chris_hughes

Swimbait fabrication?Wood working?HELP!!!

20 posts in this topic

Me and a good friend of mine have been researching swimbait designs, hard plastic,wood, ect.. We eventually want to start our own company and see where it leads. I have some great designs both in my head and on paper, I have found that some people use wood, while others use expanded pvc, but wanted to know if anyone has tried making there own and if so what type of material was used.I really would like to apprentice for someone and learn the tools of the trade. Anything from CAD, to the actual fabrication process, hinges for jointed baits, and find out what kind of tools we need to get this started.My friend who is investing in this, is one of the most amazing artist I have ever seen, airbrush,sculpting, you name it he can turn it into something amazing.If anyone would possibly teach me wood working, carving, or pvc fabrication I would be forever great full. I found some things on a lure design website, but would like to learn first hand.

Thanks in advance,

Chris Hughes

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I think your idea is sound, but rather than wait around for someone to show you how, pick up a block of wood, a knife, and see what happens. The first bait you make doesn't have to be the best looking thing on the planet, hell, it doesn't even have to work, but from that experience, providing you still have all your fingers, you'll begin to understand what you're reading online, and apply it to your design, build your skills, then come back and teach us.

Take your CAD designs, your airbrush artist and such things and put them on a shelf for now, if you truly don't know anything about woodworking, you're not gonna learn them overnight, and you'll have more failures than success, but sticking with it will get you somewhere in the end.

Good luck, one thing you can do is find a woodworker in your town, look to flea markets and such for those guys.

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Chris.

Frist, welcome to the Tackleunderground, center of the tackle junkie universe.

There is no real apprentice program like your looking for. It would be great if there was. The only way to get started is to get started. Get yourself a few blocks of wood, a good pocket knife, some carving knives (Exacto) and learn what you can and can't do with wood. As you progress, add a belt sander, a band saw, and tools that make the process easier to turn out lures the way you think they should look. After you come up with a few designs you like, then you can start to experiment with expanding foam and microballoons.

It is a growing series of progressive steps. Take the time to learn the craft before trying to create a business. You should have a good idea from the amount of fishing and time on the water of what you want in a hard bait... Build a few, buy some lexan lips and give it a shot. Looking forward to seeing your ideas.

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Chris, good advice already. The only tools I use when carving my swimbais are a bandsaw, belt sander, exacto knives and a drill. Just cut some stuff out, get a shape you like and throw it. You'll learn some of the things that help a bait have more/less action. There's a ton of info available here, but the most valuable info you can get is from trial and error. Keep notes on what works and what doesn't, be very detailed.

Don't forget the search function on here.

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The difficult part is controlling the symmetry, keeping both sides the same. I would start off with balsa, as it is easy to work and the feed back results come faster. Once you have mastered controlling 3D space, you can progress to more durable woods.

I am not a skilled wood technician. I do all my carving with a dremel, sad, but what ever it takes. It's the final result that counts, no matter how you get there.

If you are going to cast your bodies, then you can justify all the time and attempts you need to get a good master. You are going to produce a lot of lures from this, so be self critical, try to get it as close to perfect as you can. Don't be afraid to start over. It's just practise.

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Trial and error has been ringing in the back of my mind since I really sat down and started thinking about everything that goes into this, my previous post showed the excitement I have at learning this. But I also know that people don't become good at making baits, if they don't take the time to sit down and make some mistakes,get frustrated, correct mistakes, and learn from each experience.

From what I have seen in the past 3 days on this board, lots of info here look forward to sharing and learning from this place.

Thanks guys,

Chris

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I recommend going to the gallery of this forum and look at the swimbaits that the guys have made. Just start getting ideas of what kind, size, type of swimbaits you want to build. Then get some graph (i'm sure you have some already form what I read) and start drawing out body shaps, styles of joints, cross sections, top profiles, ect.. Now i'm not saying that you have to have the entire bait planed out i'm just saying that you need some designs on paper before you start carving away at some wood. This is so that when you carve a swimbait that runs like a dream and has the perfect action you have always wanted but you don't have even the side profile on paper so you can duplicate it. Oh and you also want to record how much ballast,weight you put in it and where. This will be invaluable information down the road. But it kinda sounds like you already have most of this down already so that is good:wink:. Basically just take one of your drawed out designs and put it to some wood. As far as the woodworking teacher goes well... Maybe try to find a woodcraft store near you and look at the corses that they offer. I know the woodcraft near me has lots of carving and turning classes that you can take for very reasonable prices. Here are some links that have given me inspiration and I hope will be usefull to you. Oh and I forgot to mention, all the advice the other guys gave you is awsome the guys on this forum are great guys and will go out of there way to help a guy out. I just wish I had more to contribute to this forum;).

