Innovation is hard to come by these days with so many companies hotly competing for the same goal. So, here’s why Matrix’s latest feeders impressed Alex Bones.So, picture the scene; you’ve been responsible for one of the most influential products of modern fishing – the push-button Method mould. You’ve patented the design to the hilt so it can’t be copied by anyone! Then you move to another tackle company where you’re presented with a blank drawing board. You need to design a new Method feeder and mould that’s better but doesn’t infringe any of the existing protection in place. Like the sound of that challenge? How would you go about coming up with a solution?
Well… that’s exactly what Ricky Teale, the man behind the new Matrix range, was faced with as one of his first assignments!
And these, the Evolution Hooped and Open Method feeders and Squeeze And Feed mould, are his answers.
The first hurdle with Matrix launching a feeder and mould is that many other companies already produce them. So, to be a success they’re going to have to be significantly different, while still offering the angler the same, or increased, benefits. You simply cannot launch a Method feeder these days without a Method mould, so getting the aptly named Squeeze And Feed right was just as important as the feeders.
Preston Innovations’ patent protection is the reason why many moulds, including the Guru model I designed and the Matrix version, are made from a malleable material. This actually produces what is, in many respects, a better product than the rigid push-button model. There are various benefits to the manufacturer, but for anglers it also results in a super-simple-to-use product that’s virtually indestructible.
Where the Squeeze And Feed excels is that it’s deep enough to allow you to pile on plenty of bait. It’s the opinion of many of today’s top anglers that current moulds don’t allow you to put enough bait onto the feeder frame in one hit. This one does!
As with many other Method moulds you can press the feeder into the bait as hard as you like to vary the breakdown of the feed once it’s in the water. However, it’s where this mould gets its name that’s the clever part – you simply upturn it, squeeze the sides and out falls the loaded feeder.
So, what about the feeders then? I was privy to the early prototypes and got to fish with them last summer.
There are two types available, both inline models – Open and Hooped. Ricky and his team identified that you need a feeder to perform different jobs in different depths of water. The Open version is for fishing in water up to three feet deep and the Hooped is for water deeper than three feet. The design of the feeders also allows your hook bait and hook to sit right on the feeder frame without the risk of it tangling around any bars. Both types of feeder are available in 15g, 30g, 45g, 60g and 80g versions. The leads are also indented to give what Matrix call a ‘gripper base’ to help them grip on steep slopes.
The aerodynamic shape is very easy to cast accurately and the inline nature means they conform to all fishery rules where Method feeders are allowed.
The attachment of the feeder to the line is yet another innovation, though! There’s a slot on the underside of the stem so your reel line can easily slot in and out allowing you to change the feeder style or weight in seconds. It also means you can transport readymade rods without the risk of a heavy feeder hitting your rod blanks. A tail rubber locates over the feeder stem to prevent the feeder coming off the line in use. To attach your hooklength you simply need a quick-change-type bead, which locates at the rear of the feeder making it effective, yet unobtrusive.
They’re only available in a medium size at the moment, but I understand there are other sizes to come, including a small version.
All in all, brilliant products that set the benchmark for many of the other innovations to come in the Matrix range.
Evolution Method Feeder Inline (all types) £1.99
Squeeze And Feed Mould £2.99