Orion

Putting Weights Into Hardbaits...

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How do you add weight to your hardbaits. Pour it? Glue in lead? I'm going to start trying to make gliders and I'm wondering what the best way to add weight to them is, any help is appreciated.

Thanks.

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You can drill a hole and melt it in but the more reliable way is to epoxy it in. That's especially true with balsa. Hot lead burns the balsa cavity and makes it loose. Slap the crankbait on the water (not a good idea for any soft balsa bait!) and it will shoot right out the bottom. Believe me, I know!

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I'll be using beech wood most likely. What is the process of gluing it in? What type of weight do you use?

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I find the "center of bouyancy" by floating the bait in my kitchen sink, then find the spot that I can grab with a finger on each side and sink the bait level to the horizon. I mark this spot then bore a hole with drill press using a forstener bit. I then melt the lead into the hole. I generally use cedar for floating baits and maple for neutral or sinking baits.

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You can use anything heavier than wood for ballast. I melt scrap lead or lead solder into cylinder molds or use integrated ballast/belly hangers that I buy (or beg :)). Some guys use finesse weights or round split shot. Whatever gets the job done and is evenly shaped so you can epoxy it in and it will rest on the centerline of the bait.

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One trick I learned here is to use an egg sinker and pass your hook hanging wire through it, and then epoxy that into holes in your lure.

That starts you off with weight in the right places.

If you're using a tail hook, you can use a mojo-type cylindrical weight, drill a hole lengthwise through it and pass your hook hanger through it. Then epoxy that in.

After you've sealed your bait, put on the split rings and hooks, and test float it in a bucket of water. If it leans, try crimping split shot onto the hook bends until you get the weight right. Then you can drill some center line holes in the belly near the hook hangers and epoxy the split shot in. Keep the weight near the bottom of the lure, and that will help keep the lure stable.

Keep in mind, the lighter the wood you use, the more buoyant it will be, and the more weight you'll have to add. The flip side is, heavier wood may need so much weight to balance it that the lure loses buoyancy. Typically, the taller the lure is, the harder it is to balance with heavier woods. But, if you use a wood like pine or poplar, you can make a tall, thin lure like a triple trout, weight it to balance even if you burn it, and still have a floating lure. In fact, you really have to weight those woods to get them to suspend, or sink.

This works for bigger lures. I haven't made anything under four inches, so I can't really say if this works for smaller stuff.

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