PVA bag rig

The beauty of a PVA bag is you can put in a wide range of baits. Hard pellets in 6mm or 8mm are ideal as big carp love them and small fish struggle to eat them. Whenever the carp turn up they will find every morsel of bait you have introduced. A PVA bag will contain a mouthful of bait and as it is presented directly alongside your hookbait, the fish will engulf the lot in one. A split second later the rod tip will hammer round. How big that mouthful is depended on the stamp of fish you expect to catch.

A great way to moderate how much bait you feed during each cast is to use a small pole cup, this enables you to accurately measure how much you put into each PVA bag. Then simply tip that bait into the PVA and then each time you recast you know you’re creating an identically-sized pile.


1. Fill up a small pole cup with pellets and tip the contents into the top of the PVA bag load system


2. Place the plunger inside the funnel to force the pellets into the bottom of the mesh


3. Pull off about 20cm of mesh and crimp your fingers around the pellets to create a tight bag


4. Twizzle the PVA close to the bag, tie a tight knot. Make sure the contents are tightly packed or casting may be impaired


5. Tie another knot just above the bag in preparation for the next one. Trim between both knots and the bag is ready



When water temperatures are high the PVA mesh will dissolve within a minute of your bag hitting the bottom. The contents are then left in a tight pile for the fish to attack. Your hookbait will be right among the stash and there are two options as to what to use in the trap. On venues that are heavily pressured it pays to use a hookbait that blends in. So if you are using 6mm pellets in the bag, use a 6mm as hookbait. But there are other fisheries where the opposite works better and using something bright and easily visible such as a wafter is more effective. It really is a case of trial and error on the day to find which of them works at your choice of venue.


PVA bags can catch stacks of fish but attach them to your rig incorrectly and it won’t take long for a disaster to unfold. If you are going to fish at a range of less than 30m and a gentle cast is all that is required, it is simply a matter of hooking the bag and then putting the hook point through the PVA again to secure it in place. But when you are fishing further out you need to put a little more force through the cast and that can lead to the hook cutting through the mesh, sending the bag flying well away from where your rig lands. The answer to the problem is to remove your hooklength – which is best attached via a quick-change bead – and thread on the PVA bag with a baiting needle. Simply pierce the bag with the needle, hook the needle on to the hooklength loop and slide the bag down so it sits on top of the hook. As the bag is gripped to the line as opposed to the point of the hook, it can withstand a lot more muscle on the cast which is ideal on bigger waters that may require big chucks.


1. Push a gated baiting needle through the top and out of the middle of the bag

PVA bag

2. Attach the loop on the end of the hooklength to the baiting needle

Baiting needle and PVA bag

3. Pull the hooklink back through the bag and attach the hook at the bottom

Hooklength threaded through PVA bag

If you require any more tips or information on fishing with PVA bags, please contact the Angling Active team. We are more than happy to help.

This article was brought to you in association with Improve Your Coarse Fishing Magazine.

improve your coarse fishing