Article - How to cure eggs
Most of this advice comes from Steve (Reel Truth) Hanson. You can visit Steve or read his advice on iFish's discussion board.
Get some medical rubber gloves. They are thin enough that you can feel what you are doing but keep your scent off of the eggs. (it also keeps your hands from smelling like fish eggs for the next day or so.) I have even found these at Safeway in the medicine aisle.
Make sure that you don't touch the eggs with your hands.
Lay the skeins out on something that won't react with the cure or the eggs. Clean plastic or wood works but avoid newspaper and cookie sheets as they will change the flavor and scent of the eggs. You are better off laying them on a towel you have washed in plain soap. (I am lucky in this regard as we don't use a detergent that has perfumes in it. We use Soapworks laundry soap (from Trader Joes) which is just plain soap, it does not have any funny dies or perfumes and it gets things clean.
Cut the Eggs
Cut the skeins into walnut sized pieces making sure to leave the thin membrane intact as you cut. If you are paying attention you will notice that the eggs are in rows and are all attached to a thin membrane.
To them sprinkle on your cure.
Here is Steve's cure. 1/2 & 1/2 Quick Cure/Pro-Cure natural white mixed with the Pro-Glo Red coloring (not the cure), then sprinkle lightly with Slamola for the MSG & nitrate.
My method. I have become a big fan of the cure made by Pro Glo. It is super simple. It comes in a sprinkle jar and you just sprinkle a little on each of your egg clusters, put them in a jar, seal it, put it in the fridge, (in an hour put on shrimp oil) turn it 8 hours later. Then within 24 -48 hours of putting them in the jars they will have soaked up all of the juice and I put a vaccuum seal on the jar and put them in the freezer. I don't dry them, I don't borax them and they hold up well to drift or under a bobber.
Adding Oils to the Eggs
When the eggs are at their juiciest about 1 hr. after chemcure, add this mix
(per 2 average size skeins from a 'nook),
2 T. of Pro-Cure or Mike's Shrimp Oil with 15 drops of Dr. Juice "Salmon" concentrate mixed together (or 1 T. of regular strength) into the egg's juice and gently mix around with vinyl gloves on.
The oils & egg juice will reabsorb thru the tiny egg sack membrane holes in about 48 hrs. The advantage is that the proper combo scent will milk out slowly rather than having too much or too little oils squeezed on. Also try putting in sardine filets for their oil emission (better than Over the Counter sardine oil). The filets will also get a great cure for Kwikfish wraps.
Adding Sodium Nitrates.
To get the best sodium nitrates, research availabilty at photography suppliers and meat processing plants. Use it very lightly on half your eggs the night before fishing (don't breath the dust!). Sometimes the 'nooks don't want real chem.'ed up eggs, but when they do, have some sod. nit. with you to sprinkle the rest of the eggs. Pro-Cure Slamola has both MSG & Sod. Nitrate but when using it you will lose a bit of chem ratio flexibility. Of course being out on the water all the time helps to dial in on fish preferences.
Wet Pack vs. Drying vs. Borax
Some like to dry out the clusters or roll them in borax which are both fine, especially for extending usability. But I like to "wet pack"/vacuum seal mine so the clusters will flutter & feel natural to finiky fish. If you gently remove quality eggs w/ gloves on to keep human scent off & follow my instructions in these posts you will be right in there with most of the better guide's eggs. Good fishing, Steve