dockboy

Lip angles on wood baits

5 posts in this topic

I've been getting ready to start my own wood cranks. I want in particular to build deeper models first. The whole goal is to get a small non-rattle bait down where most people fish a DD22 or other rattling bait. I've decided to use the pre made balsa bodies from Janns, along with their circuit board lips. I plan on using the 2.25'" size. I'll probably get into the bigger baits later, but I want to get this one first.

What is the best lip angle to get a small bait like this down to 15ft? I plan on using 10lb. mono here. Also, where would I attach the line eye on the lip once its glued in? Seems fairly straight forward on the poly lips with the hardware premade, but how do I it with the circuit board? Thanks and happy Thanksgiving.

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Look at some deep divers. Most have a very shallow lip angle, maybe 3-5 degrees down from horizontal. An imaginary line backward along the lip exits the back of the bait just above the tail. The "standard" placement for the line tie is about 40% of the distance from the nose of the bait to the end of the lip. You'll need to experiment with your particular bait to get the placement for the greatest depth and action without the bait rolling over. If you're using balsa, considerable ballast will be necessary. You generally want a very slow float. Look at some deep divers like the Rapala DT-16 or the Luhr Jensen Hotlips Express. Their wide long lips are necessary to get deep and you'll probably want to emulate their general shape. For circuit board, I drill a hole and put in an "L" shaped line tie that tucks under the lip. The wire is .032" soft stainless twisted into a long screw eye. You want a tight fit through the surface of the lip, and on really long lips, I epoxy the wire to the bottom of the lip surface after it's installed in the bait. I cut a small notch in the center end of the lip that goes into the bait, then wrap the wire up and crimp it over the lip to secure it. Many guys prefer drilling 2 holes and running the separate wires back into the body. That's probably a more secure method if you can do it neatly, and it's definitely easier if you're using hard stainless steel wire. It takes a little practice to get the bends tight and neat regardless of the style. Good luck with the project. I'm sceptical about getting a 2 1/4" balsa bait down past 15 ft if you want it to float (the smallest Hotlips is that size with a huge lip and only gets to 12 ft on 10 lb line).

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dockboy, I don't want to be negative but I have to agree with Bob. You are going to have a real hard time weighting those bodies enough to get down to 15 feet. To be honest I don't think it will possible to get that small balsa bait down that deep at all. You may want to try a cedar or poplar.

I would suggest that you start by trying to make some shallow divers first. Progress to the deep divers after you have built up your knowledge base on how a crank bait works.

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Thanks guys. I'll think it over. Don't think floating is what I want. I'm looking for something the fish don't see often. So if the bait doesn't float well, all the better. In fact, many guys around here use old DD22s that have cracks, so the bait sinks and they get an extra few feet out of'em. Maybe I can get it down to 10 and then use some 10lb. braid to get the extra few feet. That's a concept I've been wanting to try for a while. Know anybody who makes something this size and depth I could buy the unpainted bodies from? Thanks for the replies. Happy holidays everybody.

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I think of sinking crankbaits as something to use for deep suspended fish only. Otherwise, you'll be losing lots of baits. I remember an article in ?Bass Master? about some guys who developed a system of putting worm weights 18" in front of various commercial baits so they sink at a defined rate and can be counted down to where the fish are holding. That allows the bait to maintain its original configuration and action so it seems like a good system. The main problem I see with ultra deep divers is they require so much ballast to get deep, they usually have very poor action. There's never any free lunch in lure design :)

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