How to pick the right paste for fishing

When fishing with paste it can be quite tricky to know which one is the best one for you. To help we have gone and asked bait expert Paul Garner to tell  the best paste for fishing is and how to pick it.

Paste is very much a bait for now, as it works best in warm weather and high water temperatures. 

But many anglers seem to think that it is only something to slip on the hook when carp are the target – they couldn’t be more wrong!

All fish love a nugget of paste, from shy-biting crucians to big roach and massive tench. It’s all down to the softness of the bait and the scent trail it gives off as it slowly breaks down in the water. 

The minefield comes, though, when deciding which type of paste to use because this is a bait that can be tinkered with to achieve very different results.

The softness of paste can be regulated, as can its colour, scent, consistency and breakdown rate. 

Fortunately, it is very easy to get hold of a paste that will cover every eventuality. Here is Angling Times’ big-fish man Jake Benson’s guide to picking the right paste – every time. 


Stringy paste

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There was a time when very few pastes existed if you wanted a tough bait that would stand up to being cast out on float or feeder. 

Not now, though. Several companies produce pastes with an added secret ingredient – normally plant protein extract – which gives the paste a tough, almost stringy texture. 

Such pastes can be used straight out of the bag and feature a fibrous texture that can be stretched apart in your hands without the bait breaking apart. 

These pastes are not only good for long casts, but also come in handy when trying to avoid small fish that would otherwise whittle a soft paste down to nothing.


Pellet paste

Many commercially available pastes are made from ground pellets – and for a good reason. 

Fish love pellets, and in many fisheries they see an endless supply of them. It’s so easy to make a crunchy pellet-based paste that’ll appeal to bream, tench, crucians and carp.

A coffee grinder is a must-have here to reduce a couple of pints of 4mm hard pellets into a powder (you can pick from halibuts, plain coarse or coloured and flavoured carp pellets). However, to get that all-important ‘crunchy’ texture it is important to leave a few lumps of larger bits of pellet in the mix. 

To bind the crushed pellets, whisk up two egg yolks. At this point you can also add a teaspoonful of any liquid additive such as molasses or hemp oil to boost the pulling power of the paste. Slowly add the powder to the egg mix until a soft paste is formed. Keep kneading the paste until it attains a soft, putty-like consistency. 


Groundbait paste

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To create a super-soft paste you only need to slightly over-wet a carp-style groundbait. Because of its soft consistency, this type of paste is ideal for fishing at short range for crucians, tench and big roach. 

The finished product will be almost runny, but with just enough body to stay on the hook. You can further enhance it by rolling or dipping the paste in hemp or micro pellets. 


Ready-made paste or DIY?

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Is it better to make paste fresh on the day or buy it ready-prepared? You can’t beat fresh paste made to your own specifications and you’ll know that the consistency is just right for the job in hand. Ready-made pastes don’t offer this, but it does no harm to have a tub stashed away in the bag in case you run out of your home-made mix.


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Boilie paste

Made with eggs instead of water to make it much tougher, and using the same ingredients as top boilie recipes, this is a paste to wrap around boilies or large pellet hookbaits. 

It’s designed to break down more slowly than traditional pastes, so you can leave a wrapped hookbait in place for several hours, happy in the knowledge that the wrap is still pumping out plenty of attraction. Big-carp anglers use these, but they’re also deadly for big bream and tench.