I have done my first fish mount a couple of days ago (skin method).
I could not get the fins to splay out.
Did I not cut the tendon?
Or did the fins dry out too much in the freezer.
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Only you would know if the fleshing and skin cleaning was good enough. But it sounds like the fins could have been dry. I will usually spray mist a little water on my fins as I am mounting. That way the fins do not dry out. It is hard toi say without looking at it or watching your process.
Did you card the fins?
Take some paper towels and wrap them up and wet it down. Cover it with plastic. Come back the next day and the fins should be rehydrated that you can do some work with it. Like always there is never a guarantee that it will work.
as a last resort take a scalpel and cut between each ray and then spread out the fins before carding. You can fill in the gaps later with your fin backing.
Next time make sure you fins are not dried out!