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#11344168 - 01/13/16 04:47 PM Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101
Blue Moon Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 473


All the great posts in the lure building section of TFF have made it one of my favorite places to visit when I have a chance to catch up. For starters, many thanks and kudos to everyone that’s posting images and tips.

Besides fishing I’m passionate about wildlife photography. I enjoy catching a fish, taking a picture of it and using the image to create a lure to catch another fish. Making your own lures adds to the thrill of the chase.

This is an example of a simple lure you can make without an airbrush. It might look a tad better after I dust on some paint and a finish coat of epoxy but I thought some might enjoy seeing what a lure can look like just by using an image that you’ve taken of a favorite catch and cobbling the image into a lure.

The good news is no voodoo is required but you may need to conjure up a bit of Photoshop magic to transform your two dimensional image to fit your three dimensional lure. I use Photoshop to Warp the image into the shape of the lure.

If you don’t use Photoshop, no worries, just make sure you’re using a program that will allow you to resize, view rulers for reference, move and transform the image by warping it to fit the lure. If you’re not familiar with these techniques, refer to your graphics software help section or YouTube has great tutorials. It's especially important to understand how to resize and use the rulers but learning how to Transform and Warp images is the magic ticket as this technique will allow you to fit any image to any shape.



Once you think the image is a perfect fit, this is a good time to print one image on a standard sheet of paper, cut it out and test fit it to your lure with no glue. After this reality check, make any needed sizing adjustments. Repeat until it really is a perfect fit, save the image file as a master for future use. I suggest naming it the lure model and size so you’ll know what lure it fits. TIP - During this process make sure you know what side of the paper prints. If you don't know, put a small mark on just one side of the sheet of paper you'll use to print the test image and look for the mark after you print.

Now that you have your master image saved, duplicate the image and flip it horizontally. This will give you two images, one for each side of the lure. Stack the images vertically with at least an inch or two between the images. You’ll need this space later on.

The other important trick is to print the images on thin tissue paper. This is often sold as gift wrap tissue paper. Most likely you’ll need to use a glue stick to attach the tissue paper to a standard sheet of printer paper. Important - only glue the corners or maybe the corners and top border of just the tissue paper. Very important, do not put any glue directly under, or for that matter, close to where the images are going to print as you'll remove the tissue paper from the standard paper later on in the process.

Wait for the glue to completely dry before running it through your printer. Keep all glue between the tissue paper and standard paper only. It would not be a good idea to run any paper through the printer that has glue on top of the page.

Some glue sticks will lay down colored glue initially that turns transparent after it dries. Again, wait for it to dry. Another tip, make the tissue paper smaller by at least an inch on all sides than the standard paper it's mounted to. This will help it feed into your printer.

After you have your images printed on the tissue paper, the next step is to remove the printed tissue paper and transfer it to aluminum foil. I use 3M Acid Free Photo Mount spray for this step. Spray a light coat on the shiny side of the foil to cover an area only the size of the images on the tissue paper. TIP - I'd expect the tissue paper to be approximately 4x6 inches if you have two images stacked that will fit a 3 inch wide lure.



Let the foil tack up for a minute or so depending on the specific instructions for the spray mounting glue you’re using. While it’s tacking up, remove the tissue paper from the standard paper you used for printing. At this point don’t cut anywhere near your image, leave plenty of room around your images.

Mount the tissue paper with both images to the aluminum foil. I place a clean piece of paper over the tissue paper and use a Speedball rubber brayer roller made for printing and photo mounting applications but you can use any solid round object. The key is to apply light pressure by rolling over a protective, top layer of paper to keep from tearing the image. If you pull across the actual tissue paper it can easily tear. Roll out as many wrinkles as possible but don’t overdo it as you don’t want to tear the images.



Once the images are mounted to the foil, now it’s time to cut each image out. With a gentle touch, dry mount the foiled image to the lure first without any glue. Position the image so that it covers one side completely. Remove but keep the shape in the foil. If you’re using a diving lure you’ll need to cut a slit into the image so the image will fit around the diving bill.

When the image is shaped to fit, spray a light coat of the 3M Acid Free Photo Mount on just one side of the lure. Now apply the image you just shaped to the lure. After it dries for a few minutes, repeat the process for the other side. Tip – wear thin surgery style gloves throughout the mounting process.

Next, add a pair of eyes to your lure. Once the eyes are attached, apply a light coat of epoxy to the lure and hang to dry. Wait at least 24 hours before adding hooks.

Blue Moon


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#11344434 - 01/13/16 07:11 PM Re: Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101 [Re: Blue Moon]
Bradshuflin aka hunter'sdad Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 9111
Loc: Sanger, Tx/ Chatham, La
Awesome post something I want to get into when I can get the time to get it figured out.
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#11345005 - 01/14/16 12:35 AM Re: Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101 [Re: Bradshuflin aka hunter'sdad]
Blue Moon Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 473
Thanks Brad. I always look forward to reading your posts.

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#11345007 - 01/14/16 12:45 AM Re: Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101 [Re: Blue Moon]
Bradshuflin aka hunter'sdad Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 9111
Loc: Sanger, Tx/ Chatham, La
Thanks for posting I know it took a lot of time to put that together and photo finishing is not something discussed much on here. The computer skills is probably where I would have the problem getting the image to scale down properly to fit the bait has got to take some real skill. If it goes on anything like leaf or foil I would probably really be in trouble those to things kick my butt everytme.
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https://www.inseinefishing.com field staff

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#11345009 - 01/14/16 01:39 AM Re: Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101 [Re: Bradshuflin aka hunter'sdad]
Blue Moon Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 473
Food for thought, in the above 101 my goal was to keep it pretty simple to appeal to the numerous folks that seem interested in custom lures but are likely not set up with an airbrush yet. I figured everyone has a PC, access to free graphics software and a favorite picture of a trophy fish that they can use to spruce up an old banged up lure.

There’s good news for Brad and the other airbrush artists in the tribe, shaping the image to fit the blank is not nearly as critical since it’s so easy to fill in the voids with your airbrush. For that matter, anyone can use a small paint brush to fill in the voids. Of course it’s best to protect the frail inkjet image before you spray or brush water based paint on it unless you don’t mind it looking like a blurry blob.

Blue Moon

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#11347917 - 01/15/16 10:27 AM Re: Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101 [Re: Blue Moon]
Bois d'arc Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/24/14
Posts: 1358
Nice post...long overdue for a "how to" on photo finishes. Kudos to Blue Moon for stepping up clap

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#11349756 - 01/16/16 07:40 AM Re: Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101 [Re: Blue Moon]
Darrell Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: Richardson, TX
Geryl, that is just amazingly awesome..now have better idea of what you were talking about..future of lure finishes maybe
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#11350030 - 01/16/16 10:54 AM Re: Blue Moon’s Bluegill – Photofinish 101 [Re: Darrell]
Bois d'arc Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/24/14
Posts: 1358
Originally Posted By: Darrell
..future of lure finishes maybe


Photo finishes are awesome for sure. However, there are some issues. I've had some experiences where the hooks dug thru the finish and into the photo. Once that happened moisture getting under the photo caused the beautiful finish to ruin...blister and bubble up. Not saying that's always the case. Its happened to me...might be a fluke...maybe not. Still a great way to get a lifelike pattern on a lure...one that I'll be sure to try. texas

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