jacl

Is it possible to make a durable lure without a clearcoat?

18 posts in this topic

Is it possible to make a durable muskie plug (ceder, balsa, other) that does not have a clearcoat?

How were they done before there were epoxies and polyurethanes?

I would like to make some plugs that look like they came from the past but the finish is durable.

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No short cuts is the answer you will most likely get, and I agree. Why wouldn't you use a clear coat if it's wood?

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Sure you can ,just look at all wooden Rapalas no clear on them .

They only use "plastic dip" as sealer/basecoat

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old pikie creek chubs were done in clear lacquer clear. many used varnish. im sure you could do without clear but the life span of your lures would be very short

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No wood expert but I would imagine that yes their are several that could be used with no clear coat. Now these might not be common woods that we typically use but how many wood utensils, canoes, boats, fishing spears, gourds, etc.... have been used by indeginous people over the years. Alder for example contains significant natural oils that has resulted in alder being prized historically for its resistance to water. Used in pumps, water troughs, slews. If I remember from some of my useless reading over the years it was also used in ancient bridges (some still standing) in Europe because of its ability to resist decay while being submerged.

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I understand what you guys are saying.

However, sometimes it is nice to try to be an artist, and historian, by recreating what has been done in the past.

I might try the something with lacquer or varnish. Many of the antique muskie plugs look like they painted with no clear coat. They became scratched up from teeth and hooks but the majority of the paint stayed on.

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I was told the older lures used lacquer and varish as woodie has mentioned. I have also heard that one down side of using these products is they tend to yellow with time.

RM

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those old lures did yellow. Once had an old River Runt that would have proved it.

And the point isn't just the wood. Plenty of various types of wood would hold up without decay, especially if you made sure that you sufficiently expoxied in the hardward to prevent moisture from sitting in those holes. But without a clear, I doubt any kind of paint is going to hold to the abuse a lure gets over a very long period of time.

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Something that I find interesting about the old lures, manufactures made no effort to waterproof the lure. Yet as Jacl mentions: the majority of the finish remains. Provided they are allowed to dry out. Granted the finishes back in the day were primarily enamels, lacquers and varnish and wouldn't hold up as well today's materials.

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One way to help waterproof your hook hanger and line tie holes is to coat the screw with crazy glue before you install it, and then hit the hole again after the screw is in place. Don't waste time when you've put the glue on the screw before you get it installed. Run it in while the gule is wet. I made a handy tool to run the eyes in quickly by putting two right angle bends in a finish nail, like a flat Z, and then putting the point end into the eye hole, and using the head end to turn the eye. Easier to do than to explain.

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You can definately paint a reasonably durable lure without clear, the main reason it is not done as much these days is that the glossy clearcoat sells lures. There are many lures on the market today that do not have a clearcoat. Look at some of the non gelcoat Norman lures for example. I do a lot of repainting lures and I am often surprised at the number that do not have a clearcoat.

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Krylon makes a spray clear that looks very much like the finish on the old lures. It protects the finish without adding the thickness of epoxy. Of course, it won't provide the tooth-proofing that you'd get from epoxy but it should give you the look that you've described as the one you desire in this case.

Stone Coal Tackle is a member of this board who also makes baits resembling those of days gone by. I admire that idea.

Please post some pictures of your baits when you finish a few.

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I have some old (I think) ‘Heddon Punkinseeds’, supposed to be 50 years old and the lacquer is slightly yellowed, but nothing to panic about. I would like to see some of mine and others with epoxy in 50 years ( I will be 108 exactly) I have often wondered how they could make such beautiful lures with only varnishes and shellac to work with, maybe they are copies and not that old at all. pete

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What if the paint is the same product as the sealer and topcoat. I have made lures this way. No chance of the water getting between layers because it is only one layer. Each layer bonds to itself as it is applied with zero incompatibilities.

With each sealer, primer, paint, topcoat all being different products with different chemical makeups, the bond is weakened at each point. We can rough the surface to help the bond but they don't blend when using epoxy, acrylic, epoxy, or what ever mix of products we come up with to cover the bait.

I feel the strongest bait can be made by using the same product bottom to top. Something that blends and bonds with each application.

Solvent based products are the only thing I know of that can accomplish this, because even if they dry before the next layers added, the solvent will etch into the prior layer and bond the two permanently.

1) Sealer: propionate/acetone (Thanks, Swede for reducing the learning curve by about 5+ years)

2) Paint: propionate/acetone/solvent based colorants or automotive powder pigments and pearls. Painted with an airbrush.

3) Topcoat (optional for this discussion): propionate/acetone

How to: Seal the bait with propionate as discussed on TU many times before. Painting, with a very thin mix of propionate (as the binder), acetone, and Huls 844 colorant. I mixed in a little acetone reducer or retarder with the paint I made. (I have forgotten the exact reducer or retarder I used) The binder is about 3% propionate/97% acetone. Then add colorant or automotive powder pigment as needed. About 2% by volume, a little more or a little less depending on the pigment color. You can stop here but I like to topcoat it with a few dips back into the propionate. Yes, the colors will run if you don't spray a few coats of clear propionate binder on the bait after you finish painting and let dry/cure for a while. One tip if you plan on making mistakes while painting (eyes). spray on a couple coats of clear binder as you go so if you need to wipe up a mistake you can dab it up to the clear and not into the paint below it.

If someone has another way to create a tough and light weight one piece finish I want to here how it is done.

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If you are simply trying for a vintage look with modern durability, why not sealer, THEN topcoat, then paint? Sure the paint may get distressed, but that just makes in more "vintage"

Clemmy

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That is exacly right Palmetto, The reason paint is used on the outside is because it is the mosy resistant to the elements and in most cases the most expensive. Your are not going to waterproof a lure by sealing, it aids in the application of the paint, insomuch as it reduces the amount needed and the coats required. If the paint is allowed to soak in by multiple dips it will strengthen the wood surface just as it will turn a brush stiff as a board.

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