Perfect the pellet feeder

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Want to improve your Pellet Feeder fishing? What better person to give you a masterclass than the inventor – Andy Findlay

Fishing with a Pellet Feeder is extremely easy and it can be done by anyone, but fishing it effectively is another ball game. I’m going to run through a few tips to help you get the best from this superb approach.

1.Pick your size

Picking the right size is essential. Most of my Pellet Feeder fishing is done in the late autumn and early spring. I feel that this is a time when it is far more effective than the Method. The fish are usually more wary after having a summer bombardment of feeders or are very docile after the winter, so creating minimum disturbance is key. Choose the lightest feeder you can get away with for the distance. I’ll start with a small feeder, but if the fish are in the mood for a bit of grub I’ll happily swap to a large feeder. 

2.Balance your tackle

A high percentage of commercial fisheries are fairly small meaning a cast of 50 yards will most likely cover any cast you need to make. I use a Innovations C-Tech 11/13ft Feeder rod – the through-action of this rod absorbs any lunges that a fish may make at the net and it has the power to cast longer distances if needed! This is matched with an Inception 4000 Reel. The 4000 size matches well with this rod when used at 11ft or 13ft and is loaded with 6lb Power Max Reel Line. The Wide Arbour Spool means the line has little memory when it leaves the reel, making for effortlessly smooth casts.

3. Accuracy is everything

Casting accurately is a must when fishing the Pellet Feeder, especially when it’s cold. The fish won’t be moving a lot and when they arrive in your peg you’ll want them concentrated into one area. This means that your casting has to be consistently accurate. Now I don’t want to be boring, but practice does make perfect. The cooler months are a great time to practice for a number of reasons. Firstly, there will be fewer anglers on the bank and constant casting will not ruin their day’s fishing. Secondly, the vegetation on the side of the islands has usually died back, so you’ll have fewer worries about getting snagged. Last but not least, the casting and reeling in will keep you warm when it’s cold! If you can land a feeder in a 2ft square each time, you’ll have a good chance of catching. 

4.Having the right hooklength

Tailoring your hooklength to suit the conditions is essential. Most of the year I’ll use Reflo Power in anything from 0.19mm down to 0.13mm. It’s just awesome, super strong and durable and I have full confidence in using it. In the depths of winter when the fishing is slow and I want to make fish in my swim, converted into fish in my net I’ll drop down to 0.12mm Precision Power. This lower diameter hooklength gets me more bites, and with balanced tackle and careful playing of fish, I can land anything I hook. 

5. Hookbait selection

There are endless different hookbaits in all different shapes and sizes that can be used for the Pellet Feeder. I predominantly use soaked Expanders on Quickstop Hair Rigs, as I prefer a softer hookbait, however some of the modern alternatives are very effective. Often in summer I’ll switch to a bright bait – Sonubaits Strawberry or Krill Band’ums are bright red and fluoro pink. When on the bottom they are extremely visual and get picked up quickly. When the weather cools down the fish may shy away from bright baits, and swapping to a banded 6mm Fin Perfect Feed pellet or punched Polony can be the key to consistent catching. 

It’s well worth experimenting with different baits or colours on the day, sometimes a simple change of colour or indeed buoyancy can be all that’s needed to make the fish pick up your bait. The new Semi-Buoyant Band’ums from Sonubaits are sure to provide bonus fish on trickier days.