Coming in close behind the bottom fished feeder rig, this is one of the most commonly used fishing rigs in Thailand. It looks in many ways like a live baiting rig, with a huge float and heavy line, albeit minus the wire trace. This float is needed, not to prevent a live bait diving under, but to support the large amount of bait that wil be packed around the feeder.
The feeder used in this rig is a fixed “in-line” spiral feeder, but it could just as well be replaced with a free sliding feeder fed directly on to the main line, with the main line then tied below directly to the hook length swivel, and a stop bead or stop knot positioned above the float to hold it in place.
Note that if using a stop bead it would, of course, need to be threaded on to the main line before the float. Depending on the size of the hole through the float it may also be necessary to add a bead between the float and the stopper to act as a kind of “washer” and prevent the stopper getting jammed in the float.
The main things that you can vary within this rig are:
1. Line/braid strengths
Just be sure to use a breaking strain appropriate for where you are fishing (15Kg is fine for most Chiang Mai venues). You may consider a much heavier braid if fishing waters with predators that may take your bait even when you are not fishing for them. That way you have some chance of landing them.
2. Braided hook length
People commonly fish with braided hook lengths of anywhere from 10 to 30cm in length. Shorter hook lengths keep your hookbait closer to the feeder “cage” and seem, in general, to be more successful.
3. Hook Size/type
As elsewhere in the world, excessively large hooks will reduce your number of “takes”, but will lead to you landing more of those that take your bait. This is different for every water and is something that you should experiment with yourself.
You should also consider using barbless hooks (or closing the barb with pliers before use). You will lose surprisingly few fish because of this choice, and feel great when painlessly unhooking your quarry.
4. Bait Presentation
If using bread as the hook bait you should partly compress it before baiting it on to the hook, otherwise it may float up due to all of the trapped air, even with the weight of the forged hook. Ideally you will experiment with your baited rig in a bowl of water, or in the margins of the lake, to see how it behaves – it’s the only way to really see how your bait will be presented; and you should care about this…
If using crust from an uncut loaf the hook should go in from the white bread side, be hooked through and out of the brown crust side, then the hook twisted around and pulled back, so that the round of the hook is sat against the firm brown crust.