The High Attract Pop-Up Range
By Neil McComb
Having served a “proper apprenticeship” of over ten years, joining Stoke Angling Society in the mid-90s, was where the learning curve took on another steep climb. Redesmere was the premier water in Cheshire, possibly the North West at the time and that fact was reflected by the calibre of anglers who fished it, many were exceptional!
I had joined the club with three close friends and on our early trips we couldn’t help but notice everyone had a little pot of “special pop-ups”. Of course we had our own pots of homemade pop-ups, my weapon of choice at the time was Solar’s Quench mix, sieved to remove the coarse ingredients, and then added 60/40 to Nutrabaits Hi-Nu-Val, added to this was creamy super sweet powder, Hutchies original Autumn Harvest with a dash of Esterblend 12 and some sweet cajouser, all mixed up and rolled around a poly ball. It had caught me plenty of fish and my first Redesmere carp but we were about to receive a few pointers on how to make pop-ups better!
Nothing was given to us on a plate, we had to join up the dots and by that I mean we had to experiment, a lot! I have always said, forget all the scientific crap, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and that meant thousands of hours on the bank sitting behind various concoctions. Due to a closed season still being in place on many of the North West waters, we all fished where we could get on, depending where was open. We fished rivers and canals to park lakes and of course the Meres of Cheshire and Shropshire with the occasional flirt down South. Every kind of venue was covered from large to the tiny, rarely fished low stock to the busy circuit waters. Over the years that followed, through trial and error we had acquired an armoury of several combinations of ingredients, liquids and powders that when brought together into the form of a pop-up would turn the tables in our favour.
It wasn’t the fact of whether or not the pop-up caught fish, many did that. The ones that stood out were the combinations that caught fish consistently while all around caught nothing. The ability to turn up at a venue that had not done a fish for weeks, in some cases months and extract one, two sometimes as many as eight fish in a sitting was something that we became used to. Yes you have to be on the fish, I agree but that isn’t always enough to get a bite. If you had just eaten your Sunday dinner and an hour later headed out for a pint down your local, if you crossed your mate and he offered you a ham sandwich I bet you would pass on it, but if he offered you a piping hot chip covered with salt and vinegar I bet that smell would twist your arm into having “just one”. That’s what I compare our range of pop-ups to, the ability to nick you that one bite, turn an uninterested carp into one on the bank. Many tree-top observations have proved they are often the first bait taken when fished over a bed of bait, likewise when boating back out to a spot having received a take, often the freebies are still in the swim, indicating the fish has homed in on the pop-up.
Every flavour combination in our range of Hi Attract pop-ups has proven itself time and again, way before they were released to the public by Impulse, they were tested, re-tested and used for many years but never with the intention of being made commercially available. However when I helped set up Impulse over several years ago, the range that was in the pipeline at that time I could never have possibly backed, I would have never cast one out in a month of Sundays.
After much deliberation and reluctance I decided to make available my pop-ups, which I believe are like nothing you could buy off the shelf back then and even now. Many English 30s, 40s and several 50’s fell to the combinations during what I’ll call “the private years”, since being made available a lot of big carp have fallen to them from all four corners of the country. Lake records and PB’s smashed, previously uncaught/unknown carp banked, whatever the sort of venue you fish you can cast one out with total confidence!
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