I’ve got to admit, I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for a good expander! A lot of my fishing revolves around using these soft fish catchers, and having a good quality pellet is very important to me. I have tried numerous brands over the years, but none seem to compare to an old batch that I must have bought 10 years ago. These ‘old-school’ pellets are a golden colour and have those lovely little yellow specks on them (for all the expander aficionados out there) and always seem to get bites. Fortunately at the time I bought a load of them and to this day still have plenty to keep me going.
Since those days pellets have changed a lot and expanders seem to have gone much darker. While they are definitely more user friendly and consistent in their texture, I do pine for the pale golden expanders of yore. On a recent match at Tunnel Barn Farm, I got set up nice and quickly and went to sit with my team-mate Jamie Hughes for a pre-match natter. He was excited to show me some new pellets he was testing for Bag ‘em and yes, you guessed it, the pale golden colour was back! The pellets are now on sale and are called Winter Expanders.
They are a 2mm size but are definitely larger once soaked than other 2mm pellets on the market. To be honest they are more like a ‘small’ 4mm. Everything is right about these pellets: the size, colour and texture are all perfect and they match a micro pellet feed perfectly. I had to get a bag and over the past six weeks or so have been using them on a weekly basis on the winter league at Tunnel Barn. As a hook bait for the winter months, a single winter expander on a lightweight size 20 is a lovely combination. I have also had success fishing two on a slightly larger hook (double expander has long been a favourite hook bait of mine). Preparationwise, they are a doddle. They swell up nicely when using a pellet pump but are also ideal when prepared with the trendy ‘no pump’ method.
I have tried with both but as with my larger pellets I prefer to use a pump and be sure that my pellets are in fact sinking. Another use for these would be as a loose feed. Skimmers in particular seem to respond very well to feeding expander pellets and this size of pellet goes hand in hand with that sort of approach. A quick point, though; if you do plan to loose feed expanders then you must pump them first to ensure they all sink. The last thing you want is the odd floater that could pull fish out of your swim. I love these pellets. They are everything I want from an expander pellet for the colder months and I just hope now that Bag ‘em can produce the same coloured pellet in a 4mm and 6mm ready for the warmer months.
RRP ; £3.59