Opening the door to Aladdin's cave

Opening the door to Aladdin's cave

Here we are nearing the start of the twenty-teens and a mere 13 years since I first started working for John E. Haith of Cleethorpes, as it was then.

Now it is simply Haiths Ltd and the old premises in Cleethorpes has been replaced by a modern corporate super-HQ and factory in Grimsby. Much has changed at the company, but one thing that has not changed is the quality of the products available to the specialist angler that the company provides. When I started work for Haiths at the turn of the century I coined the USP, “An Aladdin’s cave of Carp Baits” and as it was then, so it is now. So having successfully avoided the end of the world and are heading for the start of a new year I want to take a look at the plethora of products we offer covering virtually all aspects of carp and specialist bait.

[Please note: We first published Ken Townley's "Aladdin's Cave" article in December 2012 and it's so popular that we've re-published (making it easier to find) the article again, this time in June. Please don't be put off by Ken wishing readers a Merry Christmas as the piece is a 360 degree tour of Haith's ingredients and it remains a go-to article for the bait-making community].



Naturally we start with our flagship product, the amazing Robin Red, arguably the finest carp attractor ever. Robin Red was first used in boiled baits (boilies) way back in the 60s, and it is still going strong today. While other attractors have come and gone, Robin Red has stood the test of time, and it is now widely used by the bait industry to add both taste and smell to what might be otherwise bland baits. Ideally used at between 10 and 15% of the total mix, Robin Red will also give your baits a deep, satisfying red tone and colour as well as giving it a significant advantage over other baits in use. Robin Red enhances the smell and taste of every type of boilie, be it fish meal, milk protein or bird food.

Robin Red is a potent blend of spices, sugars, peppers and oils that will draw carp, tench, barbel and chub from miles around. It is hugely versatile, as it can be used in all manner of applications such as in boiled baits, as part of a base mix recipe, in ground baits or in a Method Mix. It can also be used to add extra pulling power to seeds and particles and a couple of ounces added to, say, cooked hemp seed adds considerably the overall effectiveness of the bait carpet. Or why not try adding a couple of tablespoons of Robin Red to a tin of sweetcorn or chickpeas? In fact, there is nothing in the carp bait world that won’t benefit from a good helping of ‘the red stuff’!

Add Robin Red to cooked hemp seed for even greater pulling power.


Ready Mix Carp fishing ingredients
I know several folk who think that the RMCF is actually better than Robin Red. I won’t go that far, but it is certainly pretty darn good. It is a potent mixture of spices, oils and crushed seeds, augmented with a touch genuine Robin Red. It’s attraction is perhaps more subtle than that of pure Robin Red, and in fact one very well known bait company owners tells us that he actually prefers it to Robin Red!

Ready Mixed Colour Food is slightly coarser than Robin Red.


Red Band Pigeon Conditioner for Fishing Bait
Red Band Pigeon Conditioner is a complex blend of several different mini and micro seeds and a scattering of mini pellets. For many years it has been regarded by the carp world as the Number 1 mini-seed blend, thanks to its complexity, its ease of preparation and its cost. In addition the well-known carp attractor aniseed oil is blended into the mix to add still further to the attraction. Not to be confused with ‘ordinary’ pigeon conditioners, Red Band is an essential part of any carp angler’s bait armoury. Red Band should ideally be soaked and cooked for best results and an overnight soak followed by a hard boil for 20 minutes will give a sumptuous particle bait that carp adore.

Red Band undergoing a hard boil. You can see the many different seeds in the blend including sunflower seed and pearl barley.

Back in the early days of boiled baits many of the top carpers would create boiled baits by using fine-ground Red Band. This was added to other birdfoods such as Nectarblend, Softbill Food or Red Factor. The dry mix can then be added to beaten eggs, rolled into balls and boiled.

Red Factor carp fishing bait
Prepared thus it also makes for a superb paste bait and here you can see a paste bait created by blending together cooked Red Band and Red Factor.

CARPTICLE (Particle Blend).

Carpticle is a blend of mini and micro seeds and cereals, (specifically: yellow millet, black rapeseed, panicum millet, linseed, red millet, milo, white dari seed, groats, buckwheat, hempseed, and aniseed oil), specially blended and formulated to allow maximum attraction to leak off.

