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problems with new swimbait...Pls. Help

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My latest wake bait didn't come out too bad looking, but I am sure disapointed in how it swims and would like to know if anyone wants to take a stab at why. The bait is about 7" long, made of cedar, and is only lightly weighted with one buck shot in each segment. The head will wobble and cause the midsection to follow, but the tail only wobbles very little, if at all from side to side. If the retrieve is sped up, it dives just below the surface and hardly does anything at all. My first thought is that the lip is too small, but I don't know. Maybe the shape is wrong? Maybe the angle is wrong?...the angle is at about 6 degrees. Also, the weight in the tail section is placed near the center of the bait. Maybe it should have been placed as close to the hinge as possible? Anyway what do you guys think? I thought about trying to remove the lip very carefully and trying one similar but larger and see how that does, but I don't even know if it is possible to get it out without really screwing something up. Please help!!:worship:

TJ

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With that steep lip angle, I think it wants to be a wakebait not a swimbait. IMO the lip size is plenty big. I built a 6" 3 segment paulownia wakebait recently that had a 1.5" head segment followed by 1.5" and 1.75" segments. .10 oz ballast in rear of the head segment and .10 oz the front of the 2nd segment. No ballast in the tail. (.20 oz total ballast). Lip was about 80 deg from horizontal (10 deg to you). The segments were about 5/16" apart. The finished weigh was 1.16 oz without trebles. It swam nicely with a snake-like motion and the guy whom I gave it to likes it alot. There was no rhyme or reason why I chose those particular segment lengths, except they worked out well so the bait could carry 3 ea. #2 Gamy trebles.

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So do you reckon that the balast in the tail is what is killing this bait? In my very limited experience I can't help but think that if the bill was a little wider that it might create a little more head wobble which might get that tail movin' a little better. The only thing I do know is I sure am disapointed. Thanks again Bob.

TJ

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From the action you're describing, it sounds as if the tail is too heavy. The center of gravity of the bait may be too far back. I'm not too experienced with them, but that's what it sounds like to me.

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Pretty bait, I want to say the lip angle is too steep, I cut mine at 76 degrees. I also think you should leave the weight out of the tail. I build small swim baits 5.5 inch long down to 3.5 inches so might weighting issues are different.

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BB, it's frustrating to dig into a finished bait but it's a heck of a lot easier than building another from scratch. Re: segment gaps. My impression from the ones I've done is that the leading edges of the segments catch water and amplify the bait's action if they have the space to do so. I may be all wet because I don't build many swimbaits. On my first swimbait I built the segments very close together but found they would not swing freely, which ruined the action. On my next bait, I loosened them up and slanted the segment cuts slightly backward from bottom to top so following fish can't see daylight between segments. Much better. Speaking of lip size, I used a lip copied exactly from a 5" King Shad on a 7" Triple Fish wakebait, just set at a steeper angle, and it worked fine. That isn't a big lip, yours probably has more surface area, so I don't think lip size is the problem.

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Thank yall for the responses. I went out to day with the bait after making some modifications. First, I drilled the weight out of the tail sections and filled it with epoxy and it did seemed to help a little. I also cut a lip extension out and tack glued it to the front side of the current lip and it really made a difference. I am still not able to speed up the retrieve and get satisfatory results, but oh well. The only time I like to speed up any way is when I get a follower.

Bob, I got to thinking a little about the gap thing. I don't know enough about these baits to know if your theory holds water or not, but it is very possible. One thing I think hinderd this bait was I tried to keep the gaps kinda tight this time because I wanted a bait with a little tighter action. When you hold the bait by the head with the head pointing down and the tail up, the bait only folds over to about 45 degrees. Most of the baits I have bought go to nearly 90. I just don't think that there was quite enough range of movement in the mid section to get that tail wagging without the bigger lip. I think the next one I make I am gonna do it just like this one(with the smaller bill) but open up the joints a little and see if that doesn't work better. I also think from now on, if I think I really need some ballast in the tail section, I am gonna keep it close to the hinge. Anyway, thanks again.

TJ

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Building lures is not a perfect science, toss this one and build another. Take notes on what you did this time and make changes on the next. I have built swim baits with weight in the tail that worked perfect so I'm not sure that's your problem. Certainly if you take the weight out of the tail it's going to be more active. Generally the tail is going to follow the head so if you don't have much head movement the tail probably isn't going to move much either. If you do anything, pull the lip out with some pliers and try the lure without the bill. If you still have no action, try a different shape, change the head of the lure, this seems to really change the action. Also, make sure the joints are silky smooth.

RM

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Thanks guys for the help. I do want to build a lipless like the triple trout, but it has an entirely different action than what I wanted with this one. Mark, I did try taking the hook off as well, but it didn't help at all.

TJ

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What's your tail-fin made of? I had a similiar experience with my wake bait, also three segments. I couldn't get the tail section to swing with the rest of the body. Mine also had a tail-fin attachment. After removing the fin, it solved the problem. Just an idea, as I'm still new at this myself.

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It is made of plexiglass and is glued in solid. I was also wondering if that was the culprit...stabilizing the tail. I think maybe nextime I will do it like the tail on a Blackdog Shellcracker.

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