BobP

Lip Angle Offsets?

27 posts in this topic

I recently built a set of medium deep divers with coffin shaped lips set at an almost straight (i.e. zero) down angle. They ran fine with tight action, but not exactly what I had hoped for in terms of a snappy action. Looking at a very similar "store bought" custom crank that's one of my favorites, I noticed its lip is slightly angled to one side instead of being perfectly horizontal. Frankly, I had assumed that the offset lip angle was probably unintentional on the part of the builder. But what the heck, I decided to build a second set of baits with the lip slots angled a few (3-4) degrees from horizontal. I haven't done intensive testing against the first (straight) baits, but an initial "get'em wet" at the lake seems to show a slightly more "snappy", wider action, maybe a bit of roll included. Maybe I'm just imagining things:drool:. They were no harder to tune to run straight. My question is this: do you mount lips with intentional offsets from horizontal? If so, what what is the outcome you're looking for regarding bait action, and how big an offset angle have you tried? Thanks!

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BobP. The the oscillating action is generated from the lip, by vortex shedding. But this is not enough. The power of the vortex is increased dramatically, by bouncing it off the nose. This 'funnels' the flow each side of the lure, magnifying the forces.

Take a regular lure with a 60 deg lip, mounted under the chin, 1/2" back from the nose. It has a good strong action. But if you moved the lip to the front of the nose, the action is greatly reduced. I have built such experiments two years ago, to prove this theory.

By moving the lip to zero angle, you have inadvertantly reduced the 'chin' that deflects the flow and thus reduced the action.

The solution is simply to modify the body profile, to put back the 'chin'. You will see on many old lipless lures, a carved notch, just above the nose. This serves the same purpose, deflecting the flow.

If you introduced such a notch above the root of the lip, the action would increase. Why not give it try with one that doesn't swim so well, cut a notch and see the difference.

Usual disclaimers in force, lol.

Dave

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Thanks Dave, you have given me an solution!! I have made a couple of gliders, (I think that's what they are??) they glide so well, there is virtually no drag on the line and nil action until 'jerked', so this notch (never heard of this) may be the key to a bit of 'action', speaking of which, I have had very little of lately. Pete

Edited by hazmail
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When I first discovered the notch, I was very excited, thought I had found something new. Then Dano showed me a pic of a 70 year old bait, almost identical. Bummer.

Dave

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Vodkaman, thanks, your comments on placing the lip lower/higher on the bait are very useful, but perhaps I was not clear in describing my question. I'm referring to cutting a lip slot that is not perfectly square and perpendicular to the side of the bait; in other words, canting the blade of the saw a few degrees to the left or right while cutting the lip slot. The lip is still mounted straight in line with the body but is rotated a few degrees from horizontal on the finished bait.

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When I first discovered the notch, I was very excited, thought I had found something new. Then Dano showed me a pic of a 70 year old bait, almost identical. Bummer.

Dave

I have done the same thing Dave.......lure builders have been working on ideas just like we are for a very long time.

Do you have a picture of a bait with the notch that you can post? You have me curious now.

Jed

Edited by RiverMan

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Bob, I know what you're talking about... I've never made a lure with an intentionally canted bill though, in fear of messing it up and wasting time, but I have noticed it in some Bagley's. These slightly flawed lures sometimes outperform the "perfect" ones. They might possibly have a snappier action, yet I've never really taken notice.

Maybe the off angle allows the water to favor one side slightly more, causing it to swing out greater on that oscillation and less on the other, and thus you may observe an overall increase in movement. but idk... quick simple/naive thought

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I once constructed a lure with radius at the back of the lip with a small radiused slot that a pin rode in and functioned to keep the lip in the slot. This was done in attempt to produce a lure that would hunt.

The action was somewhat dampened and on occassion it would hang on one side and dart in that direction.

But alot to consider moss, line and other materials would eventualy work into the slot and prevent movement.

I suppose if one was to experiment with the idea it might prove its worth

Edited by KcDano

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Sorry BobP, I have re-read your original post. I was a little confused when I read it originally. I assumed that a lure god like BobP could not be talking about a deliberate misalignment. lol.

I cannot account in my theories for any advantage in this deliberate missalignment, except to say, it will be stronger on one side. Offsetting the eye will pull it back straight, but theory suggests the overall action should not be greater.

It is obvious that we all still have a lot to learn. I hope you continue with your investigation and report back. I in the mean time will spend countless hours trying to explain your findings. Thanks!!!!

Riverman, unfortunately no. All my early proto work is in a shopping bag somewhere in UK. I will try to Make a CAD model of an example, but don't rush me, lots of projects on the go at the moment. I just don't seem to be able to finish anything.

Dave

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Bob,

I read your post to mean you put the lips square to the main axis of the lure, like in a wake bait.

