The tackle you need for long-range feeder fishing

Tackle tester Dan Webb looks at all the gear you’ll need to hit the horizon

The tackle you need for long-range feeder fishing

by Angling Times |

Autumn is the time to dig out the long-range feeder gear to tackle fish that are moving far out into the lake.

The extra strain put on your rod by a big cast will lead to cheap carbon and poorly-designed quivertips underperforming or getting broken. The tips need to be fast tapered and stiff enough to withstand frap-ups on the cast, yet still soft enough to be able to show up bites clearly.

Reels need to hold plenty of line but must provide very little resistance on the cast. Although playing second fiddle to the rod, don’t skimp on yours, as it will only lose those vital yards that your rod has worked so hard to gain.

Here, then, is our pick of distance rods and reels to cover all budgets, plus four must-have feeders to help you hit the mark.

A good distance casting tool should have plenty of power in the blank yet still have a forgiving tip to avoid hook-pulls
A good distance casting tool should have plenty of power in the blank yet still have a forgiving tip to avoid hook-pulls

Rods

Preston Innovations Distance Master

What they say: Designed with input from feeder internationals Mick Vials and Lee Kerry, these rods achieve a perfect blend of casting potential and fish-playing action. The elongated butt lets you fully compress the three-piece blank for maximum distance. Oversized guides provide minimal resistance on the cast and will easily accommodate shockleader knots.

What we say: These are without doubt the softest dedicated distance rods on the market. The 12ft 6ins model is the commercial Method feeder choice, while the extra length and added forgiving action of the 13ft 2ins rod makes it the bream angler’s favourite. It appears far too forgiving to chuck any kind of distance, but feels like a catapult on the cast, positively launching anything you put on it! The 13ft 10ins rod packs yet more power, but is still surprisingly light and soft at the tip end. It’s well capable of monster casts well in excess of 100m. Match one up with a Preston Intensity reel for the ultimate pairing.

Tips supplied: 2oz, 3oz, 4oz carbon

Price: 12ft 6ins £269.99, 13ft 2ins £289.99, 13ft 10ins £319.99, www.prestoninnovations.com

Preston Innovations Distance Master
Preston Innovations Distance Master

Daiwa SLR

What they say: Our team have improved the SLR range even further for 2021. Reduced twist and greater energy transfer through the blank means even greater casting potential and accuracy. Lighter guides with a tweaked arrangement on the tip improve recovery on what was already a very fast rod. The outstanding Fuji VSS reel seat mounted into a Duplon grip is perfectly blended into a contoured cork handle.

What we say: The name says it all – SLR stands for Super Long Range. The weight difference on the new models is noticeable, as everything just ‘snaps’ back into place quicker than ever before. The 11ft beauty will remain the commercial angler’s favourite, while a two-piece and a three-piece 12ft option will appease even the fussiest of feeder fishing connoisseurs. The 13ft rod will satisfy the distance animal while the 14-footer can only really be described as the ultimate casting tool, capable of handling huge weights and some incredible distances when in the right hands. Because they go together like strawberries and cream, look to fit a Daiwa TDR Distance reel to your prized SLR.

Tips supplied: 3 x carbon

Price: £490 - £565,****[ www.daiwasports.co.uk](www.daiwasports.co.ukts.co.uk)

Daiwa SLR
Daiwa SLR

Free Spirit CTX Power Feeder Distance

What they say: State-of-the-art 40T Japanese carbon with Bi-Axis carbon tape gives a lightweight yet strong and responsive blank. Steady and smooth loading of the rod will ensure the longest and most accurate casts. A slightly shorter quivertip helps with recovery, eliminates flat spots and reduces the likelihood of casting mishaps and breakages by the less experienced angler.

What we say: Makers of some of the finest carp rods around, Free Spirit has put its knowledge and expertise into this stunning range of distance feeder rods. The more expensive Hi-S range might have the finest carbon money can buy, but by tweaking various parts of these CTX models, virtually no distance has been lost and only minimal fish-playing action, despite the far lower price point.

Tips supplied: 3 x carbon

Price: 12ft £179.99, 13ft 3 piece £189.00, 13ft 2 piece £199.00, 14ft £209.00, www.freespiritmatch.co.uk

Free Spirit CTX Power Feeder Distance
Free Spirit CTX Power Feeder Distance

MAP Dual XD Distance Feeder

What they say: A trio of big-hitting distance rods designed to cope with large, heavy feeders for reservoir carp and bream or fighting-fit river barbel. Each rod is supplied with three full carbon tips and oversized guides to cope with extreme distances and bulky shockleader knots. Fast-taper blanks offer superb responsiveness, fast recovery and instant feel when hitting bites.

What we say: High-performing distance rods that still manage to get into shops at under £200 – something that just wasn’t possible only a few years ago. We feel that the 12ft 6ins model is more of a great all-round feeder rod than a distance model, while the 13ft 2ins is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch for general carp and bream fishing at range.

Due to its extraordinary casting power, the 13ft 8ins model is probably best left to more specialised big river work or hitting huge distances with more weighty feeders.

Tips supplied: 2oz, 3oz, 4oz carbon tips

Price: 12ft 6ins £179.99, 13ft 2ins £189.99, 13ft 8ins £199.99, www.mapfishing.co.uk

MAP Dual XD Distance Feeder
MAP Dual XD Distance Feeder

Shakespeare Superteam 14ft Heavy Feeder

What they say: 30T High Density Carbon blank lined with braid resistant SiC guides make for a modern look and feel on a very powerful rod. Quality EVA and cork handle with a contoured reel finish a finely presented rod at a very agreeable price.

