The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fishing for carp with PVA string and PVA bags

A friend recently introduced me to PVA, a product with many uses in carp fishing applications. Though I've read about PVA in the past, it was my first hands on test of this product.

PVA is the abbreviation for polyvinyl alcohol, a water soluble synthetic polymer. Basically, a material that can be formed into string, tape, sheets or bags, with a quite solid resistance to tearing when kept dry. As soon as it comes into contact with water, it simply dissolves. It is fully biodegradeable, odorless and non toxic. Basically, a material that would make for very interesting results at a wet T shirt contest ;)

The idea behind using PVA products to fish for carp, is the ability to accurately place chum very close to your hookbait. PVA string can be used to tie boilie stringers, and PVA bags can be filled with  base mix, particle baits, and boilies.

I picked up a bag of PVA bags and a roll of PVA string, to try my first attempt a carp fishing with PVA.

Fishing with PVA Bags - 1st attempt:
I filled up the bag mixing my garlic boilie base mix, bird feed, and some whole and crushed garlic boilies.

Problem #1:
Casting the bulky bags was tricky with my 9 foot medium action rod, it seems that I'd be a lot better off with a 12 foot rod with stiffer action if I planned to get any real distance on my cast. I don't think I manage to cast further out than 100 feet all day. The strike zone was about 150+ feet offshore, so I didn't catch any carp on that line all day, despite hitting a few spots.

Problem #2:
The PVA bags exploded at the surface the first couple times I tried, with the water quite warm and the bags filled with base mix that is a lot lighter than my lead sinker. Though the crushed boilies probably made it into the close vicinity of my hookbait, I doubt that the base mix made it there, ditto for the light particle bait. I solved the problem by placing stones into the bottom of the PVA bags, a cost efficient solution that works very well.

My setup looked like this:

I will probably try again using the bags in areas with no current, at periods where the carp are closer into shore, probably in instances where particle baits work better than boilies.

Fishing with PVA String - 1st attempt:

PVA string is similar to fishing string, and comes on small spools than can be fit into dental floss style dispenser, to avoid contact with water. The idea is to tie boilie stringers by threading the boilie onto small bits of PVA string much like threading them onto a hair rig. The stringers is then tied to the hook and cast out along with the boilie mounted on the hair.

I ran into a problem with distance casting using the traditional method of fastening the PVA boilie stringer to my rig. Luckily, I had done some research online before going out, and used one of the techniques to circumvent the issue. Basically, instead of tying a long stringer of loose boilies to the hook, I tied 3 boilies in a very tight triangle with my line passing through them. I then slid them down to my hook / hair, which already had a pre-rigged boilie mounted on it. Method worked extremely well, I was able to cast out without any issues. I was also able to tie multiple triangle setups to get more boilies out around my hookbait.

Using my hazelnut cream boilies, it took less than 20 minutes to get my first hit using this method, and my first carp using PVA string:

The fishing was on and off, eventually ran out of hazelnuts cream boilies, managed a couple more on a new Banana boilie recipe I tried.

Fishing for carp with PVA string is definitely something I will incorporate into my arsenal. The ability to get a pile of boilies withing inches of my hookbait at 150-200 feet of distance, should pay off quite well in the future.

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