"Maybe I'm looking at this wrong but if you do that, isn't part of the lip getting clear coated? If not then the nose of the bait isn't getting clear coated?" smalljaw
I tape the blades on all of my crank bait blanks as soon as I get them. when I dip, I dip far enough to cover the entire painted portion of each bait. then hang to drip by the lie tie eye. The tape peels right off when dry without harming the top coat.
I tried brushing but found when using too stiff of a brush that I could actually scratch the paint even after it had been heat set. I went to a super soft brush and that cured that but I have since found that dip and drip works well for me. IF I were using the Diamond coat or an epoxy and probably that uv too, I'd need a turner. I double coat all of my cranks in the CS product and find that the finish is super tough and eliminates the need for a turner.