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Fishwhittler

E-tex/dick Nites/flex Coat?

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Has anyone used all three? If so, what are the respective advantages/disadvantages of each of these? I use Flex Coat but I'm thinking about trying E-tex or maybe Dick Nites (when DN is available again). I noticed that you can get E-tex for cheaper than Flex Coat which is one reason I'd like to try it, but if Flex Coat is better (tougher, more user friendly, etc.) then I'll stick with it.

Thanks in advance

Ben

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I've used them all and think "epoxy is epoxy". Once hard, slow cure epoxies seem to have similar durability and gloss. Etex is thinner than Flexcoat, presumably because it contains more solvent. It brushes on thinner unless you wait after mixing for 10 minutes to let it cure a little before you brush.

From my experience stripping baits for refinishing, the durability of epoxied baits depends on keeping the epoxy shell intact. There is good adhesion to the surface of the underlying acrylic paint but the paint itself is weak. You can often "skin" an epoxied bait by lifting an epoxy edge and working around the bait, breaking the bond of the acrylic paint and the epoxy covering it.

I mention that because DN is substantially different. It does not form an "outer shell" like epoxy and it won't crack or chip on impact like epoxy. It seems to soak into and through acrylic paint to adhere to the underlying plastic or to the undercoating on a wood bait. It's much thinner than epoxy but has a bit more gloss and it's slicker to the touch and thus has better initial hook rash resistance. It is very clear (also due in part to it's thinness). In short, it seems very similar to a factory clearcoat.

Epoxy disadvantages - you have to measure it right and mix it thoroughly, its viscosity is temperature dependent, brushing is the only practical application method.

DN disadvantages - it is very sensitive to moisture contamination and requires careful handling to keep it liquid. It can bubble and/or crack on the bait if the paint is not dry or if you apply a second coat before the first has dried. DN dries to the touch in a couple of hours but takes 3-5 days before the moisture cure process is finished and it becomes really durable. It is thinner than epoxy and will not level out like epoxy to cover over little "finish goofs".

My personal preference is DN because you can dip baits in it. Dip it, hang it, done. Others brush or spray it. To each his own!

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So basically there's not much difference between E-tex and Flex Coat? Like I said before I noticed that you can get E-tex for cheaper so if there's not much difference in the way they perform I may go with E-tex.

Etex is thinner than Flexcoat, presumably because it contains more solvent. It brushes on thinner unless you wait after mixing for 10 minutes to let it cure a little before you brush.

That wouldn't be much of an issue for me as I do that with Flex Coat.

What you said about Dick Nite's makes me want to try some when it's available again. One thing though; is DN at all like Minwax Clear Brushing Lacquer? If it is similar fume-wise I had better not try it as I don't react very well to lacquer.

Thanks

Ben

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I think Etex and Flexcoat are pretty similar. I don't have experience with Minwax so don't know what solvents it contains, but yes, DN contains volatile solvents. That's not an issue to me because I don't spray. I dipped 7 baits this morning. Total time from 'jar open' to 'jar closed' was about 5 minutes. I'm a slow dipper. If you spray DN or any clear containing solvent, you should be wearing an approved face mask for protection. I also wouldn't make a habit of applying solvent based coatings in a closed area unless you have an air exhaust/filter system or booth.

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Thanks! I think I'll look into getting E-tex the next time I need to order epoxy.

I was dipping/brushing the Minwax clear and it still affected me. I guess I'll wait until warmer weather to try Dick Nite's.

Ben

Edited by Fishwhittler

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