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3D Printed Resin Wake Bait, a New Era Begins

3D Printed Resin Wake Bait, a New Era Begins 1

First off, let’s talk design principles. I don’t want to do any gluing which is the traditional way of making lures by gluing two halves together. I don’t want to do that and we don’t need to do that since we’re 3D printing. I also don’t want to sand, or in my case, sand as little as possible. It’s difficult to print at least a rounded lure on a 3D resin printer without having to do some sanding from the supports but we’re going to minimize tat as much as possible. Also, ballast or internal weights. I don’t want to add any weight to this lure since it’s a wake bait it’s supposed to float so as long as we get the weight distribution correct, it should float straight up and down like we want it to pretty easily.

wake bait principles

Designing Wake Bait in Fusion 360

Let’s see how we design this lure in Fusion 360. Once I have my body in place I basically want to use a rather organic shaped split line. My thought here is the back part is going to be solid, the body is going to solid resin and the top part of the lure will be the hollow shell. Then, I just execute the split command using that line so I end ip with three bodies. Then, I shell this middle body here and this weight body here. Then, I design my lip and I just place it into the body and I combine those bodies together, cut the lip out of the body but keep the lip here. So then I do a sketch in the front down the center line which I will use to extrude the back part here. Then the front I want to angle so I have this sketch here. After I sketch that line on the plane, I’ll just use the pipe command to fill in those holes.

wake bait design in Fusion 360

Then we move along to the more interesting stuff here which is making the eyes. I draw the eye and then I use the offset command to offset another circle in about 1.5 millimeters. What they want to do is extrude the center hole all the way through and then this hole for the outer ring will go out about half a millimeter to give me this little inset to place my eye into.


Hey guys, I know what you’re thinking. I know you’re thinking, “Dude, I don’t want to model a lure, I don’t have time for that! I just want the file!” That’s where you need to join my Patreon community where every month I release all the fishing lures I’ve designed. Whether that;s a hard lure, soft plastic mold, even tools like stencils that you can 3D print on your own 3D printer at home, It’s only $12 a month and you can do whatever you want with the files. You can print them yourself and sell them, you can shoot a bunch of my lures that I designed and sell them to your friends and neighbors and people on the internet. The files comes totally royalty free so follow the link HERE to join for $12 a month.

Freshly Printed Lures

We get our lure out of Fusion 360 and it’s printed. The one thing you’ll see here is that it is very plain with no additional fins or gills or anything like that. When I’m prototyping a lure, I wait to add all of those thing at the end. It doesn’t really impact the performance of the lure but the way I do it is by exporting it out of Fusion 360 and into Blender which is where I add all the fancy features. But, until I get the lure absolutely dead solid perfect, adding everything to it is just a waste of time.

So I’m actually using a blend of resins to print this lure. I’m using Siraya Tech Build with some added Tenacious. I would guess that I used about 30%, I just dumped it in there to look good. The Tenacious adds flexibility which helps actually strengthen the lure body itself and it helps with when I’m putting in the screw eyes that they can kind of bite into the resin instead of it cracking and expanding too much. I don’t know if this is the perfect mix yet, it’s just what I had on hand. We’re going to be getting into resin mixes and which resin is best for 3D printed lures in future episodes.

3D printed wake bait

So I decided to go ahead and print five lures because it takes the exact same amount of time to print one as it does to print five. I figured if I messed up any during painting, or if one had any damage while putting it together I would have some extras to work with. After printing, we just let them go through a quick wash and denatured alcohol, curing and then we are pretty much ready to go. I decided to do some extra curing on this particular lure to make sure that the inside was very well cured. Now I don’t think this is 100% necessary, especially if you’re not using a clear resin because that internal cavity will cure very well. But in this case, I’m going to put some plastic beads and maybe a beanie or two in there and I want to make sure that inside is very firm and well cured so they don’t stick in there. I also printed some diving lips, in this case, more like wake lips on my other printer with some Siraya Tech Blue clear. Again, don’t get too hung up on the exact resin I’m using, my main concern was that t was clear and Siraya Tech Blue clear was the only clear resin I had on hand. It just so happens to be an extremely tough resin, which is great, but I’m not so sure it’s necessary.

