Xitan Waterproof Keepnet Bags

Picture the scene. A successful fishing day is drawing to a close and it is time to head for home. With the gear stowed in the back of the car the heating is on full power, as the days are already getting cooler. By the time I get home the car is full of condensation, and that ‘fishy’ smell that means it has been a successful day, but which the rest of the family certainly don’t appreciate! Fortunately, there is a simple answer to this problem that significantly reduces the musty odour of damp keepnets. 

Recently, I swapped to the Xitan Keepnet Bags, which do a brilliant job of keeping the water and odour in. 

The bags are available in two versions: the Xitan Waterproof Single keep net bag fits one or two standard keep nets and the landing net heads you need for your fishing session on the water. The Xitan Waterproof Double keep net bag can be used to stow two to four keep nets along with landing net heads and your unhooking mat. 

The pockets are waterproof, which prevents any leakage, keeping the back of your car dry too, until you get home and have a chance to dry your nets out in sunlight to kill any rogue nasties.

The strong handles are stable and secure and the finish on the bags is second to none. Keep the smell and dam locked away. Because all we want are the memories and not the ‘sweet’ smell of success! 


Features of the Xitan Waterproof keep net bags include:

Strong but soft waterproof material

Sealed seams and robust carrying handles.

A wide opening zipper cover, with durable zippers

Single size has space for up to two standard keep nets plus a net head.

Double size has space for up to four standard keep nets plus a net head

Washable thanks to the ‘Eazi Clean’ concept

Made from 300D polyester.

Tight Lines! 

Kai Chaluppa, Team Browning

As with all the Xitan range, the Net Bags look as good as they perform.

Large enough to accommodate up to four keep nets and landing nets.

Quality zips and handles that will not let you down.

"An end to that wet net smell."

Next up is Andy Blay of Team Crowsport who missing not only the completive nature of match fishing but the preparation needed prior to each one, before Tim Bruce of Team Wickford  completes this week’s anglers and talks about catching big carp down the edge on the pole.

Each feature will include some great tactical advice as well as the tackle needed to get the best out of each session.

Next week there will be more three more top class anglers talking about what they are up to, and you never know we all might be allowed back out to cast a line and enjoy our sport again.

Xi-Dry Polar Clothing

The weather this summer has been all over the place, with 30-degrees plus one day, followed by torrential downpours the next. Having a set of waterproofs that can fend off the elements has become essential and the Browning Xi-Dry range fits the bill perfectly. 

I love the smart, understated look of this clothing, but most importantly it has kept me dry in monsoon-like conditions, with no annoying weak-points that let the water in. I particularly like the heavy-duty zips that have proper ‘storm-flaps’ covering them to provide an extra layer of waterproofing. 

I am a big chap, and I am pleased to report that this clothing has a great fit for the taller angler. The high cut of the Bib & Brace is great, helping to keep my lower back protected when pole fishing. 

I wear the Bib & Brace for a lot of my fishing as you inevitably get wet when unhooking a good fish in the net. You need clothing that is comfortable and just blends in, enabling me to get on with the fishing. The material feels reassuringly tough, without being stiff and noisy, which is a small, but important point. 

Two jackets are available. A heavy-duty Xi-Dry Polar Jacket, which has a padded lining to keep you warm along with a 12,000mm rated outer shell. The lighter Xi-Dry WR10 jacket is ideal for all but the coldest conditions and is rated to 10,000mm waterproofing, giving you the choice of a lighter jacket to keep the wind and rain off through the warmer months. 

A great two-piece suit that not only looks great, but does the job brilliantly well. 

Jon Whincup

The Xi-Dry Suit has kept me dry in some terrible conditions.

I like the high cut of the bib & brace.

I wear the bib & brace most of the time when fishing.

I like the high cut of the back of the bib & brace.

"I love the smart, understated look of this clothing"

Catch Silver's Feeder Fishing on the Drop

We normally think of feeder fishing as all about catching fish hard on the bottom, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Get your tactics right and it is possible to catch fish on the drop, which can be a much faster and efficient way of catching. Today I am on the river Great Ouse at Littleport; a typical wide, slow-flowing Fenland river. Several tactics will score on venues like this, from the short and long pole lines, to feeder fishing for bream, tench and big perch.

