Easiest way to make a lipless swimbait?
13 replies to this topic
Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:16 PM
Hey guys, do you know the easiest way to make a lipless swimbait?(and cheap?), because I don't know how to weight the bait?
Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:48 PM
Mark poulson is the swimbait king, Imsure he would be glad to help. Im new to swimbait building and Im still in the trial and error side of things. now I can help you with gliders and cranks, Ive been building those things for years.
Posted 05 August 2008 - 10:17 PM
Type in these three words into the search function, SWIMBAIT WEIGHT POSITION. The result brought up three of the main swimbait construction threads (linked below).
There is far more information available, just adjust your search word list, eg SWIMBAIT HINGE. This search brings up a list of 37 posts.
These should give you much of the information you require, but at the end of the day, as Jamie says, it all comes down to trial and error. There is no swimbait recipe, you have to test.
Report back on your progress, not just the successes, more importantly, the things that do not work. It is the failures that teach people.
I intend tackling a swimbait design myself very soon. My plan of attack is to make a rough prototype. This will not be used for fishing, just testing. I will cut out the profile and chamfer the edges, rather than spending an hour shaping. The hinge will be made from simple twisted SS wire. I will fit several tow eyes to test the effect of different positions.
I will cut several ballast holes and fix the ballast with a rubber glue, so I can easily remove it and try a different location. All of this can be done at the waters edge.
It is important to attach the hooks and eyes that you intend to use, as these do affect how the bait performs. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time getting the lure perfect, only to attach the hooks and end up with a stick.
I will also represent the top coat with a coating of 5 min epoxy, this is important too.
From opening the tool box to dipping in the water, generally does not take much more than 45 minutes, including the epoxy coat.
Once I have a good swim action, then I will think more about the hinges and make a pretty one.
Good luck with your project.
Edited by Vodkaman, 05 August 2008 - 10:46 PM.
Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:14 AM
Especially for a prototype, use eye screws for the hinges, so you can adjust the width of the joint. Joint width is important, especially if you're making nesting, champfered (angled face) joints. If you make square cut joints, back to back eyes or wire to wire hinges work well, since they self space if you leave the open parts exposed. I think the reason for the champfered joints is to try and hide the joint, and the more I build jointed lures, the less important I think that is.
And don't use 5 min. epoxy, unless the brand you uses says WATER PROOF. The Devcon 5 minute says WATER RESISTANT, and will absorb water and fail, especially as a top coat.
Try using a wood that's relatively light, but strong, like poplar. It carves easily, but holds hardware very well. The temptation to use balsa, because it carves easily, will make you prototype very difficult to weight and replicate. Poplar is heavy enough that it doesn't require a boat anchor to get it to balance right, and I've read that it is possible to duplicate it's specific gravity with a pourable foam like Aluminite (sp). I don't pour anything, except beer and concrete, so I can't say from first hand knowledge on this foam issue, but I do remember reading that here.
Posted 06 August 2008 - 02:37 PM
Cool idea about that testing swimbait(ups , may I call it "bait" , when not meant to catch fish:huh: ?) .
I should have done such as well with many projects through all those years , would have saved me from a lot of disappointment !
But I simply did not take the time:nuhuh: !
I mean , it is just a psycological thing , you know and plan right from the start on a "tester" , not on a lure , so your homemade lure could never turn out to be a disappointing failure , and if the "test device" doesn't work , you'd gladly drill some more holes for eyes and weights into it until it looks like a piece of cheese , and it might not even bother you a bit !
good success , Dieter
Posted 06 August 2008 - 02:49 PM
I never had the good sense, or patience, to make a pure testing prototype.
I have my share of wonderfully painted non-swimmers hanging above my workbench to attest to that.
I'm sure, if I'd made a testing prototype I could have avoided those mistakes, but I'm not that smart!
Posted 06 August 2008 - 03:25 PM
Mark, I find all those mistakes take me to a higher level of bait building. I'm just a dumb redneck and the trial/error is the only thing I know. There is no easy way to build a swim bait imho.
Posted 06 August 2008 - 03:51 PM
In my opinion there is no easy way to make a swimbait. Trial and error!!! LOL we should all take pics of our "WALL OF SHAME"... I have gotten rid of a bunch of mine but still have a dozen or so hanging to remind me its not that easy!!!
Posted 06 August 2008 - 04:04 PM
I agree. Experience is the best teacher.
But one of the biggest lesson's I've learned it that detailed, "perfect" paint schemes catch fishermen, but action catches fish.
I've had the good fortune to see some of the prototype lures that are now successful commercial lures, and those guys had their share of duds.
What amazes me is how some of the ugliest prototypes caught the fish the best.
