Picture of How to make artificial fishing bait for little to no $
lure 013.jpg
lure 025.jpg
I will show you how to recycle a few common household items and make them into new eye-catching fishing lures.

I was thinking the other day about how much it costs to buy fishing lures, when I always lose or break them. I also thought it would be great if I could come up with a way to customize them somewhat and create a whole new, possibly better artificial bait. After some searching, I found that commercial molds and plastics are extremely costly. I was in dire need of an alternative. What I came up with works extremely well, and can be made for cheap using old lures for the plastic and a few recycled materials for the molds and injector.

Step 1: Gathering materials

Picture of Gathering materials
First, you need to gather your materials. I used mostly things lying around my house and garage, with the glue gun being the only thing I actually bought. There are essentially 2 parts to this instructable, the injector for the heated plastic, and the actual mold.
jonathank93 months ago

i ll give it a go

craigerstar 7 months ago
For those of you that are concerned for the environment, a great alternative is a natural fishing attractant at www.biteonfishing.com Started by a US Marine veteran.
Focker6 years ago
Would Gelatin disentagrate too quickly in the water? What about trolling with a gelatin lure? I only ask because if the answers turn out in favor for the lil gelatin squrmies, I am going to make some unstoppable walleye bait!
Natural fishing attractants. Biteonfishing.com
Javin0075 years ago
I found this 'Ible because I'm an avid fisherman and was looking at various tips people have.  However, this method of creating molds for ANYTHING is brilliant.  I've never considered using Bondo as a mold agent.  How strong/reusable do the molds seem to be?  Is there any shrinkage over time?  Great 'Ible!
Natural fishing attractants. Biteonfishing.com
theRIAA6 years ago
is that plastic safe for the fish?
unexplained_3 (author)  theRIAA6 years ago
If you use recycled lures, they will be fine for the fish.
Phalates are nasty chemicals used to make plastic soft and all those gummy, squishy plastic things are just oozing, literally, with the stuff. Ever notice how there's a kind of greasy feeling on you fingers after handling fake bait or squishy toys? Well that's the phalates. I read about it as a dangerous chemical because it was being pulled from use in baby's toys (and if you'll google it you'll learn that it's apparently used in sex toys too =0). Nasty stuff for all of us, the fish that swallows it and us who swallow the fish.
Natural fishing attractants. Biteonfishing.com
What the article failed to say is the fish and or person will have to consume 15 to 20 tons of the phalates to be of any danger . Oxygen can dangerous to breath in certain conditions but can you live with out it ?
The FDA seems to disagree with Fred82664's estimate of what constitutes a dangerous dose. Baby chew toys (which contain phalates) weighing significantly less than "15 to 20 tons" have been banned. A quick search revealed a study where phalates were described as Antiandrogens which are often indicated to treat severe male sexual disorders. So feel free to handle and even suck on all the worm lures you can get your hands on just don't be surprised if your libido goes into hibernation.
considering the FDA is a part of the vary same government that has been so vary deceptive and all out lairs through out its exestanse. Proven by many history books any one can find in most major city or collage library. I would not put much investment on what the FDA has to say about any thing. As for the sexual disorders dude I been fishing for many years as well as my grate grand father using those same worms and well there has been no reduction in libido in none of my family tree.  I got 15 - 20 grate uncles and ants from his sperm and three of his misstates, From  my grand dad there was eight kids and had sex up words of four times a day. My father is still pumping some chick he is in his 70s now. As for me I still get it up and do vary well in the sack at 45 years old. so looks like the FDA is blowing out BS             
The defense rests.
The FDA does not recognize "safe dosages" of phthalates, but that is more of a bureaucratic convenience than a scientific opinion. The European Commission Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), however, considers that, even in the case when children bite off pieces from erasers and swallow them, it is unlikely that this exposure leads to health consequences. Phthalates are also found in medications, where they are used as inactive ingredients in producing enteric coatings. A recent study showed that exposures from phthalate containing medications can far exceed population levels from other sources. Not a single study has shown any positive correlation of phthalates with any health issues, including the antiandrogenic effects that you allude to.
Thank You vary much someone that dose see this as I do. lol thats a big switch to many other topics I have posted in . but oh well  Mr or Miss windfriend I do really THANK YOU !  for your support in this one 
Heh. "the defense rests" was too arrogant not to respond to.
I thought that it would be interesting to make my own window cling gel decorations and that this Instructable would help but after reading Al Terego's comment on phalates - I'm going to pass. Yikes! Very interesting project, thanks for the explanation
Natural fishing attractants. Biteonfishing.com
if you're going to kill the fish anyways, does it matter?
Ever hear of catch and release?