Our Hot Rods team fish numerous matches on rivers like this and one line that is exploited less is the far bank ledge for silver fish. It might seem counterintuitive to want to catch small fish across, as surely it must be quicker to catch them along your own margin. In a match situation though the fish can quickly disappear from the near-line and fishing across can enable more fish to be caught consistently over five hours, with double-figures achievable – enough for good points in a team competition.

The gear you need for this style of fishing isn’t particularly complicated, but it needs to be balanced to enable me to get into an unbroken rhythm that keeps me catching regularly. I use a Sphere 12’ (3.6m) Braid Special feeder rod, matched to a 40-size Quantum Vapor reel loaded with 0.08mm Cenex Feeder Braid with a 0.20mm mono shock leader approximately twice the length of the rod to take the constant stress of casting. The Sphere rod is particularly good for this style of fishing, the soft tip showing bites well and the forgiving mid-section cautioning the cast and reducing the number of fish that I bump off on the retrieve.

Rigs need to be simple and tangle-free. A 35gram Window Feeder Classic casts like a bullet and is easy to load with bait. I could use a lighter feeder, but the cross-winds common on the river mean that the extra weight makes it easier to stay accurate. The feeder is attached to the line using a 6cm mono link with a Feeder Connector Swivel enabling me to change hook lengths quickly. As for hook lengths, I am not fishing as fine as you might imagine, given though I am targeting small fish. A one metre 0.16mm Cenex Hybrid Mono hooklength is robust, and the diameter will help slow the sink-rate of the hookbait down a little. Using a reasonably big hook ensures I land more fish, with less coming off as I quickly bring them across the river.  Quite often I’ll have several hooklengths ready to go on the foam of my bump bar which allows me swap between hook and line choices quickly.

Wet your braided line to improve casting performance.

Feed a little chopped worm and pinkie through the feeder.

Plug the window feeder with explosive groundbait.

"A 35gram Window Feeder Classic casts like a bullet and is easy to load with bait."

Hookbait choice is either maggot or worm head. By using a relatively large hookbait I hope to single-out a slightly better stamp of fish, although it can be difficult to be selective when there are a lot of fish in the peg. Worm heads are also bullet proof and that speeds me up as I don’t have to change baits so often.

The secret to this style of fishing is to be constantly recasting. As soon as the hook bait comes to rest it is effectively not fishing and time to recast. I hold the rod and tighten up to the feeder as soon as it hits the water. Most bites come before the feeder has even touched-down, and the braid allows me to see these easily – for that reason I don’t use the rest, I want to be in touch with the feeder and hooklength all the time.

The Window Feeder releases its payload of cloudy groundbait, chopped worms and pinkies on the drop too, introducing enough bait to attract the fish and keep them hunting for more. In the gin-clear water I find a light coloured groundbait works well as a cloud and it literally explodes out of the feeder as it sinks. I will also only add particles when I feel I need to bring more fish into the peg, the groundbait generally holds them and I don’t want to overfeed or bites will slow and sometimes the stamp can actually reduce. You can find out about the groundbait mix I am using HERE.

When the conditions are right this is bite-a-chuck fishing. The fish might not be big, averaging a couple of ounces, but when you can catch 30-40 per hour it is possible to put together a decent weight. Certainly double-figures is well on the cards if the fish keep coming and if nothing else it allows the pole ,line to settle – which can make that better, or provide me with a quick start that gets me ahead of the game. You can also expect the odd better sized fish to put in an appearance. The rudd here can grow big and I expect a few eight ounce fish to appear through the day. Along with these roach, bleak and a few skimmers are likely, all competing for the bait as it falls through the water – I’ve had tench twice doing this as well, so it’s not a negative method at all.

Although I clip up the line to ensure the feeder hits the far bank shelf every cast I don’t cast to accurately to the same spot every time. I prefer to spread the casts out a little and keep the fish moving around. I find this keeps them active and interested for longer, drawing more fish into the peg. If I’m doing this I tend not to include particles – as I want that to all land in the same spot – so I may stick with neat groundbait.

