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How-To: Lesson One: The Basics

 

Lesson One: The Basics

by Mike Bromelow

Hello, I am Mike Bromelow, owner and artist of www.muskysnax.com, a custom lure company in Muskoka Canada.

I would like to show you how you can achieve a more realistic look to your own fishing lures. More and more lakes and rivers are getting fished harder and harder and fish do become lure shy over time. A great way to counteract this is by making your lure presentation as natural looking as possible. Most predatory fish feed by sight and the stimulus of a darting baitfish (your lure) often proves irresistible to them.

The first one I will demonstrate is a very basic rendering with some key anatomical features that will add pizzazz to your lure. Since my own lures feature carved details, I will demonstrate the first lesson on a rough cut out shape from scrap wood.

The first step after sanding the wood or plastic lure smooth is to add a coat or two of primer/sealer which will also serve a further purpose in the final lesson. I use Circa 1850 Prime-It Plus made by Canadian company Swing Paints.

I use a drafting table with an angled top and wires to support my lures while painting. You can simply lay them on a sheet of scrap paper or clamp one of the head or tail screw eyes in a bench vise.

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First we need to establish what the base color will be that will represent the outline of the scales of a fish. In this case we will use a transparent gray.

For this entire paint scheme I use my Iwata Eclipse HP-BS dual action airbrush which allows me to control the amount of paint and air very easily.

Using a sweeping motion across the lure apply a coat of gray which is sprayed thicker and darker on the back and gradually lighter towards the belly of the lure.

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After allowing this base coat to dry place some scaled pattern mesh over the lure which can be held in place with small clamps if you are holding the lure with each end supported. I simply have the top end of the mesh held in place with a spring loaded binder clamp and I use my free hand to hold down the bottom. This mesh can be purchased at a number of companies that sell lure making supplies or at a fabric store. Another good source of this material is a pair of fishnet stockings. Better ask the wife before borrowing her favorite pair!

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Now we spray the actual scale color though the mesh. For this demonstration I am using Opaque White. Spray the sides and not the back of the lure. The slight overspray will blend into the back nicely.

After spraying immediately remove the mesh being careful not to smudge the paint underneath. Voila! You now have some half decent looking “scales” on your lure.

Mist some Opaque Black over the back of the lure now letting some overspray blend onto the upper part of the sides.

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Now we need to add some eyes to the lure. My own lures have 3D plastic eyes but I will explain how to render some basic eyes using the airbrush. I have a stencil with a large number of circle sizes which I use to mask off the overspray when adding eyes. The first thing I like to do is to give a nice dark area for the eyes to be added. This makes them stand out even more.

I spray opaque Black freehand in a roughly circular pattern and then spray opaque White through one of my stencil holes for the next step.

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Now I switch to a smaller sized stencil hole and spray Opaque Black once more for the pupil. Add a little reflection with White to complete them. These are basic eyes but they can make a difference in how many fish will strike your presentation.

To protect the finished lure from hook scratches and teeth marks coat it a couple of times with a two part epoxy such as Circa 1850 Nu-Lustre-55. This will also serve to really give a high gloss wet look and really make the colors pop.

 

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To protect the finished lure from hook scratches and teeth marks coat it a couple of times with a two part epoxy such as Circa 1850 Nu-Lustre-55. This will also serve to really give a high gloss wet look and really make the colors pop.

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Iwata Medea is the wholesale distributor of Iwata, Medea and Artool products in North and South America, and the UK, and does not sell directly to customers at this time. To purchase Iwata Medea or Artool products, please check our dealer pages for a reseller near you. Or call our customer service team at 503-253-7308 ext. 2000, and we’ll help you find a local reseller.