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BobP last won the day on August 14

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About BobP

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  • Location
    Summerfield, N.C.
  • Interests
    Bass fishing, lure making, tackle, boats
  1. painting over foil

    If your paint pen is solvent based, the Krylon is also and that is causing the paint to run. Switch to a water based paint pen.
  2. crankbait bills

    Guess it depends on how many of one lip you need. A die isn't easy or cheap. As a hobby builder I use templates to draw the shapes on polycarbonate or circuit board, then do a rough cut with straight cut Wiss metal shears followed by sanding down to the exact shape with a Dremel tool and a fine grit sanding cylinder. Then buff the edges with a felt cylinder. The shears easily cut the 1/16" polycarbonate and the 1/32" circuit board I use. It takes me about 10 minutes per lip. The critical part is having an accurate template. I use a freeware CAD program to draw the shape and print it out. This insures a symmetrical template. Then I trace the template onto more durable clear plastic. This also gives you a library of templates over time to choose from for future lips.
  3. Wire Size for line tie

    8860K15 is the item I order. It's annealed stainless 302/304 type wire in a 1/4 lb spool 55' long. Price is between $6-$7. thendiameter is .041"
  4. Wire Size for line tie

    Either their site or my ISP provider is super slow right now, so can't get through the menus but I think the "bend and stay" wire in 304 stainless wire is the one I order. My last order was for the .040 " wire in a 50' spool and cost less than $10. They have used different names for the soft temper wire over the last few years, from "safety wire" to "soft temper", etc. when the site speeds up again, I'll check.
  5. Wire Size for line tie

    Just from my limited experience with various wire types, I think soft temper brass is slightly softer than soft temper stainless steel. I prefer the steel because it won't discolor over time. If you are building wood baits with the line tie in the nose of the body a soft temper wire is a definite advantage because you can bend the line tie easily to tune the bait without breaking the lure's finish and causing the lure to leak. I use soft temper wire on all baits. On baits where the line tie is out on the lip surface, soft wire lets me twist and bend the line tie accurately for a neat application and allows the user to tune the line tie without hogging out the hole in the lip and ruining the bait. Soft temper wire seems very bendable compared to hard temper stainless, and it is. But when bent into a small circle for a hardware application it is surprisingly strong. I've never had a bass break or deform a line tie or hook hanger made from the stuff and man, is it a pleasure to bend, twist, and shape compared to hard temper stainless. Just my 2 cents.
  6. epoxy coating lipless crank baits

    After the epoxy is hard enough not to sag, there's no reason it has to stay clipped to the rotator. Take it off and use some wire to hang it up. I don't coat baits while they are clipped to the rotator. I use locking forceps to hold them while brushing and then clip them on the rotator. Then there's not so much chance of globing it around the clip.
  7. Etex hard then soft in hot sun?

    Epoxy tends to draw away from any sharp edge while curing. It looks ok but is very thin at the edge and quickly wears away during fishing. You can round over the edges or switch over to a different topcoat. I haven't tried Aluminum-UV but it is a VERY quick topcoat and very tough. I also like and use moisture cured urethane. It's thin, water clear, and tough too. But it has handling and storage limitations that need to be considered. Anglinatcher: how is the clarity on Aluminum-UV? Any white blush from wax flakes?
  8. Wire Size for line tie

    I use soft temper stainless .041" wire for typical size bass baits. It's easy to form and twist, makes the line tie easy to tune, and is plenty strong enough for bass, even stripers. I go down to .031" wire for small cranks less than 2". I've also used Malin saltwater leader wire #12 which is thinner and harder temper but still softer than hard temper stainless wire. It is 190# test and comes in a brown "stealth" finish. I order soft temper stainless wire from McMaster-Carr online.
  9. Etex hard then soft in hot sun?

