Homemade boilies – problems and solutions!

Vince wrote:

Why do I end up with holes through the centre of my home rolled boilies ? I have tried adding more liquids / oil to no avail. I am using bog standard semo/soya/milk powder etc with the inclusion of finely ground nut/seed mix in proportion

Hi Vince,

I’ll pass on your query to my friends at Quest Baits, also who will have a better appreciation of the problem than I,  but here is perhaps the reason.

It’s a long time since I rolled my own bait there are a few things I remember as crucial to getting round baits.

1) Make sure your mix is right, ie. The right consistency, number of eggs and wet ingredients to get a mix that is firm but not too dry nor too wet. This will take some trial and error, especially if you are putting together your own base mix blend from dry ingredients.

2) Certain ingredients can be harder to roll than others. I remember once getting a batch of really sticky Nutrabaits fishmeal and it was nigh on impossible to roll.

3) I always found the crux of getting a round bait was precisely matching the nozzle of your bait gun with diameter of your rolling table. If your nozzle is too small you’ll end up with more barrel shaped baits. If your nozzle is too wide it will try to crush the boilies, making them oval, rather than letting them roll. This will give you a hollow centre or the hole you are describing. I suspect this then is the case.

4) Finally make sure your table is well lubricated. Flour is a good one for this as it won’t make your baits any more moist. If your baits are still too moist when the come off the table they will start to flatten out as they dry and you’ll not have round baits.

All this apart unless you are planning on using a bait stick to get distance when baiting up, there is absolutely no reason your baits need to be round. On the contrary, chopped, apple-cored, barrel and other odd shaped baits are preferable. Watch the Korda Underwater videos and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway I’ll through the question out to my friends in the bait business to help answer your question in more detail.


Hi Vince,

Gareth contacted me to see if I could help out on this matter.

Almost certainly you need to adjust the nozzle size of your sausage gun.

At Quest Baits we have to use slightly different sized nozzles to roll the different mixes we use.
The sausage cone needs to be slightly smaller than the rolling table anyway as the paste sausage will expand slightly as it leaves the gun. Different mixes and different density of mixes will expand in different amounts. The firmer the paste is – the more pressure required to extrude it the less the sausage will expand.

Too small a tube and the baits will end up slightly barrel shaped, too large a tube and the baits will end up slightly flat on the sides and often with a small hole in the middle.

I start with a small bait gun nozzle and simply touch it on a wheel grinder momentarily. Sqirt out a sausage and test roll it. If still a little barrel shaped I briefly touch the end of the nozzle on the grinder again untill I get a sausage which rolls better. You can trim them with a sharp modeling knife but personally I grind them down.

Hope this helps
Best fishes
Shaun Harrison – Quest Baits


5 thoughts on “Homemade boilies – problems and solutions!

  1. Keith says:

    Hi I had a simular problem and I was old to nead the dough more to make it warm and easier to roll it seemed to work and my boilies are solid, the one problem I am having is how to get a round boilie, I’m using a 20mm table does anyone know what size sausage I need to roll, I was told the same size as the table but they seem to be oval lol

  2. David says:

    Its definitely the same size i.e. 20mm sausage for a 20mm table. However I must admit I’ve had similar problems in the past & found it helped by having a slightly larger sausage. If your boilie gun has the plastic nozzles just try cutting a fraction more off to make the sausage bigger. Be careful you don’t go too far though!

  3. Mavis Gee says:

    I have been helping my son make boilies – had problems with gun so rolled
    them by hand . Apparently I did not help as he tells me they do have to all
    be the same size. I am going to watch the video you mention and let’s hope
    he catches an enormous carp with my wonky boilies!

  4. Wayne lonsdale says:

    I’ve been told you need to be 2 mil smaller on your gun than your table i.e. 14 ml gun for a 16 mil table as your paste will expand on leaving the gun hope this helps

  5. Karl Starnes says:

    Sausage diameter needs to be SMALLER than the table diameter.
    I use a 13mm nozzle for an 18mm bait, 14mm for 20mm.
    It will depend slightly on your mix though, so have a range of nozzle sizes pre-cut and extrude a sausage, test it, and if it’s not right try a different nozzle.
    Yes, some mixes will expand slightly as they come out of the gun…but that’s not the main issue.
    Think about it, you are taking a cylinder of sausage and trying to compress it down to a ball. If your sausage is 18mm, and you’re trying to round the corners of that cylinder off to make it a ball, where does all that extra paste go? On some mixes it MIGHT compress down a bit, but in my experience you end up with oval baits.
    Start with a small nozzle and work up…remember that using a really small nozzle will give you dumbell shaped baits (which might be a nice addition to the batch as you’ll get some alternative size/shape hookbaits)

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