pizza

small/ultralight single treble crankbaits - advice needed and please post pics

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A pic diemai posted (partially shown here)has me wanting to try making a small single treble crankbait. Something in size between a bomber Fat A 03 (1 1/4", 1/8 oz) and a bomber Fat A 04 (1 1/2" 1/5 oz). Something a little bit smaller than a lucky craft bevy crank, but bigger than a strike king bitsy minnow. Ultimately I would love to be able to make a crank the size of the bitsy minnow, but realize that will be a total pain in the butt, especially getting it to be balanced, float upright(or just float period), swim straight, and have good action

?'s

1. While making something like this with a single treble would be easier, I'm not sure it would be conducive to providing better action. Comments? I'm thinking the weight of a 2nd rear hook will help provide better action. But I also know there are commercially available microcranks with a single treble hook that have good action (yo zuri aille goby, and yo zuri snap beans).

2. If you did go with a single treble where would you locate it? In the very back? About where diemai did? Or on the belly? I realize this isn't exactly answerable without knowing the exact shape, but answer as best you can.

3. Where (and how) would you weight it/if at all? (this depends on answer to #2).

4. Would you even bother with a treble? Or just go with a single hook? Or go with two single hooks? What kind of hook?

5. Would you go with basswood or balsa? If balsa you could add more weight towards the bottom which would help it balance/sit upright better. With basswood, you may be able to get by without adding any additional ballast at all.

Sorry for all the ?'s but I know how difficult this is gonna be and figured I'd pick your brains first. I'll be using 0.040" lexan for bill.

And lastly, I would love to see pics of any small/ultralight cranks you have made, especially those with a single treble.

Thanks!

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The top bait I make with two #8 trebles or a single #6 on the belly and can tell no difference in hook-up ratio. I have also been trying it with a circle hook on each end and that also hooks up really well. It uses a 1gram belly weight.

The second bait is a 2" long wake bait using a single hook on the rear hanger, very weed resistant and hooks up well. If using a single hook, install your rear hook hanger horizontally so the hook can be installed point up.

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I occasionally get a few 1 5/8" Netcraft "Diver 1" fat balsa blanks and make crankbaits with a single octopus hook on the tail and a Lexan lip set at about 45 degrees. I use .10 oz ballast where the belly hanger would normally go. The finished baits are .25oz with Devcon clearcoat. The final "throw weight" is important - I want to fish them on baitcast gear with 8 lb line. The octopus hook provides very good hooking; better than #8 trebles. Plus, the upward pointing hook allows the bait to be fished through gnarly cover.

Edited by BobP

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You have already discussed in your questions, my thoughts. Balsa to allow good vertical stability. Belly mounted hook to maximise the action. A tail hook would reduce the action. Care to position the belly hook so that the line does not snag when casting.

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Forgive me for posting what is probably the ugliest lure you're gonna see on TU but bear in mind it did only take 20 minutes to make from start to finish:lol:

Was just testing out the design to see how it worked and surprisingly it caught fish within the first few casts. Made of balsa and as its quite a fat lure it took a belly full of lead to get the action how I wanted.

I'll refine the design one day (when I stop messing about on other projects:whistle:) but so far it seems to be a very nice little summer chub lure.....despite making me want to puke when I look at it :wink:

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Edited by Esoteric

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Hello a fel ach Esoteric.

Dybia 'r hychydig lure dremiau 'n fawr. Caiff chymeriad a siwrnai arlliwiedig i fyny ewyllysia annel 'r bysgodwyr cystal fel 'r bysgota.

Don't y'all just love the lyrics of the Welsh language!

Hello and how are you Esoteric.

I think the little lure looks great. It has character and once painted up will trap the fishermen as well as the fish.

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very good. theres no such thing as ugly. ive seen many pretty ones that dont fish. i would definately use that.

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I Like It, Hope you finish it and post a pic. I also echo V Mans thoughts,

("I think the little lure looks great. It has character and once painted up will trap the fishermen as well as the fish".)

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Pizza, I am sure you ca answer most of your questions yourself. If you are not sure about an answer, make a small crankbait to find out the answer.

