Know your stuff | Cage or method feeder for carp?

Should I always fish a Method feeder for carp, or are there times when a cage feeder would work better?

On a pleasure session both will catch their share of fish but they present the bait and introduce feed into the swim in different ways. The type of peg you are fishing may dictate which feeder to use, too.

A Method feeder with a short hooklink is a very positive way of fishing, putting the bait right in amid the feed and allowing you to be very precise. It’s also excellent when casting close to islands or far banks with vegetation, as there’s little chance of the short hooklink being snagged in the greenery. Bites will be very positive too, thanks to that short link.

A cage feeder allows you to fish with a hookbait sinking slowly through the final foot of the swim. If used with feed pressed lightly into the feeder it can create a cloud close to the deck for the bait to fall through. Much depends on what you are trying to achieve in terms of how you want to catch the carp.

Take a look at the quick guide to each type of feeder (below) to help you decide, and if you are still unsure, set both feeders up and fish them to see which works better for you.

Method feeder

A positive tactic, best used at the start of a session, it will catch carp that are already in the peg when they home in on the feed. It is worth trying different hookbaits throughout the day and having different mixes to put round the feeder – soaked 2mm pellets only, 2mm pellets and groundbait or just groundbait. Try all three combinations, as on some days one will work better than the others. 

Bury the hookbait well into the feeder, as this produces far more positive bites. Hooklinks should be the standard 4ins long.

Cage feeder

Rarely used on commercials, but when fishing in conjunction with the Method this type of feeder can be deadly. It offers the fish something totally different and allows you to create a sinking cloud of feed while your hookbait falls slowly through it.

Corn is a great bait in this situation as it is very visible when it falls through the water. The hooklength should be about 12ins long and the feeder shouldn’t be too big either, say around 30g – heavier if you have to fish at a greater distance. 

You can fish both pellets and groundbait in the feeder, but using just groundbait means your hookbait will be more easily picked out amid the feed.