The best short feeder rods

The best short feeder fishing rods

by Dan Webb |
Updated on

Feeder fishing has exploded in popularity, and with it, the feeder fishing rods and tactics required to catch fish have changed too, with the "short line" when fishing for silvers or big carp becoming the go-to place for many anglers and a short feeder rod is ideal for this. Shorter chucks to islands around 20-30m away with method or hybrid feeders is a staple on commercials, accounting for numerous fish over the course of a season and to do it efficiently and maximise the potential of these methods you need a rod designed for the job.

Short feeder rods ranging between 7ft and 10ft have been developed to aid casting accuracy at these shorter distances, where a longer rod is just too cumbersome. The rods generally feature a softer action, so they can cushion the fight of strong carp or provide the finesse to see silverfish bites and retrieve the fish without suffering hookpulls.

The best short feeder rods at a glance:

Best Value Short Feeder Rod: Daiwa Matchman 9ft Mini Method - View offer on Go Outdoors

Best short feeder rod for silvers and f1s: Drennan Acolyte 9ft Feeder - View offer on Fishing tackle and Bait

Best In Class Short Feeder Rod: Free Spirit HI-S F1 Feeder Special 9ft - View offer onEbay

Best All-Round Short Feeder Rod: Preston Innovations Supera SL - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle

The best short feeder rods by their nature are far easier to control and use. They are great for beginners and seasoned anglers alike, and they provide a dynamic for shorter range feeder work that other rods just can't match. A shorter rod, when casting up to around 30m, is unrivalled in terms of the casting accuracy and power it can generate, it is much easier to be precise at these distances with a rod of around 10ft than it is with a longer feeder rod. Short feeder rods are easier to compress, so they don't need a lot of force to generate a powerful, accurate cast. Here is a guide to some of the best available right now.

Best value short feeder rod

The Dawia Matchman 9ft Mini Method is a slim and lightweight rod, perfect for tackling all sizes of commercial fish at intimate range, be it underarming a Method feeder down the edge or casting to the far bank of snake lakes.

A HMC carbon blank, stainless steel ceramic lined guides, cork foregrip and reel lock, EVA rear armlock, downlocking DPS reel seat and hook holder finish this bargain model.

"We’re big fans of the sub-£50 Matchman range, and the 9ft Mini Method is our absolute favourite. The crisp action and stunning fish-playing performance makes it difficult to tell it apart from rods costing three times as much. A true gem from the Daiwa stable."

Read our full Daiwa Matchman 9ft Mini Method review.

Pros

  • Lovely fish playing action.
  • Perfect for commercials.

Cons

  • Will struggle to cast larger feeder any distance.

Best short feeder rod for carp

The fourth incarnation of an award-winning and groundbreaking range of rods, the Middy 5G Method Feeder models have now improved even further by incorporating Liquid Carbon for a seamless action. The A-Nomic handle grip reel seat ensures maximum comfort when playing fish and casting.

The stunning action and perfect balance between finesse and power make this a versatile companion, and a great Method rod choice for anglers who spend most of their time at small to medium-sized commercials.

Pros

  • Plenty of power.
  • Great for fishing for larger carp.

Cons

  • A little too powerful for F1s and silverfish.

Best short feeder rod for really short range

This 7ft, one-piece tip rod from Preston is perfect for ultra-short-range work such as underarming a Method feeder or casting overhead to far banks or islands 10m-20m away. The soft parabolic blank bends right through to the butt.

No better rod for fishing where others would use a short pole – it’s like playing fish on a drop shot rod, and great fun!

Pros

  • Awesome rod for fishing short on the feeder.
  • Lovely action to tame all fish and prevent line breakages.

Cons

  • Will struggle to cast anything over 25m with any accuracy.

Best in class short feeder rod

Light and sensitive enough to detect the slightest movement, Free Spirit’s HI-S 9ft F1 Special Feeder boasts a distinctly tippy yet progressive action to absorb the darting runs and fast lunges from F1s of any size. Weighing only 100g, the Hi-S rod comes with hollow carbon quivertips and a choice of full cork or abbreviated handles.

The pick for those who want the very best short and light feeder rod. You can be confident that a missed bite or lost fish can’t be blamed on this rod!

Pros

  • Very premium rod build.
  • Lightweight, balanced and a joy to use.

Cons

  • Would be nice to include a heavier quiver tip.

Best budget short feeder rod

The Middy Bombproof 9ft Feeder is an entry-level rod with enough quality to deserve the Middy name. Lined guides and screw-up reel seat are features not often found on rods in this price range. Owing to its soft nature and the shorter ranges it’s designed to be fished at, even seasoned anglers would happily fish with one of these.

