Fishing Bait, Pellets, Boilies, Rig Bits, Groundbaits, Base Mixes & More
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Bait and Additives
Bait is at the very heart of angling. Even with all the most advanced fishing tackle in the world, you cannot expect to land a single fish without the right bait. Luckily, Angling Direct has assembled one of the largest and most comprehensive ranges of high-quality bait and additives in the UK. Our comprehensive range gives you access to everything any angler could ever need, always at the lowest possible price. In order to cover bases across the board, we’ve scoured the UK and beyond to pull together hundreds of the most effective and reputable baits from the brands the industry trusts. Regardless of what level you’re at, what you intend to fish for, or how many you intend to land in a single day, we’ve got the bait and additives to make it happen. However, with so many different options in our range, it can be tricky to pick out the perfect bait for you needs. We’re going to quickly run you through the main types of bait out there and the best ways to use them.
If it’s carp fishing that you’re interested in, then it’s boilies you’ll be after. Boilies are round balls of bait, available in varying sizes and flavours, and there are three main styles of boilie. The first of these is a freezer boilie. For many years freezer boilies were seen as the premier form of boilie on the market. This is because they contain active ingredients that have to be frozen in order to preserve their freshness. However, although this is seen as their biggest benefit it is also their biggest weakness, as you need to find a way to keep the boilie as cold as possible on the bank. For a long session this can be a nightmare, as it is only by defrosting the bait at the right time that you can get the very most out of it. Defrost too much and you’re left with loads of waste. Defrost too little and you’re stuck without enough bait to last you.
This is why the ‘shelf-life’ boilie was invented. These have the same structural makeup as a freezer boilie except that they feature preservatives to keep the bait fresh. This means that you can store them in a cool and dry environment for extended periods of time without worrying that they’ll be ineffective by the time you hit the bank. You can take these baits down to the bank in large quantities, too, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be able to use any unwanted bait on your next session. We’ve got a guide to some of the best shelf-life boilies on our blog.
Both shelf-life boilies and freezer boilies come in a wide range of flavours and sizes, from the smallest 10mm boilies to the largest 20mm. The size of the boilie you use will be determined by the size of the fish you’re targeting, as a large boilie will be unable to fit in the mouth of a small fish. Flavours range from pungent fishmeal based mixes to sweet milk-protein based styles. These each have their benefits and it largely depends on what time of the year you’re angling as to which flavours are most effective for you. Meatier or fishier flavours tend to be more effective in the warmer months, whereas sweet flavours tend to disperse best through colder waters. However, as with everything to do with angling, different tactics work in different scenarios and there is no hard and fast rule. A lot of the success you’ll experience with boilies comes down to what the fish you’re targeting are used to. This is why some anglers will give freebie bait to a specific swim with the same size and flavour of boilie for several days – giving the fish the chance to become accustomed to the bait and tricking the fish into thinking that this will be a safe bait to take. If an angler doesn’t have the time for this intensive grooming, they can also try other tactics to convince the fish that their bait is safe. One such tactic is washing-out the boilies – soaking them in water for a number of hours to give the illusion that they’ve been on the lake bed for an extended period of time.
Finally, boilies also come in the form of ‘pop-ups’. These are boilies that have been mixed with a flotation agent (usually cork) in order to make them float a few inches off the lake bed. Unlike traditional boilies, these are used exclusively as hookbait and tend to be most popular in weedy scenarios, when you want to avoid the risk of your hookbait becoming lost. Pop-up boilies also tend to be in brighter colours, to help them stand out further.
Pellets are popular in both carp and coarse fishing – particularly if you’re targeting commercial venues. They tend to be smaller than boilies and can be as little as 1mm in diameter. They also tend to be softer than boilies and as a general rule of thumb have a much quicker breakdown, too. Pellets are favoured for their incredible versatility. They can be catapulted into the water, softened and pressed into a feeder, banded to your hook… each tactic you use will give you a completely different result depending on the venue and type of fish you’re targeting.
There are a huge variety of pellets on the market, including expanding pellets that grow when soaked in water, floating pellets, sinking pellets, and pre-drilled pellets. There are also loads of bait making tools on the market that can modify your pellets, including pellet pumps which can transform floating pellets into sinkers. Like boilies, these pellets come in a huge range of flavours in order to appeal to different fish in different conditions. They also come in a range of colours and most pellets respond well when taking on dyes in order to modify their appearance. We’ve got a guide on how to achieve pellet perfection on our blog in order to help you pick the perfect pellet for the job.
Both pellets and boilies tend to come in 500g, 1kg, or 5kg packages, although you will find some larger or smaller. Prices range between £50 (for the largest bags of top quality boilies) to £1 (for small quantities of pellet mix).
Groundbait is a finely crushed bait mixture and it comes in the form of a powder-like substance. Groundbait tends to be fishmeal based and it is most often mixed with liquid in order to create a malleable substance. It is a highly popular choice for anglers who enjoy feeder fishing and you can create different mixes that respond in different ways depending on the amount of water and other ingredients you include.
