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Regarding how to install fiber tails on swimbaits
18 replies to this topic
Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:02 AM
I just received a PM from one of you asking how I install the fiber tails on my swimbaits. I thought it would be useful to make this a thread instead of replying to the one person.
What I do is for the most part what John Hopkins taught me. I first lay a piece of blue painters tape on its back on a flat surface. Then after cutting the tapered fibers from a high quality paint brush I fan them out and lay the tips onto the piece of tape before sandwiching them between another piece of blue tape. The reason for using the blue tape is that it is easy to remove afterwards.
John uses epoxy to then smooth and glue the ends that will go into the lure but I now use industrial strength hot glue. I lay the taped fibers down onto a silicon pad and run a bead of hot glue across the ends that are to be installed in the bait.
I quickly then flatten the glue by using a silicon spatula which I press firmly down onto the bead of glue while also sliding it off the cut ends. I first put the tip of the silicon spatula just ahead of the bead of hot glue then lower it down onto the fibers so that the glue will be squished in the direction of the cut ends of the fibers and not up towards the tapered ends.
I have found that wetting the silicon spatula first helps is slide over the hot glue and it also helps keep it from sticking to it. The reason for silicon is that the glue can be easily peeled of it after it has cooled.
I flip the tail over and do the same from the other side. Now that I have the fibers glued and taped together I use a pair of scissors or sharp snips to trim the glued part to a length that will fit inside the tail slot in the swimbait. The benefit of using the glue is that when you trim up the fibers they will not separate as they sometimes will with epoxy which is brittle. The flexible quality of the cured hot glue seems to work well for this.
Next I put some hot glue into the tail slot and insert the glued fiber tail. I keep the wet silicon spatula handy for quickly smoothing the glue that oozes out as I insert the tail. It's kind of messy sometimes but as you get used to doing it you'll learn how to do it right.
Hope this helps!
Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:38 AM
thanks for posting!
you mention "industrial strength" hot glue...how well would regular hot glue you get at the craft store hold up?
Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:03 PM
I can't say for sure but the glue I use I bought at Wal-Mart in the craft section. It comes in 12" sticks which are yellow. I can tell you that this glue is strong stuff!
Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:32 PM
Thanks Snax! You have answered all my questions and then some!!
Posted 07 December 2008 - 02:25 PM
ok. i'll pick some up next time i'm out.
Posted 07 December 2008 - 02:58 PM
I would suggest trying to find some clear industrial strength hot glue as the yellow is visible more. Not a big deal but clear would be best.
This is high temp glue by the way.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 09:47 AM
You are a genius snax.. I use epoxy glue, and in my opinion loose fibers and sticky epoxy-glue-fingers is the stuff that nightmares are made of...
Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:00 AM
It can still be a bit tricky working with the hot glue but I've found it much quicker to use than mixing tiny amounts of epoxy and having to wait longer for it to set up.
The one thing that sucks about most hot glue guns is that they drip glue constantly when heated. There are models available that are non dripping. I might have to snag one as the amount of glue that drips of is substantial after a while. I do save the drips but I'm not quite sure what to do with them. I have a container full of it. I guess I could melt it into more usable shapes somehow.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:13 AM
Have you come across a glue stick that will work for structural stuff? I was thinking about ballast and hook hanger installations.
I own a couple of hot glue guns, and lots of glue, because we use it from time to time in const., but just to temporarily tack stuff together while the real glue sets, or to hold metal corner bead and trim in place before plastering.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:40 AM
I did do some tests using the glue to hold in twisted wires for hinges and it was more than strong enough. I tied a section of a test bait to a tree with downrigger cable and then went crazy reefing on it for a while. The downrigger cable ended up snapping and the hinge wires remained unmoved.
I'd test it out before trusting it on hook hangers etc but the glue I used was extremely tough.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:46 AM
I just wanted to be sure it was worth doing a search of the trucks for the glue guns.
I'll do a couple of test applications, and post what I find.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:52 AM
I really appreciate the input on the fibers snax. I've been stuck in my ways using super glue and putting small clumps in at a time. It works well until you get a lil glue on your fingers... which then leads to something similar to the chaos theory:flame:
can't wait to try this new method thanks for the info!
Posted 18 December 2008 - 11:00 AM
Careful not to actually touch the fibers with the tip of the gun as they will curl up.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:44 PM
were is the best place to buy micro fibbers and to intall i just put a slit in the wood?
Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:23 PM
The actual microfibetts can be bought through many fly tying shops.
For my musky baits I use high quality tapered synthetic paint brush fibers.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:35 PM
i recommend hobby lobby synthetic paint brushes too. You get about 30 times the material for about the same price. however, you are limited w/ color selection going with the brushes. Snax, do you paint/dye your brushes to get desired colors? Reason being, I like using the pure white brushes. I've experimented w/ sharpie markers to try and color but I feel there may be a little better technique. Quite honestly, you've given more than enough information in all the posts amongst all the topics on this site, so if you want to keep this one under wraps I won't mind.
I'm planning on playing w/ the glue gun technique tonight after my exams... Can't Wait!!!
Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:52 PM
I also like to use the white bristles and I color them with waterproof permanent markers. I tried using acrylic paints once but it came off.
I'm curious to know if there is a better way to color our fibers permanently.
As for your kind words, thanks. I've been helped many ,many times along my own lure making career and have no problem sharing how I do things. The real beauty of everyone sharing like we do is it pushes the envelope which is what really excites me! Guys like Hopkins and Matt with their incredible swimbaits push me to improve upon my own stuff just to not get left behind.
The result of course is that we all make the finest quality baits on the planet and keep lure making exciting.