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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.