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Quest for Shiny Lures – Part 1 The Trials

Quest for Shiny Lures - Part 1 The Trials 1

All right guys! So after my last video where I compared a CNC mold to a resin 3D printed mold, the only thing that was better in the CNC mold was the lure which was a little but, well a lot, more shiny. So I set out on a quest to get my resin 3D printed molds as shinny as CNC. Let’s go see how I did.

All right so I decided to try to make my molds as shiny as a CNC aluminum mold and I set out to use some stuff that I’ve seen used in the past on other molds like Plaster of Paris molds and things I’ve seen used in resin 3D printers to repair surfaces that I thought would be worth a shot. So I’m using the same fiddle fin mold I’ve used before and what I’m going t do is apply three different spray paints, some worm oil and some sculpt resin (the same resin I use to 3D print the mold). Let’s see how it works.

CNC mold and resin mold side by side

So the spray paints I’m using are a high heat black and a high heat aluminum (just because I thought it’d be cool to have aluminum) and an enamel that looked really shiny when I saw it at the store. So I simply spray painted these on in mask-off areas. Next up was the sculpt resin. This is a pretty simple technique as well, I simply poured some resin out of the vat, placed it in a little cup, used a brush and brushed it into the mold cavity itself. Then, I hit it with the UV flashlight to set it, just like your printer works. Then I threw it in my wash and cure and cured it for about five minutes. It doesn’t really need a full cure but of course you can do a full cure I just don’t think it needs that long since it’s a very thin coat. That’s the secret to resin, very thin coats. I try to do the same thing with the spray paints as well but I didn’t prime them I just shot a coat or two so I could get coverage since saving the details over the shine was my main priority. I don’t think making it shiny for the sake of shiny is important, the details are.

Last but not least, right before I shot this bad boy I threw some worm oil into the cavity and spread it around with my finger. This was not a great technique at all, it probably would have been better to use a brush and kind of brush a thin coat in there. There’s one thing I noticed while I was doing all of these which is my resin 3D mild was not as smooth as I thought it should be. I was getting this kind of fuzzy texture, which is the best way to describe it. It wasn’t fuzzy exactly but definitely not nice and clean. So I did some research and I’ll have the results of my findings in my next video so if you want to see these awesome findings make sure you subscribe.

man making shiny lures using a mold

So I just grab some re-melts, grab my puck of what I call galaxy which is Dead-On Plastix Salt Water, Dead-On Plastix Black with glitter. I think it looks really cool, I thought the black would bring out the shine of the glitter a bit. I chopped all that up, threw it in the microwave and shot it in the two molds that I had and here are the results.

So first off, when I first cracked the molds open I thought the enamel looked spectacular. Then, when I went to touch it I realized that the enamel paint had come off and it was on the lures everywhere so I don’t think it could handle the temperatures, which I shot at about 320 Fahrenheit I think. Obviously, not a great result.

The two high heat paints weren’t really any more shiny than the resin mold was originally so not a good result. The worm oil is interesting, it certainly is shiny but also picked up these odd deformities here and there. I think too heavy of a coat kind of pooled it up in certain spots and caused an issue but it is shiny so I’ll give it that. But by far, the most spectacular result was the sculpt resin that I painted inside the mold cavity. Look at this bad boy, the one on the top here with the root beer and gold flake is the CNC from the original video and the black one here is the resin mold with the Siraya Tech Sculpt painted in there and cured. I think it’s more shiny than the CNC mold.

shiny lures side by side So the great thing about this technique with the sculpt resin is it’s the same exact material the mold is made out of so it will last as long as the mold will last which is a long time. So far, I’m on 120 shots with one mold and it’s still going strong, no damage, no deformations or anything like that. The only real downside is obviously it’s an extra process after you print your mold, you then have to paint in the cavities and cure it again. I'm probably not going to do that because for me shiny is not that exciting, not that worth the extra time and effort. But if shiny is worth the extra time and effort for you, this is how you get it done.

