Using Wafters To Catch More Carp


November 30th, 2023



Written by

Rob Warburton

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Anyone who watches our YouTube channel will know that I’m a big fan of using wafters as hookbaits. I just find them incredibly effective, and for me they put more fish on the bank than any other hookbait presentation. 

Their buoyancy just improves everything about the last few centimetres of your rig. From how it lands, how the bait sits close to the deck amongst your free offerings to how effective they are at helping to hook carp.

There are positives from all angles and in this blog I’ll dig a little bit deeper into why they’re so effective and how I like to use wafter hookbaits in my fishing to catch some Nossa Pigs!

Why are wafters so effective?

For me it’s all about the buoyancy and how they improve the mechanics of your rig.

For starters, wafters kick away from the lead when perfectly balanced with your rig components. As soon as that lead hits the lakebed you’re starting to see the benefits of a wafter over a bottom bait.

What you’re left with is a presentation that’s set just how it should be; perfectly flat and with good separation from the lead arrangement. If you watch the Korda Underwater series, you’ll see this in full effect. In almost every case they are seeing perfect rig positioning when using semi-buoyant hookbaits alongside stiff (ish) hooklinks.

This also doubles as a secondary benefit; wafters allow a rig to easily reset should it come into contact with any nuisance fish or crayfish. (Which are becoming more common in our UK waterways).

Put simply, your rig is ‘fishing’ for longer periods of time.

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The rig I use with wafter hookbaits

I love how wafters sit, especially when you balance the components so that the hook is lying flat on the lakebed, with the wafter sitting up off the back of the shank.

It’s really inconspicuous, and can be just what you need on busy day tickets where carp are seeing bright pop ups constantly sitting an inch above the deck.

Obviously, it’s all about making sure you have the balance right, and to achieve that you need to be using the right size hook.

For me that’s a size 4 Gardner Rigga CVR Hook when fishing with wafters in solid bags. A small, supple hooklink of around 4 inches completes the rig and this will go inside a solid bag filled with OG Mini Mix Pellets.

When I’m not solid bagging, I do have a slightly different setup, but one which again I’ve made sure is perfectly balanced with our wafters.

It’s essentially the Illusion D rig as favoured by the likes of Tom Maker. I like to have a rather large D on the back of the shank of a Nash Pinpoint Twister, and attach a wafter with the use of bait floss. – It’s just perfectly balanced with the hook lying flat on the lakebed and the wafter just sitting up off it.

The hookholds using these two rigs have been as good as they’re going to get and I’d have confidence fishing them anywhere.

Baiting strategy when using wafters as hookbaits

Where I can, I like putting a bed of bait out which incorporates all manner of food items including boilie crumb and pellets; the sort of stuff carp will be grubbing around on for ages.

Wafters compliment this baiting strategy perfectly; hovering ever so slightly above the free offerings. Not deep down in amongst everything, but not blatantly obvious like a pop up presentation.

Don’t get me wrong, pop ups have their place, but I do find them to be more effective over larger spreads of boilies, rather than smaller bits and pieces.

Another area where wafters really come into their own is when using solid bags. They are just the right buoyancy to sit above the OG Mini Mix Pellets, forming the perfect mouthful for a passing carp.

A wafter in this scenario, especially a high-vis colour, acts almost as a beacon to draw a carp down to the pellet mix. This tactic has done me very well over the years.

My go-to wafters

Young Luke actually put me on the spot with this question last week live on our Instagram story.

I pointed straight towards the OG Fish Match The Hatch Wafters; a hookbait that’s accounted for so many fish for me since their creation.

In almost every angling situation, I have faith in these wafters; from fishing over the matching OG Fish Boilies to fishing over a mix packed with particle and maggots.

Believe me, lots of blood, sweat and tears went into the development of these wafters so that they not only match our boilies, but so that they are super-consistent in terms of buoyancy.

That’s something most anglers don’t think about when fishing with wafters (or choosing a bait company in general). You need to make sure you have consistency in your hookbaits so that your rig is working exactly how you intended it to every time.

Aside from the Match The Hatch Wafters, I do like a Magic Bean Wafter too. These are my go-to when I want something a little more visually appealing. If I’m casting to showing fish or trying to get a quick bite I’d definitely switch over to a brightly coloured Magic Bean.

If you haven’t used wafters in your angling, I urge you to give them a shot and watch your catch rates soar!


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