This post first appeared on the Quest Baits Blog & is reproduced with kind permission.
Last week I posted a catch report to our website and mentioned that I had caught the fish on an ultra light aerodynamic home made long range pop-up.
This has caused a fair bit of interest with anglers asking me how they can make their own. So here goes…
Everything I used apart from the eggs are available in the Quest Baits range.
First off I separated the white (albumin) from the yolk (yellow bit) of a normal hens egg. By doing this and only using the white of the egg for pop-up production you ensure the finished pop-up is much more buoyant than one made with both the yolk and the albumin. This is important to me as I like to use small baits particularly when distance casting but don’t like to drop my hook sizes to suit. So, by separating the white from the yellow I can ensure they will be as buoyant as possible.
So, with the white of an egg in a glass bowl (I usually only ever do one egg hook bait mixes) I added some of the Magnum White liquid flavour blend. I find it is difficult to go over the top flavour wise with pop-ups as the carp never get to actually taste them so I tend to add the flavour at a higher level than you would for a bottom bait – in most cases when utilising synthetic flavours as part of the attractor system this will also help to stabilise the finished baits (last longer before they go off).
With the egg and liquid sat in the bowl mix them thoroughly with a fork and now is the time to add the pop-up mix. We do three different Fluorescent pop up mixes as well as a plain one (creamy colour) which allows you to add a dye if you wish.
Simply add a little bit of pop-up mix at a time and keep whisking away with the fork. There really is no need at all for measuring exact amounts, just keep adding the mix until you feel it is the right consistency to roll.
Once you are at this stage you need to decide whether you are going to roll them on a rolling table or by hand. I nearly always roll my pop ups by hand when rolling for my own use. This way I can roll different sizes as well as different shapes.
I like to roll pop ups in elongated egg shapes. These are great for casting being more aerodynamic than a standard round pop-up but retaining maximum buoyancy due to the longer shape.
You really can roll them exactly how you want them. Sometimes I will put a flat bottom on them for use with snowmen rigs. The only limitation is your imagination.
It really does surprise me that so few anglers bother to make their own hook baits yet the hook bait is one of the easiest of baits to make.
I fish bottom baits a fair bit and by adding a small amount of pop-up mix to my normal base mix I can counteract the weight of the hook easily. Making the hook bait lighter than the freebies but still appear to be a normal bottom bait. These really do fool the carp.
So by simple stages of adding pop-up mix to a normal base mix you will soon find you can achieve so much more than you ever will when simply limiting yourself to off the shelf baits. Similarly by juggling between full egg and just the whites of egg you can vary the buoyancy of your pop-ups. I would never make large pop-ups with just the whites of the egg as you end up needing far too much clutter on your hook link to anchor it down.
Hope this has inspired and given you a few ideas about producing your own hook baits. Remember I have said so many times in the past that I purposely fish with different hook baits to those of which I am feeding simply because I get more takes that way. Making your own hook baits gives you just that. A different alternate bait totally exclusive to yourself. You can make them any colour, any flavour, any size and any shape.
Regards, Shaun Harrison, Quest Baits