diemai

new "Banana" lure

116 posts in this topic

During the past days in my work breaktimes I sketched down some new designs of "Banana"-style lures , today I put the first one of these into practice , the others hopefully would follow up during the next days and weeks .

This one is approx. 3 1/4" in length .

The difference to my previous "Banana's"(pls. check gallery) is , that I made the lip a little different , not plane and long like I used to , but short and a little cupped this time :wink:.

I wonder , wether there would be differences in any aspect of the lure action between the two variations :huh:.

To save time , I used light teakwood for this lure , not abachewood as usual , the latter requires time-consuming treatment to render it waterproof .

But I am aware , that this lure shown might probably turn on it's back , maybe even a balance weight won't help , since the body is pretty much curved .

The other models , that I sketched down so far , don't have such a pronounced shape .

There are some essentials about such "Banana"-lures to be considered , that I have found out through the years , since I like such baits quite a bit and made a lot of them for myself and friends :

1. The lip portion has to be slim , thus less buoyant .

2. The rear has to be more voluminous , thus more buoyant .

3. The cross-section in general must be either round or slightly oval(width more than heigth , not vice-versa) .

4.The lure should float up with its two ends level or little head-down , not tail-down !

5. A pronounced body curve generates more wobbling action , but less diving depth , on the other hand a very curved lure tends to overturn and swim on its back , less curved "Bananas" vice-versa !

6. The position of the tow eye is very important . Such lures are shallow runners , it does not work out to attempt to place the eye higher towards back of bait to make it dive deeper , the one and only result is overturning:( !

On straight-lipped "Banana's" the towpoint should be located quite near the front end of lip .

7. A small balance weight placed into the belly in front of belly hook hanger most likely improves the balance and action of the bait in terms of a stable running , on oval cross-sectioned lures these are even essential to prevent the lure to probably float up lopsided .

OK , maybe , this little excursion into "Banana"-bait dynamics would be useful to someone around here .

I went through many headaches to find out about the statements above for myself , though they may neccessarely not be complete or even a bedrock .

Greetz , diemai

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Diemai. A very generous post, sharing your hard earned information.

I have often contemplated making a Helin type lure, they have a very strong aesthetic attraction (they look very sexy, in a masculine fisherman way). But just by looking at the style, I can see the difficulties of setting it up. The relatively high ballast position compared to a more traditional lure, I see as a problem, which you solved with the parallel lip, which keeps the roll under control. The buoyant rear end combined with the curvature, pulls the rear upwards, presenting more lip to collect the vortex action.

I bet that little gem really shakes its tail feathers and teases the fish. I would love to see a video of the action.

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Diemai Like the looks of those bananna lures. When I was young, we trolled for Walleyes using a lure called a Jet Lure. It had the same general shape as your bananna lures and really thumped. I bet yours will too. Thanks for sharing the results of your many hours of expermentimg with these. I am sure it is appreciated by many.

John

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A beautiful lure you have carved from wood! We use kwikfish here in Oregon for salmon.......chinook love them! I carved some myself several years back but can't seem to find a picture of them.

RM

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Diemai, have you looked at Aussie lures like Halco (Poltergeist, Rellik Doc) and Predatek (Boomerangs, Woomera) offerings? I think the Aussies are wild over the bananaish lures but they usually render it with a plastic lip. Some slight modifications in the basic banana shape in those lures addresses the roll over issues you mentioned. But I agree the amount of curvature in the lure dictates a lot of the lure's action. For buoyancy issues, try playing with wedged shape body cross sections too, this will help a lot in addressing the needed stability.

Hazmal's lures are to me in the banana category too (oops, better put a disclaimer in here, I'm referring to the lure shape not the man :D) I think Pete will know a lot more Aussie lures that are banana.

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Thanks a lot about the reflections about my "Banana"-lures , that's great:) !

Forgot to mention one important thing :

When cutting out such a lure from a woodboard , make sure , that the woodgrain would be leading in about parallel to the slim lip's outer shape , this way you'd achieve the best possible stability of the bait !

