gofish_AK

Making Plastic Trout Beads?

7 posts in this topic

HI:

     A buddy of mine guides on a river here in Alaska, where one of the popular method of catching trout is running a single plastic bead which mimics a salmon egg. It is nothing more than a simple plastic bead like what you would find in a craft store. Maybe it's just the cabin fever kicking in now that winter is upon us, but we have been discussing the possibility of pouring our own hard plastic beads in our own colors and sizes, etc. Does anybody have experience with making beads? I'm guessing it wouldn't be much different than creating any other hard plastic, but we aren't sure where to begin (if anyone knows I think I would find them here!). Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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I'm guessing that the kind of hard plastic used for those beads is a high pressure injection system, with nasty chemicals involved.

How about making some out of a hard grade of plastisol?

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I would think pouring them from soft plastic ( like worms) would work much better.You could use a short metal sleeve in the center to run your line through and just pour around it.The sleeve would add a bit of weight.The colors for soft plastic is endless and I think it would feel more natural...Nathan

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My grandson wanted wanted to help grandpa make lures. So, I bought some of the SpikeIt cold pour plastic and let him make me some egg clusters. grandpa puts them in the oven for him but he enjoys helping out. My point is, Nathan, I think I wouldn't mind trying your suggestion for single eggs and it gives me something to experiment on - Thanks!

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Aluminum molds for eggs are available for soft plastic, I don't have that mold but shouldn't be hard to find someone that would send you some to check out before purchasing.  If looking for more durable take a look at the different products available at smooth on.

 

 BassTackle.com - Your source for Premium lure molds.

 

 100 Cavity 10 MM Salmon Egg Molds

 

Smooth-On, Inc. - Mold Making & Casting Materials Rubber, Plastic, Lifecasting, and More

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A couple of thoughts come to mind.  First is, you may be able to dye beads you already have to get your custom colors.  I've used RIT dye to dye soft plastics.  Plastic doesn't "take" the dye immediately, takes a little soak time, but it does work.  This type of dye will bleed so keep whatever you create away from other plastics that you don't want to discolor.

 

Second thought is you could make a simple mold using RTV silicone caulk and then pour either an epoxy or clear casting compound colored with your desired tint.  There's a post in the soft plastics forum about making a mold with RTV silicone.  Basically you just need to get a tube of 100% silicone caulk (the kind that smells of vinegar).  This is a moisture cure silicone.  In a thickness for a mold it would take a long time to set up solid if more than about 1/4 inch thick, but since it is moisture cure, you can cause it to cure pretty fast (15 min?) by mixing in a few drops of water to act as the catalyst rather than wait for water from the air to be absorbed and cause it to cure.  I've tried this and it does work.  I would form a bead out of modeling clay (easy), coat it with paint or floor wax to get it shiny, and use that clay "bead" as the model for the mold.  I've used the clear "future" floor wax to coat clay models and it works great.  Just apply in thin coats and let each coat dry before next coat if a next coat is needed.  You'd have to either make sure to incorporate a hole or just drill each bead.  Whatever you do, don't use a glass "marble" as a model, RTV silicone sticks really tight to glass!  For colorant, try something dry or oil based.  Maybe scrape color from colored pastel pencils? or you could just use fine glitter in different colors.  Since this is a small item you could use a thin epoxy for the plastic.  One I like is a finish cure epoxy I get from a local hobby shop.  If you want to keep your mold simple, just make it a 1-piece mold with a small flat spot where plastic is poured in and "pop" your pieces out when cured.  A two-piece mold will require a release agent between the two halves.  In that case I'd start with petroleum jelly for the release agent first.  Also, if you do a two-piece mold I'd make it a "squish mold" rather than one that you pour for these really small parts. 

 

Regards,

Warren

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You can also use a hot glue gun to form the eggs than dip in water to set them.You can get hot glue sticks in a multitude of colors...Nathan

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