the Meta-Mino all I do is add a splash

to the loose pellets in the bait tub, pop the lid

on and give the whole lot a good shake to make

sure they all come into contact with the liquid.

Once this is done I leave the pellets to dry for

30 minutes before feeding. This of course can

be done the night before if you want to save

time and make sure the Meta-Mino has been

fully absorbed.

99


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

BOMB FISHING BAITS

10mm PUNCHED MEAT

This offers me something

different to the norm, and

with meat I actually glug it

in Mainline Cell liquid just

to give it plenty of attraction

in terms of smell. I find

when the water is coloured

and visibility is reduced that

meat can outfish pellets, as

carp find it easier to locate.

ROBIN RED PELLETS

These tend to work best as

an impact bait, being red in

colour with a strong aroma.

A quick chuck when it’s gone

quiet with the Robin Reds

often produces an instant

response, because I’m giving

the carp something a little

bit different to what they

have grown used to seeing.

8mm HARD PELLET

It will come as no surprise to

know that my starting bait

will be a single 8mm hard

pellet. After all, I’m feeding

8mm pellets so it makes

perfect sense to put the

same on the hair.

A good

glug of

Meta-Mino

liquid will

pep up plain

pellets.

Step up the

feed if those

around you

are catching

by pinging

in more bait.

FEEDING YOUR SWIM

When it comes to feeding on the bomb I’m a big

believer in feeling my way in, and this means

I will kick off with just two pellets every 4-5

minutes just to see what happens.

I will also keep an eye on neighbouring

anglers to see how they are feeding their swims

and what sort of response they are getting.

I learn a lot this way, and if the angler next

door is feeding much more heavily than I am

and catching then I can up my feed accordingly.

If, however, he is struggling I can carry on

feeding very little, safe in the knowledge that

the fish aren’t coming to any amount of bait.

I remember a day at Barston Lakes when I

started off feeding just two pellets every five

minutes, but after an hour I’d had just one bite.

However, a carp angler on the opposite bank

landed five carp in this time and after watching

him for a bit it became apparent he was feeding

heavily with boilies.

As a result I upped my feed to 6-10 pellets

every two or three minutes. That was enough

to spur the fish into feeding and I caught almost

straight away.

The trick was to feed and then cast straight on

top of the loose offerings. By doing it this way

you know your hookbait will be right in amid

the loosefeed rather than sat well away from it.

This may seem obvious, but a lot of anglers do

it the other way round – they cast out and then

start feeding over the top, and as a result I feel

accuracy is lost.

GO PAST YOUR FEED

It might seem obvious that you’ll be fishing

on top of your loosefeed, as I have already

mentioned – but if the fishing is rock hard I

actually tend to find you’re better off fishing

off the back of your feed, a little way past the

area where most of the pellets are.

Even when carp aren’t really feeding, they

will still investigate bait small amounts of bait

going in.

They will then sit near the bait but not on it,

and this is when fishing just past the loosefeed

can produce when fishing on the bait doesn’t.

Of course, if I start getting line bites I will

drop back on to the feed to see if a few fish have

settled on the bait. This will tell me that some

carp are between me and the hookbait – with

luck they’ll be over my original feed area!

100


CATCH ON THE BOMB IN WINTER

When

you’re only

fishing for

a few bites,

use tackle

that’ll let

you get the

fish in!

1

4

5

2

3

STEVE’S BOMB SET-UP

GO INLINE

BOMB

FISHING

I always use inline leads for my

bomb fishing, as they offer great

1

anti-tangle and self-hooking

properties, they cast well, and I can add

elasticated stems to give me security

when playing fish too. For short-range

work, anywhere between 15m and 35m,

I use the ⅔oz Guru Square Pears, the

thinking being that with the water so

clear, the less disturbance I can make

when casting the better.

ELASTIC SAFETY

Where fishery rules allow I

remove the rubber insert that

2

comes in the leads and replace it

with a small X-Safe Speed Stem so the

lead is elasticated. Which elastic I

choose depends on the venue, so where

I’m looking to catch both carp and big

F1s I opt for the heavy black elastic.

The beauty of having an elasticated

bomb is that it helps to prevent those

annoying, and potentially costly,

hook-pulls at the net.

LONG HOOKLENGTHS

I always tie my hooklengths 75cm

long for bomb fishing but will

3

then adjust the length I use,

depending on conditions on the day.

I may start with a long hooklength, but

if it becomes clear that the carp are

right on the feed I will then shorten the

link to just 30cm. This way I’m putting

the hookbait closer to the feed. If the

fishing was harder, though, I would stick

with the longer hooklength as I feel this

gives a slower fall of the hookbait. This

in turn can lead to more bites when the

water is clear.

DON’T SCALE DOWN

Line diameter is also worth a

4

mention. When targeting ‘proper’

carp I’m not a believer in fining

right down, so my hooklengths for

bomb work will be either 0.19mm or

0.22mm Guru N-Gauge, to size 12 or 14

QM1 hooks respectively. Which of the

two combos I choose depends on the

size of the fish, and for big carp that

would be 0.22mm to a size 12, lowered

to 0.19mm and a size 14 for smaller carp

and the odd big F1.

5 CHANGE HOOKBAITS

I always begin with a single 8mm hard pellet fished in a band

and often don’t change from this – but there will be times when

offering the carp something bigger will pull the tip round rapidly.

This often seems to happen when the weather is cold and the

fishing hard. Then, changing to a couple of 8mm pellets squeezed

into a band or even hair-rigged gives the carp a much bigger bait

that grabs their attention.

101


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Is it a feeder or a

bomb? Who cares as

long as it catches fish?

MAKING

A REAL

IMPACT!

Get on this brilliant bomb that will

take leger fishing to another level

NOW and again an idea comes along

which makes you say ‘why didn’t I

think of that myself?’ Over the past

few years I’ve been using Guru’s

‘Impact Bombs and to be honest,

as soon as I caught a few carp on

them I secretly kicked myself that I

hadn’t sussed this trick out sooner.

The bombs are basically like a flat lead with

mesh in the middle – I guess you could say they

look like tiny tennis racket heads – and the idea

is that the mesh offers grip so that a helping of

2mm or 4mm pellets will stay in place during

the cast.

As the name suggests, the pellets are designed

to come off on impact with the surface and then

fall through the water, dragging fish down to

where your hookbait is. What could be simpler

than that?

WHICH SIZE TO USE?

There are five bombs to pick from, ranging

from 2/3oz up to 2oz, so they can be fished at

both long and short ranges. I have used them

for short casts on snake-type lakes through to

long 80m-plus chucks at Boddington Reservoir

in the winter, so there really is nothing you can’t

do with them!

Impact bombs are at their best in what I

would call ‘shallow’ water from 2ft to 8ft, due

to the way they work in releasing the pellets on

the surface. For deeper water I swap the 2mm

pellets for the 4mm versions so that they fall

that little bit quicker through the water and

aren’t taken away by any tow.

STICKING THE PELLETS

I prefer to use 2mm coarse pellets as they stick

to the bomb really easily, but wetted-down

102


CUTTING-EDGE TACKLE

BOMB

FISHING

3mm and 4mm baits will work too. The key

is making sure that your pellets are properly

soaked. If they’re too dry they’re likely to fly off

on the cast.

