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Old 04-21-2009, 09:44 AM
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Default Removing rust from lures?

Looked in my tackle box yesterday and found I have about 50 Phelps Floaters that got wet and have rust on the hooks and their bodies. Does anyone have any good ideas how to clean these? I would hate to have to throw them away. Thanks
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:55 AM
elway12 elway12 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 203

A product called Naval Jelly. It is a slimy substance you can get rust off almost anything. Just becareful to follow the directions on how to use. Or you could use a dremel and sand them but the jelly will get rust off. My grandfather got me using it after I saw how he made a heavily rusted 1930 Schwinn bike into looking like a brand new!
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:40 PM
Eyesrfn Eyesrfn is offline
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Try shower fresh, just spray them down, wait a couple of minutes, then rinse. used it before on a bunch of jigs that got rusted, worked better than i thought it would.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:19 PM
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walfshmn walfshmn is offline
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Location: Spokane WA.
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Try WD-40. I just cleaned up an old rusted crescent wrench and it took all the rust off. I just sprayed it down and let sit for a couple days , wiped it off and most of the rust was gone. Sprayed it again and waited overnight and wiped it off again and all the rust is gone.
Using chemicals might soak into the floater and turn the fish off.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:38 PM
Bill Krejca Bill Krejca is offline
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As future precaution, after you remove the present rust, you might want to keep a few desiccants in your tackle boxes. I get mine from my used medicine/pill containers. They absorb the moisture that can get in when the baits are put away wet.

Bill Krejca
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:52 PM
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Terroreyes Terroreyes is offline
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Location: Downriver, Michigan, USA.
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I've used CLR successfully to get rust off bait bodies. Just put some gloves on and rub it off with a paper towel soaked in CLR. Might as well throw the hooks and rings away. No saving them.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:04 PM
hogridnfool hogridnfool is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: West of Sconniewood
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Decades ago I knew a couple of guys that collected beer cans. If they had any of the old steel cans that were rusty they would soak them in Coca-Cola. The phosphoric acid in the Coke would clean them right up.
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:12 PM
REW REW is offline
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Throw them away!!

The phelps floaters are a floating jig head with the hook integrated into the jig.
The problem is that when you get a bunch of rust on a hook, the hook is effectively destroyed.

Yes, you can use naval jelly and it will remove the rust.
However, if the rust is bad, the point will be gone from the hook.
Aslo, if the rust is bad, the hook will be much weaker than when new.

Take a bit of naval jelley on a single jig and clean up the hook.
Look at the hook under a microscope after cleaning to see if it is still intact, or if it has been rusted away. If the point is gone and or part of the hook body itself has thinned due to rust - throw them all away.

If, however, you only have surface rust on the jig, you can clean them up, the douse them with wd-40 and leaving them wet with wd-40 - put them in a zip lock bag. The bad and wd-40 will protect the hooks from moisture.

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Old 04-23-2009, 04:53 AM
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Backwater Eddy Backwater Eddy is offline
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Lightbulb Try the Gander Mtn Tuff 'Tainer® tackle boxes with Zerust®

I agree with REW, toss them as the hooks have been compromised and will snap like glass with little provocation. Thin wire hooks such as those will not tolerate much rust intrusion and become brittle.

In the future I would recommend switching your storage box's over to the new Tuff 'Tainer® tackle boxes with Zerust® molded directly into the Tuff 'Tainer® dividers. They eliminate rust build up on hooks. I switched over to the Gander Mountain soft side tackle box's that all come equipped with the new Zerust® dividers and have had no issues since with rust.

You can also replace you existing box's with these if you wish to upgrade the old.

5007 Zerust®

4007 Zerust®


I am not the most careful about making sure I keep my box's dry and have had puddles in the Zerust box's and not loss of jigs or crank baits for my negligence. The box's are worm friendly too, so plastics do not burn into them as some will.
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson
"ED on the RED"

Last edited by Backwater Eddy; 04-23-2009 at 06:40 AM.
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