Boilies are the most popular bait for modern day carp fishing, the reason for this is they are easy to use and apply.
They came about in the early eighties as a way of deterring nuisance fish and sustaining long periods underwater, being hard, but at the same time containing as much attractiveness and/or nutrition as possible.
Being spherical and hard they are easy to mount, whether side hooked or hair-rigged and also easy to apply either by throwing, catapult or for long distance a throwing stick.
Boilies are made up of a mixture of a powdered basemix to bulk, additives/flavours and eggs to bind. Together they make a paste that can be shaped and then boiled and stored in a freezer, unless a preservative is added or they are air-dried.
In this article I will try to outline the basics of making your own boilies.
Making your own
There is nothing like catching on your own bait, whether it is your own recipe or just rolled by yourself, the satisfaction is immense.
Making boilies can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.
There are different ways of going about it; you can buy a basemix and a simple liquid trigger additive or buy any combination of basemix, additives and/or flavours to suit your needs.
The process of making boilies is simple. However, with rolling tables and a bait-gun it is made even easier.
Basemixes can be bought off the shelf at most tackle shops as can additives and flavours.
Nowadays, the basic types of basemix are a 50/50 mix (50% Soya Four and 50% Semolina), a Birdseed (suited for winter use) and Fishmeal (suited for summer use), although specific basemixes and basemix ingredients can be sourced.
Just some of the many ingredients available
Additives can be added to in the form of liquids and powders. These range from Amino acids, like Minamino and Betaine, to Phosphoylcolamines (PPC) like Nutramino.
Other products can be added to the mix like appetite stimulators, palatants, vitamin and minerals, colours, oils and lastly flavours.
Flavours are usually added in the form of a concentrated liquid and usually need enhancing with a sweetener, as most flavours have a bitter after taste.
All of the above have recommended dosage levels, which you can experiment with, but are usually about right.
To start off with you need to find out how many eggs you need for your dry base mix.
Break the eggs into a suitable bowl and then begin to add your liquid additives and/or flavours.
One thing to point out at this stage is that you always add liquids to liquids and powders to powders.
Liquids to liquids
Once all of your liquids are measured out, slowly mix them together.
Don’t whisk like crazy as this will add air to your liquids and you will find that your finished boilies are buoyant!
Next, in another suitable bowl, weigh out your base mix (if you have to) and then add your powdered additives and/or flavours.
Make sure these are well mixed.
Powders to powders
Add 50% of your powders to all of your liquid mix and mix together, then add more of the powdered mix a little bit at a time until you have stiff paste.
If you add too much powder your paste mix will be too dry and will fall apart when you try to roll the paste.
Once your paste is of the right consistency you can then load it into your bait-gun or if you do not have a bait-gun then they can be rolled by hand.
Loading the ‘gun’
A little tip here, when you are not using the paste seal it up in a bag to stop it drying out.
If you do not have a bait-gun then roll the sausages by hand.
50/50 and Birdseed base mixes can become very sticky so a good tip at this point is just before you load the bait-gun, lightly smear cooking oil onto your hands, this will put a very light coating onto the paste that will aid ‘gunning’ and rolling.
Ready to roll
The oily coating will boil off without leaving a trace on the boilie.
With the correct nozzle and rolling table you can then roll your baits.
If you don’t have a rolling table then they can be made by hand.
Place the rolled baits into a wire basket and lower them into already boiling water and start the stopwatch.
I start my stopwatch to count down from sixty seconds as soon as they go into the boiling water.
You may need to play around with times to suit your requirements, Fishmeal base mixes tend to be harder than Birdseed or 50/50 mixes when boiled for the same length of time.
Once the time is up, drain and allow drying on a tea towel overnight, or as I do, leave for a couple of days.
Once dry, bag, label and then place them into the freezer, unless you have added a preservative or are going to air-dry them.
Any left over paste can be frozen and rolled, or used as a paste hookbait whenever it is thawed out.
Ready for bagging up
When making boilies for the first time don’t make a large batch, use half or a quarter of the ingredients so that if you find them too strong in flavour or too soft in texture you have enough ingredients to fine tune and remake your boilies.
It’s a good idea to make bait with a friend as you can share costs and the making of the bait.
I’ve always made my own bait and always will. I hope you have the success I’ve had in rolling your own.
Garth Barnard a.k.a. Gaffer