Gentle

A Different Thought About Top Coats

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I'm fairly new to this site, and I must say the wealth of knowledge on here is amazing. Wish I'd discovered TU years ago!! I've been painting baits for roughly 8 yrs. and can say TU would've saved me untold hours of trial and error and green backs$$$$!

I've been painting baits for the last couple of years for a few local tackle shops and individuals, and as of late has been somewhat of a part time job. I use d2t almost exclusively for my top coat, it's easy, reliable, durable, and I've found it can be very versatile with thinning. Some of the paint jobs I do require a fairly thick finish, such as matching those Norman glitter paint schemes. So here's something I've discovered after at least a couple thousand paint jobs, on certain, usually large profile baits, the clear coat can actually add buoyancy to a bait. Example: I've painted many a Rapala DT16s-20s, some you get straight out of the package sink like a turd, and I've never had a single sink after putting on the glitter paint job. The clear coat actually adds to the overall profile of the bait, hence more surface area= more bouyancy. And it doesn't always have to be a thick clear coat. I've read numerous posts here, and it's always a general assumption that the weight of the clear coat just adds weight, without considering it also adds to the overall profile of the bait. Just food for thought when calculating ballast weights and such.

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That is certainly something I never considered. I always assumed that epoxy was heavier than water, and never considered overall size. I'll check that out.

Thanks.

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Gentle ,

Great observation! I would have never thought the added displacement would overcome the weight but then it still amazes me how thick the steel is on ships an barges and they float. Thank you for sharing this information.

Vic

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Maybe Dave will happen along and put us straight about the density of epoxy, but if I recall, cured epoxy has a density of 1.07 versus 1.00 for water so it is slightly heavier and will not float, per se. I usually estimate that a coat of D2T will add around .02 oz to an average sized bass bait, which has worked well for me when building baits to a target weight. Does the small increase in bait volume (and therefore bait buoyancy) entirely offset the added weight of the epoxy? I don't know.

Oh Dave... where are you?

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Density is mass per unit volume. Mass being the weight. (Not purely scientifically correct but close) So to get something to float or sink one needs to consider the surface area being displaced (volume) as well as its density. Why do steel ships float? The density of steel is approximately 7.85 gm/cm3. Water is approximately 1.0 gm/cm3. It has to do with displacement. I like the way Gentle thinks (and explains). But I really don't worry about the fine tuning too much. Water changes density with temperature and as such if you got you bait floating perfectly neutral at 68 Deg F (20 deg C) it may float or sink if the lake or pond temperature is above or below. Not to mention the drag characteristics of the bait/bill shape. Move the bait and there are more things to conside. Damn this techie stuff makes my head hurt thinking about it. Consider painting the bait them the wrong color and whether the bait floats or sinks won't matter. I will chill out now and make some baits and try to ballast them close and then enjoy the heck out of using them.

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Displacement is exactly right. When we add weight to the inside of our bait , displacement has not changed. But when a thick layer of epoxy is added to the outside of a lure surface, just like the steel hull of a ship, displacement value has certainly increased. Increased apparently , enough to take a sinking turd and turn it into a floating cruise liner. That helps explain why denser woods make better big baits than small ones.

Vic

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Yep, here in the Ozarks, it floats or sinks like a turd, anything in between . . . . . it's ah suspender. I suppose my description of fall rate was a little crude.

My experience with bait building is limited, mostly top water wakers, and shallow running square bills, I mainly paint, do repairs, and modify certain baits. My calculations for any weighting, is done with the ole eyeball test, if I like the way it sits in the water and it's action, good nuf. And me eyeballs noticed one day, things start floating when they got fatter after a nice coat of glossy stuff. Now I'm not saying, go put a big thick coat of epoxy on a LC Staysee and expect it to float like a bobber, it'll sink like a . . . . you know. But after noticing this, I don't clear a Vision 110, the same way I would a Big N. Also, EdL you nailed it on the head with water temps, I get a lot of guys worried about their baits suspending after I'm done with them and they don't realize it's impossible to make them suspend perfectly, all the time. That jerkbait that's slowly rising now will be perfect in a couple of weeks when the water temps drop. Anyway, great site guys.

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This is only a theory, unless I'm correct.

I think the addition of large amounts of glitter to his epoxy is acting like air entrainment sort of. Its decreasing the over all specific gravity of the Devon.

Let's face the cold hard facts here, I have no idea what im talking about, but it sounds logical.

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This is only a theory, unless I'm correct.

I think the addition of large amounts of glitter to his epoxy is acting like air entrainment sort of. Its decreasing the over all specific gravity of the Devon.

