Customising Soft Plastics #3: What’s Cooking?

Getting the hardness (or softness) of your plastic just right can sometimes be critical to success!

In my last two blogs in this series I’ve been exploring the exciting subject of customizing your soft plastic lures to alter their actions, colours and sink rates in order to better suit specific applications, fishing scenarios and target species. As I explained in both of those blogs, this entire subject area of customizing plastics is a branch of tackle tinkering that far too few Aussie anglers appear willing to experiment with. Many seem to believe that these lures must be used in exactly the form supplied for sale by the manufacturer. But as we’ve been discovering, that’s not the case at all! In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike most hard-bodied offerings, softies lend themselves extremely well to individual input and fine tuning from the angler, allowing you to clearly stamp your own personal identity and fishing preferences on the lures you use.

Saratoga on a Squidgy.

In the first blog on Customising Soft Plastics, I focused on tweaking colours and patterns using various dyes and marker pens to achieve specific results, whether attempting to “match the hatch”, suit the environment, stand out from the pack or simply emulate a successful hard-bodied lure finish. Last time around, in Part 2, we pulled out the scissors, razor blades and hobby knives and started playing with the actual shape, bulk and profile of these versatile lures to adjust their actions, overall sizes and sink rates.

A hooked barra.

This time, I want to look at the intriguing subject of lure hardness and its impact on action, “mouth feel” and durability. So, let’s kick off by tackling the subject of relative hardness in soft lure materials: