This guide will show you just how easy it is to make your own soft plastic lures. This guide is intended for those using Tugbait plastisol for the first time and covers the basics to make soft plastic lures.
What you need to get started:
- You will need Plastisol. This is the material from which the lures are made.We would recommend starting with our plastisol standard or plastisol hard.
- You will need a microwave and a glass beaker for heating the plastisol. The glass beaker must be microwave safe.
- You will then need a mould of the type of lure you want to make. The easiest way to start is to get a one-part mold in which you can simply pour the heated plastisol from the top.This would give you one flat side. Although injecting is just as easy.
- You will need plastisol colourant and something to mix with, my screwdriver works just fine for mixing.
I will now show you how its done. I will first show you how to make a clear worm lure and then a black one.I made a worm mould using silicone rubber.
Important -Before using plastisol it needs to be well stirred/shaken up. Firstly use your mixer/stick and scrape any settled solids off the bottom of the plastisol bottle, do this for about a minute. Then put the cap back on and shake the bottle for another minute to make sure all the scraped bits are mixed well. If you don't do this your lures will be softer than they should be.
I am using a 100ml beaker. Below I have poured 50 ml plastisol into the beaker. This will give me 5 worms. Plastisol looks like milk.
I am using an inexpensive 700watt microwave for heating which works great. You can quickly overheat small amounts of plastisol so I have the microwave set on med-high instead of high. I put the plastisol in the microwave and heated it for 30 seconds, the picture below shows what it looks like. It is still white and the temperature is about 60-70 degC.
I put it back in the microwave and heated for a further 30 seconds.Below you can see the plastisol is starting to go clear, this means its at about 120 degC. This is a good time to mix it to make sure its heating evenly and all the plastisol components are mixed well together. At this stage the plastisol will start approaching its thickest point, further heating will thin it out so it's easy to pour.
I have heated the plastisol for a further 15 seconds, you can see below that it has gone completely clear now.
A further 10 seconds of heating and the temperature has reached between 150 and 160 degC and it is ready to pour into the mould. The plastisol is clear and bubble free and easy to pour.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT OVERHEAT your plastisol. You don't want to heat in the range 180degC to 200degC. If you do you will see the plastisol start turning yellow and then go to red/brown at which point the plastic is burning.There will also be quite a lot of vapours coming off which includes hazardous vapours which will irritate/burn your eyes, nose and throat and can make you start coughing. For your first attempts heat slowly and use a thermometer to measure the temperature until you are comfortable with your heating setup.
Use gloves when pouring so you don't burn yourself, the glass beaker and plastic is hot. Pour enough of the plastic to fill your mould.
For this worm I am making it will take about 2 minutes for it to solidify afterwhich you can remove it from the mould. And there you have it, you have just made your first soft plastic lure.
You can now pour some more, if the plastic left in the glass beaker has cooled and is too thick to pour simply put it back in the microwave for another 10 seconds or more till you can pour again.
Now to make a black worm. I have added one drop black plastisol colourant to the remaining plastisol in my beaker( just over 40ml) and mixed it in . Heated it again for about 15 seconds and poured into the mould. Normally we recommend adding your colourant before heating, the dosage of our colourants are 1 drop to 50 - 200ml plastisol.(Solid colour to very translucent)
And that's how easy it is, bag your lures and add a few drops worm oil to keep them fresh and lubricated. Other things to try now are to mix some of your own colours and mix in glitters, then go fishing.
Important - Remember safety.
Although working with our plastisol is quite safe you should still avoid breathing in vapours while working with plastisol, and do not breath in vapours if you have over heated the plastisol. Work in a well ventilated area , we would also recommend using a respirator/mask used for working with organic vapours. You can find these at hardware stores.
Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from hot vapours and splashes, Wear gloves when pouring hot plastic so you don't burn yourself.My old cheap black chemical gloves work fine. You should also wear some protective clothing with long sleaves.