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Dirtyeggroll

Bait restoration

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I’ve been pretty depressed lately because I’ve been too busy with training/work to get out fishing much. On top of that, the lake near my house that just really started producing this year is closed and being drained due to zebra mussels. So now, when I do get a small window of time to fish I can’t. Additionally, its winter in Nebraska and the water about to get hard.

 

Since the lake by my house is being drained, I thought I’d try to make the best of it. I have lost a dozen or so crankbaits in that lake due to some landscape mat-like material they put around the jetties. Today, since the lake was really drawn I went to go see if I could find any of them. Specifically, I was looking for a 6th Sense Flat 75 in the original Wild Lava Craw pattern that is no longer available.

 

Long story short, I found it and about 100 other baits including a Deps 175, some megabass jerkbaits and some original wiggle warts!

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Now I need your help restoring them.

 

I plan to replace the hooks on all of them and the split rings on most.

 

However, I need help figuring out the best way to clean them up. So, I am asking for tips on how to restore these baits. Share your experience down below. Thanks!

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Very nice lures you found. I have restored old lures by genty scrubbing them with water. I take away the old rings/hooks and add new ones.

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Dag gone, that was a productive day! 

 

I'd remove hooks and soak them in some hot soapy water, maybe agitate the water a bit, then go one by one with a rag to get the heavy crud off. Then a micro fiber rag to clean them up good and polish. 

 

Neat little hobby to see brand/colors others are throwing on your waters, and some quality baits to boot!

 

 

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Baking soda mixed in warm water and soak over night to start with. Tooth brush works good to brush off the residue in worm water. You may need to repeat the process a few times.

If the baking soda doesn't remove all the oxidation try white vinegar and water mix, about 2-1 water to vinegar and brush then rinse.

WD-40 may bring back faded color, spray on after cleaning, let sit a few minutes and wipe off. Don't Use WD-40 if you plan to repaint them, it leaves a film.

Tom

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I will try to post before and after pics of each of the baits.

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Remove all the hardware, and soak overnight in laundry detergent and Dawn mixture, not too concentrated. You'll have to rig something to keep them submerged, cause most float. rinse off and go over the remaining gunk with stiff toothbrush and the same mixture (don't get in your eye). Some will loose some or all of the paint, no big deal, the natural plastic, often resembling bone is a great color. For the ones that retain their color, buff out with brown paper bag, and polish with olive oil. I dive, so I get a lot of these things. Often, you can find a whole bunch on a snag made worse by braid.

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1 hour ago, Dirtyeggroll said:

Since the lake by my house is being drained, I thought I’d try to make the best of it.

Take pictures! This will be a good time to make a record of all the structure in the lake, rock piles, etc.

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Just now, Harold Scoggins said:

Take pictures! This will be a good time to make a record of all the structure in the lake, rock piles, etc.

Already on it. Scanning it with a drone weekly.

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Welcome to my winter hobby lol. I use a big bowl full of warm water, or something like an empty ice cream tub if you don't want to get your bowls nasty. Sinking baits I just drop in and let them sink, floating baits I hook a snap or paper clip to the bait and a heavy enough bell sinker to sink them. Let them soak for awhile and then scrub them with a scrub pad. That cleans up most baits pretty good, enough to fish them anyways. That Deps is going to be tough if it has the skin on it, not sure how that one will work. I'd guess you could remove the skin and try to clean the inside with a toothbrush or something. 

 

Finding baits like that is pretty addicting. I've never had a day like that. I've found a few dozen a couple different times but there's never been that many quality baits, usually a lot of cheap BPS, H2O, or Wal-Mart baits in the mix along with lots of SK and Bombers, then a couple higher end Spro, LC, or Megabass. The pre Rapala warts feel like finding a gold nugget. 

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47 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

That Deps is going to be tough if it has the skin on it, not sure how that one will work. I'd guess you could remove the skin and try to clean the inside with a toothbrush or something. 

