How To Store Soft Plastics To AVOID Them Melting Together
Have you ever reached into your tackle bag to grab a soft plastic lure just to find that it was melted to another one?
It’s an unfortunate, but common event that soft plastics melt together, but here’s the good news:
It’s totally preventable!
All you need to do is store them correctly.
What makes this a little more difficult is that there are several types of material these lures are made of, so in this video, I’ll show you how to properly store each type of soft plastic, plus some other tips on keeping your lures in good shape.
Check it out below.
How To Store Soft Plastic Fishing Lures [VIDEO]
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Before we get into the three types of soft plastic lure material, here are some general tips to help you keep your lures like new:
- Don’t store soft plastics in direct sunlight
- Keep them in their original packaging
- Avoid storing them in tackle trays (depending on the tray material, it may melt with the lure)
- Put an oil-based fish attractant like menhaden oil or Pro-Cure in the bag to keep the lures slimy (dried out lures can become deformed)
- Use a worm binder to save space and keep lures organized
The tips above are best practices for any type of lure, but now let’s get into some specifics.
Storing Plastisol Lures
Plastisol is what your standard soft plastic lure is made out of.
The Slam Shady and Alabama Leprechaun are both made of plastisol, as are other brands like Zoom and DOA.
These lures are ok to store together, as long as the colors are the same because the colors will bleed together.
For instance, if you have several packs of Slam Shadys, you can store them in one big bag, but you wouldn’t want to store the Slam Shady and Alabama Leprechauns together.
Storing TPE Lures
TPE, or thermoplastic elastomer, is a very tough material that some of the higher-end soft plastics are made out of.
Brands that use TPE include:
- Chasebaits USA
- Savage Gear
- Vudu Shrimp
- Monster 3x
With these lures, you don’t want them touching any other lures, no matter what they’re made of because they will melt together.
That includes other lures made from TPE.
To keep these lures in good shape, keep them stored individually.
And the best way I’ve found to do that is to keep them in their original packaging.
Storing Z-Man ElaZtech Lures
Z-Man lures are made of the really stretchy and durable ElaZtech.
They’re similar to plastisol lures in that they can be stored with other lures made of ElaZtech.
Also, the colors will bleed, so keep them stored with lures of the same color.
And finally, don’t mix them with any other type of soft plastic lure because they will melt together.
If you don’t store your soft plastic lures correctly, they could easily melt.
The easiest way to remember to store them correctly is to just keep them in their original packaging.
Have any questions about storing lures?
Or any other tips to keep them safe?
Let me know down in the comments!
And if you know someone who needs to learn how to properly store lures, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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What about temperature? Currently the daytime high isn’t supposed to get above 10F for the next week. I keep my tackle in an unheated shed.
Cold weather won’t affect soft plastics. Heat is the biggest issue.
How long is the menhaden oil good for in a bag of soft plastics? I’d hate to oil up all of my bags of lures and have them go bad in a year.
I haven’t found there to be an issue with the oil going bad. If anything, you can just use a separate bag for the lures you plan to use for the day.
This is info you simply can’t find elsewhere. Really great and onviously based on some good research and experience. Thanks very much!
You’re welcome Marvin!
Learn more each day.
Thanks for the tip Tony!
You’re welcome Danny!
Reading this months after throwing away the original packaging for some of my baits like the ZMan Diesel Minnow, Flounder Pounder, and Mojo Shrimp (Academy’s H20 brand). What should I store these in if I’ve already thrown away the original packaging?
They can be stored in zip lock bags but just be careful to keep them out of the sun. It’s not as good as having them in the original shell that helps hold their shape, but it will get the job done.
I have looked on some of these bags for ID recycle. how do I know what baits are are what designated plastic?
The packaging on some baits will say what they are made from (such as TPE). I base it on feel and strength. TPE will be much stronger than standard plastisol. TPE will stretch a lot (like Zman) without breaking, or be very stiff but somewhat stretchy without breaking. Plastisol will break very easily when stretched.
I know you say not to use the plastic trays for storage, but what about keeping soft plastics in a tray on the yak just for the day while fishing? Upon return they could be put back in the bags. Just trying to simplify the gear in the yak.
It’s really the heat and sunlight that causes the plastics to react to each other when they’re mixed together. If you can keep a small tray under your seat or even in your cooler it can help. I just keep mine in their regular packages in a hatch.
Also, will your Dr Juice Saltwater Slam work to keep the soft plastics oiled up?
Absolutely! The scent is very strong though and will stay on the fingers for quite some time, so I usually use the spray whenever I rig a lure up.
Hey Tony. What are your views on the ShrimpZ? Do you like them? If so, do you have a favorite color, and how do you rig them?
I have reviews for both of the Zman shrimp lures here:
Hey Tony, have you ever seen or heard of anyone using those reusable ziplock style bags they make now?
I’m not too sure if I’ve seen them. Share a link snd I would be happy to check them out!
Something like this… they are usually made out of silicone… 10 Pack Dishwasher Safe Reusable Food Storage Bags (5 Reusable Sandwich Bags, 3 Reusable Snack Bags, 2 Freezer Gallon Bags), Extra Thick Leakproof Silicone Free Plastic Bags https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GXXPXKD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_C3EXB2DT592WG9ZMKNDP?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Tony, I did reach out to Zman and their ElaZtech® will NOT react with silicone, so they can be stored in reusable bags. I am assuming most other brands would be fine too then. Just wanted to update you with what I found out.
Awesome, thanks for the info Jonny!