CL Rods

Be Green, save a bait. Do you rescue baits?

24 posts in this topic

I have thrown some away and I have rescued some. Both of these were rescued from the lake. I experimented a bit with the Berkley and found acetone to be a definite enemy of this particular bait finish, so this one got the epoxy under coat. I usually sand with a Dremel sanding wheel, buff off with a sanding pad and possibly add a new epoxy coat before painting. The finished products may still have some flaws but overall they definitely will go into the box for active use.

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The Berkley is a translucent finish, the flash brightens it a bit so hard to see the full ghost effecet.

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I save every one I find if it's a good brand/model! I usually hand sand the old finish with 220 and 400 grit Norton 3X paper. The Dremel raises too much dust and I can get them smoother with hand sanding. The only time I'll break one off and lose it is if I'm catching fish out of the immediate area and retrieving it will disturb the bite. But it's not unusual to come back an hour later and find it floating around :)

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I save everything. I have a 12x18 cooler filled with various lures that need repair or repainting. Most are worn out stock lures of my own or lures that customers gave me for the heck of it. I fish on the Detroit River and usually snag a few lost lures per year to add to the collection. I even carved a Rapala Original out of a pikes mouth where it had been there so long that the skin started to grow over it. Pike was fine and I got a free lure. LOL I also have a customer that goes out in waders to a local river when the water drops to around 2' or less and rescues lures lodged in the rocks, then gives them to me to repaint for him. Since most of them are shallow baits, he takes them to the deep water on the Detroit River and handlines them.

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The Dremel raises too much dust ...

You are right about that! I was covered in dust from this one. I hand sand when possible but my hands cramp up too much when I hand sand a really old one, thus the Dremel and epoxy if needed.

But check it out sometime on a lost and found, if you want a more reflective bait for say, Goldfish finish or a Crappie finish, just use the Dremel because you can put a scuff or small cupping into the bait that actually improves the reflective appearance. It may look a bit ugly holding it but it won't in the water!

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When I want to take all the finish off an old crank, I use an exacto knife.

I scrape with the back side of the blade, held at almost 90 degrees, like you'd scrape paint with a regular paint scraper. It takes the paint off much faster than sanding, no dust, and I can finish with some sand paper and acetone. I use the pointy end of the exacto to get the little bits of paint that might remain, like where the bill starts, or around the eyes. Removing the eyes first really makes it easier.

Edited by mark poulson

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Some weeks ago I accidentally pulled out a "Mann's" crankbait(a special logo edition from a German angling magazine , kinda chartreuse/green color) :yes:.

I guess , that it must have been nailed to a branch on the bottom of the canal for at least one year , since the hooks where almost rotten away and the lure was covered with muddy sediment and a kind of corals(is there even such in freshwater ?) , giving it an almost entire black appearance .

Well , I instantly removed the splitrings and hook remainders and rubbed off the worst sediments underwater with my thumb , since once dried , it gets harder to remove , I guess:wink: .

Back at home I employed some dishwashing detergent and water and carefully brushed the plug clean(fingernail brush) .

Even the decal eyes of it withstood that treatment , only had to rig new hooks and put it in my tacklebox :yay:.

A good place in my area to recover plastic shads is a river dam at the "Elbe" river , about 12 miles from home:yes: .

This dam was raised in the 70's to protect the land upstream from tidal floodings coming up from the Northsea .

There are a few long rockpiles downstream of the dam to slow down the current , exellent places to fish for zander(local walleye) , you can see one of those piles at background of containing pic .

The fish strike best around high tide , usually than only the tops of those piles still stick out(pic was taken at about low tide) , and the fisherman walk to the rockpiles tips to cast their plastics out into the river current .

When not fully concentrating , the leadheads coming in closer would wedge inbetween the rocks , and have to be torn off , no chance !

So , the first low tide after a weekend is best to recover a few plastics or also spoons there , since they now lay dry:yay: !

Always used to go there at low tide to gather some crabs for bait , but these crabs also like to eat the plastics , if the lures are hanging in there for more than two tidal periods , there wont't be much left of 'em but the leadhead !

greetz , diemai

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Edited by diemai
misspelling

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Mark, I use a small Swiss Army knife to lift finish off of crankbaits whenever possible. You can sometimes insert the blade between the finish and the plastic/wood and simply pop off the finish in sheets, so it can be fast (epoxy clearcoats will do this). But it doesn't work on all baits, especially ones that have been soaked in the lake for the 2-3 years and have become chalky. If it comes to scraping off paint, I go to sandpaper. The plastic in some baits has a "grain". If you scrape in one direction, it does OK. In the opposite direction, you get tears in the surface of the plastic that can be hard to sand out. I used to cruise the "$1 bin" in tackle stores for unpopular colors of baits I liked. Anything chrome was a prime candidate because the finish on them would almost fall off the bait with minimal prying.

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Just wondering why everyone wants to strip the old finish off? I've been repainting lures for almost a decade and rarely ever remove a factory finish and to date have ZERO reported failures because of it. And I do some pretty beat up baits and full factory refurbishing. The only time I do is if it's a chrome finish that is peeling. 99.9% of the time, I just scuff them with 220 grit sandpaper and prime them. If there are still imperfections showing, usually a second sanding and coat of primer gets them flawless. From past experience, if you try to remove the factory fininsh, you do WAY more harm than good and make your job 10x harder. With balsa, you take yourself back to having to seal the wood when it was already sealed with the factory finish. Just food for thought.

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DT, I generally agree but I often can't "scuff up" a badly chalked up, nicked up rescue plastic bait to look right and get new finish to stick to it. I'm not crazy about removing finish, I just want to be sure to get down to a solid surface and I want that surface to be able to adhere to finish. Wood is different - IMO, anyone who sands a balsa bait down to bare wood needs a head exam! :) I rarely rescue balsa baits whose hooks have rusted off on a snag. I assume 99.9% of them absorbed water and exploded. Even if they still float, it's usually a waste of time because they're at least partially waterlogged.

