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Loosing Scales

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by 1tahr, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. hi guys, is there any way to tighten or set scales on a fish skin before fleshing , am new to fish and just fleshed a rainbow skin , i fleshed on a wet towel made sure there was no bumps under skin and fleshed up and down not towards scales but still lost to many scales
  2. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    Certain species are notorious for very loose scales. Non spawning salmon, summer time steelhead, coho are really bad, rainbows, crappie.
    When I used to take in skinmounts there were certain times of the year that I wouldn’t take in a certain species as I knew what would happen.

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Salt, denatured alcohol, borax, elmer's glue. I don't do many trout but I do plenty of crappies and I use elmer's glue and it works pretty good. I also quit fleshing on a towel but rather on my smooth counter top and flesh towards the head.
  4. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    I use a good coat of borax all over
    Works great on crappie and trout
    Smooth surface is a trick
    I have two granite pieces for my fish
    Got them free from granite place , they were cutouts
    Wally Gator and Mudbat like this.
  5. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I primarily do crappie and I've tried just about everything. Freezer drying, salt, you name it. The last several I've done I dried them in front of a fan and put on a couple coats of Elmer's white glue. Dry it completely under a fan. Leave it on during the skinning and fleshing process. I then wash my skins in a sink of Dawn soap and water. As it cleans the skin the glue will dissolve away. I really like this method as I hardly lose many scales now.
    As a side note, I might add that I've quit using commercial bodies and have gone to using the half cast fill method. This makes for a lot less stress on the skin during mounting. I also very seldom have any raised scales to glue down with this method as I'm not stretching and pulling on the skin during mounting.
  6. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    As Clew said a good hard, smooth surface is a must. I also have a sink cutout from an old cabinet project that I use.
  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I’ll salt dry the skin on those suckers.
    Cover both sides with a good coat of salt. It may take 2-3 hrs to pull the moisture out. You’ll be able to know when it’s ready by pushing down on it and then stays there it’s ready to skin out. The skin will pull away from the meat very easily and the scales will stay put.
    It’ll hydrate back in plain water but be gentle cause if your rough in anyway you’ll lose them
  8. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    What Frank said, only I leave salted a lot longer than an hour or two. Do a search with salt as the subject with pescado in the second box and it will pull up a lot of salt advantages I posted over the years.
  9. awesome thanks guys its a huge learning curve