A-Mac

swimbait w/out the swim

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The bait shown as my icon is a recent swimbait that I had just completed. Its about 4.5- 5" long and is jointed just behind the gill plate, just behind midsection, and at the tail. However, it doesn't swim! It goes straight through the water. This bait is quite symmetrical on both sides and is fairly accurate to a "pregnant" bluegill in shape. Is the head of the bait suppose to be broad? I think I may have it too hydrodynamic and no water is being displaced. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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You fins may be the problem too. Don't you think they will be acting like rudders there at that size.

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Going by the pic the joints look a little too tight,if so they might not have enough room to "swim".Just a thought,as I haven't tried a swim bait yet,so feel free to disregard my inexperianced reply.Hope you get her going....Robert

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You could experiment with the front section by molding some plasticine on the front and try swimming it. Messy, but non-invasive.

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I'm not at all an expert on swim baits (never made one) but agree with LaPala that the fins would act as a stabilizer making the lure want to run straight instead of snaking back and forth.

The lure itself looks very nice, quality assembly and very cool paint. Hope you can tune her up without giving up the details that make it stand out.

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I'm actually a fisheries major at Purdue University and did the paint in comparison to my Freshwater Fish ID manual. Yeah, I can see where the fins would be a problem... but they're my favorite part! On my first one I got it to wobble but I had to insert a lip. I'm thinking of maybe using a poured rubber to make the fins. Or maybe somehow creating a joint in the fins? Any ideas? The current ones are actually made from lexan. Looks like I'll dedicate another 9 years of my life on this one. Lure making is like fishing, in the eyes of the beholder one is never as satisfied as he would like to be.

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I think the lure looks great, I really hope you get it to work.

What material did you use for the body?

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The fins are blocking water flow to the tail section. you should try either making the fins out of soft plastic or redesign the fins to satisfy the water dynamics. Just my opinion. Great looking bait though.

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I carved the bait out of aspen. I feel the trickiest part is cutting the angled areas to be hinged. Several baits bite the dust early on at this stage. I just got a miter box and that helps.

As for the fins... yup, I feel thats my unsolved mystery. I will test the next one before putting the fins on to see if that is the problem. I do want to eventually make these softer in comparison to lexan but durable enough to not get torn up. Also, I think that softer fins will allow a fish to engulf the bait better. Thanks everyone for the insight! Figured the real pros would have the input I needed.

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You absolutely need soft, thin fin material when they are that big. Also make sure that there is sufficient space for the joints to move freely. I did a ton of experimenting with swimbait design before settling on the current one. However after seeing how much better the multi sectional swimbaits work I am planning on making a switch soon.

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Maybe your fins are the problem, but my question is do you have any weight in the head of your bait. I weight my swimbaits in the head section only, feel that this makes the head start to wiggle and rest will follow and then action just increases. However, my baits do not have the fins that yours does, so.........., but understand that I'm not the sharpest hook on the line. :(

Hope you get it worked out, that is a very nice looking bait.

David

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I do have some weight in the head. I would say ~40% of the inserted weight. I have the rest in a chamber in the belly (bulging area).

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I would agree with capt it would seem that to much weight in the mid section would hinder the action. Try adding some of the weight from the belly to the head. Say 60% head 40% belly

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I do have some weight in the head. I would say ~40% of the inserted weight. I have the rest in a chamber in the belly (bulging area).

Try removing all the weight from the belly. I found that weight in the belly will kill almost of the action. I built one and was trying to get as much weight as I could get into it, weighted all three sections, got no action at all. Drilled the mid-section out and filled the hole and action improved. Now the only weight I put in the tail is the weighted hook hanger. All the rest of the weight goes in the head. Got one on the bench right now that I am going to put just a hook hanger/no weight so all my weight will be in the head. At this time have no idea how it will swim, but I am hopeful. After what you said above, I bet if you get rid of the mid-section weight you will find your swimming action. Hope so.

David

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That's an interesting observation about weight placement. I might have to do some experimenting with head only weighting. I just want to make sure that my baits are stable at all speeds and won't roll over. I weight each section and then tank test until they sink horizontally like a glider.

That's a habit I got into from making only glide baits for the first two years so perhaps it simply isn't necessary in a swimbait?