Groundbait comes in lots of different colours – the most popular being brown, black, and red. If you’re fishing in clearer water you might want to consider trying a darker groundbait. These colours don’t reflect light, so smaller fish will feel confident feeding over them without worrying about the risk of being spotted by a predator. Red groundbaits also work well in cloudy waters and it is a favourite for carp, bream, and tench. You can also dye your neutral brown groundbait to improve your chances of a catch. Adding other elements to your mix will make it perform differently in the water and, as such, will change the reaction you get from the fish. Hempseed is an incredibly popular addition to groundbait mixes as it is very active. Oily and fizzing, not only does hempseed introduce an element of movement into your groundbait mix but it also send out very attractive flavours. Mixing in pellets, sweetcorn, or crushed boilies adds other elements into your groundbait mix, too.
You can mould your groundbait into large boilie style balls for throwing or catapulting into the water as freebies or you can portion it into a method feeder for a slow bottom release, perfectly presenting your hookbait at the same as providing free bait. If you prefer to fish with a pole, you can place loose groundbait into your cup for accurate feeding. Groundbaits come supplied in bags between 100g and 5kg, with prices ranging from £45 to £2.
Sweetcorn, hempseed, tiger nuts, and other such baits are known as particles. Although some of these can be used for baiting alone, more often than not they are used as part of a groundbait mix in order to attract a catch. Bottom feeders, such as carp, filter through their food as they eat it as, more often than not, they’ll end up sucking up inedible food along with the bait you’re putting out. This filtering process takes time and the carp has to put a lot more food in its mouth in order to get the food that it needs. Using particles in your mix tends to keep a fish in an area for longer, as it has to work harder for its food, and therefore it increases your chance of it taking your hookbait. Particles are particularly popular in the colder months, when the fish’s appetite is naturally lower and you don’t want to fill it up early on large and nutritious boilies. Particles tend to cost between £1.50 and just over £10, depending on the type of particle and the quantity.
We stock a large range of artificial baits on our site, each of which has been designed with a specific purpose in mind. Artificial bait can be glugged with attractants in order to give it the smell and flavour of the real thing and they are usually made from soft and durable plastic. Most artificial baits are imitations of popular particles – such as hemp or sweetcorn. You’ll also find that these might have been modified to pop-up or otherwise present in a way that you’d be unable to with the real thing. You can also buy imitation maggots and casters. These imitation baits come in both natural and fluorescent colours, so you can adjust your tactics based on the condition of the water. Enterprise, creators of the first artificial sweetcorn, is a big name to look out for. Artificial bait cost more per quantity than pellets, but the benefit of these is that you can reuse them multiple times.
Along with our huge range of baits we also stock a wide range of attractants. These are intensely flavoured liquids which enhance the amount of flavour going into the water column with the bait. By soaking your boilies in these liquids you can amplify the oils and aromas that enter the water, potentially increasing the chance of a fish becoming interested in your bait. You can also mix you liquid into your groundbait, allowing the flavour to be slowly released as your groundbait breaks down in the water. Glugs are types of liquid attractants and, although they tend to be slightly thicker than traditional liquids, they are used in much the same way.
Liquids are popular as they boost the smell of your bait without you having to pour in loads of freebies. This makes them especially useful in the colder months when the fish have lower appetites and you don’t want them to gorge themselves on freebies before finding your hookbait.
We have bait from all the biggest suppliers in the industry. This includes the likes of CC Moore, Sensas, Dynamite Baits, Mainline, our own Advanta range and many more besides. This range means that we have every kind of bait style, colour, and flavour you could need. All our bait is strictly for use as fishing tackle and is unfit for human consumption – even though you’ll find some of our baits use 100% human grade ingredients!
The range of products on offer means you can mix and match brands, styles, and flavours in your bait box to construct the perfect bait for you and your quarry. If you want to make your bait really unique you can also pick up some bait making equipment – expanding your baiting options exponentially! As expert anglers ourselves, with decades of combined experience in all areas of fishing, we’re uniquely capable of offering impartial and objective advice. As a company, we aim to take your own skills to the next level and beyond.
Quality guarantee comes as standard, as with all the products across our store. The price checked logo on our site indicates that the product you’re viewing won’t be beaten on price either! We hand-select every product across our range personally and refuse to sell anything we wouldn’t be delighted to use ourselves. Our collection is always expanding and evolving, so be sure to check back on a regular basis to both see what’s new and to make use of our ever-changing special offers. We also produce a range of pre-selected packs, with bait and other tackle geared towards specific types of angling to give you a head start on the bank. These packs are selected by dedicated members of our team, and are constructed with the best of the market. If you have any bait questions, any number of our capable team, either in store or on the phone, are more than happy to help! For your nearest store, you can check the store finder page. If there isn’t a shop near you, our customer services are open during business hours either via phone or email.