Whilst it might not be a conventional way to fish a big river such as this, catching silverfish on the drop can be a really useful tactic, especially when the section is under match conditions and the fish have an uncanny ability to switch off. If you fish a similar big river, or perhaps a stillwater with a big head of silverfish then why not give it a go?

Kye Jerrom

This very simple feeder link helps avoid tangles and enables me to instantly change hooklengths.

Fish on the far margin shelf where the water is 4-6 feet deep.

You can put together a good weight of fish on the feeder.

Kye’s Gear

Sphere 12’ (3.6m) Braid Special Feeder Rod

Size 40 Quantum Vapor reel

0.08mm Cenex Feeder Braid

0.20mm Cenex Feeder Mono Shockleader

0.16mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono Hooklength

Size 14 Sphere Feeder Lite Hook

35 gram Window Feeder Classic



Kye’s Bait

2 pints pinkies

250 grams chopped worm

1 pint maggots


1 bag Champions Choice No.1 groundbait

1/2 bag Champion Feeder Big Bream

1/2 bag Champions Choice Canal

Rudd are the main species I expect to catch on the drop.

Black Magic Gold Mono

At times it can be really difficult finding a reliable reel line, one that doesn’t constantly twist after a few sessions, and one that will serve a multitude of applications; a real all-rounder so to speak.

Well, if you are struggling then take my advice and get your hands on a few spools of Black Magic Gold as I have been using it for years and can confidently say it is brilliant. Recently I used it on the mighty river Wye for barbel, and it handled these hard-fighting fish in often snaggy swims with ease. 

It is my number one choice when it comes to feeder fishing, and I even tie up many of my pole rigs using it – it is that versatile. It also lasts incredibly well and simply resists the constant punishment I put it through. It is a ridiculously good main line. 

Even better, it is not going to cost you the earth. In fact, it’s really affordable and comes on big spools, for example 680m in a 0.17mm diameter and 490m in 0.27mm!

Available on convenient bulk spools in the following tests / diameters:

4.5lb – 0.17mm

6.6lb – 0.19mm 

8.0lb – 0.21mm

9.6lb – 0.23mm

12.6lb – 0.27mm

Tim Bruce

A true all-round mainline.

Big carp are no problem with this line.

Line lay is brilliant for such an abrasion resistant line.

"I can confidently say it is brilliant."

Cenex Method Mono

The hurly-burly of Method Feeder fishing demands a really tough line that can stand up to landing big fish, time after time. Recently, I swapped to Browning’s excellent Cenex Method Mono, which not only has brilliant abrasion resistance, but several other key features too. 

Even the best tied knots can let you down in some lines when subjected to Method fishing, but this line really can take the strain and a well tied knot will take the strain. The breaking strain is also very high for its diameter, to I opt for the heaviest 0.26mm diameter in the summer months which has a breaking strain of 15lb. Why risk losing fish when you can use a strong line to have that extra margin for error? 

Many modern nylon lines have a tendency to be neutral buoyancy and difficult to get to cut-through the surface film, especially when fishing at range. Method Mono certainly sinks quickly, and cuts through easily, making it a lot easier to gently tighten up to the feeder. 

Method Mono has a pleasing camouflage appearance made up of three different colours that certainly helps it blend in with the lake bed. All in all, it is great to see a company making a line specifically for this style of fishing. 

Jon Whincup

Diameters Available:

0.20mm – 8.10lb

0.22mm – 10.40lb

0.24mm – 12.80lb

0.26mm – 15.00lb

Method Mono is really well behaved, with excellent line lay.

This line sinks fast and I like the camou colour.

Why risk losing big fish when you can use a really strong line?

"A really strong, yet well behaved line."

King Feeder Swivel

Creating a strong, reliable link in your rigs is essential. With some set-ups, particularly many feeder rigs, where the hookbait can spin on the retrieve, a swivel connection is desirable to cut down on twist. Most swivels are quite clunky though, and can look out of place when a more delicate presentation is required. Not the size 14 King Feeder Swivels though. These tiny swivels are ideal for both feeder and float set-ups where a swivel is needed.

