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ARTICLE - D.I.Y Soft Plastics Part 2


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In part one we made our moulds, now how to use them.


What you'll need: Liquid soft plastic such as "Plastisol" or similar, an old microwave that you aren't usually using for food any longer, Pyrex pouring jugs, colour for the plastic- either liquid or I prefer powder pigment and some glitter (best to use special purpose glitter that is more microwave "compatible")  a metal teaspoon or two and a couple of stirring rods-  I like using stainless steel chopsticks. Also a glove/oven mitt suitable for holding the hot Pyrex jug.

As different microwave strengths are available, only a bit of trial and error with your individual unit will let you know exactly how long to heat your soft plastic solution before it's ready to pour- it's better to "undercook" the solution rather than overcook it, because overcooked goes a dull brown and renders it unsuitable for adding colour or reheating again. There are instructions included on heating with each type of plastic that is available- FOLLOW STRICTLY THE HEATING INSTRUCTIONS!! 

For the most part it's as simple as shaking (REALLY WELL) the plastic solution because it has it's own curing catalyst in the bottle, then pouring enough solution (again trial and error tells you how much) into your jug to fill your mould/s, then heating on high power for about 1 to 2 minutes before pouring.

 I like to add my colour before heating usually and giving it a good stir- if you use powder pigment a really tiny amount goes a real long way, for example about a quarter of a teaspoon will colour easily 25-35 lures (depending on size of lure) so start with far less powder than you think and if a darker shade is required, simply add a tiny bit more powder- by mixing before heating you have the true colour you'll finish up with. Another good reason for using the powder pigment is that once made, your lures don't "bleed" colours once finished.

So we have our Pyrex jug with pre-coloured solution heating in the microwave, moulds on a flat surface and a heat proof glove on ready to go. Once the solution is heated correctly it will remain thin, runny and "pourable" for about 35-40 seconds, so you need to remove it and be ready to pour immediately. If you are adding some glitter I find it best to add it by having a small amount sitting on a metal teaspoon ready to go- drop it in the jug AFTER heating and just a real quick stir for a couple of seconds with the chopstick is all you need, then pour into your moulds. An alternative for dispensing the glitter is to put it in a salt shaker.

For the first attempts at pouring I suggest just using one colour as you can do it quickly and easily before the solution starts to set- when it suddenly thickens, you need to let it set in the jug and cool down before reheating. If you haven't completed your pour, don't worry, whatever has gone in the mould will be compatible with the next/reheated solution and it will meld together.

It's a good idea to have several Pyrex jugs for a couple of reasons- 1) you can maintain individual colours in each jug 2) as the jugs take several minutes to cool down after each pour, it saves waiting time to pour more lures because the newly moulded lures can be removed from the moulds within about 3-5 minutes of pouring, whereas the jugs take about twice as long to cool down. One thing you can do to speed up the jug cooling process is as soon as you can see the remaining solution in the jug has solidified, use a round ended knife like a butter knife and "lift" the remaining solidified solution out of the jug- it will come out as one piece usually and the escaping heat will allow faster cooling of the Pyrex.

An alternative recommendation for first time pourers is that it's a good idea to start off with minimal colouring- just add a tiny bit of glitter to the near-clear solution, if you aren't happy with the result, just use a pair of scissors and cut up your made lures and simply re-heat the lot, adding a bit of coloured pigment paint, that way you aren't wasting anything. After a while of making plastics, you work out which colours you can reheat together successfully.

Once poured into the mould it takes about 3-5 minutes to set, then the lures can be removed and the excess (such as the pouring entrance) can be cut off- I find good quality sharp scissors are the best for this and cut in a fairly quick motion as the plastic is flexible. ALL the excess along with any spillage and trimmed bits are saved for recycling. When recycling, if you've used lighter colours you can change colours pretty easily by adding a fair bit more of the colour you want to achieve, again trial and error lets you establish quite quickly which colours are compatible, but many lighter colours can be successfully mixed.

OK, Pouring a single colour lure is pretty easy, now for two colours. The two obvious ways to do this are 1) pour first colour and leave to set 2) pour first colour and immediately pour second on the top of first before cooling. I've had best results using method 2, however the separation line can get a bit cloudy- no big deal really and the fish don't seem to care. The main difficulty in pouring two colours is that you just have to estimate how much of the first (bottom colour in the mould) to pour in before adding the second colour to fill the mould cavity- it's not an exact science as you can't see into the mould while pouring unless you use something to keep the removal slit on the top open. After pouring a two colour plastic I find it's better to wait about 10 minutes before removing from the mould, so the mould contents has a decent amount of time to bond together.

