Well, I’m sure many of you would love to be sat on the bank right now making the most of the awesome spring conditions, but due to this awful Covid-19, many of us have been in “Lock Down” for the past six weeks, with no sign of any restrictions easing just yet. Unfortunately, for myself I fall into the high-risk category due to the immune suppressing drugs I take to control my Crohn’s Disease, so have been told to self-isolate for a minimum of twelve weeks. What that does however mean, for me, is I have nothing but time on my hands. So apart from all the normal tidying of kit and rig prep it is a great opportunity to make some hookbaits up for whatever may be left of the season once life starts to return to normal. There are many ways to make pop-ups, but in this short piece I’m going to cover how I roll my own custom cork ball pop-ups.
So why make your own pop ups and why use cork balls as opposed to a standard pop up mix? For me personally, there is nothing better than catching a fish on something you have lovingly hand rolled yourself. It also gives you the opportunity to take your hookbaits to the next level, by adding additional liquids and powders to boost their attraction further and make them stand out; hopefully increasing the likelihood of being picked up. There is a whole plethora of different liquids and powders available in today’s bait market that you can be play around with to produce something completely custom.
I like to roll all my own hookbaits these days, whether it be bright spring singles or match the hatch foody type hookbaits and have had some great results on them in the process. I like to ensure I have plenty of cork balls rolled, as opposed to standard pop-ups, as I’m a great lover of the hinged stiff rig which requires super buoyant pop ups ,especially when at times my rigs could be left in place for two or three days at a time! By using a cork balled pop-up I know the bait will be just as buoyant after a long soak as when it was cast out, especially when using high quality cork balls such as the ones from Gardner that are available in a variety of sizes.
The below step by step guide should hopefully show you exactly how to produce your own custom cork ball pop-ups and with so much time on our hands why not try and give yourself that little edge for when the lakes do eventually re-open? Until that time however stay safe!