The advantages of pouring your own lures are:
1. the ability to customize soft plastic lures
2. save time and money (gas, shipping, taxes, backorders, etc.)
3. the satisfaction of catching fish on your own creations without having to depend on manufacturers or suppliers.
4. seeing others catch fish on your lures
It's quite easy once you get started. The start up costs are not that expensive, the rewards are considerable and you can copy most lures or invent new ones!
Method for a one-part mold.
When you pour a bait from a one-part mold, one surface of the lure will be flat or semi-flat and the bottom will have the shape of the cavity. These lures may not be as appealing to the eye in certain styles, but take it from me, they still work.
One part molds of soft sticks, straight tail worms and chunk trailers are the easiest to make copies of and take the least amonut of time.
1. Flexible container (ie. soft-aluminum baking pan, margarine tub, plastic tv
2. Tablespoon to add plaster to cold water or water to plaster
3. Water (to mix plaster, clean brushes, cool lures down
4. Popsicle sticks to stir plaster
5. Lure or prototype to be copied
6. Sealer - any plaster/wall board, water soluble sealer such as Valspar
Gloss Glaze (Home Depot)
7. Fine hair brushes (dollar store) to apply sealer to the cavity and to
apply worm oil.
8. Plaster (i.e. Home Depot - 25lb of DAP cost $7.00!)
9. Old plastic or liquid plastisol. (melted plastic can be reused, but care
must be taken not to overheat it! Burnt plastic will become hard and
black and smoke.
10. Non water-soluble worm oil (i.e. Fish Formula, Mega Strike, Baitmate)
used to coat the mold cavity in order to produce a shiny lure and to aid
in worm release.
*note: water must never get into hot plastic. It will cause uncontrollable
foaming, bubbling, spitting and release a hot steam!
11. Microwave, stove or stove top burner.
12. Plastic softener - a must for softer baits
(note: not always necessary, but softer baits have more action but less
13. Pyrex measuring cup (for microwave) or small metal pans (for stove top)
to melt and pour plastic; a Lee Production Pot, specifically for heating
plastic, can be bought for $55 and is good for mass production plastics.
1. Add a little cold water to mold
2 .Add heaping tablespoons of plaster and stir well with p. stick, (use the spoon only to add dry plaster).
The plaster should have the consistency of smooth cake batter, have no bubbles and should be at least 3/4" high (a little less for one-sided molds or thin baits).
3. Wait until the plaster will support the weight of a lure. Note: If plaster becomes too firm for the lure, junk it and start over.
4. Add the lure(s) to the plaster and make sure it's top surface is flush wiht the plaster surface. (Note: When making a two-part mold, the form should only be submerged to half it's thickness.)
Two part molds
These molds have a pour spout or opening at one end and produce completely rounded baits.
1. For a two-part mold, take two inches of Popsicle stick and shove down into the soft plaster, but away from the lure cavity. This will act as a guide to assemble the two parts and aligning surface-to-surface before pouring.
2. After the first half hardens and dries, take some Vaseline and coat the surface of the mold.
3. Apply small strips of aluminum foil to the bottom half's surface and tuck into the corners of least two sides and two ends of the container. These serve as borders between the two mold halves and greatly aids in separating them.
4. In a separate container, mix up enough plaster to add another 3/4" of plaster on top of the bottom half containing the lure(s).
5. Pour smooth plaster on top of the bottom half to a depth of 3/4" and then wait until it is dry and hard (45 minutes to 1 hour) before separating the two.
6. Pop the mold from the container.
7. Use a thin, wide, flathead screwdriver to separate the two halves a little at a time by inserting and twisting, all around the mold, at the junction made with the aluminum foil strips. The parts will pop apart, with the lower half holding the guide-alignment stick(s). The aluminum foil only serves as a guide/ boundary and can be thrown away.
Note: the mold halves must be hard and dry so as not to damage either half.
Finishing the mold
1. Remove the lure(s)
2. Make a pour hole with a knife by carving hemi-circlular channels in the plaster,
that lead to one end of the lure and results in a funnel-shaped pour-hole.
3. After the mold dries completely, coat the cavities, pour channel and top surface with sealer. (Note: Devcon 2-ton Epoxy is the best sealer, but Valspar is easier to use and cheaper.) Make sure to get any excess out of the cavities with a fine brush or it will blunt lure details.
Note: The mold may need to be recoated if the sealer wears off, but usually not for months when using Valspar gloss or a good sealer.
Pouring Plastic for the first time (fast method):
1. Take a small Pyrex cup and melt some new or old plastic in a microwave for 15- to 30-second intervals, until it has a thin maple syrup consistency. Stir with metal only to insure no globs are in the plastic and that it is uniformly heated.
2. Pour into the cavity (or down the pour hole for a 2-part) For one-part molds, pour evenly until a slight hump forms. Hot plastic contracts once it cools and the surface of the pour will be concave unless overpoured a little.)
Tip: I brush Original Fish Formula (oil) into the cavity just before pouring to get a glossy lure surface.
Note: Adding salt is easier as long as it's ground to a fine powder, using a cheap coffee grinder. Normal salt settles to the bottom and may not flow with the plastic. Salt is used mostly for added weight and lure texture and tends to stiffen a lure. to counter this, softener must be added.
Note: The finer or thinner the details (legs, antennae, curl tails), the more difficult to pour without over pouring. Overpouring results in flashing - or a thin sheet of plastic around the form. It can be cut off the lure with small scissors.