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3 inch baby bass wooden topwaters I turned...

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I turned these baits out of wood to 3 inchs long. I made the eyes from rhinestones. My air brush skills are getting a lil' better, But I cant hand brush anything. :lol: I'm not sure the bass will care. :lol: I'll find out if these topwaters will float after I put some hooks on them. :lol: If they sink, I'll just add a lexan lip and make jerkbaits out of them. :D

3inbabybass.jpg

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They look really good.

How did you arrive at the shape?

What kind of wood did you use?

If you didn't add ballast, I'd be surprised if they didn't float, unless they're some super dense hardwood.

For walking baits, you will want the tail to sit lower in the water than the head, but not much. You may be able to adjust the way the lure sits by using different size trebles and split rings.

Also, you can wrap some fly tying lead wire around the rear treble's shaft to add rear weight, or both trebles, if you need it.

I've found that wooden walking baits need to sit mostly submerged, but horizontal, at rest, with 1/3 to 1/2 of the top of the lure's head out of the water.

If they sit higher, they seem to roll and skid more, rather than walk. But, again, it depends on the weight of the wood to begin with.

I typically use douglas fir or pine for my Lunker Punker type walking baits. The fir is a little heavier, depending on which piece of wood I pick up, so it needs less ballast. But it's also harder to shape.

If you find you need ballast, you can use the hook hanger locations, drill them out large enough for the ballast, and epoxy in the ballast with the hook hangers in the center. I've retrofitted some baits, using egg sinkers and cotter pins, that I didn't weight right after I finished them, and this works, and minimizes the damage to the finished lure.

Edited by mark poulson

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Thanks... They started out as 1/2 in dowel rods. So the shaping was not much work. I did add the screw eys,split rings to the hooks and slightly thread them onto the bait. They want to almost sink with the #6 trebbles. :pissed: But floated OK with #8's :( I might have to add some length to get the flotation up since I do not want to go larger in diameter. I'm actually thinking of just using one #6 trebble where I like the balance point. At 3 in one trebble is probably enough hook. But that goes against the norm and I wanted a feathered trebble as the tail. :mad:

I'm gonna put the line tie in the nose of the bait on these 5, I have another 5 that will be getting the line tie like a zara spook. I'll figure this all out with alot of time and cursing. :lolhuh:

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I'd mount the eye tie slightly below the mid point on the nose.

That lifts the nose on the pull stroke and gets it started walking.

And it keeps a little more weight in the bottom part of the lure.

You can also use heavier screw eyes in the tail to achieve different weighting.

I can see that 1/2" diameter dowel doesn't leave much room for experimentation in terms of ballast weighting. If you're already having to downsize the hooks to achieve buoyancy, you're probably going to be very limited in what you can do.

You can drill out some of the wood along the back, to make air pockets, and then seal the tops with some paper and epoxy.

But that's really as a last resort, and probably isn't practical with lures this small.

I think you're going to have to use the hook and split ring sizes like you're doing to balance them.

Last, you can use a mojo type cylindrical weight, with the screw eye passed through it, in the tail if your lures don't walk well.

Tail weighting is really important in a walking bait, or at least having the center of gravity (balance point) back of center.

I like feathered tails, too, on my walking baits, but the feather can really affect the action of the lure. Feathers can dampen the walking action. Try to shorten the feathers if it seems not to walk well. Bait fish or bass fry that size don't have big tails anyway. A little mylar in the feathered tail will add flash, even if you wind up trimming it even with the back of the treble.

Try all the experimenting on one lure only, until you get it right, and then do the rest.

Those are too pretty to mess all of them up.;)

And float test the new lures you're making with all the hardware installed before you put that beautiful paint job on them, so you can be sure they're balanced right.

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I want to have two #6 trebles and I might just have to add length.. I really did not want to do this. I also dont want to drill air pockets into them. I dont think it will take alot more length to get the floatation I want. They sit tail heavy as it is because I tapered the back twice as far as the front for that reason. They are only 3 in long now and I think 3 1/2 will get it done and not look too big for the look I was trying to get.

I want to find a good minnow paint scheme to paint easily.

I'm open to some good suggestions/pics.

