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exx1976

Do you do foiled lures? If so, please step inside...

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So...  Before I get right to it, a wee bit of an update:  I've been met with encouraging success in selling my lures.  So far I've done two runs of lures (10 in total), and of those, 7 have sold.  In fairly short order, I might add.  Some within minutes of listing online, and several were custom pattern requests that turned out absolutely gorgeous.  One was so beautiful I was sad to see it go.  Then life has gotten in the way (house hunting, demands of my day job, etc), so I haven't sold anything in a couple weeks.  But, I've still been working some behind the scenes.  I have a batch of 10 that's ready for their seal coat epoxy, which leads me to my question:

 

One of the lures, I have spent HOURS upon HOURS of time, very carefully hand-laying foil scales onto.  To cover ~6" of an 8" lure, moving approximately 1/8" at a time, including cutting out all the foil, it's quite a time-consuming endeavor.  I'm not sure that I'd do it again, but I suppose it depends on what it fetches when I list it online for auction.  In any event, my question is:   When you guys foil a lure (this is my first one), do you paint directly on the foil, or do you do an epoxy coat first, then paint on top of the epoxy, then topcoat?  I can't decide which route I want to go with it, so I'm looking for advice from more experienced builders, and pros/cons of each option (or if there's some other option I've not thought of?).  Given the amount of time I already have in this lure, I'd hate to "wing it" and screw up what is shaping up to be quite the work of art.

 

Thanks!

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55 minutes ago, Travis said:

I have always epoxied before spraying over foil.

Can you elaborate on why you do it that way?  My thought is that epoxy before paint would flatten the 3D effect of the scales?  And I'm sure you have to scuff the epoxy coat over the scales before paint and topcoat, so what kind of effect does that have on the transparency of the paint underneath and the scales showing through that seal coat?  I'd hate to do all this work and have it hidden or have only the belly be visible...

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I’ve done scales out of foil as well. And other types of foil with pattern and smooth. Usually I epoxy over the foil to ensure the top/bottom is completely smooth. Helps hide any seems. 
 

if you want a thin “seal” over the foil that won’t be as think as epoxy I have sprayed/airbrushed a few very thin coats of polycrylic (cut with 1/3 water) That stuff is great. I’m no expert. Just letting you know what I’ve tried. I have painted right over foil, but it doesn’t seem to adhere great. 
sometimes I’ll paint a layer at an angle against the scales, then wipe off the paint to try to “highlight” the edges of the scales. 

Here is an example of one that I tried. I’m not exactly sure how you are going yours, but I wasn’t too concerned with preserving the texture to the touch. Just for a visual effect. 

92AE4757-197C-4EDC-B513-F9E5F8E97F3F.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, eastman03 said:

I’ve done scales out of foil as well. And other types of foil with pattern and smooth. Usually I epoxy over the foil to ensure the top/bottom is completely smooth. Helps hide any seems. 
 

if you want a thin “seal” over the foil that won’t be as think as epoxy I have sprayed/airbrushed a few very thin coats of polycrylic (cut with 1/3 water) That stuff is great. I’m no expert. Just letting you know what I’ve tried. I have painted right over foil, but it doesn’t seem to adhere great. 
sometimes I’ll paint a layer at an angle against the scales, then wipe off the paint to try to “highlight” the edges of the scales. 

Here is an example of one that I tried. I’m not exactly sure how you are going yours, but I wasn’t too concerned with preserving the texture to the touch. Just for a visual effect. 

92AE4757-197C-4EDC-B513-F9E5F8E97F3F.jpeg

That is EXACTLY what I'm going for.  Looks like you even used the same method that I did.  I'm more concerned with the visual effect of the 3D scales than I am the touch - I expect the lure to be flat, like any other lure, so as not to create undue turbulence in the water.

Can you walk me through exactly how you did that one?  I've got my scale application completed, just need to foil the head/gillplate and then I'm ready to move on.  I want the finished product to be exactly as I see yours there (different colors, but same basic idea.  I'm planning to leave the belly "naked", and then do either a bass or maybe trout pattern on it.  Or maybe walleye, or even cisco.  Haven't QUITE nailed that part down just yet.  LOL)

Thanks!!

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Yea, it is a pretty cool way to foil a lure.  I got the idea from engineered angler on youtube.  

