Fugawari, when you're ready, you send me an email and I'll gladly show you anything and everything that I can. I don't do this for a profession; in fact, I'm learning as I go. I knew very little about power tools before I started, but I just keep trying different things and reading and thinking about how to make the carving easier and cuts more accurate, etc.
ustoo2000, I started, not last summer, but the summer before using spray cans. A few months later, I bought a cheap airbrush. I already had a compressor in the garage. Eventually, I started buying other power tools to make the carving and shaping easier. I read all that I could and visited other internet sites about building baits. Its very much an underground thing. There are no magazines and very few books about this so I had to hunt around a lot to get info on supplies, etc.
The main reason I started was to have more control over the baits I present when musky fishing. Often the commercially made baits come in limited colors and sizes. I pay a lot of attention to what the muskies do and I was always wondering if a larger or smaller bait would have caused a "follow" to become a strike, or maybe just a different color. We've all seen how well certain colors and sizes seem to work on one lake versus another. So that's the way I got involved in this madness.
My brother is an artist (for a living) and he's showed me how to use an airbrush as far as the basics. From there I painted whenever I could, I study the baits that I like and look at the shapes and colors that produce muskies for me on my local waters. Eventually I bought a better airbrush. Its an Iwata HP-C, if you're interested, and I highly recommend it for this stuff; makes the painting easier and more accurate.
You will not save a nickel on this hobby unless you make a lot of baits and sell them (which does not interest me), but it has given me hours of pleasure, I've caught an awful lot of muskies in the last three years with my own baits, and I've made a lot friends, like Tigger and BigDaddy300 along the way, which is the best part.
I welcome any question that you guys have. I enjoy writing and talking about this stuff almost as much as using it and giving the baits to friends along the way.
For what its worth, I hooked up on a real pig of a musky on Sunday at Leesville on this bait:
He smashed it while we were trolling
a steep breakline and he behaved very
badly. He was not pleased and he let me know as soon as the rod loaded up and I grabbed it from the rod-holder...He was making those massive head shakes as he headed for the deeper water. About all I could do was hang on as he ripped drag at will; then suddenly launched out of the water across the other three lines we had out, and managed to get loose.
I was heart-broken for a few minutes, but those big dudes have all that poundage and torque and they sometimes get off somehow despite all those hooks. They do have an awfully boney mouth and sometimes the hooks just don't seem to find a sweet spot.
However, I was pumped that that particular bait performed because I built it with Leesville in mind. I've know of a lot of muskies on that lake that have been boated on Magnum Hot-n-Tots, so I build it with that in mind. At any rate, I was very pumped that a mid-40's fish ate that bait, when nothing else produced even a follow or a rip that day. Good sign, hopefully. And...
...naturally, I'm already building a few more bigger ones for the later season, ASAP: