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Beginners method feeder fishing tips

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The method feeder is a popular type of open feeder than can be used for mixed coarse and small to mid-sized carp (if used correctly). There’s various different types of method including the flat bottom method, banjo feeder and others. Here we’ll cover our top tips for method feeder beginners and give you an idea of how to use this method effectively.

First lets start with the most simple question

What is a method feeder?

A method feeder is an open feeder for pellets or ground bait where your bait sits on top of the feed. These are available as either an in line feeder or attached – called a banjo feeder.

Top method feeder tips for beginners

Before we get into the different types of feeders you need to think about the type of water you’re going to fish and what you want to catch. As a rough guide smaller feeders will be better suited to smaller lakes.

Recommended method feeder setup 1 – Preston innovation method feeder.

This feeder is made by preston innovations and is by far my favourite feeder. It comes in two types – in line Banjo feeder – buy here (recommended) and elasticated – also know as a banjo feeder. There’s also a separate mould to shape the pellets to present the bait perfectly. This is a really easy feeder to fish with a soaked pellet and small hook bait – 10mm boilies work perfectly along with 4mm pellets(see my best small boilies guide here). As a method feeder for beginners here’s a step by step guide to fishing using this rig and all the components you’ll need.

What you’ll need (see below) – Method feeder in either 15g, 30g or 45g, pellets (See my guide to the best carp method pellets here), short hair rig (Korum quick stop – short, size 10, 10LB break), plus usual terminal tackle you’d find in your box (rubbers, swivel etc).

Step by step guide

  1. Soak the pellets – You can do this at the bank but I prefer to soak them overnight depending on the pellets, just pop them in a tub covered in water and they end up as a nice sticky paste the next morning – perfect. If you’re using fin perfect stiki method pellets then you can do them on the bank in 10 minutes.
  2. Setup the in line feeder – Add the feeder on to the line, add a rubber and tie to a swivel
  3. Add the hair – Loop the hair over the swivel, we use Korum quick stops as it means you can quickly change baits or add new baits after you catch.
  4. Setup the bait – Hair rig your boilie or pellet to the quick stop and place it in the bottom of the mould. Take some of the soaked pellet out and fill the mould with it – squash it down as much as you can but leave some out. Place the feeder over the top and press it out of the mould leaving you with a perfectly filled feeder with your bait sitting on the top. It’s a great idea at this point to add some liquid attract over the feeder, especially if your fishing for carp. I like to mix Beta Stim liquid with the water to soak the feeder with en extra attractant or pour an extra bit over the top (slowly) before casting out. You can get beta stim and other carp fishing liquids here.
  5. Cast it out! – Then sit back and wait for the fish to bite!

Here’s all the bits you’ll need from Amazon


Here’s what the finished article looks like – This is a 30g in line feeder with a ringers 10mm white shellfish boilie on a 4″ size 10, 10lb break, Korum quick stop. This is done using slightly different pellets to add some variation to the rig – Skretting pellets. These are 8mm pellets that have been soaked overnight and are more a paste than the fin perfect pellets. As the video shows below they have a great effect under the water, rising out of the feeder and keeping the bait well presented.


Here’s what the rig looks like under water (Filmed on a Water Wold HD under water camera + carp bottom kit)

Some more tips

  • Casting – Don’t try and give it all you’ve got in the cast! Get the right weight of feeder and a swift flick should be all thats needed. Don’t settle for a “that will do cast”. It take a little time to set the feeder up, if you cast short of your target don’t be tempted to leave it, reel it back in, re fill, then re cast.
  • If the bait keeps coming off – Getting the consistency right is key to success, too dry and it would hold in the feeder to wet and it won’t shape. As a general rule cover the pellets plus 1 CM if you’re soaking over night.
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Best method feeder pellets

Method feeder fishing with pellets is becoming more and more popular, especially with dat session carp anglers like myself. There’s a wide range of weird and wonderful feeders out there as well as more pellets then you’d ever need. I’ve fished with a good few of them to bring you my top 3 pellets, how to prepare them and how to use the feeder to its full potential. If you’re completely new to feeder fishing you can find my guide to method feeder fishing here.

Top 3 feeder pellets

These are my top rated pellets for fishing the banjo style feeder and using a mould – The best way to fish them.

Number 1 – Sonubaits fin perfect

Kicking it straight off with my number 1 pellet – The Sonubaits Andy Finlay method feeder pellet – 4mm. I’m being very specific about this as these are the exact ones I always carry. This range comes in 2mm & 6mm and there is also a feed pellet in the same size and packaging so make sure you get the right ones. (You can the exact ones here).

Best pellets for the method feeder

I prefer the 4mm as it just seems to work in the feeder better for carp and stay compact a little longer.

I fish these usually on a preston innovations round banjo or a Dura banjo. These are the easiest pellets to mix on the market, all you need is a bucket!