To prepare my pellets I pour them into a

three-pint bait tub and cover them with cold

water for around a minute. I then drain all the

water off and pour the pellets into a big round

tub so they are well spread out. The next step

is to leave them to stand for a minimum of 30

minutes, after which they should be ready.

Some pellet brands stick better than others. If

you are having problems with the stickiness of

the pellets then add a squirt of Mainline’s Cell

Stick Mix to the soaked pellets and that should

solve the problem.

The beauty of the Stick Mix is that not only

does it help the pellets to bind, but it also gives

them a great fish-attracting flavour.

Another

carp falls to

the Impact!

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

WHERE AND HOW TO FISH IT

There are two ways to fish the Impact bomb.

The first and most obvious is to just cast it out

to the required spot and fish, treating it almost

as you would a feeder. This can work very well

when a full feeder load is a little too much to put

in, but when the fish do want a little feed.

While this works, and I have caught plenty of

fish doing it, for me the bombs are at their best

when fished just off the back of loosefed pellets

pinged in over the top.

What I like to do is loosefeed 8mm pellets via

a catapult, and then fish the Impact bomb say

5m past the line of the feed.

The reason is that you’ll find a lot of carp sat

off the back of the loosefed pellets, and by using

the impact bomb I am able to pick these fish off.

The extra bit of attraction of the micros

falling through the water seems to help too, in

effect giving the fish that little bit more in terms

of attraction.

I reckon that the Impact bomb comes into its own when carp are

sitting off the back of an area that I’ve been loosefeeding.

104


CUTTING-EDGE TACKLE

STEP-BY-STEP

HOW TO LOAD

THE IMPACT BOMB

1

Take the bomb and drop it into a tub

of loose pellets, then squeeze between

thumb and forefinger until the mesh on

both sides is covered. I don’t mind if the

bomb looks a little rough around the

edges either!

TIE MY IMPACT BOMB RIG

HOOKLENGTHS

My choice depends on the

size of carp I’m targeting.

On lakes like Lambsdown

at Meadowlands, the carp

average around 6lb and

doubles are common, so

I use an 8ins hooklength

of 0.19mm N-Gauge to

a size 12 QM1 hook. The

short hooklength gives a

better bolt effect when

a fish picks the hookbait

up – the fish can’t move far

before it feels the weight

of the lead and hooks itself

against it.

BOMB

FISHING

SAFE RIG

The bombs feature an

oversized swivel on the

top so they fit into a mini

lead clip to allow them to

be fished semi-fixed. You

get the benefit of a bolt

rig with the assurance that

the lead will pull free if

your line breaks.I swap the

swivel that comes with the

lead clips for a size 11 snap

link swivel so I can clip

hooklengths on and off

when the need arises.

2

Bear in mind that the harder you

squeeze the pellets, the longer they will

take to come off. For short-range work

I always find a light squeeze best to

ensure a good proportion of the pellets

come off straight away.

3

I sometimes put a little blob of Power

Smoke Goo on the bomb mesh and then

seal it in with wetted-down pellets. This

way the Goo is only released once the

pellets fall off, thereby introducing a

lovely cloud into the swim.

HOOKBAITS

There are loads of different

hookbaits you can use, but

my favourites are 8mm hard

pellets and punched meat

in 8mm or 10mm sizes. Hard

pellets are a great bait on most

commercials – the carp see

so many of them and they’re

also relatively small fish-proof,

which is better if silvers are a

problem. Meat is a bait I love

fishing with, as it has the habit

of picking out the bigger carp.

105


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

COLOUR RULES

ON THE BOMB!

In clear water, pick a hookbait that the carp can’t fail to spot

THE nature of fishing the bomb, or

straight lead as some call it, means

that a single hookbait can be fished

without any additional feed, relying

on the curiosity of a carp to seek it

out and wolf it down.

While the bomb can work in summer,

I think it really comes into its own in winter

when the fish don’t want any feed, instead

picking off a stand-alone hookbait when the

mood takes them.

For that reason, you have to offer the fish

something that’s highly visual to grab their

attention in clearish water. It can be a fluoro

pink, yellow or orange boilie or Wafter, a couple

of pieces of yellow corn or five discs of white

bread punched out and fished as a stack.

Regularly changing the bait colour is

important. Something as minor as changing

from a yellow mini boilie to a pink Wafter can

trigger the feeding switch in those carp.

Pick a bright yellow or pink colour

if you plan on going down the

boilie route on the bomb. An 8mm

or 10mm bait is perfect.

106


HOOKBAITS WITH VISUAL APPEAL

BOMB

BAITS

STEP-BY-STEP HAIR-RIGGING BREAD

1

Sliced medium white bread

(Warburton’s is a good brand) can be

used straight from the bag. No rolling

or microwaving needed here!

2

Guru’s punches mean that you can cut

out four or five discs and store them

inside the cylinder. In terms of size,

6mm or 8mm is about right.

A banded 6mm or 8mm hard

pellet would be a bomb bait I’d

pick in warmer weather when I

was loosefeeding over the top.

3

Take a baiting needle and pierce the

bread discs on to it, pushing them well

down. Now slot the needle’s hook on to

the loop at the end of the hair rig.

4

Gently slide the discs off the needle

and on to the hair. They can be slightly

compressed to help. A bait stop is then

added to hold things in place.

Meat is overlooked for winter

bomb work, but when dyed yellow

and flavoured with Mainline’s

Activ-8 it really stands out!

5

Bread will sit off bottom naturally but to

make it pop up even more, swap one of

the discs for a bright pink or white mini

pop-up boilie that’s been cut in half.

6

I’d have two or three hooklinks on my

side tray set up and ready to go with

different ways of fishing bread. That

way I can change over in seconds.

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

MY BEST

FEEDER

MATCHES

FERRY RECORD

100lb of big bream

and a new match best -

what could be better?

PAGE 109

WORLD PAIRS

Battling the weather in

the wilds of Ireland for

roach and hybrids.

PAGES 110-113

FEEDER FEST

A roach a cast for five

hours over five days - I

was shattered!

PAGE 114

FISH O’ GLORY

Third time lucky at

Hayfield as the Method

feeder came good.

PAGE 115

WORLD CHAMPION

A weekend I’ll never

forget - double gold

on Inniscarra.

PAGES 116-119

108


MY FAVOURITE FEEDER MATCHES

FAVOURITE

MATCHES

BREAKING

RECORDS!

Two-day festival is the pick of my Ferry Meadows matches

OF ALL the venues I’ve written about

in my Angling Times columns down

the years, Ferry Meadows Lakes

near Peterborough have probably

grabbed more of the headlines than

anywhere else.

It’s a water I’ve fished since I was a

lad with my dad Geoff and brother Phil and

comfortably makes the top spot as my favourite

feeder venue of all time. They’re big lakes that

need long casts and plenty of patience, and

while some pegs can be a guaranteed blank,

when the venue is in form you can catch some

huge bream and plenty of them.

You need to get out into the water and do

battle with the elements. You also have to gear

up with the right rods and tackle to be able to

cast 60 or 70 yards, so it’s not a venue for the

faint-hearted.

It’s been very kind to me in matches, with

plenty of wins, but one stands out above all

others – my win in the Steel City AC two-day

festival in the summer of 2013 when I broke the

match record with over 130lb of big bream.