If that's what you meant to say, I've just done the same thing with a Poe's whose bill broke off, and here's what I found.

It doesn't wiggle hardly at all. Granted, Poe's have a tight wiggle to begin with, but this one is dead.

I think what's happening is that the lip is dumping the water down under the bait, instead of scooping it and having it escape to one side and then the other, causing wiggle.

I'm going to heat the lip and bend it to at least 5 degrees, and see if that helps.

I just made three Robo Mouse knockoffs with almost vertical bills, and now I'm going to test them to see if they, too are "dead".

I think, in order for a bait to work as a wake bait with a bill, it needs to be both very bouyant (hollow plastic or balsa) and tail weighted slightly, to force the bill to stay straight instead of allowing it to be force "under" the lure until it spills it's water load down instead of to the sides. Probably, it would also help to have a longer lure body, so the weight of the lure body has more leverage against the water hitting the bill.

Last, I'll probably shorten the bill if bending it doesn't solve the problem. If the bill is shorter than it is wide, it should trap less water, and dig less, and the lip will have less leverage against the weight of the lure, so the water that it does trap will want to escape to the sides before it goes down underneath. In an odd way, it's like the reason jets don't glide. Not enough wing surface to provide lift at low speeds.

In the past, I've modified shallow running minnow baits on the water this way, and they became wake baits, at least at slower and medium speeds.

All of this is just what I'm guessing, not scientific.

I'm just an out of work carpenter with too much time on his hands. :lol:

Edited by mark poulson

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I have noticed that on a shallow running crankbait that I heated the lip and bent back to run like a wake bait. It looks like the lip is angled slightly. The fish LOVE it. It doesn't just track straight back like most wake baits. It has a little search to it. It will be coming straight back and then kick out to the left a bit before coming back to straight on and then do the same to the opposite. I'd been keeping this to myself until now.

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Mark, I didn't mean what you took me to mean - I don't think! OK, take a deep diving bait that has a lip with an almost zero down angle referenced from the axis of the bait's body. Hold the bait in swimming position with the lip facing you. The lip will be exactly horizontal, right? Now, instead of installing the lip on the horizontal, give it a few degrees up on one side and down the same number of degrees on the other side. It's slightly canted. That's what I meant.

I think you may be talking about what I call "lip down angle", or the difference in degrees from horizontal the lip is mounted when you look at the bait from the side. On a typical crankbait (not a swimbait) there are 2 components to the bait's EFFECTIVE down angle. The first is the lip down angle, as above. The second is where the bait is ballasted and how that affects the swimming attitude of the bait during the retrieve.

If the ballast is biased toward the front of the bait, it increases the effective down angle because the lip will be swimming at a greater down angle along with the whole bait.

If the ballast is at the balance point on the bait's longitudinal axis (lip and hooks installed) it will not add to the lip down angle and the bait will swim in a horizontal posture with an X-ing action around the ballast point.

I haven't built enough wakebaits to draw a lot of conclusions. On a copy I made of a 5" Strike King King Shad (from basswood, not a light wood), I copied the original lip. it wraps around the head of the bait like a fan and is only 7/16" long. And it's mounted at a lip down angle of about 80 degrees. The bait swims nicely in horizontal attitude - even though it has a very short lip with not much area driving a 1 1/4 oz body. Using that configuration as rough guide, I've built other wakebaits in paulownia up to 7" and have always used the lip angle of 80 degrees but with a simple square lip shorter than 1". They also swim fine. I conclude that it doesn't take much lip length to swim a wakebait. I think using shallower lip angles may cause a wakebait to dive. I don't know about angles of 80+ degrees since I haven't tried them (and don't plan to!). Btw, I have always ballasted in the front segment just behind the hook hanger and in the next segment at the extreme front. I feel ballasting a tail cuts down on the action of the bait considerably.

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Oh....you mean that kind of off angle. :lol:

Actually, I've mounted a couple of lips off like you're talking about, and they all swam to one side or the other. I've usually wound up shaving the side of the lip they swam toward until they swam straight.

I didn't realize this was desirable. I just thought I was sloppy.:lol:

I do think a flexible bill matl. might make baits hunt by flexing unevenly, just enough to relieve pressure on that part of the bill, at which point it would spring back to it's original position, transferring the pressure to the other side of the bill.

I have no idea what material to use, but it does sound interesting.

By the way, is this paulownia wood easy to use? How does it compare in weight and ease of shaping to poplar?

The only place I've found that sells it on the west coast is up in NoCal, and I'm not sure they'll sell to SoCal since we steal their water.

Edited by mark poulson

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I would guess that since one side is lower (3-4 degrees) then you are getting a reaction as if the whole lip was angled at 3-4 degrees.