But the main concern is that people lose lures, and nobody wants a toxic mixture of plastic and glue on the bottom of their river or lake.
Actually, IMHO, it does. If it is toxic for the fish, it is for us too by all odds. And fairly often the lures 'break' or get parts 'nibbled' off. So having non-toxic lures does make sense. If fishing was a 100% situation, where every lure was only consumed by a caught fish, and we do no catch and release, then other than the being toxic to us or other animals that eat them eventually, I could agree. It doesn't matter at that point..
Soft baits are made out of vinyl plastisol.  It melts at 325 F. It can be pour or injection molded.




It can also be used for making recyclable molds for objects like plaster castings. 
ha, i know, i was just joking because it sounded like theRIAA was worried about the fish that was caught.... its kinda like how they use bismuth for duck hunting, i guess. not so you don't poison what you're shooting at, but so that what doesnt go to the duck doesn't end up poisoning you or other fish.
craigerstar 7 months ago
Natural fishing attractants. Biteonfishing.com
kamhunter9 months ago


lilchumy11 months ago
Amazing, I am defiantly tryinmg
POVILLIC1 year ago

Fantastico! yuo are very big fisher man! ! ciao da Italia

sonnyblu421 year ago
Hello.. I don't understand what speciffic materials you used from PolyGel and how you used them... Can you please explain... Thanks...
cliffyd1 year ago
Like your ingenuity.
rimar20001 year ago
Very clever!
oking3 years ago
Why not that silicone rubber/cold mix stuff that I someone else on here had talked about making?

Silicone sealer, naptha, and coloring. Or something like that.

It was in how to make your own flexible frisbee thing.
zwilson24 years ago
Great idea, but you are working way too hard at it. Use your bondo to make your molds but sink the lure you are copying 7/8 into the bondo. Let it get hard and you have a mold. Make a bunch of them they are cheap. Heat your old torn, worn out, used worms etc in a cheap pan over an electric hot plate until the plastic turns to a liquid. Pour into the molds and let harden. No the worms will not be perfectly formed on the top but a fish will not notice. Think, how big is a fishes brain. Its only thoughts I suspect are am I hungry or mad at it and will it fit in my mouth. I have only been doing this for about the last forty years. Your use of bondo to make the molds is a great idea. I made mine out of liquid casting plastic.
m3harri5 years ago
I think I will give this a shot and use some glowing phosphate pigments or maybe a led jig
m3harri5 years ago
When I was young (35+ Years ago) my dad made his own bait. He was able to buy all he really needed off the shelf at the bait shop. It nice to see someone still keeps up the art. "IF" i remember correctly he did not need to heat the plastic. It was some two part compound. He would just pour it in and wait.
m3harri5 years ago
When I was young (35+ Years ago) my dad made his own bait. He was able to buy all he really needed off the shelf at the bait shop. It nice to see someone still keeps up the art. "IF" i remember correctly he did not need to heat the plastic. It was some two part compound. He would just pour it in and wait.
tlowe655 years ago
try putting salt in the plastic mix. I used to mold my own stick baits and the salt changes the way the plastic floats and it also gives it flavor which will make the fish hold on a couple seconds longer before they spit it out.  table salt will work but bigger grains are better.
skunkpunk6 years ago
Great job! I'll have to try that soon we have a bunch of lure rubber because my mom works for a lure manufacturer and get tons of scraps.
unexplained_3 (author)  skunkpunk6 years ago
I appreciate you looking at my instructable. I actually searched all over the internet looking for scraps like you mentioned. You are very lucky to be able to get things like that.
Can you use a cut up milk bottle?
Buddies Viggo Brandt Erichsen.JPG
Yep and we've been trying to figure out how to do this for awhile.
unexplained_3 (author)  skunkpunk6 years ago
That's cool I like to do this but it hard finding scraps.
if only the two halves were in the top and bottom of an altoid tin they could be found together any time you wished to use them ,i love the instrucktable as is tho
Samuel H5 years ago
What company did you get the clear plastic from?
unexplained_3 (author)  Samuel H5 years ago
30 Leslie Court
Whippany, NJ 07981

