Solid PVA bags and tape are, says Harry Charrington, some of the best products ever to enter carp fishing and can genuinely help you catch more carp. Here’s why…

Isn’t if funny how you look back on some of the tactics you used to employ, yet which seem to have vanished from your armoury in recent times. This is certainly the case with me when it comes to the use of PVA tape in certain ways. Steve Renyard once penned an excellent article in the old Advanced Carp Fishing magazine where he made a rather unusual looking, but deadly effective, stringer but which was more like a ball of boilies as opposed to what you might usually think of a stringer as being.

Steve, instead of the more predictable line of boilies that a stringer creates, threaded the tape on and around his hook to create a more circular shape. This left a nice little pile of boilies around his hook bait, a very different presentation, and he caught absolutely loads of carp doing it. Having read Steve’s feature, as I’m sure many others did too, I started to use this alternative stringer and did really well on it. However, I haven’t used it for some time but, having thought about it for this article it’s made me want to use it again.

Another thing that I used to do with tape, and it actually started in my chub and barbel fishing, was using stringers but with paste rather than boilies. I tried it in my carp fishing and had some great results with it. All you have to do differently is tie a few knots down the PVA so that the soft paste has something to grip to. I’d fish a paste-wrapped hook bait in conjunction with it and I always pictured the huge amount of attraction that it all created.

Here’s one for you to ponder. Have you ever thrown away any old pop-ups that have laid around the place for too long and which you don’t use any more? I certainly have, or I used to but not any more. You can thread one or two of these on to some PVA tape and then hook it onto your rig before casting out. Not only do they slow the descent of the rig and help it all lay nice and neatly, but when the pop-ups hit the surface after the PVA melts you have a nice target to catapult your freebies at.

Perhaps the most obvious way of using PVA tape is when tying off solid PVA bags, which is a subject I want to look at next. Solid bags are arguably one of the best inventions in carp fishing history and have genuinely helped a lot of carp anglers catch a lot of carp which they may otherwise have been able to target.

The majority of time when I use solid bags I’ll tie them off ‘lick and stick’ style using the Rapid Loader system. This is extremely easy to use and super fast, creating perfectly neat parcels of food in double-quick time.However, if I’m casting really long range with a bag then I tie one up in the usual fashion, tied off with tape. They take a hell of a lot longer to tie than with the Rapid Loader, probably 4-5 minutes getting it absolutely right. It’s vital that the contents are compacted down as tightly as possible and then to fold the corners down and make it all as aerodynamic as it can possibly be.

When tying the distance bags I place the lead into the bag first, whereas usually the hook bait will be at the bottom of the bag with the contents following behind. Having the lead at the front of the bag creates a weight-forward scenario, which adds distance and helps create a straighter flight.