Here are 2 crankbaits that I did not care much about the way they look. I am more interested in the action. The top one has a geat action, the other one is not ready yet. The last one has the natural colour of the wood on the back. I used light wood and through wire construction.

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@ pizza

Glad to have given you some input with my pics posted:) .

Here are some different ones , though not homemade ,thought that they might still provide some more inspiration for you .

I have used a squared paper sheet as background , so you can determine about the lure's sizes , each square is 5mm , so five squares almost make up for one inch .

Pic 01 shows the smallest "Rapala Original" , the smallest "Nils Master Invincible"(rigged way too large hooks) , the smallest(?????) "Helin's Flatfish" , and an unknown German vintage lure(suppose from the 70's , from the German company "Cormoran" , since the term "corRmo" is molded into it).

The latter two lures are of plastic , the first two of balsawood .

Pic 02 shows a tiny one-hook lure , I suppose , that it is the smallest version of the "Salmo Hornet" , made by a Polish company .

I believe that the one looking like a huge wasp is also made by "Salmo" , since the lip is just the same like on the "Hornet"

The third crank is a Finnish homemade , I think . Got it from a Finnish friend .

All lures are made of balsa , obviously(also foam possible , they are very light , definately no plastic !) .

Pic 03 sports two "Rapala Fat Rap's"(I'm not quite sure about the model name) , smallest available , made of balsa , my own two tiny lures , and still a little smaller lure , made of plastic by the German company "Exori" . This one is a sinker , quite heavy for its size compared to a balsa lure .

If you should need more pics of certain of these lures from different perspectives , just tell me , I'll post them here:wink: .

Finally I'd like to make up a theory about the position of a single treble on such tiny lures :

Like Vodkaman said , I am also convinced , that a tail-mounted hook would be of disadvantage , it would let the light lure swim tail-down at rest , thus minimizing the wobble(found this out on many other cranks , tailweight is not good for wobble , only for casting distance) .

If your design is of light material(balsa) , and has a pronounced "big belly" shape , you might still have enough room for a balance weight in the belly , so you probably could still rig the hook on the very end of tail .

If the lure is not that voluminous , it would always be better to rig the hook more towards the belly of it .

The tiny "Salmo" lure still has its single treble on the tail end , because the weight and size of its lip counterbalances the weight of the hook , so the lure would probably till lay level(just theory , haven't used it yet) , with a small lip under the chin this might not work out .

Well , these are just thoughts of mine , don't claim them to be proven true , but that's what discussions are all about:wink::wink: !

Good luck and success , diemai

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Some thoughts,

If you make such tiny lures, you can use a harder wood without having to add weight, but in this case it is difficult to make the lure stable. Stability is easier achieved with the help of added weight, which means you have to use lighter wood, not necessarily balsa, poplar or willow would also be good.

The small crankbaits I made up to now have a good action, large enough, and they all have the treble hook at the very end of the tail. The treble hook at the tail is a weight which acts like a lever with the longest arm in the crankbait. But you can balance the treble hook with the weight, which you have to put not at the middle of the belly, but closer to the nose(let's say 35-40% of the distance from nose to tail). The weight plus the lip will balance the weight of the treble hook, which, in this case, "weights" more because of the lever.

Edited by rofish

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these are 1 3/4 long but are bit heave at .32 oz. Very nice action for little fat baits.

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thanks for the responses and pics - good stuff! I'll post pics of my small crankbaits and report my findings when they are done(haven't started and got busy with school so it may be a month or so). And keep the ideas and pics coming.

I had posted earlier about using 0.030" and 0.040" thick Lexan for lips and it didn't seem many here had experience with either. I've made a few cranks with the 0.040" and (while I haven't fished them yet) it seems like it will be fine. I'm thinking in the future for any crank that's about 5/16 oz or less I will use the 0.040" and not the 0.060" thick. For really small cranks the 0.030" would probably be even better.

Edited by pizza

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Pizza, I think that for such small crankbaits, 0.040" Lexan is the best thickness. The small crankbait in my picture has a 0.040" polycarbonate lip.

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You don't want to use the 1/32 inch lexan for lips. It flexes and will crack the finish around the lip and let water get to the wood. I've still got about 3 sheets of that stuff left over. If you want a thin material try Garolite.

