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.
What's up, guys! Do you think details on lures matter? I am talking, eyes, ribs, and little fins on the side. I'm undecided. I know they catch fishermen. I get asked frequently, “how do I add eyes? how do I add ribs? How do I add fins? how do I add scales.” To answer this, adding scales sucks. I decided to put together this video and blog how to. It's an offshoot of the live stream we did a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to condense it down to give you guys pinpoint and accurate information about fishing lure design. The way we do this infusion 360 is pretty much the same for eyes and fins. Let's start!
First, I'm going to use this body I had laying around from a twitch bait I have been working on. I believe this works with anybody's sculpts. As you can see, this is a loft I created on the live stream I did last week. We will create a sketch and choose this plane in the same direction as the face we're working on located in the middle of the lure. We're going to draw our eye. For this demo example, I'm just going to keep it simple.
I'm going to draw a circle that measures 10 millimeters to create a big eye. Click enter. Next, move it to where you want it to be and click finish sketch. Now I have this circle in the middle of my lure. It may not look helpful, but we're going to hit the extrude button. Select that circle. As you can see, the key is the start point; start there and click the object. Now, when I go to pull it out, it starts from right on that edge. If I want to make a poke-out eyeball, I can pull it out to create an indentation. If I had a stick-on eye that I tried to use, I could make a little indentation there quickly. We'll go with a stick-out eyeball today. Let's make it stick two millimeters—it an excellent protocol to write the number down. Afterward, I will hit enter. As soon as I do that, you see, I have this kind of funky eyeball on one side, and my circle has disappeared.
Let's clean up this eyeball. First, let's click that, and we're going to use the fill it command, or I can just hit the f key. I pulled it out two millimeters, so let's pop it back 1.9, and that'll round off that corner. you'll get an excellent roundish eye there. You may be saying, “dude, a lure with one eye on one side doesn't do me much good,” and you are right. Let's spin around to the left side of my lure. Fusion, by default, hides it. If you pull down the sketches tab, click, that eyeball icon will show up again. We can do the same thing. we're going to extrude that eye from this object on this side now. you'll see here my number is negative. That's because it switches on the different sides of this plane. Let's say negative 2 pops it out the same distance, hit the fillet to do 1.9 again, and boom, now we have the same eyeball on both sides of the lure. It's pretty straightforward.
We're going to the same thing for some fins here.Create a sketch on this plane. I am going to create some dorsal fins. Once you draw them, the process is the same. Extrude, select that start from the object and go out maybe one point. If you make a mistake, you can always go back down here by right-clicking the edit feature. If you ever see this error here, “could I be created requested size,” all you need to do is go through and keep going down. We can do a 0.8 same error or 0.5 same error. Keep in mind; the 0.1 is useless. 0.3 is a little bit better. Now that we are using 0.3 let's turn our sketch back on do the same thing. Come over to the left side. It's beneficial if you click the box. This way, know everything is completely aligned. Hit extrude from the object. This object will be negative 1.8. We're negative on this side, so I will be holding down to the shift key and hitting my middle mouse button to move 1.8. Fill it, and boom.
There we have it. We have some dorsal fins and some other stuff. I have eyes and a little in, but what if I want to add a fin going across the top? that's pretty easy as well, and again same basic concept. we're going to create a sketch on this plane. Now, remember, this plane is right along these lines here. We will be sketching on that plane. that plane is right on this green axis in the middle of my bait, which is in the middle of my lure. Basically, whatever I add and draw on this plane, it's going to be perfectly centered. Let's go back to my fit point spline and use the project command to project this line into my drawing. What this does is takes this line puts it into my current drawing. You can see how it's purple. That way, when I go to draw my spline, you'll see what will happen. You can zoom in close. When I hit that line, it'll click onto that, and that's how I know I am exactly on that line. Whatever I draw will line up to that line at the exact point. When I go to make my fin, it will be a lot easier to deal with. Let's zoom out a little bit. I'm not going to spend too much time on this because the exact shape is not essential. What is important is the technique. You can see I have a profile here because it's shaded on the inside. That's what I need to extrude. Once I finish the sketch, hit the extrude. It already has that chosen now on the key; we want to change our direction, we want to make it symmetric. You're going to be doubling this distance because you're going to do it symmetrically. One side will be the same as the other, so if I do two millimeters, my fin here ends up being four millimeters thick. The things you want to watch out for see are happening in the back here. You see how it's all funky because it's too thick. That's what you need to keep an eye out for.
