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Getting Started With Custom Crankbaits

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I am looking to get started with painting my own crankbaits and was wondering what all i needed to do it. Hoping someone could tell me all the things i need to get to get started. Also where are places to get blanks, hooks, etc for crankbaits. What types of paint are the best to use and whats best for clear coating. Anything that i would need to know to paint my own baits would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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Holy crap the search function posse is gathering as we speak. Lol  Welcome to the board and welcome to the addiction. As far as where to get supplies lurepartsonline is a good place to start. There are other stores out there also. Depending on what you are planning to make you may be able to get your wood at a big box store. Alot of guys build out of cedar. You are going to want to pick up an airbrush and an air compressor if you dont have one. You can get the Iwata Neo at Hobby Lobby for a good price using thier 40% off 1 item coupon. Hope that helps

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Im going to be painted plastics mainly by buying the blanks. Cant you also buy crankbaits already painted by companys and paint over them?

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Sure, some guys specialize in repainting crankbaits.  The advantage is that you are working on a "known-good" crankbait that may be popular among crankbait fishermen instead of painting a "knockoff" of unknown performance quality.  There are good crankbaits in either category but finding good unpainted knockoffs is a hit or miss proposition because the knockoffs generally copy the exterior of popular crankbaits and not the important interior structures that are critical to performance.

 

Repainting is relatively simple:  most guys lightly sand the old finish to create some "tooth" for the new paint to adhere to, wipe down the bait with denatured alcohol, then lay on a color base coat of white paint to hide the old stuff, spray on your new paint, and topcoat with one of several products.  Many discussions here on TU have centered on topcoats.  These are the most popular alternatives:  slow cure epoxies like Devcon Two Ton, moisture cured urethanes like Dick Nite S81, two-part catalyzed auto clearcoats, and a recent addition, UV cured polyester resins like Solarez.  They vary as to storage requirements, application techniques, thickness, clarity, and toughness so it's best to do searches here in the forum to explore each alternative and choose one that suits you.

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I ain't no expert but here is what I would start with. Blanks from unpaintedlures.com , paint from hobby lobby(createx). Airbrush from hobby lobby, balsa from hobby lobby, lips from jannsnetcraft(circuit board). And etex epoxy from hobby lobby. Use the 40% off coupon at hobby lobby.com

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So what about glitter. Can you use glitter paint in a airbrush or is it just better to mix it in with the epoxy to brush on the bait? I also heard somewhere that it is not smart to buy a airbrush under $100 and to get a iwata. Is this true for crank bait painting? I'm probably not going to get into so much of the carving my baits out of balsa but have been looking at unpaintedlures.com and some other places. I have been looking for mustap triple grip hooks in a size 4 and I haven't found any yet. Does anyone know where I can find them in this size? What is best to be used for thinningthe paint for your airbrush and to clean it?

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I also forgot to add if suggest stencils or free hand. Where do you get the stencils or how do you make them?

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If you want glitter, you either have to buy very small airbrush glitter or find a way to apply larger glitter.  I buy cheapo glitter in acrylic base from my local hobby store, thin it with a little water, and paint it on the lure with a brush before I clearcoat the bait.

 

My primary airbrush is an Iwata Revolution BR, which goes for just under $100.  But I've also used Badger 175 and Paasche VL airbrushes and they worked fine - just not quite the quality of Iwata.  Honestly, as a beginner, you don't need to worry about which airbrush as much as you will need to concentrate on learning how to use whichever airbrush you choose to get.  They all work well but it takes time to learn to paint and time to learn how to control an airbrush.  The better the airbrush, the faster it will go ... but there's no substitute for experience and practice.

 

Do a search on stencil and you should find several discussions and recommendations.  Most of us cut our own stencils freehand but there is at least one online source for pre-made stencils who advertises here on TU.

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I think ill just buy a good quality brush that will last so i dont have to get a better one later. Does anyone ever mix glitter with there epoxy to brush on?

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You can mix, and apply, epoxy with glitter mixed in. Only problem is that you will most assuredly be left with a rough texture as all the glitter isn't going to lay perfectly flat. This isn't necessarily a bad thing unless you want a slick, glossy finish on your baits. If you want a factory looking finish then you will have to apply another layer of top coat over the layer with the flake in it.

 

Ben

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I like to brush it on before clearcoating because I can put it anywhere I want, avoid areas I don't, and can control the amount applied.  Brushing it on beforehand also makes it lay down on the lure so none will stick through your clearcoat.  When I brush on epoxy, I don't want to have to worry about anything but the epoxy.

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If I were you, just starting out, I'd start with Solarez as a top coat, instead of epoxy.

It is quick and easy, and works.

Check out the threads here.

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I have also seen for a top coat some type of self moisture cure or something that you just dip it in to get your clear coat. When brushing on just the glitter do you put in anything or just dabb it on out the container? If so just curious how it sticks and stays with out going everywhere when you brush over it with your epoxy?

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Moisture cured urethane (MCU) makes a great topcoat that is very tough, glossy, and thin - similar to a factory topcoat.  Dip a lure in, hang the lure up to dry, wait 2-3 days for the coating to cure hard, and you're done.  It's the "two second topcoat".   But there are flies in the ointment.  MCU is very hard to store without it beginning to cure in the storage jar.  It will also react badly with some other coatings, especially solvent based coatings.  If it pools anywhere on your lure for long, it will bubble and delaminate the paint off the lure.  Dick Nite S81 is the premier example of MCU used by TU crankbaiters.  If you want to try it, read up on it in the many posts here on TU before you jump.  Otherwise, you'll regret it!

 

I recently got some Solarez and a UV nail dryer.  I tend to agree with Mark about recommending it.  It's dead easy to use, fast, and creates a pretty good topcoat.  Plus the cost is very reasonable compared to the other options.

 

The cheap liquid glitter sold in hobby shops comes in a thick acrylic base.  I pour a few drops into a shot glass, add water to thin it out considerably, then paint it on the lure with a soft artist's brush.  Brushing also lays the glitter flat on the lure so none of it sticks through your clearcoat.  The big thing to me is that I can put the glitter only  where I want and exactly how much I want.

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I have read that with MCU you can put it in a jar to store and then after you use it spray some bloxygen in before you close the lid and that will keep it from drying. With the solorez could you add glitter to that if you were wanting it on the whole lure?

Edited by xXT.WARDXx

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DN is really rough to store. I put it in a mason jar and spray bloxygen in it after I use it, and still have issues! Also when you dip a lure into it you have to remove the lure ASAP and not let any drips fall back into the jar. There is a lot of waste involved with DN. it really looks good but a pita, I prefer solarez for the ease of use!

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What is DN? how do you apply the solarez, where do you get it and how well is it? When using it can just buy some uv bulbs and make a bos to put the baits in with it or what?

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