Speed is a great aspect of solid PVA bag fishing. Making up a load of these bait bags will serve you well a night before a session and certainly provide a carpet of bait that carp cannot refuse. PVA is the ultimate confidence in a bag for all carp anglers!
Poly-Vinyl Alcohol, otherwise known as PVA is a water-soluble substance that can be made into solid sheets, tape and string or woven to create a mesh-type stocking. For fishing, PVA is great as once it dissolves, it leaves a neat pile of bait around your hook.
PVA is usually a product associated with the big carp scene, but when used correctly it can be equally effective for smaller commercial carp. It’s especially good in the cooler months when you’re trying to catch one fish at a time, it’s also brilliant on hard days when you really want to or need to, chop and change baits.
Make sure your bag contents have lots of smaller items such as salmon fry crumb and micro pellets. These not only keep fish grubbing around your hook bait for longer but also allow you to pack the bag content down into a solid capsule that is very aerodynamic and casts well over 100yards with the right tackle.
Use prettied short leadcore (or fluorocarbon) leaders with your rigs so that you can tie loads of bags at home and then just loop to loop them on your mainline when you’re on the bank. You can literally have 100’s of these bags prettied and ready to rock and roll when you reach your venue, great for overnighters. This will save you messing around tying bags on the bank and allow you to maximise bite time and not waste valuable time. In addition, make sure your hookbaits are plastic otherwise pop-ups can shrink and increase buoyancy if left in ready-tied in bags for long periods.
Get yourself a syringe (please make sure you are careful) and a selection of oils, goo’s and any other PVA friendly liquid and inject this into you solid PVA bag before casting it in. This will increase the pulling power of your bag and give you a liquid attractor as well as the food items and hookbait in your bag.
Keep the length of the rig inside the bag between 3-5inches and ensure you use a supple braid as the hooklength material. As fish are not moving far and feeding close to the lead the short hook length wallows a greater chance for the fish to be hooked.
Also, due to the hooklength being crumpled up in the finished bag this won’t affect the presentation of a soft supply braid whereas with a mono hooklength it will kink it. In addition, always use an inline lead in a PVA bag, this increases the hooking and casting potential of your rig.
Typically, a small pop up (12mm) or a critically balanced wafter hookbait are great choices when using a solid bag. With a small pile of pellets and feed, your business end is very light and responsive when fish move into feed on them so it makes sense that your hookbait is the same. This will result in the fish treating the hookbait with less suspicion.