P: (973) 884-8995
F: (973) 884-1331
That is where the plastic came from.  They sent something like a 5lbs brick.  Hope this helps,
ZIGGYDAN5 years ago
this looks like a fantastic instructable, but i myself would be a bit cautious about pushing a metal pipe into any electrical device, if my glue gun had a faulty or defective element or was damaged from being dismantled then there could be a serious potential for electrocution, so when i make this i might substitute this for a more insulated plunger or perhaps some sort of composite material, this simple idea is perfect for a plastic extruder that i require to recydle plastic bags.
My dad tried making a rubber to dip his tool handles in (hammers, etc.) to have a grip. So he melted a bunch of rubber bait in the microwave, took out the jar, dropped it, and spilled it all over his hands. He had very bad burns. He was taking medicine for it without food and got a stomach ulcer. While in Mexico. How unfortunate. And funny.
clown966 years ago
wow!! That is real cool i ahve been trying to find a way to make my own lures. Me and my father went to gander mnt. and spent like $70 only on lures.
scubagal6 years ago
Wow. Way to go! What plastic were you referring to that can be colored with crayons? Also, and this is important.... Could you or ANYONE come up with a way to please help me figure out a way to take plastic bottles, mostly water bottles and either compress or melt them into small blocks or tubes that THE VERY POOR PEOPLE OF THE ISLAND I am moving to to help, could use to BUILD THINGS WITH? If you can, you will be helping thousands of hurting people. I will be moving there to do the same as the Honduran government could care less about their people. Thanks again.
unexplained_3 (author)  scubagal6 years ago
The plastic I was coloring with crayons was a free sample from a medical plastics company. About the bottles, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it requires both heat and a high pressure for pop bottles to be formed.
i should know my dad works for coca cola they start like thick little plastic tubes and they blow hot air and preesure into them and have a mold round it to expand it my dad went to work and made a plastic bottle but didnt use the mold and the plastic bottle was 4 metre long
Check out Mopti's ecological pavestones.

Go for it
There are some other instructables about melting plastic bottles...it's pretty toxic. Having firsthand experience with these materials, I'd urge you to find a better way to help the poor of Honduras. You're liable to risk their health and introduce a pollutant that doesn't already exist there. Good luck!
I don't know about water bottles into blocks, but there's a cool instructable for making plastic wheels out of old plastic bags search "plastic smithing"
lilgamoma6 years ago
really cool!
steed11726 years ago
pretty dang cool... guess i have something to do with fishing while i wait for it to warm up... make bait!!! thanks the for the GREAT instructable.
Great idea but I can go one better on the material put into the mold. It came to me when I saw a comment on making gummies. Why not buy some unflavored uncolored jelatin and color it and add a fish attractant scent as well? This would attract fish on two levels, sight and smell. It would even be a green bait as the jelatin would break down in water or in the fish without damage to the environment. I think i will try this. Great Instructable.
strmrnnr6 years ago
What if you left the gun as is - added the plastic from the side then used a longer plunger. The trigger on the gun may even still work, although I believe the plunger might have to have more flex for that. Awesome for smaller projects. Good work.
tlivin6 years ago
Great instructable. Have you painted any of the lures.
unexplained_3 (author)  tlivin6 years ago
No I put crayons in the plastic.
another way to dye the plastic is with food dye. make sure it's not water based, but candy coloring, etc. - just look at the ingredients and check that the solvent is an oil or alcohol. I've used candy dyes in the past and they worked wonderfully for clear polyester resin and epoxy as well - the water based dyes will simply bead up and not integrate into the matrix so to speak. They took the red pill I guess ;-)
unexplained_3 (author)  OrionBlade6 years ago
cool, that idea crossed my mind, but I didn't know there was an oil based food dye. I have been using crayons in melted clear plastic, but the waxes and extra oils make the plastic softer and a little oily. Thanks a lot for the tip!!

I'm pretty sure that's the stuff I used. Once in a while it came out a little cloudy with the amber colored polystyrene resin, but the red and blue were particularly gem-colored. Really nice, and doesn't bubble or cause the plastic to not harden.