@ Vodkaman

You took the words right out of my mouth , there is something erotic about the curvy body of such lures.........:wink: !

@ LaPala

I only know the "Poltergeist" by pictures , so I can't tell about their action , and it's also new to me , that the Aussie's are crazy about such lures !

@ RiverMan

Certainly those baits are also attractive to all salmon-like fish , I have caught trout in local put-and-take ponds on smaller "Bananas" .

It's a pity , that I never managed to make a smaller one less than about 2 1/2" , it cant be made much smaller in terms of proper body shape relations , I suppose , since the lip requires a certain thickness to accommodate the linetie wire form .

@ JBlaze

Haven't yet caught a "Zander"(very , very similar to American walleye)on such bait , these rarely come up shallow , most of the time they are bottom located , and are most likely caught on bait minnows and plastics , rigged onto leadheads . Few are caught on crankbaits over here , if I hazard a guess , maybe 10% to 15% !

@ CreekMonster

Thanks for your kind words !

Sorry , Vodkaman , I can't provide a video , but one of the containing pics shows the wake , that a large , buoyant "Banana" generates on a calm surface , retrieved very slow , with the rod pointing upward .

Another pic shows three of my largest "Banana's", that I made for an "How To "-essay for a German angling magazine , taken in perfect float-up position .

These are about 4 2/3" in length , as a linetie I used a roughly "T"-shaped piece of brass-sheet , that later did not prove to be too practical , since its very hard to bend it to tune the lures .

So I'd better stay with wire in future , just thought , that this sheet metal would provide more weight on the lip , so I won't have to place extra belly weight , but for these large , buoyant ones I still had to .

Third pic shows some different models , that I've made through the years , but not all , by far !

greetz , Dieter

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Diemai,

I have not made such banana lures yet, but since you have made us share your findings, and I do not fully understand your explanations, I hope you will not find my questions to be too dumb.

You say the lip area of the body must be slim, and the rear area must be attractive ... er ... I mean more voluminous, and therefore more buoyant. This situation would lead by itself to the fact that the lure would have a nose down attitude. And if you add weight in front of the belly hanger, the nose down attitude would only increase. But you said that these lures must float with the 2 ends level, or a little nose down. Does it mean that the rear hook and hanger have so much weight that they can counterbalance the weight of the tow wire (big enough, as it seems) combined with the weight of the lead? And the front volume of the wood is smaller than the rear half?

These lures seem to be tricky to make, in such a way that they preserve some stability.

Have you ever tried to split the weight between the 2 ends? Because I think that this way such a lure would have the best stability. What if you would just glue some lead sheet under the lip area, and you would also put some lead in a lower area at the back? Just asking your oppinion about some dumb questions of a guy who has not made such lures yet.

And now the last one. From your drawing, it seems that the wire for the tow eye goes somewhere into the body (the lip), but I think that the 2 ends of the wire go through the lip, and then they are bended flush with the back of the lip, perhaps there is a groove for them, and perhaps they are epoxied in place. Is that so ?

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diemai, once again I love your style of lures, I like the paint on the three in the water they just pop out at you

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@ rofish

Don't find your questions dump at all , this is , what such forum sites are made for:wink: !

Indeed those lures are tricky to make , at least when you start out from almost zero as I did many years ago .

In theory it is true , that the fatter , more buoyant tail end of a "Banana"-lure should let the narrow lip portion hang head-down in the water , but on most of the lures , that I made , it did not significantly:huh: .

Surely the harware on the rear portion plays its part in this matter , don't underestimate the leverage of the tail hook at the very end of lure , it also has to do with the size of the lure and its buoancy in general .

But I guess , that I can't give you a very good and logical explanation about it , maybe it also has to do with the different shapes of both ends of such lures :huh:?

I haven't tried splitting the weight fore and aft , why should I do that ?

Any weight in the rear would be counterproductive , I believe .

