Kribman

Through wire help

18 posts in this topic

Back from a long hiatus and was going to come back with quality in mind above spitting out a ton of lures that are ok. I am going to start through-wiring all of my baits, and I already know I am going to use my band saw to make the cut in half. well, here is my step by step:

1. cut out the shape of my lure onto a piece of maple

2. measure out the width of my lure with the width of the bandsaw blade taken into account.

3. cut the lure in half with the band saw

4. draw lines on the inside to help visualize were the wire will go

5. dip the 2 halves in sealer

Here is where it gets hazy. (Feel free to criticize my methods above). 1. What is the best way to make the indentation/cut for the wire?

2. How do I make sure that the indentation/cut for the wire is symmetrical on both halves of the lure?

3. Should I pour the lead for my ballast in the opening that the bottom hook hanger comes out?

4. How can I make a rattle in the bait?

5. After the wire is sitting in the indentation/cut, do I add wood putty to fill in the extra space?/ Should I put putty in before I lay the wire in?

THE BIG ONE

6. How do I get the two lures together after I am finished? Wood glue or 5-min epoxy?

I have read some tutorials on through wire, but they are way over my head and I don't think they need to be as precise as I am making musky cranks. Thanks a lot guys, and the simpler the method the less windows I break after I ruin the lure! jk.

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Kribman, You could cut a shaped blank in half, but I think it may be quite risky. Might I suggest a "drill through". If you start with a belly hook hanger hole of 3/8", it's really quite simple to drill from the front and rear and hit your mark. Other than that ,I've started with two square pieces, routed out for wire with a 1/8" bit on both pieces, indexed with dowel rod's.Then join together draw pattern and cut with band saw. Here are a few pic's of this method.

Douglas

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don't try to saw a lure in half instead start with 2 pieces of wood 1/2 the thickness you need. temporarily stick the halves together with double face carpet tape then cut them out

I don't mess with cutting a grove for the wires instead I use epoxy thickened with fine sawdust to glue the halves together. It is my opinion that this helps create a backbone for the lure. I'm using Balsa, so it may not be as needed on maple. you can carve a grove to install a rattle before glueing the halves together also.

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Good tips from Cheesehead.

Balsa baits work great when built like this. All the shaping is done after the wire is glued in place and after the lip slot is cut. I glue the halves with Elmer's wood glue and a clamp, shape it and then seal the bait with propionate.

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Everyone uses a different routine for thru-wiring, based on the materials they use and what they found to work when learning how to do it. I'm still working my way through some SOFT balsa. You have to reinforce it to make it durable so thru wire is a "must". Here's my routine - I cut the lip slot and scribe a centerline around the blank before shaping it. After shaping/sanding, cut the bait in half. As long as you have the scribe line to follow, it's easy to cut soft balsa exactly with a single edge razor blade. Start at the tail, take your time and keep the blade on track. I use a wire frame for the nose line tie and the tail hanger, a rattle if you want and it fits (not much room in a 2 1/4" bass bait) and an integrated lead ballast/belly hanger. Glue with 5 min epoxy. I mark the outline of the wire frame and ballast/hanger on one side with a Sharpie, then use a nail set to indent a path for the wire and a Dremel high speed cutter to make space for the ballast/belly hanger. Press the halves together and you'll get shiny indentations on the other half to show you where added indenting is needed. You want the halves to fit exactly with all hardware inside. I apply 5 min epoxy with a flat piece of plastic to both sides of the bait, put in the hardware and fit the halves together, wiping off the squeeze-out with a paper towel wetted with denatured alcohol. I don't clamp the bait; by the time it's together, it's starting to set up and the halves are closed together - just lay it aside for a few minutes. Try to avoid getting glue in the lip slot. If you do, use a scrap piece of lip material to sweep it out of the slot before it hardens. The lip is glued in with epoxy after reinforcing/waterproofing the exterior and painting.

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I can't offer much help, other than cutting a slot at the bottom and then filling it with epoxy after slippin the wire in is NOT the way to go. I did this on my first lure and I used alot of D2T.

I have one question and figure I should ask it here rather than start a new thread. Can anyone tell me where I can buy HEAVY wire? Something heavier than say .062 or .071?

Thanks,

FERG

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I haven't looked specifically for HEAVY gauge wire but mcmaster.com sells all kinds of wire in a wide selection of gauges. I'd check there first. Good service, prices and shipping.

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Thanks Bob, never thought of checking there. I got on their web site and found some .080 stainless steel wire. I notice it also says that it is "spring steel". Does anyone know if this is a problem, or if most wire used in lure making is spring steel? If I did the math right, the .080 wire is about 1,055 lb test. That should be heavy enough for a world record musky don't you think? I don't plan to catch one, I just plan to design the lure that does so I can get rich and retire. I can dream, can't I?

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Spring steel is not what you need for crankbaits. I have used it before, but soft stainless is all you need for a crankbait through wire.

The spring steel is too hard to work with. I learned the hard way and stuck a piece through my finger and hit the back of my nail. Thats a pain that I don't need to feel again. Had to lay down for a few after that one.

