Here’s a quick follow-up to my last post with even more photos documenting the work on current test candidates. Within the last two weeks I spent a vast amount of time researching for airbrush tools and equipment that would allow a more professional finishing and coloring of my lure designs. I got a lot of helpful recommendations from friends here in Germany and from my contacts in Japan, just to realize that the investment in proper equipment doesn’t feel right given the small production numbers and the fact that lure building will remain a hobby in the long run.

Taking into account that my lure building efforts are still in it’s infancy and there’s still so much more to learn about underlying physical basics and characteristics of used materials, it makes more sense to continue with hand coating my prototypes. And that’s where the focus should be. I should start improving my prototyping techniques first, to produce even more variations of my designs. To gain more insights about the complex interactions and dependences between wood density, formal characteristics and physical aspects of gravity, buoyancy and weight forces.

It’s fascinating to see how much insights one can gain about underlying physical rules by exercising simple experiments and tests (think Archimedes’ principle). And it’s even more challenging when you already have a clear picture of the final product in mind. Starting with the fundamental decision about the desired lure type followed by considerations about related aspects like weather and local conditions or a specific field that your lure is supposed to cover.

But back to promised pictures and details before it’s getting all to theoretical…
I decided to stick to simple clear coating for most of the new lure bodies while doing some basic experiments with spray can colors. These didn’t worked out too well even if I was able to reproduce my beloved crackle pattern by combining matte and gloss colors. Unfortunately the resulting colors layers are simply to thick for creating detailed patterns or even soft transitions.

Lure Building
Experimenting with the classic crackle finish

In terms of balancing, I tried a different approach – combining a fix rear-weight with an adjustable center weight that allows me to quickly change and replace the main weight by removing the front-hook. This will hopefully allow more options for improving movement and action while gaining more insights about balancing and weight positioning in general.

Lure Building
Adding rear-balance weight made from tungsten

To achieve a more clean and even finishing for these new designs, I spent much more time with preparing the wooden lure bodies for coating. Extensive sanding before applying the base coating and an additional round of sanding after the 2nd layer using sandpapers of 800 & 1200 grain worked perfectly.

Lure Building
Adding a third layer of clear coating after sanding

With decreasing the viscosity of my 2k polyurethane coating, I was finally able to apply thin and almost perfect layers.

Lure Building
Detail showing the compelling Ayous wood pattern

Lure Building
Bass wood finished with four layers of 2k polyurethane coating

Adding lure parts and weights went out much better than with previous prototypes because of the quite accurate drillings made with the new Proxxon drill stand. Overall I’m quite happy with these new versions and I’m curious to learn how different sizes and wood types will perform in first field-tests. I managed to improve swimming / floating positions and lure weights ranging from 20 to 24g (depending on size and wood type) should be comfortable to cast and fun to use.

More insights to follow after first tests this weekend.

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