For some anglers, a greater
sense of satisfaction and achievement comes from catching a carp on baits they
have made for themselves. Making your own isn't hard and you can create your own
Boilies consist mainly of high-protein ingredients (HP), but they also usually contain a balance of proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. They are often referred to as 'HNV' - high nutritive (nutritional) value baits -because they contain the concentrated elements which give the carp a balanced diet.
When making your own
boilies, aim for mixes, which follow the HNV principle. Initially this means
sticking to recommended recipes until you get a feel for the right sort of
proportions and balance of food types needed.
In addition to using
ingredients with a high protein, vitamin and mineral content, you need to put in
others that give stickiness and bind the substances together - wheat gluten or
flour for example. And don't forget the important taste and smell ingredients
that can be the key to successful bait.
Once you have grasped the
principle of creating an effective boilie base, you can start to experiment with
myriad flavours and tinker with proportions until you discover your own personal
Before you start to
improvise it's a good idea to get the boilie basics under your belt; make your
first attempts from ingredients, which have proved themselves as carp catchers.
There is now a whole range of easily obtainable substances, which are
established ingredients for HNV baits.
For bait of the highest
possible protein content, start with dry ingredients such as casein (the main
protein in milk), calcium caseinate or sodium caseinate. These, consisting of at
least 90 per cent milk-based protein, should not make up more than 50 per cent
of the bulk of your recipe. Most anglers use only about one third.
Make up the rest of the
mix from carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to give a balanced food product.
Add a binding agent and any flavours or colourings to complete the mixture.
Boilie recipes generally combine a selection of these dry ingredients with eggs, which provide liquid. The eggs also put a skin on the surface of the bait after it is dipped in boiling water, making it hard.
Mix all the dry
ingredients in a bowl. Beat three eggs in another bowl, then thoroughly mix in
any flavours or colours required. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the
liquid until you get a smooth paste. Don't add all the dry stuff in one go - a
little at a time is best.
Knead the paste until it
is stiff enough to cut into strips and roll into balls. Make sure you have
pressed out all the air. If the mix is too sticky, add more dry ingredients
until you can roll balls of bait between your hands without too much sticking to
Roll the bait balls into
the size required - anything from 6-25mm (¼in-1in) or more. Put the bait into a
chip basket or metal sieve and lower it into a pan of boiling water for 1-1½
minutes. Cook in batches of 30-50 bait balls at a time.
Remove the boilies from
the water and spread out on a dry cloth. After a few minutes carefully turn each
bait over on the cloth so that they dry on the other side, then leave to cool.
If you want the baits to be very hard leave them out for several hours or even
Three of the best
Once you've mastered the
basic method for making boilies you must decide on what exactly to put in the
mix. The list of possible ingredients is enormous and to some extent all recipes
are made by trial and error.
You can grind up or liquidize any edible substance and mix it in with eggs and other ingredients to make boilies, but over the years certain raw materials have emerged as consistently successful bait ingredients. The following recipes are designed to cover three popular and proven boilie mixes - milk-based, fishmeal-based and seed-based. Many other suitable raw materials for HNV boilies are listed in bait supplier's catalogues.
Milk recipe; 85g (3oz)
casein; 57g (2oz) wheatgerm; 57g (2oz) dried milk powder; 28g (1oz) wheat
gluten; 28g (1oz) yeast; 28g (1oz) lactalbumin.
Fishmeal recipe; 57g (2oz)
sodium caseinate; 57g (2oz) herring meal; 57g (2oz) Casilan- 28g (1oz) wheat
gluten; 28g (1oz) mineralivitamin supplement; 57g (2oz) soya flour.
Seed recipe; 57g (2oz) Casilan; 113g (4oz) soya flour; 57g (2oz) Robin Red (bird food); 42g (1 1/2oz) mineral/vitamin supplement; 14g (l/2oz) ground almonds; 20ml 'Spice' Sense Appeal (attractor).
Microwaved carp baits
Instead of boilies, try
Microwaved baits for a change. They may not catapult as far as boilies, but
Microwaved cubes have certain advantages over ordinary round, boiled baits. In
particular, they have a wide buoyancy range, which means the tactical
presentations available are many and varied.
Start by following the
same method you would use for making ordinary round boilies, only aim for a
slightly wetter mix than normal since the microwaving process tends to dry out
the bait more than boiling.
Make your own base mix out
of your favourite dry ingredients or use shop-bought bait mixes. Birdfood and
fishmeal recipes make good Microwaved baits.
You should end up with a
big ball of paste, which you would normally roll into sausages to make ordinary
boilies. But for microwaving you're after a loaf or brick of bait. Pack it into
a loaf-shaped microwave-safe baking dish that holds approximately 0.5kg (1lb).
Place the container of
bait in the microwave oven to cook. Different mixes require different cooking
times. For instance, milk protein-based mixes need far less cooking than coarser
Birdfood mixes or fishmeal based ones. Simple semolina and soya flour mixtures
require slightly more again.
A good starting point for
one pound 0.5kg (1lb) of mix is 10 minutes on medium power. Remember, the longer
you cook the bait the more it dries out, resulting in a much higher proportion
of floating baits.
Turn out the cooked loaf and leave to cool. When it's just warm to the touch cut it into cubes. They dry out after a few hours, ready for immediate use. Or freeze the uncut loaf until you need it.
The cubes are ideal for
soaking up liquid attractors. They absorb more than ordinary boiled baits.
Drench them in Multimino, liquid vitamin/mineral preparations, flavours or
Add the other liquid
ingredients - the colouring, flavouring and the liquid sweetener. A syringe is a
useful measure for this.
Gradually add the dry
mixture to the liquid, stirring with a fork. You may have to keep adding more
powder until you get a stiff paste.
Mix and knead the paste
until it is slightly tacky and putty-like. The more you knead the denser and
faster-sinking your boilies will be.
Roll a portion into a
sausage, and then cut it into evenly sized pieces. Roll these chunks between
your palms into the typical ball shape.
Place the baits in a chip
basket or ladle and submerge them in boiling water for 60-90 seconds. Boiling
for longer produces harder baits.
Sink or swim?
It is worth bearing in
mind that using high levels of milk proteins produces a high proportion of
Sinkers and floaters