oscarsteel

Making first swim bait?

5 posts in this topic

I have been painting lures for a while and now am ready to start making some baits. Being a carpenter by trade I can make just about anything from wood. I want to make some swimbaits and think I understand how to weight the sections and make it swim. My question is, what is the advantage to pvc baits? Should I try using it for my first try or should I stick with wood? Also do most of you buy your lips or make them? If you make them from lexan, Where is a good source?

I have been looking in the gallery at some of the swimbaits they are amazing. I can't how real some look!! I will be happy if mine looks half as good. Thanks.......Oscar:teef:

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if you can find pvc that is a size that will work you might want to start with that because you don't need to seal it before testing- the the weighting will probably be trial and error so it would be better if you don't need to seal each time you change it. otherwise i would just use some scrap wood

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I'm a carpenter, too, and I use PVC. I make my prototypes with wood, though, because it's easier for me to work.

I'd suggest pine to start with, because it's easier to carve and shape. Once you've got a shape that works, you can switch to PVC. If you want to stay with wood, try poplar next. Harder than pine, but easy enough to shape.

I seal my wood baits by soaking them for ten seconds in Minwax Wood Hardener, so I don't have to worry if the topcoat fails for some reason. It makes them "bulletproof".

PVC is strange material to work with. It's plastic and sawdust. When you drill it, the chips melt as they come off the bit, and then turn solid again, so they will clog the hole you just drilled if you don't clear them.

And, if you put too much pressure with a belt sander, it will get hot and melt, instead of sanding.

It saws and carves fine. Watch the sawdust and sanding dust. And when I rip it, there's a fine "hair" that comes off the blade.

Like I said, weird stuff.

But the stuff I use, a PVC decking material, is buoyant enough ( just barely heavier than poplar) that I can make floating lures with it and still add enough belly ballast weight to keep them swimming upright, instead of laying on their side, on a fast retrieve.

But where the PVC shines is in slow and fast sink lures.

You don't have to add too much ballast to get them to sink, so making smaller lures is easier.

I just made some 7" floaters from PVC, and they look like they're going to just float, almost suspend, by the time I get them painted and 2 coats of epoxy.

So I'd suggest using wood to begin with, and move up to PVC after you've got it down pat.

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Thanks Mark, I have been playing around with some cedar I have and its going to take me a few trys to get this. I'm like you said more confortable working with wood. I have some scrap molding we use around windows and doors that is a composite its called ztrim I think. Its white and comes in 5/4 x 4" I was thinking of useing this stuff if I can get the wood one made. Thanks for the info very helpful:yay:........Oscar

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Hi Oscar,

you'll find that with swimbaits the spacing and locations of the segments will have a much greater effect on if they swim than the placement of the weighting.

Depending on the placement I've had baits come in like a stick with zero swimming motion but with a very slight change in the placement of the first joint they would swim like a dream. I think that the placement of the joint closest to the head end of the swimbait seems to be the most crucial. It will get the swimbait moving in the first place and then the subsequent joints will determine how lifelike the motion is.

It's a matter of trial and error if you're venturing into unknown territory but once you figure out the "magic" variables that make the swimbait swim it can be a blast making these things then seeing them come to life in the water!

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