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Pop-up baits


pop-up baitsUsing Pop-ups baits

The term pop-ups refers to baits which float, and therefore rise up above the weight as far as the rig allows. The result of this is a bait which, instead of just sitting on the bottom like most would, sits a few inches above it, thus being more easily spotted by the carp.

Why pop-up baits

This can have tremendous advantages in situations where normally your bait would be hidden in weed or silt or covered in dead leaves. It also has the advantage of catching the carp's attention. Imagine a bed of free offerings which are lying on the lake bed and your bait is in amongst them. There may be only a few freebies or there may be fifty or a hundred, depending on your feeding method. The chances of a lone carp taking your bait in preference to the freebies are fairly small. Now imagine a bed of free offerings with one bait floating just above all of the others. It is going to catch the carp's attention. As the carp moves past, the water movement will make the lone bait sway about. Of course in some instances this may not work in your favour. It may cause suspicion. Why is this bait different to the rest? The carp may not trust it and take others in preference. However, it can be an excellent method when others fail.


Over silt, pop-ups really score well. The bait will sit visibly above silt whereas a normal boilie will quite likely sink into it and only be found by a carp rooting around searching for food.


Very often, especially in the autumn and winter, a lake bed will be covered in dead and decaying leaves. A normal boilie will often end up covered in this debris and be invisible to the carp. A pop-up however will rise just above it and still be easily seen.


Pop-ups also make great floaters. They are a lot easier to cast than dog biscuit and crust, will stay on the hook longer and a often more readily accepted. Add a bit of extra flavour or place in a dip or soak just before use and they can give some superb sport once the fish are taking them.

To Cook or to buy

There are several ways to make pop-ups. Microwaving ordinary boilies will cause them to float, or if you are making your own, you can either buy pop-up mixes or hand roll a few of your boilies around small cork balls. You can of course buy ready made pop-ups and some bags of boilies even come with a small bag of pop-ups contained inside.

If you are already fishing and decide you need a few extra pop-ups, then you can place a small polystyrene ball or piece of rig foam inside a drilled out boilie. Alternatively, slice the boilie in half and add a disc of rig foam between the two halves before putting it on the hair.

Tiger pop-ups

As well as boilies, this latter method can be applied to other baits and particles. It is often used with tiger nuts and a cork ball placed on a hair with a tiger nut can often fool a greedy carp.

Rigs for pop-ups

Of course you don't want your bait floating upwards from your weight until it is about a foot off of the bottom. Usually an inch or two is about right. So to anchor the rest of the rig, attach a piece of lead putty to the hook length at that distance from the hook. You will need to experiment a bit to get the correct amount of weight. Try dropping the rig in the shallows in front of you and see what it looks like in the water. You can also try attaching two boilies to the hair, the one nearest the hook a sinker and the other a pop-up. This will cause the baits to sit in the water one above the other, and is known as a snowman rig.

Whatever type of pop-up you prefer, give them a try and experiment a bit. Try different combinations and flavours and different distances from the bottom. It can often turn a blank session into a winner.

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