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Most minnows are silver, or have a greenish cast, to blend into the foliage.

Since these are reaction baits, having the paint scheme close is good enough. If it has the right general color, size, and good action, it will get bit.

Exact matching paint schemes are really only important on deadstick, twitch baits, or for catching anglers. ;)

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:lol: I know that... I'm am making them look like the real thing for me.. :lol: Actually the clear water here in Michigan let the fish see the bait better than most other places. It won't hurt anything to look real. :lol: So please bring on the samples! :yay:

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Man, isn't it almost time for hard water back there? My Mom was from Detroit, and she used to say winter started around Halloween.

One of the main reasons she and my Dad move out to Los Angeles after WW2.

We have clear lakes out here, too. I've found that lures that have a good action, size, and matching color scheme, work.

Recently, in the process of trying to refinish a crank, I stripped it down to the clear plastic, sparyed it with some irridescent violet Wildlife paint, added some nail polish with blue/green glitter, and cleared it. It came out an almost invisible ghost finish, but it is more visible in low light. Really works on finicky bass because they don't really see much of the lure, just the flash and hint of color.

It's become my go to finish for jerkbaits and cranks when the fish are on the shad in the fall.

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Yes, Winter is near, Or here. :lol: I have one more day on the water left. :angry: I too have bought clear blank body baits and used a clearcoat with silver hologram glitter and it works great. But I don't have that choice making these from wood. :lol:

I live 20-25 miles w of detroit... Westland is my city. ;)

Going fishing in the hot pond tomarrow.. Power plant discharge that connects to Lk Erie.

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No... I have to launch 1/2 mile away in a canal and run up lk Erie to the pond. So it's only fishable for me until the water in the canal freezes. It's too cold by that time anyway. :eek:

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Just to get back on subject a little; you're turning these out of hard wood dowels, right? Do any of the hobby shops sell bass wood dowels or some other soft wood that would float a little better?

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Sorry that I helped hi-jack my post. :lol:

I'm not sure what kind of wood the dowel I bought is. But I know that other soft woods might be more boyant. I am not using through wire for the hooks. I want a good bite when I screw the eyelets in with epoxy. It appears that the wood is pine or similar. Not sure how to find out. :? I considered using oak, But I'm quite sure that it floats less and thats not gonna work for me...:nuhuh:

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Over here in Germany they sell replacement broom handles , a bit less than 1" in diameter , some of these are made of a really light kinda wood , best suited for topwaters :yes:!

But one has to look around , since different suppliers use different woods .

Just the other day I purchased one looking like teak or similar , off course a bit too heavy for topwaters , but so far I've turned some classic style cranks from it !

Just a hint;) !

Greetz , diemai

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Out here in SoCal, most 3/4" and smaller dowels that are sold in lumber yards are red birch. I guess it's because it's easy to turn and finish. The larger clothes pole dowel stock, 1 3/8" and up, is usually douglas fir.

You have a lathe, so you can turn your own dowels out of any wood you want.

I don't know what's available back there, but pine and douglas fir are two woods I've had good success with.

Pine is a good, strong, light wood for topwater lures. I dip the carved/shaped/drilled lure in Minwax Wood Hardener for 20 seconds, and the wood soaks up enough of the hardener to make it stronger.

If you have predrilled the screw eye holes, the hardener wicks into the holes and makes the wood that the threads bite stronger.

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i REALLY love the way these look.

i think its the simplicity of the paint scheme that really makes it stand out and just look great.

the clear is also very good on these baits.

you do a nice job finishing baits my friend!

it may be of aid to you to test one bait to make sure it works before you finish it and go make 4 more. :wink:

but these just look amazing. nice job!

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I think you'd be happy using paulownia for small topwaters. It has a nominal density of 18 lbs/cu ft, intermediate between balsa and hardwoods such as basswood. And it's hard enough not to require thru-wiring. Finding a paulownia dowel is a whole 'nother question. Unless you have a lathe, it's probably not an option. JMHO, the best topwaters are made from light weight woods to have the most lively action.

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Over here in Germany they sell replacement broom handles , a bit less than 1" in diameter , some of these are made of a really light kinda wood , best suited for topwaters :yes:!

