Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Few Commissoned Wide Tails.

Orange Perch
Pink Shad
Chartreuse Red Head

High up on the Food Chain

I shot these few photos last week while fishing Cave Run. This is what we call a Red Tail Hawk around here. While the pics do show the bird pretty clear what it doesn't show is it's size. This bird stood close to two feet high. We don't usually get to see one this close so I took this opportunity to snap a few photos of it. It is an awesome creature and one of nature's finest top level predators.

A couple Medussa's for a friend

Monday, March 22, 2010

Schooling "Dussa's"

Small schools of Cisco, Crazy Northern Lights, Super Suckers and Yellow Perch.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Kid in Town

Here's some photos of the newest addition. It's a 8" paddletail swimbait that is designed to be fished shallow. Even with a slow retrieve this one will swim less than 1 foot deep.
First photo is one that is complete and the second photo is of some bodies ready for the rigging to be installed

A Few Big Boy Swimbaits

Some unique colors on my Big Boy swimbaits

5" Paddletail Swimbaits

Here's several colors of some 5" Mini Paddle Swimbaits that I did last week.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This years first

This was my first trip to Cave Run in 2010, The water was about 6 feet below summer pool level. Water temps were in the low 40 degree range and the clarity would be considered stained to muddy, depending on what part of the lake you were on. With the air temps in the mid 50's and a moderate east wind, conditions were not what I would call ideal.
I started out the day casting, I went through all the standard early spring baits....rattle baits, jerk baits both dive-rise and gliders, small bucktails and rubber. After 6-1/2 hours of this without even seeing a fish I decided it was time to make a change, so I pulled out the trolling rods and started trolling in the same general areas I had been casting. I put a small deep running crankbait out, on a short line to keep it running fairly shallow and on another rod I put a larger shallow running crankbait on a longer line. Within the first 1/2 hour I got a the first fish of the year, a fat little 29"er, while not a big fish by any stretch but a fish never the less. A little while later while trolling through the same area, from the opposite direction, I got another fish, on the same little deep running crank. This fish was almost a carbon copy of the first.
The photos are of the second fish.
Two little fish on the first trip of the year, while not anything to brag about, I was happy to at least see one on the first trip, even if it was small.
Hopefully next time I will get one a little bigger.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Making of a New Mold

The following sequence of photos shows a few of the many steps required to make a mold from RTV Silicone.

The first 3 photos shows the hard master. This master was machined from hard plastic and has been fastened to the base. Both the master and the base have been coated to make them as slick and shiny as possible. The smoother and shinier the master the shinier the castings the mold will produce. Hours of time and effort go into this part of the process and after the mold is made, these parts will not used again.

The 4th photo shows the master after the mold box has been built around it. I made this box as small as possible because this mold will only be used for very few castings, so thick walls around the master were not necessary. As long as I support the walls to prevent deflection during the casting process, this mold will give satisfactory results. The reason for the thin walls is to use as little RTV silicone as possible. The intent of this mold is to replicate the hard master with several copies that are identical. These multiple copies will then be used to make a multi cavity production mold.

With the master and the mold box ready, its time to mix the silicone. This particular RTV is a 10 to 1 mix. 10 parts of RTV to 1 part catalyst, by weight. In order to get the proper mix I weigh the RTV and then add the correct amount of catalyst.
Photo 5 shows the RTV.
Photo 6 is after the catalyst is added.
Photo 7 is the beginning to the mixing process. You must mix the two parts until a consistent color is reached.
Photo 8 shows the mixed RTV and ready to be poured into the mold box. You can see the RTV de-gassing itself by the presence of air bubbles coming to the top. This de-gassing will continue for quite some time and will cause no problems in the mold as long as none of the bubbles gets trapped against the master as the RTV cures.

Photo 9 through 12 shows the RTV being slowly poured into the mold box until the master is completely submerged.

Now we wait. It takes about 24 hours for the RTV to cure before we can remove the master to see how our new mold turned out.
I'll post some more of this process in a later post.