CL Rods

whose blanks, eyes and why

4 posts in this topic

OK, I am real new to this and I realize for some of you this is a real business and may not want to share too much. But I have spent the last couple of WEEKS looking at and SEARCHING for lure blanks, and eyes both 3D and flat and taking my own notes.

For the real thing I really like Shad Raps, Bandits and some of the Bagleys and Lucky Craft lures, pointers, American Shad, flats and of course the current Hot bait the RC series.

What it seems is no one is even making a close knock off balsa Shad Rap and almost everyone has a deep and shallow plastic version, so let's hear the plus and minius of your favorite supplier.

For Bandit knock offs it seems to me that EVERYONE'S bills are too fat compared to the real thing. This may be the photos on the web site so if you have a suggestion, or have purchased one over the other and the bills are'nt too thick chime in PLEASE.

Seems like no one has a real good or for that matter close American Shad like Lucky Craft makes or the RC series.

And of the medium/deep divers where the bill has a slight downard edge as it goes into the body, those seem a lot like some of the Lucky Craft bodies as far as appearance goes, can this really be? How good are they to they dive as well as Lucky Craft's?

And as far as Balsa bodys in bulk for Bagleys, I didn't find what I felt like was a good price, though some were OK for shape and design. So if someone has info they are willing to share on Coffin Bills or Original Balsa Bs or deep version knockoffs, I'd love to hear from you.

And as far as eyes go, hmm, seems like Barlows may have the best assortment and choices.

I have/HAD been experimenting on making my own eyes and it is too inconsistent on getting bubles and just not worth my time.

I know one and all would love to get views from each other, and hopefully those who sell this stuff will pay attention to the comments.

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As for the eyes, I buy from janns and barlows. Each one has their advantages, barlows has a little better size and color range.

The far, I've not found any that were perfect. The Lucky knock offs from Janns look real good and the divers work real good with some tuning. The sammy copy not so good. It works but not like a LC. The jerks look good but after painting, won't suspend unless you do some serious work to lighten them up. I did try the cheap shad bodies from Janns and after painting, splitrings, and hooks, they sank. The circuitboard FS work great but you have to epoxy the lip in as they wiggle when you get them.Most of the others I've ordered there work fine, they're not perfect, but they catch fish. I really can't speak for barlows or the other blanks, but some of them are the same if you look closely. I did order some blanks from Vanndilizer Baits and they look great, but I haven't had a chance to finish any and try them out (great deal by the way, thanks Mike) Most of the bills on the cranks are going to be thicker because they use the "figure 8" type line ties that are glued between the 2 halves. The balsa bodies look nice but I've never ordered any. My suggestion there is to make your own. I did get some of the basswood blanks but shapes were too inconsistant for me. Well, thats about it in a nutshell, hope it helps. Be sure and check out Vanndilizer Baits.

Oh, I did paint one of Vanns baits, haven't fished it yet, It's the bluegill in the gallery.http://


Edited by CreekMonster
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If you look at Homebrew Tools forum. Their is some guys that have made some tool or machine that can copy balsa cranks. I am not sure if they make them to sell or will make one for you but its worth a look. I am not a hard bait guy yet I keep reading to learn how to make them for when I give it a shot.

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None of the blanks resembling LC's, Bagleys, Normans, etc are exact copies, so don't expect them to be clones of the originals. That's not to say some aren't good blanks that will catch fish when properly built out, but you have to judge them on their own merits, not the merits of the baits they resemble. Most TU custom baitmakers build wood baits from scratch, although there may be a few who get blanks shaped to their custom specification by a contactor. So I don't think there's much hidden, or that much to hide. There's just not a wide array of blank models available because it's a limited market.

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