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michael merrill

Why so many different paint schemes?

18 posts in this topic

There are so many patterns available, but I personally have so much success with just a few different ones that the others are not even bought,let alone used.Am I missing something here? Sometimes the fish surpsise me and go against what I would believe to be the "best" choice,but usually I can catch `em on one of three or four tried and true patterns or at least a variation.

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Personally I believe most of patterns and colors out there are used to catch fisherman not fish. Not that they wouldn't work, but they have to catch the fisherman's eye before they hit the water. Just a fisherman's opinion with more color patterns than I'll ever use.

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Your are right Michael. And I will have to agree with Tenacfan. But I think that we all admire and enjoy things that are beautifully made. Plus we are constantly having the idea of "throwing something different" jammed down our throats. It is all just part of the fun that we have as fishermen. I go through my box and take out the stuff that I just did not use. The first time that I did it I must have lightened the load by 10 lbs. :)

Skeeter

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Skeeter,you and many others here are very knowledgable fellows,would you agree that when baits are truly handmade,carved,sanded,etc.,etc.,then they would be "different"from even some which are made by the same person with the same methods?I have made shallow running big-o type baits,and flatsided ones as well for nearly ten years now,when life permits.Even with very strict methods,mine vary slightly,from time to time i even get one or two that just are not right.I will hold onto those "rejects"until I gather enough to be worth my while to "fix". thanx

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Since we are using wood which in itself has considerable variance from one piece to the other it's always going to be difficult to make all of them identical. I have noticed with my baits that the clear coat thickness will change some baits too.

As far as all the colors. Well, paint up 100 Firetigers and you will quickly see how "boring" it can get. The most fun for me in building is experimenting with new shapes, new ideas, new colors.

Regards,

Jed V.

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Sorry about the double post,not sure how that happened.Riverman I have also been equally impressed with your knowledge.My dad used to say that if you aint bored,you aint done it enough.I have never painted an entire run one pattern,although I have painted several dozen chartreuse shads at once without much boredom,and black shad also,but i love that part of it-painting.What I really meant was do people really catch fish on oh say a pink bait?I think Im inclined to agree with the idea of "catching fisherman",and not necessarily fish.

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I had an old poes crankbait that I bought in a store once off of a clearance table. The entire baits was Chartruese with pink (yes pink) dots painted on it. It was an original production color. It was just plain ugly. I never caught a fish on it. But I did not fish it much either. I do think that color does matter at times. And there are standard colors that will always work. That is why they are still around. But folks sometimes like something different. It breaks the boredom. But when the money is on the line..... it is back to the old standards.

Yes, baits that are hand made have differences in them. No matter how you try..... it is still made by hand. But that is the allure of these baits. Some of them just have something special about them. It is part of the fun to fish these lures and find that special crank that you can always count on.

I got rid of the double post for you.

Skeeter

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I guess the simple answer would be -- we simply do not know exactly what color the fish wants from day to day.

I divide colors schemes into 3 categories for my sanity:

  1. Natural - for when u want to imitate forage where u fish (match-the-hatch) or using those suspending jerk bait when it calls for long long pause in btw & I want the fish eyeballing the lure to see it as food & not a stick.
  2. High Contrast - FireTiger, and all those psychedelic color with very contrasting colors for when it's murky water or dark and I'd like the fish to be able to "see" the lure.
  3. Profile - Solid black is one classic for me here, When it's dark & I need the fish to have a clear view of the shape of a lure contrasted against the background.

Side note: Halco of Australia has a stock color called Elton John which is quite a producing color cross species for me, so we never know what the fishes really sees in color 8O :grin:

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Heres a thought-how much does the color,especially minute details, matter when bumping cover?I mean if that lure is banging and ricocheting off and around logs,stumps,laydowns,rocks,etc.do the fish even see the details or just a general blur of color?During the pauses of springtimes jerkbait season excluded,I think a general blur color is the sight factor.I know several people who have busted lures and fixed them with fingernail polish,cheap paint,epoxy,superglue,you name it-and some of those lures you would have a hard time giving away,but they will put weight in the boat consistantly more than some brand new ones.Go figure.On my own go to lures I have replaced bills, paint schemes,filled hook holes,etc.They never seem to stop catching fish-unless the overall weight or "balance"is disturbed too much.That tells me that the lures action was the special characteristic right?

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I would have to agree. I think that certain lures have that special characteristic or action that is just on the money. I don't think that most of these fish see details on the baits. I do think that certain colors work better at certain times of the year or can maybe be seen better in different types of water. I don't think that these fish are just seeing blurs of color though. I think they get a pretty good look at a bait when they decide to go after it. I don't think that you could move a bait too fast for a fish. If they want it, they will chase it down and eat it.

Skeeter

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There was a time, if you are old enough to remember it, when "fire tiger" did not even exist. Think about that for a moment.

Not everything is done under the sun. The next great shape, action, color combination is out there waiting to be revealed...and this site might be its hometown.

Does size matter? It usually does. Can a slight color variation make all the difference? Why does one wiggle/vibration pattern out-produce those that are similar but slightly different? Of course, some are more consistent than others, but there are those days when a slight change...

There are periods during a year when certain species, smallmouth bass for example, would eat your shoe if you could tie it and cast it out there. Other species and other days, you'd better have it all with you and cast it upon thine waters with resolve and style.

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In this part of the world i noticed that you don't need to many paterns, but i noticed that for different species different paterns work better. Take asp for example. It likes shinier paterns more than anything, but there r rare times they wouldn't take the shiny ones, and like mat colours.