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@ BobP

Many years ago I have recovered a wooden "Nils Master Invincible" , which was nailed into a sunken wooden boat .

Guess , that these are made of abachewood , not balsa .

It must have soaked a lot of water , since it was there for a long time , it sank like a fast sinking jerk , though I knew , that those lures are floaters exclusively .

I have let it dry for a couple of months in my basement and after just covered it with two thin layers of two-component laquer , the paint finish was still OK , no visible cracks , only some "natural" scars of pike's teeth .

It behaved normal after , not lopsided nor tracking wrong , just the usual "Nils Master" floating and diving action .

I think , its just a matter of the quality of a brand to go through this abuse without to much harm done , I still have this crank ready for action in one of my tackle boxes:yay: !

Greetz , diemai

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Gator very nice gill pattern. I my have to use your pattern for my own baits :yeah:, sorry.

I'd be honored. I only imitated what the good lord provided!

And to Downriver's point, I only really sand off the worst of them or chrome ones. Most times you can lightly sand or scuff and off you go. But once you get big chips and or if the original had manufacturing flaws well....

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over the years. back in the early 80,s guys used to bring in pails of washed up lures. easy scuff and squirt them. the most notorious..back in the day we used epoxy primer. it is still holding to this day on re-paints. .. pradco g finish were the king of flake..

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My new pet peave flake off bait is the Lucky Craft Rick Clunn baits. They catch fish but man they don't hold up at all. You'd better coat them when you buy them to help protect them.

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I started recycling baits one year when I found a few in the marshy area's of Big Bear lake in California during a drought year.

Since then, I picked up river fishing and alway pound shores when the river is high w/ an eye in the trees.

Since spent mono in a river is a pet peeve of mine, I'll always go after spent mono to remove it from the river and the hopes of finding some sort of 'treasure' on the end of the mono.

Nice job on the lure there. I usually just clean them up and replace the rusted hardware, then fish them as is.

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Found this two at the "Alster" lake in Hamburg city yesterday !

The smaller one was obviously loosened from its snag and washed ashore , hung into overhanging branches by a storm two days ago(it wasn't there the day before) .

The larger one I accidentally hooked under a bridge , must have been there for years , it was covered with small mussels all over , hardly recognizeable as a lure .

After cleaning it up and scraping off all the loose paint I have found small water drops to come out of the body at two locations at the seam of the two parts , looking like sweat coming out of skin pores .

I know , that this lure is a "cheapy" , but I find it disgusting , that such improper lures are sold at all , and they still cost half to two thirds the price of a brand name lure(sadly one can't choose to exclusively find quality brands , LOL :lol:!) .

How could I close these leaking spots , they're not visible at all ? Would some new paint and clear coats do the job :??

The smaller lure looks like a "Luhr Jensen Fingerling" , I have one of these in a larger version , this small one is about 3 3/4" in length , lip included .

Can somebody tell , wether this is just a knock-off or an original "Luhr Jensen", since my larger version has a clear plastic lip set in , on this one the lip is molded onto the body . No writing on it at all .

Meantime I also scraped off the paint , it was partly quite loose , a well-known problem about "Fingerlings" , also it's made of similar ivory-colored plastic like my large "Fingerling"(repainted it , too) .

It has some small BB's inside , generating a very moderate sound .

Would appreciate any input and help :yes:!

Greetz , diemai

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thats a knockoff of a fingerling. actually they dis continued manufacturing fingerlings. they were a good tough lure..

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Dieter,

Nice finds.

I've had some clear topwater poppers start to take on water, and used just crazy glue, the runny kind, to stop the leaks without re-coating the whole lure, but I'm always checking them to see if they are leaking again. The problem is the ballast balls rust, and turn the inside of the lure a rusty color. Interesting, but not what I want. So I decided to seal them, permanently.

Here's what I do with lures that leak.

Be sure you've gotten all the water out. I use a hair dryer to keep it heated for an hour, off and on, and then check it by holding it in a tissue and shaking it. If there's still water in it, I can see it in the tissue.

If the seam is leaking, I brush on crazy glue, or epoxy, if I can find the actual spots where it's leaking.

If not, I just coat the whole lure in another coat of clear epoxy, repaint, and add another coat of epoxy.

Or I repaint it and then re-coat the whole thing in two coats of epoxy.

The extra epoxy can make a suspending lure sink, but not enough to matter.

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@ woodieb8

Thanks for your info , I suspected it to be a knock-off , hope , that it would at least run like the original , when I'd be done with it:wink: !

@ mark poulson

Mark , thanks once more for your help and advice , I had already accidentally found out , that heat would let the water come out of the lure . When I held it to scrape off the paint , I saw the water for the first time and figured out , that it must be the warmth of my hand causing this .

After I did some more with a lighter flame , but to be sure , I'm gonna put it on the radiator for a few days , so I can be sure , all water evaporates(Guess , something you won't need in your place , lol :lol:) .

I thought about closing the holes with superglue(guess , you call it "crazy glue" over there ?) , but I also have some special plastic glue , that melts the plastic and fuses it together , maybe , I'm gonna try that one !

To detect suspected holes in plastic lures , there is a method , that I have read somewhere before , hope , I still get it straight !

Put the lure in a deep freezer for a day , after put it in warm water .

As the air inside of the the lure heats up , it expands and releases small bubbles at the leak . Hope , that I remember correctly , but seems logical to me:huh: !

Greetz , Dieter

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Dieter,

Crazy glue=super glue. Sorry for being unclear. :o

Your method for finding leaks sound good. Let us know how it works.

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