I have been asked on several occasions if I will write an article on making pop up boilies as there isn’t many out there or if there were they have been lost in the long distant past.
Okay where to begin, well in the eighties pop ups used to be made by combining 2oz Sodium Casienate, 2oz Calcium Casienate and 1oz Soya Isolate with 1 Large egg and 10ml of flavouring creating a highly attractive protein rich pop up.
However, milk proteins became very expensive to buy and to this day are still on the expensive side so people started experimenting with other ideas the first of which was to wrap a thin layer of your normal boilie mix around a polyball in order to make it float.
Wrapping a layer of boilie paste around a corkball is also a popular method still used to this day. I personally don’t like using corkballs as if it does happen to come off the hair it could get stuck in the fishes intestines and cause problems although this is a very rare occurrence.
Another successful although less reliable method is to microwave your normal boilie mix instead of boiling it. If you use the following method you will get pop ups but results will vary as to how long they will stay buoyant. The base mix is prepared in the normal way and rolled into balls as normal, however instead of boiling the baits microwave them instead.
Typically microwave 30 x 14mm boilies at a time. They are placed on a microwave type dish or plate and microwaved on full power for 2 minutes. At the end of the 2 minutes examine the baits for any sign of burning, if there is none continue to microwave the baits on full power for a further 15 seconds.
Again examine the baits for any signs of burning, continue to microwave the baits in 15 second bursts examining the baits each time for any slight burn marks. As soon as you detect any signs of burning, stop the process and you now have your pop-ups.
The longer you can microwave the better they pop up but don’t burn them. If you want different sizes than 14mm you will need to experiment with timings yourself as I’ve only ever done 14mm. One last thing on microwaving boilies the more milk based product such as casein you include the more buoyant they will be.
Another very successful way to make your own pop ups is to buy one of the many ready made pop up mixes available from companies such as Mainline, Richworth, CC Moore and many more. All are excellent quality and will produce you a good pop up, one good tip for these is for every 4tbsp of pop up mix you use add 1tbsp of egg albumin, it helps them roll better.
Right we are now onto my favourite way of making pop ups… Cork Dust. To make cork dust pop ups you will need to go by volume rather than weight. I always use the following measurements as a starting guideline for a one egg mix although you may end up needing more or less mix depending on the size of your egg.
Okay so you will need;
One level coffee mug of your chosen base mix
One level coffee mug of cork dust
Half a coffee mug of egg albumin (very important as it helps bind)
One large egg
5g potassium sorbate diluted in 10ml warm water (makes them shelf life)
5ml concentrated bait flavouring
1tsp coloured powdered food dye
If you use any other additives such as brewers yeast, salt, fructose, etc add it to the base mix before you measure out the coffee cup of it.
Now tip all of the ingredients from the coffee cup (use the same coffee cup to measure out each ingredient) into a large air tight sealable bag, seal it and give it a good shake to mix everything together.
Next mix your egg, food dye, potassium sorbate and flavouring in a medium mixing bowl and slowly start adding your mixed dry ingredients until you have a dough that just doesn’t stick to your hands.
Use your hands or a sausage gun to create your pop up sausages then either break bits of and roll into balls or use a rolling table to create more uniform sized pop ups. The rolling table in the picture is from BoilieTec which roll a really nice boilie and are easy to use.
Finally boil around 30 pop ups at a time for 120 seconds.
Allow them to air dry for 48 hours before putting them into air tight containers/jars.
Once every three weeks give them a couple of sprays with a fine mist sprayer of the flavouring you used just to keep them flavoured up.
On a last note it is worth remembering that pop ups become less effective in deeper water. At around 10ft the pop up will start to become less buoyant and will become less effective as it gets deeper basically becoming a none buoyant bottom bait at around 30ft.
So that is my article on making your own pop up baits. I hope you have found it both interesting and useful and has given you an eagerness to try making your own. Until next time happy rolling and tight lines. For more recipes, ideas and tips why not buy one of my books – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/AnthonyWood