From that I took that action is foremost, and, at least in jointed, swimming swimbaits, color is secondary.
Now for floating twitch baits, that you throw out and let float for a long time, and then twitch, detail can be more important. But, even there, if the profile is right, a big bass is going to slowly rise, and suspend under the lure, waiting for signs that it's alive.
Two months ago I threw a home made swimbait over a branch by accident, and it was dangling at the water's surface. The water was clear, and I was slowly approaching it with the TM on low, tight to the shoreline, trying to shake it free without spooking any fish in the area. It was splashing a lot as I popped it. My friend Ray Tak, who owns a tackle shop, told me that's called the tea bag retrieve, where you are just dunking the lure as it hangs from a tree or bush.
So there I was shaking this lure, which was toward the back of a cut in a cove, when, out of the corner of my eye, I see a huge shadow rise like a stealth submarine from the 30' deep area right near the cut, and slowly make it's way shallow, and just stare at my lure.
She was like my dog when I'm BBQing. I can read his mind. "Drop it, drop it, drop it". If I could had shaken that lure free and ripped it back toward me, that bass would have gone into full attack mode and killed it.
And it wasn't a picture perfect lure, just one that gave the impression of a trout. It was a totally nerve wracking experience.
I almost didn't go in to get the lure, I was so fascinated by that bass, and was still hoping that by some miracle I could get it to drop into the water. But I couldn't, so the fish just kind of slid back into the depths as I went up to get the lure free.
The next week, same lake, one cove over, I caught one on an Ika, pitched tight to an overhanging rock ledge. She went 8lb10oz, and had bird feathers in her mouth. Not brown duckling feathers, but black feathers like from one of the cave swallows that nest in that cove on the vertical cliff face. This bass had sat in the water, looking up, and eaten a bird which had fallen into the water, or jumped up and got one that was hovering just at the surface.
So I figure that anything that's alive and can fit in a bass' mouth is on the menu. And getting their attention is the first step. Their natural predatory curiosity will take over from there. If they don't spook, they're going to look at your lure, and, if you can make it look like it's alive, they'll hit it out of instinct.
And that's why I have the nerve to try to paint lures, because I know my fishing audience is very forgiving.
Edited by mark poulson, 06 August 2008 - 04:15 PM.
Posted 06 August 2008 - 04:18 PM
I still have half a dozen over my bench, either because I couldn't figure out how to cut them up and make something else out of them, or to remind me to test before I paint.
Posted 06 August 2008 - 05:17 PM
@ mark poulson
Very exciting fishing experience:yay: , nice read , thanks !
Wall Of Shame:lol: !
I have littered my early failures already some years ago , might have been interesting from a present point of view how I tried to eliminate any laws of physics back in my early luremaking career:lol: .
Greetz , diemai
Posted 06 August 2008 - 05:20 PM
HAHA!!! ya thats what i call it!!! Ill take a pic of whats left. I give the ones that work but not how i intended to my neigbhor kid and i threw some away. Still will be interesting to see everyones mishaps. LOL!!!
Posted 06 August 2008 - 06:14 PM
I've looked at this thread for the last 20 hours now and just can't resist any longer - I really tried...
The easiest way to make a lipless swimbait is to buy one out of the bargain barrel at the local discount store; take it home, go to your shop, fire up the bench grinder or Dermal tool (your choice) and just grind that lip clean off. Should only take about 5 minutes, start to finish.
Don't hate, it's just a joke. You really do need to be prepared to invest some time into your tackle crafting if really expect to make a lure you'd be proud to give to a friend or family member; short cuts normally don't pan out to well when your just getting started.
Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:36 PM
Thanks Mark, good story, reminds me of a very old fishing movie, probably from the sixties.
About the 5 min epoxy. I don't have a problem, as the lure will probably spend no more than 10 minutes in the water.
I never throw a dud lure away unless I can explain exactly what the problem was and prove it with the next. If not explained, I display the lure in the living room, to continually remind me of the problem, until I make it go away.
I always extensively prototype, as I have to accept that despite all my engineering talk, trial and error still rules. In my engineering defense, this knowledge provides an insight into solving the problem of the non-swimmers. Plus, most of the stuff that I do is new, expanding the envelope lures. This would be impossible without the theories, which point me towards the new possibilities.
For example, theory driven Bullrider, has involved probably close to 200 prototypes. Yes, this sounds ridiculous to me too. But I have been working on the idea for about 18 months. It is very close now. If I put it on the market, this extensive design work and patent costs, will have to be reflected in the price.
On the subject of duds. If you cannot find the problem, you should post here on TU. Lots of good ideas and suggestions usually result. You are guaranteed to learn something.