Pellets

The Landlord

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Being fairly new to using pellets, I've recently been using expanders & not done too badly. A few questions....
1. Will using 6mm expanders deter smaller fish? I've been using 4mm exclusively.
2. How does one decide whether to use expanders or soft hooker pellets.
3. How does one decide whether to use soft or hard pellets? Is it a seasonal thing?
 

Paul22

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Being fairly new to using pellets, I've recently been using expanders & not done too badly. A few questions....
1. Will using 6mm expanders deter smaller fish? I've been using 4mm exclusively.
2. How does one decide whether to use expanders or soft hooker pellets.
3. How does one decide whether to use soft or hard pellets? Is it a seasonal thing?
I’d say not always to question 1 sometimes the small fish will drag your bait about but I’d say a 6mm would be better than a 4mm sometimes small fish will take a chunk out of your expander. I always do a couple of sizes so I can try different options. When being plagued by small stuff this is a good time to turn to hard pellets.

If I’m fishing pellets I prefer to use either hard pellets or expanders soft hooker pellets are handy if you are getting plagued by small stuff as they stay on the hook better or just to have in case you need to change things up. The most I use soft hookers is on the method feeder I’ll still hair rig them using a quick stop and normally use 8mm sometimes 6mm.

Hard pellets are the best option because they are durable and match what you’re feeding you also need to use them when fishing shallow because soft pellets don’t stay on the hook. Also hard pellets will deter small fish.
When hooking hard pellets on a shallow rig use a band hair rigged but on a full depth rig I nick the band onto the hook...... this seems to work better when fishing for f1’s it also allows you to try different baits without needing another rig.
Knowing which pellets to use depends on the venue and fish you’re after but if you are unsure pump some expanders and start with them and turn to hard pellets if required.
It can be trial and error.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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I always carry two or three sizes of expander. In Summer I have 4 mils plus two types of six mil that expand to different sizes, one stays around six, the other swells to 7-8. They are also two different colours - light & dark brown, the fish can display a preference. In Winter I will take 2 & 4 mils.

Given the texture of expanders even small fish have no difficulty getting a 6 mil in their mouths.

Until recently I have never had any luck and thus faith in shop bought hookers and so my choice is just expanders or hard pellet. But recently I received a freebie of some Cotswold Bait Creations strawberry hookers and have had some fish on them. In texture they are the closest I have used to expanders. I believe that the company may have been bought out by Gladwell's (Copdock Mill).

I don't usually use hard pellets in Winter preferring to stick to expanders. But in Summer I will make up rigs to fish both hard and expanders and try each. The beauty of hard pellets is that they stay in the band on the strike and often while playing fish so if you can get the fish to take them then all the better. Its a bit like trying corn for the same reason. I doubt you can predict that one bait will outdo the other so you have to experiment and see what the fish want or will accept.

On Tuesday I had fish on 6 mil expander (dark brown, smaller worked best), strawberry hooker and 9 mil meat.
 

Pokerstar

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Easiest answer first - I don’t use shop bought soft hookers, they get less bites in my experience. I sometimes colour my expanders though with liquid food colouring, yellow or orange having most success, though that may just be in my head!

Different sizes of expanders are useful, as said above trial and error. Some days 2mm expanders are the best.

When possible, ie bites are not a problem, then hard banded pellet wins because you can catch multiple fish without re-baiting. Also sometimes the smaller fish won’t arrack a hard pellet like they do an expander. Personally I never hook the pellet, preferring a hair rig.
 

Silverfisher

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I have used banded hard pellets and expanders in the past but at the moment I quite like soft hooker pellets. I pick the dark coloured ones and use them with hemp when the grains themselves aren’t good hookers and/or when I don’t have any tares.
 

Maesknoll

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How do fish know the difference between a soft pellet and a hard pellet without picking it up?
 

jononcb

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How do fish know the difference between a soft pellet and a hard pellet without picking it up?
Plus when a hard pellet has been in the water for 10 minutes won't it have softened considerably anyway?
I will use 4mm expanders on a small fish venue but most venues this time of year I find I catch bigger fish using 6mm expanders on the hook.

One product I will highly recommend are the sonubaits pro expanders.
Very good hookers that only need a 2 or 3 hour soak before the match. No need for using a pellet pump ever again with these!!
 

rudd

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How do fish know the difference between a soft pellet and a hard pellet without picking it up?
Fished many places feeding hard pellet and a banded with few bites.
A switch to expander and fish after fish.
I think they picked up banded pellet but rejected instantly where as hook buried in a soft expander was taken confidently.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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If anyone can genuinely explain fish behaviour then it will be time to give up fishing.

Why pinkie or squatt and not maggot? Why small/large pellet and not large/small, why light coloured and not dark or vice versa? Why pellet on the Method feeder and not groundbait or on other days the opposite? The times a change of bait/presentation/location/feeding/feed has changed an anglers fortunes are too many to number. Yet we all know through experience that these wild creatures who don't know where their next meal is coming from can be discerning as to what they will and won't eat, or at least accept as hookbait.

Just one reason I love this sport.
 

Fred Davis

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to complicate matters even further, for fishing on the deck with hard pellets for carp use coppens for pellet wag work use skrettings and for method feeder work use a mixture of 50/50 2mm's and vary according to breakdown required, expanders very rarely use them unless I am fishing for skimmers or winter work as I find hard pellets more selective.
 

tipitinmick

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If anyone can genuinely explain fish behaviour then it will be time to give up fishing.

Why pinkie or squatt and not maggot? Why small/large pellet and not large/small, why light coloured and not dark or vice versa? Why pellet on the Method feeder and not groundbait or on other days the opposite? The times a change of bait/presentation/location/feeding/feed has changed an anglers fortunes are too many to number. Yet we all know through experience that these wild creatures who don't know where their next meal is coming from can be discerning as to what they will and won't eat, or at least accept as hookbait.

Just one reason I love this sport.
Fishing = Frustration ( a lot of the time ) 😀
 

Peter

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Hi Fred, would I be right in thinking that your reason for using Coppens on the deck is that they are a bit denser/heavier than Skrettings and therefor don't get dispersed as much by fish rooting around on the baited area, while the Skettings hang that little bit longer when fishing up in the water?
 

Total

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Hi Fred, would I be right in thinking that your reason for using Coppens on the deck is that they are a bit denser/heavier than Skrettings and therefor don't get dispersed as much by fish rooting around on the baited area, while the Skettings hang that little bit longer when fishing up in the water?
Maybe true Peter....Always been about breakdown times for me when deck fishing/time of year, water temperature etc etc etc
 
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