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Muddy

How Important is Paint and Detail to the Bass?

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Hey Fellas; How important to the bass, rather than the fisherman is the detail in painting lures?

I am especially interested in you fellas that have used a broad range of plugs, through out the years, and have seen the technology change so much, not to bash expensive lures.

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Just a plain chrome / blue back Norman out fishes everything else I own. My favorite one is all beat up and it still out fishes the rest. I mostly fish water with less than 2' of clarity so pretty finishes are not important to me. I have no problem spending money on baits either.

I believe a good action is more important than a nice paint job. Just my opinion and probably not a very good one.

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This is an excellent question, I've wondered this myself. Especially after looking at LC's and these Kopper Live lures, but Bandits/Bombers/Rapalas catch fish as well. $12 versus $5, hmmmmmmmm.

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I think there are days when it matters and days when it doesn't matter at all. For sure it will make a difference in very clear water. But I really don't catch any more bass on the LC baits than I do on the Bombers, Bandits, Rapalas and so forth and I have a nice selection of those expensive baits, but they are not magic.

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Action and color matter but I do not believe detail does. Detail catches a lot of fisherman though:)

x2.

they may be able to pick out things we don't notice but, if bass could see detail as well as humans, they would never try to eat a spinnerbait.

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I have put a lot of thought into this topic. In some situations, the paint and detail can be very important. Most of the time though I do not think it's as important to the fish as it is to the fishermen.

I'll start with where I think it's necessary, swimbaits, some topwater, and some jerkbaits. Swimbaits I think particularly those that are either fished very slow or dead sticked. These presentations, especially dead sticking, I think are the ones that bass really have time to look at and notice. Since they are larger, the detail really stands out. I think it might come into play some on topwater lures and jerkbaits in ultra clear water when you are utilizing a very long pause in your cadence. Not near as much in the larger swimbaits though.

Now my take on color and details in cranks, and other hardbaits. I think that the majority is to attract fishermen. Action is the most important part. For paint, I don't think the ultra real patterns matter. I want to use something that contrasts well as I think that fish can see contrast better. Most of cranks have either a white or chartreuse belly with a blue,black, brown, or green back. I think that the speed at which you retrieve and the movement of the crank doesn't allow much time for the fish to see all the little details and color. Now in clear water, lures that have reflective finishes or those like the Lucky Craft MS patterns I think work because of the different colors that shimmer from the light. Another thing mook, most of my producing lures have painted on or sticker eyes. Not very detailed but they catch more fish for me than lures with plastic or glass eyes.

Sorry for the length but that's my stand.

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I think that having the right color is important.  I'm pretty sure the detail doesn't matter at all as long it is up to minimum standards. 95+% of bait companies today produce what I would call mimimum acceptable detail.  In addition, color is probably overrated, but you do need to be able to understand which colors show up the best in clear, stained and muddy water.

I like expensive baits, but I also fish some that are mid level and bottom level as far as pricing.  Heres the thing I think you miss in the expensive bait argument, Muddy.  Sometimes its not about the detail  paint or how much you paid.  Its about having something different.  Every Tom, Dick and Harry out there is throwing a Bill Lewis Rattle Trap.  On our super pressured lakes here in TX sometimes the difference between a few fish and a lot is just throwing something a little different.  I honestly believe that on Lake Fork when the trap bite is on and everbody is throwing traps the guys that CAN fish and is throwing an Xcalibur trap is going to outfish the guy that CAN fish and is throwing a Lewis trap.  I emphasize can b/c the fisherman is more important than the bait.  Sometimes, or a lot, on pressured lakes its about being different whether that be action, sound, vibration or profile.  

Imo, it is very difficult to find a lot of differences in the lower end of the bait market.  Plus, even when you can find some differences on the low end of the market the low price point means more people are probably fishing that bait, and if you are as well you are really not presenting something that unique.

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Action and color matter but I do not believe detail does. Detail catches a lot of fisherman though:)

x3 ;)

x4. Detail matters in super-clear water but for the majority of situations its not super important (although it definitely doesn't hurt). I catch more bass with highly detailed lures because I have a lot of confidence in them, not because the details are so attractive that the bass can't resist them. However, I do think its kind of hard to say that color matters and detail doesn't. In many cases, color and detail go hand in hand.

