f1's on the method feeder 1

The 'Method' for F1's

The ‘Method’ feeder or otherwise known as the Flatbed Feeder has revolutionised feeder fishing on commercials over the past few years. Hook lengths seem to be getting shorter and shorter with some anglers dropping this down to just an inch or so in order to get a quick bite and capitalize on the aggressive feeding nature of the fish found in many of these heavily stocked venues.

Orchard Place Farm Fishery in Kent has twelve lakes in total, three of which are classified as general/match lakes and today I’ve come to the biggest, Lake 6 which is heavily stocked with a mix of species, yet my target today are F1’s. F1’s are great fun, feeding all year round and can be very obliging on far from ideal conditions like today when other species simply refuse to feed. 

Activate the swim

My preferred method here is the feeder and I’ve picked a swim which features an island, as I’m sure the fish will be doing their best to avoid this bright sunshine and heading for some cover. Regular casting to activate the swim, especially at the start of a session, is essential, as is accuracy so after a few practice cast so that the feeder lands just inches from the bank, it’s time to clip up and get fishing. 

f1's on the method feeder 2
f1 method feeder 3

Sucking up the entire contents

Bait today is simple, a single red maggot on the hook and a 50/50 mix of Champion’s Method Mussel Green and Formula Fish groundbait. This was mixed on arrival with lake water and allowed to draw in the moisture for a few minutes, before dampening down again, waiting a few more minutes before mixing using a groundbait whisk. An addition to this is a good scattering of dampened down micros and when the mix can be compressed in the palm of my hand and on releasing expand without breaking up, I know I have the right consistency that will cling to the feeder. I have also bought along some 6mm hard pellets, just in case I need a switch but I’m guessing these won’t come into play as F1’s love maggots. It might sound strange using a groundbait mix with pellets in and then maggot on the hook but I think that the feeder delivers just enough bait for a fish to suck up the whole contents including the maggot. Speed is of the essence here and maggots offer just that without being detrimental to the time it takes to get a bite. No bait bands or fiddling around re-baiting and quite often the maggot is good for more than one fish.    

Creating a safe bolt rig

The tackle I’m using today consists of a rod that I just cannot fault, the Sphere Bomb +10% and I’ve teamed this up with a Sphere MgTi 930 loaded with Black Magic Gold 0.21mm (8lb) mono. This style of fishing punishes a mainline repeatedly but this multi-purpose reliable line is really abrasion resistant and simply deals with everything thrown at it. On the business end I’m using a 20g Black Magic Method feeder but instead of tying the mainline direct to the swivel I’ve threaded the feeder onto my mainline, through the swivel and then back through the feeder before tying a figure of eight overhand knot to secure. This doubling over of line simply gives me the security that the line won’t weaken near to the feeder and although the feeder can pass easily over the knot above, it does produce some resistance and in turn, a safe bolt rig. My hooklink which attaches to the feeder swivel is short, around two-inches, contains a barbless size 16 Sphere CPF LS Hook and is made from 0.16mm (6.6lb) Cenex Hybrid Power Mono. All in all a robust set up that’s easily capable of withstanding and dealing with the big weights of fish we get from here.  

method feeder hooks
f1 catch picture

Struggling to hit bottom

Having no other anglers targeting the island I wasn’t surprised that on the first cast, and moments after the feeder landing, a few liners revealed that a fish, or a few fish are active. After waiting a further sixty seconds it’s time to wind in and repeat. Four casts in and after a couple of indications, probably caused by a fish sucking in the contents of the feeder, the tip pulls round and the first F1’s comes to the net. More follow and after just thirty minutes the feeder is struggling to hit bottom before the tip pulls round and another F1’s gets hooked. This continues in the same manor for the next four hours before its time to call it a day and with upwards of 150lb of fish netted, it proves the point that the ‘Method’ is a tactic you simply can’t ignore.


Dean Tennant

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

netting big f1 carp

F1’s Down the Edge

If you love catching big F1’s then you need to get yourself down to Lake 6 on the Orchard Farm Fishery complex in Kent. It been a while since I last fished here but what a return it’s been, as the fish have just got bigger and seem to be more plentiful than ever. This is a great venue to look at one of my favourite tactics – catching F1’s down the edge.

F1’s will move to the feed

Arriving early and knowing that the wind was forecasted to pick up to gale force as the day progressed along with the chance of the odd heavy showers I decided to head to the road bank with the wind of my back for some respite and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine for most of the day. These pegs have always been some of the best on this venue and with few other anglers around and knowing that these F1’s really do move to the feed knew it was the right choice.  

