Well, although some of the lock down restrictions are now being lifted, including allowing angling to resume once again, unfortunately I am still stuck at home, being one of the people identified as having to shield due to my underlying health condition. It is, however, allowing me plenty of opportunity to really get prepared for when I can get out on the bank again. Part of the preparation has been making sure of having plenty of hookbaits ready. So following on from my last piece, in which I showed you how to produce your own custom cork-ball pop-ups, I thought this time around I should show you how I produce your own custom cork-dust wafters.
Just like with the cork ball pop ups producing your own, as opposed to the shop bought variety, not only brings a great sense of achievement, but also allows you to be different from everyone else as you can add what you like to give them that personal touch. I want my wafters to match the Carp Company ‘Icelandic Red’ freebies I am putting out, but to also be packed with lots of extra attraction, so they are hopefully picked up quicker by any feeding carp. I rarely use anything other than custom hand rolled specials on my rigs these days and am 100% confident in all my hookbaits.
The below step by step guide should hopefully show you exactly how to produce your own custom cork-dust wafters, and with so much extra time on our hands why not try and give yourself that little edge for next time that you are out on the bank.
Everything you need.
Step 1. Crack three large eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk. I like to use the best quality eggs, ensuring they are as fresh as possible too.
Step 2. At this stage you can add in any chosen liquid flavourings or additives. On this occasion I am rolling ‘match the hatch’ type hookbaits to match the Carp Company Icelandic Red with Caviar & Cranberry freezer baits. I’ve added both flavourings, plus some liquid feeding triggers.
Step 3. Once all the liquids have been well mixed with the egg, you can now add any chosen powdered additives. In this instance I have added three different powders that I have a lot of confidence in: GLM Powder, Liver Powder & Krill Powder. These products are all natural so you can get away with quite a high dose rate, so they really kick out attraction.
Step 4. It is now time to add your cork dust into the mix. I start by adding 6 big tablespoons into the mix. Do not worry too much as this can be adjusted later down the line.
Step 5. At this stage I also like to add in a packet of egg white powder, that you can buy in the baking section of any supermarket. This helps to give the baits a nice tough skin once boiled. Ensure it’s all well mixed, so that all your liquids, powders and cork granules are evenly distributed throughout the mix.
Step 6. At this stage you can now slowly add your base mix to the eggs to start to form a paste. There is no need to sieve the base mix, like when you’re producing cork ball pop-ups, so it can all go straight in a little at a time.
Step 7. Keep slowly adding the base mix until you can form a ball of paste that is still tacky. It is important not to make it too dry at this stage, as you may still need to adjust the buoyancy with the addition of more cork granules, which will dry the mix further.
Step 8. At this stage it is time to check and adjust the buoyancy of the mix. Simply fill up a pint glass with water, pinch off a piece of paste and roll between the palms of your hands to form a hook bait of your chosen size. Drop the bait in to the pint glass to see how it reacts. You are looking for the bait to sink to the bottom then slowly float back to the surface, as this should then balance perfectly once on a rig.
Step 9. If required add more cork granules and thoroughly kneed into the mix ensuring they are evenly distributed. Keep checking and repeating stages 8 and 9 as necessary, until the baits sink then slowly rise to the surface again.
Step 10. At this stage it is best to place the ball of paste into a sandwich bag and pop it in the fridge for half an hour to an hour. This will allow all the liquids to be absorbed properly into the paste and allow it to stiffen up ever so slightly, ready for rolling.
Step 11. Now your paste is ready it is time to make the cork-dust wafters. Simply pull of a piece of paste and roll between the palms of your hands to form a hook bait of your required size. In this instance I am rolling 18-20mm hookbaits but have also done a few much larger baits of around 35mm. If you want uniformity in your hookbaits you can always roll the hookbaits using a Rolaball table, so they all come out identically.
Step 12. Time to boil the baits. I like to bring a pan of water to boiling point before adding the baits. Stir them continuously and remove them after a 2-3 minutes. The larger 35mm baits can be left boiling for an extra minute.
Step 13. When removing the baits place them on to a towel or piece of kitchen roll and dry them off thoroughly.
Step 14. Place the baits somewhere warm and dry (not in daylight) and allow them to thoroughly dry out for at least a week. The baits should rattle once placed into a pot.
Step 15. It is at this stage you can boost them further, by rehydrating the baits with liquid feeding triggers, adding small amounts slowly and letting them soak in before applying more. Once tacky you can also give them a dusting with some powders to form a delicious crust that breaks down quickly. The end result is a high-quality cork-dust wafter that will be pumping out all the right signals to any passing carp!