Broadly speaking there are a few different types of boilie available these days. Marine derived, nut meal, milk protein, bird food. To confuse matters further these meals can be mixed to give you a hybrid boilie!
Typically these boilies would be made with the inclusion of marine derived proteins, more commonly these would be fishmeal, squid or krill (or other marine products)or a mix of all listed. There is little doubt that carp love this type of food. The whole Aquaculture industry has been built on feeding these marine derived proteins for decades to grow our fish. It’s worth checking the type of meal being used and also the inclusion rate within your chosen boilie. Inclusion rates of a high quality fishmeal 20-30% will have them tearing up the bottom.
These have risen in popularity over the last ten years. There is little doubt that fish find nut-type boilies very palatable. Due to the course nature of nuts, they will help with the free flow of water into the boilie, very important for food message leakage. There are many types of nuts on the market with tiger nuts being the most common. Tiger nut is not actually a nut it’s a tuber and part of the sedge grass family (Cyperaceae). This nut contains around 20-30% oil, part of the reason that carp like this product so much. The other widely used nut is the peanut. Again with a high oil/fat content of 40-50%. Fantastic for the summer but will have restricted food signal flow once the water drops below 10 degrees due to the fat content. Again, check the inclusion rate of these products with your boilie supplier.
These baits were all the rage back in the late 80s to mid 90s. The milk proteins/fractions have spiralled out of control price wise in recent years but they are still very good ingredients due to their soluble nature. Calcium caseinate boasts an impressive soluble protein content that can deliver an impressive free amino signal from the boilie. Most boilie manufacturers have phased these products out of the baits due to cost. If any claim to have these, once again, check the inclusion rate/levels.
Once again from the past but still in use to this day. There are hundreds of different bird food available. One of the most attractive ones is hemp seed and some of the bird food blends (TK conditioner). They give the bait texture and again allow for free flow of water exchange into the boilie, very important. This allows other ingredients and liquids to leak from the bait over a sustained period. Most bait companies will struggle to roll these types of bait due to the course nature, the more course the bait (open texture) the quicker the food signals will release once submerged.
With all of the above baits, solubility is key. The last thing you want is for your boilie to sit on the lake bed and do nothing. Water exchange is vitally important to allow the food signals to flow from your bait. The texture will play a role but also the type of binders used will have a massive effect on how the bait performs. Some of the cheap glutens and some gels will bind the bait too well and not allow any water penetration, they look and feel great but remain as rubber balls even after 48 hours in the water. Ideally, you want the boilie to get softer and to break down during your fishing trip. A difficult balance to strike between firm and soft I know.