Painting Top Water Lures

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I plan on starting to make my own top water poppers and would like to know what would be the best woods to use and proper sealer , primer and top coat products to work with. I have never done this before, and at the price they want for top water Yo-Zuri lures I can't afford them anymore. I mainly fish for Rock and blue fish in the Chesapeake Bay All help will be appreciated

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First off all you are fishing for some pretty toothy critters there, so be aware your lures are going to get "chewed up" pretty quickly. They aren't going to look too good for long. This new hobby is time consuming, and seeing a brand new lure distroyed by the second fish can be heartbreaking, although very rewarding. Just some thoughts, not trying to discourage you by any means.

I would recomend basswood for your lures, it is extremely tough. Cedar isn't a bad second choice.

Contact PalmettoBasser (on this forum)and purchase some of his proprionate sealer/finish he sells, it is the easiest/toughest fininsh you will get for the fish you are fishing for.

He also sells paint, get some from him, it works great.

Install only saltwater hardware, it's tougher than freshwater stuff.

Have fun making and fishing with your handmade plugs.

The above comes with some experience. Two 28" Lousiana redfish will destroy a brand new popper made with freshwater components. But oh what fun it was.

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Personally, I think you'll find basswood a little on the light side for that application. Bluefish will chew it to pieces in no time. If you are just starting out, pick up some poplar at your local lumber place. Its not the best stuff for lures cause its not the best at holding paint. However, its cheap and bluefish don't care if a lure is pretty or not. You might also consider birch as it is somewhat heavier and will stand up better to the teeth. Boiled linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits (60% linseed to 40% spirits) makes a good sealer. Soak the plug in the mix for a couple of minutes, wipe with a rag, hang to dry for a week (read the boiled linseed label about how to dispose of the rags, they can be combustable). Rustoleum rattle cans for primer/paint. Clear coat will not matter much cause a bluefish will chew through whatever you use pretty quick. Either that or one will bite you off.

Once you get better at building, you might look for other woods. Though with bluefish, best to keep it cheap and easy. Bass will hit those plugs too.


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