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ChrisD46

Best Clear Coat / Sealer For Lures ?

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Looking for best experiences and suggestions  with clear coat / sealers for lures (that don't turn yellow)  to protect paint and allow the addition of suspending glitter on lures ? Hopefully a spray or brush on with no mixing !

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There really isn't much available that is proof against yellowing due to UV radiation.  I use Devcon Two Ton epoxy.  Exactly measured and well mixed, I've had lures 5-6 yrs old that show no discernible yellowing.  Flexcoat epoxy makes a version that contains a UV filter to retard yellowing.  Find it on rod building websites.  More expensive than Devcon.  If you want to add glitter to the topcoat, you have another problem.  If the flakes are fairly large, it takes a fairly thick topcoat like epoxy to carry them without flecks of glitter sticking up in the topcoat, unless you want to use more than one coat..

Another candidate is KBS Diamond Coat, a moisture cured urethane.  It has a lot of advantages as a topcoat and a few disadvantages.  It's one part, so just brush it on without mixing.  But like most MCU's, it can be hard to store without beginning to harden in the storage container.  MCU's can also be touchy about application over solvent based paints or latex paint that has not dried entirely.  But they perform as well as epoxy for durability, waterproofness and have more gloss.

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Yes, I brush it on lures.  Quickly in a flood coat.  Then hang it up by the lip to let excess MCU drip off the tail.  DO NOT ROTATE MCU after application, just hang it up to dry for best results.

Is dipping even faster?  Yes, but you have the problem that MCU is easily contaminated in the storage container with moisture dripping off the lure and exposure of the surface of the MCU to atmospheric moisture.  That causes it to begin to cure in the container pretty quickly.  Best practice is to use the tap the can method of storage and dispensing.  That means tapping a screw into the bottom edge of the unopened container, then removing the screw to dispense enough finish to coat your lures with a brush. That will allow you to use the whole can of MCU without it beginning to harden.  I guess you could dispense enough to dip lures, but it would be awfully wasteful.  You never want to pour excess used MCU back into its storage container, so you have to trash it.

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Has anyone ever tried UV resin? I use it a lot in fly tying. It basically works just the same as epoxy, except you cure it with a UV light, and it only takes a few seconds to cure, which would also give you more control. I like Silver Creek, and Clear Cure Goo brands. The thicker material is good for building thickness, like the body of the fly in the photo, however, it cure a tad bit tacky. Hard, but tacky. Then I use a thinner resin as a finish coat, because it typically cure tack free. I think for clear coating lures, the thin types would be perfect. For Silver Creek, I like Crystal, and Clear Cure Goo brand, Hydro...these are their thinner resins. And if you don't like the way they come out, you can simply wipe it off with alcohol. 

525.jpe

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Yes, the Solarez company sells a variety of uv cured polyester resins.  The problem I have with them is that the one that is economical to use ($25 per quart) is the Dual Cure Gloss resin and it contains small wax flakes that are necessary for the resin to cure hard.  On a topcoat application, the flakes can be seen in the finish over a dark color paint as a white blush.  I don't like that so only use that resin for undercoating wood baits, where it works well.  Their resins for fly tying are pretty expensive and come in small tubes.  Uv cured resin is really neat and fast to use but I want one that doesn't have wax flakes to use for topcoating.  It's really designed for finishing surf boards where a white blush is not an issue.

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I use acrylic water based airbrush paint and dry it with a hair dryer between each color so the paint is bone dry when finished.  If there is moisture left in the paint when yo apply MCU, it will react and blister.  You can't predict how MCU will go on over an oil or solvent based paint until you try it.  MCU contains its own solvent which reacts with some other solvents.  If you use solvent based paint, be sure that all of the solvent has evaporated before coating with MCU.  That tipically  takes days of drying for some solvent paints.  Lacquer based paint usually works OK.  I've never had a problem with dripping paint.  Since MCU contains solvent, it will cause any dye based color, a Sharpie for instance, to run.  You want excess MCU to drip off the lure because a skin forms on this stuff very quickly and if a pool of wet finish gets caught under the skin, it will form bubbles in the paint.  That's why it's important to quickly flood coat the MCU onto the lure and then hang it up so excess MCU will Drip off the bait, avoiding any pooled areas of MCU.  I use a flat bristle artist's brush to apply MCU and it takes only about 15-20 seconds to flood coat a lure.

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Great answers given here. After trying several different top coats over the years, I am back to where I started which is Envirotex Lite epoxy. It requires a drying wheel or method of movement while curing to avoid pools and sags. The plus side is that once dry, it stays clear and rock hard for years. I use hypo syringes to take the guess work out of getting a true 50/50 blend and mix it for 5 minutes before applying. 

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On 12/12/2016 at 7:07 PM, IgotWood said:

Has anyone ever tried UV resin? I use it a lot in fly tying. It basically works just the same as epoxy, except you cure it with a UV light, and it only takes a few seconds to cure, which would also give you more control. I like Silver Creek, and Clear Cure Goo brands. The thicker material is good for building thickness, like the body of the fly in the photo, however, it cure a tad bit tacky. Hard, but tacky. Then I use a thinner resin as a finish coat, because it typically cure tack free. I think for clear coating lures, the thin types would be perfect. For Silver Creek, I like Crystal, and Clear Cure Goo brand, Hydro...these are their thinner resins. And if you don't like the way they come out, you can simply wipe it off with alcohol. 

525.jpe

This fly is just too cool! Well done!!! UV resin is something that I have been looking forward to experimenting with.  

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Is nobody using dick nite's stuff anymore?  Haven't used it personally, but it used to be recommended to me frequently and I'm in the market for a clear, and being able to just dip the bait sounds appealing.

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Dick Nite MCU (s81) is my favorite.  KBS Diamond Coat is also popular and has fewer storage problems.  However, the DN will soak through airbrush paint to form a monolithic finish that is hard to beat, imo.  If you insist on dipping lures, go with the KBS because it will last longer.  If you dip in DN, you WILL shorten the time it is useable because it will begin to harden in the storage container after contamination by atmospheric moisture.  If you want to use DN, dispense it into a small jar and flood coat the lure with a brush before hanging it up to dry and drip off the excess finish.

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