When designing a new boilie recipe there is a certain ratio that you should consider following.
A good boilie should be made up of approximately:-
10%-20% Soluble Protein
These proportions have been deliberately left quite approximate to show you that there is lots of room to play here. Use your own judgement, mixed with information from fellow anglers, to decide on the final mix for your bolies. Remember to make a note of what you put in so that you can repeat successful mixes and avoid repeating unsuccessful ones.
So, let’s take a closer look at these individual components.
A good binder is essential as this dictates how well the mix will roll and bind together. The most commonly used binders are soya flour and semolina and many homemade boilies feature just these two ingredients as binder. However most flours work well and ingredients such as rice flour, maize meal, wheat flour and durum flour can be used.
It is a good idea to use a mix of these binders, so to get to 50% of the total mix you might consider something like 20% semolina, 20% soya flour and 10% rice flour.
The binder’s job is mostly to hold the boilie together and the exact quantity necessary will depend on the other ingredients. So, if you can get away with 40% and still get your homemade boilies to roll well and hold together then you should consider that.
Carp are genetically hard wired to seek out good sources of protein. Good protein content is essential. On a day-ticket water you can sometimes offer more attractants and less protein, but for a decent long lasting bait make sure there is plenty of protein. This will keep the fish coming back and they will learn that your boilies are a good food source.
There are two main sources of easily digestible proteins for you to consider; milk proteins and fishmeal.
Fishmeal is a good source of protein, having a protein content of 70-80% and being readily accepted by the fish. There are pre-digested fishmeals available that can have a protein content of up to 90%. These work well but can tend to be quite expensive. It’s up to you (and your wallet) which you choose.Milk proteins, such as Casein or Calcium/Sodium Caseinate, can be really rich in protein, sometimes over 90%. These are especially of interest during the colder months as they are easily digested by the fish at lower temperatures.
Soluble proteins will dissolve in the water. This causes them to leak from the bait making a cloud of attractants in the water which will pull the fish in.
Soluble fishmeal and soluble milk products work well here and are available from bait suppliers or online.
Try to keep the amount of soluble proteins at around the 10%-20% mark. If you include too much in the final mix your boilies may become too soft too quickly.
Texture is an important feature of your boilie and one that is often overlooked. Carp eat a great many shelled animals such as water snails and a whole range of invertebrates. These food sources contain a crunch factor and carp will often associate crunch with good food.
One of the most commonly used ingredients for added texture is bird seed. These will also add some protein to your mix, although the levels are not as high as you might think.
Ground down dog biscuits (or cat!) can help add crunch and a bit of flavour. There will be lots of treat type items at your local pet store which can be ground down for added texture. Be sure to check out the labels and pick one with a high protein content as well as a good crunchy texture.
Perhaps the most commonly used way to add texture is to leave the shells on the eggs when you add them. Egg shells give the perfect amount of crunch and you have them in your hands already when you are making your boilies!
Carp like good strong flavours. You will learn what they like from experience, but also from the names of the proprietary baits that are available on the market. Think spicy, chilli, fishy, salty, sweet and fruity. Your supermarket can help you out here. Bottles of sweet chilli sauce for example provide an excellent flavouring.
Like all living organisms, carp have a requirement for certain trace elements and minerals in their diet. Minamino is one of the most commonly used supplements. It is readily available and will provide for a carp’s complete mineral requirement. Carp know this and can’t help but be attracted to it.
There is a whole range of other extracts and additives available that will add mineral content such as betaine, liver powder and squid extract (there are many more). Buying in ingredients such as these inevitably adds extra cost to the mix. They are not essential but they do work, so if budget is a concern for you, pick just one that comes recommended to you and stick to that.
You should consider adding a small amount of oil to your mix. Not only is this an excellent way to get smelly attractors into the water around your bait, it also makes the baits much easier to roll. Consider some of the really stinky fish oils, or maybe go for a much plainer oil such as hemp oil or olive oil.
So that’s it. I have tried to keep it simple so that it is easier to understand the basic concept. Once you understand the basic ratio of a boilie’s ingredients, the world is your oyster. Do not hesitate to play and experiment. Making your own boilies is a fun and rewarding activity. Enjoy making your own boilie recipes. Share your successes and failures with your fellow anglers and hopefully they will do the same with you.
Watch out for future articles on how to make boilies including different mixes for day waters and long term campaigns and what to consider when making your own boilies for summer or winter.
For more information on how to make boilies check out this website.
Good Luck & Tight Lines.