Let's face the cold hard facts here, I have no idea what im talking about, but it sounds logical.

:lol::lol::lol:

I think it's an east of the Mississippi thing.

West coast glitter doesn't do that. Probably has something to do with Hollywood. :?

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On those particular paint jobs the glitter is applied in the paint, not in the clear coat. The increased buoyancy has occurred with no glitter at all. Like I said earlier, this has only happened on a few baits, large crankbaits, certain jerkbaits, and topwaters.

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Don't use epoxy to clear coat your baits then you will not have any of these problems with added weight. Epoxy turns yellow over time.. Gets too hard..Doesn't Flex... CRACKS CHIPS AND PEALS.. The only thing epoxy is good for is glue. NOT CLEAR COAT. Not my opinion ....FACT!

Edited by The_Rookie

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Don't use epoxy to clear coat your baits then you will not have any of these problems with added weight. Epoxy turns yellow over time.. Gets too hard..Doesn't Flex... CRACKS CHIPS AND PEALS.. The only thing epoxy is good for is glue. NOT CLEAR COAT. Not my opinion ....FACT!

Rookie,

I don't agree with that blanket statement about epoxy.

It does yellow over time, but not all epoxies get hard and crack/chip.

There are two kinds of epoxies that I've used.

One, D2T, is a glue. It's hard, strong, and brittle, because it's designed to hold things together with a thin glue line, not cover large areas.

The other kind is Etex, which is a decoupage epoxy. It is designed to expand and contract with the large wooden surfaces it typically covers, like table tops and bar tops. It is softer and more flexible, and isn't good as a glue, because it will creep, as it never fully hardens.

I've used D2T on small cranks, and it's held up fine. I've used Etex on larger baits, like jointed swimbaits, and it's held up fine.

But I don't use epoxy any more, except as a glue.

Edited by mark poulson

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So I take it, Rookie, you don't use d2t. Don't think I've ever had one of my finishes peel off. Chip? Yeah, but I reckon with all these rocks around here, it's bound to happen from time to time, . . . . . with any finish. I'll agree with the yellowing, but with thinning it seems to curb it to an extent. My biggest issue with d2t is it scratches easily, but once my bait is wet they vanish. I've got some wiggle warts I had Hughesy paint for me 10 or so years ago, in my tacklebox they look rough, but once wet they look almost as good as the day I got em. And I'm pretty certain there's some sort of 2 part epoxy on them. I've put many a mile on those little wigglers, now they only get brought out during tourneys. So I don't know, to each their own, I suppose.

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IM JUST STIRin the POT cause man its been such a lot time since we talked about clear coats!.

I have used them all... Epoxy has its place but its not my favorite. Automotive clear is great for mass production but it depends on the kind you use and the primer and paint you use with it. I didn't like Dick Nites at first because it was hard to use or I wasn't doing something right which is normal for this idiot. But I think Dick fix my biggest issue with it. I had problems with wrinkles on the old stuff but the new stuff seems to work out better for me when I brush it on. The wrinkle problems could have been my fault for all I know. But the new stuff I got from Dick is GREAT!

My favorite epoxy is Bob Smith 20 min pot life. But I use it as a under coat for my foil baits then top coat with Dick Nites. As Automotive clears go....The best stuff I have found is POR 15 GLISTEN PC! NASTY STUFF...negative is it takes 5 days to dry and doesn't get hard enough to fish until about 2 to 3 weeks after you clear coat the bait. But if your doing productions its the best stuff to spary. Dupont Select is great product if you want speed in your production but it will not hold up as good as Glisten PC or Dick Nites. I have tried a bunch... All im saying is D2T epoxy is by far the worst of all of them if you did a tale of the tape. (MARK EXTEX SUCKED FOR ME BECAUSE I DONT HAVE A LURE TUNNER..NEVER HAVE AND NEVER WILL)

But really none of that matters... WHAT MATTERS THE MOST IS!!!! DO YOU CATCH FISH ON THE BAITS YOUR MAKING. If fisherman are catching fish they could careless how great the clear coat is..if they do they aren't fisherman..cause I got this one bait that has been through war.. Caught well over 500 bass with it the last 2 years and it doesnt have much paint left.. I got a ditch left in the belly from the hooks..and the clear lip is no longer clear because of rocks docks stumps and hooks... but that sucker is my goto bait! I will never repaint it and if I ever lost it I would dive in for it. I don't really remember what clear coat I used the time I did it.. Could careless.. I don't know how much it weights.. I don't know how deep it dives.. I didn't make a blue print before I made it.. I didn't test it for months or have deep thoughts about it before decided to fish it.. I just MADE IT AND FISHED IT! Why...because Im a fisherman. I don't care if the bait got torn up.. Im just happy it is getting torn up.

