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Why Are Bass Boats Sparkly? – 3 Main Reasons

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers

Why Are Bass Boats Sparkly

Spend enough time around these boats, and it won’t take long for you to ask, “Why are bass boats sparkly?” After all, how can any first-time beholder resist being captivated by vessels that seem like they were dipped in stardust?

Well, if they, indeed, caught your fancy, know that that was the manufacturer’s main intent. They apply a good layer of glitter boat paint on their creations to make them aesthetically pleasing and, in turn, more attractive to potential buyers.

The Reasons Behind Sparkly Bass Boats


While most of the reasoning behind this practice is based on aesthetics, there are other factors (and beliefs) that come into play. Let’s investigate each one, so we can get a more satisfactory answer.

1. Sparkly Finishes Catch Most People’s Attention


Let’s deal with the most popular reason first. We use metal flake paint on our vehicles because it lends them a shimmering effect. It makes them stand out and, without a doubt, imparts them with that trademark ritzy look.

Moreover, you have plenty of paint colors to choose from, enough for you to experiment with various bass boat paint designs. And unlike cars, bass boats get the green light when it comes to using heavier flake paint, and hence, they tend to be more mesmerizing.

There’s an element of marketing there as well because more people are inclined to buy something that’s clearly eye candy. And as glossy boats tend to be associated with class and high-end designs, anglers with deep pockets will be more likely to buy them.

2. It Hides Superficial Imperfections


Much like any vehicle, a bass boat can get scratched, bumped, or hit enough for minor signs of damage to be left behind. Ripples from mold can, more or less, have the same undesirable effect.

By using glitter paint, boat manufacturers can easily hide them and beautify the watercraft. When you’re captivated by the glitter sparkling finish, it’s unlikely that you’ll pay attention to the minor scuffs and marks on the vessel.

Plus, glossy paint is usually stronger than matte ones and guarantees better UV protection, further protecting the boats from chips and abrasion.

3. Shiny Surfaces Allegedly Attract Fish


There’s a prevailing belief among anglers that anything shiny can charm fish better, enticing those in deeper waters to swim up near the boat and, therefore, become easier to catch.

In fact, that’s precisely why some lure makers decide to add that dazzle factor to their products, too. So, why not add the glitter to the actual vessels themselves while they’re at it? No harm done, right?

At best, yes, but don’t hold your breath believing that making your bass boat more glittery will automatically make it a fish magnet. As far as I know, only barracudas are known and confirmed to exhibit this behavior.

The Science Behind the Sparkle


Most boat painting projects mix gel coat or epoxy paint with metal/glitter flakes to create that trademark metallic boat paint we often associate with bass boats. It’s generally recommended to use 2 cups of flakes for every gallon of gel coat.

You can buy the coat or paint and the metal flakes separately from Amazon, where you won’t run out of color options. Most are labeled as “epoxy resin glitter” to emphasize what they should be used for.

The role of the flat pieces of shiny metal is evident in that they’re responsible for imparting the boat with a stunning look even when seen from a distance.

On the whole, you may want to look at the following factors to get a good science-backed overview of why it has such a profound effect on us:

  • The flakes work by reflecting the light that reaches them back to the observer. Once combined with the equally iridescent paint it’s mixed with, it results in the shimmering effect we as humans can’t help but admire.
  • Based on computer simulations, the metal particles can be deliberately lined up, so they’ll achieve an even shinier look. The size of the flakes matters as well in that regard, with bigger flakes yielding a glossier effect.
  • Due to the angles of the daylight, the flakes will appear the shiniest when it’s sunrise or sunset, which coincidentally is the best time for angling, as fish usually come out to feed during this time.
  • Interestingly, one study found that only one flake should be considered the true “sparkle”, particularly the one that reflects light directly to the person.

If the light goes through several flakes before reaching the observer, its effect will become weaker.


So, to sum up my findings to answer everyone’s question, “Why are bass boats sparkly?”, it really serves more of a cosmetic purpose. For this, I highly encourage you to prioritize your aesthetic tastes the next time you plan a new paint job for your bass boat.

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