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19 Jan 2017
by CARPology
How to make your own cork dust pop-ups
Not a fan of tying on corkball pop-ups? Then opt for an equally buoyant hookbait but one which is even tougher. Cue: cork dust pop-ups – and here’s how you make them…

There are many advantages to rolling cork dust pop-ups but the very first one has to be the fact that you are predominately using the exact same base mix that is used to roll your feed baits. The result is a hookbait that matches the smell, texture and appearance of your boilies perfectly, leaving nothing to spook wary or pressured carp.

What’s more, the consistency of cork dust pop-ups is the same throughout, so unlike corkball pop-ups there’s no need to worry about the durability of a thin outer layer of paste.

One other real bonus is the way that the buoyancy levels of this hookbait mix can easily be adjusted, meaning that with a little testing you can also produce ‘critically-balanced’ wafting hookbaits using the same rolling process, simply by lowering the levels of cork dust slightly.

The recipe

Production time
Approximately 90 minutes.

Ingredients
5ml New Grange Activator, New Grange Dedicated Base Mix, Cork Dust Granules and one egg.

Equipment
Mixing bowl, measuring syringe or pipette, fork, spoon(s), saucepan and sieve or strainer, plastic bag and towel or air-dry tray.

Ready-to-use in...
24hrs air-drying - preferably five to seven days.

And here's how you do it...

STEP 1 Begin the mix by adding two parts New Grange Base Mix and one part Cork Dust to a plastic bag.

STEP 2 Blow some air into the bag, twist the top and give it a good shake until the contents are mixed evenly.

STEP 3 Crack the egg into the mixing bowl and add 5ml of New Grange Activator and lightly whisking together.

STEP 4 Add the dry mix a little at a time next; mixing with a fork then by hand to slowly build-up the paste.

STEP 5 Place the paste in a plastic bag and leave to stand for five minutes so the mix can absorb the liquid.

STEP 6 Roll the paste between the palms of your hands to form what will be 40-50 baits depending on size.

STEP 7 Once all the paste is rolled, boil the hookbaits for two minutes with the water boiling vigorously.

STEP 8 After the boiling process, air-dry the cork dust pop-ups on a towel or wire tray for at least 24hrs.

STEP 9 The addition of some Hookbait Enhancement System glug will further boost the attraction of the baits.

Bait bushcraft

As we’ve shown here, cork dust/cork granules are another effective way of making pop-ups and criticals, but here are a few tips to help you on your way…

1 The easiest way to make hookbaits utilising cork granules for buoyancy is to measure everything out by volume rather than weight, tapping the measuring vessel down on the worktop to achieve accuracy. It is important to do this to achieve consistency.

2 Depending on the density of the base mix being used, measure out in the following volumes to have a workable cork granule base mix: base mix: 30%, cork granules: 50% and egg albumen: 20%. The albumen is there to improve binding of the overall mix. Reduce the cork granules to achieve a critical bait.

3 When mixing the ingredients together, it is better to use a bowl and a dry whisk rather than putting everything in a plastic bag as you will get too much separation due to the density of the various materials, resulting in inconsistency in the finished paste and this baits.

4 Again, to achieve improved binding and a harder bait, use only the egg white; this is easy to do with a little practise or buy a separator from the likes of Lakeland. Add your attractors to the egg and allow to stand before mixing again.

5 Slowly add the cork granule mix to the egg white until a firm paste (not too dry) is achieved. The simplest way then is to gun these out and roll on a Gardner Tackle rolling table to produce nice, consistent, round baits.

6 Add the baits, a few at a time, to a pan of simmering mineral water and boil according to the size of the bait, the larger the bait the longer the time. It is always important to keep the baits moving in the water to ensure an even cook throughout. Remove and air-dry for five to seven days. These baits can then be added to your chosen glug.

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