I feel your pain.
One of the reasons I started painting Cranks was because I got tired of spending $15-$18 (and MORE) on a Crank and have the paint job disappear after 2-3 Pike.
What to do?
I started buying Cranks on Ebay (from sellers like myself) to see the quality of their clear coat, blanks and paint jobs. The first few I purchased had AMAZING paint jobs- but, again, after 3-4 Pike the amazing paint job was pretty much gone. It occurred to me that a thicker clear coat would be required for the lure to retain it's beautiful properties.
Now, I know that a lure is a lure- and they don't last forever. BUT, 3-4 Pike and it's toast??? I had to do something.....
SO, when I made the plunge to start Swamp Zombie Lures I decided I'd try to always apply the most clear coat I could afford, to make sure the lure would last a while. I wanted my fellow fishermen to not have to worry about Mr. Pike or Mr. Mudfish so much. The problem?? Adding a lot of clear coat changes the retail PRICE AND timeline on a finished product. It can also change the lures dynamics- in a GOOD way!
By adding more than your usual amount of clear coat it makes the lure heavier and changes the way it swims in the water, how deep it will eventually go, and how LONG it will suspend before rising to the surface. It also assures the EYES don't get scraped off immediately! (Nothing p's me off more than buying an $18 lure and having an eye fall out on the 2nd fish! LOL)
Now, some areas of the country don't have toothy critters and some do. Some guys PREFER lighter clear coats so they can have a lure that lightly enters the water, is LOUDER and will rise to the surface faster and is (obviously) cheaper.
SO, in the future, when you order a lure, you will have to tell me how much clear you want.
If you want an almost non-existent clear coat it will affect the overall price of my lure- but, I will not guarantee your lure will make it through too many "Pike Parties". I typically apply about $2 -$4 worth of epoxy resin on my regular lures. After checking out the competition my clear is usually about twice as thick as anybody else. What I call "2 layers" is similar to 4-5 layers from my competition. Keep this in mind when you are drooling over their paint jobs.....(lol).
Thanks for reading! And remember- a beautiful paint job is only relevant if it STAYS on the lure!