Do Soft Plastics Go Bad? Will They Melt, Bleed Colors Or Dry Out?
You have a tackle box full with terminal tackle, and most of the lures you have are soft plastics. You are nervous because you don’t know if they will go bad after getting exposed to heat or cold. Will your soft plastics go bad? Will they melt and ruin your other tackle, or the tackle box itself? On the other hand, you are trying to decide whether you should store them outside or not, and you are hesitant because you are not sure if they are going to dry out. What should you do?
Soft plastics will go bad and melt if stored in a hard plastic tackle box. If they are stored outside, they will dry out and get hard. Storing your soft plastics in their original bags and saving them in a compact transparent box is the best solution for these problems. Keeping soft plastics in cool and dry places will dramatically increase their lifespan.
When a bunch of soft plastics melt and the colors bleed, they can be a pain to deal with. It could potentially ruin a fishing day. Most anglers eventually face this issue. I will share everything I learned in this article. Hopefully, you won’t have any questions left by the time you finish reading it.
What will happen if you store your soft plastics in a tackle box?
If you decided to use a plastic tackle box to store your soft plastics, you might end up regretting it. Your baits are going to melt. They will lose their original face and disfigure. Another thing that will happen is that the colors will bleed into other colors. Just by all of this, it’s pretty messy already.
Add to it that the soft plastics will melt with other hard plastics, like the surface of the tackle box. You will mess up your tackle box and all your hard baits. I would say that plano boxes will make no difference.
And it’s not only that! There is one more thing that could go wrong. When using plastic tackle boxes, the box starts to warp. While this is fine if you have that box designated for one single thing, it will be a problem if you ever try to remove the divisions and put them back in. Since the plastic is warped and all deformed, those divisions will not fit when you try to put them back in their place. While that’s not related to the soft plastics themselves, it’s just another strike against using a tackle box for this purpose.
Another aspect you have to consider is the quality of the soft plastics. Just like everything else, there are good and bad quality baits. If you leave those baits in a compartment of your boat for days, and the temperature is sky high (105° or more), a good quality bait will remain intact. No color bleeding, no deformation… it will be just like when you took it out of the bag for the first time.
What to do if a soft plastic looses its shape?
If your bait is deformed or not straight, here is a quick hack:
- Boil some water.
- Dip the bait into the boiling water. 10 seconds should be enough, you don’t want it to melt
- Now take it out and put it in cold water. Leave it there for a moment.
- Take the bait out and lay it on a paper towel.
- You’re done. The bait will recover its original shape.
I got this tip from this video. Make sure to watch it, it will help you learn about this topic in general:
How should you store your soft plastics so they don’t go bad?
As you can see, it’s better to just not use a plastic tackle box. The best solution is to just to keep them on their original plastic bag/package. But this opens the door to a new issue: organization.
When reaching out to for a bait, you have to go through all of your baits, each one in their bags. This can be time consuming and utterly annoying. The best way to get around this is have everything organized by sections. This is how FlukeMaster does it:
First thing’s first. You are going to leave the plastic baits in their original bag/package. That’s how you’re going to store them. When putting the baits away, avoid leaving the plastic bag open. The baits will dry.
Create logical sections for the baits that you are going to use. For example: flipping baits, swimbaits, etc. After this, get a Sterilite Storage Box. Get one that is the size of a shoebox. You can find these boxes at Walmart. You are going to put each section on a different Sterilite box.
And here is my ninja tip for this blog: create tabs. Imagine a secretary that manages the files of hundreds of clients. She has them on a file cabinet. She opens a file drawer and there are a bunch of folders. Now, she doesn’t take out each folder to look for a client’s profile, does she? Instead, each folder has a labeled tab with the name of each client. All she does is quickly browse through the tabs to find the folder she is looking for. And this is what I want you to do.
Create tabs for each individual bait. Just write on paper strips. Laminate and paste them with tape. Each tab will have the color and size of the bait. Also label the category on the top of each Sterilite Box with a marker. I know it’s a pain, but trust me when I say it’s worth it, and it’s only a one time job.
This is how you avoid you avoid your soft plastics from melting, bleeding or drying out. And this is also how to save time and stress when fishing.
Use scents when storing them in their bag
For starters, this will get you more bites. But besides that, it will keep the baits moisturized and prevent damage. Garlic scent, crawfish scent, you name it. Spray it on the bait and save it in its bag. Keep in mind that if you were to store the soft plastics in a tackle box, they will lose their scent.
Are there any disadvantages to this method?
The only disadvantage is that your baits might lose their straightness. But that’s easily fixed. Just dip them in boiling and cold water as indicated above. They will go back to their original shape with no problem.
Soft plastics are very likely to melt and bleed if left in a tackle box. The best way to store them is in their original packages. The easiest way to store them and take them on your trips is by putting them in Sterilite boxes. Subdividing each bait with tabs is convenient.
And that’s all I have to share about this topic. I really hoped it helped you. As always, our goal at Reel Fishermen is to help you become a better angler. Let us know on the comments bellow if you have any questions or comments. I will get back to you at my earliest convenience.
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