blazt*

Molding 3d Lure Eyes?

22 posts in this topic

I'm kind of dissapointed with the various lure eyes out there because , except for the basic "round pupil" el cheapo models (which I'm happy with), they seem to be way overpriced for the quality. Glass eyes cost more than a Japanese lure, and the soft assymetrical pupil eyes just aren't that good for the price.

But what about mixing up some plastic resin with gold pearl powder, pouring that down, letting it dry to light tack, then adding pupils with a nail that has been filed down to shape. Then more clear resin on top of that? I think it would be pretty easy and relatively fast to crank out a hundred or more if you could just find or easily make the right mold. I want some killer eyes for clearwater lures - I think eyes make a bait "pop" almost as much as a top notch clear.

I guess the mold would be the crux - I don't think a drill bit would leave a smooth enough cavity if you made your own. But I know there has to be something good out there.

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I have tried molding 3D eyes, but I never got the clarity that I wanted. Maybe you will have better molding technique.

I think the best way is to use the natural doming of a thick epoxy or similar. It is fiddly and more time consuming than molding, but the results are clear and presentable. Consistency is also an issue with the dome method, you need to control how much epoxy is applied. Once you establish a system, it can be quite efficient and productive. I will need to get back to the project soon.

Dave

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Get a piece of silicone material that's used for ovenmits or countertop pads. Cut little concave holes in the silicone to the shapes that you want and use that as a mold.

www.novalures.com

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Get a piece of silicone material that's used for ovenmits or countertop pads. Cut little concave holes in the silicone to the shapes that you want and use that as a mold.

www.novalures.com

Do you know where to get those on the street?

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Has anyone tried rod finish epoxy, like flex coat and thread master. I build rods and have had a few drops on my formica table top dry. It will take paint and you could mold it to any shape. Also, five minute flex coat epoxy, which i use to glue up handles and grips might also work. I just know when i clean up after applying it, it comes out dome shape and smooth.

I add color to the rod finish when i do marbling on rods, so you can add a base color and paint the eyes dots after it dries. Just a thought. I'm getting ready to do some ultra minnow jigs with the eye cavities, and i will see how it work out. Rich

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I had some extra D2T after gluing some bills on the other day and used a little piece of the wax paper and tried to form some eyes on it. It works pretty good but they are kinda have a lot of air bubbles in them. If you just painted them a solid color it would work. Also they don't have th sticky back so you would have to glue them on your baits but it would probably work good for craw eyes. I paint just pure black eyes for craws so I think I will use these for them.

Tim

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Do you know where to get those on the street?

I've seen them in the Dollar Store. I would assume that Wally World and the like would carry them as well.

www.novalures.com

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I had some extra D2T after gluing some bills on the other day and used a little piece of the wax paper and tried to form some eyes on it. It works pretty good but they are kinda have a lot of air bubbles in them. If you just painted them a solid color it would work. Also they don't have th sticky back so you would have to glue them on your baits but it would probably work good for craw eyes. I paint just pure black eyes for craws so I think I will use these for them.

Tim

You could probably mold the straight onto the bait for craws. Or heck even a baitfish crank. Maybe. But I have to wonder what the effect would be like if you molded eyes from D2T and the cleared with the same? I'd like to do some craws possibly in the future...but right now what I really want is the closest thing to a glass fish eye made for taxidermy. They cost something like $12 a pair at VanDykes!

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I've seen them in the Dollar Store. I would assume that Wally World and the like would carry them as well.

www.novalures.com

Thanks...I'll be on the lookout for that next time I hit Dollar Tree. But I'm also thinking I may make a mold from Walmart silicone sealant, as seen in the huge thread over in Soft Baits.

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You could probably mold the straight onto the bait for craws. Or heck even a baitfish crank. Maybe. But I have to wonder what the effect would be like if you molded eyes from D2T and the cleared with the same? I'd like to do some craws possibly in the future...but right now what I really want is the closest thing to a glass fish eye made for taxidermy. They cost something like $12 a pair at VanDykes!

Ya that is what I was doing and had some left over after using it. I ripped the eyes off a DT FAT and got down to the wood so that was the only choice I had.

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I've used two part molding silicon molded over dome headed nuts. Pour epoxy in and once dry pop them out. Its used for pendants and jewelry.

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For me this - "Lure Eyes" - is the 'Holy Grail' of lure making - ----- On and off, I have been at it since my last trip to the 2008 TU meet in Clinton Mo- and IMO

I think I am getting close (BUT I'm quite a bit biased) .

