Give Your Bait The X Factor

Stu Redman gets his super-bright bait dyes out to show you how you can make your maggots and pinkies stand out from the crowd!

Just in case you have been living under a rock or something, the fluoro bait phenomenon is well and truly happening! Those of you who frequent Facebook with any regularity will surely have spied some rather luminous looking maggots and pinkies on various anglers’ side trays. Many anglers have seemingly noticed an opportunity to get a bit of an edge when it comes to the effectiveness of their baits, particularly when the water is still clear and a hi-viz bait will work well.

Just think about how anglers are catching on Method and Hybrid feeders these days, and most of the time they are using super-bright high-visibility hook baits. So the question must be asked, why not take the same theory and apply it to pole fishing?

‘Mad scientist’ Stu Redman is one man who is never afraid to do things a little differently. For years he has been an advocate of altering his baits either with flavours or colours. However, it is his latest creation that has really got people interested – even our very own Joe Carass has given it a go. But what is it and how does he go about it? We just had to find out.


The Hi-Viz Theory

“Being a bit of an experimentalist, I am always on the lookout for any new baits that might just help to give me the edge. Flavours are always a big help but when it comes to the colder months I don’t believe they have the same effect. The fish become more reliant on the sight rather than smells and for me, making your baits stand out is a huge edge.

“At first I tried making my baits white and for a while, I had some great success, but once I switched on to the fluoro colours, my results just took off. I started posting videos and blogs on Facebook about my new fluoro maggots and pinkies and the messages just started pouring in. Better still, they are so simple to prepare!”


What Do You Need?

“There are a few different things you can add to your maggots to give them the fluoro effect, but by far the best stuff is the Star Baits Add It Fluoro Ink. This gear is absolutely lethal and will dye anything it touches, so be warned!

“The dyes are a powder rather than a spray; this works nicely for maggots and pinkies and not only dyes the baits but the powder serves to soften them slightly. They come in various colours but I find the pink and orange to be particularly effective. They will also dye baits like meat, pellets and bread.”


The Process!


IMG 9207 dyeing process
Step One: Firstly you need a sealable freezer bag and a tub of the powder dye.


IMG 9208 dyeing process 1
Step Two: Put a handful of clean pinkies or maggots into the bag.


IMG 9213 dyeing process 2
Step Three: Carefully remove the lid and pour a small amount of the powder on the bait.


IMG 9216 dyeing process 3
Step Four: Don’t go mad with the dye, this is potent stuff!


IMG 9221 dyeing process 4
Step Five: Seal the bag to trap some air inside, note the amount of dye.


IMG 9225 dyeing process 5
Step Six: Give the bait a really good shake; a lot of the dye will stick to the sides of the bag.


IMG 9231 dyeing process 7
Step Seven: Keep shaking until all of the dye has come off the side of the bag.


IMG 9235 dyeing process 8
Step Eight: The difference between normal pinkies and Stu’s hi-viz specials is plain to see!


Do They Work?

“Absolutely! I am convinced that these bright baits help catch you those extra, crucial fish during the winter months. Not only do the actual baits have that lovely colour but they also leave a small trail of colour that hangs through the water. I am sure any passing fish will instantly home in for a little look.

“Better still is the response anglers around you give you when they spy the specials in your bait boxes. Immediately they know they don’t have them and it can be a brilliant advantage in your head.

IMG 9315 give your bait the x factor
What a haul for the fluro king!

“I have found that they are particularly effective for roach and F1s. F1s in particular definitely seem to have a penchant for brightly coloured baits, and even if they are used to tip another bait to give them a highlight, it is well worth trying.”


Roach Bagging Bonanza!

“Just to show you how good these baits are, I have brought the Match Fishing cameras along to a short stretch of the River Nene. This is a typical winter hotspot and the fishing really can be fantastic as the stretch fills up with fish from the main river.

“I know that I will be catching a lot of fish today so am going to fish positively. As for groundbait, Sensas Roach And Silver Fish Natural is all that I have opted for – a lovely sticky mix that will carry plenty of bait.

“The venue is only narrow so I am going to fish just past the middle at eight metres, which is on a nice flat bottom. Three balls are fed at the start, with plenty of pinkies and hemp in. This should be enough to kick the swim off nicely, while I also plan to feed a small nugget after every three or four fish, depending on the response of the fish.

“Rigwise it is very simple indeed – a 4x14 Malko float tied on 0.12mm Sensas Feeling to a 0.085mm Supplex hooklength. A size 18 Maver ES40 is the hook of choice; a nice sharp barbless hook that is plenty strong enough for swinging chunky roach but also has a nice level of finesse about it.

IMG 9265 give your bait the x factor 3
The roach were a good stamp but still swingable

“The rig couldn’t be simpler in the shotting department. I am using a 0.3g olivette that is free running on the line and stopped in place with one No10 just above the hooklength knot (10in hooklength). I then have one No12 dropper on the hooklength. It’s a super-simple rig but one that doesn’t tangle and gets the hook bait into the catching zone quickly and efficiently.

“One key point that is well worth mentioning is the depth. This stretch fluctuates in depth frequently so a depth marker in the margins is a good idea as it rises and drops regularly (several times an hour) and the key catching depth is just tripping the bottom, so it can pay to keep a keen eye on the depths as the session progresses and keep altering the depth.

“A great little piece of advice is that if the fish are slightly deep hooked then the rig is probably a little too deep, and if you miss bites it is too shallow. Once you fine-tune the depth so that every roach is hooked in the top lip you will know that the rig is set up perfectly.

“The action is what can only be described as frantic from the first whistle! There are many of these winter haunts around the country where the fish shoal up in the cold weather and today is proving to be a real red-letter session. It is quite simply a roach a chuck.

“To keep the hordes of fish feeding I am simply feeding a nugget of groundbait after every few fish but also regularly feeding a pinch of pinkies. Bites are coming as soon as the rig settles and my simple and effective rig is making the most of the situation.

“I end with a huge net of river roach, easily over 40b in fact. A colossal day’s fishing by any standards, I think you will agree. And while I can't prove that the fluoro bait was the reason, it certainly did no harm. Get out and give them a try, because they really do work!”


Angler Profile 

Name: Stu Redman
Age: 49
Lives: Stamford, Licholnshire
Sponsor: Sensas
MF says: Always looking for an edge

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