Most of the crankbaits I made , have their balance weights somewhere between belly hook and lip(or just close behind belly hook) , this most likely enhances a stable running and increases diving performance , whereas a rear weight slows both of these features down , only probably provides better casting performance , but why should I cast a lure far out , that doesn't run well ?

Only found very few exceptions to that rule so far .

To put leadweights into the narrow lip of these lures is also not that easy , there is not much room for it , due to the groove of the toweye wire form(though I did it before left/right of that groove) , that's why I most likely put the weights in front of the belly eye .

The weights required on a 3" to 4" bait are not that heavy at all , f. e. the models mentioned below do already have a considerable action unweighted , but just that one leadshot renders it more stable in wobbling performance .

To get more information about how to rig the toweye , please check my uploads here in the gallery , there are three pics there called "line tie construction" , these should answer your questions :wink:.

Finally I'd like to mention , that "Banana's" around 3" to 4" are the easiest ones to get to run properly , smaller and larger are more tricky .

The model shown in my previous post(three in water , one laying on a sketch drawing , one causing wake) , in above mentioned sizes shouldn't cause too much problems .

I make these of abachewood , light , but yet strong enough for screweyes .

Greetz , Dieter

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Here's the second blank one of my sketches put to shape , the lure is about 4" in length .

This type of "Banana"-lure with its narrower neck portion is still a bit trickier to carve as the previously shown models with equal width of body all over their lengths .

Most finacky is to determine about the symmetry of the belly portion , since it's impossible to eyeball down its length for checking .

Best way is to really care for equal removal of material on either side whilst carving and sanding , always switch sides to do same work operation evenly .

I am still a little concerned , that the diving bill on this one may still be too large , since after my experience a narrow neck portion most likely causes the lure to turn over to swim on its back easier , especially a curved lure like this particular one .

To minor the pressure on the bill , that causes this overturning(together with the body curve) , the lip should be rather small .

But anyway , there is still room for a balance weight in front of the belly eye , that would let the lure more stable .

I am still planning on a similar "Banana" like this one , but less curved and still a little more flat , I just love trying different lure designs:wink: !

Greetz , diemai

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You might want to look at an ozzie lure called the JD Superbug, you can certainly go big on the curve and the bill if you want to. The Superbugs a copy of the out of production Knolls Native which it's self is a bit similar to the old Tiny Tad.

Regards Charles

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@ zook2001

Thanks a lot about your comment , it seems , that it really took me further :worship:.

Never heard about the "SuperBug" , I just googled it and found some nice pics of it that are sufficient enough for making my own versions .

The lip of this one is really big , never thought about such configuration !

When I stated , that "the lip has to be rather small" , I was exclusively only refering to bills , that are carved right out of the body of the "Banana"-lures , not to added plastic lips .

Nevertheless , since I like such lures quite a bit , I'm gonna start out soon with a first design sketch to work after , the credit is to you :wink:!

Thanks again:worship: , Dieter

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Here is my initial design sketch of that "SuperBug" lure version , made it at my lateshift work break yesterday , just after my memory from viewing the web pics before I got to work(don't have web access at my work) .

I may make my first one with a smaller bill , since that one would probably be easier to tune , just to gain first experience with such deep diving "Banana" .

Also might make lure a little different to that sketch , probably I would change some things whist working on it , if I'd find it neccessary .

Sorry , don't have a printer/scanner , so I had to make a photo of that sketch , but I guess , it's still sufficient enough to view details .

Even consider about ordering a couple of such lures from Australia , a "Banana"-style lure , that travels at over 30 feet , that's just great :wink:!

I catch most of my fish in deeper water , so I am always looking for deep divers of any kind .

What impresses me most about this "SuperBug" from Tasmania is , that even the smaller versions are supposed to dive very deep .

Interrested ?

Check index , it's the manufactures site .

Thanks again , zook2001:worship: , greetings , diemai

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Great job on the design drawing. You should get a CAD system, you would enjoy it.

