Boosting and boilie coating boilies
Carp and other cyprinids frequently smell the bait long before they see it - particularly at night. Effective scent-dispersal may therefore often mean the difference between a catch and a zero-trip - especially in the cold months the extra attraction from a boosted bait may improve the chances of winter-sluggish carp to discover your bait.
When you use rock-hard "contineneltal style boilies", that gives a very poor leakage of attractors because of the non-porous strucuture and rubbery surface caused by exessive amounts of f.ex. semolina - a good boost will improve the speed of scent-dispersal dramatically. In boilies with high levels of watersoluble ingredients and natural attractors, the bait will leak plenty of scent to be effective and attractive by itself. However - even with this type of bait its possible to improve the spread of scent even more by boosting the boilie, so attractors are spread into the water at a faster rate before the surface of the boiliesurface start to dissolve and leak attractors into the water.
Traditional boosting of hook-bait
The most common way of boosting boilies is to spray flavour onto the bait just before it is cast out. The problem in this is fairly evident: The bulk of the flavour disperses into the water when the rig hit the surface. This is no great problem when fishing in shallow water. However, if the water is of some depth and there is a current, the result is, that the flavour-trace ends up well away from the bait.
In order to counter this effect it is better to spray the flavour onto the bait at least half an hour before the bait is cast our. In this manner the flavour has an opportunity to penetrate into the surface of the bait, so that it is not washed off on impact or when sinking. In order to secure a more gradual emission of scent from the hook-bait it may be an advantage to boost the bait several days or weeks in advance, so that the flavour penetrates thoroughly into the bait. By repeating the procedure a couple of times, each time followed by drying the hook-bait, you can build up several "layers of boost", which, when the bait is lying on the bottom, will ensure that the bait leaks scent continually during a considerably longer period of time. When the boost after some hours has been completely dispersed, further dispersal of scent will emanate from the ingredients of the boilie itself - if the ingredients is watersoluble enough.
Layer-boosting is best done by pouring a couple of ml. of flavour or boost-mixture (see below) into the bag of boilies, whereupon the bag is thoroughly shaken, until the boost covers all the boilies evenly. The first boosting can suitably take place before the boilies are placed in the freezer, in this way the boilies will have plenty of time to penetrate. When defrosted the boost will sink even deeper into the boiliesurface.
It is frequently seen, that boilies are boosted directly in concentrated "synthetic flavour". This method works well enough for hook-bait, because because a potential bitter after-taste is of limited consequence. Once the fish takes the bait in the mouth, an effective tackle (f ex. a bolt-rig) would already have hooked the fish.
Boosting of "freebies"
If you choose also to boost your freebies, it may be somewhat risky to do so directly in "concentrated synthetic flavour" because the bait - particularly if the boost has time to penetrate - can have a bitter after-taste, which may frighten the fish away from the baited area when they taste it. This is of course no problem with "mild flavours" especially the ones originally designed for human consumption
I most cases its an advantage to use a flavour, which has a mild taste - or better still to make a boost-mix, that in the main consists of ingredients, that is impossible to overdose - f. ex. Amino acid mixtures, sense-appeals, oil-palatants or juices from natural food. By mixing various ingredients of different gravity and water-solubility, you can create the optimal "3D spread". If f.ex. you include Nash Carpmino, Ambio, Danish Delight Liver-stimuli mixed with spleenconcentrate, DD-crayfish, -insect and -krilljuice (water-soluble and relatively fast dispersal), oil-palatants (buoyant and non-water-soluble) along with a flavour - the scenttrail will quickly spread outwards and upwards in the column of water. Be careful using oils in cold water, because it can have a tendency to coagolate and block the spread of scent from the porous layers of the boilie.
Gradual "layer-boosting" may also be a good idea with these boost-mixtures.
Natural powderattractors of the type that cannot be overdosed, can simply be mixed into the boost-mix itself. Remember to shake thoroughly, so that it well distributed and dissolved in the mixture. This could f. ex. be some form for "taster" or concentrated powder such as f. ex. KN Squid extract (EEE), DD-krill-, mussel- or liverpowder or the like.
GOOD WET-DIP MIXTURES
0,7 part Nash Carpmino
0,2 part Oil- palatant (f. ex. Nash Strawberry or Cranberry oil-palatant)
0,05 part DD - wild strawberry flavour
0,05 part sweetener
0,6 part DD-Liverstimuli mixed with a teaspoon DD-spleenconcentrate
0,2 part Nash banana oil-palatant
0,15 part DD creambanana
0,5 part DD-Crayfishjuice
0,2 part DD-liverstimuli
0,2 part Nash Carpmino
0,1 part DD-crayfish flavour
0,8 part Hutchinson Senseappeal
0,05 part DD-mussel-powder
0,05 part sweetener
0,1 part DD-Freshwatermussel
There will, of course, be situations, when it is not possible to wet-boost the hook-bait in the usual way. This could f. ex. be the case if on account of heavy weed, where you are forced to place bait and tackle in PVA-bag in order to avoid weed filtering the hookbait and hair-rig. It goes without saying, that a moist hook-bait will dissolve the PVA-bag prematurely. In order to avoid this, you can simply dip the wetboosted boilie in powderdip a couple of times so the surface of the bait becomes so saturated, that the dry powder stays at the top.
Powderdip is essentially just a mix of hightly concentrated natural attractors such as krill-, prawn-, mussel-, liver-, spleen- aminopowder or dried gammarus. The mix can sometimes be improved by adding powder palatants, sweeteners and enhances such as mono sodiumglutaminate, salt or betain.
The next step will intuitively be to place larger quantities of natural powderattractors or powderdipmixes in the PVA bag itself - but this can be problematic. The reason is, that the dry ingredients will cause the whole bag to float to the surface, after the pva string holding the bag is dissolved.
Coating: Combine wet- and powderdip
A highly effective way of boosting bait is to combine wet- and powderdip, to create a porous fast, but still gradually leaking coating on the boilie: a) dip the boilie in the wet-dip (make sure to use a relatively thick adhesive wet-dip. b) dip the boosted boilie in a powder dip of natural attractors (f.eks. powder palatants, krill-, liver-, musselpowder or the like), c) let the rig dry and repeat the procedure a couple of times. On the outer coating, a layer of gammarus or dried musselgranulate (minimussel) can create an attracting and also visual effect, when the dried pieces gradually break off and lift slowly to the surface. To create the right binding effect, securing that the coating does not break off when hitting the surface - the powderdip must contain right quantities of watersoluble binding agents. In this way the attractors of the wet plus powderdip is transported down to the bottom, before they gradually dissolve and spreads the attractors out in the water - a super effective way to optimize the spread of scent - and a winner method for wintercarpfishing.
Other good alternatives to improve the dispersal of scent can be the use of "attracta-leads", which are a type of lead, upon which with a rubber band is fastened a gelatine-capsule. Flavour/boost is injected into the capsule with a syring. When the lead lands on the bottom, the capsule dissolves, so the scent disperses immediately around the bait. Alternatively you can use pellets on a stringer, which also serve to promote effective scent-dispersal. Also here the effect is heightened, when you boost the pellets