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Carp tactics: PVA mesh


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#1 matt

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:53 PM

PVA is a water-soluable material that dissolves in water.  Its become popular for carp fishing becuase it allows you to deliver a perfect package of bait with your baited rig when you cast out.  It comes in bags, mesh, tape and string.  I personally like the mesh, because you can create custom-sized bait packages.  The string is good too, you can make "stringers" of boilies to tie onto your hook.  Over the last few years I have relied more and more on pva as a staple in my carp fishing arsenal.

The type of bait you can put in pva is endless, but it can't be too wet.  What is cool though, is that oil will not melt pva, so you can use an oil to ensure the bags won't melt to quick.  For example, you could coat sweet corn in peanut oil and put it in a bag.  I use a range of ingredients - maize, chopped tiger nuts, pidgeon feed, grits, oats, bread crumb, crushed boilies, powdered fat free milk and more - in my bags.  A really simple, but effective combonation is sweet corn with the juice drained out and dry oatmeal. 

sweet corn, oats and mullberry flavoring
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maize and pidgeon feed drying out in a mesh carp sack
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dried up (enough) maize/pidgeon feed ready for pva bags
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At places where there's loads of catfish (the Schuyk!) I like to use the sun-dried maize/pidgeon feed tactic, because it doesn't have a strong flavor/odor.  Catfish love any pungent carp bait, so plain baits work best on the schuylkill.

#2 matt

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 01:16 PM

The PVA mesh is basically a stocking that is fitted on a plastic tube.  You tie a knot in the end of the mesh, fill up the tube with your bait of choice, tightly pack it with a plunger, and then push the mesh stick out, and tie off the other end.

All the necessary tools - plunger, filled pva tube, and long stringer needle
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fill the tube with bait
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push the plunger down and compact the bait - usually I hold the plunger with one hand, and cover the bottom of the tube with my other hand to compress the bait as tightly as possible.  Once you think the bait is compressed tightly enough, take your hand off the bottom and press out the bait into the mesh stocking.  Pull additional stocking off to tie it in a knot snug against the top of mesh stick.  Then tie another knot, and clip it off in-between the knots.
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Slide the long stringer needle through the length of the completed mesh stick
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Your hook length should have a loop tied at the other end, so you can hook the stringer needle, and pull the hook length all the way through the mesh stick.
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Then you adjust the mesh stick, making sure it is snug against the hook and no bait in the stick is covering the point of the hook.  Clip the hook length back onto the rig.  I like to use quick change snap swivels.
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a closer look
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What I like to do when I am fishing a longer, or even short session is have a bunch of hook lengths tied and a bunch of pva mesh sticks prepared.  I will get them all baited and ready, so when I need to recast after I catch a fish, all I have to do is change the hooklength with a fresh pva stick on it. and I am ready to cast out again. 

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I get all of my PVA products from www.resistancetackle.com, and I also get my saftey clips, and quick change swivels from there.  Andy at Resistance has great prices!

If you want to see this in a video, check out this clip from Delaware Valley Outdoors: .  The PVA instructions start at the 4 minute mark.

#3 flathead_fanatic

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 01:41 PM

very interesting post matt!! great pics too. a question if i may.................that seems like a lot of bait in those sticks once you make them, especially if you pack it really tight as you recommend. so, do you use these 'sticks' in areas you've prebaited, or just when fishing an unbaited spot?

also, i'd like to share my experience with pva. last year, i started using a 3-way rig more and more, thinking that a bait up off the bottom would draw more takers. (i'll have to keep better track this year to see of that theory holds up, but that's another story.) anyhow, i noticed when casting, that the sunny and the weight (usually 4 oz), would helicopter about each other, or even before the cast, the two lines would wind around each other. i thought it would be nice to be able to keep them closer together until they hit the water. i tried a release clip, but they work best with dead baits, or at least, baits that don't struggle quite so much. then i had the 'brilliant' idea of getting some pva string, and just tying some around both lines, slide it down close to the bait, and cast out. in theory, the two lines would stay together, yet soon after immersion, the pva would dissolve, freeing my rig to work properly. i looked on ebay for some pva, found plenty, and got one that wasn't labeled 'fast dissolving'. (that seemed to be a selling point, but was the opposite of what i wanted). So i tried it, several times, and it just hasn't worked out very well. For one main reason. After getting the bait all hooked up and ready to go, my hands are, naturally, wet. of course, i tried a towel, but that pva is still too sensitive. before i can even finish a few overhand knots, it's dissolving on me. or, if i was quick/lucky enough to get it tied, it would come apart before i cast. kind of frustrating, but also fun to experiment with. what i need is some pva that won't dissolve for like 5 full minutes or even longer, but i couldn't find any. i haven't given up though, since i think this will work....
And the nurse will tell you lies, of a kingdom beyond the skies.
But I am lost within this half-world, it hardly seems to matter now............Genesis

#4 louis

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 02:37 PM

acually, that's not too much bait in those sticks relative to carp fishing and pre baiting. in most cases i put out about a gallon of bat when i first get started and top off with each fish i catch. a handfull of bait around your hookbait can get devoured by a hungry carp in no time, especially if another carp is looking over his shoulder ready to try and get some too. i use pva most of the time, and i always pre bait or chum a little at the start of a session.

you might try oiling the pva string you are working with in that application.

