Today we are going to talk you through some different styles and techniques of how to fish with PVA bags and other PVA products.
How To Fish With PVA – Solid Bag Fishing
The first thing we’re going to look at is solid bags. The name kind of gives away the fact that it is a solid bag of PVA which you put your whole rig inside, then with your freebies and bait offerings of your choice, you seal the bag up with either some PVA string or PVA tape. I prefer to use the Fox Rapide system which is more of a lick and stick system, it’s really quick and it’s a great system that has sped the whole process of making the solid bags. It’s probably become one of the most popular styles of fishing.
I do a lot of big carp competitions and the reason they have become really popular is because of the speed aspect. If are fully prepared and you really wanted to, you could make 30, 40, or even 50 of these bags on leaders with your hook bait already in it, all prepared, bait in there, tied up, take them in a bucket, then it’s literally a case of tying them onto your mainline. Then every time you catch a fish you’re out again in seconds, so speed is one great aspect of solid bag fishing.
Next is the fact that they can be fished pretty much anywhere. If I was going to turn up to a lake and I wasn’t sure what I was casting on, solid bags would be well up there in my choice of rigs to fish because, firstly, you know your rig can’t tangle because everything’s inside the bag with your hookbait and then secondly they sit really well on all different types of lakebed, so as long as it isn’t really deep weed, but if you had a bit of chod, some silt or even a little bit of weed, bags sink slower than a conventional lead setup and it sits nicely on the lake bed. When it opens up the presentation is perfect and you know your rig is sitting well. So good presentation on different lake beds is another great thing about PVA.
Furthermore, solid bags allow you to add liquids and similar attractants, as long as it’s PVA friendly, you can put glugs, goos and oils inside the solid bag. Because it is solid, people like to inject PVA friendly liquids into the bag to get the maximum attraction to their rig, sometimes even without feed particles, which can be quite effective in winter. I know a few people who do that and again that’s another thing that you can do with solid bags that you perhaps can’t do with the other PVA products.
There are a few different sizes of bags and styles available on the market, so if you wanted to fish long distances with PVA, you could use the small bags which are brilliant, I can’t think of a better casting rig, the aerodynamics is great, it’s nice and solid, it’s just like casting a straight lead, you haven’t got a rig spinning around getting tangled, so they are perfect for long distance fishing. On the flip side of that, if you didn’t want to cast too far, but you wanted to present a big pile of bait, perhaps in a hole in the weeds somewhere really close in, you could use a much larger bag and use an underarm cast to get it on the spot.
There are lots of different sizes available and on top of that, you can also get non-perforated and perforated bags. I like to keep things really simple, so I use the perforated bags because they sink at a uniform speed and it will let the water melt the PVA much faster, the bag then opens nice and quick, great if you are fishing on runs waters. But keep in mind that you can buy the non-perforated bags and pierce your own holes in the bag.
The non-perforated bags can sometimes float if you don’t put a few holes in it, but you could pierce a couple of holes and make it sink slower, for instance, if you were fishing on top of weed. A great method and a great bit of kit to have in your tackle box.
Funnel Web PVA Systems
Next, we’ll take a look at the funnel web systems. Across the country, this is the most popular PVA product ever used and you can see why. The funnel web PVA systems are extremely versatile.
The funnel web systems for Korda are sold as a complete kit, the mesh is one long tube for which you can buy refills and you make the bags the size that you want to make them by tying the knots in the mesh once you have put in the bait you want to use.
The reason it is so versatile is, as long as the bait you use is PVA friendly, you can pretty much use whatever bait you want to use. You could use maggots, small particles, absolutely anything. Again, you choose the size of the mesh bag, so if you wanted the PVA bag to be really small because you were long distance fishing, there is a long chuck version available which you make thin sticks of bait which you then thread onto the rig, which is great for real long distances.
There’s also another size available, which is the boilie funnel web size. The name gives away what it is used for. Typically you press three or four 15mm boilies into the tube and tie a knot in the end, which makes a nice little neat bag which you can squirt a little bit of goo onto before casting that out. So when the fish finds your rig, there are a few baits really tight to the rig, which is a perfect parcel of bait for a passing fish.