The head transition was very tricky.  Again, I've only done this a few times, so there might be better ways to do it.  Basically I foiled the scale pattern right up past the area where the gill plate would be.  Then I made a quick stencil for the shape of the gill that I wanted.  I carefully traced it onto the foil scales, then using a very sharp knife, i cut out that shape, and peeled the cut offs of the foil scales. .  Then I cut a flat piece of foil to fit in that spot using the stencil and carefully fit it into the cutout spot on the lure.  It is a pain, but can look super cool!

Here is another one that worked out good too.  I ended up using two separate pieces for the gill, then the head.  You can kind of see the overlap, most of which i was able to hide with that black paint to accent the gill.  You can see better on this one too, how I highlighted the scales with black paint, then wiped the foil scales down, leaving just the edges black.  Then I epoxied over the whole bait, before adding any more paint.

 Looking back at it in hindsight, I really left the head/eye area blank. lol.  Should have added more detail.  There is still time to I guess.  haha   This is my version of a Manitoba "greenback" walleye.

 

 

greenback.jpg

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54 minutes ago, eastman03 said:

Yea, it is a pretty cool way to foil a lure.  I got the idea from engineered angler on youtube.  

The head transition was very tricky.  Again, I've only done this a few times, so there might be better ways to do it.  Basically I foiled the scale pattern right up past the area where the gill plate would be.  Then I made a quick stencil for the shape of the gill that I wanted.  I carefully traced it onto the foil scales, then using a very sharp knife, i cut out that shape, and peeled the cut offs of the foil scales. .  Then I cut a flat piece of foil to fit in that spot using the stencil and carefully fit it into the cutout spot on the lure.  It is a pain, but can look super cool!

Here is another one that worked out good too.  I ended up using two separate pieces for the gill, then the head.  You can kind of see the overlap, most of which i was able to hide with that black paint to accent the gill.  You can see better on this one too, how I highlighted the scales with black paint, then wiped the foil scales down, leaving just the edges black.  Then I epoxied over the whole bait, before adding any more paint.

 Looking back at it in hindsight, I really left the head/eye area blank. lol.  Should have added more detail.  There is still time to I guess.  haha   This is my version of a Manitoba "greenback" walleye.

 

 

greenback.jpg

That looks great! Thank you for the quick reply, but I guess I was more interested in how you applied the epoxy on top of the scales, and then did you scuff it before paint, etc, stuff like that. 

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Ahh got ya. I sprayed over the foil with polycrylic to make help get a good surface prep for epoxy. Then epoxy. Then paint. I don’t usually scuff anything up. I don’t know if it’s totally necessary. I haven’t seemed to have any issues.  

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4 hours ago, eastman03 said:

Ahh got ya. I sprayed over the foil with polycrylic to make help get a good surface prep for epoxy. Then epoxy. Then paint. I don’t usually scuff anything up. I don’t know if it’s totally necessary. I haven’t seemed to have any issues.  

How long do you let the epoxy cure between the base coat, paint, & top coat? 

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Usually at least a day between each step.  Mostly because I'm never trying to get them out fast.  Honestly it is probably more like a few days between each step.   The polycrylic layer that I spray dries quite quickly.  That one could be epoxied or painted over over in the same day.  Paint too.  If I paint a lure in the morning, I have epoxied them in the same day as well.

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3 hours ago, eastman03 said:

Usually at least a day between each step.  Mostly because I'm never trying to get them out fast.  Honestly it is probably more like a few days between each step.   The polycrylic layer that I spray dries quite quickly.  That one could be epoxied or painted over over in the same day.  Paint too.  If I paint a lure in the morning, I have epoxied them in the same day as well.

Wait, I'm confused - Are you doing polycrylic then paint then epoxy, or are you doing polycrylic then epoxy then paint then epoxy?  Looking to finish the head on this lure today, then do another that's just one big piece of foil, and then get all of them either basecoat or paint by tonight, depending on how I do this.

Thanks!

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lol, sorry to confuse you.  I get confused about what I do some days. 

Usually I will, epoxy, basecoat of paint/primer,  foil, polycrylic, epoxy, paint, (sometimes polycyrlic during the paint if i feel i need to seal a layer to prevent tape from stencils or netting from damaging the paint), then epoxy.   

