Dave Coster's How To – Making A Strung Bulk

It might seem like a lot of extra effort forming a strung bulk of small shot, instead of using a simple olivette to load bigger pole floats, but this kind of attention to detail can make a big difference. Before explaining the advantages of using strung or spread bulks, the first thing to look at is the type of pole float this rig format suits most. With conventional olivette set-ups a float with a bulbous body is better, while with strung shot bulks streamlined pole float designs are best.

The quickest way to form a strung bulk is to use number 8 Stotz weights. These elongated shot are much easier to apply to line than round micro shot, using a pair of Styl Pincers like the ones in the photograph. Simply pour some Stotz weights onto a flat surface and pick up the ones with their slots facing downwards with the pincers. They can then be directly applied to the line. Spread number 8s suit pole floats with capacities from 0.75g up to 1.25g.

To form strung bulks number 8 Stotz weights need to be spread at 5mm intervals, which creates an elongated main bulk that sinks slower than an olivette, particularly if you hold the rig on a tight line as it settles. This in turn slows the rate at which you hook bait falls as it nears the bottom in deeper water, often bringing bonus bites that olivette rigs miss altogether. If there is any undertow, another bonus strung bulks bring is they pick it up, helping the rig to present hook baits more naturally.

To prove how effective strung bulks can be, I caught this great bag of quality roach using a spread of number 8 Stotz, with two smaller number 10s spread out below – in conjunction with a 1g pole float. I also had a similar capacity olivette rig tackled up, which only caught a few small roach initially. But when I switched to the strung format many more positive bites came my way. The new rig picked up the undertow better and this was enough to turn a slow session into a really hectic one

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