The previously published YouTube video on how to make your own silicone fishing attractors and bait stops has been removed. As an alternative the following is a pictorial step by step guide covering how to produce silicone fishing attractors. Links are provided to source the materials that I use.
These silicone fishing attractors and stops are simple to produce and much cheaper than the commercially available alternatives.
There is a partial video at the end but unfortunately the camera angle is off and the field of view is restricted.
- Clear Silicone Sealant and Sealant Gun – It is important only to use clear silicone to ensure that the powder paint successfully tints the material.
- A Plastic Mixing Tub – I find a round tub best for mixing and cleaning.
- A Mixing Spatula – A metal dental cement spatula ensures proper mixing and is easy to clean.
- Syringes – I normally use 20ml syringes which hold sufficient silicone to fill 4 – 5 straws, depending upon the diameter. The size makes it easier to apply pressure when injecting the material.
- Plastic Straws – My go to diameter of straw is 5mm and the smoothie type with the spoon end makes a handy scoop for adding the powder to the silicone. I have tried paper straws, which can be unwrapped to expose the silicone, but they are not easy to fill.
- Powder Coating – Supplies of powder coating vary throughout the year but a google for “powder coat fishing” will list current stockists. Paul’s Angling Supplies on E-bay have a good selection of colours including luminous.
- A plastic Biro pen or chopstick is handy for helping to pack the syringe.
Producing Silicone Fishing Attractors
First a word of warning, producing silicone fishing attractors can be a messy job. In particular the powder coating is easy to scatter and not the simplest material to remove from soft surfaces.
I recommend working on a clear surface and in a well ventilated space to reduce the odours from the curing silicone.
After cutting the nozzle on the tube of silicone squeeze a quantity into the mixing tub. Only through experience will you discover the correct amount to work with and I suggest starting with a reasonable amount. You will have approximately 15 minutes to work with the mix.
Make sure that you plug or tape the open end of the tube to ensure that the silicone stays workable for future use.
Give the silicone a quick mix and then using a straw scoop or an old teaspoon add a small quantity of your chosen coloured powder. Thoroughly mix the powder into the silicone before adding more powder and mixing again.
Generally the more powder you add the deeper the colour but it does not require a lot to obtain a good, deep colour in the finished silicone fishing attractors.
The more powder added to the mix the quicker the silicone will cure or set.
Using the dental spatula start to load the syringe, a pen or chopstick can assist with packing down the silicone into the syringe body and eliminate air bubbles.
I would not recommend over filling the syringe as it can be difficult to apply sufficient pressure to the ram to shift a full load.
Select a suitable diameter straw and place it over the end of the syringe. Holding the straw tightly over the base of the nozzle, depress the plunger to feed the silicone into the straw.
Most straws are semi-opaque and the level of fill should be visible. A surprising amount of pressure is required to extrude the silicone and resting the end of the plunger on a table or bench can help apply sufficient force. A larger diameter syringe has bigger lugs and is easier to operate.
Continue filling the straw until a blob squeezes out from the end, this will give something to grip when removing the silicone bar from the straw.
The coloured silicone should have set in the straw after 3 – 4 hours but I normally leave them overnight to be on the safe side. If the silicone breaks off in the straw there is no way to extract it other than cutting the straw.
To extract the silicone tube, roll the straw flat on a table using the flat of your hand to help free the tube. Grip the blobbed end of the silicone and slowly pull while gently rotating the straw squeezing between your fingers to help break the seal. The cured silicone should come free from the straw.
All that remains, other than the clean up, is to cut the silicon fishing attractors into suitable lengths.
It is worth keeping any larger waste pieces which can be cut up for bait stops and I have used them to slip onto the bend of a lugworm baited hook to stop the worm slipping round the bend of the hook.