enamels vs water-based paints

4 posts in this topic

Recently I tried Createx for the first time. It was interesting because I started building hard baits two years ago and have never used anything but enamels.

Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Createx is a pleasure to use. No fumes, cleans up easily, but not really much easier than enamels. It is available locally in more color choices and require less mixing to achieve a given desired color because of the choices available. However, it doesn't seem to cover as quickly and sometimes requires heat/air "flashing" to get it to set up between layers...thus those layers must be applied much slower than enamels to get the same color density. It also has the same requirements for a solvent-based clear between coats, unless there is a water-based clear that is as effective as automotive clear as far as being impervious to water when its dry.

Enamels seem to allow much more tweaking colorwise and dry much more rapidly between layers. I've had experience with hard baits that have been pierced by hooks or musky teeth and the enamel remained intact. When the outside clear coating was breached with enamels, I simply applied another coat of clear and the bait was as good as new again. I haven't had that experience with Createx baits yet, but I've read on this board that the water-based paint work is ruined when water gets under the clear coat.

These are just my opinions on my limited experience with Createx and they are of course subject to change as I continue trying the stuff.

Bottom line is that I will certainly be using both in the future to capitalize on the advantages of each.

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I haven't seen problems with acrylics being pierced and failing as long as it has an underlying waterproof coating on the wood. To me, water based colors are mainly a matter of convenience. Fast cleanup, thin with water, no solvent vapors. There is a difference in color values among latex, enamels and lacquers but I've generally been satisfied with latex.

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Goldenshiner, it is a serious concern for musky fishing in my opinion. I've had muskies really tear up baits on occasion. They can twist hooks, pierce a rock hard finish, and bend tail hook hangers. Also after being netted they will sometimes violently thrash in the net with one or more of the hooks caught on some portion of the net. The extra leverage they get in the net puts additional torque on the bait.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about the acrylics in the last few months and even more so since I've been using them. I'm of the opinion that I will probably use acrylics only for smaller, more general purpose baits, and continue using enamels for the musky baits. The reasoning is simple...it is a lot of work to build a quality musky bait and I don't want to take the risk of having a bait ruined as far as the paint by having chosen a type of paint that may not hold up as well.

I have a Tennessee Shad bait that was compromised when a musky twisted the tail hook hanger just a bit. It was one of my eariler baits and I had tried a type of primer that I had hope would penetrate the bait a bit to provide a water-tight seal. The primer alone did not provide a seal against water penetration and the water soaked into the bait causing it to swell a bit near the tail. The result was that the swelling caused the clear coat (Devcon2) to split...but the paint remained entirely intact. I dried the bait, resealed it with Devcon and it has caught several more muskies since.

Lastly, musky fishing often involves trolling over sharp structure with dramatic changes in depth. As a result, it is more common to get snagged on rocks and stumps as compared to other types of trolling. Thus the baits are subject to more of a beating than walleye type lures, etc.

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