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Self-made baits: why make this choice?

25 November 2022

Self-made baits: why make this choice?

Every carpfishing angler will ask himself some questions about self-made, such as: why practice it? Is it so necessary and useful? With all the exits available on the market, suitable for every need, it would not seem to be the best choice to make.

Let's start with a practical advantage of this practice: cost. Creating your own bait will greatly reduce expenses, allowing you to continue practicing the sport with peace of mind. Self-made makes us 100 percent protagonists of fishing, it allows us to create something of our own that, if done properly, will be able to give considerable satisfaction not comparable to fishing with ready-made.

Unfortunately, it is not really an exact science: to learn requires desire and perseverance. In the early 1990s, it was really hard to make bait because the few people who had learned something, spending time and money, were not really in the business of passing on information-in fact, they were holding on to it! Fortunately, times are changing and today some documentation can be found without going as crazy as a few years ago.

A bit of history

As mentioned earlier, in the 1990s people did not want to reveal the secrets for perfect baits, consequently it was difficult to approach this technique and the risk was that it would disappear. The only way to enter this world was to arm oneself with a lot of patience and go a bit by trial and error: one would start by trying to understand the composition of a mixture then on the market, after retrieving the hypothetical ingredients (and often not all of them easily available) one would try to reproduce it.

Unfortunately, carpfishing was catching on, the first trade shows in the sector began to attract more and more intrigued anglers, and some companies in the sector decided to invest in this technique. So some guidelines began to circulate, one of the first was from the legendary "Carpmax" that accompanied yours truly for several years. Since there was not much availability of semi-finished products for the preparation of boilies in circulation, I approached the products of this company.

Subsequently, I understood how to make the first basic mixtures: I realized that the lack of some sort of guideline had prompted me to put my own spin on it, and the fruit of my research was not so bad.

From there I decided to move on, my main goals became "research and experiment."

Of course, the sessions were not all successful, but over time the catches diminished and the photographs increased, which prompted me to persevere: every successful catch with baits made in toto by me gave me a considerable boost of self-esteem.

Let's get down to practice!

If you have decided to approach this practice my advice is to do things right and go step by step:

  1. Begin by getting an idea about the type of mix that can be made from a nutritional point of view and its relative use.
  2. Study the main raw materials that can be used, to learn about their properties and why they are used.
  3. Get a clear objective: for example, how to create a mix suitable for the warm season, winter fishing or for quick sessions. Have an idea of the mix and the characteristics it will need to have.
  4. If we have the opportunity, we ask for advice from those in the industry or those who could help us. We also look for information on the web, surely someone else will have made similar baits.
  5. We make our mix recipe first and retrieve the ingredients, nowadays this should not be a problem talking about simple baits. Let's prepare our mix, let it rest a few days, try kneading it with eggs only and see how it works in rolling. This way we will evaluate its mechanics.
  6. If the mechanics are good the first time, we did really well! We chose the ingredients and their percentages well.
  7. Let's move on to the liquid component of the bait. Again, there are many possible variations, so you'll want to do the same analysis as you did for the solid part.
  8. Also in this case we would have several different types of ingredients to include in our mixture, for example: flavorings, sweeteners, amino acid supplements, appetite stimulants, various digestives, colorants and preservatives. Having said that we will have to understand at least in principle their characteristics and use.
  9. The possible combinations of ingredients are really many, so the best thing is to stay on the simple is worth as the combination of a flavoring combined with sweetener and, if we do not have a freezer available, some preservative. If we want to overdo it let's throw in some food coloring as well.
  10. Now before we combine our magic potion with the eggs and mix, I suggest you do a test that not everyone does: prepare your mixture of flavoring+sweetener in a measuring cup, as if you were going to mix ½ kg of mix, take a few drops with an eyedropper and place them back into a glass filled with natural bottled water.
  11. Let it sit for a few minutes, then try smelling the mix and tasting it, without swallowing, to get to know the taste. This will let you know what you have created from the point of view of taste and smell. If you have also included the dye you will be able to see how it behaves in water, because the dye dissolved in the flavoring solvent will trace its movements.
  12. If your choice is right and you like it, we can move on to the actual preparation of the boilies. You will finally understand whether or not your choices will also please the carp!

I conclude with a big YES to self-made! It is perfectly fine to document ourselves on the web, social media, read magazines, and maybe seek advice from someone more experienced than us to have a proven recipe. Gathering the appropriate information to create your own blend, understanding its mechanics, properties and then testing it over and over again in different places and conditions will help us over time make it your own. At that point I guarantee that every catch made with that bait will fill you with joy.

See you next time!

Daniele Annovi,

Team Molino Zombini

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