I must confess that I don't use shelf-life boilies a great deal, simply because I don't need to. I'm fortunate to have two bait freezers, so space is never an issue. With fresh-frozen boilies, you're pretty much guaranteed a good release of flavour, even from a bait that isn't particularly good. You can't always say that with shelf-life boilies. Even if a company makes a decent frozen bait, the shelf-life 'equivalent' is often so different that it's barely recognisable as being from the same company!
That's not the case with Quest Baits. Their shelf-life baits have always been top notch and the new breed are even better.
I should point out that Quest Baits are not a new company, although some of you may not have seen their products in your tackle shop. I've been aware of their work for a number of years now and followed their progress from afar. Even though Shaun Harrison and the team have had some VERY good carp baits available, nothing about Quest Baits has been rushed. They've obviously had a very strict business plan in place and stuck to it. I don't know if I could have done that; like most companies with a good product, I'd have wanted to tell the world immediately. However, by keeping fairly low-key and developing their bait range as a complete package, Quest Baits look set to take the carp bait market by storm. To say they've stepped up a gear would be an understatement. If I was setting up a bait company now, I'd look at Quest Baits and wonder if the benchmark they've set is just too high!
First of all, take a look at the packaging. Not only is it possibly the best looking boilie packaging you'll see, but it is also cleverly thought out. The 1kg bags, for example, are not only designed to reseal easily, but also to stand up. That might not sound like cutting edge technology, but it certainly makes a change to put a bag on the ground after you've taken a few baits out for baiting up and then to find it still standing when you look back, not on its side with half the contents rolling down the bank and into the margin!
Another nice touch with the 1kg bags is that you get a small sample of another bait included. Not only does this give you a chance to look at a different flavour, but you never know when using a different bait to your free offerings will do the trick and land you a carp!
Oh, and to cap it all off, there's a little booklet with hints, tips and secrets from Shaun Harrison included, so when it states on the packaging that “This bag contains over 30 years of bait knowledge!”, they really mean it!
If you're buying 2kg of bait, then you'll receive this in a plastic container with an extremely tight lid and a carrying handle. Even after you've used your bait, this container will prove useful, both for fishing stuff and in your shed or garage! The 2kg pack also contains the alternate bait sample and booklet as mentioned with the 1kg pack, along with some matching pop-ups. You don't need to buy a tub of pop-ups straight away, as the samples included will get you started.
I haven't seen a 5kg pack yet, but I assume that you'll get the same.
Quest Baits 2kg Boilie Pack
Anyway, you're probably bored with me talking about the packaging. However, the reason I think it's important in this case as it gives you an indication of the attention to detail that Quest Baits maintain throughout their entire product range, and attention to detail is often the difference between a successful carp angler and an unsuccessful one.
So, onto the bait itself....
As I mentioned at the beginning, I've used Quest Baits shelf-life boilies before. They've always been a good bait and the new breed are the best yet. Available in 10mm, 15mm and 20mm, there's a good choice of sizes.
You'll smell the aroma as soon as you open the tub - the Fruity Trifle ones make your stomach rumble. They smell good enough to eat and, fortunately, carp feel the same about them!
The baits are quite soft compared to some shelf-life baits that I've used, yet you can leave them out all night and they will still be releasing flavour into the water. When you break them up, you'll see all the food content inside. These aren't cheaply made baits - Shaun Harrison has put his reputation into them, along with 30 years of bait-making experience, and I have a sneaky feeling that he and his business partners have put a quid or two into them, too! To get an idea of what's in each bait, visit the Quest Baits website. It really is excellent and tells you everything you need to know....and more!
I don't know if Quest Baits will thank me for the following comment, but I'll say it anyway....
In the 2kg tub I used, I found a few misshapes. You know the kind of thing I mean - end of sausage type things. There weren't many, but enough for me to mention them. I actually like the fact that these aren't filtered out, as they give the angler yet another presentation option. You could cut up a normal boilie to make it an irregular shape, but then it wouldn't have the same effect as these ones, which have been made this shape.
At the time of writing, the Quest Baits boilie range consists of Special Crab, Tiger Nut Crunch, Fruity Trifle, Pineapple Crush, Rahja Spice, Smokey Fish, Irish Cream, and the brand new Liver B8. It's a good choice that will cover any eventuality, without being over the top. It would be easy just to churn out flavour after flavour, just to keep the company name in the angling press, but they haven't done that. They've made baits that work and have been extensively tested... and they've made them well.
When you've chosen your flavour, or flavours, you may also want to check out the matching Paste, Pop-ups, Hard Hook Baits, Bait Glug, Boilie Dip and Maximum Action Pellets. Honestly, the range is awesome and you'll be fully equipped after a Quest Baits shopping trip.
Oh, and when you do start catching carp on these baits, upload a photo to the Quest Baits website to be entered into a monthly bait draw!
I realise to some that this may look like a bit of an advert for Quest Baits, but I can assure you that there's no ulterior motive. I'm certain that this company will be responsible for the capture of a lot of big carp this year, both in the UK and France, and that you'll start to see it on the shelves of your tackle shops a lot more frequently. I'd confidently use their shelf-life boilies, even if I had other frozen baits with me. And I wouldn't say that about many baits.
I could go on for hours about Quest Baits, but it's pointless when their website says it all for me. Take a look at www.QuestBaits.com and you'll see that the attention to detail that I mentioned earlier extends to there, too. I can't think of a better carp fishing bait website out there!