But one has to look around , since different suppliers use different woods .

Just the other day I purchased one looking like teak or similar , off course a bit too heavy for topwaters , but so far I've turned some classic style cranks from it !

Just a hint;) !

Greetz , diemai

Dieter,

I've noticed that, with "globalization", lots of the broom, mop, and shovel handles are made from some kind of hardwood that is not domestic American wood. I never thought to try one for lures, but I will now. Thanks.

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@ mark poulson

Mark , this lightwood broom stick , that I mentioned is a very light colored non-European wood with hardly visible grain patterns . I have turned those three small "classic style" lures , that I put in the gallery recently , from it .

Even they are so small and with wire harness , lip , small trim weight and hardware added , they pop back up like a bottle cork !

This wood also holds epoxied screweyes well .

I am not quite sure , but someone told me , that in German the wood was called "Brasil-Kiefer" , which would be something like "Brazil-Pine" , translated straight .

Sadly they don't always state the materials on the labels of such handles .

One hint : eyeball down the length of them , many are a bit curvy or even twisted , only take the straight ones with an even grain................ohh , what am I telling to a lifetime chippy :huh::huh::lol:!

PS : Handles for gardening tools are also an option , but these are most likely made of rigid hardwood , so better suited for sinking jerkbaits ! These are also a bit thicker in diameter compared to broom handles .

But the other day I was lucky to get some of a different , lighter wood from a Polish vendor on a fleamarket , I suppose , its poplar , approx. 1 1/2" in diameter , so I have more options turning the lures shape .

greetz , Dieter

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Guys, The wood I'm using is light weight and high flotation. The problem is this. It starts out at 1/2 in diameter max, Then I taper the head 1/2 in into the body. Then I taper the tail 1 in to the back... Thats 1 1/2 in of material removed. Only leaving 1 1/2 at full diameter. Not alot of wood here left.:lol:

Now I clear them before paint, Paint, rhinestone eyes, then clear them again.:lol:

Then add 3 screw eyes, 3 split rings and two hooks... The floating problem is just not enough wood for the weight added....

I could try painting before the first clear coat, make the bait 1/2 in longer, use smaller hooks and split rings, etc...

These baits are alot smaller than the pics make them look.

I do not have a lathe, I'm turning these in a drill press with a 1/2 in chuck. Therefore another reason I dont want to go to 5/8 dowels. 1/2 in is perfect for what I'm trying to achieve.

I tried using elmers glue as a wood sealer before I painted as someone reccomended here... My paint all cracked on the white base coat even after 2 heavy coats. :pissed: I'm not sure that just painting the raw wood is an option....

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I used to use elmers for this purpose, but I was informed that it was not waterproof. However, I doubt that it is causing your problem, unless you did not give it a full 24 hours to dry.

The problem could be an incompatability between your base coat and your colors. If not that, it could be also that your base coat is not fully dried. I suggest you tell TU what paint combinations you are using and let the experts help.

The sealer coat serves several purposes, #1 is to seal the wood, making it waterproof. #2 is to add some strength to the wood, especially for lighter woods, like balsa. #3 is to hide the wood grain, providing a good level surface to paint on.

Currently, I am using fibreglass resin to seal. But it too has waterproof issues, so I am not recommending that. A lot of TU members use thinned D2T, some use propionate. But what ever you use, you cannot rush the process. Allow 24 hours before painting. I am still searching for a suitable seal and to coat, Clemmy has pretty much convinced me that prop is my direction for both.

Painting direct onto the wood, no matter how smooth you sand it, is going to give an amateur finish, with the wood grain showing through.

Nice art work

Dave

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Believe it or not... I get my Acrylic Plaid Folk Art paint from Michaels, JoAnnes, craft store or Wal-Mart. I thin it to a milk like consistancy with water. I use a cheap air brush set. I have not had any trouble with the airbrush clogging. I use a piece of copper craft wire to put in the bottle opening to seal the left over paint. Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

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I did not let the elmers dry for 24 hours. I did thin it with water to put a lighter coat on it. It seemed very dry and it still crackled the basecoat.

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