I wouldn't probably have made one this long, but we can do this easily. Stay on the right; we're just going to click OK. We want to do a join and click OK. Then we look at it, and you can still see that we're when we get to the back here, we get two a little too skinny. What we can do is come over to my history and edit this sketch. You can drag until you find where you want to be. That's a little bit better, right? Let me finish sketching.
Now, it's still not great, but you get the idea. I would even make it probably 0.5, so it's just 1 millimeter. That's pretty small, but we have a little back here. There you go, there's a fin again. The easiest thing to do is select both sides, add a fillet of 0.2, and that's going to smooth those circuit surfaces out. Now we have fins attached to the body and fins sticking out for the body. Next up, we're going to move two rings. I'm going to take these fins. I don't typically do rings on baits with fins, but you can do them. It would be best if you put them in a slightly different order. I would not do any body fins. You can do a top fin or a sticky hatty fin if you want, but it's best if you keep everything off the body.
Let's back up, and we're going to remove these features here back to just my eyes. Now we're going to do the ribs. Again, the ribs are pretty straightforward. They're just a little bit time-consuming because you have to click on a bunch of stuff over and over again. We're going to create a sketch also on the same side plane and draw a line. Now this line is the alignment of your ribs so you can make them straight up and down. You can make them at angles. You can make them kind of any way you want to go. For this example, let's do some slightly slanted lines just for the fun of it. Now, the key here is my start point I clicked on. It needs to be above the lure's body at the highest point, and the bottom needs to be below the lowest point. Click that to make a line, click the check box, and now we're going to make a rectangular pattern. To create the rectangular design, click the line. Drag it out to where you want them, and let's change our number. This is kind of where the feel of it goes, and that's 36.
You can adjust the number to your liking. I just kind of eyeball it. Pull it out to where you want the last one to be and then change the numbers as we go; click OK. Click finish sketch, so now we need to use a trick that I learned only recently. Please create a new sketch again on the same plane we've been working on. Now, we're going to develop a project to the surface. This is where the magic happens. To project a surface, the first thing we want to do is select the faces. We're going to choose the front of this lure and select the curves. This is going to be all my lines, and the easiest way to determine these is to come to the right of the last line, click and drag to the left. You don't want to drag up here where you get these dots. You don't want to drag down here where you get this body. You just want to make sure you select all the lines, and it will pick them all up. For projection type, you want to do a long vector and project direction. We're going to choose this red axis. If it's done correctly, you'll see red lines going all the way around my lure. Those are our projections or our projected curves, if you will. Click OK and finish the sketch.
You can see my lines are still showing up, so I'm going to turn those off. Now, I have these yellow lines, which are my projections across the body of my bait. I am going to use these to make pipes. Click the pipe command. The first thing I want is a path. I'm going to choose that guy first, and by default, it wants to cut. it's going to cut into the bait, which is a cool effect and kind of anti-ribs. we're going to go back and edit that again. The other things you can change is whether it's a circle, a square, or a triangle. Triangles, in particular, can make cool ribs. we're going to say OK on that one real quick, and as you can see, it gives us this kind of cut. we'll go back and edit that. If I make it a join, it will create a rib-like this; pretty cool looking. I've done a lure with that, and I think it makes a little more noise when running through the water. Today we're going to keep it in a circle. We're going to make sure we have it on join, and then this section size is how big of a round it is. This is totally up to you in the lure you're making. we'll do bigger ones at 1.8. choose our section size, which again is the diameter of the pipe. Make sure it's on join and click OK. Now we have one rib, and you're like, dude, I need more than one rib. Again, we turn our sketch back on because fusion thought we were done with it and click the pipe command.
