What should you look for when buying a feeder rod?
Action - The stiffer a rod, the higher its loading point becomes, and the better it casts. But a Method rod still needs to have a sweet tip-to-middle progressive action so it can be used with smaller hooks and lighter lines. When you’re looking to buy a rod, take a reel, thread it up and get someone to pull the line at an angle away from you. You’re looking for a seamless curve without flat-spots, plus plenty of feeling.
Line guides - The butt guide should be positioned around 18 inches away from the leading edge of the handle. Lined guides are usually standard on all modern feeder rods with SICs being the most popular. Some Method rods have double-legged guides throughout, while others only have a double leg on the butt. Single-legged guides obviously weigh less but can be prone to twisting, so just be careful when putting the rod away. Most 11ft models carry nine guides, discounting the quivertip.
Spigot - The spigot is an area of added stiffness which interrupts the smooth line of any rod. For a Method feeder model the male spigot needs to have at least 2mm of thickness to withstand the inertia of the cast. Spigots should always have a snug fit, but should never meet or the rod will twist, slip and may even fall apart.
Handle - Handles on a Method feeder rod depend how far you need to cast. So the longer the rod the longer the handle. On 11ft to 13ft models it should be long enough to enable the angler to create a pivotal arm action when casting. Shorter rods tend to have shorter handles so they're easier to manage when you're only casting up to 30m or so.
Quivertips - All Method rods come with a selection of (normally three) push-in quivertips, made of either carbon or fibreglass. Fibreglass tips are softer and definitely offer better registration, so they're more suited to shorter rods and smaller fish. Stiffer carbon tips come in when you're going for bigger fish or casting a long way.
Reel seat - The seat should produce a smooth line along the top and bottom of the handle while locking the reel securely into position. Fixed reel positioning at the top of the handle is also crucial as this aids casting performance. Screw-down style EVA thumb grips add extra grip. The original Japanese Fuji reel seats are often considered the best available. Most feeder rods are fitted with a standard 20mm DPS seat which can be used with reels up to 5000 body size.
Our top 8 picks
(In no particular order)
1.Preston Innovations 12ft Monster Method Feeder
"Great action and well thought out"
Length: 12ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: 1oz, 1.5oz & 2oz | Reel seat: Screw down | Handle: Part cork / EVA | Keeper ring: Yes
PAY AROUND: £99.99
•Three quivertips with good choices of test curves
•Lovely progressive action with enough backbone for casting
•Large line guides on the lower part of the blank help achieve distance
•We're being extremely picky here but a larger butt guide and one less line guide in total would improve casting distance
Preston's new Monster Method rods are slightly different to its Dutchmaster range, especially in the action stakes. Where the Dutchmasters are mostly casting rods for long range and silverfish, the Monster Method blanks boast a much softer, through action, which comes into play for smaller hooks and slightly shorter ranges with Method, Pellet Feeder and Banjo tactics.
Make no qualms about it however, this 12ft version still has enough backbone to cast beyond 60m and will handle big fish while still retaining a nice soft action to ensure that every hooked fish ends up in the net.
We reckon it could also double up as a bream rod or a useful model for chub and bream in running water. The Monster Method just scrapes under the £100 mark by the skin of its teeth but in our book it's worth every penny!
2. Maver Genesis Pro 10ft Feeder rod
"Slim with casting power... typically Maver"
Length: 10ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: Three | Reel seat: Screw down | Handle: Part cork / EVA | Keeper ring: Yes
PAY AROUND: £64.99
•Rod blank is slim in diameter
•Good through action at this price point
•Soft action makes the rod ideal for short range and smaller fish
•Excellent reel seat
•Keeper eye can be flicked to a flat position when fishing with the rod
•A little bit of wobble on the cast
•Distance between the handle and butt guide is long for a short rod
•The lightest no1 tip is extremely thin and could be prone to damage
This high modulus carbon 10ft two-piece rod is the perfect short range tool for modern commercial fishing with a variety of tactics. It has a soft action and highly sensitive tips so we suggest this is best used for small method and pellet feeders or bombs, even though it has a maximum claimed casting weigh of 80g.
It features a good matt carbon finish and top quality fittings throughout. The handle is mostly cork with EVA at the top and bottom for grip. It isn't too long either, which is ideal on a 10ft rod for short chucks.
Full of nice touches and slimline throughout, we say this rod represents excellent value for money at £64.99.
3. Daiwa Yank N Bank Carp Feeder 10ft
"Quality build and finish"
Length: 10ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: 1oz, 1.5oz & 2oz | Reel seat: Down locking EVA fore grip | Handle: Part cork / EVA | Keeper ring: Yes
PAY AROUND: £76.99
•Great-looking low-glare finish, especially around the base and guides
•Lots of power to play larger fish and punch out casts, even at a 10ft length
•The cork handle has a flattened area near the base for extra security when holding the rod
•Excellent line guides
•The action is fairly stiff through the middle so this is more suited to bigger fish
The Yank N Bank Feeder is built for bagging up sessions, exactly as its slightly cringeworthy name suggests. That's thanks to its powerful blank, which boasts a good progressive action.
Ideal for bomb and feeder tactics on commercial fisheries, this rod will easily cope with casts of 40 yards or so to island or far-bank features.
