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Making Lures

January 1, 2013

November 19, 2012

I’ve always been enamored with the idea of making my own fishing lures and have upon occasion whittled away my time making assorted surface baits.  Low budget in nature, these attempts result in lures that look and perform good enough to fool an occasional fish. Eventually though, my hands and fingers succumb to the wear and tear of whittling rudimentary baits.  It is then that my feet take me to a sporting good store where my eyes see all the perfect, sparkly lures and my brain tells me I’m just wasting my time.  So, for the last couple of years my whittling knives and lure plans have sitting in a shoebox gathering dust.

Wandering the aisles of the sporting good store marveling at the globs of soft plastic musky baits selling for upwards of twenty dollars got my brain thinking about making baits again.  Heading home I searched the Internet for information regarding lure making, particularly soft plastic lures.  There I stumbled across the Make a Lure site.  This is a great site with lots of how to videos, starter kits and of course, all the stuff you need to make your own baits.  Watching the enthusiastic genius of Larry Dahlberg at work had me hooked.  Figuring a starter kit was the best place to start, I ordered the Soft Bait kit.

I received my kit within a few days and immediately sat down to sculpt my first bait, an attempt at a Mr. Whiggley type bait like that crafted by Larry Dahlberg.  The process starts with a lump of Sculpey modeling clay and shaping it into whatever your imagination comes up with, which is much easier, aka less bloody, on the fingers than whittling.  After shaping your lure, you bake it for ten minutes, let it cool, make a frame and then mix and pour the soft rubber into the mold.  While the mold I created is not beautiful, the addition of extra duct tape held things together just fine.

Before

Before

After

After

photo

24 hours later

24 hours later

Twenty-four hours later the mold has set and you can remove it from the frame.  Using a sharp knife you cut a seam long enough to slide the lure out of the mold and you are ready to heat and pour the Alumisol Soft Plastic.

Heating up the Alumisol Soft Plastic

Heating up the Alumisol Soft Plastic

Pouring a lure

Pouring a lure

Nearing completion

Almost set….

The finished products

The finished products

All in all, not bad.  Will they work?  I plan to find out in a few days.  It was a fun experiment. I could have poured many more as the Alumisol sets in a few minutes, a process that can be accelerated by placing in a freezer or outdoors in the winter.  During the experimental stage, I may resort to making molds out of Plaster of Paris in order to keep my costs down.   The rubber mold was relatively easy to make and it is my plan to use rubber molds after I’m done experimenting and have gained some experience.

– Hats

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Benny permalink
    January 1, 2013 2:33 pm

    How did the kitchen smell after heating the Alumisol?

    • January 2, 2013 1:28 pm

      Great question. All the videos mentioned heating the Alumisol in a well ventilated space so I had the kitchen vent on as I heated the Alumisol. As a result, the odor wasn’t that bad but there was a lingering odor. Tough to describe unless you’ve worked with Alumisol or similar products before.

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