Giving Baits Extra Attraction.
There are two main ways to get extra attraction into a boilie. The first involves freezing and then defrosting a bait, the second involves letting a bait soak in a liquid bait soak over a period of time.
When boilies etc. are frozen, water is drawn out of the baits. If you look at a frozen bag of boilies (and some foods), you will see ice in the bag. This is liquid that has been drawn out during the freezing process. When boilies are defrosted, this liquid is drawn back into the bait. It is therefore easy to see that if we take frozen baits into a fresh plastic bag, coat them with our bait dip, flavour etc. and then allow them to defrost. The bait dip / flavour will be drawn into the boilie. The process can even be repeated a few times to get even more of your chosen attractor in.
This method can even bee used to flavour baits. Richworth used to sell frozen baits with no flavour added. You took the frozen baits, placed them in a plastic bag, added your chosen flavour (sweetener as well if you wanted), let them defrost and there were your flavoured baits. It's a shame there still not on sale, but there is nothing to stop you trying it with home made boilies.
You can use the same method to add extra flavour to baits. Say you have just made some scopex boilies. Place your boilies in a plastic bag ready for freezing, but add 2mils of scopex flavour to the bag. Blow the bag up, give the boilies a good shake to ensure that all the boilies are coated in the scopex, then freeze as normal. Defrost the baits before using and the extra scopex will be absorbed into your boilies.
I have also found that Solar's Stimuli Amino Compound can make an excellent freezer dip. Take 10ml of the compound, add a couple of mils of flavour, plus a few drops of sweetener, mix well and pour over the boilies before freezing. Nash's Liver Sense Appeal is a similar compound that can be used instead. This method is perfect for very concentrated "harsh" flavours like Solar's Esterblend 12. It dilutes them down for absorption into the boilie.
I must stress that I am not sponsored by anyone, I run this website as a hobby, but some of Solar's pot-shots are based on their Stimulin Amino Compound. Anyone who wants to try this method can purchase a pot shot for just over a couple of quid and give it a go. The flavour of the pot-shot does not have to match your boilie flavour. You could also try adding a couple of mils of scopex before freezing to say a strawberry boilie.
This method simply involves soaking baits in a dip over a period of time. I cannot stress enough that it is no use simply dipping your hook bait in a dip before casting out. Boilies need time in a soak to absorb the liquid. I've had some in soak now for over six months, in most cases it's the longer the better.
There are many excellent dips / soaks available on the market which I use myself. There are now many preparations in tackle shops which are intended for the match angling market, these also can make excellent dips for boilies.
For those wanting to make their own, please have a read of the information below.
Chemistry Set Time.
When making a bait soak that consists of a bulk liquid and a flavour we must be very careful to make sure that the flavour dissolves in the bulk liquid, let me show you what happens if it doesn't. It's time to perform a little experiment in the kitchen. Go fill a cup or glass about half full of water out of the cold tap, now add a few drops of liquid vegetable cooking oil to the water and see what happens to it. Do you see how it sits on top of the water? Try shaking or stirring it up and let the water settle down again, the oil droplets are still there, they haven't dissolved into the water. This is very important because some flavours are oil based.
the oil floats on top of the
Imagine trying to make a bait dip out of Nutrabaits "Multimino", which is water based as the bulk liquid and a flavour that is oil based such as "Pukka Salmon". You could shake the two up together all day, and the oil based flavour would just separate out from the "Multimino" and float to the top, just like the vegetable oil did in the experiment above. Come to soak your boilies in the resulting dip for a year and they still wouldn,t smell of "Pukka Salmon", because all the Pukka Salmon flavour would be floating on top of the "Minamino", well away from your boilies.
Just out of interest if you want to see what it looks like when a flavour does dissolve in water, drop a few drops of vinegar into a cup full of water. See how it mixes into the water and becomes part of the water solution.
A Simple Test.
So now we have a simple test we can do to make sure that our flavour dissolves into our chosen bulk liquid before making the bait dip. Place a small amount of your chosen bulk liquid (Minamino, Milkshake etc.) into a container and drop a few drops of you flavour into it. If it floats on the top then the two will not mix and you must chose another flavour or bulk liquid. If you see it dissolve in then you should be OK, but we need to carry out one final test
When we carried out the first experiment with the water above, the oil floated on the water because oil is lighter than water. If we added a few drops of water to a cup full of oil, the drops of water would sink to the bottom, because water is heavier than oil.
What we need to do now, is just to make
sure that when we added our few drops of flavour to our
sample of bulk liquid, the flavour didn't sink to the
bottom. A simple test for this ,is to mix a few drops of
bulk liquid and flavour together on a large spoon or small
dish. Mix the two up with a match stick and you should be
able to observe if they mix together or not.
One important point, not all flavours will dissolve into your bulk liquid at the same rate. Give the mixture a shake around or two and you may well find your flavour starts to dissolve into the bulk liquid.