As cheap and fishable as a rod can get, you simply can’t go wrong! Ideal for infrequent use, beginners or those on a very tight budget.

Pros

  • Ideal rod for beginners.
  • Soft playing action will reduce hookpulls and makes it great for all species.

Cons

  • A little heavier in the hand.

Best short feeder rod for silvers and f1s

The delectable Drennan Acolyte 9ft Feeder rod comes in Ultra (light-actioned) and Plus (stepped-up) versions to cover all commercial species within close casting range. Top match anglers claim its cushioned yet progressive action is as good as it gets for putting together a winter winner.

A high-performing rod with a huge amount of cushioning, yet it doesn’t cost the Earth.

Pros

  • Fantastic rod for silvers and f1s.
  • The cushioned, progressive action will land you more fish.

Cons

  • Not the best rod for really big carp.

Best All-Round Short Feeder Rod

A beautiful super-light version of the popular Preston Innovations Supera SL rod. Although mega-soft, it has a slightly more parabolic action than the longer 11ft version, making it a great winter commercial rod for use with small feeders or a straight lead approach for carp, or F1s, roach and skimmers all year round.

"A sublime rod that just keeps on bending instead of your line breaking! When that fish needs to end up in your net, you’re going to want one of these in your hands."

Read our full Preston Innovations 10ft Supera SL review.

Pros

  • Amazing fish playing action.
  • Perfect for all species.

Cons

  • A little long for really short chucks and snake lakes.

What to look for in a short feeder rod

When looking to buy a short feeder rod, it's worth considering what type of angling that you enjoy or do the most throughout the year. If you mostly fish snake lakes or small commercials that are carp and F1 dominated, then a rod of around 7-9ft with a bit of power in the blank would be the most suitable choice, as you won't be casting far and the fish will be pulling back.

If your fishing is more tailored towards silverfish on wilder waters or commercials then a rod between 9 and 10ft would be an ideal choice. If the water requires a cast over 30m then we suggest a rod of 10ft, as the slightly longer length will aid you in reaching the extra distances, whilst maintaining accuracy, especially if it is windy.

In terms of the power in the rod, most shorter rods will be slightly softer to cushion the fish on the way in, its more about striking a balance between a rod that can cast the size of feeder you want, the distance you want, whilst giving you the confidence you can land the fish you are fishing for.

Glossary

Casting weight: Depending on the manufacturer, it is either the best suited or maximum total weight in grams that you should cast with your rod. You will normally find your rod will perform best at around half its total casting weight. For example, a 120g feeder rod best suits a 60g feeder.

Quiver tip: The very top (often brightly coloured) section of a feeder rod, used to identify bites, which bends and 'quivers' when a fish moves off with the bait. Like the test curve of a rod, quiver tips are often rated in test curves measured in ounces.

Blank: The hollow carbon fibre tube that the rod is made from, attached to which are the guides and handle.

Reel seat: The part of the handle that your reel attaches to. Almost all UK coarse rods have screw-down reel seats, where the fore-grip on the handle rotates and closes the seat to hold the reel in place.

Guides: The rings that line the length of the rod that the line passes through.

Fish playing action: A way of describing how good a rod performs when reeling in a fish. A rod with a good fish-playing action will provide plenty of cushion to a thrashing fish, preventing hookpulls (lost fish) and line breakages.

Frequently asked questions on short feeder rods

Why are rods different lengths?

Typically, the further you want to cast, the longer the rod you should go for, whilst also taking into account casting weight and fish-playing action.

Should I choose a rod that will cast the furthest distance that I will want to fish?

No, you should choose a rod that best suits the distance that you want to fish at. A rod that is too long and powerful will make casting short distances with any kind of accuracy difficult and will have a poor fish-playing action. This is why all rod ranges feature models of varying lengths and powers.

What quiver tip should I use?

The tip should not only match the species and type of bite you are expecting but, more importantly, the tow and movement on the water. Selecting too light a tip will see it bend round too much due to the flow of water pulling on the line, making seeing bites difficult. Too stiff a tip will see fish dropping the bait due to the extra resistance, and make shy bites hard to see. This is why most feeder rods come with several different rated quiver tips.

Why would anyone need a 7ft Feeder rod?

They are perfect for use in 'parrot cage' pegs and on venues that don't require long casts but demand pinpoint casting accuracy.

Author Dan Webb first became involved in angling journalism in 2015 and has worked as Tackle Tester at Angling Times since April 2021. He is a fanatical all-round match angler and former England Youth International.

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