Montana Riverboats

Soft Hard Body

31 posts in this topic

This isn't a hard-bodied lure. But it competes with them.

I started out making tiny ultra-lightweight diving wigglers for casting with a flyrod.

Once I got the process figured out I discovered it worked just as well for heavier lures. You can make these as small and light or as big and heavy as you want. You can make any shape you might want too.

I can make this lure in about 15 minutes. The body is soft closed-cell foam. The diving bill is cut from a Costco tomato container and glued in place with a little sand paper and super glue. The snelled hook and lead weight are completely independent from the lure, and thereby interchangeable. You can vary the weight from 1/8oz to 1/2oz just by changing out the lead weight.

I've been fishing these for years. They're quick and easy to make (in any shape you want) and they're plenty durable too. Next step will be to start dipping them into hot worm resin to get a nice shiny finish.

What's wrong with $0.75 cents materials and 15 minutes at the fly tying vise? Or is that vice?

You can poke multiple holes in the diving bill. Higher up means less dive but wider wobble. Lower down means more depth with a tighter wobble. With the right weight you can fish a wide, slow-motion wobbler as deep as you might want.

They dive and wiggle like crazy. Because they're soft, fish hang on and chew after the first hit.

This one is a bit ugly. But it's fast and easy to make. And it catches fish like crazy. The slick worm-dip finish will be the next step.

Tell me your thoughts...........

Raplica.jpg

Edited by Montana Riverboats

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I'm serious. It is an idea worth protecting.

Patent it before it gets knocked off.

I already applied for a "provisional patent."

I'm not sure what my chances will be. I can't afford a patent lawyer so I'll have to wade through the process on my own.

The provisional patent will give me one year of protection. Then I will have to file a "formal" application.

There are several bullet points. The last one is perhaps the most important:

1) you can make them yourself, quickly

2) they are cheap to make (at least as compared to buying factory made crank baits)

3) I would argue they are better lures. You can add in infinite combinations of traditional fly tying tricks to vary the appearance. But mostly they are better because THEY ARE SOFT BODIED WIGGLERS. Fish bite a hard bodied lure and spit it out. They bite these and hang on. And chew. And swim off still hanging on. Many times they will hit and miss (you missed setting the hook) and then they come back and attack again and again and again. That's because they look and act like a hard body. But they are soft and squishy.

I have made lures where the body is half closed-cell and half open cell foam. The open cell foam can be saturated with salmon egg oil. At that point look out. Then it gets silly.

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What kind of foam are you using?

Almost any closed-cell foam will do. Wigglers need a strategic combination of buoyancy and weight. Hand carved wood or injection molded crank baits typically have some weight built into the lure, where the upper part of the lure body provides upward-pulling buoyancy. The diving bill and the weight provide a downward pulling counter force. If it's balanced properly the lure wobbles from side to side, rather than spinning all the way around. Diving bills can be trimmed with toe nail clippers to fine tune the wobble.

Some foams are denser than others. As a do-it-yourself builder you will have to make about a dozen that don't work...testing in the bath tub (you will have to remove the rubber duckies). But once you've got it you've got it.

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Sounds like a fun project. Thanks.

P.S. I will not knock off your concept. I just like making things, and figuring out how to make them work.

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Heh, instead of patenting it, open source the design and make it available under the creative commons license. That'll keep everyone else from being able to patent it. That's how I'm going to roll with a new design I've been working on, and how I'll release all future work.

Ultimately, holding a patent isn't worth anything, other than providing you the right to enforce it. Then all you have to do is dig up the time and money to argue about it in court. Nah, open source it. My $0.02, your mileage may vary.

-SB

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Heh, instead of patenting it, open source the design and make it available under the creative commons license. That'll keep everyone else from being able to patent it. That's how I'm going to roll with a new design I've been working on, and how I'll release all future work.

Ultimately, holding a patent isn't worth anything, other than providing you the right to enforce it. Then all you have to do is dig up the time and money to argue about it in court. Nah, open source it. My $0.02, your mileage may vary.

-SB

I like this idea. I write software myself. Even have a project on sourceforge.net

But I never thought about applying that to something other than code.

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Like Yogi said, "You don't know what you don't know".

I was thinking copyright, but that's because I'm old. HAHAHA

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Like Yogi said, "You don't know what you don't know".

I was thinking copyright, but that's because I'm old. HAHAHA

......and you still listen to CCR and The Band on 8-track :yay:

Montana....thanks for sharing all that info. Very clever and nice to see stuff like this back up on TU......It has been a while and don't blame people for not posting. Good luck with it all. It gets those creative (what's left of them) juices flowing again!

