An art that seem’s to of been forgotten in the mists of time, but now with what seems to be turn back to the rivers these old tactics are making a come back.
The pole feeder can be a deadly method on the Soar especially on the Sutton Bonington stretch through the winter months. With the depth of around 12 ft and the possibility of extra water on getting the bait down and to stay where you want it is so important.
I used to fish the pole feeder a lot, with a few people asking about it in the shop of late i thought id put a bit of a scribble together on how i fish the pole feeder.
There’s a few schools of thought that you loose the sensitivity and miss bites due to fishing an all most tight line to the hook. There’s even a view that adding a light pole elastic in line to aid in bite detection. I can see where they are coming from and why it would work, but i don’t think you need to go to this if your rig is set up correctly. We don’t have a problem fishing the tip and that’s kind of what pole feeder fishing is.
So first off elastics 6 – 10 hollow 4 – 6 solid bear in mind you could pick up a better stamp of fish. Plus the added weight of the feeder, but you need the elastic to be soft enough to aid in setting the hook. Modern hollow elastics are great for this set up.
The Lolly pop or Flat float as they are also known are the ones to go for every time. These two floats are both hand made in 2.5 and 3 gram.
I don’t think you can get these feeders any more but Nisa feeders make Pole Feeders.
I even play’d about with making my own groundbait pole feeders out of an small cage feeder and a strap lead. Very crude but it worked back when you couldn’t get the mass produced ones.
Setting the rig up couldn’t be easier. I normally only fish about a 1 ft of line between the pole tip and float as i’ll want to be keeping the line tight and the float in check all the time. I’ll build the rig at home giving plenty of line if i’m unsure of the venue depth, this way i can cut back the line on the bank.
I used to attach the feeder paternoster style to the mainline, but this meant that changing the hook link length was a pain. These days i use the small version of the Enterprise Tackle Adjuster Links.
This allows me to adjust the hook link length when ever i like with ease, As a rule of thumb i’ve kept to around a 1 ft for the hook length. I’ve also found that by cutting the clear tube slightly longer on the hook link side you almost get an anti tangle boom effect. The Feeder is attached to adjuster link with a short length of line of a lower breaking strain to the mainline just in case of snags. I’ll also add a small snap swivel to the feeder so i can quickly change it if needed.
Getting used to fishing the pole feeder can take some time even more so if your fishing at a fair distance. By far the best way is swinging the rig out so as you can imagine if your trying to fish over 10 mtrs with say 12 ft of rig it’s not going to be easy.
I generally keep to fishing not much further out than the actual depth i’m fishing in, so going on a 12 ft venue id be fishing around 4 mtrs of pole i could fish 6 mtrs of pole but that would be about it.
The rig would be swung out slightly down stream while feeling for the feeder touching the bottom just like you’d feel for the bottom when plumbing up. Everything should go through the water smoothly so the flow picks up the hook length and keeps it down stream of the feeder. Almost imagine your fishing a stick and holding back an the end of the swim. The float should just sit nice in the water using the tension in the line to hold it steady in the flow. Only the bristle wants to be showing. Once you get used to fishing this way you’ll be able to dot the bristle right down so even the shiest of bites is shown.
As i mentioned above people talk about using bits of pole elastic in the line to aid from bumping or missing bites, but i can honestly say I’ve never come across this problem. If the float is balanced right and the pole is gentling holding the float back in the flow you’ll find every bite will pull the float under, 9 out of 10 times the fish will of hooked its self as the elastic in the pole will be acting as a bolt rig.
So go on give it ago get it right and you’ll find it a rewarding method on the pole. Don’t discount using it on the canal this winter either 😉