We're going to select the next curve now. This is where it gets tedious because there's no way that I've been able to find to choose all of these to run a pipe. The nice thing is fusion remembers after you get one in there, which you did last time so if I do a join, click OK; now, when I come to my next pipe, click on the curve. It's going to be the same. it won't remember the first one; it recognizes the second one and then all the ones moving forward. Then I have to click OK. Click pipe. Click the curve and hit the enter key. Click the pipe, click the curve, and hit the enter key. It isn't enjoyable. It should be able to figure this out itself. Create a little cut-out tail section. I can move this to cut, and you may get this error, “the sweep would create an illegal surface.” what you need to do is reduce your diameter or your section size until you get one that works. Once you choose the one you prefer, we cut it. Instead of a sticking-out rib, we have a little cut into the tail, which hopefully would give you a bit more action.
I hope you found that useful. here's that video I was talking about where the guy does the scales. Again, you can see how tedious it is. I'm not too fond of it. You can also find my other lure design videos here. Come back for more see you guys soon—tight lines.
Today we are going to make a couple of swimbait designs that I've created. We're going to make molds out of them with silicone and 3d printed molds. Making a mold master and then pouring silicone over the top of it to create an excellent open-pore mold is one of the best ways to develop lures with your 3D printer. Follow my journey to start!
The Design Mold
First, let's start with the design. I'm not going to walk you through the whole procedure with fusion 360. I'm going to be doing a whole series of tutorial videos coming soon on lure design and mold design of fusion 360. Be on the lookout and subscribe to my blogs or videos to stay up to date on my latest content.
As you are aware, I gave away all of my fishing lures recently. One of the lures that I was most concerned about replacing is the down south lure burner shad. I crush fish with this lure in the spring and the summertime along the gulf coast. It's a small three and a quarter inch swimbait. I knew right away that I needed to get a replacement because when the fishing turns on in the spring, I will be throwing this design all the time. I came up with two very similar designs. I call the first one little butt swim because its tail looks like a small butt, and the other one, I call burn before fishing shad (or the BBFS).
As you can see, here is the burn before fishing shad in Fusion 360. I create a floor and wall around the side. To complete the mold master, I can pour the silicone directly when I want to make the mold. It's just that simple. You can make as many copies of the lure as you wish. This process will make the cavities in your mold, build a floor and build the walls. I'm using my sidewinder X1 for the FDN prints. I recently purchased this FDN printer. and always make sure to review the product I am using. Be on the lookout for an upcoming review soon.
I like to get a good overview of the printer to see how it's working by using the fine setting to get it as high detail as possible. This product did a pretty great job. I also decided to print out just the floor with the lures on my resin printer. This printer is my LU Saturn. I wanted to see how it compares to the FDM prints. I didn't print out the walls here because it would not be a fair use of my time. If I print them flat, it will create a giant suction cup and not print well. Another option to print this way would be to print virtually. Unfortunately, that process would take 20 plus hours. I printed this on the build plate, and it took roughly two hours. I then went back and printed the wall for the outside on the FDM printer to snap it in place. This process makes it super easy.
Now that you have one of your bold masters all printed out, the next thing you probably want to do is put a thin coat of paint epoxy. It's best to use Paint epoxy, or in my case, I'm going to use polyacrylic. I'm using this because my friend Adam said he used it with some success, and I already have some laying around in the garage. I ended up doing two separate coats. Afterward, I let it dry a few hours in between. For the best use, follow the directions on the can.
Prepping for the Pour
In my opinion, It came out pretty well. I still have ridges, and I could have probably kept going with some more coats. This stuff is relatively thin, but it didn't matter to have a few little lines on there at the end of the day. You will need to do a few touch-ups. I got a few little holes in there, either from air bubbles or from things floating around in my vat. Patching these up is straightforward. You take some of the resin that you're already using in your 3d printer and dab the holes with it. I also use a little needle and hit it with a UV light source. In this case, I'm using a UV flashlight. It hardens it up just like if it were in the printer and creates a patch.