So all my tutorials and videos on 3D printing fishing lures and molds are right here.


Take care everybody- Tight lines

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3D Printed Resin Fishing Lure Mold vs CNC Fishing Lure Mold

3D Printed Resin Fishing Lure Mold vs CNC Fishing Lure Mold 3

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for for quite some time. The same exact lure molds- CNC aluminum mold versus a 3D printed resin. Let’s check it out.

Okay guys, real quick you saw those two lures I had. One had a Ned head on it and one had a jib head on it. There’s some interesting caveats here I want to talk about. Let’s talk about how I had this CNC mold produced using a company called Protolabs which is like a big CNC machine in the sky. You upload your files in a format they support (I use the step formats I don’t know if that makes a difference since I don’t really know what I’m doing). They give you a quote, you click send and it goes off and gets printed. No one probably actually touches it, it’s most likely all machine made.

CNC and 3D resin lure mold side by side Let’s talk about production time really quick. From Protolab, from the moment I uploaded my file until I received the finished product was about three weeks. I chose the super slow delivery option because it was the cheapest. If I would have picked the fastest option that would have run me about $1800 for this mold. Choosing the slower option was almost less than half of that at around $700. Now it takes me about 10 hours to print the fiddlefin mold, so obviously it’s faster to print than it is to get it from Protolab. I’m no CNC expert, but I’m guessing if you had a CNC machine you would probably CNC this mold. Again, lots of variables, but with the right equipment and the right machine you can have it within about an hour I would say so it should go quickly.

So I’ve had some of my previous design turned into CNC molds for some of my lure design customers at are big production molds that are made in those giant factories. When you go through that process, you work with a CAM operator or a mold designer and you typically send them your master and then they create the mold around it. Typically, those people are obviously very experienced in doing this and they’ve done it at least a few times now so you’re not going to get any mistakes. Well people make mistakes, but they’re still pros. With Protolab, they’ve got no idea what you’re even trying to do, they’re just going to print exactly what you send them.

So in my case, I made the mistake of forgetting to add venting to this mold which is kind of a big mistake. But the good thing is I made this mistake on both my resin mold and my aluminum mold and I don’t think it impacted the results really at all from what I can see. I only bring that up because if you want to use Protolab you absolutely have to know what you’re doing and that’s a big thing to keep in mind. No one is there to hold your hand. So I want to send my fiddlefin lure mold because it’s one I’ve shot and used before, I know it works and I’m really comfortable with the results of this mold. I really want to see how much of a difference it would be between the over $700 I spent at a Protolab versus the $16 it cost me to produce this mold in the 3D printer.

shooting resin into lure mold

I was super pumped when I unpackaged this thing, I wanted to get shooting right away so I just grabbed some re-melt plastic that I had. This is my root beer gold flake which is some super copper powder, a little bit of black and some gold flakes. I threw that in the microwave which got a little too hot which you’ll see in the denting coming up in a minute. Then I shot it right away and I was not expecting this to work because I didn’t have any venting but I was kind of shocked that it did. I left the bolts a little loose and everything shot pretty fine, it got a few air bubbles here and there but both the CNC and the resin mold shot just fine with no major issues.

So the moment of truth comes and I crack them both open. The CNC mold looks like a CNC mold, obviously it’s shiny. When I crack open the resin mold it obviously looks like a resin mold which isn’t very shiny it’s kind of dull in spots. That’s really what it comes down to which is the resolution, if you will. When you’re CNCing thing you get much finer detail and finish on the surface than the resin mold. When it comes to the resin mold you’re really looking at about .05 millimeters which is 50 nanometers which is roughly the size of a pixel. I think different prinets are 50, some are 45, but you’re in that relative range. You’re going to get some little stepping in there which leads to that duller finish.

finished CNC aluminum lure mold

Fresh out of the mold, they are the exact same size and shape. I have random denting from shooting it too hot in both of them so there’s really no difference in performance other than shiny versus not shiny. What about when we throw in a bag with some worm oil, how many differences show up? Honestly, you can kind of see a difference if you knew what you were looking for but for throwing all of these in a bag with some worm oil and you didn’t know what to look for you wouldn’t notice the difference. The footage I showed you earlier was the molds after they were sitting in the bag for a while and I took them off shot with my macro lens really up close and you can really only see the differences there.