That record has since gone but at the time

100lb was a massive weight from the lakes.

The run-up to this match hinted that a big

weight was on the cards as I’d caught over 100lb

in an open a few weeks beforehand from a peg

near the river mouth on Gunwade Lake. The

bream were in the mood and I was confident in

FAVOURITE

FEEDER MATCHES

STEEL CITY FESTIVAL

2013, FERRY MEADOWS

Who can

argue with

a big net of

slabs like this?

my fishing, knowing that with a good draw and

ideal conditions I could be looking at a very big

net of fish indeed.

The day of my record put me on the middle

of the monument bank of Gunwade a couple

of dozen pegs to the left of the river mouth, so

in the right area – although I was aware that

it could be a case of feast or famine. The good

news was that if the bream were at home, there

would be a good few of them to catch. The

stamp of fish in this spot on the lake always

tends to be bigger – you’re looking at an average

of 7lb to 8lb!

Bream of this size

mean that not

many are needed

for a big weight.

Conditions were bang on. In fact, you

couldn’t ask for better bream fishing weather

with a warm overcast day and a good wind

rippling the surface. It all looked ideal.

Now, if you’ve read my columns about fishing

at Ferry you’ll know that I don’t like to catch

in the first hour of a match and things went to

plan on that front. Using the old favourite of

hair-rigged worms on a Kev Leach distance

feeder at around 50m where the water was at its

deepest, I went an hour and 15 minutes before

my first bite from a big bream.

From that point it was, looking back, an

easy match because I’d done the groundwork

of getting some feed down without spooking

the fish. The job would now be to keep the feed

going in to keep the bream feeding.

I even foul-hooked an 8lb bream in the tail

that I swore was a carp, such was the way it

fought on braid. I finished with 16 proper

bream, the biggest weighing 8lb 9oz plus a rake

of smaller fish, but at 3lb each I don’t think you

could really call them small!

I’d like to say that the fishing was technical

with lots of clever changes and tweaks made to

the rig and feeding, but that wouldn’t be true.

All I needed to do was to keep my casting

accurate and hold my patience when waiting

for a bite. Often at Ferry you can go from

catching to not getting a bite for half-an-hour or

so and then, out of the blue, you’ll net another

half-a-dozen fish in as many casts.

I’ve caught bigger weights at Ferry since then,

but breaking a record is always special – and

made even better when you enjoy such an easy

match into the bargain.

109


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

FAVOURITE

FEEDER MATCHES

WORLD ANGLING PAIRS

IRELAND 2015

It might look bang

on for bream, but so

many Irish waters

are now full of roach

and small hybrids.

RAPID

FIRE

ROACH

Irish feeder fishing isn’t all about

bream – brush up on your roach

fishing with Steve’s tips and tricks...

IF THERE’S a week that I really look

forward to in my crowded fishing

calendar then it has to be the trip

across the Irish Sea to take part in the

World Pairs competition.

Myself and brother Phil have fished this

week-long extravaganza every year since

Kevin Locke created it a while back, and were

fortunate enough to win it in 2015, despite my

van being written off and me ending up at the

hospital after a road accident on the way to the

fishing on the final day!

But enough about that - what about the

fishing? The beauty of the World Pairs is that

because it is based around weight you never

feel like you’re out of it and it’s even possible

to win the whole thing in a day. That keeps

everyone interested compared to a festival

decided on overall points.

The first-time Irish visitor may daydream

about bagging 100lb of bream on the feeder,

and while that’s still more than possible on

some venues, for match anglers like myself

a more viable and match-winning target are

small hybrids and roach. Every lake in the

country seems to be rammed with these.

Because the Pairs is a weight match, every

kilo counts, so getting an extra kilo or two out

of a swim can make a huge difference come

the Friday night presentation. When these fish

are small, there’s certainly a way of fishing the

feeder at speed and in such a way that you can

catch enough of these tiddlers to compete.

The pole does catch a lot of fish in this event,

but with the weather in Ireland famed for

being a bit ‘blowy’, you need to be a good feeder

angler too. Here are the things that I believe

have made a big difference to my Irish fishing...

110


IRISH ROACH, BREAM AND HYBRIDS

FISHING

IRELAND

The window feeder comes into play later in the match.

FINE CHOP

Something that’s always been apparent

throughout the week of the Pairs is the

importance of chopped worms. If the fishing is

hard – and when I say ‘hard’ I’m talking about

trying to catch 20lb of roach – then the best way

to do it is to feed a lot of very finely chopped

worms through the groundbait.

This puts a lot of scent and cloud in the water,

which in turn draws in lots of small roach and

the odd big hybrid. So effective are worms in

this situation that you can be biteless and then

“ Putting in choppy can

turn a lifeless swim into

a bite a chuck!”

within three casts of piling in fine choppy you’ll

be getting bites again.

This was never an opening gambit of our team

but it was still a great way of getting a flagging

swim going again and putting a few bonus fish

in the net.

WINDOW FEEDERS LATE ON

Window feeders are very popular in Ireland

but, unlike other anglers, Phil and I never

started a match using them. Instead we found

it better to bring them into play later in the

contest when bites were starting to slow.

Switching to a window feeder then would

often produce an immediate response, mainly

I believe because it went past where I had been

fishing earlier in the day.

You see, window feeders cast a lot better

than a normal open-end feeder and this has

the effect of making the braid between rod-tip

and feeder that little bit straighter. In effect,

this means I am fishing just past my feed. A lot

of fish will sit just off the back of the feed as the

match progresses, so a window feeder is a great

way of picking them off.

The other big benefit of window feeders is

that they don’t give much off in terms of bait

as they fall through the water. So if the swim is

very deep and you want to keep the fish on the

bottom they are a good option.

CASTERS FOR HYBRIDS

Effective as worms were at bringing in roach,

when it came to hybrids it was all about casters.

Therefore, we really attacked our pegs early

with these to try and get off to a flying start.

To give you an idea of how much we were

attacking, early on we were looking to feed

111


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

two pints of casters in the first hour if we got a

quick response. From then on, though, if bites

slowed we might only feed another two pints

for the rest of the match.

On several days this attacking start worked

a treat but when bites eased off we cut down

the amount of casters we fed to take that into

account. It was very apparent you couldn’t

just pile casters in all day. There is no doubt,

though, that attacking the swim early with

casters seemed to pull a lot of fish into the area

immediately.

DEPTH MAKES A DIFFERENCE

When looking to catch hybrids on the feeder

then depth is without doubt the key.

Hybrids like the security of deep water, so this

governs where I decide to fish. The first thing

I do when I arrive at my peg is have a good

plumb around with a 1oz bomb to check what

sort of depths I have in front of me, and to

check if there any drop-offs.

If I find lots of deep water close in I will look

to fish short, whereas if it’s shallow close in and

I’m looking to catch hybrids I will go long.

It’s also worth pointing out that on places

like Lough Erne, 10ft-15ft is actually shallow

whereas the hybrids prefer 25ft-30ft, in my

experience at least!

So the lesson here is to carefully plumb your

peg so that you have an accurate picture in your

head of what’s in front of you and where you are

going to fish. You definitely can’t go to your peg

with a preconceived idea of exactly where you

are going to fish. Chances are it’ll be wrong.

