Expander pellets

Golden Eagle

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There are two keys to getting the Sonubaits Pro Expanders right in my opinion:
Cold water
And plenty of water.

I use the Andy Findlay method of preparing the night before in a flask, a small handful of pellets, an ice cube or two and fill with water. Not much hassle at all and the resultant pellets are an excellent texture for hooking.

On their day, pellets are a superb bait and are much better in my experience than pre prepared shop bought ‘soft’ hook pellets.

Yes it’s possible to soften and hook regular pellets but getting them right is hit and miss.

Since getting to grips with the Sonubaits pro expanders I don’t use any others and have a few bags and a ringers pellet pump gathering dust!

I agree with a comment above, best used in Spring and Autumn, at this time of year a banded hard pellet is my go to option.
 

Keith M

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Ok I might give expanders a go. I’ve always been wary of new gimmicks and so called superbaits, as there’s no such thing in my view. However I’ll give these expanders a try to see what they are like, but I’m not expecting wonders though :giggle:

Other than being a little more convenient to use, I don’t expect them to be any more effective at producing bites than my current pellets but I’ll give them a go.

Are there any expander pellets that you would tend to avoid? or you would recommend for Tench/Barbel/Carp?

Keith
 
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whitty

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Keith for barbel I am loathe to use expanders,as they are prone to small fish attention once temperatures get up.I said this earlier I use a pellet that is no longer produced,I believe they are Van den Eyde Marine Elite,I bought twelve bag box and as I say I hardly use any for a days fishing,I have to pump these,but imho the sonubaits pellets though looking good,don't have much smell or oil release,I add small amounts of flavour after pumping,but I think that's for my benefit,not the fish's,as I caught plenty on them before...sad to say you will have to suck it and see for your own preferences.
 

rayner

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I agree with Keith's comment regarding softened hard pellets, on occasion I have hooked Coppens micros after they have been softened. Predominantly in winter when feeding a pinch of micros. I had fish on softened micros when I've sat with an expander on the hook untouched.
Both pellets have their merits, it would be a mistake in my view to dismiss either.
It's all down to feeding as always.
 

S-Kippy

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Thanks, yes I meant the swim stim ones, I will look for them anyway, I was hoping for a river tench yesterday as it happens and the sweet ones might just not be eel magnets although the krill ones probably are. Not had much luck with a few different types of ready made go to soft hooker pellets that keep in the tackle bag so far. Might be worth a try.
Not sure how they'd do on running water as they do tend to go a bit snotty,hence the BF naming them bogey pellets. I think I might try a different bait though if you've an eel issue I'll be damned if I can think of a bait they'd leave alone. Meat always worked for me for river tench but I didn't have any eels to worry about....just crayfish. In my experience tench love casters....maybe a couple of rubber casters over hemp might deter the eels ?
 

markg

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Not sure how they'd do on running water as they do tend to go a bit snotty,hence the BF naming them bogey pellets. I think I might try a different bait though if you've an eel issue I'll be damned if I can think of a bait they'd leave alone. Meat always worked for me for river tench but I didn't have any eels to worry about....just crayfish. In my experience tench love casters....maybe a couple of rubber casters over hemp might deter the eels ?
That could be a very good idea, I find any meat or fishy bait a dead attraction for eels on rivers, a bed of hemp and just a few casters with a bunch of them on hook or rubber ones might just attract the tench without too many eels if any. I might try that next time; thanks. I think I have some rubber casters somewhere and never used them, thought they might come in handy one day, never throw anything away!
 

Golden Eagle

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Corn is a brilliant tench bait, works very well indeed in combination with feeding hemp and is not top of an eel’s dining choices. Carp and barbel also love corn over hemp.

Ive tried artificial casters when catching F1s, one a chuck, on the real thing, and seen my catch rate significantly diminish. Given this was a frenzied shoal of fish feeding avidly on the drop I would be loathe to use an artificial bait if I were selectively targeting bigger fish. (I digress but my compromise In the above situation is to fish a worm head, this enables multiple fish to be caught before being replaced unlike a caster. Not good for avoiding eels though!)
 

Golden Eagle

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Ok I might give expanders a go. I’ve always been wary of new gimmicks and so called superbaits, as there’s no such thing in my view. However I’ll give these expanders a try to see what they are like, but I’m not expecting wonders though :giggle:

Other than being a little more convenient to use, I don’t expect them to be any more effective at producing bites than my current pellets but I’ll give them a go.

Are there any expander pellets that you would tend to avoid? or you would recommend for Tench/Barbel/Carp?

Keith
You’re right not to expect wonders and they are not a ‘super bait’.

