A friend asked for a color match using the 3.5" and 4" Rippers. This one was a challenge. He was basing his color estimate off a sassafras BFishN Tackle bait color and guessing that sassafras was as close as he could recall a bait used in Canada this fall but no longer available anywhere. He did recall that the Canadian bait was more transparent than the BFishN bait so I set out in the new shop to see what I could do for him.
First I made a 4 ounce batch of plastic that somehow just about dead nailed the BFishN color. This was done using 4 drops each of MF Cutthroat Trout and Brown Mayfly, plus two drops each of MF brown and Copperhead. After the initial cook I decided I need just a bit more depth so I added 2 drops more of each of the 4 drop colors and one drop more of the two drop colors. This got the basic color close but it still needed something to tone down the brown so I added ten drops of thinned out Caney Creek Amber. I was still pretty opaque but I added the gold and copper glitter he recalled being in the Canuck bait and shot the two molds. Then I added 2 ounces of raw plastic to the half cup of color and re-melted to 350 and let the cup rest while I un-molded and re-clamped the molds. This thinned color was injected. Then 2 ounces of raw plastic was added to the remainder after the second injection, cooked again to 350 and let rest while the second baits came out of the mold and the third injection was then done.
Using the four ounce batches, roughly 2 ounces was left in each cup after injecting the two molds and topping off a couple times so the 2 ounces of raw plastic at each re-melt reduced the opacity of the plastic by roughly 50% each time.
From the top are the full strength color, middle color at the first cut and the bottom the second color cut by 50%. He settled on the second, or middle, color. Half of the order in each size will get a fluorescent orange tail. Honestly I think the bottom color offers more transparency but never argue with a customer. lol The bottom color is just about a dead ringer for the BFishN color.
I have a sassafras colorant but its nothing like this or BFishN's color. The usual browns in most colorants weren't going to cut it and plain brown was pretty much dog dung in color, hence the use of the colors with some transparency and with some hi lite in them for some bounce. I can't really say that this sassafras color is one I'd use much except when I need a brown-orange tail while jigging walleyes. I use this color pattern just about every fall below the Alma Dam on the Mississippi but have not bothered with a semi-transparent brown before. Maybe I need to change this, eh? Sitting here this morning with the baits lined up as in the picture in daylight the sassafras is a really rich color when it gets thinned out a bit so I guess I'll be saving the scraps and the recipe.