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Fluid bed "system"

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7 hours ago, Capt Bob LeMay said:

When you visit a tackle shop or big box retailer and get a look at what's being sold in the way of leadheads and bucktail jigs you won't find many that are well done and also come with good hooks that are the right sizes to actually work well.  Once you start doing your own it's not hard to come up with a superior product... 

Amen brother. My excuse for doing all the things I do from scratch. Many people think it's excessive. Like I have some kind of problem.... which I don't. 😁 No really, I don't.

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Where we fish there really are fish that can destroy a hook... so you learn early on to pay attention to more than just hook style and size.  Yes, there are times when I’ll deliberately use a light wire hook for a specific fly pattern, etc.  But in general it’s stronger, sharper for hooks used with jig heads.  The outfit that makes them for me is very good about using the specific style and size I need.  At times they’ll even make heads with larger hooks if I ask for them (some fish, like big snook actually stay attached better with a size or two larger hook).

Tackle makers for the mass market are often doing the opposite trying to keep costs down and improve profits... A bad deal for ordinary anglers who don’t know much about what really works...

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I'm sure you get way better bulk pricing but for us little guys, the guys selling "custom" bucktails or jigs sell at insanely high prices because they use a 25 cent hook over a 15 cent hook. I enjoy making my own because if I'm paying 4 to  8 bucks for a bucktail I'm not throwing it anywhere near a rock or a wreck. With something that cost me a quarter to make I'm fearless and I don't mind retrying. 

I generally use cheap eagle claw hooks because I don't see many hook wreckers and frankly it's a good hook. Hook size is an issue with molds but I found you can go up 1 hook size with no issues. If you want to go up bigger, the molds are aluminum and easy to modify in a couple minutes with a few passes from a small file and a flat drill bit for the eye. 

By the way Capt. Bob, I've notice you do a lot of red jig heads so they must be hot sellers down there. I bet that translucent red would fly off the shelf. 

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Maybe so,  but I rarely ever take an order for a shop anymore.  All of my stuff is made to order for local anglers...  The heaviest I make these days are only one ounce and they're only a bit more than $3 each.  If you look at heavier stuff though (in the 2 ounce and up category) then prices do get high - mostly because the price a manufacturer has to pay for lead has gone up considerably since I got started back in the seventies.   A hobby lure maker that has scrounging opportunities (old lead tire weights, pistol ammo mining, etc.) can get their lead for free but production types really feel the  cost of lead nowadays.  Looking back on it I can still remember young divers who could harvest lead weights around fishing piers and similar places - but that was long ago... 

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I use old fedex envelopes instead of coffee filters.  The white ones that feel like tyvex  house wrap. If you have house wrap you can use that. I don’t think it is any better but it sure is more durable. 

For basic colors you can’t beat the price of harbor freight for the powder. I also mix in my own colors to the basic white powder.  Its not suppose to wrk according to the experts but works fine for me. Look for powder based colors. In the industry they are called lakes.  Dyes are water soluble, lakes are not. 

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Yes I've tried the house wraps and various envelopes and found them to be under performers. Everything will work to some degree but the pictured coffee filters work far better than anything I've tried and I've tried a lot. 

Could also be the type of fluid bed used and the air pump as well. If you drink coffee give the pictured filters a try, for your coffee and powder painting, and let us know your results. I sure would be curious how they handle in other set ups. I buy them at WalMart.

Capt. Bob, I can still get barrels and pallets of free very dirty lead. Well at least free buckets as I'm sure if I wanted barrel and pallets they may charge me a few pennies a pound. It's not like it use to be but it's still out there and it's easily obtained if you know the right people. 

I certainly understand the price if you have to buy lead factored in with time spent tying them. I'm just to cheap to pay the price. Choices are a great thing. 

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Cheap even free lead down here in paradise seems to be a thing of the past...  wish that weren't so since one of my molded lead suppliers always says that I'd be able to trade what I need for some lead (that he must use by the ton... ).

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I use a regular filter material that a guy on another board sent me.  you can get it at TJ's tackle https://www.tjstackle.com/   I use automotive powder paint and it works just as good as CS and is WAY cheaper.  I've been really lucky I've never had to pay for lead!!  

 

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On 5/23/2020 at 11:33 AM, Fatman said:

I use a regular filter material that a guy on another board sent me.  you can get it at TJ's tackle https://www.tjstackle.com/   I use automotive powder paint and it works just as good as CS and is WAY cheaper.  I've been really lucky I've never had to pay for lead!!  

 

I bought my fluid bed & extra cups from TJ when he was discontinuing 4" beds. Also buy all my powders by the pound, industrial/commercial types, although the one supplier sells it for lures too. I suspect what's sold for lures is the same powders, with various additives, and repackaged. 

 

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When I was a kid, and and then an older kid, I used to melt lead for hours in a closed room. I used to pour jigs commercially and also poured the heavy lead heads we used in Lake Superior for deep jigging for myself and several friends. It's hard to pin down any one reason since I also smoked until I was about 28 or so, worked in a taconite mine, and did a lot of sanding and sheet rock. Mostly I wore mask for a lot of the dust conditions but even so I developed COPD and am now using meds to keep the lungs working. I would think many many hours of pouring lead, even if it was years ago, didn't help my lungs any.

Back then I used a lot of different paints and never had any spray or dip I was even happy with. When I started doing bass jigs I got some colors of powder paints to try and these worked quite well but like mentioned, dipping was not the best way to do it. I did mix several colors once and came up with an army dark olive green that was by far my most popular bass jig color. Something about it was just right for them. Poured them with the fiber guard in and also with the hole plugged and then epoxied in the fiber guard. Epoxy was more work but gave a better overall appearance and held up fine in heavy use. The power paints held up better than any other colors I ever used.

You guys using the air blower dip tubs are doing some great looking work and by cooking after pour I can see how they can hold up banging rocks better than almost anything else you could use.

 

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It's not a wonder paint, they still chip rather easily against a rock. I lose jigs at such a rapid pace that paint chips don't bother me since I rarely take home the ones I fished. I fish pretty much all rocks but when I go flounder fishing they seem to hold up well on sandy bottoms. 

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