Since I received my very first batch of SuperSoft Robin Red pellets, I just knew they would be a winner. They are nothing like the run-of-the-mill pellets you get from the main pellet producers, which are in fact predominantly designed for feeding farmed trout, salmon and halibut. Indeed they are so far removed from standard pellets as to demand almost a unique fishing style simply because they are so different. I have previously outlined the development of the pellets, which are based on three of the new Probase mixes, namely Robin Red & Fishmeal, Robin Red and Chilli and Robin Red and Garlic. These have been developed by the Haith’s Baits Development Team lead by Carl Boyington with considerable input from myself, Brian Mills, Vinnie Cole and Adam Roots.
The concept of creating a dedicated pellet to compliment a tried and tested base mix is nothing new but whereas most of these are basically over sprayed trout pellets, Haith’s SuperSoft Pellets are actually steam compressed pellets neat base mix. While they are not as dense as trout pellets, they are in fact a giant leap in the whole concept of pellet fishing…and not just in the carp world. Already other specimen anglers – barbell, chub, tench, bream and roach specialists in particular – have cottoned on to the effectiveness of these new additions to the pellet market, while the match angling scene has taken to them with gusto, and several big carp matches have been won by anglers using the SuperSofts.
So to say that these new Robin Red Pellets have taken the fishing world by storm is putting it mildly.
So it stands to reason that as one of the Development Team I should field test them at every opportunity, which I have been doing since May 2012 when I started using them in France at Bounty Lakes. At the time the pellets were prototype versions and they were not that many of them available to test. In fact, they were as rare as hen’s teeth! I was, therefore, pretty limited in the amount at my disposal so given the need to be frugal I felt that using them in PVA mesh was a pretty obvious starting point.
They were almost instantly successful in this guise and I caught steadily throughout the trip but sadly ran out after the first week. However, this still gave me the opportunity to bank some very decent carp including this glorious thirty pound common.
At the time the only version available was the RR & Fishmeal but as the additions to the range came on stream and became more plentiful, I was able to test all three versions more fully. To be honest I have been a huge fan of Robin Red for over 40 years so I did not need any confidence boosters when I first started using them; I simply knew they would work.
I started putting a few into a little local club water where I could see the bottom and watch as the carp moved onto the bait carpet. This is the water in question, a little piece of Cornish carp fishing history, being one of the first to be stocked with carp in the county.
The lake is wild and full of snags and while I would never dream of fishing them, these snaggy areas provided a safe haven for the fish and thus offered me the perfect opportunity to look in on the fish and judge their reaction to the new pellets.
They soon found the baited snaggy areas under the trees at various spots around the lake and it was plain to see that they loved the new pellets.
The trial batches remained in short supply and receiving just a couple of kilos at a time was not conducive to the strict testing that I wanted to carry out. However, eventually I received a batch of 5 kilos of RR & Fishmeal and 2 kilos of the other two versions. Now I could test them for real.
Running concurrently with the tests for the pellets was a test of some Robin Red-based liquids and again early results were encouraging with Brian, Adam and Vince all passing on positive results of their field tests.
I know this sounds like overkill but I was really keen to try out the Liquid Robin Red as a glug for the Robin Red Pellets, however as I knew the Haith’s pellets would break down pretty quickly I decided to add some slower release pellets in the form of Micro Trigga Pellets.
The three Robin Red Pellets and the tiny Trigga pellets made an appealing mixture and once the glug was stirred in they looked and smelled really enticing to me. I just hoped they would look and smell as good to the carp of Bounty’s B1 lake, which is where I took them next.
I need not have worried…They bloomin’ loved ‘em! I had four forty-pound plus carp from B1 in 2013 as well as plenty of back up carp in the thirties. Things were looking good.
One of my ‘go to’ tactics is to use small PVA mesh bags of pellets soaked in a glug of some kind. The Robin Red Pellets just cried out to be glugged in Liquid Robin Red and it was in this guise that I tried them next.
The venue was an old favourite of mine, Clawford Vineyard near Holsworthy, Devon. There are five good carp lakes on the complex and I spent a day fishing each one with yet more encouraging results.
This is the very simple rig I used to catch fishing carp from every carp lake at Clawford. Paste hookbait and a PVA mesh bag of glugged RR Pellets attached to the hook each cast.
I also kept a steady trickle of loose fed pellets going in every few minutes. This had the effect of laying down a bait carpet that was in a state of continuous breakdown. For more information about how this effect is achieved please take a look at the pellet Soup article elsewhere on this blog.
This is another blend of particle baits and pellets that proved equally attractive to the Clawford carp.
So well had the testing been going, including yet another session on B1 at Bounty that yielded still more big carp, that when it came to decide whether to release the Robin Red SuperSoft Pellets onto the market, well, it was no contest really!
While at Bounty in May this year I also had the opportunity to test another prototype pellet, Robin Red Nuggets. These too gave encouraging results and at the time of writing tests are ongoing. Watch this space.
And so finally we come to the Le Queroy session and once again I wanted to use the Robin Red Pellets from Haith’s blended with Trigga Pellets from Nutrabaits as part of my baiting strategy using pre-tied PVA mesh bags on the hook.
I also used them as a loose feed, dropping the pellets from the bait boat at just one specific point at the far end of the dam wall. Over time this steady feeding of a very tight area became a constantly evolving bait carpet and the carp seemed to love it!
At this point I should point out that you need good bait to fish in conjunction with good pellets and throughout my testing I used Nutrabaits Blue Oyster and Trigga extensively so clearly my results could not be attributed to Robin Red Pellets alone, as Nutrabaits also played a huge part in my success. This is just some of the bait selection I used during the trip. Front right is a selection of Nutrabaits shelf life boilies, being glugged with a solution of lake water, Blue Oyster flavour and Trigga Liquid. Front left is the loose feed comprising the different types of pellet, while at rear left is my bucket of pre-tied PVA mesh bags. The barrels are Blue Trigga made for me by Rollin’ Baits. The hempseed is of course from Haith’s.
The trip was an astonishing one and you have no doubt read about it on Carp Forum and on the Le Queroy, Haith’s Baits and Nutrabaits Facebook pages and websites. In addition my esteemed blog editor at Haith’s Baits has seen fit to publish some less than professional shots of some of my captures elsewhere on the blog. Thanks a bunch, Clair! [Editor's reply: You're welcome Ken] This is just one of the lovely Le Queroy carp that I caught during my session, one that I will remember for a very long time! It is a fish I have been after for 16 years.
Yet another Le Queroy beauty that took a liking to my baiting strategy. So all in all, given the extensive testing that we have put the pellets through, and the excellent results achieved when fishing with them I think I can safely say that they are going to form a significant part of my baiting approach for some time to come. Can I suggest that they should form a part of yours?