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I agree that what you have confidence in is going to help you catch more fish but I don't believe that a fish can see the little scale indentations on a lucky craft as it's running through even the clearest of water...

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After all these years, nobody really has quantifiable evidence answer to that question - - perhaps that is (in some degree) an answer in itself.

In my personal experience, a lure's ACTION, SIZE, and PROFILE are the biggest triggering attributes.  The color itself also plays a role, and increasingly so (it seems) in highly pressured / clear water.  Emphasis on the basic color - - not the detailing.  

If you don't believe it plays some roll, then spend time fishing bass schools (deep cranking structure, etc...) when oftentimes you can trigger more fish by switching to a different color of the same bait.  It can make a difference.    

As far as minute detailing goes, I don't have a dogmatic answer, but with bass being the predominately sight-feeding creatures they are,  I wouldn't put it past them to get picky in certain situations (suspending jerkbaits in super-clear water comes to mind).    

That's the kind of stuff I fish in the winter, and I don't know how many times I've looked down in the water at my Pointer and watched a bass just sitting behind it, staring at it.  If fish are going to pull that junk on me I'm more confident with something that looks realistic.

But, as usual, I'm sure a lot of fish this year are going to disprove a lot of the stuff I believe......I have ample examples of both to stick in front of their noses and they've yet to make it clear which one they really prefer, so I don't think I'll really trip on it too much.  

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Coming from someone that is making his living right now on custom paints,  :;).

I feel like bmadd got it right. I custom paint lures and the ones that make a difference, both financially and fish catching, are the ones on jerkbaits and swimbaits. I also notice a difference on some of the cold water, tight action cranks like Shad Raps. Remember I fish a lot of clear water here in Virginia.

Clear Water + Slow Moving Lure + High Pressure = Need for more detail.

That's my experience anyways. It also adds confidence for me which can be greater than anything else.

Thad

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I think it is very important in some situations, but minimally important in most. My most productive crankbaits are not the ones with the most realistic paint jobs, but are the ones with the profiles and actions bass usually like best.

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I think with a crankbait all the extreme detail is a waste.  How often do you dead stick a crank bait so the bass can come over and take a good look at it?  More importantly IMO is using the right colors and shades of colors that give off the correct flash to imitate the bait fish the bass happen to be feeding on.

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Although I love to look at and collect beautiful and detailed baits I do not think it makes much diference at all to the fish.

Vibration signature and action are what I depend on with size being a consideration in some situations. Have always felt that if I have black, white and either a green or brown color I do not feel undergunned. My father who was partially color blind, he could not really tell shades of colors, said he always selected baits (in tough conditions) by selecting the ones with the most teeth marks. Since I also make and paint baits, the advice I give is to send those baits for repaint that you already know catch bass and have them painted in your confidence colors rather than a new untested bait. If you were to buy 4 new baits, same make/model and color, one of them will catch more fish than the other three. The fisherman may not be able to detect the difference but the bass sure can.

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I have several lipless crankbaits that the fish wouldn't hit untill most of the paint had been removed. So you will find me scuffing up some new ones with steel wool from now on.

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I think that question is impossible to answer to the extreme end. I do believe that details can matter in certain situations. Bass bite for mainly three reasons,

1.feeding, 2.reaction, and 3.defending territory (nest or fry).

Feeding is usually a site type bite and in clear water, detail, color, and size are important.

Reaction bites are instinct and happen too quickly to be detail oriented.

Defending can be detail driven, such as chasing bluegills away, but without hands a bass will pick up everything with his mouth and move it safely away.

There are always exceptions, but I like natural looking baits and they give me more confidence.

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. I STATED that THIS IS NOT TO TRASH EXPENSIVE BAITS !