Painting the Wake Bait

So before we put that dive lip on we’re going to put the screw eyes in and we’re going to do all of our painting. The dye lift is pretty much the last thing that goes on before the clear coat. This makes it somewhat easier to paint and I don’t have to tape up and mask off that lip which can make painting more difficult.

painting wake bait

Finishing the Lure

So the last think I do after painting is put on the hook. I put a swivel on the back, I don’t like to put a treble hook on the back of my wake baits. For me personally, I’m fishing over a lot of oyster reefs and oyster beds with a lot of grass and so that extra hook in the back doesn’t lead to anymore hookups and it really increases the amount of snags I get. All right, we’re done and let’s see how it floats. If I was smart, I would have done this before I put all this work into it but I just got so excited to paint this lure and see how it works so let’s throw it in the tank and see if it floats. Now that I know that it floats, let’s test it out.

Gone Fishin’

It’s a beautiful morning to test if this wake bait works. It seems to be pretty perfect actually, it’s looking good. I got a nice trout and roughly 8-10 fish and I’d say a majority of them were on my wake bait, it was a good day. I do throw a soft plastic for a little bit and caught a few speckled trout on them, but all the redfish were on my wake bait. But really, there’s nothing better than catching fish on a lure that you made and in this case I made it from scratch. I designed it, painted it, the whole nine yards.

fish caught using wake bait

Fishing Retrospective

Here’s a quick peek at the lure after I was done fishing. Looks pretty good, no major issues. I think most of the scratches you see on the lure are actually from the hook and not the fish. It survived just fine and I was throwing it over oyster beds and all kind of stuff. Like I said, I think there’s four or give redfish on there and at least a couple of speckled trout.

Hey guys thanks for watching! If you’re interested in buying a 3D printer for fishing lures or mold I have a whole playlist HERE where I break down some of the things you need to think about when you’re purchasing a 3D printer. As I progress with this lure and add more videos they’ll be in the lure playlist HERE.

Take Care- Tight Lines

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The Future of Custom Lures is 3D Printed

The Future of Custom Lures is 3D Printed 2

Before we dive into lures 4.0, let’s go back in time and talk about the three major ways that lures were made in the past. The first well-known lure design material was wood. With wood, you would just whittle it, carve it out and then paint it. Once it was painted you would add your hooks and then you would be ready to go. People do still do that today but it takes a ton of time and a lot of skill and I don’t have time for that. Then you take a look at resin lures and this technique is where you usually make a master mold and pour resin inside the master mold to get, again, a solid body of a fishing lure that you then add your hooks and paint and all that kind of stuff into. It’s easier to mass produce using this method but it still takes a ton of time and generally is kind of a one-by-one process.

clear lure 3.0

The lure 3.0 is how they’ve mass produced lures today. Injection molded halves that are glued together and then whatever weights and ballast and rattles are then added. This method is state of the art today when it comes to mass produced lures and it is largely out of reach of the home lure maker. So with lures 4.0, my design goals were very simple. One, it had to be well within the reach of the home user using 3D printers, and in my case, specifically resin 3D printers. Resin is the future of lure making and we’re on 4.0 so let’s go with it. Two, no gluing. I don’t want to print halves and glue them together, that is prone to all sorts of problems with alignment and can get the two halves off and it’s really just an unnecessary step. Three, no ballast weights if I can help it. We want to add weight to get the lure to sink further in to the water that’s fine, but I’d really like to have all the weighting integrated into the body. Whether that’s a solid body or a hollow body or as you’ll see soon kind of a partially hollow body. Last but not least, no sanding or as little sanding as possible. We want to get as close to taking a lure off the printer, painting it, and rigging it up as soon as we possibly can. Now no sanding is not totally reachable when you’re talking about resin 3D printing, we do have to print the lures and add supports and the supports generally require sanding after the fact.

wake bait lure

So I’ve been working on this lure for about a month and a half and I think I have a good solid design so far which is this wake bait. It has amazing action, I can print it and it has proper ballast weights in there and it floats so it makes the waiting a little bit easier to deal with. I have 3D printed lips that I print separately, I could print these together if I wanted to but I print them separately because I want them to be clear. All in all, it’s a great lure. I haven’t gotten any fish with it yet but that’s just because I suck at fishing, that’s not the lures fault.

