Solid bags are a brilliant method any time of the year, especially in winter and spring, when you’re looking to give the carp just enough to feed on without filling them up. You could consider it in a similar light to single hookbait fishing, as you’re not looking to create a big feeding response with the tactic, you’re just hoping to nick the odd bite.

As obvious as it is, they provide a perfect little parcel of attraction around your hook bait which in my case is usually a bright one. If you make your bags in the correct way, you can cast a hell of a long way and you’ll probably shock yourself when you realise! Afterall, if you pack them super tight, you are almost casting out a streamlined weight, rather than a standard rig with all sorts of air resistance hinderances. No matter if you cast them to the horizon or drop them under a likely looking marginal tree, you are almost guaranteed to be presented.

Moving onto the contents of the bag, I pay special attention to what I’m putting in it according to the time of the year. I always look to include the 2.3mm Bloodworm pellets, they’re perfect for solid bags with an incredible breakdown time making them ideal for all year round; that unique red haze is very hard to beat in my opinion. Another addition I always have in the bag are some of the powders from the Pure Natural range. It’ll usually be Betaine Powder during the colder months and Liver Powder in the warmer times.

 They both add a fist full of attraction to the bag, but also help compress it when you’re aiming to make bags for distance. Where rules allow, maggots are always a great addition as they add a more natural look to the bag, and what carp doesn’t love a maggot? You’ll also notice I prefer to start my bags with some powder in the bottom once I’ve dropped the rig in place. Not only does it help protect the hook point once you start to load it, but it also helps compress the bag really well once the weight starts to build up making the bag very uniform and streamlined which will then aid your casting.



Although PVA bag rigs have been covered a thousand times over, the main thing to take on board is to keep it simple. Construct a short rig with a supple braid which is easy to tie, used in conjunction with an inline lead system and you really can’t go wrong. Using a short leader for the whole set up will really help your efficiency on the bank too, as you can simply loop the leaders on and off your mainline by creating a loop in your leader and tying a figure of eight loop knot in your fishing line.

When you’re fishing waters which you can quite easily accumulate multiple hits at once, this method allows you to tie a few bags in readiness. If you mis-cast one of the rods, you don’t have to worry about trying to dry the rig etc then re-tying another bag before you get it back out again. The same applies for when you land a fish. Unhook the carp, loop the old bag off and re-loop a fresh one onto the line ready to cast out straight away. The minutes you save could be the difference between getting another bite or not.

This winter I’ve found myself reverting to solid bag tactics and having some good hits of fish from the Linear Complex in the last month. Whether I was fishing on Hardwick-Smiths at short range, or one of the Brasenose lakes where I could be casting over one-hundred yards, I knew that my bags would be able to hit the distances required to ensure I was fishing where I needed to be. If you stick with a rig which you have confidence in, then tailor your bag mix to suit the time of the year, you’ll find yourself reaching for the solid bags more often than not as your go-to tactic.