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TheCarpCatchers Blog
Bait Making ~ Hookbaits
Bait making ~ Recipes
29 May 2017 Floater Cake
It was in 1981 when I first heard about Floater Cake and since much of my summer carp fishing was spent stalking I wasted no time at all in finding out how to make it. The problem at the time was the only floating bait we had was bread, a good carp bait for surface fishing but it does have it's drawbacks.
The most obvious one is that hoards of Roach or Rudd can pick it off in seconds rapidly turning your floater into a sinker but it's also fairly limiting too in other ways.
I have spent countless hours stalking and catching carp on floaters, watching their reactions and I am convinced that to do well you must camouflage your hook and line but not only that the hookbait must behave as naturally as possible. So what I needed was a floating bait that could withstand any attack from small species or aborted takes from carp and stay on the hook, it also of course had to keep it's buoyancy.
Floater cake was the answer, it's like rubber (depending on your mix), can take on any colour and flavour and can be punched out on the cast without it flying off or pulling the hook. I have always used orange as it's easiest to see but any colour or good flavour will do
I generally use one of two main milk protein recipes although I have many more variations using other ingredients including fishmeals and birdfood.
Each of these recipes will make a loaf from a 7 inch square tin and the method is simple.
Mix all your dry ingredients in a bag and give it a good shake.
Put 6 to 8 eggs (enough for a 7 inch tin mix) into a mixing bowl and using a whisk or mixer beat up the eggs with your flavour.
Slowly add your dry ingredients until you have a thick runny mixture that you can pour from the bowl and needs some scraping out.
Empty into an oiled 7 inch square baking tin and cook at 140°C for approximately 20 minutes.
Test the loaf after 15 minutes by pushing a skewer into the cake and withdrawing. If its wet/sticky then keep on cooking, if it comes out dry then it's done.
Milk protein #1
40% Acid Casein
30% Maize flour
20% Lactalbumin
10% Wheat Gluten
2 teaspoons Baking powder
Colour and flavour
Milk protein #2
40% Calcium Caseinate
30% Maize flour
20% Egg Albumin
10% Wheat Gluten
2 teaspoons Baking powder
Colour and flavour
40% Acid Casein
30% Predigested Fishmeal
20% Egg Albumin
10% Wheat Gluten
2 teaspoons Baking powder
Colour and flavour
40% Acid Casein
30% Moores CLO
10% Robin Red
10% Lactalbumin
10% Wheat Gluten
2 teaspoons Baking powder
Colour and flavour
Using Floater cake
When I first started to use floating baits we didn't have controllers it was mostly freelined and you struck the hook home on the take and this bait lends itself well to this method. It's tough and rubbery so it'll withstand a good cast and if you dip it in the water and give it a squeeze it'll take on water and add casting weight, yet still float well.
As I said above you need to camouflage your hook and line well and again this bait lends itself to this as you can completely bury your hook inside the bait with ease, here's how I have done it since 1981
Place the point of the hook to the center of one side
Push the hook point home until it's completely buried
Squeeze down the hookbait pushing the point down
Squeezing the hookbait pull the hook up and turn the hook
Release the hookbait to un-compress pulling the hook in
By squeezing, hold onto the hook and push the hook home
My first twenty caught using floater cake in 1983 from Mepel Kidney pool
Final thoughts
If the summer is hot then this way of fishing is very productive and useful on fisheries that have seen mixers too many times. Not only that but it also makes for a good bait tipper for snowman rigs etc instead of a popup. One of the main advantages though is it's versatility in use and ease of production, one loaf can easily supply all the hookbaits and loose feed you need for a day's fishing.
If you want a shelf-life version of this bait then you can get a good preservative as well as all the other ingredients from
As mentioned in my other article on surface fishing, it's a great way to fish and entire afternoons can whiz by without you ever noticing. It gives you an insight too on how finicky carp can be when taking a bait and how, with constant effort you can be rewarded.