Problem with pelllets

I had bought a new brand of soft hookable pellets to try out with a view to using them for float fishing for barbel but every time I tried to put a hook through them they fell apart. I tried several different sizes and patterns of hook, all to no avail. These pellets are 8mm in size and look and smell great. I wanted to use them on my coaching session on Friday but the problem persisted.

Problem pellets

I then remembered a book on tench fishing by Len Arbery called Catching Big Tench that I had read some years ago (it was published in 1989). In this book he describes a way of mounting a boilie on a brush bristle tied to a “hair” coming of the shank of a hook.

I left my student for a minute and returned to my car where I keep a stiff brush to clean mud off my boots and to sweep out the back of my car. I snipped a few bristles off the brush and returned to the swim. Using a Drennan Hook Tyer I whipped a bristle onto a length of 6.6lb bs line, having flattened the end of the bristle to make a spade end.

Hooks, bristles, line and hook tyer

The hook is then tied on using the knotless knot and the tip of the bristle is cut at an angle to aid penetration of the pellet.

hook with bristle hair

The pellet can then be mounted on the bristle without splitting and the hook is free of the pellet to enhance hooking. It worked for my student but whether it will work on fast flowing water, despite the attentions of little fish, remains to be seen.