Week # 11, the question about artificial or real head for mounting a striped bass...which would YOU use, and why?
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You keep my hours LOL! I use an artificial head and here is why. Salt-water fish have the same inherent potential problem as cold-water fish (greasing). It is always best to not have to deal with stripping a fish due to greasing. I have seen to many times the branchiostegal rays or gill flaps secrete that golden joy we call grease. In addition it is not a bad idea to have a good cast to work with when painting. Not to say that a head cannot be rebuilt convincingly however it is far more accurate to cast a head if you have a fresh one to work with. It is hard to find a good reproduction head however I'm sure with a bit of research you will find they are out there. I cast my own and you can too!
So yes to the artificial head. I would also add to remove the cleithrum bone structure and all of pectoral girdle area bones and rebuild this area as well... the bony plates are also greasers. I do use artificial fins on the big bass as well.
I hope as always I helped in some way. Angelfish over and out! LOL!
312 Chesterfield Rd
Hinsdale NH 03451
I asked you the question because YOU brought it up, not me!
There is a photo of a skin mount striper on hidetanning.net that has the real head. It has been bashed more than once for that reason. There have been those that keep yelling, "Grease bleed!". I have to keep giving these people that funny side ways look and shaking my head in the "no" fashion.
Yesterday I received a number of photo disks via snail-mail. Amongst those were photos of another striper of the same weight class that was mounted at the same time, clear coated, and then stored in an attic. There are also photos of another striper that was mounted about three months ago, with the real head, and left unsealed.
Some of these are macro photos of the areas with a predisposition to grease bleed.
Both of these were treated with STOP-ROT, cleaned up in terms of flesh removal as normal procedure, washed and mounted.
The first striper would have been one of the "behind the scenes" mounts done before STOP-ROT went on the public market in 2002.
Those dates involved should let people of an instant gratification nature know that R&D would not fit their lifestyle.
Regardless, I have to figure out which ones to set up as additions to that particular web page. I will have to limit number, and then reduce them down in size for web transmission. That always kills my soul to have to do that with taxidermy photos. If you would care to see the sum total of full size photos, let me know, and I will send them your way in the next day or two.
Oh yes I did ask that question 4 weeks a go I'm glad Glen your keeping up! LOL! Kidding! LOL! I'm sure there was a point to this exercise and I'm sure I got it too. I have been painting with a student the past few days and still have a bit of the painting hang over LOL!
Sure you can use this or that and an artificial head as well. As I mentioned I have sent them rebuilt rather well and I'm sure I could appreciate the Stop- Rot product for what it is worth. If your trying to get me or any one else to see that this product is the cure for my reluctance to no longer use real heads then OK. Point taken. I however and old school and a lot of ways and not from Missouri but I need to see it over time as a viable option to doing it other then I way I do it at this point. I can save time in a sense casting over skinning and cleaning out the head I think for me "for me) that I don't want to take chances that could be costly. Any way... Perhaps this product works great and can stop the greasing which is inherent with salt-water fish. I hope it does and how cool is that!
Your question to me directly was what do I think. So I told you what I think. I never answer the Sunday morning questions for they are for all of to enjoy. So I don't even know where I'm going with this any more other then HI! How are you and your web site still is cool and looks great my friend!
I hope all is really well with you and I hope to see you one of these days and we can talk fish!
Have a great one!