WannabeeFishing

Featherlite vs Alumilite

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I'm looking to get into casting crankbaits. I've seen Featherlite and Alumilite mentioned as products of choice.

What are the pros and cons of each?

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I haven't used alumilite. Featherlite molds pretty well and can demold in about an hour. Featherlite also carves and sands very easily. However, Featherlite isn't as durable as a hardwood. My original swimbaits were made from aspe and the durability was amazing. I haven't really tested my featherlite products fully yet, but I sense that the bait isn't as strong as wood. Also, featherlite needs to be weighted... I think alumilite requires adding microballoons if I'm not mistaken.

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A-Mac is right-on. I use both Alumilite and Featherlite. Over the past year my preference has turned toward the Featherlite. With the Featherlite you mix only two compounds, then pour into your molds. With the Alumilite you have to measure out part A and part B, then add microballoons to each, mix well, mix the two parts together, then pour. To get consistent baits your measurements must be exact. Yes, the Featherlite must be weighted. It is very easy to sand and/or carve right out of the mold. It does become more durable the longer it sits. I usually demold, wait about an hour, clean up any imperfections (mold lines, etc.) and then put the piece aside for about week to ten days to let it reach full hardness. At this time it is ready for ballast, hook hangers, line tie, any further sanding (at this point it is still easier to work with than a hardwood) or carving. When ready to paint I wipe it down with denatured alcohol and paint. The clear coat I use is Dick Nites and 4 coats makes each bait almost as durable as steel.

Let me add that if you are looking for a bait that will sink quickly the Alumilite without microballoons will give you what you are looking for. No need to add any ballast. The bait is brittle until you clear coat it for protection.

Both products are very good, and each has it's place in my arsenal.

David

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Capt., Thanks, that was the type input I needed. There's a profile on Smooth-on's site of a tackle builder that combines Featherlite with one of their more dense products to get the balast he needs. Since I use primarily floating baits, I shouldn't need much weight except for stability.

Gary

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Mark, neither of the resins can compare to poplar or any other hard wook in density. Comparing resins to hardwoods is pretty much the same as comparing balsa to hardwoods. The resins have plenty of holding power for screw eyes, however I do seat all hardware with D2T for insurance. In my opinion, the true advantage of resins is the bouyancy (sp?).

Wannabe, if your primary bait making is floating baits then Featherlite is the way to go.

David

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Wow, I struck a well of information here. I'm going to take a chance and ask one more question.

Are the materials (Featherlite or Aluminite) solid enough to hold screw-in hookeyes, or should I plan on an internal wire frame to keep everything from pulling out?

Thanks again...

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Wannabee, both products will hold screw eyes. I use either screw eyes, or twisted ss wire. I set both of them in with D2T for insurance. Sure would hate to loose Mr. Big 'cause a screw eye pulled out. Had a screw eye come out once on a comercially made bait but didn't have a fish on, thank goodness. Just sent it back and they replaced it. Took all the screw eyes out and reset them with D2T. Sorry for rambling.

David

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Comparing Alumilite & Featherlite is like comparing apples to oranges, they are not the same kind of product.

Like the Capt. said, with alumilite, you need to add microballons to change the density, which featherlite already has mixed in.

Alumilite is a typical casting resin that compares to most other resins on the market like "smooth-cast" & other urethane resins.

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Wannabee, both products will hold screw eyes. I use either screw eyes, or twisted ss wire. I set both of them in with D2T for insurance. Sure would hate to loose Mr. Big 'cause a screw eye pulled out. Had a screw eye come out once on a comercially made bait but didn't have a fish on, thank goodness. Just sent it back and they replaced it. Took all the screw eyes out and reset them with D2T. Sorry for rambling.

David

David, I worry about the eyes pulling out too. Most of the plastic blanks I order have figure '8's imbedded to give them some structure.

For screw-in eyelets, is coating the threads withe D2T prior to screwing them in sufficient or do you drill an oversize hole and make a epoxy "plug"?

thanks

Gary

Edited by WannabeeFishing

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Gary, I drill my holes, screw the eyes in, remove them, mix my D2T and fill holes (time consuming, but worth it), coat the lower half of screw eye, reinsert the screw eyes, clean off excess epoxy.

David

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Sully,

have you ever worked with pvc? I am looking into this instead of balsa. Saw some crankbaits over the weekend a guy made and they looked good. He said they are a good crankbait and he tests them in a swimming pool over the winter for running straight.

Just curious.

Bassky

Dave:)

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Hey Dave, I have not tried PVC as yet. I shall try it in the future. A lot of guys here use it and report a lot of success. I have two of JRHopkins baits and they are done from PVC. They look fantastic. Haven't used them yet. Leaving for Mexico again on 16th and will use them there. Can't wait.

David

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