KelpKritter

Swimbaits Swimming Problems-Surface vs. Sub-surface

9 posts in this topic

I have been fooling around with a few different designs for a swimbait that immitates a mackeral to fish on the west coast. I now have a bait that I like in terms of shape and size. The bait is roughly seven inches, which includes the paintbrush bristle tail.

When testing yesterday it swam great on the surface, a nice 'S' pattern at a slow to moderate retrieve. However, when I lowered the rod tip to take the bait below the surface it immediately rolled to about 45 degrees off vertical when the bait went underwater and was pulled straight back, losing all action.

Ultimately I want to make this a bait that is slow sinking so it can be worked 4-8 feet below the surface. Before I start adding weights and going through the trouble of finishing a bait that will not swim sub-surface does anyone have any pointers or ideas as to why the bait lost it's action below the surface.

Thanks,

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The bait does have ballast, but apparently not enough. It is roughly 3/4" thick and nearly 1 1/2" tall and as I said the bait swims perfectly on the surface and does not roll over but changes action underwater. Does the dynamic change that much underwater that added weight is needed? BTW it has been nearly 20 years since my last physics class!

Carpholeo, your bait is very nice and I have enjoyed reading your posts. I started out trying to imitate a grunion but got tired of fooling around with such small pieces. It was six inches long but very small otherwise and tricky to work with as a first bait. I grew up in the east county of SD and now live in Ontario and mostly fish OC and LA county waters. I now fish Calico bass tourneys and a lot of freshwater baits are crossing over into the salt for bass.

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If most of your weighting is in one section, then the other section or sections may be overly buoyant, and causing A joint to bind.

This would only be evident by forcing the lure to swim underwater.

Edited by carpholeo

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KK, it does make sense. On the surface, the forces causing the movement are prevented from acting on the whole bait. Once submerged, more force hits the bait and pushes it beyond its stability.

Like everyone else has suggested, you need to increase the vertical stability by adding low ballast. Try taping various amounts of lead to the belly. Try different ballast locations too. Once satisfied, you can start cutting.

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Carpholeo your last assessment is most accurate. My problem is actually more in line with what you said about the joint "binding". In reality the the front section turns only slightly to the side and the rear sections roll to the maximum amount allowed by the joint clearance and then the bait runs straight on it's side. Thanks for that observation as I will now focus my efforts on the second two joints.

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Sounds like it just needs more weight to me. When you try to force it underwater the bait is fighting to stay on the surface which is causing the weird action. Do all the joints feel smooth and move easily? If so, add weight but keep the weight forward in the front two sections.

RM

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