Getting the right pumped expander pellet is important at all times of the year, but it is especially important in the colder months at the beginning of the year because you could be sat for a while without a bite and you need to have confidence that your hookbait is still on.
I see so many anglers who simply take expander pellets from a bag and pump them with no preparation, then they seem to spend the whole match shipping in and out to re-bait after their pellet has come off on a lift and drop or striking at a fish. This takes up valuable time in a match. A few friends and I have come up with what we believe is the best way to prepare Fin Perfect Expanders.
Understanding the structure of a pellet is the most important thing. Fin Perfect Expanders have a honeycomb structure and the pockets of air within the pellet must have water in them for the pellet to sink. Pellet Pumps are designed to suck the air out of the honeycomb structure and fill the air pockets with water. If you do this with a pellet straight from the bag it can cause the structure of the pellet to develop a fracture and therefore you get pellets which split when you are trying to hook them or fall off the hook because the honeycomb structure has been damaged.
To get around this, I soften my pellets the night before a match. To do this I take the required amount I need and dunk them under water for five seconds. This gives them an even coating of water, but not too much, otherwise they will go soggy. Remove them from the water and place in a polyethene bag, seal the bag and put it in the fridge. Leaving them overnight allows them to absorb the small amount of water which has coated them and they will soften slightly.
I don't touch them again until I arrive at my peg. Then I will pump them and leave them for five minutes, release the valve and they should all sink. What has happened is that overnight the moisture has soaked into the centre of the pellets, so when you pick one up before pumping they have more of a spongy consistency – this means that they won’t fracture when the air is removed and replaced by water.
Once they're prepared I keep them on my side tray in shallow amount of water – just enough to keep the bait tub moist. And that's it. That's the way that I prepare them! They stay firmer and behave as you want them to, which means more time fishing and less time re-baiting.
Mat Woods has a great birthday session with Code Red
Adam Firth bags a new PB Barbel from the River Trent using Code Red Dumbells.
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