rustyman

Muskie Teeth= Cracked Epoxy

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At least I caught my first fish on the second trip of the year a fat little 40"er. Too bad it cracked my new crankbait I just finished. I used something called lustre coat epoxy resin that my grandpa used on cypress clocks. I used two or three coats of the stuff. Does anyone have any preference on muskie baits or is devcon and etex the all around best? The stuff I used doesn't seem to be bonding well to the wood as I can just peel from where it cracked a chunk off. The only reason I used the stuff is it was free and the baits were for me so I didn;t care to much.

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I've never met a lure coating material that is musky or pike proof.

I've got a tackle box with lures full of punctures, scratches, scrapes, and chips to prove it too.

Go with epoxy, but whenever you fish cranks for esox, you're going to sustain damaged paint jobs or worse.

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@ rustyman

I 100% agree to mainbutter's stat , ........only difference is , that some topcoats withstand longer than others .

What you are describing , I had gone through as well with some teakwood lures covered with Etex , .............just one puncture and the topcoat could be peeled off in larger chips after a while , obviously no proper adhesion to the paint underneath occured !

Off course this adhesion must be achieved , but punctures down into the wood can't be quite avoided , .....in this case I'd carry a flask of ladies clear fingernail laquer in my tacklebox , it fixes punctures in lures and bobbers/floats in no time and after a few minutes curing time I can continue using the lure or bobber .

good luck , diemai :yay:

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I don't fish for pike or musky, but I have fished the salt for barricuda, which look to have the same arsenal of teeth.

No wooden lure finish can hold up to the jaws of toothy fish. Not even teak.

If you use an epoxy that's hard, like D2T, it will crack from the daily expansion and contraction of the wood as it changes temperature, and those micro cracks will be it's achilles heal.

If you use a more flexible decoupage epoxy, like Etex, the teeth will pass through it into the wood, and water will follow, dooming the bond of the epoxy to the paint/lure as the water expands the wood.

I've found the best answer is to use a material for your lures that's totally waterproof, like resin or PVC, and just know you'll have tooth rash on your finish, which will require touchup or acceptance of an "experienced" lure. So a top coat that's repairable, like a urethane, is more practical.

Probably the best finish for a musky lure is a total solvent based rattle can system, from start to finish, so all the paint and topcoat bond, and are totally waterproof.

I used that system on my first large walking baits, and had one survive a week on a buoy line, until I could get in a boat and retrieve it, after an errant shore cast, with no damage or failure. And that was a wooden lure, but one piece.

So I know that system withstands water well.

I'm sure that if it were used on a PVC or resin lure, it would be the perfect finish system as far as durability.

Edited by mark poulson

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FYI

I have been making Musky baits for years....I use mainly cedar and soak the blanks in sanding sealer and let dry before priming, painting and top coat. Toothy fish will puncture the bait, that is the nature of the beast, but if you properly treat the wood before hand, it will not crack or peel the paint and the wood will not swell. I use EX 74 for my top coat and it is flexible yet super tough....better than etex and has uv inhibitors. I have baits that are 10 years old, have caught many muskies and are still kicking....

Rod

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Thanks for the replies fellas. I know muskies tear up baits, I've just never had one destroy anything the first time with such a short fight that bad. Might help to say I use basswood so its really soft. I also used a primer first then enamel paint. Do you think I should be sealing the baits with a Laquer or poyurethane spray before the priming process?

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From what I have learned here about basswood here on TU, it is probably not the best choice for esox. Once water gets access, the wood swells, then it is all over.

Some kind of penetrating sealer will be required, to prevent the pierced top coat from allowing water to reach the raw wood. I like thin prop, soaked under a low vacuum, but not so sure even if this would do the job. Because this wood is soft, it allows the teeth to pierce deeper than some harder woods.

I agree with Diemai, that the best solution would be a hard, water proof body material, like resin, plastic or similar. Water will still get under the top coat, but the bait would still perform and could be stripped and re-painted in the future.

Dave

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From what I have learned here about basswood here on TU, it is probably not the best choice for esox. Once water gets access, the wood swells, then it is all over.

Some kind of penetrating sealer will be required, to prevent the pierced top coat from allowing water to reach the raw wood. I like thin prop, soaked under a low vacuum, but not so sure even if this would do the job. Because this wood is soft, it allows the teeth to pierce deeper than some harder woods.

I agree with Diemai, that the best solution would be a hard, water proof body material, like resin, plastic or similar. Water will still get under the top coat, but the bait would still perform and could be stripped and re-painted in the future.

Dave

JMHO, but a well gnawed bait has the perfect finish! ;)

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FYI

I have been making Musky baits for years....I use mainly cedar and soak the blanks in sanding sealer and let dry before priming, painting and top coat. Toothy fish will puncture the bait, that is the nature of the beast, but if you properly treat the wood before hand, it will not crack or peel the paint and the wood will not swell. I use EX 74 for my top coat and it is flexible yet super tough....better than etex and has uv inhibitors. I have baits that are 10 years old, have caught many muskies and are still kicking....

Rod

Thanks Rod, sorry I missed the sealing part before I asked, when you say sanding sealer are you refering to polyurethane,or laquer product or is sanding sealer a product on its own? I would use cedar but I want the baits to ride high in the water and I have a bunch of free basswood thats an inch thick and I don't know if cedar is as bouyant. Thanks

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Rustyman,

I guess I could have clarified what sanding sealer. I use Minwax Sanding Sealer. It is the best stuff out there IMHO. Try it....Let your blanks soak in it for an hour or so, hang to dry and then prime, paint and topcoat.

Now, as far as basswood...the nature of that wood is to swell if any water gets to it....I would stay far away from that for Musky or Pike baits. I have tried it and have had problems in the past. I use cedar because of its bouyant properties and it does not absorb water like some other woods. The sanding sealer works great on either Western or Eastern cedar (I use both) Works great for cranks and top water baits as well. I have many baits with exposed wood from teeth and they keep right on producing....

Rod

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Rustyman,

I guess I could have clarified what sanding sealer. I use Minwax Sanding Sealer. It is the best stuff out there IMHO. Try it....Let your blanks soak in it for an hour or so, hang to dry and then prime, paint and topcoat.

Now, as far as basswood...the nature of that wood is to swell if any water gets to it....I would stay far away from that for Musky or Pike baits. I have tried it and have had problems in the past. I use cedar because of its bouyant properties and it does not absorb water like some other woods. The sanding sealer works great on either Western or Eastern cedar (I use both) Works great for cranks and top water baits as well. I have many baits with exposed wood from teeth and they keep right on producing....

Sanding sealer is the cats meouw

all baits will get water into them. sanding sealer soaks into the wood pores. primer then has a good adhesion base.. the only way to go. we use mcdonald and white sanding sealer. you need ventilation, as its lacquer based.

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You can also try soaking in Minwax Wood Hardener before you prime. If you leave the lure soaking in it long enough, it will eventually go all the way to the middle, but that's overkill.

Soaking for an hour, and then letting it dry for a few days, will make it waterproof.

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JMHO, but a well gnawed bait has the perfect finish! ;)

When I pick a lure to throw, probably 7 or 8 times out of 10 I pick one that has at least a few scratches if not chew/puncture marks on it.

Whether the chewed up lure works better, or worked better before hand therefore became chewed up, I'll never know. All I know is that it catches fish.

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