Even when it comes to flavouring a tin of sweetcorn, you should always test to make sure that your chosen flavour dissolves in the sweetcorn water. I read in a magazine once an article on flavouring sweetcorn for carp fishing, by a very famous angler. He stated that he opened a tin of sweetcorn and dropped in a few drops of Juniper Berry Oil (Nutrabaits), gave it a good stir and left it over night, ready for use the next morning. Now this isn't a very good idea because Juniper Berry Oil is an oil and sweetcorn, comes with water in the tin. All that would happen is that the Juniper Berry Oil would float on top of the sweetcorn juice and flavour nothing. The poor chap was obviously making up something to write about, or he needed to do a little more research into basic chemistry and be more observant when making bait.
A Simple Recipe.
After all the science, it's now time to make a bait soak. The basic formula is:
50ml Bulk Liquid (Minamino, liquid milkshake etc.), 5 - 10ml Flavour.
The amount of flavour added to 50ml of bulk liquid should be the same as that recommended for a 1lb boilie mix in the Flavour Section of this site. The finished dip is then placed in a suitable pot, given a good shake or stir to ensure that the flavour and bulk liquid are mixed well up and the boilies left to soak in the liquid before use. How long is up to you, but I always like to keep my hookbait boilies in the dip for at least a week before use. Some leave them in soak for 6 months or more! They are best kept in the fridge during the soaking process, however if you cannot do so, then they will not "go off" if you leave them at room temperature, providing the dip covers the boilies completely.
Liquid amino acid preparations such as "Minamino" make excellent bulk liquids, as do thinks like liquid milkshake and ice-cream toppings available from supermarkets. On the whole these products are water based and should mix well with most flavours. As I stated above oils can also make excellent bulk liquids. If I need a neutral oil (an oil that doesn't smell or taste of anything) to add a flavour to, then I like to use grape seed oil. I say neutral oil, because if I wanted to make an oil based bait dip that just smelled and tasted of chocolate, it would be no use using a fish oil, as the smell of the fish oil would over power the chocolate flavour that I was putting into it.
Fish oils because of their strong smell, can make excellent bait dips. Some smell so strong that they can be used as a dip on their own, without additional flavour. One of my favourites is "Pellet Oil", sold by tackle shops. It is the same oil that is used to produce trout pellets, and we all know how attractive they are to fish.
Mixing Bulk Liquids.
Bulk liquids can be mixed together like "Multimino" and "Corn Steep Liquor" and as long as they are both on the same base and/or dissolve into each other, then there is no problem.
I have seen numerous recipes in carp magazines for bait dips that mix water and oil based bulk liquids together, such as Salmon Oil and Multimino. This will not work correctly as a bait dip.
Let me explain myself. In order to stop water getting into the wood of a wooden rowing boat, you paint it on the outside with a compound that is waterproof. Now our boilie, just like a rowing boat, has an outer skin that comes into contact with the bait soak. With a bait dip we want some of the bait dip liquid to go into the outside skin of the boilie, to add extra attraction when we come to use it as a hook bait. Can you imagine soaking your boilie in an oil based dip such as Salmon Oil first, then soaking it in a water based dip such as Multimino? The Oil based dip we used first, would have soaked into the boilie skin and being an oil is waterproof. It would stop our second dip of the water based Multimino, from soaking into the boilie.
The rule is simple, don't mix water based and oil based bilk liquids together in the same dip, use one or the other. There are ways around this by the use of emulsifiers, but I think that goes beyond what I want to discuss here
One last point if you want to test to bulk liquids together, mix a small amount of each together and see what happens.
A Few Simple Guidelines.
- Make sure that your flavour dissolves into your chosen bulk liquid.
- The General Rule is 50ml bulk liquid, to the same amount of flavour you would use for a 1lb mix.
- Do not use water based and oil based bulk liquids together.
- When making you dip make sure the flavour is mixed well into the bulk liquid.
- Leave your baits to soak for at least 24 hours, I like them in soak for at least a month.
Other Dip Recipes.
My thanks to Alan from the UK for
providing me with the recipe for an excellent bait dip
recipe, I have printed his e-mail below:
A good dip/soak can be made as follows:
Go to a
chemists and buy a box of fructose, dissolve this with 200
ml of boiling water , leave to cool, mix 25ml with 50 ml of
glycerine (which is water soluble). Then add about 5 to 7 ml
of your chosen flavour stir and you have as good a dip/soak
as you will buy ready made ,only a lot cheaper
Fructose is the correct name for Fruit Sugar and should also be available from your local Chemist, the last time I bought some was from Boots. A lot of ready made dips you buy from the tackle shops are based on glycerine. You will find that larger supermarkets also sell it, usually on the shelves with the cake making bits and pieces.
The longer you can leave your boilies to soak in a dip the better. I like mine to soak for at least a month, over 6 months is better.