Actually having them head weighted only would mean that they should swim as they fall when counting down. I never even thought of that before.

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I think he wants it to fall horizontaly if he takes all the weight out of the belly it will fall head first. You have to play with weight placement. and the amount of weightineach section. Try distributing the weight through out the bait. just make sure the head has a littlemore. I am no expert. Listen to what snax has to say, he is the swimbait expert

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This lure sits perfectly in the water at the moment. I'm not sure how much more weight I could cram into the head w/out going to tungsten. On another note, Aspen is the only wood I've experimented w/ so far. It shapes beautifully. What type of wood would you guys recommend? Does this matter? Denser wood will probably dampen action; However, I may not need as much weight either... Time will tell. I'll give more info on what does and (mostly) what doesn't work.

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This lure sits perfectly in the water at the moment. I'm not sure how much more weight I could cram into the head w/out going to tungsten. On another note, Aspen is the only wood I've experimented w/ so far. It shapes beautifully. What type of wood would you guys recommend? Does this matter? Denser wood will probably dampen action; However, I may not need as much weight either... Time will tell. I'll give more info on what does and (mostly) what doesn't work.

Don't know how much this will help, I use poplar. I feel it works great, (easy to saw, shape, drill). As far as horizonal falling, that is what I thought I wanted, and got in first ones only to find out that I did not have enough action. Then I got enough nerve to take apart one of my triple trouts ($70 ouch!) and found that most of weight is in head. This bait is one of the best swimming baits I've ever seen. Been trying to duplicate it ever since. This just my humble opinion though. For me it is still trial and error.

David

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I don't think the weighting is imperativly the cause. I build very well working swimbaits with weights in all segments, whereas the bulk was situated in the front segment, but the bait then is sinking horizontally.

One major factor which I experienced to be essential is area in the belly peace of the tail segment. If this section is lacking to much area where vortex can roll, the bait will loose action.

Try to expend ventral tail area with some modelling mass.

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are you saying that the body sectioin should have more mass than the head and tail sections. By mass i mean more wood not weight

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I think this can have manyfold reasons, but on reason why one of my swimbaits first didn't worked was that the rear end tail section ventrally had not enough area or body depth.

I made a quick drawing where I can show you what I mean...

Vortex-1.jpg

The upper bait looks like the bait we are talking about.

both lures below depict a potentially working one and a potentially not working one...the vortexes creataed from the head section are rolling alternating on the left and the right along the lures body, thus if the lure is jointed well, the differences in occuring pressure produce the action.

But when the bottom part of the tail section lacks of area that can experience the vortex in combination with a short lure it won't work.

This is what I experienced by building swimbaits.

Of course other factors that have been mentioned play a role too, but I don't think it must imerativley be caused by the weighting in every segment. But best way to find out the reason ist try end error with variating different things...

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interesting... so are you suggesting i should slap some silly puddy on the tail area and see if it works? i need a hydro- engineer!!! Do you think the narrow head section has anything to do with the water displacement necessary to swim?

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the fins are definately hindering the swim of the bait....however i don't think it would swim without the fins on it.....you need a bill under the head (as you would see on other swimbaits or shallow divers) that deflects water and gives it action....for a bait that size i would try a bill approx 3/4 inch long and 3/4 inch wide. it is tapered from the front to back....try and see if it helps.....nugene

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Does your swimbait have a slender, narrow head? Yes I think the head section shouldn't be too slender, but it's really hard to dtermine the real cause from far away and sometimes even from near ;-) man...there are really many things I think they have different influence on high-back and low-back shaped baits. But I think it is essential that there is a source of vortex generation (usually the head) and enough area over length that can experience their forces.

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I think several issues may be hampering you here. As mentioned hte dorsal and caudal fins may be acting as rudders and helping to stablilze the lure.

After looking more closely at you're lure design it has many elements similar to a hydrodynamic keels in sail boats specifically a bulb keel and would possibly be adding additional stabilty to the lure. Instead of combating the lateral force associated with the sail it wold be combating any possible "swimming" efforts.

I would put this one up on the shelf and repeat and go as simple as possible on the next one, no paint, just a few coats of poly or something so it can be reworked as needed. Get the action down and then finish it out.

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