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James Harrison                                                                                                   *+),-./

                                                                                                                James Harrison
                                                                                                                 explains why
                                                                                                                he’s addicted to
                                                                                                               The Fishing Bag’s
                                                                                                                   PVA Bags.

                                                                                                    PVA bags are often frowned at as being a
                                                                                                    ‘Noddy’ method, but I’m more than happy
                                                                                                    with the size and amount of fish I catch using
                                                                                                    them. I’ve had carp to 52lb and numerous
                                                                                                    multiple captures of twenties and thirties,
                                                                                                    when other anglers have caught very little.

                                                                                                    Over the past eight years I have honed my
                                                                                                    approach to what I believe to be one of the
                                                                                                    most affective methods for catching carp. My
                                                                                                    PVA bag approach is a total one, where the
                                                                                                    bag, the rig and the bag’s contents work
                                                                                                    together to produce an effective trap. The
                                                                                                    Extra Strong bags reliably deliver the rig, bait
                                                                                                    and freebies where ever I want them to go.
                                                                                                    They don’t split on the cast or on landing, and
                                                                                                    they get to the bottom intact. Many anglers
                                                                                                    complain about lumps of PVA being left on
                                                                                                    the line or around the rig components. Many
                                                                                                    are obsessed about PVA totally dissolving.
                                                                                                    Not me – I’ve seen fish eating the lumps of
                                                                                                    PVA and I’ve caught more than enough fish
                                                                                                    with a chunky PVA mass around the tail
                                                  even in the margins. After a couple of tests in   rubber not to care. PVA residue like this can
When I think back to my first experience with
                                                  the lake’s gin-clear water, with some of the      be helpful. If you find you’re reeling in with a
PVA bags back in the early eighties, it makes
                                                  better known PVA products, I discovered that      lump of PVA up your tubing or leadcore, you
me laugh. What was I thinking trying to fill one
                                                  they dissolved before reaching the bottom         can be sure that the bag has exploded on
with soaking wet hemp? As I watched it
                                                  and not giving me the presentation I desired.     impact with the water. The lead will have shot
dissolve in my hand I dismissed it as useless
                                                  I needed to find some PVA products with a          through the bag, pushing the remaining
and threw the rest of the pack away. Oh how I
                                                  longer break down time.                           remnents of the bag up the line. Not what you
wished I’d thought about its use properly, way
                                                                                                    really want. The Extra Strong bags help
back then.
                                                  The search didn’t take long as                    prevent this with their added strength. Your
                                         came up almost               lead choice is also important. I never use any
It wasn’t until I returned to carp fishing about
                                                  instantly. The Exta Strong bags sounded like      pointed distance style leads in a PVA bag, as
eight years ago that PVA came back on my
                                                  the ideal product for my needs. To say they       they pierce them too easily. Depending on
agenda. I’d now fully grasped the concept of
                                                  worked perfectly from day one wouldn’t be an      how far I need to cast I’ll either use a Flat
PVA and felt it could be of use on a water I’d
                                                  over exaggeration, and they have continued        Pear for close to medium range; an Atomic
found. The problem I had was that that it was
                                                  working ever since.                               Bottle bomb for medium to long range and a
very deep. Most of the lake was 14ft plus,
                                                                                                    Ball Lead and a small Extra Strong bag for

 When using the flat pear or Bottle bomb,              must make it more difficult to spit out. A fish
 I compromise a little on the aerodynamics of         does not know what a hook is and even if it
 the bag. Most magazine features will show the        did, with this approach it’s buried in the bags
 lead going into the centre of the bag. I prefer to   contents. It’s worth noting that I’ll use a size 2
 position the lead on one side of the bag, and        no matter what size bait I’m using. I’d happily
 then place the hook bait on the opposite side.       use it with a single grain of hemp or a 25mm
 The sacrifice of a little instability in flight is     boilie. A carp will suck it in no problem.
 made up for by the superior presentation. With
 the lead on one side, it makes that side of the      The final component is the bait itself. Although
 bag heavier. The bag will always land lead-side      I have a few tricks up my sleeve, essenatially I
 down, leaving the hook bait positioned               follow the same rules. I like to use a range of
 perfectly on top of the bags contents.               ingredients that have different sizes and
                                                      ‘attraction times’. In a Medium Extra Strong
 The rig is the next vital component. I’ve always     bag I’ll use some crumbled boilies and small
 favoured short rigs, between 2” and 7” long. I       trout pellets. I’ll then add a few larger pieces of
 see no reason to use a long hook link with PVA       boilie and a couple of whole boilies. To fill up
 bags. I want the carp to suck up the contents        the air gaps around these larger items I’ll use
 of the bag and for the lead to pull the hook         some ground bait or finely crumbled boilie. A
 home as soon as possible. For this reason I          small amount of liquid attractant is also added
 prefer heavy leads of 4oz and more, again            to give a short burst of attraction when the bag
 depending on distance required. My hook link         first dissolves. Then the crumb, and pellets
 is a reversed combi link, with the bait mounted      come into play, followed by the boilies and
 on a long D-rig. The D-rig and stiff extended        boilie pieces. If nuisance fish clear out the
 section from the hook is tied from 25lb mono.        crumb and pellets, then I’m still left with the
 This is about 2” long, and is then joined to 25lb    larger boilie pieces and the two whole boilies
 supple braid. The reversed combi link provides       to hopefully attract a carp.
 a stiff hook section to make it difficult for the
 carp to spit out, and the supple braid makes it      As a back up, if the water I’m fishing does
 easier for the bait to be sucked in. I use a long    have nuisance fish I’ll bait up with around 50
 D-rig as it gives a more random movement of          boilies around each bag. This way, if the bag’s
 the bait, and improves the turning properties of     contents are eaten and the hook bait is left, the
 the rig. Finally, the hook is a size 2 ESP Stiff     carp will just find a lone boilie, like the freebies
 Rigger. I am in no doubt that bigger hooks           around it. I’ll also use this baiting pattern if the
 catch more fish. The wider gape must catch            lake has low stock and I want the carp to find
 more easily, and the shear size of the hook          some bait, and start searching out the area.


The Fishing Bag
6 Grove Rd
Chichester  PO19 8AR                                                                                         E:
T: 01243 771155                                                                                    

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