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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:40 AM
Ive made 3 top water lures and wanted to know if I should add the weight to the back or the front of them?
Posted 08 August 2008 - 09:02 AM
Depends on what you want them to do, but most topwaters are weighted more towards the rear
Posted 08 August 2008 - 09:02 AM
What kind of topwater? That makes a difference in where you put the weights.
For me, walking baits and poppers, want to hang tail down, or at least tail lower than the head.
Big gliders also want the balance point just rear of the middle of the bait, but want to sit horizontal in the water, with 1/3 to 1/2 of the front part out of the water. I find some lead in the tail helps with the walking gliding action of the bigger baits.
Frogs I want to float with their eyes above the water, but that's tough to get just right.
But it all starts with what kind of topwater.
You can play around with your lures without ruining them, as long as they're sealed so they don't absorb water.
You can get so suspend dots and strips and try that in different places, so you can see how it affects the action. You can use fly tying lead wire and wrap it around your hook shanks.
You could make a prototype/copy and actually drill for weights and stick them in temporarily, until you get the action you want.
Different shapes need different weighting, so you're probably going to have to fool around a while until you come up with the right weighting for your lures.
Posted 08 August 2008 - 10:51 AM
Im building walking baits right now. Thanks for the info! I had a mini wood lathe at home and have always wanted to make lures. Next thing I want to take a crack at is gliders.
Posted 08 August 2008 - 11:06 AM
I would buy a clear Spook and check out how it's weighted.
Posted 08 August 2008 - 01:21 PM
The only way to really get it right is to do a float test. Hang lead on the bait until you get exactly the attitude in the water you want, then use it for the ballast. Guestimations aren't going to work very well on a walking bait if you want exactly 45 degrees, or whatever.
Posted 08 August 2008 - 01:56 PM
Bob's right about having to actually weight your lure until it sits the way you want it to, and the way it fishes best.
I've found, as a general rule, that the lighter, hollow plastic lures hang tail down, in large part because they are tail weighted to make them castable, and it's not that hard to get a hollow plastic bait up and walking on the surface, since they're light.
Wooden baits, on the other hand, are heavier to start with, and need less weight as tail ballast to get them to cast well. And a wood bait that hangs down into the water at a 45 degree angle, like a spook does, is a bear to get up on the top and walking. But they do need tail weighting. Just not as much as a light plastic lure.
So I've found weighting wooden baits a little more finicky, but they glide much better.
Once I've shaped my lure, and installed the weighted hook hangers (including the tail hook hanger) and line tie, I seal the bait and float test it.
I want the lure to sit almost horizontal, but with the tail slightly down.
I use my finger as a balance point, and I want the lure's center of gravity to be slightly back of the actual center of the lure. All most a 3/2 ratio in length, so, if the lure is five inches long, the center of gravity will be 3 inches back from the nose. It's approximate, depending on how buoyant the wood is, and how much wood there is left when you're done shaping.
That's where Bob's advice about playing with the weighting comes in.
I put on the split rings and trebles, and then add ballast weight, in the form of lead sinkers hung from the trebles, or taped to the belly, until I get the lure to sit down enough, and at the right angle.
Remember that the paint and epoxy will add a little weight, 2 to 3 grams, but it will be evenly distributed, so it won't change the overall attitude of the bait (angle it sits in the water). But it will make it sit a little deeper, so allow for that.
The first 1/3 to 1/2 of the lure's back should be just above the surface, but it should still sit almost horizontal.
This keeps the lure up high enough to make walking it easier. I've made some which hang down too much, and they are a nightmare to work for any length of time.
I would say go into it knowing you won't get it right the first time. If you do, you can buy my lottery tickets for me.
But, just because it isn't right the first time doesn't mean it's ruined. There are a lot of things you can do to adjust it.
If it's too heavy, you can drill out some of the ballast lead, as long as you do it evenly, so it doesn't change the way the lure sits.
If it's too light, you can increase the size of the hooks and split rings, and add another coat of epoxy.
I find the key is to get it as close as I can in my test bucket, by pinching on weights, and erring toward a little too light, if anything. I just try to get it to sit right, and then place the ballast as close to the hook locations as I can to keep that attitude.
Sorry to be so long winded. I think most of what I've just said will plug in as common sense once you've thought about it.
If it were rocket science, I wouldn't be able to do it.
Edited by mark poulson, 08 August 2008 - 01:59 PM.
Posted 08 August 2008 - 02:32 PM
Here are two pics of homemade spooks , first shows how I determine about the weighting(amount and location) in my workshop .
For this purpose I'd apply a temporary coat of acrylic clear gloss onto the lure , so that it won't soak water at this stage .
After this is done , I'd drill the weighthole at proper location and epoxy in the weight .
For priming I sand the temporary clearcoat a little rough again .
Second pic shows , how about the finished lure finally swims .
Good Luck , diemai