MISS FEWER BITES

WITH BIGGER HOOKS

One of the things you have to remember about

Ireland is that not only are the surroundings

wild but the fish are too!

Therefore, chances are that most won’t have

seen a hook so they aren’t hook or line-shy in

the slightest. When it comes to roach fishing on

Mincing

worms to a

pulp would

crack a hard

venue.

the feeder I will think nothing of fishing a size

10 hook to a 0.19mm hooklength.

Better still, I will fish just a single maggot on

the size 10. The best bit is that you also hit more

bites when fishing a size 10 as opposed to a 12,

as the fish find the 10 that little bit harder to

deal with.

A little tip for fishing a single maggot on a 10

is to hook it either in the middle or thread it

on. Both these ways will lead to an increase in

your fish-to-bites ratio. If threading on a single

maggot you can catch multiple fish on the

At the weigh-in a

dozen extra fish

can make a huge

difference.

112


IRISH ROACH, BREAM AND HYBRIDS

FISHING

IRELAND

Piling in the casters early

worked a treat for hybrids.

The window feeder is popular in Ireland.

same hookbait, which helps a lot in terms of

effciency and speed.

REGULAR CASTING

At times those hybrids would only feed

for short spells, so it was important to cast

regularly to keep some bait going into the swim

and to ensure that something was there for the

fish when they did arrive.

By chucking every 90 seconds to two minutes,

it was possible to keep a bit of a column of bait

in the water close to the bottom.

Speed is key

to catching

up to 20 kilos

of these!

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

MORE

IRISH

GLORY

Skimmers were few

and far between –

this was an out-andout

roach match.

Inniscarra - a place I

seem to get on with!

O

F ALL the venues

I’ve fished in Ireland

I’d have to say that

Inniscarra Reservoir

near Cork is the top of

my list – It’s where I was

crowned World Champion, and

in the autumn of 2016 it saw me win the

inaugural Sensas Feederfest event and

the 10,000 Euro prize.

This new event promised to be a real

highlight of the calendar with that big prize,

and English anglers travelled over to swell the

attendance to over 100 – but If we thought

FAVOURITE

FEEDER MATCHES

SENSAS FEEDER

FEST, 2016

Inniscarra was going to be like it

was back in 2014 on the Feeder

Champs, we were wrong.

Skimmers had been a key fish

on the Worlds but practice had

suggested that fishing for them

would be a real gamble. If you caught them in

numbers you were guaranteed a good weight

but they weren’t well spread like before and it

quickly became apparent that roach would be

the fish to exclusively target.

What helped in this respect is that most areas

on the match offered you the chance to catch

10 kilos of roach on each day. Working things

out, that would mean 50 kilos across the week

which should be more than enough to get close

to winning.

I was helped by the fishing I’d experienced

in the World Pairs a month before in Ireland,

where I drew a number of pegs that needed a

small-fish feeder approach.

This meant that I was comfortable and up

to speed with the methods and way of fishing

required – it was very different to traditional

feeder fishing where you gave the fish a bit of

time to find and take the bait.

Practice was simply going to be a case of

refining what I already knew about speed

fishing for roach on the feeder, and going into

the five days I was pretty confident provided I

With roach

the target,

speed was

essential.

got half decent draws and enough fish to catch!

Tactics revolved around fishing a small cage

feeder with braid mainline and a large size 10

hook baited with a single maggot. This sounds

very crude, but you have to appreciate that the

fish in Ireland are wild and don’t see hooks

that often. Therefore, you can get away with

massive hooks and the bonus is that you don’t

miss many bites into the bargain.

The rod wasn’t placed on the rest. Instead, I

would cast, let the feeder settle but hold the rod

and almost ‘wind’ the fish on to the hook.

This was achieved only because the roach

would take the bait almost as soon as the feeder

settled and by turning the reel handle, you’d set

the hook. Braid helped immensely to do this.

Nor was any distance chucking needed. This

would take up too much time winding fish in

and instead I settled on a 20m or 30m cast. Bad

spells also needed to be avoided and that’s why

waiting five minutes for a 1lb skimmer was no

good. In that time you could easily have caught

that weight and more in roach.

I finished with around 52 kilos to win – so

roughly 10 kilos per day, as was my target, but

I found it mentally draining fishing and very

mechanical. It’s a style of fishing that we never

do in England and I can see why some people

don’t like it – after that week, though, I’m not

one of them!

10,000

Euros and

an armful of

trophies –

thanks very

much!

114


WINNING FISH O’MANIA IN 1998

FAVOURITE

MATCHES

FISH O’

THIRD

TIME

LUCKY!

The victory that put me on the map

FAVOURITE

FEEDER MATCHES

FISH O’MANIA

FINAL, 1998

ITHINK that any top match angler

will have a match that they can point

to which acted as a stepping stone

towards them going on to achieve

bigger and better things – and mine

without a shadow of a doubt was

winning Fish O’Mania in 1998.

Before this final I was known on the local

scene around Northampton and had made

the previous two finals without troubling the

£25,000 prize, but all that changed in five hours

on the Islands Lake at Hayfield near Doncaster.

My first appearance in the final saw me lose

out to Dave Pimlott at Hallcroft Fishery by

just 4oz and the following year at Hayfield, the

late great Steve Toone and a lot of beer had

something to do with me not performing to my

full potential.It was a year when the carp didn’t

feed and Kev Rowles won fishing for silverfish.

In 1998, though, I was determined not to

miss out. It’s still the case in the final today

that drawing a good peg helps and I got one

at Hayfield, one of the few offering a cast to

the island on the feeder. I think that after two

hours, the match was effectively over as I’d

caught really well and no one else had.

The match was exactly how I’d wanted it to go

– no tangles, no lost fish, no casting into trees.

What I planned to do worked brilliantly and the

pressure was off before we’d got to halfway.

It was all distance casting as the island was

a good 80 yards away. Back then, the Method

feeders I used were original Kobra models with

brass loading stems. I caught on meat and dead

maggots and won by a long way in the end.

At that point I was the youngest winner of

Fish O’ at just 21 and £25,000 was a lot of cash

,as I was working in the late Bob Church’s

warehouse at that point.

MORE importantly, the win acted as the

kickstart for my career and ensured that my

name started to become known.

FAVOURITE

FEEDER MATCHES

EMBASSY PAIRS

FINAL,2003

E B R O B A G G I N G !

I PARTNERED my dad Geoff in

the last Embassy final on the

River Ebro in Spain in 2003 and

although we didn’t win, I did catch

over 80 kilos of carp on feeder

and corn on the opening day to

win £2,000! I remember the river

at Flix responding to sweet rather

than fishmeal groundbait, and I

also remember drawing a snag pit

on day two and catching nothing!

Little did I know

where that Fish O’

win would take me!

115


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Finding the right

depth for those

bonus skimmers was

absolutely crucial.

116


WORLD-LEVEL FEEDER FISHING

WORLD

CHAMPS

FAVOURITE

FEEDER MATCHES

WORLD FEEDER CHAMPS

IRELAND 2014

HOW I

WON THE

WORLD

CHAMPS

Join Steve as he recalls the match

that left him on top of the world!

THERE’S no higher accolade you can

achieve in any sport than being a

world champion, and across one

magical weekend in the summer of

2014 I achieved just that by lifting

the World Feeder Champs title.

