It is very hard to better the presentation offered by a solid PVA bag. Due to the fact that the lead and hooklink are placed inside the PVA bag the risk of tangles occurring is completely eliminated, which in itself is a huge edge. I know from discussions with Rob Hughes that quite often anglers fishing with a standard lead set up and soft hooklink will often have their rig tangled on the lakebed, however, as they reel in the rig will untangle itself and leave the angler none the wiser. By placing the rig inside the bag the tangle cannot occur meaning every time I cast one of these out I know the rig will not be tangled therefore giving me more chances of success. In addition the fact the rig is encompassed in a bag full of bait means it can be fished over lakebeds where a normal rig would be ineffective such as light/medium weed. Having everything inside the bag means I will be left with a little pile of bait with my rig inside sat on the weed, which is a massive edge. This little pile of bait also greatly increases attraction and give the carp a little pile of food to home in on. There is just enough for a mouthful and because the rig is coiled up inside the bait as the fish sucks it in the rig will fly into the mouth – giving them enough rope to hang themselves effectively! A further advantage of the solid bag is its aerodynamic nature. When tied correctly the bag will be nice and compact and be able to be cast very long distances, in fact I can reach 160yds+ with my solid PVA bags, which is a real advantage as not many anglers can present a small pile of attraction around the hookbait at such ranges without using boats.
The solid PVA bag is hard to beat!
The type of lead I use will never change and it will always be an inline lead as these are by the most streamlined and easiest to present inside a solid PVA bag. The size will depend on the distance I am fishing and the size of the bag, but 3oz is perhaps the most common size I’ll use in a season. The vast majority of the time I will fish the inline lead ‘drop off’ style. This is simply because the venues I tend to fish are very weedy and therefore by ejecting the lead on the take I vastly increase the chances of landing a fish and not getting it snagged up. However, if the venue I’m fishing is free of weed and snags then I will fish the lead on the line semi-fixed as I don’t want to lose leads for no reason.
The inline drop-off set up makes fishing solid PVA bags on weedy waters easier than ever before.
1. Start by attaching an Edges Kwik Change Drop Off Inline Swivel to one end of the leader.
2. You will then need to thread one of stems from the Inline Drop Off Kit onto your leader.
3. Next thread on the tail rubber from the kit and place it over the stem, like so.
4. Take one of the Drop Off Lead Plugs and place it over the eye of the swivel, as shown.
5. Next, secure the plug in place on the swivel with one of the T Pegs from the kit.
6. Now remove the insert from your inline lead to create an opening for the plug.
7. Push the plug and swivel into the front of the inline lead like so.
8. Run the leader around the outside of the lead and place the stem into the back of the lead.
With the lead setup created the actual rig I fish with it is kept nice and simple, as I favour tried and trusted presentations rather than over complicated confusion! The rig is around 2-3ins of Reflex Dark Camo braid and a super-sharp size 6 hook set up blowback style with the Hair attached to a little ring running on the shank. It is important to use a short rig as it needs to fit into the solid bag and you don’t want coils and coils of line inside.
Attach your rig (short braid is perfect) and the presentation is ready to go into a solid PVA bag.
When it comes to hookbaits I always like to keep them nice and small again as it has to fit easily inside the solid bag. I tend to favour bright hookbaits that standout from the darker coloured pellets in the bag. The bait will be critically balanced against the hook so it just wafts up and sits on top of the pellets – like a cherry on top of the cake! This gives the carp something extra visual to home in on and ensures that when they suck in the contents of the bag my hookbait goes flying in with it.
Inside the bag I tend to favour a nice mixture of micro and mini pellets. The smaller the pellets the better really as they enable the bag to be tied much tighter. I tend to use the small and medium sized PVA bags so I am never using lots of pellets in any one bag, like I said before I want just enough for one mouthful and one bite!
Tying a Solid PVA Bag
For years tying solid PVA bags was a very fiddly affair and many anglers didn’t bother using them simply because they took too much time and effort, and there was nothing worse than making a miscast and having to repeat the process over and over again. It was with this in mind that I set about designing a system that could eliminate the hassle and so a few years back the Rapide PVA Bag System was born. The system features a handy loading tool, which the bag also grips to allowing you to twist the top of the bag then lick it before using the tool to push this sticky outer side back down over the dry bag to seal it (see accompanying picture sequence). Overnight this product changed the ways anglers across the globe fished with solid PVA bags and since my early prototypes I haven’t looked back either!
1. Start by placing the locking collar onto the loading tool.
2. Place the loading tool into the top of the solid PVA bag.
3. Remove the locking collar and the tool will then grip the bag.
5. Use the tool to scoop a little bit of groundbait into the bag.
6. Position the groundbait in one corner of the bag, like so.
7. Now place your hook and hookbait into the opposite corner.
8. Fill the remainder of the bag up with your chosen small pellets.
9. Use the tool to create one large twist into the top of the bag.
10. Quickly lick around the full perimeter of the bag in the tool.
11. Push the tool down over the bag to transfer the sticky side to the bag.
12. Compact the bag and then fold the corners over – licking them so they stick to the bag.
With the bag now more aerodynamic it is complete and ready for action!
Once the bag has melted you will be left with the perfect presentation.
Proof indeed that these tactics work!