It's supplied with three super slim push-in tips from 1oz-2oz which are handily colour coded so you can instantly identify each. Supplied with a rod sleeve and reel pouch, which is handy if you want to leave it already rigged up and broken down.
4. Frenzee FXT Match+ 9ft Feeder rod
"Short with a soft action"
Length: 9ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: 1oz, 1.5oz | Reel seat: Screw down | Handle: Part cork / EVA | Keeper ring: Yes
PAY AROUND: £79.99
•Very soft action minimises hook pulls
•The handle is a sensible length although we'd have liked a little bit more cork at the top end
•Only two quivertips supplied
•Lacks a bit of backbone through the middle for casting and larger fish
This medium-price range of rods sits in between Frenzee's FXT range and its Match Pro. Featuring a metallic blue whipping on the butt section and black whipping throughout, we like the stylish, slim diameter blank.
This isn't a rod to chuck to the horizon or use for big carp, as by Frenzee's own admission it's casting distance is up to 35m. What it is ideal for however, is short range work for fish up to about 5lb, especially F1s, with small feeders and small hooks.
It's a lightweight rod with a decent through action, which is great fun to use.
5. Free Spirit CTX 9ft Feeder
"The new kid on the block"
THE PACKAGE: Length: 9ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: Three | Reel seat: Screw down | Handle: Cork / EVA thumb grip | Keeper ring: Yes
PAY AROUND: £
•Fantastic progressive action with loads of power
•Supplied with both glass and carbon tips
•Slim diameter blanks
•We'd have preferred completely orange quivertips to the white or white/orange supplied
Free Spirit has an enviable reputation for producing high performance rods in the carp and specimen market. In 2016 it turned its attention to the coarse market too and the first result was the CTX float and feeder models.
A Bi-Axis weave gives the blank a classy 'carpy' appearance and it's tough and long lasting too. Scratch the blank and you can simply wipe it off.
What is similarly impressive is the rod's performance. It's slim and extremely light, yet packs a great progressive curve with plenty of power. It oozes class and by our reckoning performs considerably beyond its sub-£100 price tag.
6. Matrix Method Master 11ft
"Progressive action and a reliable performer"
Length: 11ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: 1oz, 1.5oz | Reel seat: Screw down | Handle: Cork / EVA thumb grip | Keeper ring: No
PAY AROUND: £69.99
•No bounce on the cast
•Great for accurate and slightly longer casts
•Controlled progressive bend
•Not the slimmest rod blank on test
•Only two quivertips supplied
•No hook keeper ring
As the name suggests, this is a rod with a commercial fishery emphasis. It's also one offering tremendous value for money in our book.
What's immediately noticeable about the 11ft blank is the fast taper diameter from butt to tip. This gives it a high weight loading area towards the tip end of the carrier section and enables the rod to hold rock-steady before, during and after casting.
This lack of movement also improves the rod’s distance overall casting and accuracy, and during testing it handIed 30g flatbed feeders with ease. We'd have liked a keeper ring to store the hook in but the rod's performance makes up for this.
READ OUR FULL LIVE TEST HERE
7. Middy Baggin Machine 10ft Carp Feeder
"Nice design and good value"
Length: 10ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: Two | Reel seat: Screw down | Handle: Part cork / EVA | Keeper ring: Yes
PAY AROUND: £59.99
•Excellent deep secure reel seat
•Wide line guides throughout improve casting distance
•Decent through action
•The blank is soft and doesn't have loads of backbone for casting
For the technical bit, this rod is built using a Synaptic carbon cloth. When combined with resins it allows the blank to be strong and flexible, while retaining a good degree of lightness and stiffness.
The handle section is particularly worth a mention, a decent mix of EVA and cork, although we'd have preferred slightly more cork. It's a well thought out length with a thicker end rim to prevent slipping and the reel seat is deep with a skeletal design to reduce weight.
It has a soft, progressive tip action that starts to tighten up quickly just past the middle of the blank for casting. Middy make some very good rods for the money these days and this is definitely one of them - at £59.99 its difficult to criticise.
8. Shimano Force Master Commercial 10ft Mini Feeder
"A 13m version of a top end power pole"
Length: 11ft | Pieces: Two | Tips supplied: 2oz, 3oz | Reel seat: Screw down | Handle: Part cork / EVA | Keeper ring: No
PAY AROUND: £34.99
•Extremely low price
•Double-legged guides giving added strength and stability on the butt
•Plenty of power for casting
•The carbon tips supplied are a bit on the pokey side and not very bright
This is by far the cheapest rod on test but it's here for a reason - because of it's performance at this lower price point.
Picking up the two-piece XT40 graphite carbon blank, it's nicely constructed, with two quality double-legged guides giving added strength and stability on the butt. The seven lightweight but flexible single-legged guides are well spaced along the carrier section.
It's very much at home casting flatbed Method, open end or pellet feeders weighing up to 40g. As mentioned the tips are slightly pokey, but they have the effect of stiffening up the end section, which in turn improves the casting performance of what is quite a soft blank.
Reel lines of anything between 5lb and 10lb would be fine with this rod, as would hooklengths as low in diameter as 0.12mm. The softness of the second section helps to give the blank a parabolic (constant rate of curvature) type of action.