 

Finding baits like that is pretty addicting. I've never had a day like that. I've found a few dozen a couple different times but there's never been that many quality baits, usually a lot of cheap BPS, H2O, or Wal-Mart baits in the mix along with lots of SK and Bombers, then a couple higher end Spro, LC, or Megabass. The pre Rapala warts feel like finding a gold nugget. 

The Deps actually cleaned up really nicely with a minimal amount of work.

F6A33806-5BB2-4D28-B67F-7848F8B30F61.thumb.jpeg.31b700af28e92ec21247a0a6fc03a066.jpeg

 

I really felt like I hit the jackpot. I drive by that lake everyday and everyday since August when they started talking about draining it I’ve been thinking “I’m going to go get my Flat75 back as soon as it’s low enough.”

 

Well it turns out that the landscape matting they had put down was like fly paper for crankbaits for more than just me! The stuff was just littered with them. There were at least a couple dozen spinnerbaits I left behind because I felt they wouldn’t be worth salvaging. I’ve only even covered a quarter of the bank, albeit the bank most fished. I think there are still more goodies to be found on what’s exposed and some of the most boat-fished areas with snags haven’t been exposed yet.

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I usually walk the bank lines, especially the north and south sides near popular fishing spots. Baits that are snagged but eventually float up or are broke of on fish and worked loose will end up on those banks and just be waiting to be picked up. I'll walk productive banks more than once and often find a surprising number the second time through. 

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Good find! I've found a few over the years, but never that many. As others have said, baking soda and an old toothbrush will clean them up well

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Nice find, excited to see all of them cleaned up.

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So far the baits have seen an overnight in baking soda and a scrub with dish soap and a toothbrush. I got excited cleaning them and forgot to take before pictures of all of them.

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Will get more pics later.

 

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Like others have said baking soda and water. I always let the baits I find soak for a day or so before I try to remove the crud that has built up on them. Makes cleaning them much easier. 

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Don't worry if some never look great. Fish won't care. I used to work with a guy that hung his hardbaits on the clothesline a few days before using them so they'd look "weathered".

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2 hours ago, the reel ess said:

Don't worry if some never look great. Fish won't care. I used to work with a guy that hung his hardbaits on the clothesline a few days before using them so they'd look "weathered".

I believe baits that look weathered and worn work better than the bright shiny ones. I saw a story about one the bass pros trying to get the shine off of his baits to make them work better.

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Cool thread, wish I could find a haul like that! Interested to see more pics of the finished product.

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One thing I have noticed so far is that all of the bills on the crankbaits have changed from clear to a more opaque milky white color.

 

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Deep divers with polycarbinate (Lexan) bills are clear transparent when new and can be polished to remove etched mate finish caused from being underwater and cleaned.

Bills that are circuit board reinforced fiberglass are opaque when new.

Opaque bills are cosmetic and doesn't affect performance, some are painted to match the lure body.

Tom

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I would do a test soaking in warm water with Oxiclean.

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On 11/17/2018 at 5:58 PM, Dirtyeggroll said:

I’ve been pretty depressed lately because I’ve been too busy with training/work to get out fishing much. On top of that, the lake near my house that just really started producing this year is closed and being drained due to zebra mussels. So now, when I do get a small window of time to fish I can’t. Additionally, its winter in Nebraska and the water about to get hard.

 

Since the lake by my house is being drained, I thought I’d try to make the best of it. I have lost a dozen or so crankbaits in that lake due to some landscape mat-like material they put around the jetties. Today, since the lake was really drawn I went to go see if I could find any of them. Specifically, I was looking for a 6th Sense Flat 75 in the original Wild Lava Craw pattern that is no longer available.

 

Long story short, I found it and about 100 other baits including a Deps 175, some megabass jerkbaits and some original wiggle warts!

1073151D-B9A1-41BA-AE6F-8777CA49518A.thumb.jpeg.364df668c3d4f3fe8acdacce1eb93f3e.jpeg

 

Now I need your help restoring them.

 

I plan to replace the hooks on all of them and the split rings on most.

 

However, I need help figuring out the best way to clean them up. So, I am asking for tips on how to restore these baits. Share your experience down below. Thanks!

Looks like you found a new hobby every year at draw down. Cool stuff.

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