Callers and takers 848x400

Callers and takers – The basics.

The average bank angler has about 20 dips and 30 balldips in his box. These are probably a good mix of flavours and colours ranging from sweet to strong to very potent. Do you have a specific plan when you get to the dam based on the conditions? Do you take the colour of the water, the weather and the species you are targetting into consideration, or do you whip out the dips at ramdom and hope for the best?

Dips can generally be categorised as “callers” or “takers”, while some dips contain both.

When choosing your combination, an easy way to decide on your starting combination is to remember Hilda from 7de Laan. Her dodgy recipes are famous for containing a “soet-suur” combination. Similarly, a good starting combination always contains a caller and a taker.


Besides the ground feed that you build your “mieliebom” with, which is crutial for getting a spot (kol) going, you need something else to attract the fish to your bait. This is the purpose of a caller.

A caller will always be described as a strong flavour or smell, that can be found in your dip, ball dip or certain baits like flavoured cornpips.

Example: Garlic, Tcp, Cinnamon, Clove oil (Naeltjies), Onion, Vicks etc. This can basically be anything that has a strong smell to it…

Callers are there to attract fish to your baited up trace lying within your spot. Many of these contain colour powders and florescene and even molasses as the molasses is thick and it causes a nice slow release that lasts longer under the water.


Now this is the sweet part that Hilda is talking about.

These are your sweeter, softer flavoured dips or ball dips like fruity flavours, caramel, vanilla, butter scotch, almond etc. There are hundreds of caller options on the market and in various combinations.

Manufactures also have various hook baits, e.g.doughs and floats that have been flavoured with either a caller or taker flavour and coated in florescence powder to give that extra glow in the water.

Many dips have been mixed to contain both callers and takers in the mixture like strawberry and garlic, tcp and almond, banana and garlic etc.

Here are some rules of thumb used by competitive anglers.

  • In cooler and windy conditions, your combination should contain more caller than taker.
  • In warm and balmy conditions, your combination should contain more taker than caller.
  • When your tempo slows down or your initial combination is not effective, try adding a caller to the combination preferably with a high fluroscene content.
  • Sometimes you will catch well on a spot (kol) for an hour or so and then the bites stop. When this happens try adjusting your casting distance by approximately 20m either way in order to start a new spot.

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