Twenty five teams took part in the

event on Ireland’s Inniscarra Reservoir and the

Preston Innovations England Feeder team ran

wild as I took gold and Mick Vials the bronze

medal, while the team of myself, brother Phil,

Mick, Dean Barlow, Adam Wakelin and Rob

Wootton scored an unbelievable 26 section

points over the two days.

It was a score which earned us a convincing

team gold, and I was lucky enough to win my

section on both days to claim the gold medal,

but winning the World Champs isn’t just down

to drawing well and having a bit of luck.

Since I began my England career back in 2011,

I’ve seen just how much goes into international

fishing – from months of careful planning to

logisitics, finding contacts, visiting the venue

several times, and then spending days of hard

practice to perfect our tactics.

THE RIGHT DEPTH –

OUR SECRET TRICK

Communication between team members is

essential to success, and this was especially

the case in Ireland. We’d all made visits to

the venue prior to the event and, pooling our

knowledge, we discovered that fishing at the

right depth was vital.

Those who had caught the best had all fished

at the same depth, which was a count of 12 on a

one-ounce bomb.

This depth never changed throughout the

time we spent on the offcial practice week,

and the great thing about it was that the right

depth was at different distances from the bank,

depending on where you sat.

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

Practice showed us that joker rather than chopped worm should be the main feed.

The reason the depth was so important was

that it allowed us to catch all three key species –

skimmers, roach and hybrids.

We found that if we came short of the magic

count and into shallower water the fish became

smaller, and we couldn’t catch skimmers.

Equally, if we went deeper (to a higher count)

and the small-fish action dried up, all we could

catch was skimmers and eels – and the eels

didn’t count!

None of the other teams cottoned on to our

depth secret, even though we had dozens of

people watching us during practice. We even

stopped fishing this spot on several occasions

so we didn’t give anything away.

FILLING IN THE GAPS!

A lot of teams went down the route of targeting

the skimmers after catching decent weights of

them in practice. We found, though, that the

Champion

of the world

– what a

weekend!

skimmers tended to drift in and out of the swim

which meant long periods putting nothing in

the net if you targeted these fish alone.

Therefore we came up with a plan to fill in the

gaps. Quite simply, when the skimmers were

there we fished for them with baits such as

bunches of bloodworm or redworms.

When they weren’t about, rather than sitting

and waiting we switched to a single maggot

hookbait in order to catch hybrids and roach.

It seemed

wrong but a

heavy, inert

mix was

ideal for the

skimmers.

118


WORLD-LEVEL FEEDER FISHING

WORLD

CHAMPS

It might sound simple, but it was a tactic that

gave us a real edge. Come the weigh-in we had

our skimmers plus 3-4 kilos of other fish on top.

THE RIGHT GROUNDBAIT

After a lot of experimentation we came up with

a 50-50 mix of brown crumb and Sensas Magic,

to which we added a little Sensas Pastoncino to

give the skimmers something to home in on. To

finish, a little black dye was added to take the

edge off the colour of the mix.

How the groundbait was mixed was also

extrewmely important. If it was too dry you

attracted too many small fish into the swim.

For this reason we mixed our groundbait very

wet so that when particles were added it was

best described as being heavy and inert.

This felt wrong, but was actually perfect as

it allowed us to catch a much better stamp

of roach and hybrids in comparison to other

teams on the bank.

BAIT MANAGEMENT

In the World Championships you are limited to

2.5 litres of bait, of which only half-a-litre can be

bloodworm and joker.

At the start of the offcial practice week

chopped worm was key, but as the week

progressed we as a team found that the

skimmers, in particular, seemed to go off it.

As a consequence of this, joker came to the

fore and by the two match days we found there

was nothing else the skimmers wanted to eat.

The problem was, we only had half-a-litre so it

was crucial to feed the joker at the right times –

only when the skimmers were in the area.

It was all too easy to keep piling the joker in

and find that late in the match you had nothing

left to feed.

FEEDER CHOICE

With the water being so deep a lot of teams

went down the solid plastic feeder route,

whereas we found a cage was best as it allowed

the fish to actually see the bait inside the feeder.

I used four- and five-hole Nisa plastic cages in

either 28g or 44g. If there were a lot of fish in the

swim we fished 44g but when they backed off

28g was better, as it seemed the bigger feeder

going in could spook fish.

TACKLE

Bearing in mind we were fishing at short range

there was no need for long rods. As a result of

this I settled on using 11ft Daiwa Tournaments

with the power to chuck a heavy feeder but still

soft enough to prevent hook-pulls.

The rods were teamed up with 4000 TDR

reels loaded with 0.10mm Matrix Submerge

braid and 8lb Tournament ST shockleaders.

In Ireland the fish you are targeting are wild

and haven’t seen hooks and line before, so you

can fish a lot heavier in terms of both hook size

and line diameter. After practice I eventually

settled on a 50cm hooklength of 0.148mm to a

size 10 Kamasan B512 hook.

This might seem a massive hook but it meant

a lot fewer bites were missed, and fewer missed

bites means more fish in the net.

Although those skimmers were important, small

roach were our bread and butter fish.

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

W H A T I T T A K E S T O

FISH FOR

ENGLAND

Think you could make the England

team? There’s more to wearing the

three lions shirt than meets the eye!

IGUESS that fishing for England is an

ambition that all young match anglers

harbour at one time or another, but

the reality is that for all but a small

percentage, it will remain nothing

more than a pipe dream.

Up until 2011 I would have been in that

category. True, I’d won some big matches

and was a ‘name’ but much of my fishing took

place on commercials, so actually fishing at

international level was many, many miles away

from becoming a reality.

That was until the World Feeder Champs

event was created. Tommy Pickering was put

in charge of forming and leading a team and I

was deeply honoured to be picked to fish the

inaugural event in Italy the same year.

If I’m being frank, it was all very sudden.

No trials were held and I guess most of us

were plunged in at the deep end with having

to get our heads around the requirements of

international fishing. I’d like to think that six

years on, and with a load of medals under my

belt, I’ve mastered it and World Champs week

is now the absolute highlight of my fishing year.

But what does it take to make the grade?

Although I had done some team fishing

before getting the call, it was nothing like

I’d experienced before. At England level,

everything we do is disciplined and regimented,

with a chain of command that everyone

adheres to. Every little aspect is pored over

time and time again until we get it right.

I suppose that this was the biggest eye-opener

for me – the degree of detail applied to ther

fishing. Whereas is the UK it would be easy to

say ‘that’ll do’, this isn’t good enough when

fishing against the rest of the world. There are

meetings on top of meetings that leave nothing

left to chance, and I think that professionalism

is reflected in the medals that we’ve won.

Being part of a team begins at the top with

the boss. That’s Tommy Pickering, with Glenn

Lawrence as his second-in-command. The

buck stops with these two and they’re the men

who make the tough decisions, pick the teams

and dictate how practice sessions run – and, of

course, make judgements in the heat of battle

when the two matches take place. Managing a

team is certainly something that I doubt I could

do, so I take my hat off to Tommy and Glenn.

Team boss

Tommy

Pickering

has the final

say in all

decisions.

From a fishing point of view, when the

championships actually take place, you are

kind of in your own bubble, concentrating

on the water in front of you, so pressure as

such doesn’t exist. This is where the man

management qualities of the bosses kick in.

