By David Reed, UT EditorHawick, Minnesota- Wynia Fish Replicas is using polyurethane and other resins to create what it claims is a highly realistic range of products allowing catch-and-release fishing enthusiasts to hang a high quality trophy on their walls and leave the fish in the water for someone else to catch.The firm has been involved in taxidermy for over 30 years and began making fish replicas 25 years ago. Company founder, Louis Wynia said, however, that many of the replicas sold today “have changed little from those based on the graphite materials introduced 30 years ago.” As a result, “[they] still suffer from the same problems as those originals: thick and unnatural fins, poor scale detail, mouth interiors that bear little resemblance to a real fish’s mouth, and gills that look more like pipe cleaners than the breathing organs of fish. “The end result is that customers end up saying that ‘They just don’t look real’,” he added.Accordingly, during 2004, the company began experimenting with the materials and advances in chemistry, such as “the new acrylics, urethanes, plastics, elastomer composites and the whole range of space age materials, which weren’t available in 1979 [when the first replicas began to be made]. Why should we still be making replicas out of the same old stuff?” the firm asked.Now though, “after many long hours spent in our lab doing research and development, we feel (and we aren’t alone in this opinion) that we have come up with a product that is vastly superior to what is currently available on the commercial market. “The result is something that up until now has only been available in taxidermy competitions,” Wynia claims (see photo of Red Salmon replica). “When you look into the mouths of our replicas, you will see teeth that are an exact reproduction of the real thing, not points of putty made to look like teeth. Our gills are cast from real gills, not fuzzy polyester strips. Our fins are thin and transparent giving you that natural translucent quality that real fish fins have. Our scale detail is unmatched, right down to the pores in the skin,” the firm added.Designated the Wynia Signature Series, the replicas are available, fully finished and painted, directly from the factory store, or local taxidermists can do the painting and finishing for you, the firm adds. Contact Wynia at http://www.wyniafishreplicas.com.”
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