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Steelhead manikinp

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by big J, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Has anyone ever change out a steelhead body for a king salmon body, I've got a customer that brought a steelhead 36 inches long and 21.5 ingirth and he wants it mounted with the tail up but can't find any manikins with the tail up in that size there all with t he tail down and he doesn't want it with an S curve either, I know most of you are going to tell me to make my own body but can't see spending $100 on a piece of foam to make one body so just wondering if I could use a different species.

    Ñ u.
  2. jimss

    jimss Active Member

    I would think a salmon body would be a bit different confirmation than a steelhead body. The head, fins, and tail are definitely different so you would need to change them out. Judging from the girth of your steelhead it may be from the Great Lakes where they tend to be thicker in body than coastal steelhead? It usually takes me a while to locate steelhead with the correct girth but they are out there. If nothing else, Great Lakes browns are likely a little closer in body stature to steelies but you will likely need to switch heads, fins, and tail. You might check out Angling Artisans?

  3. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    I would check the Rinehart line of bodies as they catered to the Great Lakes taxidermists. I can tell that you have never wrapped a fish body out of excelsior and covered it in plaster to the correct size and position. That's how we did it years ago and would still work now. Also you could mold the fish's body ( after skinning) in plaster and then make a hollow body with plaster and burlap then insert a mounting block to hang it. Too much taxidermy today is measure, buy and mount and no-one teaches how to mount when you can't find the easy way parts. Good luck JL
  4. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Or, he could just carve it himself - lol! (Alright, SOMEBODY had to say it - lol!)

    Any other way sounds like a lot of work with plenty of room for error and re-do's and end result??? Heck, you already probably spent double the time it would have taken to carve the body with the time you've spent searching for a form - lol! Buy the foam (really, a $100 bucks?) and the leftover peices will be for the next time you run into the same problem. You do this long enough, you're going to have to bite the bullet and learn sometime.

    P.S. JL's method will certainly work okay in a pinch. But, plaster is heavy and will probably eventually crack under the skin and then you'll have some issues that aren't easy to fix. There's a reason these methods went away because we have much better materials and techniques nowadays. Learn a skill that will prove useful. Learn to carve a body. It's not that hard and quite relaxing actually!
  5. duxdog

    duxdog Active Member

    carve a King form down if you dont want to carve it. It is just foam
  6. Thanks Duxdog, I guess I really did not write that right, I just wanted to know if anyone has ever put and sanded down a salmon body to fit it on a steelhead ,Ive been doing this for 40 years and its not like I haven't carved my own bodys before but nowadays its so much easier to order a body already made. and yes $100 dollars is a $100 dollars I don't have to spend when I can get a body for thirtysomething.
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I don't think ordering a body is cost-effective even for LM Bass anymore. I pay $126 for a billet big enough to do a dozen big salmon or more and a bunch of panfish with the pieces. Take into account your time wasted locating a body (in most instances that will have to be modified), plus shipping costs and tax. Buying forms isn't even close to being cost effective. Never has been if you know the right foam supplier...
  8. Marty where do you get your foam from, here in Michigan I tried to locate some foam billets but they wanted $200 to $300 for them
  9. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    A place just outside of Chicago. If you wanna make the drive you can PM me for more info. Your best bet is to Call DuPont and ask them if they have any vendors in your area that uses the stuff. Then make some phone calls.
  10. o.k. Thanks
  11. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    lol if it was so much easier in buying them then why don't they have your size ? ROFLMAO yep better off carving them than buying a dead fish form that are sold by many. Just had to say it
  12. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    I looked up Dan Rhinehart Taxidermy Supply and he does have steelhead bodies but they have the "S" curve you don't want. As for foam, check with Rick Crane at Anglers'Artistry he has great fish foam and he may be able to help you. As already mentioned here, you should learn to carve your own manikins....it's not that hard. Buy a DVD on how to get it done Good luck JL
  13. duxdog

    duxdog Active Member

    i usually make my own blocks with 2-part foam then carve them down or use my fish molds to make my own bodies and modify them if I have one close
  14. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member


    Does your supplier allow the purchase of just one or two of those foam billets at a time? How much do they cost you? I may just have to take a ride over there.

    Last I checked your way I was told I had to buy a minimum of 20 of them. Must not have been the same place.

    I agree with the mannikins not being cost effective anymore. With a combination of McKenzie's mannikin prices and shipping I am carving all my bodies now too. That and half cast for the panfish.