Using Carp Boilies – Do they really work?

One of the most popular baits to use for catching carp has to be boilies.

“A classic” “A killer bait” these phrases are heard time and time again amongst anglers all over the world, for this, the humble boilie deserves a full Carp ‘n’ Bait investigation into what makes this bait so unique.


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First formulated in the 1970’s by a chap named Fred Wilton, boilies are constructed from a fish paste made up primarily of fishmeal, proteins, semolina and soya flour. These base ingredients are mixed together with eggs which binds it.

This concoction provided a large carp bait with a fairly hard outer skin, key to warding off tench and bream who struggled to consume them. The fact they were boiled also meant boilies could last a great deal of time in the water.

There are many companies who now produce and sell boilies, but making them from home is easy enough and can be fun adding different flavours and colourings.

The boilie is now a firmly established bait – and can be bought in a huge range of colours and flavours such as strawberry, tutti-frutti, pineapple and even banoffi!

Tip: Always try to buy the best quality boilie that you ca afford – there are cheap, poorly made alternatives that are high in oil. CC Moore and Mainline are reputable bait companies.

Types of Boilies

Two types of boilie can be made or bought. There are those that have preservatives added to them to prolong them. These are known as ‘shelf-life boilies‘ which are able to be easily stored at room temperature. They are also cheaper too.

The other type are (you guessed it) those without all the preserves! These need to be kept refrigerated or put in the freezer to stop them going off.

There is an ongoing debate about which is better, and in all honesty, the only defining measure is that shelf life boilies (the ones with the preservatives) aren’t as nutritional for carp and could lack attraction.

Using Boilies to Catch Carp

We thought to mention that the most popular way to present a boilie is in the form of a hair rig.

The loop is ideal to thread through a boilie (and other baits) and, using a hair stop, minimises the chances of losing your bait to the bottom of the lake.

Pop-up Boilies

These ‘floating’ boilies appeal to many anglers for their buoyancy properties, especially when used to present a bait as part of a carp rig setup.

You could have the pop-up sit a few inches above the lake bottom ( a snowman rig is popular with pop-up baits) or, using a zig rig, just below the surface.

They give the angler a great alternative to just a bottom bait.

pop up boilies

Fishing a particularly weedy lake or a venue with many snags, the pop-ups are a great choice to fish above these obstacles.

A carp may not fully trust a pop-up boilie as it may seem like a foreign object, although they are lethal over a spod mix.

If you’d like to learn how to make carp baits, we have some simple, easy carp bait recipes that you can make from home.

Alternatively, CC Moore (a quality bait company) have produced this simple video.



Of course, boilies aren’t the only bait used for catching carp. Sweetcorn, bread, pellets and particle mixes such as hemp or great alternatives too.

Thank you for reading – and we’ll catch you again soon for more bait tips and tricks!