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Is there a “plug” caster among us who has never tried out some model bait of his own invention and found that the greatest draw back to the success of his creation was the lack of a proper system of enameling the wood so that it is entirely waterproof as well as sound in color? Here is a kink in this line that the writer has developed and put to the test many times and found satisfactory:

After the sandpapering of the bait body is done and the sockets are neatly drilled for the hook- mountings and the small screw eye hole is drilled in the nose of the bait and you are figuring on what to enamel it with, get some white shellac already mixed from the paint store.

First of all, thin a little of the shellac with alcohol and “size” the bait with it, either by brushing it on or by dipping. Let this sizing dry well (overnight, say) to be sure it is well set. Now get whatever colors you wish for the bait, in dry form in either pigments or metallic bronzes. Mix whatever body color you desire in regular solution of shellac. Use just enough shellac to the amount of dry color required so that it will flow smoothly from the brush in applying.

Mix the color always just before the immediate time of applying, as it is better fresh. Use asmall flat brush and rapidly lay the resulting shellac-enamel on the bait in a smooth, thin coat. Hold the bait upon a large pin or sharpened wire stuck into the screw eye hole in the end. Hang the bait up for this coat to dry overnight.

Next day look the bait over, and, if not well covered, give it another body-tone coat. Again allow to harden for several hours. If desired to have the back of the bait colored or spotted with a different tint, mix this next and apply carefully, either by brushing on or stippling with the end of the brush. Do not forget that these shellac enamels must be applied quickly and deftly to be smooth. Allow the last coat to dry overnight and apply a coat of clear lacquer (by “clear” we mean as colorless as can be procured). This will set very quickly, as it is prepared in “banana oil” (amyl acetate), and furnishes a coat that is impervious to water.

Be sure and get the lacquer brushed well into the hook and screw-eye holes. When the lacquer is dry, the bait is ready for its mountings and then for business. Mountings and hooks may be removed from some old worn out “plug” and made to serve on the new bait body. Shellac is only semi-waterproof and requires the protection of the finishing coat of lacquer. Shellac is used instead of oil an laying on the colors, as it is not softened and run off by the ‘banana oil’ in the lacquer as the oil would be.

The writer has experimented with many methods of coloring and waterproofing casting-baits of his own “get up” and out of all the systems this is the only one that has satisfactorily stood the test.

A few artists’ flat fitch-hair or soft bristle brushes of assorted sizes, not exceeding a half-inch wide, is all the equipment necessary. Use an old dish or small tin can to mix color in, being careful that the receptacle is clean.

Katz, Harry N. Kinks A Book of 250 Helpful Hints for Hunters, Anglers and Outers. Chicago: Outers, 1917. Print.

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