Mags

1/2 ounce Hotlips Express Disaster

15 posts in this topic

I paint a lot of the 3/4 ounce, but a customer wanted 8 1/2 ounce baits. This is the first time I painted the 1/2 ounce size. I buy 8 new 1/2 ounce Hotlips Express. I always test tank my baits in a bucket to make sure they float before I send them out. Of the 8 I painted 7 sink like a rock. The other bait floats like it should. One doesn't seem to have a rattle at all, or it is stuck, but it still sinks. Changing hooks and split rings didn't help. Still sink. I didn't check the baits before I painted them, but I find it hard to believe these would be weighted this close to neutral. The paint and clear coat don't add that much weight. It must be a mistake, like putting the weight for the 3/4 ounce size in the 1/2 ounce bait. I am finding that "Made in China" makes me check every detail before I buy. Quality control seems terrible. Anyone have any insight or problems with repaints on these baits? I am going to try to get Rapala (who owns the Luhr Jensen brand now) to replace them, but since I repainted them I wonder if they'll help me out.

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I don't have any insights but have painted a few 1/2 oz HLE's with no problem in years past. It's questionable whether Rapala would replace them after custom painting but you never know. If they had a bad batch, you may be one of many customers complaining and they may send replacements without having the bad baits returned.

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If they don't replace them I'll take the time to strip them and see what size rattle weight they have in them.

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It is possible to overweigh a bait with clear coat if its balance is in certain parameters of neutral. I recently designed a wood bait for a customer and only sealed then clear coated it (test mode). I sent it to him, he loved it, returned it with an order for 8. I made all eight only this time I used the usual 2 build coats, primer, paint scheme, 2 clear coats. All 8 sank. Back to the drawing board, tweek it here and there but the point is coating adds more weight than you might think.

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I doubt it was the clear coat since one of the baits, which was prepared just like the others was fine. If these were suspending baits, like a Pro Suspending Rogue, I would expect to have this problem, but not with a plastic production bait that usually floats like a cork.

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@ Mags

You wrote in your last post......"production bait that usually floats like a cork" .

Years ago I have mailordered some "Hot Lips Express" from "Bass Pro Shops" , since I wanted to try out these deep divers , not available over here that times .

In Germany most fishing restrictions demand the use of a toothproof steel leader , so no matter how small , thin or light you choose these leaders , they still let the lure sink .

I have always blamed it on many American cranks being strictly bass lures , tied on straight to the line , but now your statements in here make me wonder..........these lures never float up like a cork , they just barely float , and I haven't repainted them !

good luck :yay:, diemai

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You should have float tested before the sanding began. New products are not neccessarily "right".........at least not where I live !!

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I stripped the baits and they still sink, so the paint and clear I applied wasn't the problem. Looking at the ballast (the plastic is clear) and rattle I can't quite figure out what the problem is other than the wrong ballast is in the bait.

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Just an FYI. I purchased 7 more 1/2 ounce baits from another retailer. Water tested them right out of the package. 3 sank. That's 15 baits and 10 were rejects. Pretty poor. I'm afraid to buy any more. I am going to try a call to Rapala and see if they have an explanation and can help me get 3 more good baits.

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@ Mags

This is just unbelieveable and cannot be tolerated , at least these are brand name lures , and no cheapies .

I really wonder , what the folks at Rapala would say to that !

good luck:yay: , diemai

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I paint alot of the 3/4 oz TAs..... I think they have went down hill after they moved production into Mexico and now it's China I think, Luckily I have been building up a pretty good kitty of the US made TA's:) they can still be bought but the price has been climbing

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Not to beat a dead horse, but If you buy these you might want to check these right away to make sure they float. Many people buy a bait and let it sit in their box for months before actually using it. By that time they have lost the receipt or forgot where it came from. I bought 3 more from another retailer and 1 floated and the other two barely floated after putting on smaller split rings and a smaller snap. They will work. The guy I was painting these for bought four from Bass Pro and he decided to test them. Three of them sunk like a rock and one floated. I called Rapala and talked to a rep, who was very nice, and he said they hadn't heard of any problems. Anyway, the tally is 22 baits purchased from four different retailers to get 9 good ones. Enough said.

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Sounds like I should walk over to the minnow tanks at Cabela's (closest one has a bait shop) after purchasing to save myself some time in the future.

Edited by Tman2
clarification

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