When you first start making soft plastic lures, it is important to make the distinction between commercial production equipment and home hobby equipment. Using commercial production equipment usually entails a massive injection molding machine and round multi-part molds. The latter usually consists of an old cookie sheet, a spoon, and your wife’s favourite pots and pans.
Hobbyist/Small Business Tools
For those of us that are not interested in mass-producing soft plastics, the equipment needed to make them is significantly less fancy. It typically includes a combination of the following equipment:
Two-part Injection Mold: When this two-part handheld mold is connected it forms a complete molding cavity. These pieces are connected by locking C-clamps. The injector squirts plastic into one end of the mold (see image below) until the cavity is full. When the lure has had a sufficient amount of time to cool, disconnect the pieces and remove the lure.
Injector: This specific piece of equipment looks similar to a syringe. The injector injects hot plastic into an injection mold. It consists of a hollow body, a tip, and a plunger, kind of like a turkey baster.
One-Part Mold: This is a flat handheld mold that contains one or more molding cavities. The plastic is then poured into the mold and left to cool. Most molds come in this form.
Pouring Pan: This is paired with a one-part mold, this pan pours the plastic into the mold in a controlled manner. This pan has a small rim or lip; you don’t want to use one of your wife’s brownie pans. This product is available in both left and right handed models.
Production Pot: This is a portable device that is used on a tabletop for heating and pouring plastic into the mold. The production pot is a single unit that consists of an open bowl, internet heating coils, temperature controls, and of course a pouring spout.
Melting Stove: This is another portable burner that is used on the tabletop for heating pans and plastic.
Plastic Gun: This device is a handheld piece of equipment used for adding detail to soft plastics. This gun consists of an open cavity running through it, ending at a small heated spout. The plastic is inserted into the gun and is heated at the tip when the trigger is pulled.