Wafters, mini boilies, Band’ums, Wowsers, dumbells, pop-ups, Washters, match boilies or Method boilies – call them what you will, they’re all essentially the same thing.
They’re small, often brightly coloured and well flavoured cylindrical hook-only baits with a good shelf life. They’re also the UK’s No1 choice of hookbait for use in conjunction with a flatbed Method or Hybrid feeder. The size, shape, ingredients, texture, flavour, colour and even buoyancy of these baits can vary widely, sometimes making choice a headache.
Although some baits have a better track record than others, ultimately it’s up to the fish to decide what they want! To help narrow down your search for the best Method hookbait, here are our team’s favourites and how to fish them.
What’s in the tub: Five hi-viz colours each with their own unique flavour, designed to really stand out from the crowd. Each bait is packed with attractive oils and is available in 5mm, 7mm and 9mm sizes.
Our favourite: Although we’ve had some great successes with every colour, the orange version in 9mm is something else – a huge bright bait that will catch a carp’s attention when nothing else will!
Price: £4.25, www.dynamitebaits.com
Ringers Slim Wafter
What’s in the tub: The classic Ringers Wafter that has caught thousands of fish, now in a new 10mm slim shape. Comes in yellow, orange, pink or white.
Our favourite: When in doubt, a yellow Ringers Wafter has always been a safe bet. These new Slims pack on to a loaded feeder really well and present a shape that even the wariest of carp are unlikely to have seen before.
Spotted Fin GO2 Wafters
What’s in the tub: A semi-buoyant wafter available in 8mm and 10mm - perfect for carp, F1s and big bream on Methods, Hybrids and bombs.
Our favourite: The Hi-Viz Fluoro F1 Wafter has a gorgeous, sweet smell and a colour hard to miss. We love these in heavily coloured water and when sight and smell are important. The feed pellets or groundbait can also be treated with the matching GO2 F1 Liquid food or Bait Booster.
Price: £3.50, www.spottedfin.com
Daiwa Advantage Semi Buoyant Hookbaits
What’s in the tub: Four classic coloured and flavoured hookbaits created for critically balanced rigs on either a band or a bayonet. Available in two sizes per tub - 6mm and 8mm or 8mm and 10mm.
Our favourite: It’s a tough choice, but with its sweet smell and pleasing colour, the Chocolate Orange has chalked up more hook time than the other three, and caught us plenty of fish to boot!
Price: £2.99, www.daiwasports.co.uk
Bait Tech Special G Wafters
What’s in the tub: 8mm barrel baits ideal for banding or bayonets. Coloured and flavoured to match the Special G Flavours.
Our favourite: Special G Green is one of the best commercial groundbaits around, so the matching coloured and flavoured Wafter is the perfect choice for pressured waters that respond to groundbait. Alternatively, treat pellets with the matching Special G Deluxe Liquid.
Price: £3.99, www.bait-tech.com
What’s in the tub: These quality hookbaits have proved the downfall of many a carp, bream and F1 over the years. Produced as Sinkers and semi-buoyant Wafters in an eye-watering array of colours, flavours and sizes.
**Our favourite:**The original pineapple Band’ums we used a decade ago were great, but have slowly been replaced by Banoffee as our No1 in both Sinker and Wafter versions. A range of shades and colours in each tub ensures that you are always putting something a little different to the previous cast on the hook.
Price: £4.99, www.sonubaits.com
Drennan Method Boilies
What’s in the tub: Highly visible mixed tubs of 8mm and 10mm hookbaits in five proven colour and flavour combos. Soft enough for a spike to be inserted yet durable enough for banding, these hookbaits are suitable for any kind of hair-rigging.
Our favourite: When the going gets tough and every bite seems like a mini miracle, white baits like bread and traditional sweet flavourings come to the fore, making the white Scopex Syrup a great choice for the hardest of clear and cold-water venues.
Price: £3.25, www.drennantackle.com
Mainline Match Dumbell Wafters
What’s in the tub: 8mm barrel shaped semi-buoyant hookbaits, critically balanced with a size 12 Guru QM1 hook. Packed full of high leakage attractors in four famous Mainline flavours and colours – Chocolate Orange, Cell White, Tuna Pink and Pineapple Yellow.
Our favourite: If you haven’t heard of Mainline Cell, you probably haven’t carp fished at all! On Cell-dominated waters, a Cell Wafter is the first bait we will try.
Price: £4.10, www.mainline-baits.com