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Max Size For Fill Method??

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by slabbandit, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I have done bream but what would be a max size for say crappie or other species. I have never carved a body yet but will some day.
  2. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Not sure that there is a maximum size for the fill method. The disadvantage is the weight of the finished specimen. I use fish filler on all panfish, which go to 4lbs plus. My fill on large fish is foam, and i've mounted gar up to 65 lbs by pouring foam. I use Tom Sexton bodies on all bass.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    You pick it
    Back in the day before I did taxidermy and had fish mounted, they were all filled except one and that’s when foam was coming out of the closet for fish guys .
    My neighbor at the time ( not licensed lol) 39 yrs ago did two that I know of ( wife’s uncles) 55+Musky that were filled. Did a nice job on them too.
  4. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    A method I was shown years ago by a guy that filled all his fish was to use a mixture of slow set mache, sawdust, and foam beads to keep the weight down. I never tried it but I could probably find the formula if you are interested.
    JL likes this.
  5. The bad thing is some of the filled fish weigh more than the original fish,lol.
    rogerswildlife likes this.
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I did a 21 inch crappie once using the half cast method. Wasn't too terribly heavy using Tom Sexton Fish Filler. That said the fish wasn't really that robust at only 3 1/4 pounds.

    The problem I used to have was once they got so big the Tom Sexton fish filler would have a tendency to break before it completely set up especially in the throat area. I now use a combination of Matuska's mixed 50/50 with Tom Sexton's Filler. Matuskas is heavy and sets up like concrete. Also not as smooth as Sexton's. Sexton's is smooth, but brittle, and sometimes won't set up, or allows the skin to drum after a day or so. I mix the two get the best of both worlds and avoid the negatives.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
    swampfox2 likes this.
  7. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Hey Cecil! That's what I like is the Tom Sexton Fish Filler. I also had the problem with the filler not setting up quick enough but I learned, on here I believe, that If you add a good pinch of salt when mixing it would set up quicker. I tried it an was pleased with the results. I have a 3 lb crappie to mount for my son and it needs a 8 1/4 x 13 3/4 form. Closest Tom Sexton form is 9 1/2 x 13 1/2. Mat try the fill method since it's not a customer fish.
  8. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    Back in the day I used 80% 90 min drywall compound and 20 % plaster
    Coated the inside added burlap then recoated then sew up all except three inches
    Filled with saw dust
    When dry cut back open and dumped saw dust
    Add block and paint
    Now I carve
    JL likes this.
  9. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Slabbandit be aware if you use just the Tom Sexton filler it may cause the skin to pop away from the filler. That was the last straw for using it exclusively for the last 35 years. And for larger fish it will break easily in the throat area. I would mix it with another filler to add strength and prevent the drumming problem.