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SunnyMaster

Polyurethane

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I just made my first bait and I was going to use some polyurethane to coat it, but when I opened the poly it has a brown tint.

Is all poly clear? The reason I ask is there is no "color" on the label (like many wood stains have), but due to the slightly brown tint, I'm confused.

Sorry if I sound like a complete idiot - I normally tie flies, but this wood-carving stuff is a lot of fun.

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Most polyurethane is golden brown and the tint is not much of an issue on interior wood furniture. A thin coat shows less color, which can look OK on most baits. It's resistance to impact, moisture and UV yellowing is also an issue, so choosing the right topcoat is important. Many bait builders use epoxies, auto clears, or special moisture cured polyurethanes to get a clear durable topcoat that can withstand immersion and still shed abuse like hook rash.

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Most polyurethane is golden brown and the tint is not much of an issue on interior wood furniture. A thin coat shows less color, which can look OK on most baits. It's resistance to impact, moisture and UV yellowing is also an issue, so choosing the right topcoat is important. Many bait builders use epoxies, auto clears, or special moisture cured polyurethanes to get a clear durable topcoat that can withstand immersion and still shed abuse like hook rash.

Thanks Bob! Yea, I've been reading all the opinions on different topcoats and I'm pretty impressed with how dedicated you guys are to your craft. I've made flies for years (that sometimes catch fish ;) ) using my fly kit, hackles, and then random stuff I have in my basement (cork for poppers, old wiring for legs, beads for eyes, etc). So while I like to experiment and do it on the cheap, it seems a lot of the luremakers here are all trying to come up with the holy grail of lures, which is pretty cool and makes me want to do better.

I've read about the toxicity of laquer in some of the other posts. Assuming I am only making one lure per week and spraying the laquer outside, is there a huge downside to using it as a topcoat as I start out? Besides the poly - which doesn't sound like what I want to use - laquer is my only other option right now. It's called Rust-Oleum Specialty Laquer?? The packaging says it creates "an ultra-hard, high lustre finish."

Thanks bud, love your website! I'll post a pic once I finish my lure. It's a topwater striper lure made out of really light pine. I carved it all by hand, which took a really really long time!

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Sunny, I think coating flies and crankbaits are two different things. Wood crankbaits have to be comprehensively protected from water absorption or they quickly swell up and the finish pops off the lure. This can happen in the first hour of fishing if water gets in anywhere. That's why we go to extremes with topcoats and undercoats and why there's so much discussion here on TU about them. I usually undercoat with Devcon Two Ton epoxy, sometimes with propionate. Then I topcoat with Devcon Two Ton or Dick Nite moisture cured polyurethane. As far as initial looks go, I think the epoxy has it over other topcoats. It makes a very smooth, glossy coating and very rarely has any finish imperfections. But it is not as hard or slick as Dick Nite. DN also has better clarity (if for no other reason than it is much thinner than epoxy). But DN is touchy stuff that will bubble or wrinkle underlying finish if you aren't careful. If I had a spray booth, I'd try a two part high solids urethane auto topcoat - but they are very toxic and require protection I don't want to fool with. I haven't tried lacquer topcoats but my impression is their 'waterproofness' is questionable. Leaving a wet glass on a lacquered table will leave a white ring where the lacquer absorbed water and I assume the same will happen to a crankbait. Let us know how it works out!

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Sunny, I think coating flies and crankbaits are two different things. Wood crankbaits have to be comprehensively protected from water absorption or they quickly swell up and the finish pops off the lure. This can happen in the first hour of fishing if water gets in anywhere. That's why we go to extremes with topcoats and undercoats and why there's so much discussion here on TU about them. I usually undercoat with Devcon Two Ton epoxy, sometimes with propionate. Then I topcoat with Devcon Two Ton or Dick Nite moisture cured polyurethane. As far as initial looks go, I think the epoxy has it over other topcoats. It makes a very smooth, glossy coating and very rarely has any finish imperfections. But it is not as hard or slick as Dick Nite. DN also has better clarity (if for no other reason than it is much thinner than epoxy). But DN is touchy stuff that will bubble or wrinkle underlying finish if you aren't careful. If I had a spray booth, I'd try a two part high solids urethane auto topcoat - but they are very toxic and require protection I don't want to fool with. I haven't tried lacquer topcoats but my impression is their 'waterproofness' is questionable. Leaving a wet glass on a lacquered table will leave a white ring where the lacquer absorbed water and I assume the same will happen to a crankbait. Let us know how it works out!

Bob,

Do you know what kind of lacquer or finish the major bait manufs. use?

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Nope! I assume they spray them with a custom blended urethane.

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Some companys use a UV, ultra violet light cured finish, similar to what a dentist uses. This is sprayed on then the bait is run under the UV lights and is cured in seconds, ready to package. Very expensive system,not for the homebuilder.

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Some companys use a UV, ultra violet light cured finish, similar to what a dentist uses. This is sprayed on then the bait is run under the UV lights and is cured in seconds, ready to package. Very expensive system,not for the homebuilder.

Maybe I'll have to buddy up with a dentist, and have him coat my lures! :D

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I tried Devcon, but the drying wheel made me dizzy.

I opened a tin of poly in the shop. It looked like syrup, it put me off and I put it back on the shelf. I wish I had tried it now, because Bob is right, you would never see the yellow in a few thou' of top coat.

Dave

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Sunny, personally, I would put the toughest, thickest stuff I could find on a lure that bluefish are going to be chewing. For me, that's epoxy because you want a coating thick enough to slow down those penetrating snappers. Once they penetrate to the underlying wood, you're done.

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