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In Deep

Are you ready? The bait revolution that has swept across the UK and is heading into Europe


David Preston’s Fjuka Baits is entering Europe with the promise of ‘a revolution in bait, marketing and distribution’. It’s a catch-all bait for the digital age, he says with a punch of his fist.

The Fjuka Revolution is storming the barricades – and is poised to overthrow the old bait order in Europe! So says the man behind the company, David Preston, who started and sold Preston Innovations before setting up Fjuka. Its innovative, multi-purpose bait products have already made significant headway into the British bait market – and now the brand is entering Europe.

Preston sold Preston Innovations, Korum, Avid Carp, Primo Distribution and Sonubaits so that he could do something different. That ‘different’ has now taken shape as Fjuka Bait. “It’s a revolution in bait, marketing and distribution,” insists the man with a knack for identifying market opportunities. ‘’Things have changed; the internet is now mature and online selling is here to stay. We are supporting retailers by making it easy to join that retail revolution. Fjuka is an online-friendly bait that has a massive shelf life. It is lightweight to minimise delivery charges. It is user-friendly not only because it simply hooks but also because it can be used as a feed.

“There’s a huge market for these products, not least with coarse fishing kits that can, at long last, include an easy-to-use bait product. It’s a feed pellet, but there are no hair rigs or bands needed. You just hook it and fish with it. I call it the ‘modern maggot’, because it is just as effective as maggots at catching, but has a shelf life. And there’s none of that turning into flies! Even better for the retailer, we can supply free of delivery charges to every single retailer in Europe, with very low minimum order quantities. And any retailer who pays can be a customer. So it really is a level playing field
for all.

‘’This is a revolution for the angler too. Fjuka 2in1 is a feed and hookbait all in one. It’s a bag of bait that allows simple, direct hooking. It’s there, ready to be opened and used by any angler, whatever skill level they’re at. Angling has become so technical that it’s now perceived as difficult and expensive to get into. We’ve changed everything. We’ve made it easy again. That’s the revolution.”

David Preston spoke to Angling International to answer all the key questions about the bait that is on everyone’s lips… and hooks!

Is a hookbait that can be direct-hooked really new? Surely products like that already exist?
Yes. But they’re not a feed product at the same time. For a bait to be used as feed, it has to be inexpensive enough to throw in and attract fish. It also has to be something that fish want to keep returning to; to keep eating. Have you ever tasted soft hookbaits? You wouldn’t want to eat them – they taste horrible. Fjuka 2in1 Bait, however, is tasty, healthy fish food that fish want to keep eating – and it goes on the hook like a dream.

Are you planning different flavours?
We’ve designed our attractants to be attractive to fish. Anglers want to catch fish and this bait works. All those flavours currently out there (banana, strawberry, coconut…) are more about catching anglers than fish. So we have just one flavour.

Is that where Sensate™ comes in?
Yes. Sensate™ is the name we’ve given to a particularly effective combination of attractants. It has proven itself beyond doubt. We spent last winter giving out free Fjuka to unsuspecting anglers on the bank and filming how well they caught. It worked amazingly well from a standing start. The anglers and the fish had never seen this bait before and yet Fjuka often caught better than any other baits.

What about different sizes?
The idea of Fjuka is to provide one bait that can be moulded into any size by rubbing pellets together. That means a massive saving in cost to the angler. One bag does everything instead of tubs of different sizes, colours and flavours.

So that’s a ‘no’?
Well, I’m having to modify my opinion slightly. Anglers are using Fjuka to make different sized baits but some still ask for bigger and smaller baits. I think they’re lazy. Not really [laughs]. It’s more that you can use feed differently if you have bigger or smaller baits. For example, match anglers love smaller pellets, while carp anglers want baits that give you greater catapult distance. So different sizes are coming whether I like it or not. The customer is always right, after all!

And the big question – how are sales going?
In the first month of trading we processed over 10,000 orders and we haven’t even touched the potential. The Fjuka market is vast. First, it incorporates all the hookbaits from all the different manufacturers and distributors, because it really is the most perfect hookbait out there – soft enough to hook, but strong enough to stay on the hook – plus, it can be combined and divided to make any size from just one basic 5mm pellet. Secondly, our market is also all the feed pellets that are sold. Take those two together and that’s a huge proportion of all bait sales available to just this one product.

How are you promoting Fjuka?
We’ve now got one of the most respected and influential coarse anglers on our team. Tommy Pickering is an internationally renowned world champion match angler and team coach. He’s been shocked by how well it catches and how user-friendly this bait is. And he’s up for a revolution.

How is the marketing different to what other companies do?
Humour is not present in angling marketing. We launched with the now famous ‘Spank Ad’. It’s a funny film showing how anglers have to buy loads of tackle in order to hook a simple bag of feed. It features a dominatrix and it went viral. Better still – it is very visual humour and works internationally.

So what’s next?
While Fjuka 2in1 expands into Europe, the team is developing other disruptive baits. What I particularly like – and have been successful at – is looking at things afresh and turning everything upside-down. So be prepared for what’s coming – the revolution is here!

View Fjuka Bait on Tacklestream here