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GalvestonWader

Newbie.... please help my son get started

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Hey, new guy here from Texas. Not sure this is the right forum but I'll start here. My son (12) had to do a school project. He is an avid fisherman so he told me he wanted to make a fishing lure. I thought that was pretty cool so off we went to the garage. Long story short, we used what we could find in the garage. He whittled and sanded on a wooden dowel, used some spray paint we had laying around, dipped it in some kind of clear coat and put hardware on it. This all took a few days. He tried to copy a Heddon Supper Spook Jr and I think it actually looks great but we made some mistakes along the way. Mainly with the paint and clear coat. It never fully cured. 

He cant wait to do some more and I want to get him the right equipment. I've been reading online and that is what led me here. Can ya'll recommend what I need to get him started? Such as a good beginner airbrush, one of those stands or rotisserie things, and any other must have tools? I'd like to get a station set up for him at my work bench because I really think he will take to this. Any advice is much appreciated.  

Here's a pic of his first ever lure. We hope to improve on this. 

T's lure.jpg

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The first two things I would buy..even before a airbrush is a Bandsaw and a table top sander...you can build just about any lure with those two tools..Nathan

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I am replying to give encouragement. The lure looks great, it looks perfect, and I understand the topcoat problems.

I say only encouragement because this particular lure is outside my experience, I only do shallow lipped crank baits. I also understand that you are coming at this project with very limited experience, and I am sure that many will jump in here to help you.

I understand Nathan's comment above, his recommendation is good. BUT, you need to get a successful lure and be sure that this is a path you want to follow.

This is a walk the dog type lure, and it has to be balanced a certain way in order to make it perform. Ballast (lead weight) has to be added correctly to achieve the action.

You can do a search, or better still, someone can jump in here and help you with that.

As far as topcoat, I would get down to the hardware store and buy Devcon two ton epoxy (D2T). Do another search for how to apply. I am talking searching on this site. It must be 30 minute epoxy, do NOT go for 5 minute, totally the wrong stuff.

To other members, step in, because I cannot help here.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

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Iwata neo is a good airbrush for the money I use one personally 

A hand rasp with a flat side and a curved side with both fine and course teeth is one of my favorite shaping tools. It’s cheap, safe to use and very useful in my opinion 

I second the bandsaw and the sander is handy too

a drill of some kind. Drill press is nice but I have been getting by with a cordless for since I started years ago

For a lure turner any bbq rotisserie works just build a stand. Honestly there is lots of options and if you want to build one ask for options and members here will give you ideas. This is only needed with epoxy clear coats like envirotex and D2T

there is UV clear and Dips like KBS too that don’t need turners but have other issues 

depending on what style of lures he wants to build there is other handy things to have
 

Other than that if you’re boy needs advice on a lure build ask away myself and others on this forum are willing to help

 

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I started making lures several months ago. I have a website with all the stuff I acquired and how I got started. I also spent 30 yrs teaching jr. high science. I kinda know this age. That being said, in your situation this is what I'd do.

Get some pine or some balsa wood.

Cut the wood to size - Hopefully you have a power or small hand saw that can cut a piece of wood down to rectangular lure size.

Carve it to shape - Get a decent razor knife. Like the ones in woodworking not the plastic ones from the dollar store. Supervision... dangerous but  pretty much unavoidable.

Sand the shape and smooth it - Get some course 80 grit and some 120 or so grit sand paper to take down the wood after the carving is done. I work with white pine and it sands down very easily.

Drill weight hole and eyeloop holes - I'll assume you have a drill. You can purchase some steel ball bearings for a small amount. It will suffice instead of a lead pot and lead. If you have some small pieces of metal around it would work too.

Fill weight holes and glue in eyeloops - You'll need some epoxy. The 5 or 30 minute stuff in the double syringe from a big box store will work. (gluing in line/hook ties and covering the weight holes).

A little sanding sealer varnish sort of substance to brush on and seal the wood. (superglue can be used too)

Clearcoat - The epoxy will work for that too and is not expensive for a few lures. Be sure to get the 'clear' one. It will say on the package.

You can buy a rotisserie motor but if you put the epoxy on thin and it's the quick dry one, it will set fast and will suffice without rotating it.

The eyes you seem to have. And a small amount of polycarbonate plastic from box store if you make a bill.

-----------------------------------

All the stuff above is the small dollar amount total. The airbrush and what it needs is the expensive item.

Unless you want to just make monotone or dual tone lures like you made above then an airbrush is really needed. An inexpensive one will work but it will be frustrating. The iwatas are sort of a standard and about $150. Then there is opaque and transparent airbrush paint. Createx is sort of a standard They come in sets for lower cost. Then it needs a compressor. A dedicated airbrush compressor is fine, or with an adjustable regulator valve to cut it down to 0-40 psi, a construction one if you have one around. It's what I use.

Hooks, split rings, eyeloops

Take a look at some lure making vids, Marling baits is a good one, Bejan lures is another among many possibilities. Or you can look at one of mine. They use some more sophisticated (expensive) equipment sometimes but you will see those places where you can get by without it.

After making a few and if you think you'll stick with it you can upgrade to better tools over time.

My take on it... hope it helps. I miss teaching....so, don't get me going.

