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Review of "Boilies"

published 23/02/2011 | TheHairyGodmother
Member since : 10/02/2006
Reviews : 103
Members who trust : 303
About me :
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Pro superior carp fishing bait
Cons can cause water pollution
very helpful
Ease of Use
Value for Money

"Boilie in the bag bait"

Boilies of varying colours

Boilies of varying colours


Thirty years ago, carp fishing, or certainly serious carp fishing, was nowhere near as popular as it is nowadays. The fishermen who dedicated their lives to catching carp kept their own secret bait recipes a secret. In those days, commercial carp baits didn’t exist. Because of this, each angler would have come up with their own closely guarded recipe for some special paste using their very own selection of ingredients. Some were obviously more successful than others, but because making your own bait would, these days, be considered a hindrance, it is no surprise that bait suppliers caught on (pardon the pun), and started developing commercially available baits. Although many anglers today still use paste type baits to catch carp, there is a major downfall to using such a mundane type of bait. Paste type baits are soft and allow smaller fish to nibble them off the hook without so much as bobbing the float. This was overcome by using the same paste bait ingredients but finding a way to turn this into a bait form that wouldn’t be so attractive to the smaller fish. With carp fishermen, they target carp specifically and generally have no wish to catch anything else, at the very least it is annoying to be sitting there waiting for a big fat carp to come along, only to realise a while later that your bait has been frittered away by some jumped up little roach. The main idea being turning these paste baits into a more carp friendly bait was to add raw egg to the paste mixture and then roll it into balls. Boiling the balls for a few minutes gives them a tough skin that nuisance little fish can’t penetrate. Maybe now you can see where the name “boilies” originates?

These days, boilies are absolutely the most popular bait for carp fishermen all over the country. Once the original concept had been proven, it wasn’t long before boilies were being mass-produced and sold in ever tackle dealers in the land. During the 1980s boilie production went into overdrive, and for the first time, less skilled or experienced fishermen were able to buy an over the counter recipe, designed specifically with carp in mind. I think the most amazing thing about boilies is the endless range of sizes, colours and flavours that they come in. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more flavours and colours of boilie than there were flavours of baby food. Of course, a bait of this much popularity doesn’t come without its downfalls. Some fisheries are now banning boilie use as they have discovered that people are throwing so many boilies into the water that the fish just cant eat them all so they are left to fester on the bottom, where they ultimately go rotten and contaminate the water. On the plus side however, it is thought that the multitude of boilies thrown into waters to attract carp is the single biggest reason why carp in general are getting heavier year after year. Of course, that is very good for serious carp fishermen, who may have previously caught several whoppers; it means that it is probably always possible to catch a bigger specimen, within reason of course.
Should I make my own or should I buy them?

The answer to this question depends entirely on how serious you are about carp fishing. If you are a newcomer to the support, then don’t waste your time. Making your own boilies takes time and effort, and at least while you are still a novice, it would be much easier to buy a bag of boilies from your local tackle shop. If on the other hand you are an experienced and enthusiastic carp fisherman, you may find that the cost of buying boilies in bulk as it were is eating into your wallet; in this scenario it is probably better to make your own as they can be made in bulk relatively cheaply. Making your own also means that you can experiment with difference flavours and colours until you find one that works for you.

So what’s in them?

Well, I guess that depends on who made them! Different people have difference recipes, and different lakes and rivers may require experimentation into what flavours and colours work. In a nutshell, a boilie is made up of various fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, all bound together with egg. If you do decide to make your own, focus more on flavour than colour. It is known that in some areas, carp will tend to particular colours, but as boilies are usually fed on the bottom, it is the flavour that is more important as the fish will generally hunt more by smell than by sight. One simple thing I will say is that in my experience, strong flavours and smells work better. A nice strong meaty or fishy flavour and smell will prove far more successful than a boilie smelling slightly of strawberries. Now, you might think that to make a boilie flavoured with strawberry would be stupid, but its not. Various fruity flavours of boilie are available commercially and in some waters can prove very successful. See later in the review for a successful boilie recipe for any budding new carp fishermen who want to give it a go.
How to use them

Firstly it is important to attract the carp to your hook bait by throwing in a few handfuls of boilies around where your hook is positioned. If where you are fishing is frequented by boilie using men, then don’t throw so many in (see above for how this can damage the water quality). Usually you will only need a handful or so thrown in, but in waters that you are not familiar with or if you are trying out a new flavour that you have developed yourself, a few hundred boilies would be better. Simply thread a boilie onto your hook and wait for your float to go wild.

How to make your own

Making your own boilies can take a lot of time and effort, but can ultimately be rewarding, especially as you can experiment with your own flavours and colours until you find what works for you. I have only made boilies a couple of times as it is too much like hard work, and it is far simpler for me to go and buy a couple of bags.

Basically, if you are going to make your own, you will be making quite a few (almost certainly more than you can use in one outing) so you may need to freeze quite a few so make sure you have freezer space available before you start.

The first thing to do is to make a base mix; this consists of soya flour, ground rice and semolina. You can change the recipe yourself until you find a combination that works, but for starters I recommend 4oz of soya flour, 4oz of ground rice and 8oz of semolina. Weigh out all the ingredients and pour them all into a large bag (without holes in!)

Add powdered colourings into the bag to correspond with your desired colour (you can also use liquid food colourings but if you do, they should be added with the eggs). One word of warning though, don’t go too overboard with the colouring, a little goes a long way and it’s probably not all that good for the fish either! We’ve all seen what happens when kids eat blue smarties!

Blow up the bag and twist it at the top to stop the air escaping, then shake it vigorously to mix all the ingredients together, of course you could also do this in a large mixing bowl.

Now decide on your flavourings, you can buy boilie flavourings in liquid form from a tackle dealers, or you can make up your own flavourings with blended foods. Crack four eggs into a large saucepan or mixing bowl and add the flavourings, again, don’t go overboard on the flavourings, you don’t want the carps fins to fall off!

Beat the eggs and flavours together until it is well mixed, then slowly add your base mixture to the eggs and flavourings. Keep mixing and you should try to add your base mix so slowly that it takes at least 5 minutes to mix it all in thoroughly. Eventually the mix will become very stiff, so you will have to get your hands dirty (it’s like making cakes with Mummy all over again). Keep going until you have a mixture kind of like play-dough.

Now break the mixture into small pieces and roll it in the palms of your hands into small balls.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and start adding your boilies. Please do not add them all at once because it will cool the water, only do twenty or so at a time. Let them boil for 2 minutes and then take them out and leave them to dry on a clean tea towel

Once they have thoroughly dried, it’s then just a simple case of popping them in bags ready to go in the freezer or put in your bait box.


Carp fishing can be a very rewarding pastime, even more so if you feel you are able to experiment with your own home-made boilies. Just don’t try to make them when the wife is in the kitchen doing the Sunday roast!

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Comments on this review

  • danielclark691 published 19/01/2017
    good work
  • daisyleex published 19/10/2011
    Brilliant review x
  • Expired-Account published 16/08/2011
    I don't really understand the appeal of fishing, excellent review though
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Product Information : Boilies

Manufacturer's product description

Fishing Bait

Product Details

Genre: Fishing

Type: Fishing Bait

Manufacturer: Boilies


Listed on Ciao since: 09/03/2001