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How to make an Armamesh bait

by Stephen Akeroyd

Keeping soft baits on hooks is an age old problem for sea anglers that standard bait elastic can’t always solve. Armamesh from Fox International is a is a meshing material that binds and supports soft baits and even minced fish superbly. Keen sea angler Steve Akeroyd demonstrates in easy to follow steps exactly how to use the Armamesh system to make serviceable sea baits.

How to make an Armamesh bait - Steve AkeroydIf you haven’t heard of Armamesh then where have you been? Produced by Fox International Armamesh is a fine but strong mesh material to hold baits together. It comes in stocking form and is available in two different sizes for standard and large bait purposes. It can be used to support soft baits such as peeler crab and mussel, or even ‘particle’ baits that have been run through a food processor. Armamesh allows bait discard to be minimised as even unused defrosted baits such as mackerel, bluey, sandeel and squid can be retained at the end of a fishing session to be quickly rattled through the blender, sausaged in Armamesh and popped back in the freezer for later.

Armamesh is great for forming large cocktailed winter baits for mounting on a pennel rig. Application however is not restricted to hook-baits, as the mesh material can be used to truss bait parcels for use in swimfeeders etc.

The Armamesh system consists of a tough plastic tube-funnel onto which the mesh stocking is bunched and tied off. Bait is then inserted into the rear of the tube and packed towards the front with the plastic plunger provided. With sufficient bait packed in the tube, the plunger is then used to force it out the front much like a sausage. When the desired length of bait is achieved, it is pulled forward drawing off enough empty mesh to allow a closing knot to be comfortably tied and snipped. The finished bait is then rolled in the hands to firm and can be used straight away or frozen down.

The Armamesh system is available in 14mm (narrow) and 22mm (wide) sizes, and replacement mesh refills are available separately. Fox International’s Steve Akeroyd (above & right) demonstrates the simple Armamesh procedure below. Why not give it a try?

Step 1 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Armamesh kits are available in 14mm and 22mm sizes. Each consists of a tube, plunger and Armamesh stocking which all stores neatly in a stoppered container.

Step 2 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Armamesh refills mean the kit doesn’t become redundant when the mesh runs out.

Step 4 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Draw a generous amount of mesh up on to the tube, bunching it towards the top.

Step 3 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Pull some mesh from the spool and tease onto the non-splayed end of the tube.

Step 5 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Holding the mesh already on the tube firmly in place, twist the end ready for knotting with the other hand.

Step 6 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Form a simple overhand or double overhand knot in the tightened end and pull tight.

Step 7 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Use sharp scissors to snip off the excess mesh about 5mm from the knot. Do not use a filleting knife for this. Slip the remaining slack mesh up the tube and ensure the knot is tight to the bottom.

Step 8 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Use moderate tension to hold the mesh in place and stuff bait down the funnel. We have used luncheon meat for display purposes but it could just as easily be crab, mussel, razor, worm or minced fish.

Step 9 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Compact the bait using the Armamesh plunger but do not allow the mesh to leave the front of the tube yet.

Step 10 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Stuff more bait in the tube and pack that down too.

Step 11 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Relax the tension on the mesh and use the plunger to gently push the bait clear of the tube.

Step 12 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Work slowly. The bait will move neatly into the captive mesh.

Step 13 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Push the bait out until the desired length is achieved.

Step 14 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Draw back on the plunger and pull the bait away from the tube.

Step 15 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Squeeze up the empty mesh tight to the bait and judge the length required for knotting.

Step 16 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Cut clear of the tube.

Step 17 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Twist the end to further compact the bait sausage.

Step 18 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Knot the Armamesh as close to the ‘meat’ as possible.

Step 19 - How to make an Armamesh bait

Trim off the excess meshing.

Step 20 - How to make an Armamesh bait

An Armamesh bait ready for mounting on a pennel rig.

NEXT time, Steve shows how to mount the perfect Armamesh hook-bait.

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