Common Mistakes When Making Laminate Soft Plastics

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Author: Matt Luna
Date:11/5/2021


Multi colored baits are very popular.  Some have a large contrast in colors, and in others it’s very subtle.  Those of us that make our own soft plastics can create these multi-colored baits, but there is a learning curve to doing this.  In this blog article, I’m going to outline common mistakes that are going to help you tremendously.


Equipment

There are certain items you’ll need in order to make these laminate baits.  You’ll need a Dual Injector or a mold with a laminate plate.

You need these items because the dual injector will enable you to pour two colors at once or the laminate plate will enable you to pour one color at a time into half of the mold, then allow you to pour a different color later into the other half of the mold.  

My preference is to use a dual injector because it allows the bait to have the most strength.  Both colors are running together and combining into one bait, but still are separate enough to still provide that laminate two sided look.  

Certain molds require laminate plates.  You can get awesome looking baits, when pouring with a laminate plate, but sometimes the two sides don’t adhere to one another as well as when dual injecting.  A laminate plate tip is to pour your second color as hot as possible to allow both sides to adhere to one another as well as possible. 


Temperature

Temperature is a very important part of the equation when it comes to making laminate baits.  A few common issues that arise regarding temperature are having the plastisol too hot, uneven, or too cold.  As you can see there’s a happy medium, so to speak, when it comes to temperature. 

Too Hot
When the plastisol is too hot it will allow the two different colored plastisols to blend into one another.  This in turn will take away from the laminate effect you are going for, and end up with a swirled bait, or a completely blended color.  

Uneven Temperature
When the two different colors of plastisol have uneven temperatures the hotter side can often come out of the injector faster than the cooler side.  This hotter color ends up overpowering the bait, and you won’t obtain the laminate look you’re going for.  

You need both injectors to have even flow coming out and into the mold.  Sometimes the addition of salt, or one color having more colorant than the other can affect how easily the plastisol comes out.  Sometimes making the “thicker” side a little hotter can enable the flows to be more even.

Too cold
Having the plastisols too cold isn’t normally an issue I run into too, but it is something that can cause your laminate baits to not turn out.   There are times where one side cools down faster and no longer flows into the mold evenly with the other side.  In this case, you need to adjust the heat to one color slightly to make the flows more even.


Pressure

Uneven Pressure
When using the dual injector for laminate colored baits, you need to have even pressure on the plungers.  If one side is getting more pressure than the other, then the flows will be uneven, and impact the look of completed baits. Push down as evenly as possible.  When the flows are uneven, the color that is flowing out more will over power the bait.

Pushing too fast
If you push too fast, you are allowing for uneven pressure on the plungers, and can force the two different colors to mix.  Pushing too fast can also add additional unwanted pressure, even if the pressure is even, that can cause the colors to mix.  When pushing the injectors down, you want there to be a slow even pressure from your hand.  

Too Much Pressure
This is mostly an issue at the end of the pour.  Typically, at the end of a pour you feel the plungers stop once the mold is full of plastisol.  You need to hold the pressure for a little while to combat against any denting or air pockets.  Too much pressure can lead to flashing, where the plastisol flows out of the bait cavity and in between the sides of the mold.  Too much pressure can also force the colors to mix inside the mold.  


Even Flow is Key
Always check for an even flow right after drawing up the plastisol.  After you completely draw up your injectors with plastisol, pour a small amount back into the cups in order to make sure the flow is good, and even.  Checking the flow like this will save you a ton of bad baits, bad pours, and wasted plastisol.  You want the flow from both sides of the injectors to look similar in thickness, speed, and need to go down with even pressure from your hand.  

Since I started doing this when making laminates, I’ve had less issues with colors blending and baits not turning out right.  If one of the other issues I mentioned previously is present in a pour, you’ll often notice it when checking the flow instead of after running a bunch of baits, and realizing they did not turn out right.


If you follow these laminate tips, I know you’ll end up with better baits, more consistent baits, have a lot less mistakes, and in turn will save you money.  



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