In-line maggot feeders
Over the last two tench seasons I have been doing well with in-line maggot feeder rigs. I can't say for sure that they are any better than heli-feeder rigs, both have caught me plenty, but they do work well. Nowadays there are commercially available models, but the new Drennan ones only start at 56g but I have been quite happy with smaller, lighter feeders. For one thing 30g is quite enough to hook fish using short hooklinks and a tightened baitrunner, and for another I don't always like putting too many maggots out around my hookbait. Extra weight can come in handy for casting into a headwind or when adding a PVA bag to the rig. For this reason I have knocked up some 50g feeders. While I was doing so I took some photos to illustrate the process.
I start out with a large Preston Innovations Quick Load Feeder of the desired weight. The tools required are simple .
The only materials required are some soft plastic tube - that from a camera bulb release is a perfect fit for a size 10 Power Swivel - and an optional tail rubber. The first job is to cut off the swivel, remove the cap and flick out the remains of the swivel attachment. Then bore a hole in the bottom of the feeder and another in the cap.
The key to a glueless assembly is to make sure the hole you make in the bottom of the feeder is just large enough to accept the plastic tube. Bore it slowly and carefully. I start out using the point of my penknife, follow up with the augur, and finish off with the reamer. When the tube won't quite fit, stop. By twisting the tube slightly you can 'screw' it through the hole and when you pull it straight the tube expands from a partially twisted state and locks in place. A smear of superglue around the join does no harm.
Use the curve the tube has taken on while coiled up to your advantage. Get the alignment right and it will angle both the mainline and the hooklink downwards which should improve presentation and help pin the line down above the feeder.
The hole in the cap should be a loose fit to allow the cap to slide easily along the tube. Slide on the cap and trim the tube to a length that suits you and allows easy filling of the feeder. The tail rubber on the end of the tube prevents the cap sliding up the line when you are filling the feeder. Again a smear of superglue around the tail rubber can be advantageous.
That's about it. All you need now are to add some maggots... and some tench!