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All good advice, except on the balance of the bait. The information that will take the bait from a pretty object to a functioning fish catcher.

Function comes first, then we can make it pretty. We need real advice here!

Dave

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2 minutes ago, Vodkaman said:

All good advice, except on the balance of the bait. The information that will take the bait from a pretty object to a functioning fish catcher.

Function comes first, then we can make it pretty. We need real advice here!

Dave

I am all for helping with advice on action and always a priority in my builds. Once he knows what he wants to accomplish and asks I will start trying to confuse the boy lol

but I agree learning to accomplish action is more important then pretty 

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As far as I know, the bait has to be balanced so that the nose stands up, say 30 to 45 degrees. I just want the experts to step in with some solid construction advice.

Dave

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I think the OP's question was about materials to acquire. The theory and actually how to make the bait, i.e. forming by carving, how to airbrush, how to weight it properly will have to be researched to know. But, I'm sure any information would be helpful.

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Correct, I am needing suggestions on any must have tools I need and what brand airbrush, stand/rotisserie I should buy. 

And thanks for all the comments. Keep them coming. I know we have a lot to learn and much of it will be trial and error. The lure he made is a topwater walk the dog type lure that we use in saltwater for catching trout and redfish. We fish freshwater too so may try our hand at some crankbaits in the future, but for now we will stick to topwaters.  

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My fav tools are; belt sander with a disk on the side, band saw, drill press and Dremel mini drill with lots of bits and pieces.

I went with a battery powered Dremel, but next time I would stick with mains power.

Dave

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There's a ton of good info here, I'm glad to hear your son's excited about this.  It's a really fun hobby!

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Agreeing with mostly everything said here and also what @Vodkaman said above but I will caveat this with the fact that when I started I thought I had everything I needed to make lures but have now added so many things along the way that I deem essential that it really is somewhat subjective. We all have our areas of expertise and specific styles of baits that we make more than others and what one determines to be essential another may find non-essential. So, to get to the core of the question and answer it as best as possible, maybe ask your son what kind of baits he would like to make and let us know. I'll bet we can give you a more targeted and useful answer once we have that data. 

Until then, my essentials are the following: 

Band saw, Dremel Tool with sanding and cutting bits, 316L steel wire or something similar for making hook hangers and line ties or just buy them from somewhere like lurepartsonline.com, a vice, various grits of sandpaper from course to very fine, a good airbrush with a .35mm or smaller tip (allows you to get in close when painting details), airbrush paints ( I use Createx brand but there are many good ones), airbrush cleaner and restorer....also reducer, airbrush compressor (really do your research on this one),  man....what else......that should get you started until he lets you know what kind of lures he wants to make. 

Oh, and one more thing, it's awesome that your son wants to get into this and that you are supporting him in doing so. It is a very rewarding hobby that is tremendously fun and this community is your best resource for help along the way. He will make mistakes. However, so much work and planning goes into every build that each time he makes a mistake he will learn a hard lesson from it that will undoubtedly make him think about it and improve the next time around. The best part for you will be enjoying the look on his face when he pulls in that first fish on his very own lure.

Tight lines you guys! 

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In defense of my original comment; I am reluctant to advise expenditure when results can be achieved with minimalist tools. I like to feel comfortable that people are on the direction that they want to pursue rather than a whim.

Dave

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Bare essentials: knife, superglue, pencil, hook hangers.

Google "Doc Lures." He has a beginners course that is free, and goes over some great basics for luremaking.  I've done a lure with as little as a knife, paper clips, and superglue+baking soda.  There are so many different tips, tricks, and techniques to it.  Starting basic will help develop the fundamental skills, and then you can build from there to simplify.

Doc's stuff can be found here: https://woodenlureworkshop.com/ and much of the material can be accessed with a free account.  I found this guy's site before I found tackleunderground, and it helped me quite a bit with getting started.

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My rule of thumb in ballasting top water lures is the longer the bait, them closer to horizontal/level I want it to sit a rest.  This is mainly because it is much harder to get a big bait up and walking if it hangs down at rest.  If you've ever tried to get an 8" glider to walk/glide, you'll know how much water resistance a big bait has to begin with.  The farther down it hangs, the more effort it takes to get it up and gliding. 

My poppers, which are 2-3" long, can hang almost vertical, at about 75-80 degrees, because they are so small it's easy to get them up and moving.  Plus hanging down like that gets a good "bloop" sound on the pop, and the tail feathers provide a good tail-like movement on the pause.  My friend up here on the Delta told me that he thought the bluegill were attracted to the tail feathers, and the bass were attracted to the bluegill.  He was a very successful pro and guide, so who am I to argue.

My walking spook-type baits sit almost level, with just front 1/3 of the lure up out of the water at rest.

My bigger one piece gliders sit with 1/2 of the front up out of the water.

All of my top water walking baits have their ballast as far to the rear as is practical, with enough material around the ballast to keep the bait strong.

All these things are approximate, because each design has its own requirements, and each design has its own ideal ballasting, so there's going to be some trial and error before you get it right for your design.  A tip...don't do your final paint job until you get the bait to work the way you want it to.  That way you can make changes that won't break you heart.

Good luck, and let us know how you do.

 

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