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Swimbait tail material

15 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

I'm wondering about the following.

I'm planning on making a swimbait, and am thinking about the material to make the tail-fin from. I'm thinking of trying lexan or plexiglass.

But as I am reading in the forum some say that the tailfin should be soft.

Because otherwise the fin will act as a rudder and so prevent the bait to swim..

Is this so or not?

Thnx

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I use plexiglass on mine.......I drill a hole in the tail and attach them to screw eyes with split rings.

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I've made baits with a solid tail glued into the body and they swam perfectly

What he said!

I've made jointed baits with hard and soft tails, and both styles swim.

A softer tail might give a more realistic appearance and movement at slow speeds.

I use clear plastic margarine tub tops, which are flexible but not limp, for some of my tails. They swim great, even at low speeds, but the plastic doesn't seem to be UV protected, so the tails crack where they enter the wood body after a time. It's not that big a thing to change them out, but I'd like to find a plastic that was as cheap, flexible, and colorable that held up a little better.

I've also used the soft plastic replacement tails from Scott Witmer, who makes them for the 22nd Century Triple Trout he makes, and they work well, too.

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You can get lexan from the Lowes/Home Depot and it works great. I posted in another thread about lack of action with lexan tails, it is all about how the bait is built. Tails that are made of soft plastic, paint brush bristles, microfibettes are much easier to move when the bait swims. So they are more tolerant of errors in the actual bait. Lots of times they look more natural as well.

For instance, I just received a 3:16 Lure Co. Baby Wake Bait. It has a really unique action that is a proven fish catcher. But, b/c i like to experiment, I tried a microfibette tail instead of lexan and it has a much wider kick when swimming on a straight retrieve.

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I mainly use a soft plastic tail I carved from wood then molded from pop...however from marks recommendations i have done a few with a material similar to the lids of cool whip etc...

Both seem to work great I just personally like the look and feel I get with soft plastic tails...the down fall is they dont last as long

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Both seem to work great I just personally like the look and feel I get with soft plastic tails...the down fall is they dont last as long

I wonder if thin Lexan would be flexible and yet still be strong? I'm going to stop by a plastics store tomorrow, and check it out.

I'll let you know.

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I use drive belts from the local electronic surplus store, i think they were used for printers or something, they are flexable and indestructible.

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1/32" thick lexan might be perfect for tails. I could not use for lips because it flexes way too much. I found it at Micro Mark Tools.

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1/32" thick lexan might be perfect for tails. I could not use for lips because it flexes way too much. I found it at Micro Mark Tools.

Only thing I would be concerned with is durability issues caused by user error (i.e. me throwing my lure onto some rocks/bridge piling/dam/etc. :) ) I think the 1/32" would crack much easier in those situations.

Edited by SmokeyJ
Had an "n" that didn't belong :)

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I hope not. True Lexan is really tough and flexible, so I'm hoping it's the ticket, and not too expensive.

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Thnx for all the replies guys.

I'm still working on a jointed jerkbait without a tailfin.

But my next one is going to be a swimbait for sure. So I'll do some testing anyway.

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The lexan might bend a little but it won't crack or break. When I used for lips it was flexing just enough to break the epoxy seal and allow water to get under the lips. That why I went to using the G-10.

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