How to Make Soft and Hard Bait Fishing Lures

Add to the fun of fishing by making your own fishing lures. To simplify your introduction to hard and soft lure construction, we have assembled kits that contain all the unique materials required, together with complete instructions.

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These kits contain all the ingredients to make almost any type of hard or soft lure. It does not matter if you want a larger or smaller version of an existing lure or making your own original design or even taking a real fish and reproducing it in fine detail, the instructions explain in fine detail all you need to know and what materials to use.

The simple fact is that lure making can add a whole dimension to fishing and is one that more and more fishermen are undertaking.

The actual steps in making a fishing lure consists of four parts:

  • Making or acquiring an original model
  • The making of the mould
  • The casting of the faux lure
  • The decorating of the bait fishing lure

The steps to producing a lure, are simple to follow and are laid out below.

THE ORIGINAL MODEL

You start with a model, which could be one you have shaped in oil based clay such as Plastelina or carved in wax or balsa wood. It could also be an existing lure, or even a worm or live fish.

The model can be the key to added enjoyment for many, in that they can increase the fun and interest, by modelling a unique design of their own. By all means start by making reproductions of naturally occurring bait, but do not restrict your interest at that level. Go on to produce something original.

THE MOULD

You have a variety of materials to use as a mould. One of the most popular and easiest to work with is silicone. This comes in either a liquid form, CraftSil RTV silicone or Room Temperature Vulcanising Silicone, that cures overnight or alternatively you can the new silicone putty that yields a finished mould ready for casting in only 10 minutes.

The liquid silicones come in different degrees of firmness and stretchability to cover all requirements. They also have the ability to produce dozens or even hundreds of cast faux bait if you wished to sell to others.

Moulds can be made in either one or two parts. The one part mould leaves one part of the lure with a flat section. This does not materially affect the use of the bait and is also easier to cast and/or decorate.

The two part mould enables you to make a 3D lifelike reproduction of live bait.

Silicone Putty is ideal for the smaller type of firm lure masters. However as it must be pressed around the master to form a mould, it would not be suitable for live insects, frogs or live fish,  that silicone liquid could handle quite easily, due to its free flowing characteristics.

 

TYPES OF FISHING LURES

Lures can be made from materials that produce either a “soft” or a “hard” fishing lure.

The “hard lures” are usually made from a quick setting polyurethane material that sets up in only a few minutes.

Our resin of choice is a two part polyurethane resin that sets to a white, hard, rigid plastic in 3 minutes and can be taken from the mould in 10 minutes.

The clear resin of choice is an epoxy resin that dries to a clear hard water white casting. It has no odour or side effects such as we see with the polyester resins.

 

HOW TO CAST YOUR HARD FISHING LURES

Our resin of choice is CraftCast which is a polyurethane resin that sets to a white, hard, rigid plastic in 3 minutes and can be taken from the mould in 10 minutes. It is also available as a tan coloured and also a clear resin.

It is ideal for casting a wide range of items from figurines to vintage car accessories, toy train parts, model aeroplane parts, jewellery and rigid plastic components of all kinds.

It has none of the objectionable smell of polyester resins, which must be cast in well ventilated areas. CraftCast is an easy mixing two part resin that uses equal volumes of resin and hardener.

This saves the necessity of owning expensive weighing equipment so often necessary with resins.

Due to the rapidity of the setting time of this resin it is essential to have everything ready before you start. Remember the warmer the room the faster the reaction and this applies to the resin itself. One way to slow things down is to cool the resin in a refrigerator prior to mixing.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

 (1) Disposable plastic or waxed paper mixing containers and measuring containers.

(2) Disposable wood or plastic stirring sticks

(3) Paper towels and newspapers to cover bench tops and clean up.

