Making boilies is not as difficult
as some anglers would have you believe.
Although ready-made or shelf life boilies
are extremely effective and do catch a great
number of carp, making boilies will improve
your catches, save you money and can be
fun. Many serious carp anglers would not
consider using ready mades and insist on
making their own. Their argument being that
by using only fresh ingredients, which will
be more acceptable to the carp, your catch
rates will increase dramatically. The other
argument in favour of home made boilies
is of course cost. Making a reasonable sized
batch of your own boilies, especially if
you share the cost with a friend, can save
a good deal of expense, and once you have
some of the basic tools and flavours in
stock, they become increasingly cheaper
with each batch.
So here is a quick guide to
get you started in the art of boilie making.
With practice you will soon be making baits
that those carp just can't resist.
What you need
The basic ingredients of any boilie are
a good base mix, ½ a dozen eggs,
flavourings, colourings and maybe sweetener.
You will also find the job a lot easier
if you have available a bait gun and a rolling
table. Although these are not essentials,
they will save a lot of time, mess and hassle.
Other pieces of equipment you will require
are a mixing bowl, a fork, whisk or electric
mixer, a syringe, kitchen scales, saucepan,
metal sieve and an air drying tray in which
to finish off the baits. A clean surface
on which to work with the equipment laid
out ready will help you to complete the
job more easily.
Mix it up
Before going into much detail, the rule
here is to always mix the dry ingredients
together in one container, and the wet ingredients
in another. That said, let' sstart with
the dry. Place the required amount of base
mix into your mixing bowl. For half a dozen
eggs, this will probably be 16 oz, but you
can always add a little more later if needed.
Most mixes will come with mixing instructions
from the manufacturer, so always follow
these. Add any powdered additives such as
sweetener, about ½ a teaspoon of
each usually, but again, follow instructions
on the container. Mix this well, ensuring
that all of the additives are well incorporated
into the base mix. Now in a separate bowl,
mix the liquid ingredients. First crack
open the eggs and place in a large mixing
bowl. Now add your liquid flavours. Use
a syringe and measure the exact quantity
stated. Never overdo it, even if you can't
smell it, it is there, and even slightly
too much flavour can repel the carp rather
than attract them. Now whisk the eggs and
flavours very thoroughly or the flavour
will not be evenly distributed amongst your
Bring it together
Now add the powdered ingredients to the
egg mix, slowly stirring together with a
fork as you gradually add more powder. An
electric mixer can be used here if you prefer,
but do start it off on a slow speed, or
your ingredients will end up everywhere.
Keep adding the base mix and form a paste
which is just sticky to the touch but not
too dry or your baits will split. If you
find the mix sticking to your hands, a little
cooking oil on them will stop it happening.
Ready, load, fire
Now is the time to load the
paste into your bait gun. First roll it into
a sausage shape that fits into the gun. Squeeze
the bait out of the gun across your rolling
table, forming 3 thin sausage shapes. Place
the top of the table over the baits and roll
it backwards and forwards a few times. Lift
it off again and you should have a batch of
raw boilies. If the paste sticks to the table,
you need to add more powder next time. If
you don't have a rolling table and gun, you
are going to be there for a while as you hand
roll each bait into a ball.
Prepare to boil
Now boil your water and have ready a metal
sieve. Placing few baits at a time into
the sieve, dunk it into the water. About
30 baits at a time is good depending on
the size of your container. Allow them to
boil for about 45 - 60 seconds depending
on their size. The longer you leave them,
the harder they will, be, so if you have
to suffer crayfish in your water, you may
want to leave them a little longer. Also
the bigger the boilie, the longer they take.
I would estimate 45 seconds for a 14mm boilie
of average hardness. Once boiled, remove
them and place them in a drying tray while
you get on with the next lot.
Dry, store, freeze and use
When all of your baits have dried, you can
store them for use. If you want them very
dry, a week or two in the airing cupboard
will help, remember that if they are still
moist, they will start to mould unless you
freeze them. Freezing is best done in small
polythene bags. Remove as much air as you
can and place straight into the freezer.
If you want to make some
pop ups during the above process, this is
easily achieved by hand rolling some of your
mixture around cork balls. Then cook and store
as normal. Don't forget to keep them separately
or you wont know which is which when you come
to use them. Some anglers make their pop-ups
bigger so that they can tell them apart.
Hint. - Always keep a log of
the boilies that you make, and always use
the same size eggs. This way, to repeat
a successful recipe or refine a not so good
one, you will be able to look up exactly
what you did last time you made it.
Remember - Too much flavour
is a waste of boilie mixture. It won't help
you catch but will have the opposite effect
and scare the carp off.
Have fun and go give those
carp a gourmet meal.