One of my favourite methods when pouring fish shapes, is to just pour a really small amount of clear plastic with only some glitter in it into the mould, which gives a "translucent belly" effect- then pour the next colour over to fill the cavity, leaving you with a clear, sparkly "belly" and contrasting rest of body. I think contrasting colour somewhere in your lures is a good thing, mainly because it makes them more visible- which is what you want to achieve to make the lure noticeable to fish.

After the lures have cooled and you've trimmed off the excess and put it back in the jug for recycling, the next thing to do is to give them a wash to clean off all the "slimy residue" -which is like an oily/greasy film on the outside. I've found that making up a weak saltwater solution (1 tablespoon of salt to 1 litre of warm water) and leaving your lures to soak for about 10 minutes removes pretty much all of this residue, then a quick rinse with clean water and allow to dry and they're ready to use. All excess and unused plastic is simply cut up with scissors to assist with melting and re-heated in your jug via the same process.


After extensive testing of multiple different colours over a long period of time, I'm happy to stick to using only a few colours, either alone or in combination with each other. In my opinion, the most versatile colours are White, Fluoro Orange and Fluoro Pink, followed by Red. If you want t make lures for freshwater using Fluoro Green and Yellow seem to attract the most attention. The following species list has my own "colour chart"- not strictly, but my normal "go-to" colour range. The "Clear" always have some amount of sparkle/glitter mixed in.

Bream: Brown/s with Orange or Black highlights, Silver, Clear

Flathead: Pink, Orange, Gold

Whiting: Orange, Red, Clear

Tailor and Salmon: White, Silver, Clear

Kingfish: Bright Fluoro Orange, White- particularly "Pearl White", Bright Pink, Clear and really light Brown

Mulloway: Black, White, Silver 

These are just a basic guide of what I've found to work best for my style of fishing, others no doubt have their own favourite colours. The one other thing I'll add about colours is that often a colour- like Fluoro Orange or Pink will draw attention from otherwise seemingly uninterested fish. The brightest Orange has been particularly effective on Kingfish, Tailor and Flathead, yet looks like nothing you're likely to see in the water normally, whatever the reason, these species really go for it, so don't be afraid to try bright or "un-natural" colour schemes


As many of today's plastic materials are quite incompatible, it's necessary to separate them from each other to prevent "plastic melt" which occurs when two or more of these incompatible materials come in contact with each other, resulting in a messy blob or sticky, gooey mess. Boxes known as "worm-proof" are made of neutral materials that don't react with other plastics, these are what you need to store your new plastics in. As an alternative, Tackle supply shops also sell "worm-proof" snap seal bags, as do soft plastic supply companies. It's well worth buying some as they keep your lures both fresh and safe from melting with incompatible materials, which can include packaging, knife sheaths and other items you may not realise that don't mix well.

I hope this is a help to anyone who wants to have a go at making their own lures, it adds another dimension of excitement to fishing when you hook a fish on one of your own creations and remember that often "unconventional" creations can work extremely well. My most satisfying moments have come from watching Flathead race up from the bottom and engulf my plastic lures off the surface (bright orange again!) and having a couple of Murray Cod take my crab imitations that were fished like bait on a hand line by two young boys at Moree (considering that no Murray Cod would have ever seen a crab!).

Any other information such as suppliers of materials just PM me- 

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Thank you  Waza.

A few questions please:

1. What are 'your' SP colors for Snapper?

2. Did you experiment with scents for SPs?

3. Did you make / what's your opinion on glowing SPs?


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Hi Andrew I don't have much experience using SP for Snapper but the colours they asked me for were pearl white, red/green and 2 blues. Scratchie would be a better person to ask!

Yes experimented with scents both in moulding process and in bags- better off adding when actually fishing. Scent is definitely worthwhile- better than no scent on lures.

Yes make glowing SP using luminous powder with clear plastic- they go greeny-white, did not catch any more/less fish on them but they were very visible! Much of my luminous powder went to mates for non-fishing projects like glowing eyes on car ornaments etc!

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