I can remember day two in Holland on 2015

when we won gold. I hadn’t caught after 90

minutes but Tommy came to see me, he said: “I

know you can catch a fish, you’ve been the best

angler on the bank this week,” and left.

That confidence from him, I think worked

better than having him hanging around behind

me waiting for the tip to go round.

Of course, being part of a team means that

you have to get on with the other lads. Any ego

or prima donna behaviour is soon stamped out

because to work successfully as a team you have

to pull together as a team. We’re also a young

team, and that’s good for the future.

The days are long, often beginning at 6am

and finishing with a meeting at 10pm, and in

practice you may be told to fish a tactic that

you know isn’t going to work. It’s only by this

process of elimination that Tommy and Glenn

can work out what to do.

When we began as a team, Tommy said that

we were fishing for gold, and no other medal

was worthwhile. I didn’t agree, but having

tasted gold I can see what he means!

You have to go out with the aim of winning,

otherwise why go through all that effort?

120


WHAT MAKES AN ENGLAND ANGLER

ENGLAND

DUTY

Teamwork is

vital – there’s no

room for egos!

World Champs days can be long, with bait

prep often beginning well before breakfast.

121


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

BARSTON LAKES

SOLIHULL, WEST MIDLANDS

1

This is a real mixed fishery in

every sense of the word as

there are so many species that

you can target, from monster carp to

a big net of quality skimmers.

As far as the feeder is concerned,

long range fishing with either a

Hybrid feeder in summer or bomb

and PVA bags in winter will catch

carp and F1s using high-visibility

hookbaits such as Wafters.

Bream anglers will find plenty of

fish on a shorter cast using a cage or

open-end feeder and dead maggots,

or even a grain of corn.

FAVOURITE PEGS: The point on the

river bank (pegs 52 to 54), pegs 13 to

20 on the same bank or peg 124 on

the golf course bank.

TOP 10

FEEDER

VENUES

The waters that get Steve’s vote for

brilliant fishing on the tip

FERRY MEADOWS LAKES

PETERBOROUGH, CAMBS

2

Without a doubt my favourite

bream water in the UK. These two

lakes are massive gravel pits that

reward the angler who can cast a fair

distance – although in summer, a short

cast will still catch plenty of skimmers,

roach and hybrids.

For those big bream, though, you’ll

need to go the distance with a rocket

feeder or big open-ender. My top

hookbait is hair-rigged worms but

maggots will catch plenty. If you want

to go for quality, try a mini boilie or a

couple of pieces of corn on a hair rig.

FAVOURITE PEGS: On Gunwade Lake I’d

go for 52 or 53, while on Overton, head

for pegs 113 to 115.

122


FAVOURITE FEEDER VENUES

WHERE TO

FISH

Barston’s mixed

fishing makes it a

winner for me.

Bream

fans will

love Ferry

Meadows.

INNISCARRA RESERVOIR

CO CORK, IRELAND

3

Arguably the highlight of any trip

to Ireland is the chance to fish

this massive water near Cork. It is

very deep, but long casting is not

needed on many of the sections.

Fish in summer and you can expect

skimmers and even some proper bream

on the cage feeder with maggots and

worms, but when the weather cools

down, roach take over.

Speed fishing with maggots then

becomes the tactic and it can be a

bite a chuck – hectic fishing but really

rewarding when 20lb is on the cards.

FAVOURITE PEGS: I can’t really pinpoint

one area, but the Garden Centre and

Greenway sections are always good.

SOUTHFIELD RESERVOIR

DONCASTER, SOUTH YORKS

4

I first fished here in a Feeder

Masters Qualifier when I was as

death’s door following a bout of

food poisoning, but I still caught plenty

of fish and one thing I did notice is that

the bream and skimmers here are

always on the move.

That means that you can get bites on

most pegs in the summer. The water is

very shallow and coloured, so a cage

feeder with plenty of chopped worm is a

must to get some scent into the water.

There are some big bream here, as well

as lots and lots of smaller skimmers.

FAVOURITE PEGS: The best advice I can

give here is to keep an eye on match

results and fish the winning pegs!

123


STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

GURU MAKINS FISHERY

WOLVEY, LEICS

5

PACKINGTON SOMERS

MERIDEN, WARKS

6

One of the original commercial

fisheries in the UK and still hugely

popular with match and pleasure

anglers, especially Phase One.

These six lakes are not much to look at

but all offer open-water chucks on the

feeder and some have an island too.

Many of these need a reasonably long

It dosn’t matter whether you fish

here in summer or winter, there

are always bites to be had thanks

to the big head of F1s in most lakes.

For feeder fishing I would pick

Molands Mere or Little Geary’s Pools.

Both have an island cast on every peg,

as well as open water. You don’t need

to throw a long way, and the maggot

feeder works well in winter, switching to

the pellet feeder in warmer weather.

Molands is home to some big carp

and these can be caught on the bomb,

fishing with large hookbaits.

FAVOURITE PEGS: Scarecrow Point on

Molands (pegs 43 to 48), while on Little

Geary’s, go for pegs 7 to 12.

cast on the Method feeder or bomb with

pellets or corn. The carp are old and

wise fish, and as a result are big.

You can also expect lots of skimmers

and some big bream in the summer on

maggots or pellets.

FAVOURITE PEGS: On Lake 2, peg A20

is the flyer while I’d also pick pegs 5 and

25 on Lake 4 for plenty of bites.

MEADOWLANDS FISHERY

RYTON-UPON-DUNSMORE, WARKS

7

You’re looking at carp or bream

here with the Lambsdown Lake

offering more water to attack.

The road bank offers deeper water

at short range and, for bream and

skimmers, a cage feeder with dead

maggots at around 30m will do fine.

If you want carp, though, you’ll need

to cast further with Method or Hybrid

feeder and pellets or Wafters, changing

to a bomb in cold weather.

FAVOURITE PEGS: Pegs 17 to 21 outside

the car park are the most consistent for

carp. For skimmers, try pegs 10 to 15.

WHITE ACRES FISHERY

NEWQUAY, CORNWALL

8

I regularly make the trip down

to Cornwall to fish the festivals

at White Acres and of all the

lakes on this massive site, the best

for fishing the feeder is Twin Oaks.

If you can get on the hot pegs

then you’ll never stop catching carp,

chucking tight up to the far bank with

pellet or Method feeder and banded

pellets or hair-rigged meat from

spring through until autumn.

However, for a pleasure session I’d

say that you can expect a few pulls

on any swim, especially if you fish

later in the day when the fish will be

at their most active.

FAVOURITE PEGS: That’s easy! Twin

Oaks pegs 14 to 17 are absolutely

solid and have won loads of matches.

124


FAVOURITE FEEDER VENUES

WHERE TO

FISH

EARLSWOOD LAKES

SOLIHULL, WEST MIDLANDS

9

The Carp Lake once held the UK

match recod but now is all about

catching big fish, and I mean big!

You’ll be unlucky to catch a fish under

10lb! In fact, I’d say that they are the

hardest-fighting carp I’ve ever caught.

With plenty of open water to go at,

the Method or Hybrid feeder with big

baits is very much the order of the day.

In winter, I would change this to a more

cautious approach with a bomb.

There’s also a big head of bream in the

lake that respond to cage feeder tactics

with maggots or pellets.

