Sunday, August 11, 2013

DIY Lure Making: The Polli-Minner

                Saying I like to tinker with fishing lures is a bit of an understatement. Ever since I first suspended a worm under a bobber I have been looking for different ways to get my hook into fishes mouths. Forming and pouring soft plastic baits is a fairly cheap and fun way to hopefully put more fish in the boat. I fish double dropper rigs in the ocean for rockfish and ling cod so I wanted a fat little body most fish could get in their mouths easily, and a flat long tail to add a subtle action as size to the bait without adding much bulk. I formed the blank out of Super Sculpey molding clay and baked it in the oven. After that I sanded the blank smooth as I could and cast it in a two part silicone mold maker putty.
A few spots did not turn out as I wanted, but it is a prototype so I am not too worried about it being perfect.
This might be the ugliest mold I have ever made. I was going to try to mold something else, but by the time I figured out it was not going to work the putty was almost half cured so I added it to the bottom. Ugly mold, but pretty functional.
The first one came out with a lot of pitting because the mold was dry and not fully cured. To get a smoother finish you can lightly oil the mold and/or lit the lure with a small torch or heat gun just until it smokes. The heat gun method is also a good way to add an eye mark with a Sharpie and make it meld into the plastic. It is a good way to customize any soft plastic lure you have.
            So I ended up with a half polliwog half minnow thing--Polliminner! I bet the rockfish and ling cod are going to love it. If I slit the belly a 0/4 hook fits perfectly into the body, but it needs a little weight to get down where the bass are. I think he might do OK with bass, but I can't wait to see what the rockfish think of him.  
                  For a tail that doesn't move much cast it straight or bent to the side. For a tail that swims and thumps hard cast it bent above or below the body--think Mister Twister. It is fun coming up with the ideas for these baits and pouring them, but one mistake would be to group them all together. I think the tail moves just enough, between being jigged and the ocean current it will give it plenty of movement to draw in the fish. 
                Keep like colors with each other and keep them all out of the sun when you can. Colors bleeding together can ruin the hard work you put into coloring them quickly. I find blacks, motor oil, red and chartreuse tend to bleed a little more than other colors. . When I have an idea for a new lure it is hard to sleep, which explains why from concept to prototype the Polliminner came together in less than twelve hours. CCKF is having another tournament, The Cambria Slam Down, in September and I have a few more ideas that might help me there. 

Thanks for reading,



  1. That's really cool, man. I've always been curious about making my own plastics. Looks like you have a good end product that will hopefully attract some fish out there for you....from the video it looks like you already have your cats attention. haha

    1. The cat liking it is how I know it is going to be a winner. :D

  2. Very, very cool. I am about to dive into carving balsa baits (mainly cranks) and most likely painting as well. Something about making your own baits is super alluring.

    1. I can tell you from personal experience that it is great catching a fish on a lure you made yourself, but it is amazing watching someone else catch a fish on a lure you made. I look forward to seeing what you carve Drew.

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