Big Carp on the Pole

We join Steve Barraclough on a practice session at Doncaster’s Hayfield Lakes in search of some big, wily carp on the pole fishing shallow in our latest video. Click below to watch now.

Match Fishing Live - Twyford Farm Festival

In something new from our film crew, we join Rory Jones ‚live‘ as he fishes the first day of the recent Twyford Farm Festival on the Warwickshire Avon. On a tough-looking peg, but one with some form, Rory takes you through the tactics and thinking in real time as he fishes the match.


But how will Rory get on? Will the tactical decisions that he makes pay off at the end of the day?

How to Elasticate the Silverlite Whip

In our latest short ‚Tips & Tricks‘ video we join Rory Jones as he looks at how to elasticate the two-piece hollow tips that come with the Sphere Silverlite Whip System. Rory also talks about when he prefers the elasticated tops over the flick tips when fishing for slightly larger fish, or when there is a chance of hooking a big bonus fish.

Flick Tip Set Up Video

In this new video Rory Jones looks at how he sets up the flick tips on the Sphere Silverlite Whip System when targeting small fish to hand.

Look out for Rory’s other videos on why he has found the Sphere Silverlite whip such a brilliant tool and how Rory rigs the hollow tips on the whip for bigger fish.

How to Fish the Pellet Feeder

Decoy Lakes near Peterborough is one of my favourite venues, consisting of eleven lakes it’s the perfect place to fish the Pellet Feeder as every lake here is full of hungry fish. 

Massive advantages

The Pellet Feeder has numerous benefits over the more conventional flat style feeders, the first being that the pellets don’t have to be perfectly mixed as they are compressed inside the feeder and the sides hold these in place when casting. This is also a massive advantage in a match as it saves so much time. Another advantage is that this type of feeder releases the pellets and the hookbait in just one direction, meaning any carp dropping down to feed will suck not only the micros up but the hookbait as well. These feeders also sit on the bottom better than flat-bed feeders which is especially good over a silty/choddy bottom, and don’t tend to bury when fishing a shallow swim. They also cast really well.

Inside or out

Bait wise I generally stick to three hookbaits, 6mm/8mm hard pellets, a stand out bait such as a bright yellow 6mm dumbell and dead maggots for the colder months or when the venue is fishing especially difficult and bites are hard to come by. To mix the micros I tend to dampen down a few at a time, maybe a quarter of a pint, which will go along way and simply soak these for ten seconds before draining off. You can leave the hookbait hanging but I prefer to press a small amount of micros into the feeder, followed by the hookbait before topping up with a covering of micros. 

Keeping it short

The rod I use for this style of fishing when casting up to 35m is the brilliant Sphere 10’ Bomb, which is really soft and reduces hook pulls. This is teamed up with a Black Viper 845 Compact Reel loaded with Cenex 0.22mm Method Mono. The rig then consists of a free-running 30g Pellet Feeder with a Connector Bead that has a short three inch hook length made from Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power Mono attached. Finishing the rig off is a size 16 Sphere CPF LS barbless hook tied knotless-knot style with a hair containing a Latex Bait Band. I will also have a Jens Koschnick World Champion 11’ Feeder rod set up, just in case I need to cast further than 35m or find the fish in my swim are big and really on the feed, and in this case will beef my mainline and hook length up accordingly. 

The Pellet Feeder loaded and ready to cast out.

A natural hard pellet is my first choice, but don’t ignore a stand-out bait!

These slots aid pellet release and are easy to retrieve. 

"The Pellet Feeder has numerous benefits over the more conventional flat style feeders."

Once you have found some fish clip up to maintain accuracy.

Two sizes are available in a range of weights.

A nice few hours fishing the Pellet Feeder.

Clip up or cast around

Although the lakes at Decoy are brilliant pole venues, there are times when the pellet feeder will produce more. The first is when the fish are out of pole range, which they often are throughout winter and early spring. During this period I tend to cast around, trying to land my feeder right next to an opportunist fish as opposed to clipping up and casting to the same spot which works much better throughout the summer months. Another time when these tiny pellet feeders come into play is when the weather takes a turn for the worse, the wind gets up and pole fishing becomes problematic. This is when these feeders work in a similar way to feeding from a small Kinda Pot as it feeds just enough bait to get a bite. These feeders are also brilliant when you have a feature in front, such as an Island. 

Oh so easy

When you do give these feeders a go then this is how I would approach the swim. Knowing that the fish will be well on the feed my first choice of hookbait will be a banded 6mm pellet and I would go for the bigger of the two feeder sizes available and a good all round weight of 30g. Whether I have a feature, such as an island or not in front of me I tend to clip the line in the reel seat and get into a routine of casting every couple of minutes to start off with. Knowing Decoy Lakes well, the chances of me having to wait two minutes is unlikely as once the swim is activated (maybe half a dozen casts) the carp will probably home in on the feeder much quicker and if so catching over 100lb in a few hours is easily achievable. If the swim goes quite its worth getting another distance line going, or better still have two going from the start, simply taking a couple of fish from each before switching over. Something else worth trying if the swim goes quiet is a bright stand-out hookbait and never ignore those dead red maggots, as their isn’t a fish that won’t eat them.   

