Feeder links have been used for years by match anglers and are now becoming popular with amateur anglers. They are used to make simple tangle free feeder rigs for both rivers and still waters.
A feeder link is used to make a running paternoster rig which can be fished at any distance. The links are made of stiff material, yet move and run freely on the line. Bites register at the tip before the fish feels the weight of the feeder, allowing connection to the fish before the feeder on the strike. Nonetheless, many fish will self hook and bolt thanks to the incredibly sharp hooks we have now. Always ensure the hook point is sharp and exposed. Fish may also hold onto the bait longer as they don’t feel the feeder. Because the feeder is not bouncing directly on the line against the hook, fewer fish are lost while being played. Hook links can be any length, but 50 cm is a good starting point for Bream and 30 cm for Carp.
Tying the rig
First thread the feeder link onto the mainline. Tie a figure-of-eight loop 10 or 12 inches from the end of the line. Don’t cut the tail off, but use it to make a twizzled boom for the hook link which hang down slightly longer than the link and feeder. Use a double overhand knot to tie off the boom. Cut off any remaining tail end and squeeze a couple of size 8 stotz on the line tight behind the knot. The stotz act as a stop for the feeder link, but also cause the hook link boom to kick out away from the feeder. Some angler prefer to use a rubber stop behind the knot, although the boom kicks out better against a flat surface presented at a right angle to the line. Finally loop to loop a hook link and you’re ready to go.
Feeder links are not going to revolutionise your feeder fishing. I believe they do however, advance the technique and can be used with all the common feeder designs. They are commonly available in three lengths 4cm, 6cm and 8cm. The further the cast or the stronger any undertow, the longer the link to use.