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Hey Bozeman-

I think that folks will start to creative common license all sorts of things in the future. I think the wider adoption of 3D printing and scanning will lead to more CC licensing of physical objects, and/or the source files to generate them. To live in interesting times...

Flickr already has creative commons licensing for photographs and Google Sketchup is leading the way in creatively licensed 3D models. So I expect you can CC an idea or a concept.

Oh, did I forget to say, "Nice bait?" Heh. Nice bait.

Naturally, I expect some folks to disagree with my hippy outlook on patents and ownership. But I do listen to both The Band and CCR. Albeit on Rdio via my iPhone.

-SB

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If you open source a product idea that doesnt stop a big company from mass producing it. In fact, it gives them a license to do it. Lets face it, if Berkley or some other big company makes the same thing we do, they will out produce us on every plane. (Quality, price point, speed to market, etc. etc. etc.)

If you hold a patent and need to go after someone, the negligent company would eventually have to give you all profits made on the item and cease production. However, they could play the game of tying you up in court until your money ran out. If it were me, I would only apply if I planned to mass produce it myself. If your plan is only to sell your design to them, then just make them sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. That allows you to show it to them and they wont be able to steal it. Save your bucks and shop around for a buyer.

I am named as an inventor on a few US patents. I also have a few applications pending. (These are employer sponsored)

Great idea btw

Sonny

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Yeah, it's true - they could produce the bait under the creative commons license. Everyone could. What they couldn't do is to backdoor patent the design and then sue the creator or anyone else who wanted to make a similar bait. Not sure how many of you are worried about competing with Berkley or any other big producer. I'd figure the market for handmade or small batch products is an overlapping segment, but still a distinct subset. Some people are willing to pay more for things that aren't mass produced. Myself included.

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I tried dipping a foam lure body blank into hot worm resin.

Worm resin does not adhere well to closed cell EVA foam.

Scratch that idea.

But dipping the blank into an open bottle of water based fabric cement (Tear Mender) does seem to make a soft, semi-flexible and shiny-slick finish. A slick surface finish is not necessarily a requirement for catching fish. But it would be a marketing bonus.

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Maybe you could use Createx, or some other T shirt, heat set paint, over the fabric cement, to get a nice paint job.

It might be tricky, because you need to reach a certain temperature (check the Createx website for the exact temp) to get the paint to crosslink and be come waterproof. That temperature might affect your foam.

But I don't know that for sure.

Just another problem to solve.

Maybe you could use Createx, or some other T shirt, heat set paint, over the fabric cement, to get a nice paint job.

It might be tricky, because you need to reach a certain temperature (check the Createx website for the exact temp) to get the paint to crosslink and be come waterproof. That temperature might affect your foam.

But I don't know that for sure.

Just another problem to solve.

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What about silicone? You can mix acrylic paint into it then spread it on the bait real thin. There is a big discussion here on TU somewhere showing a method of mixing in paint and water to silicone caulking that makes it set in minutes. I think it was Husky that started it.

Edited by Sonny.Barile

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I have heard of the "Poor Man's Patent".

Take photo's, dimension's, material's used, size and all that stuff, document it, have like 5 copy's notorised. Keep one in a safe place. Mail the other 4 including 1 to yourself and the other 3 to people you trust. Don't open the mailed copy's. Just store them. I have heard this holds up in court. No experience with it but I thought about doing it for a spinnerbait I made one time.

Also proplem with a patent, all some company or someone has to do is change 1 tiny tiny thing about your invention and it's a completely new invention.

Stinks for the small guys that are just trying to make a few bucks doing something we love.

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Water-based fabric cement works like a charm.

Tear Mender (or any other such brand) makes a super clear finish. It's as clear as floor finish but it's flexible.

You end up with a soft squishy lure with a shiny clear finish.

There will be a thousand finishing tricks to learn: how to make colors, finish over air-brushed spots, lateral lines, etc.

I've been fishing these lures (as small fly rod lures) for a decade. I've only recently started to make bigger, heavier spin and bait casting versions. They do catch fish.

The slick finish (I think) will be more important for catching customers than fish. But it seems to be happening.

I did file a provisional patent. But the only way I'll try to profit from this will be by selling instructional DVDs and perhaps a book.

I'll post a photo of a slick-finished soft foam bodied crankbait in a few days. But I'm really pleased with fabric cement as a finish.

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