What we say: A good choice for the beginner to long-range feeder work. You won’t get the performance of a higher-priced rod, but it will cast good distances and it plays fish adequately, which is actually quite astonishing at this bargain price.

Tips supplied: 2.5oz, 3oz, 4oz carbon

Price: £99.99 (but shop around), www.shakespeare-fishing.co.uk

Shakespeare Superteam 14ft Heavy Feeder
Shakespeare Superteam 14ft Heavy Feeder

Reels

Daiwa N’zon Distance 25

What they say: A geared-down ratio for powerful cranking and a minimal resistance low-profile spool, yet still boasting a retrieve of 93cm of line per turn of the handle, makes this the perfect distance feeder reel choice for anglers on a tighter budget.

Dual line clips on the reel help with accuracy and juggling of multiple lines, while the T-shaped handle provides both power and comfort.

What we say: Daiwa quality and technology matched to N’zon price point in a distance reel – what’s not to like?! You’d rather be using the top-end TDR Distance, but when you can buy nearly three of these for the same money, you really can’t complain. A fine reel for a minimal spend.

Price: £89.99, www.daiwasports.co.uk

Daiwa N’zon Distance 25
Daiwa N’zon Distance 25

Daiwa TDR Distance 25QD

What they say: Big pit casting capability compacted into a feeder match-sized reel with an impressive 96cm retrieve per crank. A super shallow 65mm spool requires minimal backing line, even with braid. The uniquely designed double lip LC spool lessens line friction while still preventing frap-ups, resulting in up to a five per cent increase in casting distance.

What we say: A no-compromise distance reel. Line lay is perfection itself, and the wind is super smooth, even when cranking in the heaviest of feeders and biggest of fish. The Quick Drag is as smooth as it is fast to adjust. If you’re struggling to reach your distance, the reason won’t be the reel if you’re using one of these!

Price: £350, www.daiwasports.co.uk

Daiwa TDR Distance 25QD
Daiwa TDR Distance 25QD

Preston Innovations Extremity

What they say: Especially designed for long-range feeder fishing, the 620 is the ultimate casting reel, capable of launching and retrieving heavy feeders from well over 100m. The large spool and magnificent cranking power on a smaller body of the 520, however, make it ideal for bigger fish at shorter ranges.

What we say: No longer do big carp match and long-range feeder anglers need to rely on mini pit reels, as this new breed of distance match reel does an admirable job. Folding handles, dual line clips and a reasonably fast retrieve tailor these models towards the match and serious all-round angler. Despite the huge spool, the Extremity has a light and compact body so doesn’t unbalance lighter rods.

Price: £84.99-£89.99, www.prestoninnovations.com

Preston Innovations Extremity
Preston Innovations Extremity

Shimano Ultegra 5500 XSD

What they say: A mini pit reel in a league of its own, packed with many of the features found in top-of-the range Shimano reels. Featuring a line clip, super-slow oscillation and a high-speed drag, the ultra-shallow spool will hold 200m of 0.20mm line.

What we say: The Ultegra name goes hand in hand with the phrase ‘Distance Feeder’, as it has now long been the reel of choice for many top distance chuckers. The wide bullnosed spool provides little resistance when distance casting, holds both fine or strong line well, and provides plenty of cranking power.

Price: £149.99, www.fish.shimano-eu.com

Shimano Ultegra 5500 XSD
Shimano Ultegra 5500 XSD

Feeders

Guru Distance Hybrid Feeder

What they are: These distance versions of the hugely popular Hybrid feeder have been tweaked and weighted to allow optimum casting performance. Interchangeable stems allow them to be used either free-running or elasticated. Available in mini (30g), small (40g), medium (50g) and large (60g).

Why we love them: Probably the most famed Method-type feeder out there, but with added casting potential.

Price: £2.79, www.tackleguru.com

Guru Distance Hybrid Feeder
Guru Distance Hybrid Feeder

Nisa Rockets

What they are: A plastic framed, caged feeder with a bullet-type lead at the base. Designed for ultimate distance yet optimal bait release. Available in four sizes from 8g to 90g.

Why we love them: A massively popular specialist distance feeder with a huge number of uses due to its extreme variations in size and weight. They not only fly straight and true, but cut through the wind exceptionally well.

Price: £1.99 - £2.45, www.nisafeeders.co.uk

Nisa Rockets
Nisa Rockets

Preston Absolute Window feeders

What they are: A side-loading feeder designed to carry both groundbait and particles. Available in small, medium, large and XL from 20g to 75g and with solid or caged sides.

Why we love them: If you can’t hit the distance with a window feeder, you won’t hit it with any feeder! Undoubtedly the BEST casting feeder in existence - not just in terms of range, but accuracy too, especially when it’s windy.

Price: £1.99 - £2.49, www.prestoninnovations.com

Preston Absolute Window feeders
Preston Absolute Window feeders

Guru X-Change Distance

What they are: Designed to release bait fast yet cast a long way. The ringed lead at the bottom doesn’t restrict bait release and can also be interchanged throughout the range for ultimate versatility. Comes in small, medium and large in cage or solid variants, with separate weights available up to 70g.

Why we love them: A superb casting feeder that empties fast and rises quickly on the retrieve, making it the perfect choice for faster fishing and snaggier bottoms.

Price: £3.99 for two, www.tackleguru.com

Guru X-Change Distance
Guru X-Change Distance
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