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How to make your own Peacock Bass Jig – Part 2 (of 3) 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:38 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
Part 2 (of 3) - How to two-tone powder paint, cure, affix 3D eyes, and apply an epoxy coat to your jig heads

Part 1 link: http://www.peacockbassassociation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1269

Part 2 teaser picture: http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3170/20110716006.jpg

In Part 1, I covered how to custom make your lead jig heads with the 3X strong Owner 5319 hook. In this installment (Part 2), I will cover the finishing treatment of the jig head itself (applying paint, eyes, and epoxy), and then in September, I will go over the final steps of construction (Part 3) by adding a rattle, a two-tone bucktail trailer, and the two-tone bucktail body.

To begin with, there is some healthy debate out there as to the importance of painting your lead jig heads. There are those (including Amazon guides) that argue that no paint is necessary and the natural dark silver color is the best choice period. On my last trip, our hostess made jigs (w/o painted heads) for those that were running low each night. When I asked her about why she didn’t use painted heads, she simply said that she just makes what is supplied to her, and that she only gets jig kits that include pre-made bare heads that are commercially produced in bulk. Therefore, I suspect that some of the bias towards unpainted heads is based on convenience as you don’t have to melt your own lead, then powder paint your own heads (which is no small task), and that in the end, maybe it just doesn’t make a material impact when it comes to attracting strikes.

Well, if it doesn’t matter, then having fun painting your heads can’t hurt, and maybe it could make a difference (at least in the aesthetics department). Further, there is wide support in making jigs with two-tone bucktail, so why not continue that premise with the jig head? I chose to make heads in two colors instead of just one, because it is not a hard extra step and the heads look very nice with that added detail.
I also do an additional step when painting my jig heads, which is to not apply paint to the hook eye. A paint free eye saves you from having to clean out excessive paint (which can form when curing the jig paint), weakening the line knot if the paint chips and has a sharp edge, and it gives the jig a nice clean look.

Eyes! You jig needs to see right? Most hand-made peacock jig sellers use flat sticker eyes, but there are a few that use 3D eyes. I think a nice scared wide-eyed jig looks great, and the bigger the better in my opinion. I specifically selected the Do-it brand Ultra Minnow jig head mold because it can accommodate up to a ¼ inch 3D eye. The downside of the 3D eyes is you need to apply an epoxy coating over the eyes so they don’t fly off the first time your jig hits a tree, but an epoxy coat is also a good idea to help add a layer of strong paint protection as well.

Supplies needed for a red/yellow jig head:
- Jig heads
- Two 2 oz. jars of red powder paint (Pro-tec brand or equivalent)
- 2 oz. jar of yellow powder paint (Pro-tec brand or equivalent)
- 2 oz. bar of white Sculpey brand oven-bake clay (or equivalent from local craft store)
- Wagner brand HT1000 Heat gun (or equivalent)
- ¼ inch 3D adhesive lure eyes (chose the color that best matches the bucktail on the underside of the jig (i.e. yellow eyes for a red/yellow jig)
- 1 oz. package of Devcon brand 2 ton epoxy w/ a 30 minute working time (or equivalent)
- Paper plate and toothpick to mix epoxy
- Small 4x2x2 container (needs to fit the jig head being lowered into it length-wise and not head first)
- Forceps
- Needle nose pliers
- Small pointed tip paint brush (for the powder paint)
- Small disposable flat tip paint brush (for the epoxy)
- Exacto knife
- 3M brand Professional Faceshield (or equivalent)
- 3M brand Respirator Mask (or equivalent)
- Lurepartsonline.com brand Lure Finishing Rack w/ both a side and middle bar removed (or equivalent)
- Optional - Powder paint fluid bed (I have an EBAY home-made equivalent to a FB-3 Powder Paint fluid bed)
- Optional - Table vice to hold heat gun in place

Area preparation:

Set up in a well-ventilated work area or garage. The paint in its powdered form will get on the floor and table area. It is nice to put a plugged in heat gun face up into a table vice but an angle away from your face. If you don’t have a vice, you’ll need to be ok with putting the gun down on a surface that can withstand the high temperatures of the gun.

Close to the heat gun, pour about 3 oz. of red powder paint into the powder paint fluid bed cup (but don’t plug it in b/c it has no on and off switch, at least mine did not). I listed the bed as optional, but I strongly recommend it. For those that don’t know what the bed does, it is a device that pushes air into the cup filled with your power paint to keep it fluffy so that you get a nice thin coat of paint on your jig. I wish I had bought it earlier than I did b/c I wasted a lot of heads applying the paint incorrectly without the bed. The reason for the 3 oz. is you want enough depth in the cup that you can cover the entire jig head with one heads first dip.
Put about an oz. of the yellow paint in a long shallow container so that you have about a half-inch of paint and make sure a jig lowered horizontally can be easily dipped into it. Then have the lure drying rack close by.

Jig preparation:


Covering the jig eye with Sculpey takes a bit of practice, but give yourself a few tries before you commit. Take a pea size or smaller piece of the clay and roll it into a ball, then press the ball against one side of the jig eye. As you press, wrap the sides of the clay that form around the other side of the eye and pinch the top so the eye is fully covered. The tricky part is making sure you have a little space between the clay and the lead body of the jig head. If you don’t have the space, your paint will not fully cover the jig head up to the hook eye.

