Another newbie question.
I will be purchasing my first traps this summer mb 550. These will be used primarily for Bobcat trapping. I’ve read different ways of going about prepping new traps.
Do you guys boil them off, removing all factory oils? I’ve also read to just dip them in something like “Full metal jacket “. Would that be all I need to do to them, to have them ready to go for the upcoming season this fall/Winter here in Wisconsin?
Not sure if it matters, but I will be trapping in clay rocky ground.
For what it is worth I will through out a different idea.
You have heard several methods to treat your new traps and I suspect each and every method would be okay for what you want to accomplish.
You state you primarily are going to focus on bobcat trapping. Be prepared for lots of learning and frustration.
If it were I, knowing what I have learned over the years, I would probably just clean and dye my traps.
I would boil the traps in something like Dawn dish soap or even laundry detergent. Then I would rinse the heck out of them. I would not rust them any further cleaning and I would not choose to rust the traps.
I would choose one of two really good dyes that have worked well without waxing for me. Keg Creek sells a dye that I t think they call logwood crystals but cannot remember for sure. There is a guy that sells a product that reminds me of the log wood chips that I used to buy from C.O. Lippert back in the day. Renny something or other. He advertises in The Trappers Post.
Both products mentioned are in my opinion superior to the other red power or black crystal dyes I have used. I think both are superior to using natural barks etc. although you could realistically get by using a good natural dye such as Hemlock bark, sumac berries, alder bark, maple bark etc.
While bobcats are notorious for being non cooperative critters in some parts of the country, they are not known as being highly elusive. Lots and lots of coyotes and fox have been caught with good clean traps that have been treated only a good dye. I suspect you would have not issues trapping bobcats if you simply dyed your traps in a traditional manner.
A down side to this dying method: Well you probably have to clean and dye your traps again before the next season. If you make a skinny million catches you probably would want to re-clean and dye them right directly after the season so they would not rust, but that may not be necessary.
A straight dyed trap will not hold up to various anti freeze methods that involve caustic materials. If you bed and cover traps in dry peat moss, buckwheat hulls, or a cut grass/hay covering this will not be an issue.
Upside to dying the traditional way: If you decide that you do not like to clean and dye traps you can simply boil them clean and move on to another method of treatment.
You can easily clean and dye traps during your season. I personally would like to let them air a day or two in the sun and wind but basically you are good to go after they have cooled from the dye.
The traditional type dyes I mentioned above do a pretty darn good job protecting traps from rust, and to me it is important to protect my equipment, which is an investment.
If you opt to paint, dip in fuel based dip, water based dip or some product like full metal jacket or a floor polish you will no doubt be successful in your pursuit.
If you use any of the dips, paints, floor polish type treatments, and you find that you do not care for the results, you may very well find that removing those products are considerably more difficult to clean back to bare metal.
I have cleaned off fuel based and it is not fun. I have cleaned off water based dips and that is a pain in the rear end. I only paint body grips so have not tried to remove paint but I suspect it would be a process. I have not tried to remove any of the floor polish products so I cannot offer an opinion on that but it is probably not easy.
They claim that the water based dips can be used to treat traps in season, and they can, but you need an indoor area with adequate heat. I think it is out of the question to use fuel based dip in season but that is just me. I do not know about the floor polish stuff but admit it sounds interesting.
Just a different view on the subject. Hope you have success. More importantly I hope you fall in love with the trapping game as it has so much to challenge you with and offers so much fun.