Carpticle is a blend of yellow millet, black rapeseed, panicum millet, linseed, red millet, milo, white dari seed, groats, buckwheat, hemp seed, and aniseed oil, specially blended for maximum carpability!

Prepare Carpticle by soaking it for 24 hours and then hard boiling the blend for 20 minutes. Cook until much of the water is boiled off and use as soon as possible or bag and freeze. There is no advantage in allowing it to ferment as it actually rots rather than ferments.

Soaked and cooked Carpticle – the ultimate carpet feed for maximum preoccupation.

SuperRed Carp fishing bait
You can tweak Carpticle with flavour and sweetener but I believe that the best way to boost the bait is to add molasses and Corn Steep Liquor. Add the molasses while the bait is still piping hot as this thins down the tick black liquid, enabling you to stir it in more evenly. Add the CSL when the bait has cooled down a bit. Once prepped there are a number of options open to you. Try mixing cooked Carpticle with Red Factor or SuperRed to create a nice sticky groundbait that can be easily compressed into orange-sized groundbait balls.

Red Factor has been used to stiffen the damp, prepared Carpticle so groundbait balls can be formed.

Finally try blending cooked Carpticle with Betaine and hemp oil to give added sparkle to this excellent blend. A little Carpticle goes a long, long way and it will keep the carp happy for ages! Like all seed blends Carpticle works on the preoccupation principle, and we sell several other blends that work in the same way namely Red Band Pigeon Conditioner, The Euro Mix and the Multi-Seed Blend. Correctly prepared these blends are almost guaranteed to draw carp, tench, barbel and chub, thanks to their almost instant attraction and to the size, smell and texture of the overall bait carpet.


Nectarblend carp fishing bait
There is any number of birdfood base mixes on the market today but most of the best are those that contain other ingredients such as fishmeals, milk protein and egg products. That said, you would be surprised at how easy it is to put together a simple yet highly digestible and nutritious bait using birdfoods alone. For instance, by adding 10% Robin Red to 50% fine-ground Red Factor or Nectarblend and 40% semolina a perfectly acceptable and attractive boiled bait can be made. Alternatively try adding just 20% Prosecto to a standard base mix to add still further to its pulling power. Birdfood baits have considerable advantages over other types of boilie recipes, not least in terms of cost.

Birdfoods can also be regarded as prime aids to the well being of the carp as they are classed as high fat, high-energy ingredients that aid digestion and boost growth. Virtually any of our range of foods can be used in a boilie recipe (though some may need to be ground down to a fine power first). Some of the best boiled baits ever conceived contain one or more of our birdfoods and all the top bait firms in the UK and Europe use our ingredients to enhance their base mixes. The most popular products are Robin Red, Nectarblend, PTX, Prosecto, Red Factor, Softbill Food, Egg Biscuit and Rearing and Conditioning Food.

Red Factor is used in a great many commercial base mixes.


We offer four specifically designed carp groundbaits. The Red Range as it is known has been designed with a multi-purpose theme in mind, as the baits in the range can be used as a groundbait, a Method Mix or, when ground down to a fine powder, as a complete boilie base mix in their own right. The most complex of the range is SuperRed, but the other members of the Red Range - MarineRed, HoneyRed and NaturalRed - are equally effective as ‘Three-In-One’ mixes. The entire range will blend superbly with just the addition of water to stiffen, but oils and liquid foods such as molasses or Corn Steep Liquor can also be used to boost attraction. SuperRed is by far the most complex of all the ‘Reds’ being a blend of…wait for it: crushed Carpticle, crushed hempseed, crushed tiger nuts, peanut granules, teasel seed, 10% Concentrated Robin Red and the amazing Red Factor. Finally we have topped it all off with a healthy glug of aniseed oils.

Initially I designed SuperRed and its stablemates purely as a groundbait. I guess this is how most people initially look at SuperRed, and with good reason. Use it mixed with lake water and liquid attractors to form a wet, sloppy mix that spreads its attraction not only across the lakebed but also through the water table as it sinks. The crushed hempseed lends additional attraction by being in part neutral in density with a tendency to waft up and about as the carp feed. Incidentally we have heard a whisper that some of the match boys are using this stuff now and they know a thing or two.

