We make many Water Wood crankbaits in both a high-gloss finish and a Satin Matte (SMS). Both have their applications, but we’re repeatedly asked about how we developed the SMS concept, and when it’s at its best. Those of you old enough to remember when cranking was its heyday on Carolina lakes like High Rock, Gaston and Buggs Island may recall that some of the old-time crankers would leave their plugs on the dashboards of their tow vehicles. You may have assumed that the goal was to fade the paint, and that might have been one benefit of the process, but the real goal was to take away the shine.
With a matte finish, like those old-school crankbaits, lures have a more natural, more discreet appearance in the water. A bluegill, bass or blue marlin above the surface may “light up” with color, and has a protective coat of mucus, but under the water they tend to be less gaudy. When fish are ultra-wary, that’s when the matte finishes come into play.
Don’t worry, the process by which we paint the matte finishes makes them remarkably strong and extra-durable. You can bang them into just about anything and they’ll maintain their appearance.