Custom Painted Crankbaits

Started by mygreenihc, April 10, 2022, 08:22:46 PM

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mygreenihc

I have been looking at some custom painted crankbaits and man,  some of them sure look good.  I have seen some where the realism is incredible,  others that you could get in whatever color schemes you could imagine.  Are the custom painted crankbaits worth the extra cost?  They look great,  but do they catch more fish and how do they hold up?  What are the pro's and con's of custom painted baits?


I think I would cry if I bounced a new custom $35 crankbait off a bridge pylon...


Brad

D.W. Verts

I sure wouldn't pay $35 for one. I wouldn't pay $10...

Dale
Old School Bass Fishin', My Hickbilly Life, and Hickbilly Outdoors with D.W. Verts on YOUTUBE!

bigjim5589

I know several folks who do custom painting on hard baits, and they all have a great talent. The con IMO, is that some of the lures they're painting, are mass produced knock-off's, and not the name brand lures being repainted. The price tag should be for both the better quality lure & the custom painting, and when that's the case, may be worth the price charged. But, with a knock-off lure, that they're buying fairly cheap & all you're really paying for is their fancy paint job, you can't be sure the lure will have an action that will be productive. Plus, if you check out 5 different people doing custom paint, they may all be using the exact same knock-off lure blanks, so what are you really getting?

I have several of those types of custom painted lures and cannot say they're any better than a stock, off the shelf type of lure like a Bomber, Bandit, or Rebel but I haven't really spent a lot of time fishing them and comparing to give a good evaluation. I don't feel the fancy paint alone makes them a more productive lure. I was looking at some that I have one night a few weeks ago and found one that had a flaw in the body. The guy I bought them from had painted the lure, even with the flaw, that is very evident. I bought these lures several years ago and this one was still in the box, and I never noticed the flaw until recently. Now, I have no idea if that lure will be worth fishing.

I subscribe to Lurenet's newsletter, the parent company that owns a number of the older name brands,  and they have a series of custom painted lures, where they make a limited run of perhaps 300 lures, and I have bought some of them.  I have as much faith in those lures as I do in the knock-off lure with a fancier paint job.

I have read comments that some of the knock-off lures do fish pretty well, but may not be exactly like the name brand. The Megabass lures such as the Vision ITO jerkbaits are a good example. They generally can be bought for $20 and up, but add a custom paint job and that really drives up the price. I've seen the knock-off version sell for $10 with a custom paint job and they claim they work very well.

If you know stores such as Barlow's Tackle in TX, or Jann's Netcraft in OH, they also sell the lure blanks and painted lures that all you do is add the hardware and can get a lure very inexpensively. I've had some of those lures too in the past, and I think I may still have some of them. I've caught fish on them, and didn't pay a lot for them. Here again, that's how I view some of the custom painted lures. The paint job may not make a lure anymore productive, than if buying & using those ready made painted lures that you have to assemble yourself.

I'm pretty much of the opinion that any lure can catch some fish eventually, and that's not only about the paint job on it. However, If I only want to pay for art, I'll buy a painting.  ~shade
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Princeton_Man

Quote from: mygreenihc on April 10, 2022, 08:22:46 PM
... They look great,  but do they catch more fish and how do they hold up?  What are the pro's and con's of custom painted baits?


I think I would cry if I bounced a new custom $35 crankbait off a bridge pylon...


Brad
They catch more anglers.

I've got boxes full of pretty crankbaits and jerkbaits, but the primary ones I use that catch fish are faded, scratched, discolored. Of those a couple were painted with spray cans by Dale. I have confidence in them. I've purchased a couple beautiful JDM baits that are incredibly lifelike and had stupid prices, but I don't believe Bass have an eye for artwork. There's certainly nothing magical about them and I have more confidence and luck with my old worn Lucky Craft and Strike Kings.
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Oldfart9999

Some of the older fisherman have baits with the paint chewed off and frankly don't look pretty any more yet they catch fish better than some with artwork on them. Those worn lures just flat out hunt, Fish most likely don't have the time to check the bait out for perfection of artwork, they see a general color and react.
Rodney
Old Fishermen never die, their rods just go limp.

