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Walk the dog weighting?
14 replies to this topic
Posted 28 March 2008 - 06:23 PM
I am going to be making a walk the dog type glider and was wondering where I should put the molten lead or if I should...I will be using balsa wood and lure will be 4-5"
Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:47 PM
I make a few 5" Sammy style banana walking baits and I put the ballast mid distance between the belly hanger and the tail. You have to float test the bait with different ballast weight to find the amount of weight that wil give you the float angle you want. Also, I don't recommend melting lead into a ballast hole in soft balsa. The hot lead chars the wood around the hole, making it weaker. Slap that baby on the water and the ballast will shoot right out through the finish - believe me, I know!
Posted 29 March 2008 - 08:31 AM
After you get the hardware mounted on the lure you need to find the "center of bouyancy". That is the spot that you can put lead and make the bait sink level to the horizon. The way to do this is the fill a sink or tub and using two fingers, on on each side of the lure, find the spot you can lightly pinch the lure and bring it down while the back stays level. you can also use two points which you can fine tune the bouyancy by drilling out some lead on one side or the other to get a level float.
I would reiterate the comment that BobP made in that you may want to reconsider use of balsa for a glide bait. I prefer Maple for this kind of lure. A lot of guys use cedar and more lead to keep a low center of gravity. With all the lead that you will require to brign balsa down, it may be a problem from a durability standpoint.
Your final epoxy coat will take away some bouyancy. If you want a neutral lure, it needs to barely float when you do you weighting and float testign. If you want slow sinking lure, make it neutral during float test.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:33 PM
Thanks for the tips. If I do the through wire thing do I just drill a hole down the middle or cut the whole lure in half?? also what size wire should I use?
Posted 29 March 2008 - 08:15 PM
You can use either technique. The drilling in 1/2 method is more common. For the size lure you are making I would think that 0.40 or 0.50" wire would work great.
Posted 29 March 2008 - 11:33 PM
I split balsa baits with a razor blade, using a scribed line around the bait as a guide. Can't drill a straight hole to save my life! It's also nice to have access to the whole interior of the bait for routing wire, installing weight, rattles, etc. Having a solid epoxy "backbone" throughout the bait when you join the halves provides a lot of reinforcement too. I use smaller wire than Yake since there aren't many big toothy critters swimming down here in the S.E.
Posted 29 March 2008 - 11:41 PM
Will try cutting in half method first to see how it turns out. So to add weight should I add it while it's split and drill a hole for it or how should I go about doing that?
Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:09 AM
Another method that I have used on prototypes, but there is no reason why it can't be finished nicely. I drill from the nose out the belly and then cut a slot to the tail. The wire is threaded, marked at the tail and the tail loop formed. The wire is held in place in the slot with super glue (instant). The slot is filled with epoxy. You have to work out the logistics of the ballast, but it is not difficult.
I like this method for its ease and convenience, but really, the split body is the way to go.
Posted 30 March 2008 - 09:15 AM
I like poplar for walking baits. Poplar holds screw-eyes well, making thru-wire optional, but similar to V-man's method is to run a slot with a Dremel and cut-off wheel from nose to tail and insert your pre-tied wire harness. Then proceed with the ballast and epoxy it all in. I also do this with cedar.
Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:24 PM
If this is the first bait you've made of this type, you should float test it before installing ballast. Ballasting while a lure is split in half is an easy way to go but it's not going to work well on an untested bait. I float test a bait after it's shaped, waterproofed, and the hardware is installed. Mount trebles on the bait temporarily. On a walking bait, drive a pin in where you think the ballast should go, then hang lead wire on the pin and float the bait, changing position and weight until you get what you like. Weigh the lead and melt it into a slug, then drill a hole and epoxy it in the bait. Write down the ballast weight so you won't need to float test the next one when your fishing buddy insists he's gotta have one just like it.
Posted 31 March 2008 - 08:10 AM
Since you're using Balsa, it's a safe bet to say you will need some ballast weight for sure. I use hook hangers with the weight attached to get me started in weighting.
For glide baits similar to punkers, I use an egg sinker and pass a cotter pin through it, spread the ends and clip them short, and then epoxy that in at my hook hanger locations. For tail hooks, I try not to use lead, since the twist wire hook hanger is pointing straight back, which is a good angle to pull loose, so I want as much wood/epoxy/wire contact as possible. If I find I need more weight near the tail, I'll drill a 5/16" hole, and add a #5 split shot, or whatever size makes the bait sit right.
Walking baits typically are center and tail weighted, so the lure's tail wants to come up past the head on the pause. For gliders at rest, I like 1/3 to 1/2 of the lure, at the head, above water, but the lure to sit horizontal. For walking baits, sitting a little more vertical doesn't hurt in the smaller sized, but trying to get 6" baits up and walking if they're sitting tail down makes for a long day. I find it will wear you out, so I try to stick with the 1/3 to 1/2 of the bait out of the water, and just work the glider a little faster, with shorter pulls, like walking a spook.
Finally, try to keep the profile low, so you aren't having to fight the flat surface of the lure as you walk it. All of the walk the dog lures I've ever fished are almost cylindrical, with some having a slight sway back.
Everything I know about this stuff I either learned here, or copied off of lures I had, and that's the best way to get started, I think.
Take a lure you like, and try to imitate it.
You'll probably learn more from you mistakes, like most of us do in life, but that's a good method.
Hope this helps.
Posted 01 April 2008 - 04:06 PM
well...carved my first two lures out of balsa. Definatly just practice ones. Carved it with all manual tools which made it real tough. Getting my sawzall out of storage tomorrow to get the general shape cut then sand it...hope that works!
Posted 01 April 2008 - 07:28 PM
It does get easier. Once you have carved a dozen or so, you will wonder what the fuss was about.
Posted 01 April 2008 - 08:02 PM
I hope you were kidding about using a sawzall to shape. If you're serious, just be very careful. Sawzalls aren't meant to be used on wood you hold in your hand. They are a two handed tool, meant for rough work and demolition. If you're going to try and use one to shape a lure, be sure the wood you're cutting is clamped and secure. Otherwise, you may be picking up pieces of your hand off the floor.
Sorry to sound like a parent, but I have used power tools my whole life to make a living, and a sawzall is one of the most dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. I'd hate not to say something and have you injure yourself.
Posted 01 April 2008 - 09:36 PM
Sounds like you might have grabbed a block of wood that wasn't balsa. If it was balsa you should have been able to carve a tree into a plug with an x-acto knife.
I think you might have been cutting into a block of Basswood.
Keep working the bait you have going and then go to the Hobby Shop and get a one X one block of BALSA and do it again. You should be able to shape it with a piece of 80 grit sandpaper if you want to.