CASTING HARD BAIT FISHING LURES 

  • Make certain the mould is absolutely dry. Polyurethanes of all types will foam up in the presence of water.
  • Warm your mould in an oven at 60⁰Cfor 15 to 20 minutes or in a microwave for one minute per 500gm of rubber. This is to allow the resin to cure properly. Incidently do not microwave the resin.
  • Shake the Part B component of the CraftCast resin then measure equal parts of Part A and Part B into the measuring measures provided in the kit. Stir thoroughly for about 30 seconds until no swirls or unmixed sections can be seen.
  • Pour the mixed CraftCast down the side of the mould until all sections of the mould are covered. Rotate the mould slowly as you pour to ensure all undercuts are coated with resin. A slight squeeze of the mould seems to assist in coverage and release of any trapped air.
  • In several minutes the clear resin will slowly develop an opaque white appearance and go from a liquid to a white solid.
  • When completely solid anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes, the part may be removed from the mould. Gently flex the silicone mould away from the casting and remove from the mould.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

 Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion do not induce vomiting. Give 1 to 2 glasses of milk or water to drink. See a doctor. Use with rubber gloves. In case of skin contact wipe off with methylated spirits and then wash with soap and water. Wear eye protection. In case of eye contact, flush with water for at least 15 minutes and see a doctor. Wash thoroughly after using. Always read and follow use and safety recommendations.

Please Note:

 All resins and mould making rubbers are sensitive to moisture, so please replace caps after using and store in a cool dry place. Use within 1 year of purchasing. Remember these are industrial chemicals.

CASTING SOFT BAIT FISHING LURES

“Soft lures” are made from plastisol, a virgin vinyl product, which after shaking well, is melted in a microwave or heated over a stove or burner to liquefy, before being poured into a mould. Plastisol gives the lure a lifelike look and feel to the finished faux bait that has to be seen to be believed.

An advantage of soft lures, as opposed to hard lures, is that soft lures will retain scents much longer than hard lures where it washes off quickly.

PLASTISOL

Plastisol is a suspension of PVC particles in a plasticizer. It flows as a liquid and can be poured into a heated mould. When heated to around 177°C the plastic and plasticizer mutually dissolve each other. On cooling the mould below 60°C, a flexible, permanently plasticized product results.

Slush Moulding

Plastisol is used for slush moulding or slush casting. It is a form of spin casting that is more complex than relatively simple resin casting, but less expensive and less sophisticated then the injection moulding process used for most commercial plastic objects. It requires a metal mould capable of tolerating the range of temperatures listed above, that can be filled with liquid plastisol.

After the mould is filled with plastisol it is spun on a high speed centrifuge to force the liquid vinyl into all the fine detail on the interior of the mould. For small objects a normal jewellery centrifugal caster can be used.  For larger objects merely ensuring the moulds are completely filled may be all that is necessary.

Industrially the metal mould is then placed into a heating solution usually an industrial salt heated to about 400°C. The liquid vinyl is allowed to cook for a few seconds in the heated bath and then removed and the remaining liquid is poured out.

This leaves a thin film of vinyl on the interior of the metal mould. The mould is then returned to the hot bath for another 3 to 4 minutes to cure.  After curing the mould is again removed from the heating solution, cooled with water and placed on a drying rack.

While the vinyl part is still warm in the mould, it is very flexible and can be removed from the mould with pliers. When the part cools it becomes rigid and are ready for assembly.

Source Wikipedia.

HOW TO MAKE FLOATING BAIT

Both types of lures can be made to float by the addition of Microballoons or Qcells to the Plastisol or hard setting resins. Both can also be decorated with a wide range of paints, dyes or powdered pigments.

The plastisol itself can either be hardened or softened by the addition of a hardener or softener.

Safety Precaution: Allow the plastisol to fully cool before removing from the mould as it all too easy to get burns if you attempt to demould too quickly.

DECORATING THE LURE

Finishing the lure by painting, is best achieved with the use of an airbrush and can yield a completed article that is difficult to distinguish from the real thing.

Some types of painted finishes will need to be clear coated, to seal the finish. Great effects can be achieved by pouring different coloured layers into the mould during the casting process.

Dusting the mould before casting, using a fine haired paint brush with powdered pigments or mica dust, such as the Alumidust Powder Colours, can produce a lure that is so life like, that it can be used to catch fish straight out of the mould.

 


Source: Fix.com Blog

ARE KITS AVAILABLE

Kits provide a good starting point for many hours of enjoyment and relaxation, in starting to make fishing lures. The kits will open the door to advanced techniques that are available to you, once you have mastered the basics. Yes, they might even help you to catch more and bigger fish, but be sure it will be a fun time. Click here for more information .

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