Solid PVA is a must here as you’ll be putting the hook inside the bag, which can snag on mesh. Choose a fast breakdown PVA so you’re fishing and ready for a bite in the minimum amount of time. Be sure that the bag is big enough to fit the lead, hooklink and a reasonable amount of feed inside.
2) All inside the bag
Add pellets first, then the lead, hooklink and bait. Add more pellets, then tie it off around the top of the lead. The lead must be dry before it goes in or moisture may start the breakdown process!
3) Short hooklink
Because the PVA bag will deposit the feed in a tight spot, you want your hookbait to be close by – so that makes a long hooklength unnecessary. A short 3ins-4ins link running from the bottom of the lead will keep the bait right in amid the feed.
Small baits score best on clear summer rivers, and a 10mm or 12mm pellet will get more takes.
5) Pellet sizes
Barbel love rummaging around amid gravel and stones and a mix of different-sized pellets ensures that your feed closely mimics the riverbed. Go for 4mm and 2mm or micro halibut pellets with a few bigger 6mm baits added. You can even crush some pellets into a coarse powder to add to the bag.