Envirotex lite (also called “Etex”) is one of the better clear coating and adhesive systems available for lure making. Etex can be a bit painful to work with- but the right system will have it curing hard, super clear and glossy. And it’s such a tough, waterproof, scratch resistant lure coating it’s worth the effort!
For those not familiar with Etex, it’s a two part polyamide epoxy. Combining equal parts of resin and hardener (by volume) and mixing well gets the curing reaction started. The manufacturer reckons it reaches full hardness in about 24 hours, but I’ve found it gets even harder over the next few days. Just be prepared that the stuff will be a sticky dust magnet for a little while after coating lures…….
It can be challenging to measure and mix small quantities of Envirotex Lite. And since half to one milliliter is usually enough to coat an average lure, that can be a problem! And since you’ll likely to applying two or more coats of epoxy to multiple batches of lures you can find yourself facing this issue a lot!
Not only that, but because the Envirotex curing process is polymerisation (not catalysation), you have to mix exactly equal quantities of each part. Get the mix even slightly wrong and the stuff will stay sticky FOREVER (yep, no cure). Occasionally you’ll be able to strip your lure back to bare wood with thinners, but usually it’s a “chuck ’em and start again” job.
What’s needed is a system to accurately measure and dispense small quantities of this sticky, nasty liquid that you want to keep off your skin. So what’s the solution?
Getting Set Up To Measure And Dispense Envirotex Lite
Most lure makers have their own way of doing things – always plenty of ways to skin a cat! But the system described here has eliminated curing issues with Envirotex Lite.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A couple of plastic containers to hold your resin. I use medical specimen jars, which you can get cheaply from any pharmacy.
- A couple of 5 ml syringes. I prefer glass syringes for this, but plastic ones work too – just avoid the type with rubber seals as the Envirotex will perish them and get contaminated.
- Some disposable plastic shot glasses. I get 100 of these from the supermarket for $2.50
- Mixing sticks
- Disposable brushes
That’s it! All up this should cost you less than ten dollars. The specimen jars and glass syringes will last you for years and the shot glasses are cheap and disposable.
Simply drill a hole in the plastic lid of the specimen jar, making it just big enough that the syringe can be pushed in snugly. 1/8″ (3mm) or less is usually sufficient, depending on the syringe you’ll be using. Label the specimen jars and then about half fill them with Envirotex resin and hardener. Envirotex is pretty thick liquid, so you need to leave enough air in the container or the liquid wont draw into the syringe.
Dispensing Equal Amounts Is Easy!
Insert the tip of the syringe through the plastic lid to create a seal. To dispense some Envirotex or hardener, simply turn the whole lot upside down and draw the syringe slowly. The syringe is then discharged into the shot glass ready for mixing and brushing.
A good couple of minutes mixing is required to fully combine the liquids. Then let it sit for 10-15 minutes to allow some of the air bubbles to escape. Now you’re ready to brush the stuff onto your lures!
Oh, and be careful to always put the correct syringe back into the correct container!