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Buzzbug

Decals?

17 posts in this topic

Buzzbug, here is what I do. Find a high-res pic or a large pic of anyfish and save it to your pc. Scan in the profile of your bait and make sure it prints out the same size as it really is (or close). I like to use photoshop for the rest: Make a layer in which you trace the outline of the bait loosely(for tight edges like the rattle trap noses you'll need to get closer). Using the transform function bend, size, and warp the exisiting photo to fit in the frame you've drawn. Print it out on regular paper, and w/ elmer's glue see how it fits. You may have to adjust the contour of the decal a bit if the lure curves alot. All in all, once the paper prototypes are good enough, print'em out on that decal paper. this way gives you unlimited resources for creating your own baits. I've been wanting to take my own fish photos myself for this purpose, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I hope this helps.

BTW, you can also utilize the paintbrushes to create almost any details you wish. also use the layer blending options to perfect the look of scales, etc.

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I have glued every photo on my photo finish

lures with titebond dark wood glue.

I have had no problems.

Coley

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Who cares what you do if it catches fish?

You ARE right of course. The concept merely clashes with my shtick; "Hand made in America" and such. Stickers seem so.... well, nevermind.

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I wouldn't exactly call repainting Japanese crankbaits "Hand Made in America"

Coley

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As for decals... If the lure is made for some kind of luremaker competition ? of course, there people will understand what does it mean to brush a lifelike trout, bass or perch pattern. And how many job is put in it.

If the lure is made for sale ? I don?t think, that cutomer will appreciate your efforts. Because not so many people knows how difficuilt it is. First you have to catch a buyer. And using decals it can be made i much more easier way. Buyer don?t care if it is two hour work with airbrush or 20 min. work with decal ? they need a good looking lure.

As for lure looks ? here is some luremakers, that don?t paint lures at all, they leave it as they looks, maybe some color on the back. Those lures catch fish with same success as those with gills, eyes, scales etc.

Also there is saying, that if you like lure (as it looks, as it swims) you will catch lots of fish...

So if buyer don?t care if there is an airbrushed pattern or decal, I think fish will see no difference too ;)

uffff..... such a hard thing to express myself in english, hope you?ll understand :D

vytautas

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Vytautus, I understood you perfectly and agree 100%. No one is trying to pass this off as art ( at least not me) but they do catch fish. And I do make them by hand. Meanwhile I'm not sure whether Buzz was asking for a source of decal material or images. If you're looking for material just do a web search for "decal" and you'll find plenty.

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Im making baits that catch fish. (caught 2 pike on accident testing a rat-l-trap I made)(when i get a camera I will post them) Handpainted or not. Im gonna try one with a decal and If it works good then I will do more. But For now Im doin a simple Bluegill Decal on a shallow crank.

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I wouldn't exactly call repainting Japanese crankbaits "Hand Made in America"

Coley

I couldn't agree more.

But in my quest to do this for a living I've had to make some compromises. I had one guy who didn't want one of my colors but rather to re-create a LuckyCraft color on an LuckyCraft bait he found. :?

In fact I'd say the fish could care less how a paint is decorated. A good angler can catch 'em with anything because it's all about the presentation anyway. IMHO Fancy paint jobs or decals don't catch fish' date=' [i']they catch fishermen.[/i] And that's the tough part.

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I like vytautus's answer, we are trying to catch the eyes of fishermen, and I think a custom painted bait is far nicer than a photo finish lure. By the way, I only meant the glue was a mock-up to see if the decal would fit the bait's contour ok. You probably do need to attach it with something stronger if it is a rattle trap or something that will encounter much abuse from rocks and such. Other times, such as regular med. diving and shallow diving cranks, they might only need glue and a good epoxy clearcoat, as Coley said.

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I'll digress a tad, but the subject already seems to have taken a turn. :rolleyes: While color may be important at times, extreme detail and finish are more for the purchaser than the fish. This is not to say those fine finishes aren't appreciated, or that theywon't work, just that they aren't necessary. If the lure works properly, it will take fish where as if it looks 100% real but hasn't the action the fish is looking for, it is worthless as a fish getter. I'm a rattle can guy but I do try to keep my finishes in hues that I feel confident with. One of my all time best producers was a Lt Blue backed white bellied swimmer that took about 30 seconds to paint.

BUT if you're looking to sell you offerings, you must please the purchaser, first and foremost. JMHO

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Yes the subject has taken a turn, interesting discussion tho nevertheless. The process of decals is nothing "new"; I have a book of antique baits in which guys were drawing images and glueing them on the bait nearly a hundred years ago. Beyond that, nearly all of the top lure builders, Lucky Craft, Real Image, Salmo, Cordell, Rapala, Heddon, etc., are using some type of "stick on" material for many of their lures...why? Because they look "real" and fisherman buy them. I love the look of the "holographic" Pointers by Lucky Craft, they are amazing and there is no way we could ever begin to reproduce something like this with paint.

I personally feel an entirely "painted" lure is more natural looking when done by someone with talent and experience. It's difficult to make a decaled bait "flow" from side to back to belly like you can with paint. I will add tho that using a decal from my experience is certainly not a "shortcut". By the time you create an image, size it, print it, cut it, stick it, and then do all the blending along the back and belly you could have painted 5 baits! Not only that but the "cost per bait" goes up considerably with decals because of the time and materials associated with this process. And oh, how about foil, how could we live without foiled baits, they have been fooling fish forever and still provide one of the most realistic "baitfish" patterns and technically fall into the "stick it" category.

It's funny how "visually oriented" we are when it comes to baits, and other things too but that is another subject. I have built baits that I thought were totally "awesome" to look at but when they hit the water they were a total flop! At the same time I have built baits that were sprayed one color that swim wonderfully! As builders we understand that the paint and/or decal on a bait is just one part of the process and yet for other builders and potential buyers it becomes one of the "main factors" in deciding how well they like the bait. As a builder I find a greater reward in discovering the correct shape, weight, body composition, bill length, size, etc., that leads to a very realistic "fish-like action".

I want my baits to look great yes, but more than that I want those fishing my lure to tell me "man that thing has an amazing action to it".

jed

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I like what Jed said. (I'm adding to the digression here :D)

I have been toying with many hardbait designs and all I can think of are action & profile which I consider to be the main fish catching ability of a bait. Colors come as an after-thought. I'm not trying to say guys who are just painting bait are not doing a good job nor help increase the fish catching ability of a bait - imitating Jed's words, "action speaks louder than colors". We should concentrate our priorities toward making a fish catching lure fisrt, then put in the colors to catch the fishermen :D I've read post when prototype lures with just a primer coat that has caught fish, I've had my share of it too, so to make a lure that catch a fisherman and his/her heart too; the lure has to be able to perform. The colors and beautiful finishing is to appeal to him so he'd buy more than one. :D

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I guess I'll add a little to the digression myself. I have been fishing for 50 years plus or minus, not that makes me superman or anything just that I've put in a lot of time on the water (some years over 100 days/year) and I am absolutely convinced that the color makes almost zero difference. BUT........ lately I've been concentrating on catching really big bass (I'm up to 17lbs-13oz) and when you spend all day fishing for one or two bites you have to have absolute confidence in what you're throwing. So whether I believe it matters or not I am still going to make my lure look as realistic as I possibly can so that I will have the confidence to forget about which lure I'm fishing and concentrate on what I'm doing. That said I still don't think the color matters at all. Life is contradictory sometimes.

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