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I've been making some ultralight crankbaits lately. Here are my 3 smallest - all mohogany. The 2nd smallest is the only one with a dedicated ballast (a single water gremlin 735-BB round split shot). It is the only one I've fished with thus far and I've done real well with it. I ended up cutting off about 3 mm of the lip on it since these pics were taken, made for better action. The smallest and 3rd smallest don't have any dedicated ballast so I'm hoping the weight of the hooks are enough weight to give it good action and help it swim in an upright position.

pic 1. The unfinished 2nd smallest showing ballast.

pic 2. 3 smallest in a plano 2-3601 box.

pic 3. Smallest

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Edited by pizza

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another pic showing the 2nd and 3rd smallest.

and another pic showing smallest (unfinished) and 2nd smallest next to some commercially available ultralights for comparison. Yo zuri aille goby, repainted strike king bitsy minnow, rapala mini fat rap, bomber fat a 3, rapala countdown 5 (they do make a countdown 3, I just don't own one)

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be making cranks similar in size to a mini fat rap!!!

Keeping my fingers crossed that they swim well!!!

These are fun to fish, not so much to sand lol.

and I see no reason why 30 mil (0.030")lexan wouldn't work for cranks this small. These were all made with 0.040" though which seems to work well.

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Edited by pizza

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Pizza, the baits look great. On the thin lexan I can only give you my experience with it. You may not have the same problem as I did. You can find that stuff at hobby shops that sell model airplane kits.

I'm using pre cut circut board lips from Jann's now.

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Thanks Benton & I really like your fat bodied single trebled too! That will be one of my next ventures, haven't really tried any fat bodies yet. I also want to get into the 3/16-1/4 maybe even 5/16 oz single treble cranks. Dual trebles and river smallies often don't jive even when mostly debarbed (and LC designs their slender pointer with 3 trebles specifically for (river) smallies WTF?!?!). I hear ya and still think I would go with the 40 over the 30 for the slightly extra weight it provides towards the front of the bait. I haven't experimented with the circuit board but plan too. I've gotten my 60 mil and 40 mil at a local hobby shop- 8"x9" for about $4.50. BUt I do want to get into the circuit board thinner lip material too.

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The nice thing about the circuit board lips is that you can buy some pre-cut. It saves a lot of time on a lure build. Those baits in the pic are not really fat bodies (1/2 stock was used) the pic is not that good. Those 2 baits weigh in the 1/8oz range and run pretty good but got some kinks to work out. I like the foil job you did to your baits, that takes some skill on baits that small.

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Pizza,

I don't know how big those coins are, but you surely don't know how big my hand is :)

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Pizza, on a bait this small I have not had any trouble with 1/32" Lexan but on larger deep divers you can get a lot of flex. The bait pictured will have treble hooks, but on my personal baits I use a single octopus hook, like BobP they work great. This little bugger is 7/8" long and 1 tenth oz. I made a smaller one but lost it some where on my bench.

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I've made some of the Jann's Netcraft or Lurecraft fat balsa mini cranks that are 1 5/8" long and fish them with either a single #6 treble or a small octopus hook on the tail only. I like the hooking power of the larger hooks and especially the snagless performance of a single octopus hook on the tail. For me, true micro cranks are for spinning rod experts only. Since I'm lousy with one, I make mine 1/4 oz so I can throw them on a baitcasting rod. That means the bodies must have enough bouyancy to carry the ballast required for a compact 1/4 oz bait - and that calls for a fat balsa body. The other factor is the angle of the lip. You need a large lip angle to wiggle a short bait with weight hanging on the tail. I use about 45 degrees. I did a batch with lips at about 20 degrees and they were a disaster. My hat's off to you guys who can build such nice micro crankbaits from scratch. I'm not sure I have the fine motor skills to do that.

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Nice ones guys! The teeny tot is amazing whittler! I'm burnt out on the lil guys right now but I'll probably try a (sub)dime sized in the future. I'll definately be checking out single octopus hooks the next time I am at the store. Thus far I've been using a single #8 treble. Thanks for all the advice everyone.

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