Chris Douce reflects on the great memories he made last year fishing with his twin daughters Maisy and Ayla
Make Your Own Cork-Ball Pop-Ups
8th February 2019
With the weather not at its best and the carp’s activity levels not at their most active, now is the perfect time to make some homemade specials! Whether it’s super buoyant match the hatch cork-ball pop-ups you’re wanting to make, or some super-secret specials, this easy to follow step by step guide will have you making them in no time at all.
So, to begin with you’re going to need the following ingredients:
- 1x Hookbait Kit (Krill or Manilla)
- 1x Large Egg
- 10g of preferred Pure Natural Powder (optional)
Begin by cracking your large egg into a bowl.
Next up, add 10ml of the provided liquid.
If you wish to add any of our Pure Natural Powders, now is the time to add them. In this instance we have opted to add 10g of Betaine Powder. Once added make sure to mix thoroughly.
Now that your primary ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, begin adding the Manilla Base Mix one table spoon at a time. After each table spoon of base mix, you should work the mix until there is no dry powder visible.
By adding the base mix one table spoon at a time, your mix should be beginning to take shape now and will require you to continue working it by hand until you achieve a paste that is moist but not sticky.
With some cling film, wrap your paste and leave to cool for 30 minutes. This will allow the paste to become firm, which is essential for the next step, rolling.
Now that your paste has cooled, take a pinch of paste that is just fractionally bigger than your chosen size of cork ball. In this instance we have opted to use 12mm cork balls which will result in a finished hookbait of roughly 15-16mm. When moulding and forming the pop-up make sure that you’re firm, as any air pockets will blister during the boiling stage and will misshape your perfectly round hookbaits.
With all your hookbaits rolled, it’s now time to boil them. With only a thin layer of paste surrounding the cork inner, you only need to boil the baits for a short period of time. When it comes to cork balls 40 seconds is ideal.
Having boiled your baits it is now time to let them dry, leaving them to rest for 24 hours will ensure that your baits become nice and hard. You can of course dry your baits for longer if you wish, but 24 hours is a great starting point!
Last but not least, re-hydrate your baits, this will ensure that your baits are as attractive as possible! Using your preferred liquids, you can boost your baits for as long as you want. However, be mindful not to over glug your baits when using heavy liquids such as our dedicated Glugs, despite having a cork centre you can still reduce the buoyancy of a cork-ball pop-up.
With your homemade hookbaits now complete, all that is left to do is to get them loaded onto some rigs and go catch some carp!