Next up, we're going to prep the silicone. One thing to keep in mind, if you're going to pour silicone over a resin 3d print, you may want to make sure it is a tin cure silicone as opposed to a platinum cure silicone. Platinum cure silicone does not cure when it comes into contact with the resin from a 3d resin printer. The result will end up being a big gloopy mess. Make sure to use tin cure silicone all the way. Now, we need to estimate how much silicone we'll need. I typically fill up my molds with water, dump them all into a container, and get my silicone volume from this method. it's not an exact science. I always like to think of the difference between water volume and silicone volume, so I can still bump it up. In this case, I got 22 ounces. I decided on pouring 24 ounces of silicone, which ended up being just about perfect. Silicone tends to stick, so I'm looking at ways to avoid this. I always bump it up and go on the high side.
We're ready to pour. I'm going to get my UMU 25 out. This silicone is one of my favorites for a couple of reasons. One, it's pretty forgiving on the mix. It mixes at a straightforward one-to-one ratio by volume, and it cures pretty quickly. Typically, it takes 25 minutes of cure time or 75 minutes when it's exposed to air. It's effortless to work with. I pour it from a corner and allow it to fill up. It will roll over well and will help prevent air bubbles from forming. You can also make sure you have a very, very thin stream coming out of the cup you are using that'll break up some of those more giant air bubbles as well. You could put it in a vacuum chamber. Again, this is a quick and dirty mold. For me, it's a prototype. I don't even know if these will work, so I'm not too hung up on air at this point.
After a couple of hours, I go to de-mold them. The top, exposed to the air, is nice and firm, but the underside is still very soft. The mold is airtight, so not a lot of air is penetrating here. You want to be careful when you're de-molding here to make sure you don't add too much stress and get deformation in your molds. I pop it out. For this one, I kind of bent one a little bit too much, and ended up getting a tail a little bit wider than another one. Next, I let them cure again for four hours, as recommended by the package. At this point, it's about nine o'clock at night. I leave them overnight, and I come back the next morning, and they are good to go. Nice and solid, very tight. No issues whatsoever with my molds. I am super stoked!
Now it's time to talk about my big idiot moves. I make a lot of big idiot moves, but this one, I decided to try to do a three-color pour immediately out of the bat after never pouring these molds before, and I was trying to replicate the chicken of the sea color. The first thing I do is I pour my chartreuse. I go ahead and pour the whole mold chartreuse. I come back in, and I clip the tails off and de-mold the bodies. So far, it's looking pretty good. Then, I come in with my bottom layer. The DSL looks like this bottom layer is clear plastic with a ton of silver flake in it. I decided to go with what I call disco monk, which is interference violet, a black flake, one drop of black you could use, and white. It would brighten it up a little bit.
In this case, I went black, and it darkens it up a little bit, gets a little more purple coming out, disco holographic. Flake all those things together and make my cake on monkey's milk, which I call disco monkey because it has a half flake. It's like disco, bro. I'll get that poured in for the bellies. At this point, I'm not feeling terrific because I'm heating my top color, and it's taking a long time. I have one tiny microwave that takes about three and a half minutes to heat even six ounces of plastic. My topcoat will be some pearlex green mica powder, dark melon dead on plastics color and some red flake, and a little bit of black to darken it up.
Let's take a look at the results. I think they came out pretty good. You can see a few artifacts from the 3d print. A few lines here and there, but overall, I'm super happy with how the mold came out. Unfortunately, when I went to test these lures, they swim like absolute garbage, especially the little butt lure there. I think its body is way too big. When I go swimming, it just kind of twirls like this. It looks like garbage, so I'm back to the drawing board on that one. The BBFS was okay. I think my body is still a little small. When I put it on the jig head I was using, it blew up big, and the tail doesn't have the great action I'm looking for in a lure.
I think that one is closer to saving than the little butt swim, so I'm going to do a few more revisions of that. The thing I learned during this process is that I shouldn't have printed a six-five six cavity mold when I don't even know the lures are working. I've gone back to the drawing board on the BBFS, and I'm going to print a single cavity mold for my next revision of this pour. If it works, and then I'll expand it out to a six cavity mold. There's no reason to make a six cavity mold of a lure if you don't even know. Stay tuned. I'll continue to revise the BBFS. We'll show you the next version in a video coming out shortly.
Finally, If you want these models as soon as I have them perfected, I'm going to be releasing them to my mailing list. You can click that link below to join my mailing list and get these for free if you found this video and blog at all useful. I'll see you guys again soon!