What this is about is I asked another member about powder painting my own jig heads, to fend off some of this cabin fever, and he suggested buying an air brush and repainting some of my plugs. I was looking to see what some of the experienced members thought about such detail, because I am no one for arts and crafts, and not one to paint a bait for the beauty of it. I am a functional type of guy

You want a change from the norm, I will give you one I was fishing a lake where Bomber 8A's in crawfish were hot. Every boat I saw was throwing them I went to a Rapala DT, in crawfish and I keep an exacto knife in my crank box. I whittled away part of the lip and slighly threw the eye out of a true strait tune.Result; Fatter profile, different wobble; I cleaned up.

To those that responded to my question, Thank You. I will not be getting an air brush. I throw jigs a lot more than plugs and was looking for some experience and knowledge, Thank you giving both so freely

Dominick

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I have tried everything from $20.00 plugs to .99 cent plugs. The only thing that I think make a difference is the hooks. with your pricy plugs you get better quality hooks. I spent numerouse amounts of money before i discovered this. I have found that by buying the lessor of the two evils a simply changing the hooks saves huge and I still catch fish with the less expensive ones. 8-)

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Ok you guys might be suprised with my answer. On most baits like spinner baits, buzz baits, crank baits, jerk baits, and soft plastics, etc detail means almost nothing. NONE of those baits look like real fish. they look like lures. Now the colors can be verry important but fish dont see the detail on those baits. They are reaction baits. fish see a moving vibrating image and react. Back when I use to fish Rapalas I would catch a bunch of fish on the simple foiled baits with black on top. When the "new" ones came out with the shad images on them I thought they would be an improvemnet. I was wrong. The simple black silver ones would out fish the "fish" ones 10 to 1.

In soft plastics the fish get a good look at the baits and I think detal could hurt them. They are usualy very simple in design and the fish dont see anything wrong with them.

Now where detail is VERRY important is when a bait realy does look and act like a real fish. When fishing "real" swimbaits, the baits are made to look like real fish and they are generaly worked slowly so the fish get to look them over. This is where detail becomes important.

I also think color is always important except at night.

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I am especially interested in you fellas that have used a broad range of plugs, through out the years,  and have seen the technology change so much, not to bash expensive lures.

Maybe you should of tried putting jigs there.

. I STATED that THIS IS NOT TO TRASH EXPENSIVE BAITS !

What this is about is I asked another member about powder painting my own jig heads, to fend off some of this cabin fever, and he suggested buying an air brush and repainting some of my plugs. I was looking to see what some of the experienced members thought about such detail, because I am no one for arts and crafts, and not one to paint a bait for the beauty of it. I am a functional type of guy

You want a change from the norm, I will give you one I was fishing a lake where Bomber 8A's in crawfish were hot. Every boat I saw was throwing them I went to a Rapala DT, in crawfish and I keep an exacto knife in my crank box. I whittled away part of the lip and slighly threw the eye out of a true strait tune.Result; Fatter profile, different wobble; I cleaned up.

To those that responded to my question, Thank You. I will not be getting an air brush. I throw jigs a lot more than plugs and was looking for some experience and knowledge, Thank you giving both so freely

Dominick

You are much braver in your PM's.

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Hey Fellas; How important to the bass, rather than the fisherman is the detail in painting lures?

I am especially interested in you fellas that have used a broad range of plugs, through out the years, and have seen the technology change so much, not to bash expensive lures.

The issue was between you and I and not the whole forum

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Ok you guys might be suprised with my answer. On most baits like spinner baits, buzz baits, crank baits, jerk baits, and soft plastics, etc detail means almost nothing. NONE of those baits look like real fish. they look like lures. Now the colors can be verry important but fish dont see the detail on those baits. They are reaction baits. fish see a moving vibrating image and react. Back when I use to fish Rapalas I would catch a bunch of fish on the simple foiled baits with black on top. When the "new" ones came out with the shad images on them I thought they would be an improvemnet. I was wrong. The simple black silver ones would out fish the "fish" ones 10 to 1.

In soft plastics the fish get a good look at the baits and I think detal could hurt them. They are usualy very simple in design and the fish dont see anything wrong with them.

Now where detail is VERRY important is when a bait realy does look and act like a real fish. When fishing "real" swimbaits, the baits are made to look like real fish and they are generaly worked slowly so the fish get to look them over. This is where detail becomes important.

I also think color is always important except at night.

Bingo  ;)

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