FAVOURITE PEGS: I’d always try to

get on pegs 21 to 26 or 73 to 78 for

guaranteed action in summer.

BODDINGTON RESERVOIR

BYFIELD, NORTHANTS

10

Big carp from a big water – what

could be more exciting? ‘Boddy’

is now an out-and-out big carp

match and pleasure water with fish to

15lb not uncommon, and I love fishing

matches here in summer or winter.

Distance casting is a must on the

Hybrid or Method feeder or bomb, and

chocolate orange Wafters are very much

the bait of the moment.

FAVOURITE PEGS: High numbers from

peg 80 onwards are very consistent, as

is the middle of the dam wall.

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

ESSENTIAL

KNOTS

The top three that Steve uses for

his feeder rigs, and how to tie them

FOR all the love and attention that you

may lavish on your bait and tackle,

not to mention the time spent getting

the fish on the feed, it will all amount

to nothing if you can’t tie the right

knots to construct your rigs.

You’ll end up with a parted hooklink or,

worse still, a broken mainline.

Knots are always the difference between

landing and losing a fish and on the feeder,

when you are fishing at long range on big lakes

or experiencing fierce bites from carp and F1s

on commercials, what you tie has to be up to

the job.

Thinking about it, my feeder fishing tends to

involve very few knots but each one is tried and

tested, meaning that I have full confidence in

them every time that tip flies round. They’re

also easy to tie, even with cold hands.

On these pages you’ll see how to tie the

knotless knot for hair-rigging, a tucked halfblood

for attaching swivels and snaplinks, and

my twizzled loop that I use for most of my rigs

on both commercial and natural fisheries.

When you hook a

big fish you must be

confident in your knots!

T U C K E D H A L F - B L O O D K N O T

A

B

Thread the line through the eye of the swivel or hook.

Make five to seven turns with the tag end around the mainline.

C

D

Take the tag back to the turn nearest to the eye.

Pass the tag through the loop, moisten and pull tight. Then pull

the whole knot tight and trim the tag end.

HALF-BLOOD KNOT

This is the knot I use for attaching snaplink

swivels when fishing the mini lead clip. It’s the

first knot my dad ever taught me!

126


KNOTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

TYING

KNOTS

K N O T L E S S K N O T

T W I Z Z L E D L O O P

A

Tie a bait band or loop for your hair rig at one end of

the line. The knot shown above is best for fishing with

a pellet band.

A

First create the length of the loop that you require.

B

Pass the opposite end of the line through the back of

the hook’s eye and out the front. A small piece of rig

tubing can go on the shank to keep the hair straight.

C

Take the loose end and make several wraps around the

hook shank. WInd the end over the shank and poke it

through the eye.

B

With the two lengths of line in between the finger and

thumb of each hand, twist the line clockwise with the

right hand and anti-clockwise with the left hand.

D

While holding the loop end in its desired position, pull

the free end tight while working the wraps up to the

eye of the hook through the back of the eye.

C

When you have around

six inches of doubled line,

tie it off with a normal

overhand knot and trim

off the excess.

E

Pull the end of the line to tighten the knot fully.

KNOTLESS KNOT

For all my hair-rigging I use the knotless knot. The

beauty of this knot is that it not only is it simple to

tie but it also makes getting the hair length correct

far easier. A little tip when tying is to always whip

away from the eye closure to make sure there is no

chance of damaging the line. Also, the line should

exit the eye from the point side of the hook.

TWIZZLED LOOP

This is a version of the standard loop but with a

difference, as it’s twizzled! The twizzled loop is

a favourite of mine for use on bream and Method

or Hybrid feeder rigs. The main benefit of the

twizzle is that it makes the loop stiffer and helps to

prevent tangles. Some also say it’s stronger than a

conventional loop.

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STEVE RINGER’S ULTIMATE FEEDER GUIDE

GLOSSARY

OF FEEDER

FISHING

TERMS

Make sense of common terms that

you might hear on the bank but not

have a clue what they mean!

Action – Description of the

A

flexibility of a rod. Rods have a

fast or slow action. Fast actioned

rods are generally stiffer overall but

bend more at the tip. Slow actioned

rods are more flexible, with some

flexing along their entire length

Additive – Flavouring added to bait

to increase its attraction, usually in a

powder or liquid form

Anti-reverse – Mechanism on a

fixed-spool reel that prevents the reel

from turning backwards

Arlesey bomb – A pear-shaped leger

weight available in a range of sizes

Bail-arm – The wire part of a

fixed-spool reel that guides the

B

line on the spool

Baiting needle – Device used to mount

baits on to a hair rig. It has a small hook

on the end and a plastic handle

Bankstick – A metal stick with a screw

thread at the top, on to which rod rests,

keepnets and pole grips can be fixed.

Barbed hook – Hook with a small ‘barb’

protruding on the inside of the point to

penetrate a fish’s mouth. Barbless hooks

have no barb, while some hooks have a

tiny ‘micro barb’

Big pit – A scaled-down version of a big

carp reel used for casting feeders long

distances

Blend in – Hookbaits that are picked

to merge in with the colour of the feed

being introduced via a feeder

Blood knot - Basic knot for attaching

hooks and swivels

Boilies – Round hookbaits made from a

paste and boiled to harden them off. In

dozens of colours, flavours and sizes

Braid – A synthetic woven material used

for mainline when bream and skimmer

fishing

C

Caster – The chrysalis formed

from a maggot

Chopped worm – Worms that have

been chopped with scissors to create

hundreds of tiny pieces. A great

additive to groundbait for bream and

roach (pic below)

Chuck – Colloquial term for a cast

Cocktail – A hookbait comprising two

or more different baits – especially

good when targeting bream

Commercial fishery – A stillwater which

is well stocked with a mix of species and

is used by day anglers and for matches.

Most feature a range of on-site facilities

such as a café, tackle shop and toilets

Corn – Grains of sweetcorn for hookbait

or feed. Natural yellow is best but other

colours are available too

Crack-off – Accidentally snapping off

the rig when casting. Occurs mainly

when feeder fishing at distance

Dendrobaena – A commonlyused

worm for hookbait and

D

chopping for feed. Commerciallybred,

‘dendras’ are tough and will keep

active for a long time

Diameter – The measurement of the

cross-section of line or braid. These

commonly range from 0.10mm to

0.20mm for feeder work, and the

smaller the diameter, the finer

the line

Disgorger – Small plastic

device used to safely remove

a hook from a fish’s mouth

or throat

Drag – Device on a reel

that regulates how easily

the line can be pulled

from the spool

Drop – Another term for the

distance between feeder and

rod-tip before casting. The

longer the drop, the further you

will be able to cast

Drop-back – Term used to describe

a bite that causes the line to fall

slack, such as when a fish picks up the

hookbait and runs towards the angler

Elastic – The shock-absorber

fitted to the top section(s) of a

E

pole which is used to play fish.