#5 matt

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 03:16 PM

those mesh sticks look deceptively bigger in the picture.  In reality, its no more than a handful or two in those sticks.

How much bait to put in the water is really all relative to how many fish might be in front of you, how big they are, have you been pre-baiting the days/weeks prior to fishing and how long you plan to fish.

If I plan to fish for many days in a row, I wouldn't think twice about piling in a few gallons of bait.  If I am fishing the St. Lawarence river (prolific carp venue, with schools of fish in the 50-100 fish range) I wouldn't think twice about starting a session by putting in 10 gallons of bait right from the start.  Conversely, if I was fishing a newer water I had not pre-baited, I would put out a loose scattering of bait, maybe half a gallon, and then fish the pva mesh sticks.

The best part about the sticks is that it creates a perfect pile of food, with your hookbait right in it.  Also, they are great for the anti-tangle properties - I will feel confident my hooklength is pretty close to perfectly straight from the lead.

For the application you are talking about - I would search for extremely slow melting string, or do like louis said, soak it in oil.

#6 kg1870

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 07:16 PM

Nice thread Matt. I am just curious, why do you just not fish with in line method nobblers with method or some type of packbaits? It save you time and has the same effect in my opinion.

#7 PhillyFisherman

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 02:42 PM

~So do you use the regular PVA bags at all anymore?~

8)
Romans 6:23

#8 flathead_fanatic

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 08:35 AM

Nice thread Matt. I am just curious, why do you just not fish with in line method nobblers with method or some type of packbaits? It save you time and has the same effect in my opinion.


is that a 'method nobbler' in the last pic of the finished rig, the 6th pic down?
And the nurse will tell you lies, of a kingdom beyond the skies.
But I am lost within this half-world, it hardly seems to matter now............Genesis

#9 Eich

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 09:11 AM

A very good tutorial Matt and Louis.  I am going to give PVA a try this season.  :(

Ray

#10 matt

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 09:51 AM

Nice thread Matt. I am just curious, why do you just not fish with in line method nobblers with method or some type of packbaits? It save you time and has the same effect in my opinion.


I do sometimes fish the method, actually.  For instance, I would likely chose the method over PVA bags on a deep river swim with current.  BUT, I don't think it has the exact same effect.  Yes, both produce a pile of bait around your hookbait.  But, with the method, if you use a long hooklength, there is the chance your hook bait is 12 inches away (I like long hooklengths) from the method/pack ball.  Plus, the food is around the lead.  With the mesh stick, your hooklength can be fairly straight from lead, and the food is around the bait, and I just think its a better presentation.  But, that's just personal preference.  I still use the method frequently, but I also have a load of confidence in the mesh sticks.  And, in tournament situations, you can be rigged up and ready to recast in seconds if you have pre-rigged mesh sticks with the hooklength already strung through them.  That's what I did at Baldwinsville last year.

#11 kg1870

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 11:31 AM

I fish method or paylake pack around a hook all the time. My hooklinks are only about 2-4 inches except when buffs are around. Why your preference to long hook links?

#12 matt

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 11:47 AM

Usually when I fish the method, I pack the hookbait into the ball of food.

My preference for longer hooklengths is that a fish has a better chance of getting the bait in their mouth.  Say a fish only gets within two inches of the bait, that doesn't allow for much enough line for the fish to get the bait sufficiently in its mouth for the hooking mechanics to properly work.

Its all just preference and confidence.  I know short hooklengths work just fine too, but I feel there are LESS potential disadvantages to a longer hooklength.  I will almost never go below 8 inches.

#13 kg1870

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 12:57 PM

Interesting and I understand your logic. I used to use 8-10 inch hooklengths and then tried shorter ones. I actually felt my hookups increased when I went to shorter hooklengths. I guess its like opinions, we all got one.

#14 matt

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 01:07 PM

Interesting and I understand your logic. I used to use 8-10 inch hooklengths and then tried shorter ones. I actually felt my hookups increased when I went to shorter hooklengths. I guess its like opinions, we all got one.


Exactly, I think both approaches have their merits, but like anything, you get in the habit of doing things a certain way, then good results reinforce your confidence.

#15 WG

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 01:11 PM

I'm gonna hold my tongue........................... ::P

#16 matt

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 01:55 PM

I'm gonna hold my tongue........................... ::P


good, we don't want people getting the wrong ideas.

#17 flathead_fanatic

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:13 PM

I'm gonna hold my tongue........................... ::P


why?? even though i don't carp fish, i've found this thread very interesting and informative. and would certainly enjoy hearing everyone's/anyone's pov....
And the nurse will tell you lies, of a kingdom beyond the skies.
But I am lost within this half-world, it hardly seems to matter now............Genesis

#18 WG

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:18 PM

Im just joking around!! ;D ;D

Nothing serious!

#19 flathead_fanatic

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:20 PM

Im just joking around!! ;D ;D

Nothing serious!


k, just making sure.  :P
And the nurse will tell you lies, of a kingdom beyond the skies.
But I am lost within this half-world, it hardly seems to matter now............Genesis

#20 Enoch

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:08 AM

being serious isn't a fish guy thing!  haha

ok i'm being serious now
<img src="http://i240.photobuc...nochTog-1.jpg">
I've learned what I am really after
comes along with what is caught at the
end of my line...

Date Registered:  09/16/06 at 03:17 PM




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