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PVA bags are a deadly way of presenting a small amount of bait (and rig) on the lake bed. They really come into their own when you don’t know what then lake bed is like or you are just fishing for a quick bite. In the warmer months a PVA bag fished over a spodded area is a very good tactic, it provides a presented rig with a small amount of bait in the middle of a bigger spread of bait.

In my opinion though PVA bags really come into their own in the colder months, when you don’t want to use a lot of bait and you need as much attraction and pulling power as you can get to get those fish into feeding.

PVA bags have played a huge part in my Carp fishing for well over 10 years. I have tried lots of combinations of rigs and leads but the one I settled on a couple of years ago is the one I am about to show you below.

Firstly there are two ways of fishing your lead in a PVA bag; You can choose to keep the lead or drop it on the take. Normally I choose to drop it because I feel that a 2-3oz lead banging around 3-4 inches away from a Carps eye spells disaster! These are the two swivel set-ups you will need depending on what you choose – The one on the left is there to drop the lead and is a size 8 double ring swivel and the one on the right is for keeping you lead, it is a size 8 ring swivel.

Both of these are spliced onto about 12 inches of Nash Cling On leadless leader. I do this so I can make up multiple bags at a time and change them over quickly whilst fishing. You can do the same with fluorocarbon or mono depending on fishery rules and personal preference.

If you don’t know how to splice then watch this quick video below showing you how to splice with some handy tools!

I am going to show you how I set it up to drop the lead using a 2oz inline square lead from Fox.

I really like the Fox leads for this as they have a groove down the side which your leader fits in. You don’t need it but it neatens up the rig.

Next up is the rig…. I have tried fancy rigs and swivels galore. To put it simply, you don’t need them. The rig is so short and reacts so quickly that the most important components are a good lead and a sharp hook. The rest of the work will be done by the fish.

Now you need to attach your hookbait. This normally works better if its bright, but that is all it needs to be. the bait in the bag is the attraction, this is just the cherry on the cake if you like! So you can use anything; A small pop-up, fake maize or a fake boilie. These will all work well. Sometimes I use the fake boilies as I can make up bags well in advance of going fishing and I know the hookbait hasn’t dried out or even gone off!

You then just need to tie a figure of eight loop knot in the other end, big enough to fit your hook and bait through. You rig will then be about 3.5 inches long. the perfect ‘bag’ length.

Next up is your choice of bait to fill the bag with. There are no hard and fast rules with this so use what you are confident in. Just make sure you have a powder element like a groundbait or stick mix and then you have your ‘main fill’, this can be small pellets, mixed small pellets, boilie crumb, liquidized bread etc. The list goes on!

I choose to use the same thing on most occasions, changing the powder element to match the water temperature or situation I am in. For the colder waters I use the Nash Citruz fizzing stick mix as the powder and then I mix our own micro trout pellets and blood worm pellets together. These two pellets are a perfect match and the blood worm pellet is arguably the best pellet we stock!

Now come the bit that stops most people from using PVA bags. the construction! My top tip……. Practice makes perfect.

There is your finished bag ready to send out into the water!

Now…. The way I have filled this bag will be fine for anything up to 50-60 yards. If you want to cast it further you will find that it doesn’t fly very well as the weight of the bag is in the middle where the lead is. If you want to fish it further then fill the bag this way….

for an added edge inject some more flavour into your bag. Make sure it is PVA friendly! Otherwise you will have a nightmare…. This will also add a bit more weight to the bag as well as removing more air from between he main feed.



The finished bag will be like this in the water. As you can see when it dissolves the hookbait stands out like a bullseye for the fish to home in on.

You can really see the fizzing stick mix in action as well! Sending attraction up the water column bringing the fish down to your bait.

The following two pictures show the bag after 5 minutes then after a total of 25 minutes.

In the second picture you can see the secrets of the bloodworm pellets coming out. they dissolve very quickly leaving a red hue across the bottom of the lake which is full of attractants and feed inducing stimulants. The smaller trout pellets take longer to break down providing more attraction for longer. And with that fake yellow double corn sitting proud it wouldn’t be long until a bite came along…. that is providing you put it in the right place!

So there you go. An in depth look into my PVA bag work. I hope it has been helpful or just a good read! Drop any comments you have below and ask any questions you may hove.


tight lines.


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