I have been kindly asked by Keens Tackle and Guns of Bridgend, Wales to conduct a review of some of the Manilla bait range produced by Sticky baits. Ok if I must.
Sticky baits are a bait company that if you are serious about fishing for big carp then you have probably heard of before, their Krill range is starting to become legendary in certain circles and I have been using it for the last few months with improving results. They have been expanding their bait range this year and there was a massive buzz on social media surrounding the new bait range the ‘Manilla’.
Now if you were not aware then, Manilla is not your normal boilie flavour, it is based on a peanut protein that is exclusive to Sticky and they have mixed this with other milk proteins and bird foods to make the base. This is then added to with the insertion of a Madagascan Vanilla flavour to make a unique all year round bait mix that fulfils all the carp’s dietary needs.
So as I have already alluded to Keens sent me a small care package to try out and now that I have used most of the items in the box I feel qualified to say what I think about them.
I am going to start with the pellet, I received the 4 and 6mm pellet to try and I was very impressed, they came out of the bag with a sweet nutty small which as you might expect had a distinct vanilla undertone. I decided to conduct a small breakdown test with some of the 6mm pellet and found that even well after an hour they were still in pellet form with a hard centre. I believe that they are made by covering the extruded pellet in another layer of flavour and this would seem to prolong the breakdown time. This is I my mind a good thing, I have come from a match background where we expect pellets to be completely saturated and soft within minutes so a lot of the crunch factor is gone from the bait very quickly. This will not be an issue with these baits, I used them as part of my pva bag mix in the recent Interservices Competition where my Partner and I went on to win our section by around 600lb in 48hrs. It may not have been all down to the pellet but they certainly didn’t put the fish off.
Bait spray: This is a quality little product and comes in a small spray bottle, I have been using it on my hookbaits of late and again there have been certainly no detrimental effects to my catch rate. Again on the Interservices after the first 12 hours all my hookbaits were either getting sprayed with this or glugged as it was reducing the amount of time that we were waiting for bites. It is also light enough that you can soak it into pop ups for prolonged periods and it has been designed not to affect the baits buoyancy.
Bait Glug: This has been designed so that you can take a hookbait and small pva stick and dunk it straight into the bottle, my only complaint is that the neck of the bottle is not really big enough for all but sticks and bags barely bigger than a 24mm hookbait. Other than that the actual bait product is again perfect for the job that it was designed. It is viscous enough to stay around the bag on the cast and when a small bag was thrown in the edge it leaked off really well for a good time making a nice halo of smell around the area.
Paste: Another attractor product and something that I had only ever pottered with in the past, it is designed to be wrapped around a hookbait to add a slow breakdown layer of attraction and this it does very well. I was struggling for a bite over the weekend but put out a hookbait wrapped in paste with a small pva stick of active mix and it resulted in the only bite of the session a couple of hours later. It was the only bite off the lake that night that I am aware of, again it had to be in the right place at the right time but there would have been a small amount of leakage still falling from the paste as the fish came a sniffing so it certainly didn’t put the upper double off. The only downside of this product is that straight out of the jar it will not take a very powerful cast, but wrap it in pva and it will be fine, after all we are not always chucking to the horizon.
Pop ups: I was given a pot of the 12mm pop ups and these are fantastic small baits, they take a good amount of weight to sink them and they stay popped up for longer than I have needed them so far. I have taken to using the 12mm pop ups on chod rigs with size 5 hooks to increase the hooking potential and these sticky ones are still sat proud after 12 hours so far. Again the small of the bait is just like the feed bait and they have been given a slightly lighter colour than the standard boilies so that they look as though they have been washed out for a short period of time.
Wafters: The wafters have also been a successful hookbait for me on the Interservices, although most of my fish were taken on micro corn I went through a period of losing fish in a snag so I upped the hookbait size to a 16mm wafter in yellow and continued to hook carp, although it was easier to land them on the more robust tackle that I was now able to get away with. They also come in the lightly washed out natural colour as well and they are really good hookbaits, easy to mount and they stay buoyant for long periods.
Hard hookers: Although I have not had a need to use these yet they certain look and smell the part, and it is almost impossible to break a hook bait in your fingers so that bodes well for when I fish somewhere with crays or if I have to try and put a single over the horizon.
Active mix: I have saved what I think is the best until last and that is the Active Mix, I am a big fan of using pva sticks that are full of flavour to try and protect the hook point on the cast and this stuff is certainly full of flavour. It is also very fine so I have found that mixing it with some liquidised boilies makes for an awesome stick mix. It is full of high leakage attractors so when coupled with a few pellets and some crushed boilie makes a small bag with a lot of punch. This is my favourite product out of the lot as I would also use it in spod mixes both for fishing on the deck and up in the water and also as a base for a PVA bag mix as well.
So that concludes my review, in short the bait is not your normal boilie and it has certainly not stopped me from catching wherever I have been of late. I am always reluctant to say that it is because of the bait that I have caught as I still believe that location and timing are far more important, but, having said that I am still very impressed with the range as a whole.
I would like to say thankyou to Keens Tackle and Guns for the opportunity to try the bait out as I would have probably waited for a bit longer to try it, but is certainly going to be getting added to my arsenal especially once the water starts to get a bit cooler in a few weeks.
Keens Tackle and Guns
117 Bridgend Rd, Aberkenfig, Bridgend CF32 9AP