If i have 2 lures that have generally the same vibration, no matter the patern they'll usually take it(we shouldn't go to the extreems with the no matter what petern.cause a firetiger is far away from a natural patern).

Of course when they r agressive(i'm talking in general now) you'd better try a patern that makes ur lure stand out from the croud, cause you might emproove ur catch rate. No mater it's a fire tiger, a Silver Fluorescent Chartreuse or a Gold Flourescent Red or another fluorecent theme patern, or lighter couloured patern.

There r times when they like a darker or a lighter colour on a lures back, meanning that once i couldn't catch fish just on really dark(usually black) backed lures. And they wouldn't go on a natural green(that's how i call it) colour. May be because it stud out of the croud, but not that much to scare them away, but just enough to get them arroused.

The paterns we make have some special caracteristic, that make them stand out of the croud anyway. For esample the black spot of the shad u use for bass fishing. Or for example we make the pearch's stripes as visible as we can, so pike or other fish can see them from a distance......................... We tend to exagerate some natural caracteristics of some fish, so they will stand out from the croudm as much, or as little as possible, depending on fish behaviour .......

I can't say i have 20years of experimenting with hard baits, but some things r noticeable in less that 20years.

Anyway it's fun to make new paternsmm even though you don't need to.I like having baits that r good to look at, and catch fish as well.

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just my 2 cents and from a guy who thought he knew a bunch about cranks until he came TU... I did not know beans except for the basics, but now I have formed some of my own opinions....right or wrong.

First, If the fish are feeding you can catch them on just about every color or pattern. Now having stated that, there are colors that out produce and those usually have to do with the water and weather conditions......stained water, clear water, sunny, cloudy, ect.

Second, and this is just my opinion: I think fish see depth amd I think scheme and color are vital when fish are biting out of reaction. Don't get me wrong....wiggle, wobble and vibration also effect reaction fish. Take some of those cranks with the patterns on them and study them.....Now put them in the water and look at them. The hot tiger pattern is a good one to look at because under water the depth perception of the pattern really stands out. Another good example is to go crawdad hunting, if the crawdads are all the same color then the thing your eye picks up is the lines on the craw and the size of the sclaes on the tail. Just my opinion guys so take it for what it is worth. I believe in this so much that I spend more time on my paint schemes and the depth perception. Some of you have a bait or two of mine and I either make it "3D" or if I really want to take the time I will use 12 to 14 colors on a craw pattern and make them look as natural as a craw as I can.

Good thread guys!!!!

Tally

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I just want to say that I have a great deal of respect for young and old alike-as long as there is honesty involved.I have and always will welcome tidbits of info. from everyone-it is up to me to weed out.Different things work for different people and two minds are always greater than one.ALWAYS.I just do my very best at everything I do-quitters never win and winners never quit.I am not where I want to be with my lures,or I wouldnt ask for so much help-most of us arent if I had to guess.This pattern thing has far more opinions than I imagined and this is good.Now I finally have found one heck of a resource.I remember pre-firetiger,as a matter of fact I have had a baitcaster in my hand since 6.If your not part of the solution then your part of the problem-and obviously I have nothing to hide.(register)I look forward to learning.Thanx.

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I make and fish 3 basic paint schemes - shad, crawfish and chartreuse. JMHO, specific color can be important but most of the time, on most bodies of water it ranks after dive depth, size and action (for LM bass). Even when boiled down to 3 color schemes, you're talking 36 crankbait variations, and that's not counting lipless cranks and jerkbaits. So I don't carry multiple baits in the same design with subtle color variations. There are more than enough variables to confuse me already :rolleyes: Yeah, give me choices but keep it within reason. The wrong color kept wet will almost always beat the guy trying 20 different baits.

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I think basic colors can make a difference. Do fish care about all the details, no. One lake I fish for Hybrids is somewhat stained. You can use any color that you want, as long as you include some chartruese in it and it will outfish the same bait without the chartreuse. The details do not matter here. I have taken proto-types, hit them with primer, then hit the sides with chartreuse spray paint and they have caught fish there. Same with a creek I fish for smallies. All of the bait have a gold or bronze tint to them when they flash. A plug with some gold in it (other colors do not matter) gets eaten better than one without. I have used plugs here that have caught so many smallies that much of the paint is gone (also from hitting them off rocks :oops: ), but they still catch. Anymore, when I am testing a new proto-type, I'll paint it white and fish it (add a touch of gold for the creek, or chartreuse for the lake, other places plain white). If it catches, I keep it, if not, back to the drawing board.

Andrew

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Interesting comments and maybe this thread will bring a few more people to the table for some different views also.

Something that has always amazed me, was seeing the fianl results of a B.A.S.S. or FLW or any quality tournament for that matter. Have you ever wondered why there is such a wide spread from first place to tenth place? Usually the top three are pretty close but then the weights seem to fall off, even in the tournaments that everyone said they were throwing cranks and all had limits. I truely think that each lake has its own hot bait, but something is different when the top 3 are 5pounds ahead of the next seven.

Tally

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Tally, that is a good point,but I always question how much truth comes out of such heated competition.Countless places to throw,depths,cover types ,as well as types of cranks,who knows?I completely agree with BobP,throw it till your arm falls off.I fish some very ,very clear places where I believe the details do matter.Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and again.How can ten of the same color crank- even mass produced- sometimes have one that just kills em when the others dont?Gotta be some minute difference somewhere.I have heard differences in rattles by the same manufacturer which were bought at the same time,and one outfished the others.

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