Marukyu For Beginners

Since Japanese giant Marukyu hit the UK and European angling market with a huge bang a couple of years ago, I have to be honest and say I've not really seen much since.... I've been aware of their products as I've wandered around the local tackle shop in search of others, but I've never really investigated the fish pulling claims made by the marketing team....until now!

Admittedly, having been offered a position at Marukyu administering social media and additional web content, I've had to learn about the product range quickly, but just what have I found? I've only done a couple of sessions, so surely my head hasn't been turned already??

Like many anglers, if I'm honest, I've always remained a little confused by the numbering system in place on many of their products; EFG? SFA? 410? 161? What does it all mean and why not just call it groundbait for bream? Or carp? Or tench? Surely numbers would only serve to confound and confuddle? I spoke at length to Marukyu marketing guru Nick Marlow to find out about the present products, forthcoming new surprises and many other things including packaging and ingredients before deciding that yes, I would like to be part of it!

Subsequent investigation of the numbers suggests that all 1-something-1 baits can be combined to offer a variety of different solutions to various angling situations; the trick is to pick the right baits to mix for the situation in front of you. The ingredients within the baits and the science behind them are simply stunning with a team of twelve full time scientists constantly reviewing feedback and concocting new proven recipes, Marukyu leave very little to chance and with a worldwide market worth millions, the results speak for themselves.

My first experience of the baits was to be had at Baden Hall in Staffordshire; a ten acre pool with a healthy supply of bream and roach, decent carp, occasional chub and the odd barbel. I was issued with a stock of EFG (Explosive Formula Groundbait)161  and a jar or two of Jpz, a jelly like pellet which promised great things, and told to get on with it. Although the EFG 161 is marketed as a method mix, after rigidly following the mixing instructions, adding a bit of krill powder and similar liquid, I just couldn't get it sit properly on a method feeder; perhaps because I'd made a poor choice of feeder mould which simply wouldn't release properly, but also because I just don't feel that the 161 mix is inert enough to be used in this way. That's not a criticism, just an observation that I feel it would work better if mixed 50/50 with a passive groundbait, which, having studied the numerical system later, is exactly what I was supposed to do....however, the EFG 161 on its own made a superb mix for my second option, the cage feeder, so after attaching a pre-tied hooklink, I was ready to go.

Initially, I was unsure about the JPz as I rarely use pellet type baits; the slightly, well, squidgy baits are supplied in a small jar and once opened, stink.  I used the EBI (salted marine) JPz in both 6 and 10mm sizes and they can be hooked directly, or hair rigged offering superb versatility should shy biting fish become tough to hook. I couldn't begin to describe the smell, it's unlike anything I've sampled before, but it is certainly unique! A JPz on the hook and I was ready to cast for the first time with the new wonder bait and wondered just how long (if at all) I'd have to wait for a bite.



As always, I'd clipped up to ensure accuracy and dropped a couple of feeders full of bait in to try and tempt some immediate action, but even I was surprised by just how fast the reaction was; within fifteen seconds, as soon as I'd tightened up, I was getting indications on the 'tip, and less than a minute had passed before the first fish was being played to the net! Surely they couldn't be THAT good?! My next few casts resulted in much the same response and a steady stream of skimmers came to the bank, but then I made the usual mistake of dropping one on the strike and all went quiet....a change of hook link to allow me to hair rig the JPz soon got the tip bouncing again as normal service was resumed.

With a couple of bonus chub, a single roach and around 50lbs of skimmers in five hours, the Marukyu baits had proved that even on a cold day, with snow, sleet and rain, they would still catch consistently, so I was happy with my first tests...would the same thing happen at a different venue in Cheshire? There would only be one way to find out!

A week later saw me sat on the banks at Gawsworth Fishery near Congleton. Gawsworth's specimen pool has a reputation for being awkward, tricky and any other word an angler uses to describe a blank that isn't his fault, so if there was to be a true test, then this was it. Once again, my intended tactics were exactly the same as at Baden Hall, I even used the same feeder and clipped up in the same way, before the same few casts to lay down a bed of bait. A bitter easterly wind had put a fair ripple across the water, rain and sleet were forecast, and the only other angler on the banks hadn't had a single bleep from his alarms, but I thought I'd brave a few hours to see what turned up.




Settling into my seat after casting, trying to snuggle down against the freezing wind, I expected to wait a little longer before the quivertip started to show any signs, but again, within seconds, the 'tip hooped over and I struck into fresh air! Missed it! The same thing happened on three consecutive casts, so a change of tactics were called for; I know there are no crayfish here, and they certainly weren't line bites, so shy fish was the only other option so the JPz hook bait was transferred to a hair rig and I prepared to sit on my hands until I got a definite take.

The knocks and twitches continued, but after ten minutes, the positive slow pull indicated a possible bream bite, so I lifted the rod to connect; one or two slow 'nods' was about it before a slab sided fish slid across the surface and into the waiting net. Not a massive bream at around 3lbs, but a welcome start and proof that both tactics, and more importantly bait, were working well. Despite the biting wind and cold water, the action remained steady with a string of similar sized fish landed and a few placed gently in the keep net for the ubiquitous catch shot.

I endured four hours, then as I could barely feel my fingers, I decided it was time to pack up and take stock of the results so far. Two sessions, both fairly short, had both produced plenty of fish in difficult wintry conditions so my initial impression is that the Marukyu JPz are indeed all they claim to be, and combined with a suitable groundbait, can produce fish in the very worst conditions...... I'm glad I'll be able to use them throughout the year! I'm fully expecting to do very well this season as I get to grips with Marukyu products and learn exactly what combinations work in which situation, and I'll do my best to keep you updated.


Clint Walker



For more infomation on the range of products from Marukyu, please click the image below.


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