BigFishin

Hey problem with building balsawood crankbaits

15 posts in this topic

Ok folks im not really that new at fishing but what i am new at is making homemade crankbaits. Now i went and got 2 pieces of balsawood. One 3/8" thick and one 1/2" thick. I have cutout my pattern and sanded the blanks. I am thoroughly confused on what to do next. I do not know whether to paint the blanks or put the bill on. Another question where do you guys buy the screw eyes for your crankbaits. i could not find them at Lowes or Homedepot. I have read through some of the tutorials but cannot really follow them that well. Anyone got any suggestions or maybe a website.

Thanks

Big

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a builder of crankbaits but the wood should be sealed or it will suck up water...I'm not sure if they seal with the lip in or out:) my quess is to seal next:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Balsa is really too soft to use screw eyes. The first descent fish to test your lure will steal your hook. Balsa lures generally have a through wire system, a length of brass or soft stainless steel wire which runs down the middle of the body. Try a search on hangers or "through wire", should give you plenty of reading.

I would not bother painting the lure. Too much testing will have to be done. It may take a couple of tries before you get it right, then you can paint it.

I suggest you read up on hangers, think about it, then come back with more questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used screw eyes on balsa with great success...the trick is to use a high density balsa and not the light stuff you find at most craft shops. That being said, I also soak my blanks in diluted D2T so the wood absorbs the epoxy and then drill out the hanger/screw eyes holes and flood them with epoxy as well. Install the hangers/screw eyes and you're good to go.

I've caught largemouth up to 7lbs on mine and haven't had a single eye even act like it wanted to give way.

Use the longest screw eye you can get away with as well.

-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what I do -

cut the blank out including the lip slot

sand the blank to shape

paint the blank with 50/50 epoxy/acetone to reinforce and waterproof

epoxy in the hook hangers and belly ballast, patch as required

paint the crankbait

install the lip

clearcoat the bait with epoxy

Anything you do to make balsa stonger is a good thing. Splitting the bait in half with a razor blade and installing a thru-wire harness with the hangers and line tie bent from a single piece of wire makes the strongest bait. The wire and the glue used to rejoin the bait acts as a durable "backbone". You can get away with using screws. I prefer hand twisted screws because they have more glue surface than the screws you buy - just an added plus for balsa. I use .040" brass or soft stainless steel wire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob i have a couple more questions. With the through wire. Most homemades i have seen use a throughwire for the line tie and the rear hook hanger. Then they just use a screweye for the front hook hanger. Is this done the same way as splitting the bait with razor blade. Also what kind of epoxy do you use. I have seen many people say they use urethane but i an not sure. I have also read they somepeople use kilz to first coat and seal the blank. Sorry if this has been long but i have one final question. If the line tie goes through the bill of the crankbait how do you install it. As you can see i am a real newbie at all of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Evening Big Fishing,

First off bass wood would be a better choice of wood for your crankbaits. Cabinet shops are a good choice.

Second: Palmetto Bass, a member of this forum sells a proprionate sealer/topcoat product that is very very good and durable. You will have to dip in this 5 coats, then paint (now there is a learning experience), cut lip slot, install hardware and lip, then dip 3-4 finish coats, let dry a couple days, then fish the heck out of it.

Third: Jann's netcraft or Stamina are good suppliers of lure making hardware. Both have websites and catalogs. I suggest ordering the catalog (free) because you will find products looking thru the catalog you might not notice on the website (just my opinion)

Fourth: Making your own lures is not a cheap way of getting fishing lures. There is a lot of time and set up expense involved in this, if you already have woodworking equipment that will offset some of the expense. This is not to scare you off, because there is no more satisfaction in catching a fish on something you have made.

Fifth: Have a ball in this new hobby, and ask many questions, most all lure makers are very helpful people.

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some guys drill a hole from nose to tail. Some cut a slot in the belly. I don't have the tools or knowledge to do either accurately. Plus, I want a complete epoxy backbone when it's done, so I split the bait. Another tip, while the bait is still "square" (before you shape and sand) I always draw a center line around the bait and mark any initial shaping cuts that I can do with a saw or disk sander. Straight symetrical baits run straight and catch more fish. If you don't mark a center line, etc, you'll never get them exactly straight and you won't be able to shape and sand them symetrically (this assumes you do your shaping and sanding by hand). I use the center line as a guide while splitting the bait too. Use Devcon 5 min epoxy to rejoin the bait and glue in the lip, any screw-in hangers, and the ballast. Use Devcon Two Ton epoxy to seal/waterproof the bait and for the clearcoat. It has excellent leveling, which helps a balsa bait to be smooth when finished. Both Devcons can usually be found in a 2 part syringe package at Walmart for about $2. Kilz is an OK sanding sealer but not a durable waterproofer or reinforcer for balsa. It can also leave the bait with a distinct solvent odor that takes a long time to go away, in my experience. If you split the bait and insert a wire form, you can route it around the lip slot so it won't interfere. For hardwood baits, I just drill the line tie hole above the lip. If you were asking about a bait with the line tie out on the lip surface, do a search on "lip" and see recent posts about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cheat a little, I do a 3d profile in cad, and have a my cnc machine cut them out ,then take the roughed pieces which is a left side and a right side and (1)temporary glue up with instant glue, (2)do my shapping, and sanding, (3)cut my lip slot,and prep my holes for my hook holders,(4)split back apart,(5)grove out a rattle chamber, (6)drop in my rattles and weights, which are copper bbs from walmart, (7)epoxy back together only the inside not the outside, (8)place pieces together and use instant glue again on the outside. (9) hit one more time with sandpaper, to nib the instant glue off,(10)install hook holders which are hand made twisted .032 stainless steel to create a eye with a screw shape, (11)drop resin into holes prepped at stage (3)drop in hook holders which are both epoxied and screwed into balsa,(12)mix up some fiberglass resin which is cheap and makes an incredible hard surface,it preps and seals the balsa and helps to hold componets in place.(13)brush on and let dry,aprox. 1 hour (14)sand again,100 grit and then smooth out with 220 grit,(15)I then shoot with 2 coats of automobile primer in the can from homedepot, let dry,30 minutes or so (16)sand again ,(17)now she is ready for createx paint. I use a lamination process with balsa,I was told lamination is always stronger,but at the same time I am not catching anything with teeth and anything over 6lbs.I would be interested in how the above would hold up to a muskie?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rossrods. If you are building the body in two halves, why not fit a through wire hanger system. It would be stronger and more secure. The hard part of fitting a through wire, is splitting the lure, you are already there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well I get into a big hurry sometimes LOL. Yep would have to agree a thru wire is for sure more solid, and your line ties, hook holders, would never pull out, if I was building baits for muskies and much larger fish than 1lb-4lb bass everynow and then , I would for sure take the time to do a thru solid wire construction.The thru wire would insure a more solid structure.I have seen some huge muskies (in pictures) I wouldnt know what to do If I had something on that large LOL. Also me being an electrician and bending conduit all the time and bending and forming wire seems really close to the same science LOL. Alright point well taken, I have a wire forming tool I guess I should use it more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now