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OK, Mark - now Don't Tell Anybody, but here's the only place I know of to buy paulownia on the internet, dried and cut to your specs:

Custom Millwork, Historical Reproductions, Natural Edge Slabs, Kiln Dried Hardwoods, 3",4", 5" Wide Flooring, Basswood for Carvers from Full Cycle Woodworks.

I googled paulownia until I went blind, then a friend found this source and was kind enough to order me some. OK, "kind enough" because I build him baits for free :)

I like paulownia. It has a nominal density of 16 lbs/cu ft versus 26 for yellow poplar and 23 for basswood. It's hard enough to use screw eyes versus thru-wiring, which I consider a BIG advantage over softer balsa. Machine cutting/sanding goes fine. You need care when hand sanding because paulownia has some black grain structure that is more porous and softer than the surrounding wood, which can be hard to keep level by hand when sanding an edge. But otherwise, it's great stuff and one of my favorites.

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A hunting wakebait? JMHO, swimbaits and wakebaits have too little lip area to hunt. Besides, I think the main attractor for them is their larger size plus a slow steady sinuous swim pattern. To me, "hunting" is a diving bait that operates on the edge of the acceptable performance envelope. More action and it will run out of control and spin out. Less, and it's just a straight runner. It has to diverge from its base course to both sides, at unpredictable intervals, and it always has to correct back to its base course. I can build baits that do that but the "reject" percentage in a large group of such baits is higher than with normal baits - so it's not something I strive for. On "normal" baits, a snap during the retrieve or hitting cover gives you the same effect - your crankbait changes direction and that gets attention from predators.

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Riverman, re-post No6.

This is the notch idea I had in mind. You would have to experiment with the size and angle of the notch.

Dave

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I don't know... but I would think it was never any bait manufactures intent to install the lip crooked. Brass line ties allowed for easy tuning. Bass Tackle was just taking off and we were not so anal about everything being straight.But if you can't build a new one, improve the old one. However there may actually be something to this. Take a car with a front end allignment problem and correct it by just using the steering wheel...now throw in a rear flat tire and you really have something! I hope this isn't true.Think of all the time I wasted eye balling my lips! While I am rambling on..somebody mentioned hunting. I get those every now and then but I get more that I would say just wander. I think I know what causes it but what I don't know is what is causing the bait that every now and then "skips". It's like about every 3 or 4 ft. the bait will just skip a beat. Has anybody seen this? I am thinking it has something to do with bill width and angle...maybe just a little too much resistence from the lip? Borderline weight..Borderline Lip? Maybe I just need a timing light!

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I'm a "keep it square and it'll be good" kind of guy and suspect many baitmakers are the same - obsessing over whether that lip might be a degree out of true. But I'll try anything that MIGHT improve a bait. I see (and own) well known custom wood baits that have lips slightly off kilter and wondered if it was poor quality control or maybe a 'special something' that Guru X was intentionally doing. After the discussion here and having tested baits that are identical except for a small lip offset, I'm leaning toward "poor quality control - but sometimes it may not matter". There are many ways to screw up a bait! I don't need to add another! But it does suggest that there is some "forgiveness" in bait design since some of the baits with cockeyed lips work great and catch fish for me. Oh well, nobody said you have to know EVERYTHING about building crankbaits - you just have to be willing to learn and get better.

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Interesting thread, on several aspects. On my smaller cranks (my first fathead photofinish will be up soon) I get about a 10:1 ratio of baits that operate straight:hunt. I typically save the hunters for myself because they definately outperform the straight runners in certain situations. By certain situations I mean low/no current flow, low/no wind, and a slow-medium steady (not burning) retrieve. I call this particular breed of lures my finesse crankbaits. Its like throwing a 8thoz. jig in 30mph wind, it won't perform as well as the straight retrievers. However, if its a hot stagnant summer day, my hunters come out. Most guys don't think a bait is working right unless they can burn it in, which is why I try not to sell these as well. Oh well, they have a place in my box. :)

As far as why these baits hunt, I've often pondered. I've seen bait work differently from the same balsa plank before. I make a batch (20baits) at a time (from same plank) and you can definately tell a difference in densities when sanding. So I assume densities have altering affects. My cranks are through-wire (2 wood halfs) and I wonder if a mis-match in the densities causes this. Who really knows though?

Oh well, as long as my lines are tight, I'll just keep it simple.:teef:

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a mac you mention 2 halves of balsa. i by no means know much about balsa, but bill crane a well known b8maker weighs his balsa before deciding which application he uses it for. all i can say is man its rocket science to me. good fishing

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:?Hmm...On an old diver with 0 degree lip angle.. and you wanted the weight to stay rearward. Would it have been advantagious to tilt the lip to one side so there is allways a leading edge in the water for takeoff. I have a few were you have to shake your line to get the lip down.

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DeHeron, nice one. That sounds good to me, I think you may have found the explanation.

Dave

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