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What to use on last step of painting hard baits

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I am thinking about getting into painting my own crank baits and jerk baits but was wondering what do people usually use to seal the coats of paint and to help keep the paint from chipping the first toss into the water. I know i have seen some people using epoxy but i also heard some people say that it turns yellow after a while. Just wondering what your opinions are on this subject. Thanks!

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There are all kinds of clearcoats used on crankbaits.  Epoxy is still one of the most popular and yellowing is not a big issue if it is measured and mixed well.  I’ve had epoxied baits 4-5 yrs old without noticeable yellowing.  That said, there are other options:  moisture cured urethanes like KBS Diamond Coat, UV cured polyesters like Alumi-UV.  All have advantages and disadvantages. You should use the search feature to explore their attributes, application techniques, pros and cons. 

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I like Epoxy for personal or small run of baits. Bob Smith Industries 30 min or Devcon two ton 30 min.

For larger production runs dipping in KBS seems to be the way to go.

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Take your mouse to the top right of this screen, hover over Activity, on the drop down screen go to search, click on it, and enter clear coats.

There are years of debates on this.  5 minute epoxy will yellow, but long cure epoxies will not.  Etex is a common and excellent option as well.  Epoxies require lure turners or constant lure turning until cured.

Moisture cures are good, but they cure in the can once opened.  Ways to slow it down and deal with it, but it is a problem.  Smell and fumes are potentially bad.

Some Mark uses Sally Hansen Hard as nails fingernail nail polish, but if you are doing a lot of them, probably not reasonable.

I use Alumilite UV cure.  Having used all of the above, I think it is the best, but it requires a proper UV light cure set-up.

Lots of options, and I am convinced that we will never all agree on the "best" to use.

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I tried the epoxy route once and wasn't for me.

Used Sally Hansen this summer on some chatter and spinner baits and had real good luck.

Used the KBS Diamond coat the other night for the first time.

As per lots of reading I transferred mine into glass canning jars with seals and am using the argon from Diamond coat.

Yes it does have a powerful smell!

That being said it must be good if it smells really bad?

Nice thing is that I could have it shipped to Montana (winter here) and not have any freezing problems.

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For your first baits, use Devcon 2 Ton. There is a ton of information here about it - what people like and don't like.

The reason I suggest this for your first baits is that it is the low cost, and that it's easy to find, and the finished product is high quality. There also isn't a lot of equipment needed to do a few at a time. Some other clear coats require turners, UV lamps, or special storage.

It wouldn't be my choice if I were doing hundreds of baits, but getting started it is a great option. Do a few baits, and if it's something you will stick with, then get a turner and start exploring other options.

 

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There’s definitely some “art” required in using epoxy while moisture cured urethane (MCU) and UV cured polyester are simpler options but more expensive.  For most guys the choice is determined by what they try and then become comfortable with using.  All of them give you durable, attractive baits.  I use epoxy or MCU and want to try Alumi-UV at some point.  For wood baits, I often use epoxy.  For refinishing plastic baits, MCU gives what I consider a more “factory-like” result.  But if Alumi-UV has good clarity, it will be worth the expense to have a clearcoat you can dip into and cure hard in just a few minutes.

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I am currently using both Etex and KBS Diamond.    I thought the KBS would replace the Etex.   If so, I wouldn't need a turner and I would be able to do more.   Kinda didn't work out exactly like that.

I have found that some bait's body style  prefers Etex over KBS.  For me jointed baits need the epoxy brushed on to keep out of joints.   When using KBS,  Wiggle warts (even with a drip wire) tend to leave a small build up on the tail, making it difficult for me to not screw it up trying to clean up any excess.    Any other styles I've dipped without issues and the KBS works great.

My opinion is Etex and KBS both harden about the same as I have not been able to see any difference in wear running 1.5s  through the rocks testing both.   Again this is just my opinion but the time to it takes to harden to the point I would fish it I give Etex 3 days and KBS 6.  

KBS stinks.  It will stink up my entire work shop.  

Hope this help a little with your decision.   I've only worked with these 2 products so I can not give an opinion on any other.

 

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Super Ron,

When I dip wiggle warts, I hang them bill down.  Any drip leftover is easier to clean off the bill, and to sand off afterwards, without affecting the bait itself.

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2 hours ago, mark poulson said:

Super Ron,

When I dip wiggle warts, I hang them bill down.  Any drip leftover is easier to clean off the bill, and to sand off afterwards, without affecting the bait itself.

 Thanks Mark.   Ive only got a few blanks left to practice on then I'm out.   1 of them is a WW.   So I will try that on a new paint scheme I'm working on.

Ron

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