http://http://www.tackletour.com/

http://http://www.lure-fly.com/vagabond/lure/lure.html

http://http://www.calfishing.com/reviews/index.html

http://http://www.ichibantackle.com/index.asp?pagename=bymf.html

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You can get a head start by finding a lure similar to the one you're thinking of makeing, and reverse engineering it to learn as much as you can from how it's made.

Ater that, it's trial and error until you get your own design perfected.

One hint. Don't bother painting your lures until you've got them working correctly. Just seal them well, if you wind up making them out of wood.

Another tip, and then I'm gone. Go to the gallery, find things you like, and pm/email the makers. Most of the people who post here are extremely generous with their hard earned knowledge in a one to one setting.

Good luck. There's always room for more good luremakers.

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Another source of learning will be to take a class on fish carving. Once you can carve a fish carving a lure be easy or you can carve a realistic lure too. Just search the web for fish carving there is a lot of great craftmans/artist out there offering classes in basic fish carving.

Once you've done that or concurrently just search thru TU for the what, hows and whys that makes a good lure. Ask questions as you go along, you'll be on ur way in say a year or 2? ;)

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I myself would like to see if I am any good at making jointed crankbaits or swimbaits. I already did the first stages which were mentioned here - drawings, types of connections between segments, etc. I surely want myself to go through the trial and error method, but at the same time I try to avoid possible mistakes that I could make, if I could learn from the experience of others.

For the moment, I have a specific question, which refers to weighting. Do I need to weigh each segment of a swimbait? My first impression would be that I need to do so, to avoid difference in buoyancy of different segments. But how am I going to do that?

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I laminate mine first with a small amount of elmers glue so it's easy to split after i've carved it and cut it in sections (first piece longest last piece shortest). I wieght it with the weight tapering from the midle back in the front section, i place it inthe middle of the middle section and forward of the last section.hope this helps.

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I just picked up a picece of wood from Hobby Lobby and carved it.. After it didnt work.. I called Dean my lure consultant! And Fatfingers my lure advisor.. I would suggest you get a Consultant and Advisor.. Then go GUN HO into this!!! Dean only charges 25 bucks per month.. for 2 phone calls per week And Fatfingers is free as long as you send him a pet monkey that gives a good back rub after a long night in the shop makin musky baits!!! So to review.

1. Hire a Lure Consultant

2. Hire a Lure Advisor

3. Buy a MONKEY!!!

I been thinkin about under cuttin Dean's price and only chargin 22.95!!! So if your up for it PM ME!!

Hope this helps.

The Rookie

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So to review.

1. Hire a Lure Consultant

2. Hire a Lure Advisor

3. Buy a MONKEY!!!

Thanks for the straight help from a straight guy... If I get it right, you think that splitting the advisory/consultancy expenses would be good for all of us?:lol:

But you know what they say, tons of information on TU, about any question you may ask. Maybe you, me and others do not know how to use the search function?:?

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Hey Dude, I understand what you are going through. I too am trying the same thing but have desided to do an all custom bait shop. I have become very good a making swimbaits and I have also found that you don't need as many joints. Be patient and look at how your weighting the baits. Not the rate of fall, but how the bait falls. If you need more info shoot me an e-mail and I give you more info.

Hope this Helps

Monsterfish

P.s. Stick to wood it makes a better impression and your recycling.

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Try to keep the swing area of your hooks clear of the joints. Either mount them far enough forward so they only swing on the section they're in, or far enough back so the entire hook swings on the section behind. While having a swinging hook stick in the side of a lure occasionally is going to happen with all jointed lures, nothing kills a retrieve like a hook getting into the hinge area when it swings.

Maybe T'd hooks wouldn't do that.

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Weighting of swimbait depends of its shape, but best way to find out the right weighting is attaching some lead to the joints and directly test the baits action. But as the other guys already said, it won't work like waking up and carving a perfect lure its alway a try and error process until one knows how to do it right. I build my baits by using a band saw, sanding machines, dremel and carving.

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