We have looked at Red Factor a couple of times on this tips page but it is such a good ingredient that it bears a bit more consideration…
For instance, did you know that Red Factor actually contains a small proportion of Robin Red? See those little red bits in the mix? That’s the Robin Red. Red Factor is widely used in bait making thanks to its amazing properties both nutritionally and as an aid to the overall binding quality of the bait.
Haith's Ready Mixed Colour Food is one of the best-kept secrets in the bait world. Many folks mistakenly refer to this ingredient as a poor man’s Robin Red…That is doing it a grave injustice! The fact is that the Ready Mixed – as it is referred to in the trade – is widely used by the bait making industry not as an alternative to Robin Red but as an ingredient in its own right. It is true the Ready Mix (RM) does contain a proportion of Robin Red in the recipe, and it is true that like Robin Red the RM is actually designed not as a fishing bait additive but as a colouring agent for cage and aviary show birds, specifically canaries; however, the overall make up of the bait is markedly different from Robin Red. This gives it a distinctively different smell and taste, one that carp easily recognise as suggesting a food source, and one that they seem to love the taste of.
Thanks to the amazing properties of Red Factor and the distinctive smell of the Ready Mixed, you can put together a very simple bait recipe by simply mixing the two in an 80/20 blend, the higher proportion being Red Factor. I suggest that you actually grind the blend down slightly in a coffee grinder. This makes it easier to roll and to shape. However, if you are a fan of really coarse boiled baits, then leave it as it is!
Now let’s take you through a few steps that will produce one of the most effective birdfood baits you will ever use. You are going to need four eggs, some liquid attractors and approximately 400g of the RF/RM blend. First select the flavour you wish to use – here I am using a Pineapple flavour – and add 5ml to the broken eggs.
You now need to choose a liquid food of some kind to provide initial amino acid-based attraction. There are a great many of these but the PPC versions such as this one, Nutrabaits’ Multimino, is arguably the best of the bunch. There is truly no limit to how much you put in; it simply cannot be overloaded. I therefore suggest you add as amount that your wallet will tolerate. Here I am using 50ml.
Now beat the eggs and the liquid attractors together with a whisk or a fork to ensure that they are fully blended.
The next step is to add the dry powders, namely the Red factor/Ready Mixed blend. You will note that I have taken a moment to grind down the blend into a fine powder. This is purely from personal preference. Should you require a coarser texture, perhaps to allow a more effective leak-off of the flavours, and then there is no need to grind the blend.
Once the powders and the liquids have been mixed into the paste, use a sausage gun to extrude several lengths of paste. I like to dribble a few ml of neat flavour down the barrel of the gun during this operation, as this becomes forced into the paste at irregular intervals along the sausage, giving ‘hotspots’ of boosted flavour points along each sausage.
Now use a sharp knife to cut the sausages to the required size. You can at this point chose to roll the cut shapes into round boilies but if you are spodding or only fish at short range, I feel it is better if the baits are left cube-shaped, as shown here.
Boil the cut shapes for 2 minutes and then remove them to cool on a clean dry kitchen towel.
Once cooled they will look like this.
Finally mount a couple of baits on the hair of your chosen rig (here I am using a throwback-to-the-80s rig known as the Up Through The Eye Rig. Scatter a couple of dozen free offerings around each hookbait and wait for it all to kick off…which it undoubtedly will!
Those of you who have been around carp fishing for a while will remember the technique invented by Nutrabaits way back in the mid 80s called “Bricking”. Here’s how to do it using the RF/RM blend. First break three eggs into a bowl and add 50ml of Trigga Liquid. Whisk to blend the eggs and the Liquid together.
Add approximately 300g of the blend to the eggs. And mix thoroughly. You will again note that the mixture takes on a deep red colour from the Ready Mixed Colour Food.
Gradually form the paste into a block or brick shape. A cleaver like the one shown is a great help.
Drop the brick into boiling water and then simmer for 10-15 minutes, before removing with a cooking spoon, spatula or slice.
Now cut the brick open and dice it to your required size.
Here are a few bricked freebies.
We are still not finished with this astonishingly versatile blend. Now we will make a high-attract past with it! Again break two or three eggs into a bowl and add your favourite flavour and/or attractor.
Then blend in the RF/RM powder.
Roll or cut the paste to shape – balls, squares, etc – and use stocking wrap to create a paste hookbait that can be mounted on a standard hair rig.
The remaining paste can be stored in a pot or jar with a tight fitting lid and it will last a surprisingly long time like this. However the pot(s) can be frozen, naturally, or you can extend the shelf life by a few weeks by coating the surface of the paste with a little food oil.