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Northbar Issues??

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bajanfish

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Is anyone else having issues with Northbar Darters and Bottle darters, taking on water? This has happened to me before and I just noticed that a new darter is filled with water after a handful of uses. 

If this has happened to you, did you figure out where the leak is? This is annoying!

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I’ve had a few.  But not right out of the package. Generally the leaks are on the seam or at the hook hangers.  Most likely caused by stress from catching/handling hooked fish or rock strikes on the cast or retrieve.  
Northbars can also be loaded with water.  Just hang the ones that leak up on a wire and watch them for a leaking area.  You can try and fix the leak with epoxy or superglue or try contacting Northbar and ask if you can exchange them. 

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1 hour ago, bajanfish said:

Is anyone else having issues with Northbar Darters and Bottle darters, taking on water?

 

I haven't yet. And I fish them mostly at the Cape Cod canal so they get banged up a lot on the rocks of the canal. Most lures that I've had issues with leaks typically come from getting hit on the rocks too hard, which leads to a crack that lets water in.

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The rear hook hanger seems to be the problem area. I've used epoxy to seal it in the past and will do so again. I just find it strange that the same area is allowing water to get in on multiple plugs. I'll try to reach out to them and at least let them know of my experiences.

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34 mins ago, bajanfish said:

The rear hook hanger seems to be the problem area. I've used epoxy to seal it in the past and will do so again. I just find it strange that the same area is allowing water to get in on multiple plugs. 

I think you'll have a superior and permanent final result if you use thin super glue / capillary tubing and backfill the hanger after clearing away any flashing instead of top coating using epoxy. 

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2 hours ago, SC said:

I think you'll have a superior and permanent final result if you use thin super glue / capillary tubing and backfill the hanger after clearing away any flashing instead of top coating using epoxy. 

Hi Steve,
Is this how you seal all plastic plugs?  Seems that I saw some of your sealing posts a while back--probably in a thread related to sealing RedFins--in which you might have suggested that one size should be sealed from the inside and the other can be sealed from outside, but I don't recall which sealing applies to the 5" RFs vs the 7" RFs.  

 

(Apologies to OP for perhaps veering off-piste.)

G.B.O.G.H. -- DT326

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."--M. Mead

Be safe, be smart, be kind.--Gary Crocker, Maine Humorist/Philosopher

 

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48 mins ago, Southcoastphil said:

Hi Steve,
Is this how you seal all plastic plugs?  Seems that I saw some of your sealing posts a while back--probably in a thread related to sealing RedFins--in which you might have suggested that one size should be sealed from the inside and the other can be sealed from outside, but I don't recall which sealing applies to the 5" RFs vs the 7" RFs.  

 

(Apologies to OP for perhaps veering off-piste.)

Yes that is how I sealed all plastic plugs. What the capillary tubing does is allows the deepest recesses to be sealed first (backfilled) in addition to reinforcing the link instead of a top down approach where the glue will skim, then harden before it ever reaches the deepest point providing little if any water intrusion or reinforcement benefits. 

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9 mins ago, SC said:

Yes that is how I sealed all plastic plugs. What the capillary tubing does is allows the deepest recesses to be sealed first (backfilled) in addition to reinforcing the link instead of a top down approach where the glue will skim, then harden before it ever reaches the deepest point providing little if any water intrusion or reinforcement benefits. 

Do you seal both sizes of RFs from the inside? 

 

Am I correct in that you're doing several thin(ner) applications, allowing the first (deepest) layer of adhesive to set up before continuing to the next one(s)?

For some reason I had it my head that you were sealing from the inside using 2-part epoxy, which had me wondering "HowTF do I drip epoxy in there?"  I have some very thin CA glue, with the curved, long, thin tips, so that makes a lot more sense, and requires much smaller access holes.

G.B.O.G.H. -- DT326

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."--M. Mead

Be safe, be smart, be kind.--Gary Crocker, Maine Humorist/Philosopher

 

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SC is the one to listen to here.
 

I will add that - in a pinch - the cotton from a q tip can be pinched off, stuffed into a gap or hole. It wicks up the thin CA glue getting a bit inside the body. Therefore, the effect is a bit more like a “plug” than a “cap.”

 

You can even experiment with baking soda in the mix after the first round.


(Adding to the cotton will make a really fast set very thermogenic reaction but it lessens the wicking.)

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11 hours ago, bajanfish said:

Is anyone else having issues with Northbar Darters and Bottle darters, taking on water? This has happened to me before and I just noticed that a new darter is filled with water after a handful of uses. 

If this has happened to you, did you figure out where the leak is? This is annoying!

Could you hold it underwater in a bucket and see if there are any bubbles showing where the leak is? 

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10 hours ago, Southcoastphil said:

Do you seal both sizes of RFs from the inside? 

 

Am I correct in that you're doing several thin(ner) applications, allowing the first (deepest) layer of adhesive to set up before continuing to the next one(s)?

 

I sealed every plastic plug that needed to be sealed in the same manner,

 

There are sometimes only one gluing application needed, sometimes several depending on the plug and internal void that's trying to be filled. What I did was clear the flash, insert the capillary tubing until it bottoms out and start squeezing in glue while slowly retracting the tubing as  the wire link area fills with glue until it is topped off and level. Leave plug alone and check next day if glue has settled reapply until it stops seeping in which means the void is now filled and there is no space for the water to leak in or the wire link to "wiggle" inside the plastic body. Never had a plug leak, pop open or link pulled out after this procedure. I suspect the reason many plugs leak in the first place is the round wire link resembles a "figure 8" or "infinity sign" which places the two round wire link legs  parallel but since link is round the small gap between the two round wires is an easy intrusion point. Often this area won't be noticed until the surface flashing has been cleared first. Many guys don't realize the links actually move in the body because they can't feel it with their hands because the movement is so little your flesh moves instead. Try holding the link with pliers and now you will notice a slight "rocking" between the link and the plastic. Sometimes noticeable, sometimes not noticeable and sometimes noticeable only after the flashing has been cleared but there is always a slight internal gap or the two halves wouldn't be glued together along the entire seam if there was resistance between the link and the inside of the body that houses the link.

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On 12/4/2023 at 5:28 PM, Southcoastphil said:

Hi Steve,
Is this how you seal all plastic plugs?  Seems that I saw some of your sealing posts a while back--probably in a thread related to sealing RedFins--in which you might have suggested that one size should be sealed from the inside and the other can be sealed from outside, but I don't recall which sealing applies to the 5" RFs vs the 7" RFs.  

 

(Apologies to OP for perhaps veering off-piste.)

No worries! I learned something new, so it's all good. 

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On 12/5/2023 at 7:52 AM, VanStaalSteve said:

I have been using and catching on Campo loaded Redfins for many years. These plugs are well over twenty years old and wear like iron. Never had one leak. They are also accurate as far as weight goes. I put them on a postal scale all the time and they are "dead on" always.

I also have used loaded Redfins for many, many years. I load my own and was gifted a bunch of Campo's. In thousands of fish and probably millions of casts, I have had a total of ONE fail. I also use a postal scale but am not as anal as Campo(not a knock), just lazier. Guys who say that color or rough sided makes no difference, haven't used them enough.

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