Good luck! ;-)
billhorvath6 years ago
I really like the instructable, but this looks like a good way to get electrocuted. How exposed are the terminals on the glue gun once you disassemble it? (It's a little hard to tell from the pictures.)
unexplained_3 (author)  billhorvath6 years ago
you would have to try pretty hard to touch a bare wire. You would have to cut some plastic or the insulation on a wire in order to come into contact with any current.
vangelion6 years ago
Just a little clarification: hardeners are used with epoxy resin and catalyst is used with polyester resin (the matrix of Bondo). The primary difference is that catalyst (usually MEKP, really nasty stuff) is just a promoter and only speeds up the process (a lot). Even without the catalyst, the polyester resin will eventually cure (maybe in a couple years depending on temperature). The same is not true with epoxy resins.
unexplained_3 (author)  vangelion6 years ago
huh, thats cool, i didn't know that. I really do learn something new every day. Thanks for clearing that up.
Very nice practical instructable. Thanks
unexplained_3 (author)  williammcnerney6 years ago
your welcome, glad you liked it
pyroal6 years ago
Whe i said pie i ment pipe
unexplained_3 (author)  pyroal6 years ago
haha, I think im gonna try pie tonight lol, glad you liked it though, thanks
pyroal6 years ago
Instead of taken apart the glue gun you can just put a piece of pie where the gluestick goes. Then you don't need piers to hold the melter (glue gun). Overall it's a clever idea.
unexplained_3 (author)  pyroal6 years ago
Thank you, the reason I took it apart and didn't do like you said with the pipe is it would be harder to insert the plastic when the glue gun is together like it is. but again, thanks and I'm glad you liked it.
chinaoldman6 years ago
thank you!!!you save my life!!
unexplained_3 (author)  chinaoldman6 years ago
Your welcome
Could I do this using a real fish (already dead) to make the mold?
the answer to that is yes! That is how the taxidermist does it but not with an injector, they use fiberglass to make each half of the fish then piece them together and then of course the pain job is done.. one thing about the real dead fish, you must make molds for fins that is on the bottom and attach them after the body is done, With this way of molding RTV would be better or other silicone rubber and make sure that you have a 1 inch thickness above the highest point of the fish and no breather holes are needed as well with this method. Jax
lukethedog6 years ago
Hello, Quite possibly one of the best instructables I have read to date on this site. You came up with a real nice innovation using bondo and a plastic tray to create a mold. Nice job on the injector too. Broken pieces can be used to make a cast for a repair piece. You could make anything out of plastic once you create a mold. I had almost given up on this site as most of the instrucables and the comments have become just plain stupid and useless. But, you have given me hope !! Good work, great instructable !!!
lois546 years ago
Could you use hot glue as the plastic? It might allow you to use the hot glue gun without taking it apart. Nice Instructable. Thanks.
gnomedriver6 years ago
Great bait, injection moulding on a home scale! Gummie fish could be made.
jelly fish.jpg
Moonrabbit6 years ago
Great instructable! Now I can make more of those little twiddlebugs that are do great for crappie fishing. I'm also thinking wax injection to produce multiple wax models for casting jewellry. Take that, $500 vulcanizer and mold blanks!
SpinWard6 years ago
Great instructable! This has great uses for all kinds of molds, shaped crayons, candles, lots of stuff. Thanks for the idea! Bondo is awesome! It is very versatile but, good gracious, make sure you have GREAT ventilation where you use it! It will kill some serious brain cells. And I'm always surprised how hot it gets when it cures.
shortone6 years ago
can you recycle anything else for the fish? like something you might actually throw away like plastic bottles (although those dont seem like they would work at all!) just wondering because this would be even coolER if you recycled something nice, detailed instructable!
I think this is a great idea. You very smart I would have never thought of that. Some one said you made glow in the dark ones too now that's cool. You have what it takes well good lucky.
THERRMOS6 years ago
Cool information. Gonna have to give it a try.
unexplained_3 (author)  THERRMOS6 years ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/bondo_body_filler_casting/ hey cool this is kinda like my instructabel
scavanger6 years ago
Interesting Idea, and It may have other uses too. Thanks
FaqMan6 years ago
Decent idea good for use wwith barely any money.
lemonie6 years ago
Plenty of uses outside of fishing-tackle, good job! The only hot injection-moulding Instructable I know of too. L
jtobako6 years ago
Is there a reason to use the vice-grip rather than cutting off the upper back of the glue gun?
unexplained_3 (author)  jtobako6 years ago
Not really, just the first idea that came to me. Good idea, though! :)