A few years ago, I returned to fishing after leaving it behind to do some other youthful activities. I went fishing using a float like I always had, loved it, but want to catch bigger fish. That is when I learnt about method feeder fishing. If you haven’t tried fishing with a method feeder, I urge you to give it a go. It is fantastic fun. Using a quiver tip float and a free spool reel, you sit in your seat watching that tip going crazy as the fish taste all of your pellets, and then that rod tip bends, and your line goes flying off your reel! I love method feeder fishing, and I love using expander pellets on my method feeder. As I was late to the method feeder party, I have only ever used expander pellets that didn’t need to go through a pump. They work brilliantly, but let’s find out more about these pellets, shall we?
Do these pellets work as well without the pump?
As I haven’t used expander pellets with a pump, I had to call on another angler who has used both for comparison. That angler stated that there is no difference between expander pellets that require a pump and those that don’t. The only real difference between these pellets is that you save a bit of time.
Both types of pellet need to be soaked. However, with expander pellets that don’t require pumping, you soak them, and that is it. You need to soak these pellets overnight in most cases. After that, you can drain off the water, add some flavour to the pellets and carry on setting up your gear. That’s it, expander fishing pellets that don’t need pumping are so easy to use. I recommend adding your favourite flavour to the pellets the night before too, that way it has plenty of time to soak deep inside the pellets and do a lot of work for you before you get on the bank the next day.
Do these pellets expand?
Yes, they do expand. The only reason to use a pump with your pellets is to draw the air out of them, so they don’t float. Using a pump with your expander pellets doesn’t do too much when it comes to the expanding properties of the pellets. Of course, with less air in them, pellets can take on more water. However, pumpless fishing pellets are manufactured with less air in them already, so there is already more space for water. Expander pellets that don’t need to be pumped are best thought of as pre-pumped pellets. Once you soak the pellets in water, they perform exactly like a typical expander pellet.
Does it really matter if pellets expand?
The expanding pellets that I have used are 2mm. When they expand, they reach about 4mm in size. Does that 2mm really matter? From my experience, I don’t think so. Of course, expanding fishing pellets do allow you to add more flavour into the water. If that extra 2mm of pellet is filled with delicious flavour, then yes, that 2mm could make a lot of difference. However, if you are just soaking your expanders in water, that extra 2mm is merely saving you a few pellets each time you load up your method feeder. The fact that pellets expand does mean that you can pack them tighter on to your method feeder, though. This means, of course, you can cast them further. However, if you intend to use pellets in a PVA bag or just as a groundbait (most expander pellets float unless soaked, so soak them if you’re using them as groundbait), then whether they expand or not is not really a huge issue.
The best expander pellets that don’t need a pump
These are the expander pellets that I have used, and they perform perfectly. They have a lovely smell right out of the bag, but, of course, Sonubaits also sells plenty of liquids to further the scent and flavour of these pellets. I have used the 2mm Pro Expander Pellets with great success, but they are also available in 4, 6 and 8mm too. All you have to do with these fishing pellets is leave them in water overnight and then start fishing straight away the following day, it is really that easy!
These expander pellets from Dynamite are perfect if you’re still not sure about using expander pellets without a pump. These can be pumped or just left to soak in water. These come in 4 and 6mm, and there are plenty of fantastic flavours to choose from. I have used Dynamite F1 flavours (their groundbait) with brilliant success before and some of their larger red krill pellets which varying degrees of success too.
We hope this look at expander pellets that don’t require a pump has helped you. I love these pellets, they have added a lot to my fishing, and I know they can do the same for you. Pellets are a fantastic option for loads of styles of fishing. Please check out our other fishing articles for more info about other fantastic fishing baits, methods and accessories!
Mike has over 30 years of fishing experience in carp fishing and general coarse fishing. He is always looking for the latest fishing kit to try out and talk about and needs a bigger shed due to all the fishing tackle he owns. You can read more about him here.