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FERG

The reason spring steel wouldn't be a good choice as a through wire is it tends retain it's memory or the original shape despite significant bending or twisting. You should be looking for a stainless steel wire malleable enough to hold the shapes, bends, and twists that you require for your through wire design. I really think that .051 or .062 should provide more than enough strength even for a world record musky since it will also have the added strength of the wood that it's sandwiched between. If your construction isn't absolutely perfect, you may have to have enough give in the wire to make it tunable or be stuck with a less than perfect action. Most of us in-line spinner bait guys making musky baits are using unprotected .051 and .062 wire and the stuff works great. Just some mental muchies to chew on... Good luck

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I agree with Spike, you definitely don't want spring tempered because it's impossible to shape. I don't know what target species you're after but for bass baits, I use soft temper .040 or .050" stainless steel. It's slightly harder than soft brass and is easy to bend but is strong enough not to distort under load when bent into a small diameter circle, like a hook hanger or line tie. When you use a wire that's difficult to bend like .050" hard temper stainless (aka bright stainless), you will have problems fitting the bait back together unless you bend it exactly straight in a single plane.

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Great info guys. Anyone ever use a steel leader for the through wire? Not leader wire material, but the actual leader itself? It already has a line tie on one end and the hook eye on the other. For lures with 3 hooks, you just need 2 leaders. That doesn't make any sense as I write it, you would need 2 leaders for lures with 2 hooks as well. The thing I like about the idea is that if you use the same leader that you fish with, the lure is not the "weakest link". Your thoughts?

FERG

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As a wise man asked me when I was in the U.S (Lincoya I think) "what size line do you use" - My reply , 6lb - His - "Well then why do you need 50lb wire in your baits"! ! !pete

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I've used .012" 180 lb test ss leader wire (Malin Hard Wire Leader) for thru-wire frames and it works OK. But I really prefer .040-.050" soft stainless steel wire because it's stupid easy to shape but strong enough not to allow the line tie and hanger deform under fishing pressure (on bass baits). I especially like it for line ties in balsa baits because it's easier to bend the tie to tune the bait. Bending a hard wire ss line tie to tune the bait can sometimes break the clearcoat around it, leading to water penetration and failure.

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If you have a drill press and your baits will have a stright wire line through them try this method:

Use a piece of plywood as a flat base on top of your drill press table.

Drive a nail from the bottom so the point just sticks up through the top of the plywood (the point of the nail, or screw, will be pointing up toward the chuck of the drill).

You can do this with a dowel center as well.

Then chuck a long bit in the drill and line up the point of the nail so it is exactly in line with the point of the drill bit.

Clamp the plywood to the drill press table and lock everything down so it does not move. Replace the long bit with a regular jobber.

Place the rear end of your bait on the point of the nail and line the bait vertically so you can drill into the nose of the bait.

Drill into the nose. Use a fast drill speed and press slowly (this helps reduce bit wandering). Back out the bit as needed if the spirals clog with wood chips.

Turn the bait over and place the hole you just drilled over the nail, screw or dowel center. Then drill into the tail end of the bait using the same method described above.

Your two holes, if they have not met already should be perfectly in line. If you have a larger bait, you can replace the bit in the press with a longer bit or finish with a longer bit in a hand drill.

There is no need for a vise to hold the bait. I know guys who use this method just holding the bait in the drill press by hand and have never had a problem. If you are more comfortable using a vise or building a jig to hold the bait vertically, by all means do so.

A couple things to keep in mind: Start out with a shorter bit; longer bits tends to wander more easily, if you start with a short bit then you have a MUCH better chance of getting these holes to line up properly; Use a fast RPM on the drill press but drive the bit SLOWLY into the bait; this will help reduce wandering as well; if you can, get ahold of bradpoint bits with the spurs ground off these help in the wandering aspect as well, also the point is defined and easy to locate.This works for off center drilling as well.

Also here is a post from Hazmail with a visual:

Get a block of wood, drill it , cut a head off a nail and insert it in the hole, point up (tight fit). Place block of wood on the drill bed, lower the desired drill size down until it is centered with nail - clamp block of wood at this centre - lower drill press bed. Place lure, bottom center on nail - Centre top through wire mark and drill hole through until it meets nail - should get you perfect centre. Sorry about 'centre' but thats how it is in English. pete

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Again, hate to dig up an old thread, but also hate to start new ones when its not really necessary. Had a quick question:

How are you guys clamping your balsa without distorting it?

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Stack 2 pieces of balsa plank together (best if cut from the same piece of wood, near the same part of the plank). Draw your pattern or pattens and draw where the lip slot goes. While the wood is stacked together cut out your lure blanks with a scroll saw or band saw. Then cut where the lip slot is going to be. Separate the two pieces of wood and lay the wire harness in between the halves (add weight now or drill and add later). Put a little wood glue between the halves and then clamp the two halves to together. I use 2 pieces of half inch plexi to even out the pressure when I clamp the halves together. The lure blank gets sandwiched between the plexi when it is clamped. Keep the clamps on for 12 or more hours and then take the blank out and shape it. If the wood were to become distorted because of too much pressure it will be equally distorted and not be a problem.

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