To get those lifelike finishes and feels, the two main build materials used in soft baits are synthetic plastic-polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a rubber-and-plastic mix. TPE is a tough material that's also recyclable. "[TPE] colors will not run when stored together, but do not store it with traditional PVC used in plastics," says Ken Chaumont, of Egret Baits. The unfortunate result will be a multicolored puddle of goop. More and more, companies like Z-Man, Savage Gear and Egret Baits are moving away from traditional PVC material to tougher, longer-lasting options. In particular, Z-Man's proprietary ElaZtech is a tough, stretchy soft-bait material that contains no PVC, plastisol or phthalates.