I miss rock fishing sometimes and my friend Jason, from All Out Blitz Fishing, sent me a message that he wanted me to make him some swim baits for rock fish, lean cod, cabezon, and halibut. He was even nice enough to send me some Dead On plastic salt water blend to make them with. It only took me a few months to get around to making these rock fishing lures, but this is what I came up with.
If you’ve ever used swim baits for rock fish or lead cod, you know they’re pretty basic baits that don’t need a lot of fancy stuff. They're super simple, rock fish and lean cod aren’t that picky. I wanted to make this one special for my friend Jason so I decided that instead of fin on the side, I would use the state of California.
I hopped into Fusion 360 and I modeled the body of the bait using my loft technique. Basically, you make a wire frame of the bait and use the loft command to create the body and the tail. I found a .svg of the state of California, then downloaded and imported it into Fusion 360. From there, I scaled and rotated it around and placed it where I wanted it on the body. I just extruded it out from the body, which is a pretty simple and straightforward process.
You can do this process with any .svg, text, or anything else you would want. I completed version one and printed out three molds because it takes just as much time to print out three as it does one and if it works, I have three molds ready to go. Then, I decide to hand pour the molds. Jason mentioned wanting a blue rock Cod, so I looked them up and saw that they have dark splotches against a relatively light blue background. Based on that, I came up with three colors- a purple-ish black, a very light blue and an iridescent white called interference blue. The interference blue is a kind of white that shades blue when you rotate it around, it’s one of my favorite colors. I’m terrible at hand pouring, but if you want to see a master hand pourer go see Chris over at Worlds Worst Fishing. He’s an artist at what he does while I’m just throwing stuff around.
Then, I just poured the color into the molds then added the top coat which was the interference blue. I was pretty happy but when I went to pop them out of the mold I noticed right away that I had a major problem. The tail section was very think and I didn’t think it would hold up to short bites from Rockfish, especially the smaller ones, even with the tough saltwater plastic. So I popped the frame back into Fusion 360 real quick and made a few slight adjustments. I adjusted the width and the depth of the back tail section and I also beefed up the back of the tail itself and put it at a slight angle. I also added a lot more room in the tail for the plastic to go. Twelve hours later, I have three great 3D printed molds and I go and pour them again.
I didn’t want to mess around with the hand pouring again since I’m terrible at it so I went with a straight pour this time adding the light blue, then a purple top coat. This time, these came out great and I think they’re going to be absolutely killer. As soon as Jason fishes them, I’ll put a link so you can see the results.
If you want to see in depth how these are put together, there is a tutorial. I also emailed this out to my mailing list who got the entire STL file if anyone is interested in printing it out themselves.
Take care and tight lines