The next size the Funnel Web which is the biggest size available in the mesh systems. You can use whatever bait you want, typically I use pellet or crushed up boilies and because the funnel web is a bigger bag, you end up with a bigger parcel of bait, similar to the large solid bags.
With the different options in size, you decide what sort of size or bag you feel you need for your style of fishing, personally, for me, I use the Boilie Funnel Web because I can switch between boilies and ground bait. If you haven’t tried PVA yet, perhaps give it a go, because it has caught me a lot of fish recently. What I do is, using the cap of the funnel web, pour a cap full of dry ground bait into the tube with a few pellets and doing that makes the bag float. I cast the bag out and feel the lead down, but the bag will still be popped up with the rig inside it until the ground bait takes on water, the bag will the dissolve, letting the bait sink down and settle on top of the rig. So what I’m doing is putting the absolute minimum amount of bait in the lake, but I’m guaranteeing that I’m presenting the rig well because it was just popping up off of the lake bed and then slowly settling down on top of any debris. You should go out there and give it a go, as that really did make a big difference to my fishing.
The way you hook the bags on again, as I’ve mentioned, you can hook them onto your rig using the long stringer baiting needle to stop hair tangling, or you can just nick them on to your hook.
You could have loads of these tied up if you were catching a lot of fish, you literally just nick them onto your hook and cast them out and you’re lines are out fishing again really quickly.
So that’s the funnel web systems.
PVA String and Tape
Next will have a look at PVA string or PVA tape. They are both pretty much used for the same applications, so one of the uses I mentioned earlier was sealing the top of the bags up with string or tape. Also, some people like to tie the back of the hair to the hook so if you are casting the rig a long way, one of the big questions I’m sure you have asked yourself, is has my hair tangled? There is nothing worse than having a rig sitting out there and not knowing if it’s right, so you can just tie the hair to your hook with PVA. You can then have confidence that it’s going to be presented well.
The main thing I use PVA string or tape is for the Stringer. It’s probably used the least now that the funnel web systems are out, but it works really well and I think there’s still a gap in there for certain situations.
So with the PVA string, what you do is thread 2 or 3 boilies and sometimes more if you want to onto the string and then you attach that to your hook, you will then have presented a perfect 3,4 or 5 baits really close together, but the perfect meal just for one fish to come along and a few years back, that was really effective, everyone was using stringers and a lot of fish were being caught. So there’s definitely place in the market for that.
Then finally, the last PVA product going to talk to you through, is certainly the one that I use the most for my personal fishing. It’s not actually a PVA product that presents any bait, but it’s PVA foam nuggets. I do a lot of long-distance fishing over boilies and this is where they are ideal, I don’t want to get any bait out there, which is what the other PVA systems will help you do, but what I do want, is I want to make sure the rig goes out there well and is presented on anything I cast on.
The PVA foam will float, a bit like my dry ground bait bags, but this PVA is so much smaller when it’s on your hook. You fold it around your hook and then as you cast out, your lead with settle, your PVA nugget would be popping your rig up, it will then start dissolving, break off the hook, pop-up and float to the surface and your rig will fall down straight and you’ll be fishing with a perfect rig presentation.
Another plus point of using the PVA Foam, is when I am boilie fishing, once that foam pops up to the surface, you’ve got a great visual point for a few minutes until it drifts off out of your peg, to where your rig has actually landed. So you could use the foam as a marker and you could fire baits out with a throwing stick or catapult around that area and it’s a great visual reference to where you feed him.
So that’s a closer look at PVA products on the market today, but it’s probably these products that are accountable for thousands of captures across the country literally every month. If you’re not out there using any of these already, get online to Amazon, you could even get them next day with an Amazon prime account.
How Long Do PVA Bags Take to Dissolve
Typically, PVA will dissolve around 30 seconds to a minute depending on the quality of the PVA and also the temperature of the water. In colder water, PVA will take longer to melt. In very cold water, you may find a gooey substance where the PVA used to be, this is the PVA which hasn’t completely melted.