Edited by Vodkaman

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Diemai,

If they can do it, I am sure that you can.

I see in your sketch that you still preserve your earlier design of these lures, in the sense that the rear part is thicker than the front part, so contrary to those jdlurestas baits. My guess is that the question of which part should be thicker, is not a real issue in designing such lures.

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@ rofish

Saw some different views of that "SuperBug" on another site(not this manufacturers site) , when I first googled for it .

As far I could see from those pics , the smaller versions of it come closer to my sketch , the bigger 150mm are indeed of more slimmer shape .

This is , I suppose , to have the smaller versions buoyant sufficiently , thus their bodies are kept a little more voluminous .

Greetz , Dieter

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diemai,

I love those lures you've made. They remind me of a trout lure I bought when I was a kid, I think it was called a Kwikfish, not sure. It was stable when your trolled it, and the bill was part of the body, not separate.

I think I still have a couple in the garage somewhere. If i can find them, I'll post pics.

But your lures are sexier, for sure. What a gorgeous rear end!

I once met a master furniture maker who told me that a really well scupted piece of furniture should invite the hand to caress it. Your lures do that. You have really clever hands, and a keen eye.

Edited by mark poulson

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@ mark poulson

I think , that I have seen pics of that "Kwikfish" before somewhere , as far , as I know , it looks pretty much like a "Helin's Flatfish" .

But thanks a lot for your nice compliments about my work !

Anyway , I hope , that the local predatory fish fraternity would lateron like to caress them , too:wink: !

So well , here are first pics of my prototype version blank of that "SuperBug" , it did not turn out 100% accordingly to my previously shown design sketch .

(@ Vodkaman , thanks about the advice to use such a CAD system , but I'd rather do things by hand , I'm kind of scared about computer work:huh::()

The difference is , that I made the lip still about 10mm's longer at its base than shown , found this out by viewing pics of the original lure again , my sketched lip length was too short , obviously .

Also the outer contoures of the wood blank(light quality abachewood)are just little bigger as sketched.

I am not too happy with that only 2mm's thick lexan lip , would have prefered 3mm thickness , but I wanted to gain maximum possible buoyancy , probably I could alter the lip's thickness still on later models (if this one should turn out to perform well at all) .

For easy reproduction of that lip shape I have made an aluminium template of it , just as first step , before cutting out lip at all !

(got dozens of such templates made through the years for spoons , blades , props , creeper wings.......etc. , and lips , of course)

To render the bond of lip to body more stable , I additionally secured the lip with two wire pins , when epoxying everything together , these would off course be flush to the belly of lure .

Also for buoyancy reasons I did not make the internal wire form as I always use to do(both ends of wire would be kinked into the "U"-shaped interior of the belly eye) , but in the way shown .

The kinked rear end of the wire form leads upward into a small bore for added strength against pull-out !

Now my new lure blank has to soak in a linseedoil/turpentine mixture for some days and after dry for at least two weeks , just to preserve the wood against water sepage .

Can't wait to finally assemble and clearcoat it for first trials:wink: !

Greetings , Dieter

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diemai,

That lure looks great. Can't wait to see it finished, and hear about how it works.

I have to say, you must be a saint with the patience of Job to wait two weeks before finishing your lures! :worship:

I am so impatient, I cut them out and shape them in one day, finish the joints and install the hook hangers and line tie and seal them the next.

The third day, I weight them, install the ballast, and prime them. And the fourth day I paint them and top coat them.

I'm so impatient I went to D2T epoxy instead of Envirotex Lite, which I love, because I can topcoat the lures in the evening, and fish them the next morning.

I don't make lures all the time, but, when I do, I'm driven to finish NOW! :twisted:

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diemai, I love your new bait and cant wait to see the final finished product. I was thinking about your banana lure the other day and thought of making one myself. Ive seen jointed flatfish baits and thought about doing that maybe in a hinge joint what do you think?

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Jamie,

The original Kwikfish lure came in a jointed version, so I don't see why it wouldn't work.

