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Capt. Quicksteel

Clear Coat

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A couple of months ago somebody on this forum had advice about a good clear coat that you heat after application with a torch to smooth it out. I can't remember what type it was. If you're still out there could you let me know what it was? Thanks.

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Just about any of them will do that. The list is pretty long. I use classic coat, there is also flex coat, thread master, U40 LS supreme, to name a few.

If you are using a torch or any heat make sure you don't get too close or you will over heat the epoxy create a massive amount of tiny bubbles. Also keep thing moving you want to heat just some spots as it will sag a lot and you will have a mess. Heat needs to be applied with caution.

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Where do you get epoxy for topcoats on lures. I've screwed around making some in the basement and have only sprayed lacquer on over the paint as I have no idea what I'm doing. How do you apply the epoxy. Sorry for the dumb questions but I'm a total rookie on painting. I've been able to make some lures with great action that bass dig, but they're not so easy on the eyes - especially after a few days of use.

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if your just doing a few the cheapest and easiest way is use devcon 2 ton epoxy from a hobby shop. it would take a page or two of text to explain the use but barnes and noble has a book called ''a complete guide to lure making'' or complete guide to tackle making'' .. something like that. about twenty bucks. really a good book for beginners (as you stated) because it's simple step by step instructions with a few pics. pretty basic stuff but about as good a book as is out there. tackle makers are pretty tight lipped and i've found from experience, misleading. most, if not all,will tell you they use a certain kind of 2 different epoxies,(the ones that don't know better really do) they say them both all over the net in forums but in reality the big guys use another completely different brand thats alot better and easier. it's a secretive business mainly because of the amount of time and money put in to get things the right way. it amounts to several thousand of both, just for the first lure done right. i've been doing it for twenty+ years now and just found everything 5 years ago. i use one that i've not seen on any other lure yet. i even made some really stupid lures to show bait and tackle dealers just to see if they ever seen the coating. they did'nt either. the other one that's best i see on a few but most have the two common ones. i'd tell you the common ones but that would be bad info. some would tell you to spray epoxy on. you can but unless your willing to spend 5 grand MINIMUM on equiptment or willing to die young it's not a good idea. good luck and happy building.

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Thanks for the info. I never knew how many lure makers there are. The only reason I ever did it was because I had a great OLD bass bait that I was afraid of losing so I carved out some replicas just so I could keep catching fish. Over the past 15 or so years I've changed the design a bit and changed some dimensions for different actions, but I've never even thought of selling one. I've never put a ton of time effort or $$ into the paint simply because if it gets too beat up or falls apart I make a new one to keep catching fish. That said, I would like something a bit easier on my eyes so I appreciate the help. I guess I'll have to pick up that book.

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Not sure why B1gF1sh thinks lure makers are misleading. The 2 epoxy's I think he's referring to are Devcon 2 ton-30 minute and Envirotex and/or Envirotex Lite. (Note from admin: please read forum policy, thank you).

I use Devcon 2 ton-3o Minute exclusively. It is the easiest to work with, has no foul smells, sets up hard. The one drawback to Devcon is it doesnt have a UV inhibitor, so if your baits sit out in direct sunlight for extended periods(say leaving it on the floor of boat for days on end) the epoxy will start to yellow a bit. Has no effect on the integrity of the finish, just the looks.

The Envirotex line takes much longer to dry, and has a terrible odor to it. It does have UV inhibitors so it will not yellow even if left in the sun for weeks on end.

Some other builders use Dick Nites Top Coat, some use Proportionate plastic pellets(plastic cups dissovled in VIRGIN lacquer thinner works almost the same) Some use tngue oil or gunstock varnish and hand rub it onto baits. Some use the same finish they use on bar tops and bowling alleys.

The list of topcoats used is probably as long as the list of guys building baits!

For ease of use and availability start with the Devcon. Buy it in the syringe pack. When making musky size lures I can usually get 2 maybe 3 baits out of a syringe set. They can be bought at the evil Wal-Fart for around $2. Mix well(you want to make sure its well mixed or you'll end up with soft spots in the finish). I find it works best to mix in the small plastic dixie cups. I then use the cheap chip brushes(can be had ay Mickeals crafts for $.30 each) in the 1" size to brush the epoxy on to the lures. You dont want to overbrush, just get a good even coat on. Any bubbler that appear can be popped either by blowing on them(the CO2 pops them) or by quickly passing a propane torch over the lure. Then put them into a lure drying wheel and they will be good to go in 6-8 hours. Could be a little longer if temps are cool or humidity high.

If you are going to use the epoxy top coats, you will need to build a lure dryer to spin the baits while the epoxy dries. This is especially necessary with the Envirotex and others that take a long time to dry.