As close to perfection as it gets

Tackle for the session consists of the fantastic EXO Sphere Zero-G F1+ rigged up with a pulla kit and Xitan Microbore 2.3mm blue pole elastic which has a 9-13 rating. If you’re looking for a pole that’s incredibly light and stiff then you need to check this one out, it really is as close to perfection as it gets. You don’t need a complex rig for F1’s down the edge, keeping things really simple and making sure all the components are robust and reliable, capable of withstanding big hits if you’re on the fish is much better than going delicate. My rig today consists of a 0.35g float placed on Cenex Classic 0.16mm line with four number 8 soft shot to cock it. These are positioned together just above a four-inch hook length which is once again Cenex Classic in a 0.12mm diameter and onto this I’ve tied a size 16 Sphere CPF LS barbless hook.

hooking two maggots

F1’s love maggots, especially in the winter, and they are my first choice of bait for both feed and hookbait.

maggots in pole pot

Use a small pot to feed maggots on a little and often basis.

margin f1 pole fishing

When you hook a fish guide it away from the margins.

Make the most of the margin

A quick plumb along the margins reveals a nice area at just 5 metres in 2ft 11inches of water which has plenty of cover and offers some shade from the sun. Believe me, being able to fish down the edge here and catch is a real treat as during a match these fish tend to move away from the margins into open water and numerous lines need to be feed and rotated in order to get the best from a swim. Today with minimal disturbance from other anglers I know that these fish will move close in, all I need to do is keep a few maggots constantly falling through the water and once they arrive it should be a really enjoyable and action packed session. The best bait by far for F1’s is maggots, they absolutely adore them and even in the height of summer when pellet does come into play, maggots will still be difficult to beat. Feeding on a little-and-often basis is the key here and I’m simply going to feed a dozen maggots through a small feed pot every put in. If I start to foul hook fish then I will reduce the amount of maggots and if this fails try up in the water but hopefully this won’t happen. 

Low to the water

First put in and after tipping the freebies in and slowly lowering the rig over the top the float sails away. Using a short line from pole tip to float means all that’s required is a slight lift before the elastic begins to extend and I’m into my first F1. Weighing around 2lb 8oz, it’s   the average size here now but they have been caught to nearly 8lb! Hooking and playing a fish is another area that makes so much difference in building a big weight. As soon as I hook a fish I keep the pole low to the water and draw the fish away from the feeding zone and into open water. When the pole is straight out in front it’s simply a case of shipping it back on the rear rollers whilst all the time keeping the tip close to the water. When the fish is close in its time to unship the top sections and then, and then only lift the pole vertically. What will happen next is the F1 will come up in the water and splash on the surface before bolting away and if your quick you should be able to net them first time on most occasions. 

Cenex classic mono

Cenex Classic Mono is incredibly reliable and has a very accurate diameter.

Xitan microbore elastic

The blue Xitan Microbore Elastic is just right for winter F1 rigs.

f1 carp winter pole rigs

Use simple, robust rigs with a sensitive tip for winter margin fishing for F1’s.

bulk pole rig shot

I use a bulk of four no.8 shot on my winter F1 rigs.

sphere CPF LS hooks

The Sphere CPF LS barbless hook is my choice for maggot fishing.

"The fishing today can only be described as incredible."

Incredible fishing

The fishing today can only be described as incredible as nearly every put in has produced an F1’s, it must be black with them in my swim, and it’s easy to see why you need over 200lb on occasions to frame here. As predicted the weather does take a turn for the worse with the wind increasing around lunchtime and at one stage I had to make a dash to the car when a storm front blew over. Fortunately this soon passed and the sun came out once again, drying everything out and in the meantime letting me get my fill with more F1’s and with well over 150lb of fish already netted I’ll be heading home a very contented angler.


Tight lines!


Garry Cooper

margin fishing with sphere pole

Look for a flat bottom and some cover along the margins for the perfect spot to fish.

sphere camo top kit

On bright days look for any shade as the F1’s will fed more confidently here.

netting big carp on pole

Big fish can be landed easily when the slow down in the winter.

Garry’s Tackle for F1’s down the edge

EXO Sphere Zero-G F1+ 

Xitan Microbore Blue Pole Elastic

Cenex 0.16mm & 0.12mm Classic Mono 

Sphere CPF LS Size 16 Barbless Hook

0.35g Pole Float

Small Mini Cup

Size 8 Soft Shot

Garry’s bait for F1’s down the edge

Red maggots

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning Sphere poles here.

winter f1 catch

How to Catch F1's Shallow

Commercial Fishing Tactics - Catch F1's Shallow

In this new video we join Filipe Passeira looking at his Commercial Fishing Tactics – Catch F1’s Shallow.


Alternating between two lines, one for F1’s on the long pole, and one short for silvers, Fil gets the best from his peg. In the end, the F1’s just keep on feeding, whilst the roach don’t really show. Even so, by alternating lines, Fil keeps putting fish in the net for the whole of his session.

By fishing two lines in front of him Fil can easily feed both lines, even when playing a fish. Hard pellets are the go to bait on the long line. Whilst maggots are fed on the inside to attract the roach.

By fishing the short line at the distance Fil breaks down his pole when shipping in, he can consistently feed accurately whilst catching further out.


If you are interested in catching more carp, F1’s and silvers on the shallow pole then this video is a must watch. Some great tips and tactics from our team Wickford angler.


Hit the play button below to watch the video : Commercial Fishing Tactics – Catch F1’s Shallow


Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.