I usually make 8mm eyes (5/16th") and have tried the 'epoxy meniscus' blob method - the epoxy 'blob/ sag' method - the molded method (several variants)- the epoxy/'brass ring method AND the ordinary- http://www.taxidermy.com/eyes/ method --- all these are great ideas, but for my money all produce second rate results-- we will never beat mother nature but some of us aspire to get close.

I recently went fishing for some Bream down at the coast and was fortunate enough, over two days to catch (between three of us ) about 130 of them, they all had those 'sorrowful' golden ringed eyes, which I am fascinated by (don't worry, we released them all)-- The floating black blob with THAT golden ring, weather round or like Flathead here, which is a teardrop shape, for me makes our lures 'live'--- I am trying to get my 'bit's' together and bring them over for the upcoming TU meet in Clinton and do a 'How To' for these golden eyes- As we all know, this is all very tedious, no matter which method we use - I 'm just trying to imagine how Jerry is going to shrink a couple of hours of my bumbling around into 5 min's of video.

Here is some of my eye examples, in evolutionary reverse, from late 2010 to about early 2009, some with that 'golden ring' , and some with just RED eye:

Pete

LM6.jpg

Galahs2.jpg

twitch.jpg

fingerling5.jpg

lm2.jpg

greenfrog.jpg

RedFrog.jpg

fingerling2.jpg

BTrout2.jpg

gnspot3.jpg

Edited by hazmail

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Wow Pete, I'd say you've got something right there. That 8th one down is perfect! Great job and of course, beautiful lures.

Douglas

Edited by Rowhunter

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Just stunning Pete. I would have said that you had cracked it, but you are obviously still not happy. What method did you use for those pics, are they all epoxy blobs?

What are your thoughts on the lens painting method? They are very expensive, but I think I have a way of making them.

Dave

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Wow Pete, I'd say you've got something right there. That 8th one down is perfect! Great job and of course, beautiful lures.

Douglas

Thanks Douglas, they are still a bit random, but every now and again you can get a good pair :lol:.

S/F - Great result, I had not seen your video before - it seems no matter what method we use it inevitably is very tedious, especially the epoxy phase.

Dave- I think I have posted somewhere before that I used those cheap bear/ doll eyes, I just remove the back and use the caps as an epoxy mold - you can get 1000 eyes for about $10 on fleaBay-- I use 6 & 8mm but they come in sizes right up to about 12mm (I think).

I didn't like that method on Taxidermy.com (or the $3.50 / cap, even though they are polycarbonate), it may work for larger eyes, but trying to draw with a pen, a symmetrical iris / pupil in a 8mm cap is near impossible with my shaky hands.

For the eye filler I use a slow setting epoxy @ about 4 -6 hours to tack (not rod finish, its too soft), this gives the air bubbles time to escape, and like S/F method this is where all the time goes.

I have not tried your printed eye method which looked pretty good-- You could probably stick the printed eye on the back of the caps (filled with resin) which would probably give them that magnified 3 D effect.

I have not done much of this lately, only made 3 lures this year, another wasted Summer :(.

This one is No 2 in a set of 3 , pupil is a bit large (eye is 8mm)--

Eye2-2.jpg

Eye1-2.jpg

Pete

Edited by hazmail

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Thanks Douglas, they are still a bit random, but every now and again you can get a good pair :lol:.

Pete

No worries Pete. Very rarely have I seen a predator swim from one side of the bait to the other comparing the eyes. :D

Ben

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What are you clearing with? And that lure on the bottom - looks like it would have interesting action on the water. Is it like popper that darts? What does it do? And I'd say you've achieved pretty much the holy grail there.

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I had some extra D2T after gluing some bills on the other day and used a little piece of the wax paper and tried to form some eyes on it. It works pretty good but they are kinda have a lot of air bubbles in them. If you just painted them a solid color it would work. Also they don't have th sticky back so you would have to glue them on your baits but it would probably work good for craw eyes. I paint just pure black eyes for craws so I think I will use these for them.

Tim

Has anybody tried using casting resin? They still make that right?

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Blazt--- cleared with epoxy-- swims with a very subtle sway at a slow speed, and at about 2-3'.

No mate I have not tried casting resin.

Pete

Edited by hazmail

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Blazt--- cleared with epoxy-- swims with a very subtle sway at a slow speed, and at about 2-3'.

No mate I have not tried casting resin.

Pete

In one of the major tackle making books (probably c boyd pfeiffer's) big sailfish lures are made from casting resin. Might solve the bubble problem and I bet it would flow better. I was looking at some on DIck Blick and what they have has a limited shelf life and possibly requires a respirator. Material is PET and requires a catalyst. Doesn't cost too much. I'm going to look into it more.

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