Imitations Cost Effective
Inside the Outdoors, March 7
, 2014

When I visited the Allegheny Sport, Travel and Outdoor Show several weeks ago, little did I know that I was going to learn as much as I did. It was somewhat common knowledge that there must be a savings when making one’s own plastic imitations, but little did I realize how much.

As I entered one seminar section with chairs and a speaker’s podium, I noticed a uniformed gentleman setting up his presentation table with all types of worms, crayfish and other such products he had made using molds he had purchased. Others as well as I stood in awe as we circled the display, looking, touching and actually handling these baits that do catch fish.

“All you have to do is buy one metal mold,” said Dennis Tubbs, “and you will have it for life.” If one is in their 30’s or 40’s, that could mean making imitations for a very long time with one investment.

The Southwest Regional Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission went on to state, “With a few more tools and solutions you can save a tremendous amount of money by making plastic imitations.”

“I was seven years old when I decided to modify my lures,” he said. “My father and I would go to Canada and we would fish with red and white Mepps lures. I would add red fingernail polish to them. I caught many fish,” Tubbs stated. “I then took on the motto, ‘Try Anything’ and I was shocked. I painted gills on famous lures with the same color fingernail polish I used on the Mepps.”

One of the companies noted for manufacturing molds to make such products is Do-It Mold Company. Not only does Do-It make devices for making plastic imitations, but also a blank mold that can be carved out by someone who knows how to work with this product to make the creative product that one is seeking.

According to a representative for the company, “Research and development play a critical role in providing our customers with unique and effective baits. Each design goes through a rigorous process involving multiple iterations and testing. Long before one can order one of our molds, they have been fished and approved by our Pro-Staff of elite tournament anglers,” he stated.

Each aluminum mold comes in two halves that match perfectly with alignment pins. Polished cavities make bait removal quick and easy. No lubricant required. Mold is clamped shut with custom locking knobs. A liquid using a mold injector is then pumped into a small hole filling the carved out inner patterns.

“Here is the fun part,” Tubbs said. “If you want to add color, all that is required are two drops!”

He then showed how he first made claws of crawfish chartreuse followed by a brownish solution making the body of the creature more lifelike. Holding it in the air, he said, “You can do virtually anything you want."

He then reemphasized the fact that “If you have certain-sized hooks, Do-It has a mold to suit them and you can make jigs in multiple amounts. “You actually can do anything you want when making jigs, he stated. In addition to painting the jig heads, Tubbs told of commonplace items around one’s shop or basement that one can use to accent the jig. “Use the heads of finishing nail to make perfect pupils for the eyes,” he noted.

“If you want to color the jig heads initially,” the PFBC educator said, “you can use spray paint from Lowe’s, but you will waste a lot of paint but it does work well.

He stressed that after all the paint and particulars were applied, epoxy should be used to seal everything.

All one has to do is pull up the website, Do-It, and there will be literally 100’s of molds from which to choose, from lures to jigs not to mention the many plastic imitations.

Posing the question to the audience as to how much a bag of plastics in a sporting store cost and receiving a few answers in return, he then revealed the cost-effective savings. “For what you may pay five or six dollars a bag in a sporting outlet for six worms, for example, here the cost is three cents each or eighteen cents a bag. Quite a savings, right? In other words, you could make 2-3000 worms for what you are paying $6 for only one-half dozen. Now, isn’t that a savings?” he concluded.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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