The tiny size adds minimal weight and resistance to the rig (equivalent to a number 8 shot), meaning bites are seen more clearly and fewer indications are missed. The miniscule weight also means that these swivels can also be used on float rigs, especially in running water, where line twist can be a problem, I even use them on by big chopped worm rigs to avoid spin ups with big baits.

Despite the tiny size, these swivels are rated at 4kg breaking strain, more than adequate for most feeder rigs. If you want to improve your feeder rigs then these tiny gems are a must-have item in your box.

Available in a range of sizes from 8 to 14.


Kye Jerrom

King Swivels are a must-have in my box.

The 4kg strain of these swivels makes them useful for a wide range of applications.

King Swivels are precision engineered.

"These tiny swivels are very versatile"

Meat fishing, but not as you know it...

Match fishing is all about creating edges, the more edges you have up your sleeve, the more time saved resulting in more fish in the net come the end of the day. Luncheon meat is a fantastic bait, especially on commercials for carp, however it has one big drawback, it’s soft and comes off the hook easily. This is great when fishing down the edge for a real lump, yet up in the water on the pole or on the feeder when carp are competing and creating a lot of false bites can be frustrating as a premature strike will result in time being wasted reeling in and having to re-bait. One edge I have created that has put loads more carp in my keepnet, simply by mimicking meat, is to punch a piece of boiled gammon steak as its texture is ten times tougher than good old Luncheon Meat but it looks, smells and acts almost the same. It’s also saltier, something I’m also convinced is more appealing. Placing this on a hair which has a bait spike attached or using a readymade hooklink such as the Feeder Leader Method Push Stops mimics the freebies fed around but withstands numerous casts, even captures. Give it a go it will save you loads of time having to re-bait and put loads more carp in your net.  

Today I’ve come to Churchgate Lakes in Essex for the very first time and have headed to the Bottom Lake which I’m told holds loads of carp. The swim I’ve chosen is round the back of the main island which I’m going to cast close too as this is where most of the F1’s and odd big carp seem to come from. The rod I’m using is the superb 10’ Sphere Bomb teamed up with the 930 MgTi reel loaded with 0.20mm Cenex Method Mono which is camou-coloured with high durability and fast sinking. Running on this is a 30g Hydrus Metal Method Feeder which is buffeted by a medium Connector Bead onto which I’ve added a four-inch hooklink created from 0.16mm Cenex Classic Mono. A size 16 barbless Sphere CPF LS hook tied knotless-knot style with a hair and Push Stop completes the hook length. 

Churchgate Lakes F1’s are big.

Feathering the feeder down reduces tangles.

Let’s see how today goes.

The first one is always nice.

"its texture is ten times tougher than good old Luncheon Meat"

Fed through the feeder is simply Champion’s Method Robin & Krill groundbait and I’ve stated using a kilo bag mixed with 600ml of water as stated on the packet before passing through a fine riddle a couple of times. To this I’m adding a kilo of dampened 2mm micro pellets, a combination that is irresistible to both carp and F1’s. I’m also going to catapult a few punched pieces of steak over the top of where I’m casting as this will attract any passing carp, draw them in and if they start showing up in the water will give me the option to switch to the pellet waggler for the odd bigger bonus fish.

The morning session was slow to start with, probably due to lots of other day anglers arriving, but the swim has slowly improved as the noise levels have dropped and I’ve been rewarded with plenty of big F1’s, odd carp and my standard goldfish that I seem to catch everywhere I go! 

Gary McClair

Every fish is fun when using the Sphere Bomb rod. 

Cenex lines and Sphere hooks, brilliant.

Constant feeding over the top gets the fish feeding.  

Champion’s Method Robin & Krill, great for the feeder.

Gary’s Tackle

10’ Sphere Bomb Rod

Sphere MgTi 930 Reel

Cenex 0.20mm Method Mono

Cenex 0.16mm Classic Mono

Hydrus 30g Metal Method Feeder

Sphere size 16 barbless CPF LS Hook

Medium Connector Bead


Gary’s Bait

Champion’s Method Robin & Krill

Gammon Steak

A few hours fishing resulted in these F1’s.

Hydrus Metal Method Feeder

If you’re looking for a long-distance flat-bed method feeder then look no further.

