THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 1

All the kit you need for the perfect solid bag.

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 2

Trim 1cm off the top of the bag

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 3

This will be your matching PVA taper

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 4

Put the lead in first sideways

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 5

Just a scoop or two of pellets depending on the size of the bag

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 6

Place the rig in carefully checking that there are no tangles

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 7

Another scoop or two of mixed size pellets

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 8

Twist the top of the bag

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 9

Tie the bag with the tape

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 10

Now trim off any excess

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 11

Lick and twist the top

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 12

Lick and fold the bottom corners to tighten the bag and make it solid

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 13

You want a nice rounded shape like this

THE PETE CASTLE SOLID BAG: STEP 14

Your bag is now complete and ready to be injected!

The Pete Castle solid bag Mechanics

The PVA Bag - A Solid Approach by Pete Castle

I like to use in-line leads when I'm making up solid bags, but I take out the insert so that it allows the lead to be free running on the Dark Matter Ring Swivel leader. I like this for two reasons: the lead has an initial shock effect, but doesn't detach on the take, giving some resistance and also because it is very safe if something does go wrong further up the main line.

I start the solid bag by trimming off about a centimetre off the top of the PVA bag (this is going to be my PVA tape for sealing the bag) and then I put the 2 to 3oz lead sideways. I put the lead in first as this makes the bag front-loaded, which makes it easier to cast, then I turn it sideways as it makes it easier to tie. By putting it in this way I have the leader going down one side of the bag and the rig the other. I never just chuck it all in as the rig can get tangled and, as mentioned several times now, I'm trying to get the hook bait central.

Once the lead is in place I put in a scoop or two, depending on the size of the bag, of mixed-size pellets. I then put in my small trimmed-down hook bait, making sure that it is not tangled. Another couple of scoops of pellet go in and the bag is ready to tie. I simply do this with a twist at the top and then wrap around and tie the one-centimetre piece cut off earlier with a double overhand knot. I cut off any excess and lick and wrap the top. I use the bottom corners of the bag to tighten it when I lick and fold them over.

The bag is now ready to cast and it will fly straight and true. However, you can add a little extra boost with liquids with a syringe (needle not necessary) when you’re ready to cast. Simply pierce a hole and inject a little of your preferred liquid. This will also be more centralised and not just wash off from being on the outside of the bag, as it does when dipping sticks. This is a great approach when you want instant attraction, but for wiser carp I'd stick to a small, plain and discreet bag.

Summary

Solid bag fishing has accounted for thousands and thousands of carp captures. It’s a great method that definitely puts fish on the bank. Like many other methods that I regularly fish with today, it is simple, but has loads of advantages. I've mentioned how it keeps the hook bait central, but it is also tangle-free and they cast like a dream if tied correctly. In fact, I think I'm right in thinking that a solid bag will cast further than a baited rig, as it doesn't have a hook bait dragging behind it like a parachute. They are also great for casting anywhere: weed, silt, gravel, long range or down the margin. By using a solid bag you are always in the knowledge that your rig is tangle-free with no debris attached and that there is a hook bait with a nice pile of bait sitting all around it, which few carp would resist.