As a rule, the length of these rods is in the range of 3.0-3.3 m, and the cast weight is 30-40 g. Unlike pickers, light feeders allow more powerful casting, which increases the fishing distance up to about 50 m. class are equipped with light feeders, usually up to 28 g, and are used to catch fish weighing up to 1-1.5 kg in stagnant water or in a slow current with weak winds. The wind must be taken into account, because it wiggles the tip and tightens the line, forcing to increase the load. The light feeder is perhaps the main tackle for fishing in ponds, medium-sized lakes and rivers with weak currents. At competitions, this tackle is caught in reservoirs with stagnant and slowly flowing water at a distance of 30-40 m with an average fish size of 300-500 g.
Middle class feeders
With an average length of 3.6 m, these feeders are designed for casting rigs in 60-70 g. They are used for fishing in reservoirs with stagnant water and medium current at distances from 20 to 60 m, both in calm and moderate wind. They allow you to cope with almost any fish caught on the donkey in Russian reservoirs. These rods are most versatile when fishing in ponds, lakes, reservoirs, as well as on flat rivers, where you can use the appropriate feeders. Typically, the kit includes interchangeable tips covering a weight range from 3/4 oz (21 g) to 2-2.5 oz (56-70 g).
The middle class feeder is not very long and is quite suitable for fishing from a boat. At the same time, its length and power allow you to cope with large fish, circle the anchor ropes and prevent the fish from going under the boat. In sports, a middle-class feeder is indispensable both on ponds and reservoirs, and on rivers, if there is a chance of catching large fish, casts up to 50-60 m are necessary, or if you need to use feeders of medium weight and large feed volumes.
Usually their length is in the range from 3.9 to 4.2 m, although there are also shorter ones – 3.6 m. With these rods it is quite easy to throw a feeder weighing 90-100 g at 60 m, and with some skill even more than 80 m It is most comfortable to fish with a heavy feeder on rivers with a middle course, where you have to use feeders of 50-80 g, as well as, if necessary, long-distance power casting in large waters with stagnant water. The power of heavy feeders is such that fish up to 100-150 g are not felt at all when playing, and specimens under a kilogram are displayed “with one left”. Rods are usually equipped with tips ranging from 1 to 3 ounces (28-84g), which allows you to fish in stagnant waters and rivers with decent flow. Since heavy feeders cover all casting weights and ranges of middle class rods, the heavy class can be called the most versatile for amateur fishing in various conditions. Athletes use heavy feeders solely for their intended purpose: for long-distance power casts in standing water and for fishing on rivers, when it is necessary to use feeders too heavy for the middle class.
Super heavy feeders
The weight thrown by them reaches 200 or more grams, and the length of the rods can exceed 5 m. Note that the current rules of competition in sports bottom fishing, adopted by the Moscow and Don Fishing Sports Federations, allow the use of rods no longer than 5 m. Super heavy feeders are used for catching large fish on large rivers with a strong current, where long-distance casting of feeders from 100 grams and more is required, as well as for ultra-long-distance casting to other reservoirs. A properly equipped, high-quality extra-heavy rod allows you to cast the “bullet” feeder up to 120 m, and this, as they say, is not the limit. Due to the long length of these rods, they are also used in cases when the fish to be fished must be held, say, over a steep clay edge not far from the shore. When a fish is played with a short rod, the line cuts into the clay, and then the feeder gets stuck dead, which is followed, at best, by the fish coming off, and at worst – by the breakage of all the rig. By keeping a long rod upright, you can usually avoid all these troubles.
In sports fishing, these rods are used when heavy-class feeders do not allow achieving the desired result in terms of casting distance. On sale you can find many rods, the length and weight range of which does not allow them to be attributed to any of the specified class. Accordingly, the conditions for using such rods are in the borderline area: at the limit of the lighter class and at the beginning of the range of the heavier one.
In conclusion, I will give a brief overview of the manufacturers of feeder rods, the most widely represented in Russia.
A Polish company that produces a very wide range of feeders at an affordable price with a very good price-quality ratio. Among the existing models there are rods of almost all classes, with the exception of the extra-heavy and ultra-light short pickers. But Mikado produces several very powerful pickers, the analogues of which are difficult to find from other companies. The most popular series are T-REX, Ultraviolet, Evergreen.
We have a well-represented Japanese company that produces a wide range of rods for bottom fishing. Among the products of this company there are both medium pickers and super-heavy feeders with a length of more than 5 m. Perhaps, Shimano does not have only ultra-light and heavy pickers. However, in my opinion, prices in relation to quality are often a little overpriced, but a brand is a brand. The most popular are the Beast Master and Speed Master series.
Korean firm with a good range of feeder rods. It has everything except ultra-light rods and rods over 3.6m in length. The quality is very good, but the price is not low either. Among the products of this company, I would like to mention the heavy-duty Hitman rods and the Hyper series made of graphite IM-9, which includes rods from picker to heavy feeder.
The German company, which has long been known to our anglers, produces a wide range of feeders and pickers of different classes. The ratio “price – quality” is not bad, you can find a good expensive rod, maybe an average one, of an economy class.
Another German firm. Produces feeders of medium, heavy and extra heavy class. The price-quality ratio is good, the prices are not high. Perhaps the only company that still complements its feeders with swing-type tops.
An Italian company with a worldwide reputation that produces a fairly complete set of feeders and pickers, including all the most popular classes. The assortment includes both expensive top models and good working rods at an affordable price. I will hardly be mistaken if I say that all the models of this company are not bad and correspond to the stated data. The price-quality ratio is good, but the percentage of factory defects has increased in recent years. So when buying a rod from this company, you need to inspect very carefully.
Italian firm. Produces good feeder rods, but the assortment is small, although it covers all the most popular classes. The price-quality ratio and scrap rate are about the same as that of Trabucco. Good models are the Valiant picker, the Progressiv mid-range feeder and the Viking heavy feeder.
A well-known Italian company that produces a relatively small set of good feeder rods of the main classes. The price is rather big, but the quality is also appropriate. The assortment includes excellent versions of multi media with several handles and an insert: these are expensive models of the top-class Helios Prestige and Premiership Prestige. In the Premiership series, there are also simpler models, from light to heavy.
Austrian company. It produces a good assortment in almost all classes, with the exception, perhaps, of super-heavy ones. The prices are affordable, the price-quality ratio is average. Produces very good and inexpensive short ultralight pickers.
Fox, Grays, Preston Innovations, Drennan
Four of the British firms producing classic extra-class rods. In the assortment you can find almost any rod, except, perhaps, a heavy picker. The prices are high, but consistent with the quality.
Also an English firm. Its products are mainly of the medium and heavy classes and are designed for carp fishing. The prices are quite affordable, the quality is good.