    I think "pour-on" epoxies like Etex will eventually outgas their solvent, so doubt that extending the recoat time would have any appreciable effect regarding the epoxy reaching its final cure state. It probably just takes as long as it takes, reportedly about a week. I don't know whether the solvent content contributes to the heat softening you described before final cure is achieved (you didn't say how soon after coating the lure you fished it). I bet you are glad you fished the lure when you did, regardless of the cure state. It will only get harder now if you jumped the gun by a few days, so I wouldn't worry about it. Nice musky!
  10. Etex hard then soft in hot sun?

    Don't know when you topcoated the lure but epoxy actually takes up to a week to finish curing. And it's possible that the solvents in Etex take some time to outgas if the epoxy is applied in multiple coats as you describe.
  11. Weight in a crankbait

    Btw, most of the crankbaits I make are variants of commercial "custom wood baits" and the vast majority of them employ ballasts that are cast as part of the belly hook hanger. You can make your own belly weights or can buy them at Of course you aren't limited to using this method but it is in common use.
  12. Weight in a crankbait

    I agree with rosco2. Medium depth cranks usually require a line tie out on the lip of the bait, and the exact positioning is a big factor on how well the bait will perform. It's freaky how a mm or two fore/aft in the tie can alter the action of a bait. One mistake is trying to get a bait to run deeper by leaving the line tie in the nose of the bait and simply making the lip longer. The lip then overpowers the bait and causes it to run off to the side, cease to wiggle, and spiral through the water. Most of us learned that painful lesson at some point in our hobby career. That's why I suggest a faithful copy of a "known good" bait to start the process. Only experience really teaches most of us about what will work and what won't. And its frustrations can kill your enthusiasm for making crankbaits, so working from "known good" designs gives you a leg up to a satisfying result. Like Glenn, I don't build every bait I fish and I don't mind paying for great baits that are difficult or impossible to copy. But I do get a kick out of catching fish on my baits.
  13. Weight in a crankbait

    The best advice I can give is to build a lure that copies a bait you like which has the dive depth and performance characteristics of the bait you want to build. It takes a lot of time, effort, and failed prototypes to design and build a successful crankbait from scratch. Why reinvent the wheel if you just want to build a bait as a hobby builder who will not sell them as unethical knockoffs of a commercial lure? In copying, I think many guys don't realize the detail required. It requires exact overall weight, bill length and shape, body size and shape, body balance, and symmetry. Details are critical. When you do one successfully you can then modify the design in later versions to tweak the performance to suit yourself. I buy a bait or two of the model I want to copy as the basis of work. Photos and descriptions in a catalog won't provide the detailed info you need to copy a bait. Then I go to work with a digital scale and a ruler to get data. And build a bait that conforms exactly to the measured data. Easy to say, not so easy to do. But worth the effort. If your baits run off to the side, it can be any of several problems or a combination: lip design, lip size or angle, incorrect ballast, lack of straightness or lack of symmetry, etc. it's hard to diagnose build problems unless you have the bait in hand and know how it was built.
  14. Top coat Help

    The only way to correct lumpy epoxy is to sand it smooth. Of course if you sand too much you also ruin the paint job. Sand it down, wipe with denatured alcohol to remove the dust and apply a thin coat of epoxy that will make all the sanding marks disappear. It's a devil's choice between correcting the problem versus maybe ruining the lure. The problem will almost certainly not affect the fish catching ability of the lure so correcting it is just for esthetics, not function.
  15. Top coat Help

    The only times I've had lumping problems with epoxy is when applying heat. Too much will liquefy the epoxy and make it run. It will also expand the air in a wood lure and force bubbles out into the epoxy. You have to be very judicious with heat. I Prefer to just blow on bubbles or prick them with a needle instead of blasting the lure with a heat gun or hair dryer. There's a knack to brushing epoxy. Always keep your brush loaded and work from a wet edge. Don't over-do the brushing because that just adds air bubbles to the finish. There's an excellent member submitted tutorial on applying Etex by Fatfingers entitled "trying to achieve a flawless finish". Well worth a read.