Foam vs plastic decoys

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Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby snc1100 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:22 am

I've always had plastic decoys. I've had a few magnums that were foam filled but never any strait foam deeks. What are the advantages /disadvantages to the foam ones compared to plastic? Which do you like better?


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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby puppypopper » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:45 am

Plastic sinks when your buddies shoot them. :lol3:

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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby snc1100 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:49 am

Been there. With expensive g&h decoys its never a warm feeling. Haha


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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby SwampRatNC » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:25 pm

Foamers don't sink and are lighter, ride the water better than a plastic decoy.
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby mwp1023 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:38 pm

I would prefer foamers over plastic any day. The only problem is the are expensive to buy and time consuming to make.

They ride much more natural in the water as well.
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby apexhunter » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:42 pm

On big water, especially for divers from a boat blind I much prefer my foam decoys because as Seamp mentioned they ride the waves versus bobbing like a fishing float. They are heavier and more expensive but with some care will last many, many years and are very easy to repaint.

For smaller water and puddle ducks I use plastic as the shape is more true (many foamers lack the body shape detail of plastics) and they are much lighter. For even smaller water like a swamp or small timber hole I even use water keel plastics as they are easier to tote and move with less wind than weighted keel and you simply kick the water to make ripples.
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby nickp9797 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:30 pm

Foam filled plastic decoys. Best of both worlds.
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby DuckMauler » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:19 am

Probably a dumb question, but how do you fill a plastic decoy with foam?
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby Mr. Taxidermist » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:49 am

Step 1. Buy some expanding foam. http://www.uscomposites.com/foam.html 4lb density works well for this application.

Step 2. Cut or drill a hole in the bottom of a plastic decoy...preferably towards the tail. If there is any water in the decoy, drain it and let it dry out for a few days.

Step 3. Patch any shot holes with electrical tape.

Step 4. Mix 2-part foam per the directions included by the mfg. Some are wt/wt and some are vol/vol. If you get it close, you'll be OK. Make sure to stir very well. Depending on temperature, the foam starts to expand in a minute or so.

Step 5. Pour foam into hole you cut in the bottom of the decoy. Hold the decoy so that the hole is pretty close to the highest point so that air can escape (not critical, but the best way to do it).

Step 6. When foam gets close to coming out of the hole, hold a piece of plastic over the hole (trashbag works well). When expansion is complete, you can take your hand off the plastic. In 10 minutes or so, the foam will have cured and you can peel the plastic off. If you peel it too soon, you'll have foam stuck to it. Trim any excess foam with a knife or sandpaper after it has fully cured. Peel the tape off any repaired shot holes.

Step 7. (Optional) Patch the foam hole with bondo or similar material. If the decoy is fully filled, there is no need for this. However, my father-in-law thinks it is a good idea. Since he's retired and plenty of time on his hands, I let him patch the holes.

Remember the foam expands to approximately 15x its liquid volume. It expands less and slower the colder the temp and more and faster the warmer it is. If you do as I do and drill the hole at the tail of the bird and hold it with the head pointed down while filling, you can add more foam through that hole if you fail to mix enough to fully fill the decoy on the first shot.
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby nickp9797 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:35 pm

Or just buy foam filled decoys.
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby Mr. Taxidermist » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:47 pm

nickp9797 wrote:Or just buy foam filled decoys.


I've got somewhere around 20 dozen decoys....most all bought before there was such a thing as "foam filled decoys" on the market. I can't afford to replace all those. I can repair (with the above method) and repaint decoys that most folks throw in the trash. That's part of what being a duck hunter is. I'd like to learn to carve and replace my spread with hand carved decoys, but I have too many irons in the fire to learn something like carving....maybe one day. What I've been doing lately is making foam decoys by pouring the 2-part foam into molds that I bought off ebay. So far, I've got about 2 dozen made. The process of pouring them isn't bad. The part that takes the most time is installing a keel, doing the restle coat, and painting. I'd like to eventually run all foam blocks. The foam decoys look so classic sitting around your blind. They are definitely not as detailed as many of the plastics on the market, but most of that is done to please hunters rather than the ducks. The paint holds up much better on foam decoys that have been burlapped or restle coated and definitely won't chip like the paint does on many plastics.
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Re: Foam vs plastic decoys

Postby DuckMauler » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:37 am

Step 1. Buy some expanding foam. http://www.uscomposites.com/foam.html 4lb density works well for this application.

Step 2. Cut or drill a hole in the bottom of a plastic decoy...preferably towards the tail. If there is any water in the decoy, drain it and let it dry out for a few days.

Step 3. Patch any shot holes with electrical tape.

Step 4. Mix 2-part foam per the directions included by the mfg. Some are wt/wt and some are vol/vol. If you get it close, you'll be OK. Make sure to stir very well. Depending on temperature, the foam starts to expand in a minute or so.

Step 5. Pour foam into hole you cut in the bottom of the decoy. Hold the decoy so that the hole is pretty close to the highest point so that air can escape (not critical, but the best way to do it).

Step 6. When foam gets close to coming out of the hole, hold a piece of plastic over the hole (trashbag works well). When expansion is complete, you can take your hand off the plastic. In 10 minutes or so, the foam will have cured and you can peel the plastic off. If you peel it too soon, you'll have foam stuck to it. Trim any excess foam with a knife or sandpaper after it has fully cured. Peel the tape off any repaired shot holes.

Step 7. (Optional) Patch the foam hole with bondo or similar material. If the decoy is fully filled, there is no need for this. However, my father-in-law thinks it is a good idea. Since he's retired and plenty of time on his hands, I let him patch the holes.

Remember the foam expands to approximately 15x its liquid volume. It expands less and slower the colder the temp and more and faster the warmer it is. If you do as I do and drill the hole at the tail of the bird and hold it with the head pointed down while filling, you can add more foam through that hole if you fail to mix enough to fully fill the decoy on the first shot.


Thank you sir :thumbsup: I think I can handle that! How many decoys will the 4 lb fill?
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