Barbel Now DIY

Home Made Swimfeeders

There are two reasons for making your own swimfeeders; saving money and getting something that can't be found in the shops. If you fish big snaggy rivers then both reasons can apply as large feeders weighing over four ounces are hard to come by in the shops and can be lost in numbers on some venues. There are a number of ways of making feeders - this is how I do it.

Find a supply of plastic tubing that suits your needs. Clear plastic looks professional but coloured works just as well. Anything from the stuff that pole top sections are stored in to waste pipe from B&Q can be used. The tubes that go in golf bags are particularly good. When you start looking you'll be surprised what can be pressed into service!

Cut the tube into whatever lengths you require with a hacksaw. I prefer to make all my feeders the same length, and use a jig to do so. If I want smaller or larger feeders I use tube of a different diameter. If you like you can drill holes in the tube to speed the release of your feed, but it is not essential. Get the groundbait mix right and it will release without the holes in the side.

The next step is to add weight. The simplest way is to acquire some lead flashing and cut it into strips about 15mm wide. This is fine for weights up to two or three ounces, simply wrapping the lead strip round the feeder. For attaching the feeder to the end rig a cycle inner tube can be cut up to provide short, strong, bands with a width of 3 or 4mm. Pass the lead through one of these bands when attaching it to the plastic tube. These are surprisingly strong, and provide a cushion effect on the cast.

For heavier feeders you really need to mould up some add-on weights. Simple moulds can be carved from a block of hardwood and strapped to the feeders with the lead strip, held in place with another inner tube band or even taped on. Commercially made moulds* are the best option though.

Using a commercial mould it is easy to knock out a lot of leads in a range of sizes (I keep it simple by making just two sizes) that will fit a standardised feeder length. The tube can either be cut to a length that fits the leads, or longer to deliver more bait on each cast. If you go for longer feeders then a slot can be cut using a Dremel drill or similar tool to take one of the fold-over arms of the lead. This makes a feeder that has the weight concentrated towards it's bottom end and might just fly a bit more smoothly on the cast. With this style of feeder the attachment to the rig is achieved by drilling a small hole at the opposite end to the lead for a link clip (or paper-clip) to pass through.

For information about safely melting and casting lead please click here.

* Currently (August 2009) I know of no supplier of these lead moulds. As of January 2012 I have alternative feeder moulds available at DLST.


Dave Lumb

June 2007

Lathams Fishing - Click here
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