Preparing the paint:

Put on your respirator mask and your face shield (or safety goggles) and then plug in the fluid bed with the 3oz. of red paint in the attached container (this should turn it on). The air coming through the cup should make the red powder bubble similar to boiling water. If you don’t see bubbles, you might need to adjust the air flow knob. The pressure will make the dust fly around a bit, and if you are not wearing your mask be prepared to see that paint color the next time you blow your nose!
Then take the bottom of the paintbrush and stir the yellow paint in the shallow tray. This is a very important step (and do this after ever few jig head dips), and the paint settles quickly and will cake up on your jig head.

Heating the jig head:

With the forceps, clamp down on the jig’s hook about a half inch from the point on a slight angle. You want the angle to support the jig going head first into the fluid bed with the red paint as well as being able to horizontally dip it into the tray with the yellow paint.

If you have long hair make sure you secure it before using the heat gun, and never lean into the gun b/c it gets shockingly hot and can easily burn your face, eyebrows, etc. (luckily I am not talking from experience here, but there were some close calls).

Turn on the gun and wait a few seconds to let it “glow?. Hold the forceps with the jig on it directly over the gun about a half inch from the mouth of the gun. I had success counting from 1 to 8 slowly while turning the head continuously to make sure all sides were heated up. You don’t want to overheat the jig as it will melt too much power paint to itself. This will take some trial and error, so be prepared to screw up a few jigs until you get the count and process right.

Applying the main coat to the jig:


For any two-tone jig head, the main coat will be the color on top of the jig, or in this case the red color. Taking the heated jig away from the heat gun, you then plunge it head first into the fluid bed with the bubbling red powder. QUICKLY remove it, you want it in the paint for just a split second, ant longer and your poor jig will be a gooey mess. Once you remove it give it a few taps on a hard surface to help the paint settle. It is ok if you get some paint affixed to the hook itself (that is easily removed later).

With the heat gun still humming, inspect the paint on the jig. It should have “flowed? or melted into a shiny coat. If it looks “dry?, you probably did not heat the jig head enough and you will have some more work to do. If that is the case DON’T dip it back in the fluid bed, as adding additional full layers of paint will not work out in the end (paint will be too thick). Best bet is to put it back over the heat gun for a few seconds to melt the paint, then remove it from the heat. Inspect the jig and to see if there are not visibly too thin or exposed lead spots on the jig. If there are, take your pointed paint brush and dip it into the fluid bed and get a bit of powder paint on it. Carefully tap the top of the brush so it will sprinkle paint down the head where you want the paint to fill in. Once that is done, put it back over the heat from the gun for a few seconds and inspect again. Keep doing this until you have a nicely painted head with no gaps.

Now you can take your pliers and pull up on the clay over the eye. Make sure the paint got under the clay so it covers the head up to the hook eye metal. If not, don’t remove the clay, and tap paint under the clay to get that area covered and like before, put it back over the heat to melt the paint.

Applying the two-tone coat to the jig:

Once you have removed the clay and the jig has a great red base coat, you are ready to apply the yellow paint to the bottom of the head. Take your time on this, you only have one good chance to get this right. Heat the head again for a few seconds, then very carefully dip the lure length-wise into the yellow paint container so that the paint goes halfway up the head, then quickly remove it. It should be in the yellow paint no more time than it takes to dip it and remove it.

Hopefully you made a successful dip and then you can once again heat it for a few seconds over the heat gun then you can hang it on the cooling rack and start the process over again for your remaining jig heads. Don’t forget to re-stir the yellow paint before you dip the next head into it.
Preparing to cure the jig heads:

Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 325 Degrees (follow instructions for you powder paint brand). It is not recommended to cure jigs in ovens that you cook food in (but I don’t think there is a health risk, but if your paint drips in the over it will cure hard as a rock wherever it lands).
If you got paint on the hook itself and you don’t want the paint to harden there, you can scrape it off with an Exacto knife as your oven pre-heats. You can also scrape any paint that might have made it on the hook eye.
Once pre-heated, you can put in your hanging rack right into the oven or even hang the jigs individually on an oven rack bar. You should space them apart, because after they have been heated, if they touch each other, they can stick together or screw up your pant job.

Curing the jig heads:
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes (see your powder paint instructions for exact time). Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before you try to touch them. Once cured, the paint will be very hard and resilient.

Affixing the 3D eyes and applying the epoxy coat:

Even though paint has cured on the jig, the paint can still chip when striking a tree, etc. when casting. The epoxy coat gives it one more layer of protection for the paint and it will help prevent the 3D eyes from coming off.

Prepare the epoxy by mixing its two parts with a toothpick on the paper plate. You will have about 30 minutes to paint your heads before you need to make another batch of epoxy (but it started to firm up in just 5 minutes). When ready, affix the 3D eyes to the jig then with your flat end brush, simply paint on a single layer of epoxy over the painted jig and eyes. You want to avoid getting epoxy in the eye of the hook and on the collar (where you will tie the bucktail on) of the jig head. Be sure not to paint on too much epoxy because it can pool up at the end of the jig when hung to dry on the lure rack.

You can handle the jig head in two hours, but it is best to wait until they cure in 8 hours before you move to the final tying stages.

All that is left is the final stage … Part 3 will be next.
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How to make your own Peacock Bass Jig – Part 2 (of 3) 
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