How to prepare fin perfect method pellets

  1. Pour the bag into a bucket
  2. Add 150ml of water and mix well
  3. Get them in the feeder and cast out – easy as that.

If you want to mix it up, as we all do sometime, add some flavouring to the water. I’ve used mainlines white chocolate in the past or you can use a bait spray or Korum goo once in the feeder.

What hook bait should you use?

This is a really debatable issue as some people swear if your feeding pellets you should be fishing pellets – I don’t agree (but do sometimes use pellets on the hook). My go to method is to use a light coloured small boilie and this works really well for me. The carp aren’t really going to miss a boilie sitting on the top of the pellets!

Number 2 – Skreting pellets

These are more of a standard pellet that you can usually find for sale in your local tackle store- They usually look like the store have bagged them up themselves. These can be bought in these bags or in bulk bags from larger suppliers.

These are a great pellet for fishing at long range and you can leave them in for a while longer if you use my method for soaking them.

Soaking pellets method

  1. Fill a tub 3/4 full of pellets, using either the 2mm or the 4 mm pellets – you add a flavouring at this if you wish – recommended.
  2. Fill the tub with water to around 1cm-2cm above the pellets.
  3. Leave over night and then get out on the bank.

These pellets will expand to almost be like a sticky paste but still pellets if you get it right. This means you can mould it a little in the feeder for a different presentation. It also last longer on the feeder. This is a video from my you tube channel showing how the pellets expand in the feeder. It really pushes the hook bait higher and higher in the water and the bed of pellets keeps expanding.

I’d skip towards the end as nothing really happens and I don’t catch anything in this video! It’s just always interesting to see what your bait does under water. This was filmed on my water wolf HD – review here, in April time in a lake with visibility of about 2-3 foot at this time of year. The bottom is mainly clay with weeds coming up in June time and dying off in August.

I find the pellet feeder best for when the weeds are lower and especially good for catch carp in volume up to about 10LB. I have caught bigger on these feeders but the average I catch is around the 6lb to 8lb mark.

Number 3 – Bag up baits spicy sausage and halibut

These make the list for the best method feeder pellets due to their flavour and mixed colours. These are a good bait to have on hand on lakes where the feeder is heavily fished. It just gives you a nice differentiator rather then the usual coarse pellets.

Bag up baits method pellet mix

These are prepared with a quick soak and can also be used as a loose feed. These are a micro pellet and can be fished with any banjo or pellet feeder. I’d say they have a casting range of about 20-30 meters but I personally stick to the margins and smaller waters with pellet feeders.

Hook baits for method feeder fishing

Now we’ve got the pellets sorted its time to think about the hook bait we should use for fishing this method. I know there’s a school of though that says if your feeding pellets you should use a pellet as your hook bait. I personally don’t subscribe to this view. Fishing a 4mm pellet on the and then a 8mm-10mm pellet makes no difference if its a boilie of a pellet on the hook in my opinion.

I always fish a boilie on the hook on these feeders and have had great success when fishing a white boilie as the hook bait. You can see my best small boilies guide here for some tips on exactly which baits to use.

If you have any questions about method feeder fishing drop me a tweet to @casual_carper or find me on Instagram – search “@Casualcarper“.

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Best method feeder mix

Here’s my guide to the ultimate method mix for carp. This has been honed over the last few years and is flexible for changes when sticking to the planned core ingredients. This includes the SECRET INGREDIENT which will give you a compact mix in the cast making an open feeder more effective than ever!

Casual Carpers ultimate method mix

Here’s the base ingredients –

Carp method mix – Bait tech super method is my current base mix of choice – Buy it on Amazon here

1 tin of sweet corn (any size, what ever you prefer as a hook bait) – I just use a cheap super market tin.

1 tin of frenzied particles (or any tinned particles/ hemp) – 600g tin – buy it on Amazon here

A good squirt of liquid pineapple (again or similar) – Currently I’m using Mainline syrup.

Best carp mix for method feeder fishing

Carp paste powder (about a third of what you’ve used as method mix) – This by Bait tech will do the job and comes in natural fish meal or halibut.

Carp method mix secret ingredient

The Carp paste power is what makes it really sticky and compact together on the feeder and hold in the cast and on impact. I find with just a method feeder mix with any decent length cast the feeder tends to lose some on impact with the water.


I usually make this the evening before I go fishing to give it over night to take on more flavour and compact down.

Start with the method ground bait and paste power in a large tub or bucket. Then add a tin of corn and the particles and give it a very good mix round. Then start adding the liquid sweetcorn until the mixture starts to stick together in the turn. One key thing of this mix is to not add any water – everything thats in it has a flavour for the carp.

I then put it in the tub to take it to the lake in and stack other tins of bait or bait boxed on it to flatten it down. When you arrive at the lake just give it a quick stir with a bank stick and off you go using it. The flattening down seems to get a better hold of it – this is not tested and just my opinion.

Then as the casual carper says – kick back and catch carp!