Their is better stuff out their than epoxy Gentle. But if you just want to paint a bait and go fishing the next day then epoxy works out great. It just doesn't stand up to the test of time as well as the others do...but if your catching fish WHO CARES! I just figured out after a few months of painting baits that epoxy wasn't for me.. Lure Professor told me to stop using it weeks before that but, I was stubborn and kept using it. Later found out the guy that had over 30 years of knowledge over me was right.

Sometimes less is more and well more is less.

Hopes this helps.

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Rookie - I agree with you about the beatup lure thing. I have noticed too that I have a couple of baits that look like hadies but they will catch fish. I have others that look lifelike and sharp but have yet catch anything. So i have decided that pretty and lifelike is mainly to catch fishermen not fish. This makes me also think it more about action and confidence. Also i am of the opinion that a builder should try new finishing techniques every now and then but stay mainly with the coating method that can be mastered. Makes lure making more enjoyable and the wife and dog are happier if you are happy with making baits you have mastered.

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EXACTLY!! I couldn't agree more! I've been temped many times to take all my pretty, and shiny baits out and just spend the day throwing them in my driveway. But was afraid I'd get em mixed up with my good baits!

This site is great, when I first discovered it I just couldn't believe all techniques you guys were willing to share. Some of the techniques here have helped out, and some have left me scratching my head, saying "don't these little things I'm chasing have a brain the size of a pea, does it really need to be this complicated?" I owned and operated a cabinet shop for the the better part of a decade, when I first got started I'd read any and everything that had to do with wood work. One of the first magazines I got into reading was, Fine Woodworking, great magazine, the stuff those craftsmen create is amazing. BUT, they made building a simple cabinet sound like rocket science. ITS NOT! That was perhaps my main reason for the original post on this topic, all these complicated calculations for figuring this or that, just reminded me of those Fine Woodworking articles. I just thought I'd throw another cog in there, for someone to wrap a formula around. I guess it's probably just my lack of mental intellect, but for me and my pea sized brain I have to keep things simple. And d2t is pretty simple, except sometimes it makes my baits float, but I don't give a rats ass, as long as Mr. Big lips wants to chew on it!!

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About the only time I really pay any attention to how my baits look are when they peal or when I am looking at how nice they look hanging 20 feet up in a pine tree. :flame: Musky Glenn

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About the only time I really pay any attention to how my baits look are when they peal or when I am looking at how nice they look hanging 20 feet up in a pine tree. :flame: Musky Glenn

Don't you know those Muskies come down out of the trees when the sun comes up?? :D

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Thanks Rookie for the kind words! I knew you'd be happier once you got away from the Devcon 2-ton, if for no other reason than your allergy cleared up!

And speaking of Muskies and trees...Once while pre-fishing for a bass tournament, my team partner and I watched a muskie leap to grab a lure that was swinging from a limb over 3 feet above the water, ...

The 30 inch muskie's aim was good. He nailed the lure! And there he hung. He wiggled a little but really didn't thrash about much. I thought my partner and I were going to fall out of the boat, we were laughing so hard at this fish's sudden helpless predicament. I swear that fished looked embarrassed!

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Rayburn Guy, I can believe that, they sure aren't where I'm fishing! :nono:

I guess you all have heard about the squirrel that went down to the water to get a drink and saw an acorn laying on a flat rock. The squirrel picked up the acorn and a musky jumped out of the water and ate the squirrel. The musky then layed the acorn back on the flat rock. :? Musky Glenn

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Hahaha That only works in the fall, when the acorns are available. The rest of the year they use peanut butter on Ritz crackers.

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I just wish we had a zero toxin form of clearcoat that would dry in one hour. The Devcon, etex, etc. forms of epoxy are not good for us over time.

RM

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Allergic to d2t? Thats funny, cause I think it was causing me to sleep walk. Im not kidding. Last year this was happening once in a while. I even walked in to a wall and cut my nose. I was getting up in the middle of the night and doing strange things like eating a frozen waffle right from the freezer. I also mangled a plastic handled magnifying glass and left all the peices on the kitchen floor. I was going to bed in my bed, then waking up on the couch, and once in the bathtub. I figured out that it was happening on nights that I was mixing up some Devcon. I stopped using epoxy and it stopped happening. This is not humor, Im serious.....

Sonny

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