Now here’s the big question- is shiny worth $680? I don’t know, that’s a really tough question. Now aluminum will last a little bit longer, if I drop aluminum on the floor it’s not going to break. If I drop my 3D printed resin mold it could break. Let’s round up the cost of my resin mold to about $20 to account for printer time, electricity, my make up for these videos, just all kind of stuff. I can print 35 of these molds before I hit the cost of a single aluminum mold.

lure molds side by side

o all these issues you could potentially have with the resin molds are in terms of durability and aluminum maybe cools a little faster than resin which I plan on testing here soon. I could literally have my entire workbench stacked with 35 of these resin lure molds for the same cost of having only one aluminum mold. I think that counteracts any of those issues so it really comes down to shiny versus shiny and if you think it’s worth $680, go for it.

Be sure to subscribe to my channel because next up, we’re going to use a few different coats on these resin molds to see just how shiny we can get it. But like I said, other than the shine they are the same. There’s no difference in dimension, sizes, swim, nothing. They’re exactly the same. If you want the full story on the fiddle fin click right here. Remember to follow along by subscribing as we continue to make shiny resin molds.


Take care- tight lines

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Brays Bayou Fishing with Magic Bait

Brays Bayou Fishing with Magic Bait 4

Here we are at a secret fishing spot of mine. I already see fish in here which is a good sign. Hopefully, the rain is done since it was supposed to be done by now. I love this fishing spot right after the rain, it seems to be when the most fish are in here. The fish seem to lose interest after about three or four hours so I’m going to shut up and start fishing because I saw a really big carp that I want to catch.

For bait today I’m using my homemade gulp-like bait. This bait is a gelatin, Agar-Agar, almond extract and some panko. Hopefully it works, it’s supposed to mimic break but stay on the hook longer. I just slap a couple of those baits on my steelhead rod on my Shimano Stradic 1000 and I’m ready to go. My Shimano Stradic 1000 could get me in trouble today because if I hook a carp and he goes into the current I’m going to have a hard time getting him out.

fishing in the bayou with bait

I try to stand far back from the edge and just keep a lower profile so I don’t spook the fish too much. The bait still looks good, it’s getting a little mushy but that’s exactly what we want to happen. What you really want is your bait as close to the current as you can possibly get. It tries to get pushed in a little but I find that the fish kind of hang out in the big current and pop their heads in right on that edge.

catching catfish in the bayou

I got him! Fish is on. It’s not the carp I wanted, it looks like a catfish, just a little channel cat doing his little death roll. I’m trying to find a spot to land him since these wet spots here will be like ice. He’s actually a really good size. Once I look at him, I’ll let him go.

I think what we’re going to try to do is go a little bit further down the bayou. We’re really close to this levee right there and if I let my line drift out a little bit further, close to the corner I may have a better shot at getting a bigger fish. I’m going to let my line bounce in there. I don’t think I’ve ever actually caught a fish putting my line out in the current but I know that’s where they like to hang out. I like to let it swing in there and kind of settle wherever it wants to settle.

caught carp in the bayou

There we go, got him! That took me by surprise, I think that it’s going to be a grass carp. I’m trying to keep him out of that current. It is a grass carp, I finally caught him. I can’t, for the life of me, see my line but he’s right there. I finally got him moving in the right direction but the problem is getting close enough to land him here which is going to be difficult. But luckily, I finally got him.

Super cool fish there, very nice. We’ll stick him back in the net so he’ll get a relatively safe transport back to the water. That bait obviously works, it was a super cool fish to catch. If you want to see how I made the bait, click here. If you’re interested in bayou fishing videos, click here.


Take care- tight lines