Again, this is just what I do.  There might be better or easier ways to do it.  

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10 minutes ago, eastman03 said:

Again, this is just what I do.  There might be better or easier ways to do it.  

 

Understood.  I always make that same disclaimer as well.  But at my learning stage with doing foils, it's still helpful to hear other methods - whether they are the "best" or not.  As far as I'm concerned, "best" is subjective anyway.  Depends on what your goals are.  Some guys put quality first, some put speed first, others put cost effectiveness first.  Judging my your process and your results, you are putting quality first - which is exactly what I'm doing, so I think I'm going to try that route.  Thank you much for your insights, and I'll be sure to come back and let you know how it turns out!!

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Yea let us know how it works.   

Did you see All eyes post in the gallery!  Now that is a sick foil/scale job.  You should ask him how he did that, he doesn't seem to post much here. 

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3 hours ago, eastman03 said:

Yea let us know how it works.   

Did you see All eyes post in the gallery!  Now that is a sick foil/scale job.  You should ask him how he did that, he doesn't seem to post much here. 

I'll have to go look for his.

I just shot the black back up against the scales, and then shot clear over it.  It looks sharp already!!  Also did another one in just plain full foil.  Shot clear over that as well to help the Epoxy adhere.  On that one, I left a strip down the belly and a strip down the back without foil.  That'll level off with epoxy, and there will be solid color paint there.  I figured it was easier than trying to make a clean joint.  We'll see how they turn out.

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I use foil tape on crappie imitations.  You can press patterns and paint directly onto it.  The drawback is that it's thicker, adding weight and making a tricky transition to unfoiled areas.  I don't have an airbrush so I haven't been able to get the full effect, but even just with brushes it adds a lot of depth.

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First, get the right foil. I have had excellent results using (finger)nail art foil. It is very thin. You can buy it in bulk on approx 4cm x 120 meter long rolls. Holographic silver and silver are both very useful.

You will need the following: Several sheets of craft foam (9x12 x 1/4") cut into four 9" strips, Long cure epoxy (E - tex or Dev 2t with DNA added to slow it down), 2-3 C clamps 6", Flat table to clamp to, Thin board to go atop the foam, scissors. 

Tape the bills on your lure. Cut two strips of the foil a little longer than your lure. Cut a slit in each where the lip is on your lure. The duller side of the tape goes toward the lure surface. Stack 3-5 layers of foam on your table depending on the thickness of your lure. I like to cut a slit in the first  2 for the lip to slide into. Align your first layer of foil on the bottom stack. Prep the top layers of foil and foam in the same manner. 

Now, turn your attention to the lure blank. Mix more than enough epoxy to coat your lure. If you use Devcon 2ton, use the 30 min cure time and thin with 2-4 drops Denatured Alcohol. Brush it on your lure and squeegee the excess off with your finger. This presses epoxy into scale details. You are looking to achieve a certain thickness  of the epoxy - too dry and there will be blank spots, too thick and it will puddle excessively at the edge of the foil. There is a certain "feel" I go for - I need to definitely feel the texture of the lure detail when squeegeeing, but not too dry. Now you can lay the lure on the bottom stack - aligning the lip with slot. Now apply the foil, then foam, then board, then clamps. . Be careful that the foil does not shift. Apply a fair amount of tension to the clamps at least enough for the top and bottom layers to come together. The foam will compress the foil into the scale detail of the lure and the excess epoxy will be pushed to the edge of the foil. Gradually increase the tension on the clamps every few minutes, squeezing out more epoxy. Apply as much tension to the clamps as the lure will take. You will be amazed at how much pressure some blanks will take.

Let the epoxy fully cure. Use they epoxy that is left in the mixing cup as a gauge. If the epoxy is a little tacky, that is fine. But you want it solid. The clamps can now be removed and your lure will be in a foil sandwich. The foil is actually 2 layers, the metallic side stays on the lure. The clear plastic backing can now be removed. Simply peel it off - peel it all off. Trim off any excess epoxy / foil with a razor knife.  

I have a tutorial on this site somewhere - but this is an updated process. If done correctly, the foil coating adds almost no weight to the lure. Sometimes you cannot even measure the difference on a digital scale. 

Before painting I spray a couple layers of Transparent Base (paint with no pigment in it). 

 

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