These feeders have been designed with perfectly arranged ribs for optimal hold on the groundbait during casting. No more exploding mid air, these will keep your bait intact even when casting to the horizon, yet will rapidly release once in the water. These compact inline, metal feeders are ideal for those big venues where the fish tend to live well away from the banks. 

Bream anglers will love them. 

Available in three weights 30g, 40g and 60g and compatible with the Hydrus Method Feeder Mould.


Alec Roberts

Designed for distance.

The mould works like a charm.

"Bream anglers will love them."

Compatible with the Hydrus Method Mould.

Another one finds the net.

Great on commercial carp venues too.

The Black Magic Specialist Pole - A consummate all-rounder.

Over the summer I was fortunate enough to be able to test the new Black Magic Specialist pole. This is just one of a large number of new product launches from Browning, and one that I was particularly interested to take a look at. 

This latest generation of Black Magic poles is based on the, also new, Black Magic Allround. Following the motto “You can always do a little more”, the developers have tuned it to an even higher level giving fantastic quality at an extremely attractive price. Before I talk about my on-the-water tests let’s take a closer look at the technical details.


As soon as it was unpacked this 10 meter long pole I was very impressed, as it shared many features normally found on much higher-priced poles. One of the first to catch my attention were the carbon reinforced areas around the main stress points, which serve to reinforce the pole precisely where it needs it, without adding excess weight. 

The kit supplied has a length of 2.6 meters and is already equipped with a PTFE bush and a side puller bush. This means that very little work is required to get the kits ready for use. Simply thread the elastic of your choice and the pole is ready for fishing. You can also add a cupping kit and additional pulla kit for very little additional cost.


The puller kits supplied with the pole are capable of handling elastics up to a 20+ rating (3.5mm hollow), so I was keen to test how well this pole handled powerful carp on stronger tackle. During testing I used the pole with elastics up to 3.1mm Stretch Hollow and landed carp quickly with little fuss. I have no doubt that this pole can handle strong tackle up to the stated rating and will land some seriously big carp. 

Soon to be available will be a range of Mini-Pole Protectors designed to fit the 3, 4, 5, and 6 sections of the pole. These have been specially strengthened to give maximum power under the elbow and enable the exact length of the pole to be adjusted to the perfect distance. With these pole protectors it is possible to fish at the following distances: 

3 parts: 4.5 meters

4 parts: 5.5 meters

5 parts: 7.0 meters

6 parts: 8.5 meters

7 parts: 10 meters

Expect the Mini-Pole Protectors to be available in Summer 2021. 

If you are looking for a great 10 metre pole that can handle everything from big carp to silvers, then be sure to check out the Black Magic Specialist Pole, it is a true allrounder. I think this pole to two different groups of anglers. Firstly, the Club Angler who is looking for a pole that can handle everything and is super-comfortable to fish with. Secondly, for anglers who fish for carp in the margins, and who might need to follow the fish out, or along the margin, to keep the bites coming the length of this pole is just right, and flexible enough to be a brilliant choice. 

Make sure you take a look at this pole at your local Browning Stockist, you will not be disapointed! 

Tight lines and best wishes! 

Christian Dörr, Team Browning Saarland

Cenex Feeder Mono

I’ve been using Cenex Feeder Mono for a while now and really feel it gives me a massive edge when feeder fishing as it sinks almost immediately and being of medium-stretch it transmits everything back to the rod tip instantly. 

Having a special smooth surface seal increases casting distance and improves retrieve, it’s also very abrasion resistant so it’s a very versatile mainline and will appeal to the bream angler casting to the horizon or the angler targeting carp up against snags where you just can’t give them an inch! Its sinking properties and suppleness are also advantageous when there is a heavy surface tow, especially when float fishing at distance.

I just love this line as it has so many uses, as it’s simply not affected by the rigorous demands of modern day match fishing.

Available on 150m spools in the following diameters/breaking strains –

0.14mm – 4lb

0.16mm – 5lb

0.18mm – 6lb

0.20mm – 7.40lb

0.22mm – 9.70lb

0.24mm – 11.80lb

0.26mm – 12.80lb

0.28mm – 13.70lb


Alec Roberts

Withstands everything thrown at it.

This soft line sits perfectly on the spool.

"I just love this line as it has so many uses"