These days the demand for soft plastic glue has increased proportionately with the proliferation of anglers fishing bass tournaments with solid and hollow bodied swimbaits. It should also come as no surprise that west coast anglers and swimbait gurus have used soft plastic bait glue longer than any other anglers. Several companies offer soft bait glue for anglers to repair their soft plastic baits. A number of these innovative anglers not only repair baits but create new lures by adding new appendages or extending their length and sizes.
Popular soft plastic glues among professional anglers and swimbait gurus are Mend-It!, 3:16 Lure Company Soft Bait Glue, and PRO’S Soft-Bait Glue, and Berkley Angler Soft Bait Glue. These are premium adhesives that can even be used to repair large plastic baits; unlike inferior and inexpensive glues that have unfavorable results. Each of these products has their advantages and disadvantages. All of them are available to be purchased on-line or at select sporting good stores.
Close Up Look
Here is a close up look at 4 of today’s “cream of the crop” soft plastic bait glue products available to anglers. The first 2 products, Mend-It! and 3:16 Lure Company Soft Bait Glue are actually unique in the fact, they do not stick to any material but plastic. Both of these products cure very flexible and soft giving the repaired lures a new product finish.
Although not really “glue” in the true sense of the word, Mend-It! binds soft plastic baits together, by chemically melting them; this process creates a catalyzing action between the pieces of plastic treated with Mend-It!. Mend-It! dries clear, does not leave chalking residue, and leaves the bait where treated soft, yet flexible and strong as the original product. Mend-It! comes in a long nozzle bottle which is equipped with a lid made to resist clogging.
Will Hesch, owner of Mend-It! explained, “To use Mend-It! simply insert the nozzle and squeeze a small amount in to the area where it’s ripped or torn, do not pull the bait apart when applying, then press together and hold the bait for a few seconds; Mend-It! will melt the soft plastic renewing the lure to retain it original shape.” Unlike some other glues which bond together instantly, Mend-It! requires a longer drying time. “After an angler repairs the bait they should allow 5 to 10 minutes for Mend-It! to bond the plastic together,” Hesch continued, “For the best results anglers should repair them and let the baits re-catalyze over night.” Anglers can choose from either a 1-ounce or 3-ounce bottle.
One of the premier soft swimbaits lure manufactures on the west coast, 3:16 Lure Company, also has their own adhesive. 3:16 Soft Bait Glue was designed for repairing swimbaits or other soft plastic baits. Unlike the majority of other soft plastic bait glue, 3:16 Soft Bait Glue comes in a glass container similar to a bottle of fingernail polish. This unique bottle design makes the lid easy to open and never gets stuck. To bond ripped or torn soft plastic lures, simply brush a small amount to each part and push together. For the most part, repairs are completely dry in 2 to 3 minutes; 10 minutes is the optimum time for a lure to set up. Soft plastic lures treated with this adhesive remain soft and flexible.
Adhesives That Stick
For a good number of bass anglers it’s all about convenience and having an adhesive that’s versatile. They desire an immediate, bonding adhesive. This explains why PRO’s Soft-Bait Glue and Berkley Angler Soft Bait Glue have become so popular. Both of the glues can be used right on the water in their boats; anglers can also fish with glued baits after waiting just 5 to 10 seconds for the glue to adhere.
A favorite among top touring professional bass anglers and guides is PRO’s Soft-Bait Glue bonds plastic to plastic, plastic to lead or other materials. Unlike many other types of glue, it bonds flexible, odorless, and soft after applying. This makes it excellent for gluing skirts on to jigs or trailers on to spinnerbaits and jigs. When applying PRO’s Soft-Bait Glue it’s recommended to not squeeze the bottle but tip it, slowly allowing it to drip on. Usually only 1 drop of glue is required to adhere rips, tears, or to add appendages on. It’s recommended that the completed rig be assembled before applying the glue, since it bonds in 5 to 10 seconds. PRO’s Soft-Bait Glue also comes with a push pin to that keeps the nozzle free from clogging.
Berkley Angler Soft Bait Glue falls into the category of multipurpose use. It bonds plastic to plastic and plastic to any material. It can also be used in an emergency to fix broken devices or items. Although quick drying, it forms a hard, non-flexible bond between plastics and not really recommend for large plastic baits.
Anglers should be aware that both of these products will bond skin together in seconds. If however your skin does become bonded together try soaking the afflicted area in acetone. Some fingernail polish removers contain this product in its ingredients.
Dangerous Side of Glues
While soft plastic bait glues perform wonders on repairing torn baits or creating new baits by adding appendages, caution should be used when handling these products. The following is a list of warnings when handling glues: Minimize contact with your skin since many glues contain solvents which may cause skin irritation, use in a well ventilated area, if a headache occurs stop using and seek fresh air, do not use around or near open flames, glues are harmful if swallowed, if eye contact occurs use only fresh water to flush and seek medical attention, and most importantly, keep all soft plastic bait glues out of children’s reach.
Advantages and Benefits of Gluing
Every tournament angler knows bass have seen every plastic soft bait sold at Bass Pro Shop. In fact, bass can probably tell you who manufactured that finesse worm you are shaky heading. Why not follow the lead of some professional anglers who this year at Lake Falcon in Texas, added extra lengths to their 10-inch worms and made them 16-inches or bonded soft stick baits bodies together until they had 1 enormous soft stick bait? By modifying worms, tubes, soft jerk baits, lizards, grubs, or creature baits you can change the shapes and size; some of these modifications can be done while even on the water fishing.
The easy way to begin building your own designed soft plastic bait is to pick up the used ones on the floor of your boat or do not throw the used ones back into the lake. Just by making a few you will save money not having to buy new ones; plus, these custom made baits will be exactly what you want in color and size. Your newly modified glued bait could just give you the edge which will allow you to catch more fish and win more money in bass tournaments.
There’s only one thing anglers’ love more than catching gigantic largemouth bass: it would be reeling in the savings of restoring soft plastic lures to reuse again.
The savings can add up to hundreds of dollars; especially, when you are repairing swimbaits that cost $8 to $12 dollars or more apiece.