If you are being selective and targeting bigger fish, particularly in Summer, I’d stick with hard pellets.
 

rayner

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I've used fake caster with loads of success, I've only used them whilst feeding live ones though.
Fake corn, on the other hand, is a bit of an enigma where I'm concerned, mind you, I rarely have any success with corn that comes fresh from a can. I know chaps who only fish with corn and catch plenty, I just have no confidence with the yellow peril.
The only time I use corn is when the temperatures drop, then I have limited success.
 

markcw

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Corn skins on a canal in winter can be deadly.
As for expanders, I always carry some ready to do in a small container, use a PI pellet pump, these are like a large syringe. Takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Takes up no room in carryall. I would not use expanders on a river, I would use durable hookers. Expanders on Stillwater can be better than durable hookers, giving a slower fall through the water and you can add chosen flavour or colour if required.
 

rayner

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Yes, I have a big syringe also, came from eBay for about 2 quid. Don't use it too often I like the Sonu baits pro expanders has you know they only need soaking. I use them in an 8mm on the bomb or 6mm on rod or pole. I will never not take expanders.
My pellet pumps are used only to keep any leftover casters fresh now.
 

markcw

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Yes, I have a big syringe also, came from eBay for about 2 quid. Don't use it too often I like the Sonu baits pro expanders has you know they only need soaking. I use them in an 8mm on the bomb or 6mm on rod or pole. I will never not take expanders.
My pellet pumps are used only to keep any leftover casters fresh now.
£2 quid for a syringe
£10 for a PI pellet pump.
Similar style,same job.
I wish I had been working when I bought my pellet pump. We ordered those large syringes in by the dozen, I would have had a couple and not bothered with the pump.When i was working
we had a small/medium hand held pressure sprayer,I took some pellets into work and put some in it, added water and started pumping the plunger to build up some pressure, only took a few goes, released the pressure ,unscrew top and tipped pellets out into a tub. They were perfect. Put sprayer at one side for later, went to collect it and found that someone had filled it with crack detecting fluid to do Magnetic Particle Inspection on carbon steel.
It was one of my jobs ,so had to go and get another with the excuse the first one wasnt working properly. 😁
 

rayner

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The syringe I have is 100mm I think it's some sort of catheter syringe. I was put onto it by a mate who had one for about five years before Preston came out with theirs. He missed a trick there.
 

Keith M

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I have two Syringes; one in my Carp tacklebox for inflating the heads of lobworms to make them float on the surface with their tails hanging down, and another one in my Pike tacklebox for squeezing fish oil into my deadbaits.

Keith
 

markg

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Not sure how they'd do on running water as they do tend to go a bit snotty,hence the BF naming them bogey pellets. I think I might try a different bait though if you've an eel issue I'll be damned if I can think of a bait they'd leave alone. Meat always worked for me for river tench but I didn't have any eels to worry about....just crayfish. In my experience tench love casters....maybe a couple of rubber casters over hemp might deter the eels ?
You were right, the tench were definitely buzzing for a while, not on the river but on a canal. The slim stims were only in packets of hard pellets in the tackle shop, they only had Krill in soft pellets so bought a tiny pot of Red Robin pellets on a whim instead. I don't know whats in Red Robin but hear they are good. The casters were bad, £2.20 for half a pint of vacuum packed ones, never fished with casters before so a new one for me. However the hemp and casters did seem to attract the tench, full report on the HDYGO thread. So, thanks for the advice, I had a good interesting day trying them and will again on the river.
 

S-Kippy

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Tench do love a caster.....they also love a red maggot so I might try feeding either and fishing rubber casters over the top to deter the eels. That said I usually fish mine hair rigged with a feeder. If there are tench around and they get on the bait they should fizz like crazy and once that happens any decently presented bait ought to nail one. I'd take corn and worms too...they love both but if you've an eel problem then maybe not the worms.
 

markg

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Tench do love a caster.....they also love a red maggot so I might try feeding either and fishing rubber casters over the top to deter the eels. That said I usually fish mine hair rigged with a feeder. If there are tench around and they get on the bait they should fizz like crazy and once that happens any decently presented bait ought to nail one. I'd take corn and worms too...they love both but if you've an eel problem then maybe not the worms.
I saw more fish life than normal where I was fishing, bubbles all over the place and one big tench rolled right next to my float. But bream must have been rooting around as well. Still, it was good and I have never fished with casters before so I am going to try that on that stretch of river when I get there, it will be harder but a tench from it will be good. I have been trying corn a lot but the casters and hemp appeared to work better....cheers...
 

seth49

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For yesterday’s fishing I added some outrageous orange goo to the the Sonu expander pellets I was going to use, after they’d been soaking for a couple of hours, as mentioned before I drained most of the water off, added the goo and gave them a shake to coat all the pellets.

They worked well over 2 mm pellets, a good selection of silvers, and the carp liked them as well when they started coming in the margins later, I did a mixture of 6 and 8 mms pellets.

I know the goo isn’t cheap, but it does last a long time, I got this last year and there’s still plenty of it left, and I had more carp than anyone else did yesterday.
 

rayner

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Casters are still £3 a pint at Aston park tackle shop, I've noticed on their web site they are now vacuum packed.
If this is to minimise contact with customers I don't know, I can't see another reason. I'm a bit suspect of vacuum packed live baits, for me live bait packed this way is as bad as stored in water.
I expect to fish the beginning of August, I think I will be sticking to pellet and groundbaits to prevent me going into the tackle shop, the vacuum packing of casters will stop me using them so I can manage with what I have in the way of baits.
 
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