When Lee Crampton wanted to make his PVA bag rigs convert more chances into hooked fish, he got creative and came up with an ingenious ‘double bolt’ system…
I went through a few years of 'being done' too many times to remember. I knew fish were picking up my hook bait and getting away with it - more often than not.
So, I decided to completely change tactics and fish with short, soft hooklinks of between 3 -4ins, size 4 hooks and a 4oz lead, just to maximize my chances of securing that all-important hook hold.
The problem I would face was tangles, so naturally a rig of that nature needed to be within a bag.
The next problem I had is that my typical fishing technique consisted of multiple casts until I was completely happy with the touchdown. It was all about feeling that lead down until I knew exactly what I was fishing over.
So although I preferred the bag rig, I was faced with two problems.
Firstly, the lack of feedback I got when the bag hits the deck, and secondly, I couldn't be bothered to tie bags up for each cast.
I thought I nearly had the solution with the Avid PVA Bag Stems and lead system, until I found out they were discontinued. I was gutted!
The only solution was to make my own and tailor it exactly to my needs.
Although I'm pretty sure the lead used to drop off fine, I didn't like the way it could potentially fly up the line. I wanted to know the lead was going to drop off before making contact with my line.
I also wanted a better way of connecting the bag without a humongous loop link, especially as I use leaders, so tying a knot each time really wasn't ideal.
So, I decided to add a backstop bead and a ring swivel. The bead acted as a stop for the lead, so as soon as it hit the top bead it would drop off, and the ring swivel allowed me to connect my leader within seconds using a quick link.
It is a bit tricky to make. The stem is shrink tube over 45lb braid, with a Korda inline stem that's been glued in place, and a Korda inline lead that's been cut into using a circular saw and recoated.
One of the biggest benefits of the backstop bead is the double-bolt affect.
On a take, the fish will get hit once, the lead will discharge and within a few inches, when the fish is moving at a slightly quicker pace, it will get hit again, doubling up the chances of that big hook taking hold.
Another benefit of the quick link at the end of my leader is that I can simply attach a lead, cast around until I find a spot, clip it up, clip on a bag and out she goes.
I still have the tools needed to feel down without any kind of trouble when swapping between the two, and my feet don't even need to move. I just make up 10 or so bags before I head off, providing me with more than enough should I feel the need to recast, and then just pre-tie them as and when I'm fishing.
I honestly feel it's the best of all worlds, and I'm pretty convinced I'm missing fewer bites, or they are getting nailed on the second bolt.