Open Ended Feeder Fishing

Open ended feeder fishing is amongst the most popular and effective methods on waters with a large head of fish, where positive methods work well. The strength of the method is its capacity to allow an angler to feed at range as little or as much as they want at a given time. From laying down a large bed of feed in anticipation of a shoal of bream, to regularly depositing feed in a given area to build a swim there are few more versatile methods.

Alongside its capacity to deposit large amounts of groundbait in a given place, the open ended feeder also allows anglers to feed large amounts of other baits, either by cramming the feeder full of soft baits such as pellets, meat or worm and caster, or by filling the middle of the feeder with said baits and then plugging either end with groundbait.

When the fish are really responding well to a groundbait feeder attack, often the tip will have go round as soon as the feeder hits the bottom, as the fish scramble about for the loose offerings contained within the groundbait, picking up the hookbait in the ensuing frenzy.More…In terms of rigs, again the golden rule is to think carefully about what you are fishing for and fishing with before deciding on an exact approach to fit in with that. There are a range of different shapes and sizes of feeder available, allowing you to cater for a wide variety of situations. Furthermore, attaching your feeder to your mainline with a swivel link ensures that the size of feeder can be changed as and when required in the course of a session.

The type of open ended feeder you choose should depend largely on the amount of bait you are wanting to feed, the distance at which you are wanting to feed it and the type of bait you are wanting to feed. The amount of feed dictates the size of the feeder, the distance dictates the weight of feeder, and the type of bait dictates whether a gripmesh feeder( one that contains spikes to help hold bait in) or a straight forward cage feeder are used.

Again, the best method of attaching the feeder and hooklength also depends on the situation. For a sensitive rig, it is best to attach the hooklength to the mainline above the feeder, but when a more positive approach is required a bolt rig is the most effective method, where the hooklength is attached below the feeder so the fish hooks itself against the weight of the feeder. It is important when setting up such a rig that all the components can break away however, so in the event of a breakage the fish isnt left towing a weight around.


One of the most important variables in feeder fishing that can acutely effect the bite to fish ratio is the length of the hooklength. Again there are no golden rules as to what the correct length to have on a given day is, but as a general rule a longer hooklength should be used when bites are hard to come by, with a shorter one preferred when the fish are feeding confidently. The shorter the hooklength, often the more savage the bite.

Many top anglers count the most important part of a days feeder fishing as the groundbait mix however, with the very best anglers turning the type of groundbaits that go into mixes to suit various conditions into an exact science. Again, there are no golden rules here and a lot of what is deemed effective comes down to personal preference. A general rule however, is that a fairly active mix should be used where possible, to allow the groundbait to explode out of the feeder when it hits the bottom.

Please enjoy our range of articles which explore feeder fishing in a range of situations. If you have any questions why not air them on the forums? There are always anglers on there who are willing to help!


  1. gary

    Jun 21, 2008

    Can anyone tell me the best technique for someone trying out swimfeeder for the first time

    • ben dover

      Nov 23, 2011

      make sure your swimfeeder is a new one.

    • numnuts

      Mar 04, 2012

      Make sure its on your line

  2. Terryspeed

    Apr 27, 2011

    Hi.i am new to fishing for carp an feeders,but you’r info has put me in positive for my fishing.cheers


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