Elastic is also used in the stems of

in-line feeders such as Guru’s Method,

Pellet and Hybrid feeders

Eyed hook – Hooks with an eye at the

end of the shank, used for hair-rigging

and also with thick lines in specimen

angling

Fast action – Rods which bend

mainly in the top third, nearest

F

the tip. Applicable mainly to float

rods

Feathering the line – The act of placing

your index finger on the lip of the reel’s

spool during the cast to slow the exit of

line and stop the rig from going too far

Feeder arm – A solid attachment that’s

fixed to your seatbox leg with a rod rest

head at the other end. This creates a

stable platform to rest the rod on at any

angle you choose

Fixed rig – When a feeder or bomb is

fixed in place on the line – for example,

an elasticated Method feeder

Fluorocarbon – A fishing line often

used for hooklengths (and mainlines in

specimen carp fishing) which is heavier

and slightly stiffer than standard

monofilament and is invisible under

water

Freebies – Particles that are either

loosefed or added to groundbait.

Casters, pellets, chopped worm, corn

and hemp are common examples

F1 hybrid – Popular modern fish stocked

into many commercial fisheries, which

is produced by crossing a crucian carp

with a common carp

G

Gape – The gap between the

point of the hook and the longest

part (the shank)

Goo – Sticky additives in a range of

colours and flavours. These give off

a great cloud in clear water and are

brilliant in winter

Grinner - A very strong knot often used

in rig tying

Groundbait – Used as an attractor or

a carrier of loosefeed, groundbaits are

often fishmeal or breadcrumb-based

Hair rig – A method of attaching

hookbaits where the bait is

H

threaded on to a short thin

section of line (the hair) which then

hangs clear of the hook

Hemp – The seed of a cannabis plant,

sterilised so it won’t grow. When

cooked it is especially good for roach

and skimmers

High-visibility – Boilie or pellet

hookbaits in lurid yellow, pink, orange

and green colours that can be easily

seen by fish

Hooklink/Hooklength – The trace of

line tied to the hook at one end and

connected to the mainline at the other

Hook tyer – This is a small tool with

wooden and metal prongs that is used

to tie a spade-end hook on to the line

Hybrid feeder – A new type of feeder

for commercial carp that’s a cross

128


LANGUAGE OF FEEDER FISHING

GLOSSARY

between a Method and pellet version

Impact bomb – A bomb with a

I

small mesh section in the middle

into which a few pellets can be

added before casting

Inline – A feeder, bomb or float with a

central tube for the line to run freely

through

J

Joker – Bright red larvae which

are used mainly as a feed for

small fish and can also be hooked

Keepnet – A long fish-friendly net

K

2m-3m long, usually rectangular

in shape, which is put in the water

to temporarily retain the catch

Knot picker – Metal tool with a narrow

pointed end, which is useful for opening

up a knot in the line or a tangle

Knotless knot – As the name suggests,

this knot doesn’t actually involve any

tying as such and is used with eyed

hooks for hair-rigging baits

Lead clip – A device on carp rigs

to hold the lead but release safely

L

it if it becomes snagged

Line bite – A false indication on the float

or quivertip caused by a fish brushing

into the line

Line clip – Clip on a reel spool used to

hold the mainline, ensuring the rig can

be cast to the

same spot every

time (pic right)

Link legering –

Legering method

using large shot

fixed on to a

small paternoster

instead of a bomb

Loosefeed – Individual loose items of

bait which are fed on their own

Marker – Far-bank target you can

M

aim at when fishing the feeder to

ensure repeated accuracy

Method Feeder – A type of feeder with a

frame for moulding bait around. Comes

in either an inline or elasticated/fixed

format

Monofilament – A standard nylon

fishing line. Some modern pre-stretched

monofilaments are available in lower

diameters for the given breaking strains

and are ideal for pole fishing

N

No-knot – Another term for the

highly popular knotless knot used

when hair-rigging baits

Peg – A numbered platform or

swim on a fishery. Before a

P

match, the competitors ‘draw

pegs’ to decide who fishes where

Pellet – Small cylinders made from

fishmeals that are compacted into a

hard bait. Brilliant as a feed or hookbait

in bigger sizes for carp

Pinkies – Grubs which are slightly

smaller than maggots and are used

as hookbaits for small species.

Often coloured

fluorescent pink

or red (pic right)

Pop-up – A buoyant

bait which is

‘popped up’ off the

bottom, anywhere

from an inch to a

couple of feet, when using a feeder or

a leger

Presentation – The art of offering the

bait and the rig to the fish correctly and

as naturally as possible

Pull round – A positive bite on the

feeder that causes the quivertip to

lurch all the way round in an aggressive

manner

Punch – A device for making cylindrical

hookbaits by punching out a section

from a larger piece of bait, such as a

bread or luncheon meat

PVA (Poly Vinyl Alcohol) – A watersoluble

material that comes in mesh

or sheet form and is used to present

a small parcel of loosefeed next to a

hookbait

Q

Quivertip – Sensitive, painted

end section of a feeder or bomb

rod, used for bite detection

Redworm – Tiny worms found in

the top layer of animal waste

R

which make a great bait for

skimmer bream

Riddle – A mesh sieve which is used for

tasks such as removing sawdust from

maggots or draining water from soaked

pellets

Rocket feeder – With the weight built

into one end, this feeder can be cast a

lot further than a standard feeder and is

very popular on bream lakes

Running rig – The term for a fishfriendly

leger rig which allows the bomb

or feeder to run freely up the mainline

with nothing obstructing it above

Shockleader – A section of heavy

S

mono line used at the rig end of

the mono or braid mainline to

absorb the pressure of a long cast

Silicone tubing – Hollow tubing which

is threaded on to the shank of a hook to

ensure a hair-rigged bait is presented

properly

Skimmer – A small bream of between a

few ounces and 2lb

Slab – The nickname given to a large

bream

Spade end – Standard hook for hooking

soft baits and natural baits, which

features a flat spade shape at the end of

the shank

Speed bead – A soft rubber bead

that stops the feeder sliding on to

the hooklink and allows the angler

to change hook and hoolink sizes in

seconds

Stand out – Hookbaits that are coloured

differently to what’s being fed, making

them easy for fish to see and pick up

Swingtip – A special kind of bite

indicator which is rarely used these

days. The tip is set to hang down from

the rod end and when a bite occurs it

rises upwards

Swivel - Two tiny metal rings attached

to a small metal body. Used as a

connection for lines and feeders in rigs

Target board – Square black

board which is attached to a

T

bank stick and placed just past a

rod-tip. Used to help the angler spot

shy bites when using the quivertip

Test curve – Rating given to a rod’s

strength, particularly in big-carp

fishing. It suggests the weight required

to bend the rod-tip by 90 degrees from

the blank

Through action – A rod with a constant,

forgiving bend throughout the blank,

such as a feeder or specialist rod

Turn – The distance taken up by one

full rotation of the reel handle. Anglers

often use ‘turns’ to describe the

distance that they are fishing at on the

feeder

Venue – The generic term given

to a fishing

V

location – a

stillwater, canal or

river

W Wafter – A

neutral

buoyancy

dumbell or boilie

hookbait that when

fished on a hair rig will

‘waft’ just off the

bottom (pic right)

Watercraft –

Common term for

the ability to read

a swim or venue, its

features and weather

conditions, and then

apply it to where, how and

when you are going to fish. Considered

to be an important skill

Window feeder – Popular in Ireland,

this feeder has the weight at one end

and a window slot in the side – great for

fishing in deep water without releasing

the bait early

Zig rig – Another term for a

pop-up presentation, where the

Z

bait is presented off bottom in

conjunction with a simple bomb rig

129

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