Wherever you head to, give this method a go, it will certainly keep you busy!


Jon’s Tackle

Sphere 10’ Bomb Feeder Rod

Black Viper Compact 845 Reel

Cenex 0.22mm Method Mono 

Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power Mono

Size 16 Sphere CPF LS Barbless Hook

30g Pellet Feeder

Connector Bead

Band Aid Forceps 

Latex Bait Bands


Jon’s Bait

2mm Micro Pellets

6mm/8mm Hard Pellets

Bright Dumbells

Dead Red Maggots

Péche en Etang Communal

Hermann vous emmène pêcher dans un étang communal. Gardons, tanches sont au rendez vous et pour finir la journée quelques carpes viennent se laisser prendre.

Summer Commercial Fishery Secrets

Join Justin Watkins in our latest session video filmed at the famous Gold Valley Lakes in Hampshire.

Justin looks at how he combines the straight bomb with pellet and the Pellet Waggler to maximise his big carp catches during the summer months.

Rig it Right - Feeder Shock Leader

When feeder fishing with braided main lines I always use a shock leader made from a strong and abrasion resistant nylon. This is around twice the length of the rod, which puts a couple of turns of the leader onto the reel when I am casting, enough to take the strain of the cast. The diameter of the leader depends upon the peg I am fishing. Normally, a 0.21mm / 8lb leader is about right, but I will step up to 0.23mm in snaggy swims, or drop to 0.19mm when fishing for bream and smaller fish, especially if extra distance is required. The key thing is that the leader should be abrasion resistant to help avoid tackle losses as the line rubs across the river bed and on unseen obstacles. 

At the business end of the leader I use a simple set-up that is designed to be flexible and tangle-free. 

  1. Start off by threading a Rig Stop onto the leader, followed by a Quick Change Swivel. 
  2. Now add two Rig Stops and move the whole lot about 60cm up the leader line, to give us room to work on the end.
  3. Thread on a Feeder Connector Swivel to the short end of the leader and fold the line over with the swivel at the bottom of the folded line.
  4. Make a twizzled boom about 12cm long in the doubled-over line and fix this in place with an over-hand knot. This boom should be just longer than the feeder, to act as a mini-boom, reducing tangles and protecting the line from the feeder.
  5. Position the stops just above the twizzled boom. If during your session you want to try a longer hooklength then you can quickly slide the stops up the line to adjust the position over the feeder.
  6. The upper Rig Stop can be positioned either tight to the Connector Swivel to give a semi-fixed bolt rig, or moved up the leader to enable the feeder to be free running.
  7. Tie the leader to the main line braid and attach your hooklength to the Feeder Connector Swivel. 

Give this simple shock leader a go, it is very versatile and particularly useful when fishing powerful rivers, such as the Trent or Severn, helping to protect your fine braided main line.

Tom Noton

Braided main lines are great for bite detection, but use a mono shock leader to protect the line on the cast and from abrasion against rocks on the bottom.

My shock leader is easy to tie and very adjustable for different conditions.

Use a quality, high abrasion mono for your shock leader.

A quality river Trent bream caught casting a feeder three-quarters of the way across the river using one of my shock leader rigs.

Pole Fishing for Bream

Nick Crook visits Nottinghamshire’s Hallcroft Fishery in this brilliant video on how to catch big weights of bream on commercial fisheries.

Nick uses a two-line approach – one lone and one short, to enable him to start catching from the start, and with the option to increase his catch-rate later in the session as the big bream settle over his short line.

From the baits and rigs that you need, to elastic choice, how and where to feed, Nick covers in detail the tips and tricks you need to know to be successful on commercial fisheries.

Make Perfect Groundbait Paste

Creating the perfect paste is something that’s perfected over time and from making lots of very simple mistakes, yet get the consistency right and its one of the most productive methods I know, especially if your targeting carp on commercials. 

This is how I create my paste, and although here I’m showing you how to do it on the bank, as a match angler I prefer to produce mine the day before at home. 


Mick Fordham

  1. Start off with a bag of Champion’s Method Mussel Green and one of Champion’s Method Formula Fish.

2. Using a measuring cup mix together three parts Mussel Green groundbait to one part Formula Fish.

3. Pass the mixed dry contents through a fine flour sieve and discard any lumps.

4. Using the same measure cup as used for the groundbait place four parts of either lake or bottled water into a bait box.

5. Add the groundbait mix to the water.

6. Using your fingers give the contents a good mix.

7. Although the mix may seem extremely runny it will thicken up and needs to be left for 15 minutes!

8. After 15 minutes check the paste which will probably be too stiff and will need around half a measuring cup more of water to create the perfect sticky consistency to cling to the hook.

9. For even better results mix the night before, place in a freezer bag and place in the fridge overnight as this will allow all the moisture to be absorbed and create an even smoother paste.