So let’s break down this design and why it’s made for 3D printing. I start out with a solid body and then I break it up and draw this line to make my ballast in the weighted areas. I hollow out the middle part here. You can’t have a hollow body in resin 3D printing without having drainage so I decided to incorporate the drainage directly into the design by punching out the eyes all the wat through the hollow part of the lure. This has a number of advantages, one is that resin won’t get trapped in here. Two, I can cure in there if I really need to. Three, I can add any sort of rattles or any sort of BBs, anything else I want to add into the main lure itself.

multiple lures in 3D printer

So if you don’t want to design this stuff yourself, you just want to 3D print it and go you should join my Patreon where every month I release new lure bodies and new molds for soft plastics. I also release new 3D printable stencils and all that kind of good stuff for only $12 a month. If you want to sign up, just click HERE.

So one of the benefits to designing lures using computer programs is that you get perfect symmetry every time unless you screw up. When you’re printing, it’s going to be perfectly symmetrical for every single body and it’s easy to mass produce identical lures bodies over and over again. So these lures are easy to mass produce at home with an off the shelf consumer 3D printer. On my mid-sized Epax E10, I can print about 5 of these in roughly 5 hours. I might even be able to shove 7 on there if I really sat down and tried to figure out exactly how they’d fit on the build plate. The same amount of print time would still apply, 5 hours for 7 lures, it doesn’t matter. The same printing time would apply to as many lures as you could fit on the build plate. There’s no mold building, no carving, no sawdust, none of that mess. It’s super cost effective, on my wake bait design I can print 5 of these with materials costing under $2 which is about 40 cents per lure body.

lure in blender with skull

So as you get a design more refined, you can then take it into a tool like Blender and you can add all sorts of scales, bumps, ridges, and skulls if you want to really make this lure body your own without a lot of complex painting techniques. This is great for me because I suck at painting. I’m going to post a walkthrough of my complete wake bait design and that’ll be linked HERE. If you want to learn all the engineering behind making lures, I strongly suggest you check out Franco’s channel at engineered angler which is linked HERE.


Take care- tight lines

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8 Tips for 3D printed Fishing Lure Molds

8 Tips for 3D printed Fishing Lure Molds 3

What’s up everybody and welcome back to Gulfstream Outdoors! Today I’m going to give you my top five tips for 3D printed resin molds. Wait, no, eight tips. Holy crap you’re getting a lot of value out of this video. So if you’ve watched all my videos in their entirety, you’ve probably already heard some of these tips but I wanted to put them all into one spot so I can answer every ones questions.

visual of tip 1- using Siraya Tech Sculpt resin

Tip One

Number one, pick the right resin. To me, there’s only one resin to use and that’s Siraya Tech Sculpt. It has a heat deflection temperature of 320 degrees Fahrenheit and all that really means is at what point it starts to bow and warp and get all messed up. I don’t really know too much about the parameters of the heat deflection test, I know it has a specific width of material. I’ve shot lures well above 400 degrees Fahrenheit and not had any deformation in my molds. All of my molds are a standard 15 millimeters width on each side so I think it’s even at a thinner material than 15 millimeters that are really starting to form at that temperature. It can handle a lot of heat, there are other high temperature resins out there just make sure your heat deflection temperature is above 300-320 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe Siraya Tech Sculpt is really want you want and I have it linked here.

Visual of tip 2 - printing molds whole

Tip Two

My number two tip is to print it solid. Yes, you can hollow it out and yes you’ll save some resin but really what ends up happening is, especially with Siraya Tech Sculpt, is that it’s a brittle material. So if you have a hollow mold and you’re trying to put it together with a vise, screws or anything else, you’re probably going to crack it when you really want that mold to last. This mold here I’ve shot at least 100 times and absolutely nothing is wrong with it. It has a chip in it but that’s from me dropping it. If I had dropped it and it was hollow, the drop probably would have shattered the whole thing which is no good.

visual of tip 3- printing lure vertically and chamfering

Tip Three

Tip number three is print it flat to the build plate and chamfer it. A solid block of resin, even a small mold, is a lot heavier than most of the things these 3D printers are used to printing so you want to give it the most support as possible. The best chance of success for me is printing it flat against the build plate and chamfering the edges in Fusion 360, or whatever you use to design your lure, that’ll help you get it off the build plate. Printing flat also compensates for the elephant’s foot that you’re going to get when you print something flat on the build plate. Elephant’s foot is when you over expose resin to the light and it leaks out to the side and your material hardens at the edges wider than the actual mold. If you do that flat without the chamfer, when you go to put them together you’re going to have a lip and you’re going to have to sand it and nobody likes sanding. So by chamfering it you give some room for that elephant’s foot to go into place and when you put them together it’s flat and no sanding is required.

