RiverMan

swimbait segment size

14 posts in this topic

Anyone here experimented with different segment sizes on swimbaits? For example, will you get more action out of:

1. Equally sized segments?

2. Segments that get progressively smaller from the head to the tail?

3. A small segement in the center with larger sections on each side?

You see all of these designs on swimbaits and I am wondering how much of a difference it makes.

RM

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i've had the best action from progressively smaller segments, with the head being significantly the largest.

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In my experience the segments should gradualy get smaller from the head on, but I have seen some swimbaits that have great action with a big head and tail section and a small section in between... so I'm also curious what you guys think.

:)

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you also have to remember that weight placement will be different on all of these. and they all have different types of actions

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I would think it would depend on what kind of swimbait you were making. If you look up the JSJ Snack Sized Trout, it is a 3 section lure with a tail section much longer than on most swimbaits. It was designed to be fished with a stop and go, jerkbait/ripbait type retrieve. He now makes a 4 piece version with the very last part of the tail made into a separate section and the 4 piece has a nicer action on a straight retrieve.

I would guess (complete guess, mind you), that multiple segments progressively smaller would in general give you a nicer more fluid action on a straight retrieve, but that other styles (like the JSJ or for example the 3:16 Wakebait(s)) with different section lengths might give nicer actions for a topwater style bait fished with a more erratic retrieve. Of course, this is all dependent on weighting, etc. and having larger sections lets you play with your ballast location more as well.

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It seems reasonable to me that the most fluid action would be with the sections getting smaller as they move back. it is odd, however, how some companies choose to made the mid-section the smallest.

Jed

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i hope jrhopkins jumps in on this thread...

as far as i found out, i also "think", more segments result in a more "fluid" action. somtimes the swiming action looks more like a snake than a fish.... i still holding on to the 40/60 rule.

i think, if the segments get smaler towards the rear, a more lifelike action can be the result (faster "swing"). with the tail a bit larger for the extra "snap"

here is my latest prototype

swimmbait1ei0.th.jpgthpix.gif

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It's not only the length of the sections, but the spacing between as well. As you saw my Z6 Trout which is made of 6 sections progressively all getting smaller. The action was much like a snake at first, due to the spacing I had between the sections. Once I minimized the spacing the fluid fish like pattern emerged. So IMHO, it has to do with both, segment size with the spacing distance being a major factor.

When the spacing was greater, the lure would fold into a "U" shape, but when spacing was smaller the bait formed more of an ARCH, and seemed to swim better.

Just my 2cents!!!

Z6-Trout2.jpg

Video of action

Video of 12" Z6 Trout Swimbait - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Hey Dramone, do you have a video of that bait swimming? I would like to see the action of a bait with a smaller mid-section like this one.

Thx.

RM

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Hey riverman

no, i dont have a video of this bait. but right now i'm working on a similar lure (copy) with 4 segments, and a 5 segment version is still in mind.

when one of the lures is ready, i'll post a vid to compare the action of the two baits.

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I generally use the size required for my hinges and hardware to determine the smallest section I can use, and go from there.

I kind of follow a rule of thumb on four piece lures.

I divide the lure into five equal sections. The first two are the head, since most of the ballast goes there, and the other three are equal, even though they get smaller in profile as they approach the tail. I don't count the plastic tail in my calculations, so, for example, for an 8" trout with a 2" tail, my body is actually six inches, and so each of the five equal divisions is a little less than 1 1/4". That makes the head 2 1/2"+-. I want as much swimming, snake-like action as possible, and that works for me.

My three piece, 6 1/2" crappie shape has a body of about 4 1/2", and I make the three sections about equal. That makes each section, including the head, about 1 1/2". The shorter head wiggles from side to side more than with the four piece lures, but it swims well, and the tail section waves like a flag in a hurricane when I burn it.

I use soft plastic tails, courtesy of Captsully, for most of my sectional baits, and make the joints open enough to see through.

I think CalBassin is right, the size of the joints affects the action. The larger the gap, the more exaggerated the action.

I've gotten fish on all my lures, so I know it's really the action that gets them, since my painting skills are poor.

Now, for a twitch-type, dead stick bait, detail is critical. I use feather tails for them, since the feather moves even when the bait is still.

As always, shaping and weighting can greatly affect how a lure performs, so there's no substitute for testing.

But, as a general rule, if you stick to my formula, your lures will swim.

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It's not only the length of the sections, but the spacing between as well. As you saw my Z6 Trout which is made of 6 sections progressively all getting smaller. The action was much like a snake at first, due to the spacing I had between the sections. Once I minimized the spacing the fluid fish like pattern emerged. So IMHO, it has to do with both, segment size with the spacing distance being a major factor.

When the spacing was greater, the lure would fold into a "U" shape, but when spacing was smaller the bait formed more of an ARCH, and seemed to swim better.

Just my 2cents!!!

Z6-Trout2.jpg

Video of action

Video of 12" Z6 Trout Swimbait - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friggin' awesome action! This is my first post here - I'm trying to learn how to create these multi-segmented baits for some near-shore salt action. Looking at some of these creations is truly inspiring; they are absolute works of art. I might be afraid to fish those and just want to mount 'em ;).

Did it take you long to adjust the spacing?

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