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You are here: TackleMaking Encyclopedia > How-To Guides > Soft Plastic Lures
How to Make Soft Plastic Lures
Soft plastic lures are probably the easiest type of lure to make. All you need is a heat source, some used plastic worms, a pan, and a mold. Here's a quick tutorial to get you started.
How To Guide: Soft Plastic Lures

The Result:
4 1/2 " Purple Shrimp Curly-Q

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace*

Before you start, you will need to locate and prepare a suitable workspace. Choose wisely, as you will likely spill supplies, release noxious fumes, splatter plastic and use surfaces that can burn. In other words, don't mold soft plastic fishing lures on your nice dining room table next to your small children. :-)

Once you settle into your ventilated (the plastic smells!) workspace, gather the necessary tools and materials and organize them on your workbench. Lock the door to prevent any disturbances and wear your safety goggles..

Tools & Supplies:

  • Soft Plastic Mold (MF Manufacturing, Mfg SKU#2724SCQ)
  • Plastisol (or used soft plastics) (1 cup)
  • Plastic coloring (purple) (1 tsp)
  • Small glitter flakes (nonmetallic, silver) (1 pinch)
  • Microwave (preferably separate from your cooking microwave)
  • Microwave Safe Glass Measuring Cup (4 cup size or larger)
  • Pizza Cutter
  • Paper Towels
  • Baking Pan (aluminum, large)

Step 2: Prepare Your Mold
Set your soft plastic mold on a sturdy, heat resistant surface. If you will be pouring multiple molds at a time, line up the molds next to each other. Spray the mold cavities with a vegetable-based cooking spray such as "PAM".

Step 3: Heat Your Plastic
Pour your liquid plastic (Plastisol) into your glass measuring cup. If you do not have liquid plastic, then simply clean some old soft plastic lures and place them into the measuring cup. Do not to fill the measuring cup more than halfway, as you will have difficulty pouring the heated plastic.

Place the measuring cup w/ plastic into the microwave and heat it on high for 3 1/2 to 5 minutes or until all of the plastic is in a smooth liquid state. NOTE: The plastic will thicken and then thin during the heating process. Stop heating immediately if plastic begins to smoke (it smokes if the heat is too high or it is being heated for too long). Do not overheat.

Step 4: Add Color, Glitter & Scents Etc.
When the plastic is done heating, remove it from the microwave and stir in a small amount of purple plastic coloring (1 drop at a time until desired color is reached) and also add any additional nonmetal glitter, scents or flavorings. (NOTE: DO NOT PUT METAL GLITTER IN THE MICROWAVE - IT COULD START A FIRE OR RUIN YOUR MICROWAVE!) Stir slowly. Place the plastic back in the microwave and heat on high for an additional 30 seconds.

Step 5: Pour Plastic Into Mold
Slowly pour the plastic into the mold cavities moving from one end of the body to the other. This prevents air bubbles from forming in the lure.

Fill the mold cavity as much as possible without overflowing. (It will take a little practice before you will be able to judge when the "overflow" point is.)

Step 6: Cool and Remove
Wait for the plastic to fully cool in the mold (about 10 to 15 minutes). When your newly poured lure has cooled, remove it and place it on top of a flat paper towel. Be careful not to rest the lure in an awkward position, as it will likely harden in that position and become useless for fishing. Leave it overnight to fully cool.

Step 7: Trim the Lure
After your soft plastics have fully cooled and are no longer sticky to the touch, place them on an aluminum cookie sheet. Trim off any excess plastic by rolling over it with a pizza cutter. Alternatively, lures can be trimmed or detailed using a sharp pair of scissors.

Step 8: Experiment!
Now that you know the basics, start playing around with multiple colors, new shapes, and different scents and flavorings. To pour a multicolored bait, simply heat two measuring cups of different-colored plastic. Fill part of the mold with one color and follow-up immediately with the other color to finish it off.

*Always wear safety goggles and follow instructions provided by the manufacturer or supplier of the tools and components you are using. TackleMaking is not responsible for any damage (personal, property, or otherwise) that results from reading, following, or referencing this article and/or performing the actions described within it.

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