visual of tip 4- molds vertical

Tip Four

Tip number four is related to tip number three and that’s that you want to print it at the skinniest edge to the build plate. A lot of people think when I say flat against the build plate that I mean literally right on top of the build plate and that’s really destined to fail. You have tons of surface area here on your FEP and it leads to peeling on the edges because a lot of pull force. Sometimes you can get away with the top edge on the build plate but I tend to notice that the edges will pull off. You can usually use those molds but the holes will deform slightly, but usually it’s okay. The absolute best way to print is vertically with a short side on the build plate. This is the longest print time possible since it’s largely determined by the number of layers you have on the z-axis. So printing horizontally is the shortest print time I could print at about 40 minutes on my Epax E 10. It would fail, but I could print it. It would probably be about 6 hours with the lures facing out and about 11 hours vertically. But printing vertically is going to get me a print that is pretty much flawless every time. I can probably print two or three molds vertically just by stacking them back and forth. So, the longest print time gives you the best results with the smallest edge going onto the build plate. One more thing about this mold, it is a little tricky because it has the injection port on the side, but if you have a mold in general you want to put the injection port at the bottom. That’s going to give you the cleanest print on that injection port.

visual of tip 5- using nuts and bolts

Tip Five

All right, tip number five. Don’t use any kind of holes and keys for alignment- use nuts and bolts. I have my fiddle fin mold here and I have holes going all the way through it. I use a ¼ in- 20 which goes right through. For the ¼ in- 20, I use these wing nuts with the washers on then and then screw it down and it’s easily aligned. Now I need another one on the end but you really only need them at two or three point to be totally aligned. I can put my mold in my vice with my vice across the bottom and I’m ready to shoot. The reason why I don’t recommend keys is generally resin is not accurate enough for you to design it in Fusion 360 and move a key across and cut a hole. You’ll need to make that initial hole bigger on the other side and it’s going to depend on the resin and on exposure and I find that it’s not really consistent with a hole. With a nut and bolt, you get relatively consistent results and in Fusion 360 you can use the clearance setting in the hole which generally works without any issues.

visual of tip 6- venting in Fusion 360

Tip Six

Bonus tip- venting. Now I have some videos where I didn’t vent at all and that does seem to work fairly well. If you do decide you want a vent, only vent one side of the mold and not both. I learned from this guy on a Facebook group that does CNC molds and I use that technique on my latest big saltwater 8 inch grub and it seems to be working really well. What I do in Fusion 360 is literally turn off one side of the mold, draw lines where I want the VIN holes to be, use the pipe command and just carve only that one side of the mold and it seems to work really well.

visual of tip 7- using measurements

Tip Seven

All right, a few top secret numbers here really quickly as a bonus. The injection port size I use is 15.2 millimeters. Again, to make room in the mold. I use the whole command and I use the counterbore. What that does is the 15.2 size goes down a bit and then I can shrink my sprue hole to the size that I want in order to fit my bait right. That size can be totally dependent on what size bait you have. To not blow away the face of the bait and make it a lot easier. I also use the drill point tip and use the cone it has to poke into the front of my bait, just enough to get the plastic in there. For the vents, I use the pipe command and my pipe diameter is 0.2 millimeters. It really ends up being .1 millimeters because you’re going to use half of it which is two layer lines on my printer. That’s just enough to let the air out and not enough to let the plastisol all out unless you’re shooting like, molten hot lava.

visual of tip 8- using 15 millimeter extrusion

Tip Eight

Last tip I almost forgot for when you’re making your mold extrude each half at 15 millimeters. An easy way to do this is just to do a symmetrical extrude at 15 millimeters which is going to end up a little over an inch and a half. This should contain your lures since not too many lures are over an inch and a half in any one direction. Even if you have a thin lure, you want to print it 15 millimeters because that’s going to give you 30 millimeters total and that gives you enough area around the injection port to not cause any warping or weirdness.


If I missed anything guys, or if you have a tip I don’t know about please let me know. I don’t think there’s a ton of people on the planet doing what we’re doing so we all need to learn from each other!