It stinks, it floats, it comes in neon colors, but boy does it catch fish! Yes, PowerBait is a staple bait in almost every angler’s tackle box because we actually catch a lot of fish with it. The company behind PowerBait has spent many years perfecting their luxurious baits to entice a fish to eat it, but two questions many people have is “what is powerbait made of?” and “is it safe to use on the fish?”.
So what exactly is PowerBait made of, and why does it stick together in a ball when we mold it with our fingers on a hook? I am going to answer these questions, and hopefully give you some insight into this bait so you can become more knowledgeable in man made fishing baits. One thing for sure is that it took a team of scientists and years of experiments to get this recipe right, and they are constantly trying to come up with newer and better baits to help us catch more fish.
What is PowerBait?
PowerBait is what’s called a dough bait because it is easily molded into little “dough balls” with your fingers. It is made from PVC and oil based resin mixed together, with a slew of other scent related chemicals to give it that nice stinky smell that fish just go nuts over. PVC starts out as a man made white powder which is synthetic, meaning it is made in a laboratory, and then it is added to another synthetic oil resin which makes it pliable and dough-like.
How is PowerBait Made?
The resin and pvc are heated together, and they add more oil resin to the pvc until they get the right consistency to make it dough like. The oil traps the smell inside of the dough until you start mixing it with your fingers, and then the scent will start to escape. Even though it does stay doughy for quite a while, if left for a long period of time, it will dry out and just fall apart when you try to make it into a ball. The scent chemicals are added, and possibly some plastic shiny flakes (depending on which one you buy) to finish it off and give it that neon color and smell that are meant to attract the fish to it.
Why is PowerBait so Popular for Fishing?
PowerBait and similar brands such as Gulp have become very popular baits for a few reasons. Here is a small list of why you would want it:
- It floats. Yes, it will float if you use the right test line, so you can bait your hook to where it will float right above weed lines on the bottom where big fish like to cruise around looking for a good meal.
- It’s not as messy as worms and other baits. PowerBait is a nicely packaged jar of “paste” that is easily formed in the fingers, and does not make a huge mess, or stick to your fingers. The only thing of concern is the smell that you can wash off in the lake.
- It’s small and easy to store: These small littler jars are the perfect size to put in any tackle box, back pack, or even your pocket. One jar can last you several fishing trips, and will fit almost anywhere.
- It works. PowerBait just works, it really does. I have had a lot of success, especially for trout with this bait, and the fish just seem to love it. Keep in mind some fish will only bite certain colors on certain days, so it might help to have two or three jars handy.
- It’s cheap. PowerBait seems to be one of the cheapest baits out there, only costing you around $3.50 a jar, which is pretty good for how many hooks you can actually bait with a jar. Salmon eggs are around $5.00 dollars a jar, but prices vary from store to store.
As you can see there are a few really good highlights as to why anglers love PowerBait, and I am sure that everyone has their own specific reasons why they use it, whether it be because that’s what they grew up on, or just because they like the speckled flakes in it. Leave us a comment and let us know if you love, or hate PowerBait and why! Amazon actually has a pretty good price for PowerBait right now, check it out here.
Is PowerBait Good For The Fish and Environment?
As far as I have been able to research, PowerBait is not toxic, or bad for fish. The attractant oil put in for the scent, is the same, or very similar to what they use in fish hatcheries to feed their fish. This might have a direct impact on why stocked lakes have such good luck with PowerBait, but there has not been any research on it that I can find.
Even though PowerBait is a digestible food for fish, and does not seem to cause them any direct harm, there is no nutrient benefit for the fish in it at all, so if that was all they ate it could potentially make them sick. It will just pass through their system like normal, and if you catch a fish that has digested some when you are cleaning it, just make sure to thoroughly clean the fish before you eat it.
While PowerBait is not a natural choice such as worms or minnows, it certainly will not be harmful to the environment or fish. While the company that produces PowerBait has spent a lot of time perfecting the bait, you can also be sure that resources were spent to ensure that the products would also not harm the environment.
After all, no fish means no business for them. Outdoor companies have a vested interest in seeing the habits we love so much, thrive.
Additional Questions and Answers About This Popular Bait
The most pressing questions someone may have are answered above, but I still wanted to answer several more questions that people may have below!
Why Does PowerBait Float?
PowerBait floats because it is mixed with compounds that are less dense than water is, so it will normally float back up to the surface. Keep in mind that it will also depend on what pound test line you are using. If you are trying to fish for trout with a 12 pound test, you might find that the weight of the line will pull the bait back down to the bottom. If this is happening, try to switch to a lighter line, like 4 or 6 pound test and see if that works. If you want it to sink straight to the bottom, and you are using a smaller test line, add a small sinker to the top of your hook, and you should be just fine.
Using Scented Sprays And Attractants on the Bait
I have been using scented sprays for as long as I can remember, and I am still on the fence about whether they are worth the money. Basically, the spray is made from a chemical compound to make it smell mixed with a resin oil to make it stick to the bait. Since oil and water do not mix, it will normally attach itself to the bait and not really come off in the water. You will see small oil rings on top of the water where your bait lands just like you would if you dropped oil in water.
The spray can be much more messy, so make sure to spray your bait somewhere away from the rest of your tackle, or you might wind up with horrible smelling gear and clothes. It is supposed to enhance the smell of your bait to be the real thing, and you can see the one I use here.
Can I Loosen Up Old PowerBait That Has Hardened?
If you accidentally don’t put the lid on to your PowerBait jar correctly, you may come to find that the next time you want to use it that it is dried out. If you just opened it and only a little bit is missing, you can try this trick. Take a little bit of Berkley trout bait oil, or some other type of attractant and put it in a zip lock bag, and work it around with your fingers. Doing this will bring moisture back into the bait, and it should start to firm back up into a putty instead of being the flakey dry stuff you are working with.
The problem is that PowerBait is made from PVC, and oil resin, so it can dry out if left in a non air tight place. If it is just too far gone, spend the three bucks and buy a new jar. I have heard of trying different types of oil, but they have never worked for me.
PowerBait is one of the most popular and effective fishing baits on the market, and has been for years. If you are going to trout fish, I highly recommend getting a jar or two of the stuff, and trying it out. There might be a possibility that you will catch more trout in a stocked lake with it than you would with something like salmon eggs because the scent is very close to what they feed them in the hatchery.
Since it is not toxic to the fish, or to humans either, you can fish with it, and be okay to eat the fish you catch, even if the fish has swallowed it, just make sure to clean the fish properly. The cost of a jar is around three to four dollars, so it seems worth it in the long run to try. If you do try it, drop us a comment and let us know what your experience is with it.