Does Scuffing the Surface of a Fish Attractor Make a Difference?

We are often asked about scuffing the surface of fish attractors and a blog provides a good forum to give it a complete and thorough answer. So the question: Does texturing the surface of a fish habitat attractor make a difference? And the answer is: ...Maybe.  It all depends on what materials you are using to make your fish habitat.

The origins of the question to scuff fish structures goes back to a time when most everyone used white PVC piping for making DIY fish habitat structures. However, most people are unaware that typical commercial grades of white PVC (plumbing) pipe are manufactured with anti-fouling bio-inhibitors for the purpose of reducing biological growth.  For the DIY's using white PVC piping for fish habitat and fish attractors - scuffing the surface is considered a best practice.

However, like all things, competition creates innovation and improvements and the fish habitat industry is not immune.  By engineering and designing our fish habitat with black industrial grade PVC we were able to  accomplished four goals:

  • First, the black PVC material we selected does not have anti-fouling bio-inhibitor properties so it will promote the growth of aquatic organisms without scuffing. 
  • Second, we created a fish habitat and fish attractor structure that would absorb the sun light (heat) and would not be reflective in the water.  The intersecting 4.25" black branch bars create an abundance of shade providing a dark sanctuary space for fish to hide and thrive. A friend once reminded me, fish do not have eyelids and will seek shade and cover over anything else.
  • Third, black PVC material is inert and does not pose environmental risks. PVC materials only become hazardous when they are burned.
  • Fourth, offering a Lifetime Guarantee was essential to completing our objective.  After all, who wants to go through all the troubles to produce a $150.00 product, or more, only to have it fail.  Our design is heaviest of all fish attractors with 4" schedule 40 pipe and 4.25" x 80 mil. bars. The thickness of our material ensures the structure will last for an extremely long time.  Some estimates are greater than 125 years.

Now back to the query.

Underwater biological growth initiates naturally over any untreated surface, whether smooth or textured, through the formation of biofilm. Biofilm spreads across any untreated surface becoming the foundation for which other aquatic organisms adhere. The only way to stop or prevent the biofilm process from naturally occurring is through the use of bio-inhibitors.  Have you ever wiped your hand across the bottom surface of a boat that has been in the water for a while?  You would think the build up would easily wipe off the smooth surface, but it will not. The same biological phenomenon occurs across the surface of an untreated fish attractor, too.  After one month immersed in a lake or pond at 70 degrees there is no discernible difference in the aquatic growth rates over smooth or textured surfaces.


Tip:  If you want to get a faster rate of aquatic growth don't sand, but drizzle the fish habitat attractor with maple syrup or anything sweet and sticky instead.  But don't blame me for the mess.

Tight Lines - Let's Go Fishing - FishOn!


UPDATE 08/22/22

I have had several people contact me regarding sanding fish structures and they have realized an important and unintended consequence of such methods.  Apparently, soft plastic baits stick against coarse surfaces when pulled across (the structure(s)), and in some instances, fray your fishing line.