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3 inch baby bass wooden topwaters I turned...
30 replies to this topic
Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:20 AM
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. I'm not sure the bass will care. I'll find out if these topwaters will float after I put some hooks on them. If they sink, I'll just add a lexan lip and make jerkbaits out of them.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:39 AM
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, 12 November 2008 - 09:43 AM.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:52 AM
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. 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.
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:27 AM
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:35 AM
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:46 AM
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:55 AM
I know that... I'm am making them look like the real thing for me.. 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. So please bring on the samples!
Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:05 AM
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:16 AM
Yes, Winter is near, Or here. I have one more day on the water left. 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.
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:37 PM
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:40 PM
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?
Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:53 PM
Sorry that I helped hi-jack my post.
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...
Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:31 PM
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 !
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
Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:45 PM
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.
Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:37 PM
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.
but these just look amazing. nice job!
Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:48 PM
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.
Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:47 AM
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.
Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:09 AM
@ 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 Plaster of Paris 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 !
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