By reducing the amount of water and other liquids you can create pure SuperRed balls of groundbait that will form tighter balls than most other groundbait formulations and can thus be fired a considerable distance out of a caty or via a groundbait sling without breaking up or falling to pieces on impact (if desired). Incidentally, you can toughen these groundbait balls still further by air drying them in the sun. They will go like cannonballs if you leave them long enough!


As stated previously the Red Range is highly adaptable and by simply adding say SuperRed to three or four beaten eggs a fine paste bait can be achieved. Similarly you could use neat Red Factor or Nectarblend to achieve the same result. Paste baits have a considerable advantage over boiled baits in that they allow their attraction to leak out on the lakebed quickly and effectively, whereas the attraction in boiled baits is somewhat locked in by the outer skin of the bait. Paste hookbaits are also very effective, and you will find more information about pastes in general in the articles pages of this site.

Paste balls can be an alternative to boilies…Shhhhhhhh!

Pastes has so many great ap[placations in carp fishing and one of the very best is as a lead and /or hookbait wrap. My standard method of fishing these days starts with a Robin Red-based fishmeal paste studded with small carp pellets and then wrapped around the lead. The paste leaks attraction into the lake and with the hookbait similarly pasted it isn’t long before the carp take an interest.


Anyone who has ever watched carp, tench or barbel attack a carpet of hempseed will testify to the astonishing effectiveness of mass baits. Hempseed, oat groats, Red Band and Carpticle are just four examples of our range of mass baits, all intended to instill confidence in feeding fish. A confident fish is a catchable one and the whole idea behind mass baits is to instill the confidence that will lead the carp to make a mistake on the hookbait. In order to lower the carps’ guard it is necessary to promote aggressive and competitive feeding, and nothing achieves this better than mass baits.

Check out the links on the home page that directs you to our mass bait section. Hempseed, groats, buckwheat. They all deserve your attention.


We designed the ‘Reds’ specifically to fulfill several functions, not least to be used as a stand-alone Method Mix. This style of fishing is a mélange between the ideas behind paste baits and mass baits, as by combining the two concepts and concentrating the bait in one small area – around the Method Feeder – that all-important degree of feeding aggression and competition can be achieved. There is no need to grind down and of the ‘Reds’ if you wish to use it as a Method Mix, as it is perfectly suited to this type of fishing straight out of the bag.

Moisten with water and add liquid attractors, then mold around a Method Feeder.


There is not much we can say about tigers that has not already been said before, other than to tell you that our tiger nuts are selected especially for us so that we can offer the cream of the crop to our clients. Ground tiger nuts also form part of the recipe for SuperRed. One point we would like to make is that our tigers are best used as fresh as possible after boiling. The once popular trend of allowing ‘tiger slime’ to form has been shown, in our experience, to be a limiting factor in the effectiveness of tigers. Yes, this flies in the face of the perceived wisdom, but we do urge you to use our tiger nuts before they start to go off and produce the slime. We are sure you will be astonished at the results!

Use our tigers as fresh as possible.

Ground tiger nuts have a number of bait applications. For instance you can create boiled baits simply by mixing ground tiger nuts 50/50 with one of our top flight boilie ingredients, Nectarblend, Red Factor and Softbill Food.

Ground tiger nuts can form part of a successful boiled bait base mix.

Alternatively why not make groundbait using any of our egg-based birdfoods. This is a dampened (with water) blend of Red Factor, Robin Red and ground tiger nuts. You want to create a mix that is sticky to the touch as this will help the mixture to blend.

Correctly prepared tigers can create delicious balls of carpy goodness all ready to be fired out into the lake. Once on the lakebed the baits will soften and breakdown and the ground tiger nuts start to give off their special and unique attraction.


I have not got the space to tell you the full story of the delights that lie behind the door of Aladdin’s cave but browse the other sections of this this site for other tempting bait ingredients such as Mealworm Crumble, Peanuts, Pearly Barley, Dari Seed, Easisoak and a whole lot more.

Have a very Happy Christmas and a Carpy New Year

Buy your fishing bait ingredients direct from Haith's
[Please note: We first published Ken Townley's "Aladdin's Cave" article in December 2012 and it's so popular that we've re-published (making it easier to find) the article again, this time in June. Please don't be put off by Ken wishing readers a Merry Christmas as the piece is a 360 degree tour of Haith's ingredients and it remains a go-to article for the bait-making community].

Written by Ken Townley

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