Wire Size for Musky Cranks
5 replies to this topic
Posted 11 December 2007 - 12:48 PM
I am new on this site and will be trying to make some musky crankbaits this winter for the first time. I will be starting with Slammer/Crane style baits. I've picked up a lot of tips so far on this site, but have a couple of questions for you veterans out there:
1. What size wire would you recommend for through wire construction? I will be using Cedar. I've got .050 for making bucktails, but that seems too big. I've also got some .024 but that seems too small. I'm thinking somewhere in between would be just about right, perhaps .035.
2. Other than learning to use an airbrush, my other main concern is applying weight. I've got an old Slammer that I am going to repaint so I know where he applied the weight. I just don't know how much to use. Any recommendations on the amount of weight for a 6" and an 8" Slammer style bait? I'm planning to drill a hole from the bottom and use pencil lead secured with epoxy.
Posted 11 December 2007 - 02:04 PM
JMHO, but think the .050 would be a good choise. The guys with knowledge on this may disagree.
My concern is where the line meets the bait, you got your line, a leader???, and the bait. The swivel in the leader we prevent the effects of "twist" on the bait, but take a look at the wire size on the snap your using to connect to the bait. Mine look like they are about a .050 wire size. I would wamt to at least match it so I wasn't creating a weak link in this critical connection.
Posted 11 December 2007 - 08:04 PM
If you call Rollie and Helen's Musky Shop on their 800 number, they'll sell you wire in 12 inch lengths. It costs about 20 cents a piece if I remember correctly, and its the same wire that guys use to make bucktails.
I also use it for making the line tie that goes on my musky cranks with longer diving lips. Its tough, yet you can still tune the bait. You can easily get to line ties out of a 12 inch piece of wire.
I don't do much through wiring because I use mostly poplar, cherry, and occasionally oak or maple. I'm just now beginning to mess around with cedar a bit and that I will be through-wiring.
If you use poplar or cherry, stainless steel eye screws in .072 or .092 thicknesses are plenty strong enough for any musky. I use a lot of the thinner eye screws (.072) and have caught dozens and dozens of muskies without any hook hanger or line tie failures.
Posted 11 December 2007 - 10:57 PM
I use 0.052" wire or larger for through wire baits.
You could get just about any Musky in the boat with much smaller wire but it would get bent in the net and be a pain to keep it tuned in.
fatfingers is right. Eye screws are the way to go with everything but very soft woods, especially on larger baits where you can use long ones.
Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:18 PM
Thanks guys. I'm sure bucktail wire (.050) will work, but I know that is not what is used on Slammers and Cranes. Since I am using Cedar I think that through wire is probably the best option. I bought some 1/2" Cedar from Itasca Wood Products and have created some cardboard outlines from some of my favorite minnow baits. I will cut out the blanks using a jig saw, sand and then paint. I'm planning to cut a channel on the belly of the bait for the wire and will secure it with epoxy. I'm sure that is how Slammer does it. I'll probably end up using some wire in the .035-.040 range since it should be easier to make the kind of bends required.
Does anyone have any tips on the amount of lead I should use to weight an 8" minnow bait made from Cedar? I know I'll have to experiment, but I'd hate to ruin a bunch of baits before I get it right.
Posted 12 December 2007 - 06:20 PM
I make saltwater plugs and throughwire all of them. I use .051" soft SS safety wire and 1/16" SS TIG wire for them depending on the lure type. On the ones I won't seal up the holes I like the 1/16" because it isn't going to bend straight. The ones I cut a channel and fill the .051" is perfect. It bends real easy until you epoxy up the channel, then it isn't going anywhere. It is much softer than bucktail wire.
The safety wire can be bought at most hardware/autoparts stores or ordered through any of the big industrial supply houses like MSC or McMaster/Carr.
As to the weighting of an 8" minnow shaped cedar lure, try one without weight too. The wire and epoxy(if you cut a channel for the wire and fill it with epoxy) will add some weight to the keel and depending on the type of cedar you are using, that alone might be enough to give you the action you're looking for.