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Lexan Tail Question
14 replies to this topic
Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:38 PM
I was wondering if anybody could point me to a good source for ordering Lexan. I need it for some bills and some swimbait tails. Also I have heard of people using titanium rods for swimbait hinges, does anybody have a good source for that ? Thanks again guys!
Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:40 PM
I buy my lexan locally at TAP PLASTICS but you can buy online too. I dont know about the prices tho. Ease of use makes me go back and I can buy scrap pieces for dirt cheap.
Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:30 PM
They have it at Lowes and Home Depot. I get mine from McMaster-Carr.com. I'm sure you can also buy it from a local glass shop also but make sure you ask for polycarbonate not plexiglass or acrylic.
Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:51 PM
I think I got my last sheets from US Plastics.
Don't know about titanium rods but several of the big players are using graphite rods rather than metal.
Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:12 AM
Thanks for the help guys. Maybe it was graphite rods. Anybody know where to get these?
Posted 10 June 2011 - 10:12 AM
McMaster-Carr has about everything. Not sure they are always the best prices but they seem reasonable to me.
Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:58 PM
You’re looking for carbon fiber rod. I use .098 it's made by Midwest products co. Inc. Here in Cal. I just get it at Hobby Town. It costs about 3 bucks for 24". You can only cut it with a high speed cutter like a dremel with a cut off wheel and be very careful of the dust were a mask. For 10" baits I go one size larger and for 6" baits one size smaller. Hope this helps.
Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:57 AM
Dumb question time.
Why are you using carbon fiber rod?
Is it for the weight, or strength?
I use spinnerbait wire for small hinges, and bicycle spokes for bigger baits, and have never had a pin issue. The pins are small, don't weigh much, and will never break before you line does.
A buddy of mine works with carbon fiber, and he gave me some of the fabric to try when I was thinking of using it for hinging.
But he was so emphatic about the health risks and needed handling and breathing precautions that I never even opened the envelope to try it. I just put it in the round file.
Unless there's a real specific reason for using such a risky material, I'd avoid it.
We are all exposed to enough crap in our modern environment as it is, why add another blatantly risky factor?
Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:26 PM
I use it for the hinge pins. It makes the bait much more quite than with metal pins. I mold the holes for the pins into my master mold and then put nails into the molds before pouring the resin. Remove the part, pull the nail and you have the same bait every time. The dust is very hazardous to your lungs and you have to use a high speed cutter like a dremel or an archery shaft cutter that is made for that very thing. The dust is very bad to breath, wear a mask and make your cuts in a ventilated room. I know what lengths I need prior to making the bait. I just set up and make all my cuts at one time. Then let the area clear out. If you are making your joints with metal eye screws you have to use a metal pin, but if you mold your joints into the bait the carbon fiber can not be beat.
Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:52 PM
That just shows how many different ways there are to skin a cat!
I actually like the squeek the metal pin/screw eye hinge makes, but, then again, what do I know?
Do you have much cleanup to do on your parts once they are demolded?
Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:20 PM
I love the squeak too, but only on my wake baits and only at night. Seems to me, the more pressure, the less bites I get on any type of hard baits, especially if they are loud.
The clean up has a lot to due with the mold. The better it comes out the less I have to clean. Molding it the hinges and holes takes a couple steps out for me and really makes much nicer bait in my opinion. Along time ago I would pull the bait out and the head to the drill press, no two baits ever turned out the same (Not always a bad thing) but once I found one I liked, I wanted to reproduce it. And this was the only way I could. The only other thing I do is weigh each piece. If they are within a gram of the original, the bait will almost always perform like first one.
You are definitely right; our hobby comes with a lot of hazards. I have been cutting carbon fiber for about 4 years now and given the proper safety I don't think it is any more dangerous than pouring hot plastic/lead or using a table saw. You just have to use your head and not rush. It's done every day in archery shops; they cut carbon fiber arrows by the dozens.
Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:29 PM
One thing I forgot,
Only make a through hole on the top of the bait. Leave the hole a fraction sort of protruding from the belly. This will leave you only one hole to fill and keeps the bait stronger. Cut the carbon fiber about a 1/8" shorter than the length of the pin hole, slide carbon fiber pin into place, and a drop of epoxy and your done. With that part at least. Ok, it was more than one thing but I hope it helps.
Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:50 PM
It sounds like you have it down to an exact science now. Good for you.
I was asking about the carbon fiber because I wondered if you had a specific reason for using such an exotic material, and clearly you have.
I don't want to mislead you. I am never going to get into pouring baits with resin.
I just don't want to start another facet of an already expensive hobby. I'm too lazy and cheap.
I already make swimbaits, cranks, and top waters, and I pour my own plastics and tie my own skirts.
I'm a semi-employed general contractor and carpenter, and I like making things with my hands, which are currently filled with time and not much else.
I carve my swimbaits from AZEK PVC decking, and it takes me about 1 1/2 hours each if I do a batch of 6. That's fast enough for me
And I can make a crank, or topwater, and paint and top coat it in one day, using PVC, and fish it two days later.
If I use rattle can paints and nail polish, I can fish it the next day.
Instant gratification, or pretty close.
And it scratches my itch.
Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:35 PM
That’s what it's all about.
I never had a specific reason for using carbon fiber. In all honesty I was just trying to figure out the 3:16 joint system and had read the "graphite" propaganda myself. After a lot of research I figured out that it was carbon fiber and the "graphite" story was all just mis-information, that’s why when I saw someone asking I had to speak up. Hopefully I can save someone the troubles I had to go through
As you know Mark, this site is all about sharing info and tips. You probable don't remember but you helped me about 4 years ago with a question I had on swivel hook hangers (Triple Trout Style) Thank You.
Hopefully I can repay some of the info I have been so fortunate to get from this sites members.
BTW, congratulations on your 8+ on your popper. There is nothing like catching a big fish on a lure you built your self!!
Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:47 AM
You're right about this site. It's all about sharing.
Almost everything I know about lure making I learned here, and I'm happy that I was able to help you, if I did.
The funny thing about that popper is that I wanted a small (3") lure that casts well, and so I made two of these, just to see if they would work. I put a simple rattle can/nail polish paint scheme on it, and it catches fish. I've made lures with paint jobs that I think are much more beautiful, but the fish don't seem to really care.