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Quote:
Not sure why B1gF1sh thinks lure makers are misleading

i did'nt mean ''all'' lure builders are misleading. that's like saying all fishermen are liars grin . the reason is in the above text. so is devcon. mainly i'm talking about the major manufacturers will say they are using product ''A'' when clearly if you look at it closely it's not. talk to another and they say another product, disect that lure and you find it's not that product. you state envirotex, yes that's a popular brand and what some of the majors will tell you is on their product. disect it and you find theres no way they are the same thing. some do use it. people tell you you need to de-gas it with a torch, that's true but when your making 10,000 lures that becomes difficult. so it's done in a booth with one of those torpedo heaters or the like.... that's what they tell you. in reality the product used needs absolutly NO degassing. no bubbles form. just apply, turn till cured. no fuss no muss. they tell you it takes several hours, up to 6, to cure on a turning setup so it won't sag, and 48-72 hours to cure to full hardness. so a person right away thinks envirotex or the like. in reality it can be done in about an hour mabe 1 1/2 hours on a turner and fully hard in less than 30 hours without losing any flexibility or strength. does enviro work? like a charm. just not what's best. after spending the money on maybe 50-60 different epoxy products, and some are not sold in less than gallons, i just can't seem to justify telling what it is. but i also won't tell anyone the wrong stuff to mislead. that's why i mention no products. it's just not right to do it when i ''know'' better. but i'll use envirotex in a pinch. and a few others. ever try adding 99% rubbing alchohol to Devcon? just a couple drops in 4 drams. not 70%. 99%. wonder what the result is. i would'nt just put it on a lure though. i'd try it on a blank of wood with paint on it to see if i liked it. happy building wink

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after spending the money on maybe 50-60 different epoxy products, and some are not sold in less than gallons, i just can't seem to justify telling what it is.

Why? Do you feel everyone else should have to go through that too. Most would be happy to help someone save the time and money. Or is this lure making as a hobby actually some sort of competitive business venture? I for one, am happy to save a guy/gal from any trouble I can by sharing my limited knowlege. I would hope a person with your vast knowlege of this topic would do the same.

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Why? Do you feel everyone else should have to go through that too. Most would be happy to help someone save the time and money.....

at the price of epoxy quarts, gallons, and tubes the figure is somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000. compound that with the thousands of hours of researching different types of epoxy, practicing different applications on different paints, wood, foam etc, lures dismantled and disected, almost all muskie lures, anywhere from 7 to 40.00. thousands of hours. even at just 10 bucks an hour the figure is huge. then add the money buying the luires.power tools, components, paints, tool, books, articles. field studying fish behavior to know what makes a fish do what a fish does and how to capitalize on it.....

basicly this is just a neverending list of the investment involved in not just money but also in time and effort.

it could seems selfish to not give away key information about things, and it could also be viewed as good old trade secret kind of stuff. trade secret's are the stuff of legend. i've been offered 10K for one month of my time to walk a guy through the process from beggining to end. i turned him down. 10K is tiny compared to my investment. think old man sanders would have took a million for his chicken recipe?

no this is not a hobby for me anymore. hasn't been for years now. i custom build lures for sale and of course personal use. been doing it small but thinking for awhile now about mabe spreading my wings a little. we'll see what happens. mabe i'll sponsor here, who knows. it's a big step. takes time.

on a lighter note i don't mind giving a tip here and there for sure. just read some of my long winded posts grin . some may seem off the wall, but it's just a tip. take it or leave it kind of thing, ya know. just some things can't be givin. hey, at least i said something better exists huh? the two common epoxies are envirotex, and the less brittle but extremely touchy flex coat. if it was me i'd do at least two coats. one with a flex coat base coat and the envirotex on top. but both alone if used right are fine in almost all applications. anyway i aint trying to be selfish. sorry if you see it that way.

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Thanks everyone. Some interesting opinions!!! I just hand carve muskie lures out of maple mostly, 2 or 3 a year for my own use. It's fun to paint them and I wanted to get them to last a bit longer. I actually made one as gift a few years ago and had a taxidermist friend of mine paint it like a brook trout. Too pretty to use but it sure looked great in the box!!

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Quote:
b1gf1sh1 where can we find some of your lures?

only from me. grin

here's the deal. my old computer broke and i no longer have permission to view user bio's. i don't think i'm allowed to post my email here. i've only been here since last fall and still a little unsure of da rules. blush my profile is after you click the b1gf1sh1 name wink emails in there, then we can talk.

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if your not planning on selling your lures just use some devcon 2 ton epoxy form walmar, paint it on with a real cheap brush and you will be fine, i don't even use a turner and they work fine for me. If your just doing a couple i wouldn't worry about the type so much i doubt there is a real big difference.

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A cheap alternative to a turner if you don't have one is to use a cordless drill,( most folks already own one) set to turn the lure very slowly with a piece of tape on the trigger for 30 minutes and you should be good to go as long as you're careful.

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