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@ mark poulson

I take weeks and months of time , from cutting out until rigging hooks . First because of this mentioned preservation method on abachewood , second reason is , that I always make a batch of lures at one time , say between 6 and 20 wood blanks , before I start out painting them .

I much prefer carving different lureshapes rather than painting them(you can see this on my only average paint designs) , so I easily end up with so many blanks for painting , before I notice , that it is now high time to commence with it:wink: !

Also I only have a small , dusty basement workshop , before painting I must clear and brush it up a bit prior to painting , and I don't always feel like cleaning up:( !

@ jamie

Just give it a go , you can only win , either lots of fish caught or some experience about what went wrong:) !

Just joking , but I haven't yet made a jointed model , though I have a jointed "Flatfish" of plastic somewhere . This lure is about little more than 4" , maybe even 5" in length , and very , very light , doesn't look too sturdy to me !

I have also considered making a jointed version for a long period of time , but so far no satisfying idea came up to me .

I am just a bit concerned about the added weight on the tail of such lure , provided by the hardware of the joining hinge , since I strictly believe , that a buoyant rear section is essential for such a lure-type .

(which must not neccessarely be absolutely true !):huh:

And a homemade wood lure can't be made as light as the commercial one of plastic that I have , at least not , if I want it to be sturdy and reliable !

But I am very sure , that somehow it must be possible , maybe making the front section of a more rigid , still buoyant kinda wood(so that the thin diving bill won't break) and the rear of balsawood , the lightest possible sort of wood(yet then it has to be wired through and carefully plated with epoxy to gain a hard surface) !

Just an idea in brief..............:wink:!

Good Luck , Dieter

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Hi , everybody

Whilst my "SuperBug" version and my swimbait are still drying from their wood preservation treatment , I found some time today to proceed with my new "Banana" models:wink: .

I glued in the tow eyes and hookhanger screw eyes onto some of them .

You may know from my post in the hardbait gallery "line tie construction" , that the tow eye consists of a roughly "M"-shaped wire form , that is fit into a slot and groove into the thin lip of those lures and glued in with a 5 min. two-component glue .

Made some pics of that process whilst working on it today , once you get a hold on it , it's quite simple :wink:.

First glue in ONLY the shanks of the wire form , don't let glue flow through the eyelet slot at this stage , this is only for a first bond(check pic) .

After the glue has started to set , mask the slot at underside of lip with some tape , I use cable insulation tape , since it doesn't bind with the glue (textile or paper masking tape probably would !) .

Don't press the tape snugly into the groove , but try leaving a small "hump" over it , so that the glue would probably fill up the entire slot better .

Now fill some glue into the eyelet slot from the top of lip , push it in with a toothpick or a wire piece , in the best case it would then flow down to fill up the entire slot on the underside , a drop of glue should remain around the tow eye to be certain about total coverage of the glue(check pic) .

Avoid air bubbles !

When the glue has set a bit(about 10 min.) , the tape may be removed to check , wether the slot has been filled up with glue entirely , but most likely this would not be the case , so a third mixture of glue has to be prepared and the slot finally covered with it(check pic for the final looks of the two sides of the lip) .

After at least 24 hrs. curing time I would remove the excess glue with my "Dremel" , small files , sandpaper and a carpet knife to be flush with the lures outer contoures , full strength of it is achieved after 72 hrs.

As you might notice , I find it very handy to utilize an egg container box for this work operation , since I can press the lureblanks into the gaps of it to achieve a permanent horizontal position of the planes , where I apply the glue .

This way the glue won't flow away sideward , but cure to a nice drop , that provides best coverage of eyelet and slot :wink:.

Also through the years I have gathered all the mixing bins of that glue , so I am able to just always take a new one for another mixing process , this saves a lot of time , instead of always cleaning up the one presently used :wink:.

Dried glue can easily be scraped away from these bins and their mixing sticks with a knife !

Greetz , Dieter

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