Ian wrote:
Despite being relative newcomers on the UK bait scene Marukyu are the largest bait company in the world and after a century or so of existence their products finally made the journey from their Japanese homeland to the UK – I’m sure The Silk Road was never that slow in the old days but anyway…
Unsurprising perhaps, given the importance of fish to the Japanese economy, the company utilise a large team of fishery scientists at a huge and technically advanced research facility where the teams are continually experimenting with literally thousands of products to create baits which stimulate fish to feed.

By utilising natural products which are both fish and environment friendly, low in protein and highly soluble in water the company are able to create complex baits with highly responsive feeding triggers; not quite the ‘ultimate bait’ but certainly a step up from the plain brown crumb of my childhood!

Marukyu kindly sent me through a few bits which they thought might be useful for my barbel fishing and I took the first couple of them up to the Kennet for an outing which, it has to be said, was far from ideal for barbel fishing with rising barometric pressure, constant bright sunshine and a temperature in the mid 20s!



The Softie pellets were a total revelation! The seaweed smell was intense – I tasted one and it was rich, salty, yeasty – almost Marmitey – with a seaweed tang to it and I just knew straight away that they would catch. At 10mm they are perfectly sized for barbel, they were soft and didn’t split when I pushed a baiting needle through them but best of all they were soft enough to mould into a slightly sticky paste.

I had a rapid change of my original plan, attached a leger stop to my hair and moulded half a Nori Pellet around it – it looked perfect. The paste also wrapped around a boilie perfectly and I even found I could mould two or more pellets together to form larger balls of paste – and a paste sticky enough to survive a decent cast too.


In a test cup of water the paste appeared gave a quick release of particles and flavour but retained its integrity long enough to see out a cast; immediately active but resilient in the longer term – just how a good paste should be!

After spending some time getting a bit of bait in the swim via a feeder packed with Marukyu’s Explosive Formula Groundbait EFG151 I attached my hooklength, moulded on a bit of Nori Pellet and cast out in anger. The bite took about ten minutes to come and was a nice barbel of around the 9lb mark – an absolute joy to see in the middle of a scorching hot day! I had another one of around 8lb a couple of hours later and a third, slightly smaller, late afternoon quickly followed by a ‘nuisance’ chub. I wasn’t able to stay on until dusk but left shortly after the Chevin more than pleased with my result.



One session doesn’t make or break a bait but I liked what I saw and I caught first time out on a venue where nobody else to my knowledge troubled the scorers in the prevailing conditions.

The Nori Softie Pellets in particular were a little bit special and I’ll certainly be looking at Marukyu with a little more interest as a consequence and the softie range includes Protein and Tanishi variants too – both with the same attraction and versatility of the Nori. I targeted the rivers for this review, as I usually do, and the Softies are perfect chub and barbel baits but they will be equally as attractive on the stillwaters for carp, tench and bream and for carp, specialist, match and pleasure anglers alike.


A packet of Marukyu Softies usually retails at £3.99 but FishingBaits.biz currently have a special offer with all three: Protein, Nori and Tanishi available for just £2.99 each or you can BUY ALL THREE FLAVOURS FOR JUST £7.99.