D.W. Verts

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Smallie_Stalker

I'm  gonna be brutally honest here. I don't think that most of the regular crankbaits on the market today are worth the asking price. So as nice as custom painted cranks go........

The exception here is Dale's custom spray can painted baits. They flat out catch fish. He's working on some for me now in some colors I requested and I can't wait to get them and put them in front of some fish!

I also agree with much of what has already been said, especially the part about old worn beat up baits. Occasionally I have had to do a new clear coat to keep the bait sealed but other than that these are by far my first choice of cranks to fish.

If anyone is ever looking for a cheap easy way to get a realistic looking bait on the cheap you can get a very realistic "custom painted" look by using RealSkinz that are available from a variety of tackle suppliers.

Boil a pot of water, fit the "skin":over the bait and dip it in the pot and IMMEDIATELY remove it.  After it cools dip it in some clear coat and you've got an awesome bait for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

The skin shrinks and takes in the contours of the bait. No taping off bills and hook hangers. Hell you don't even need to remove the old paint if you're redoing an old lure.

Being that I'm primarily a crankbait guy I will admit to owning a few high dollar custom painted baits.

Do they outfish other cranks? Sometimes. Sometimes not. Just like anything else. Are they better than other baits just by virtue of their custom paint job? Absolutely not.

In hindsight I question why I ever had them done in the first place.

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fishballer06

I have a local friend who makes his living selling custom painted baits. He sells both blanks and repaints of popular name brand stuff (Rapala, Spro, Lucky Craft, etc).

With that being said, he paints up a bunch of stuff for me. Or rather did, until he got so big that he's now painting 100's of baits a week and traveling to shows around the country non-stop (including 3 times to the Bassmaster Classic). He's always charged me $5 a bait, but I believe his retail price is around $8-10 a bait. To me, it's a fair price if you want a bait color that's not available to the public. I've seen videos on how he does the entire process and there's lots of work involved in it.

I've since used other guys to custom paint some things for me and I've always been pleased with the results. To me, it's well worth the price.
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Oldfart9999

Quote from: D.W. Verts on April 11, 2022, 07:57:15 AM


Dale

Now them's some purdy looking veterans of the fishing wars. They show the scars with pride and have to be able to hunt to achieve their status of go to baits. Thanks for the pic Dale.
Rodney
Old Fishermen never die, their rods just go limp.

loomisguy

Dale , I'd  paint those warts.
If I see a custom color that I like I'll pick it up.
I have a SK 1.5  squarebill that was painted by a local guy I picked up while chewing the fat at a local tackle store. Kind of a shad with a purple back .Purple is never a bad thing on Table Rock and sure enough it's worked well.
But I will say the factory paint has gotten really good .

D.W. Verts

Quote from: loomisguy on April 16, 2022, 04:34:20 AM
Dale , I'd  paint those warts.
If I see a custom color that I like I'll pick it up.
I have a SK 1.5  squarebill that was painted by a local guy I picked up while chewing the fat at a local tackle store. Kind of a shad with a purple back .Purple is never a bad thing on Table Rock and sure enough it's worked well.
But I will say the factory paint has gotten really good .

Someday they'll get that paint. These are all late 80's baits, and they earned the scars. That baby bass, I could tell some stories. The chrome ones one Spring won me $22,000 in three weeks...

Dale
Old School Bass Fishin', My Hickbilly Life, and Hickbilly Outdoors with D.W. Verts on YOUTUBE!

Dink Dawg

I have some customs from Willamette Weapons.  They aren't crazy expensive and hold up really well.  There are patterns specific to my local waters, specifically the Columbia River pools. I changed the hardware on them however.