Snax

3 vs 4 body sections for swimming motion

34 posts in this topic

I decided to add an extra joint to my new 3 section Plastix Sucker Swimbait after doing some further testing. In comparing the two video clips you can see what a drastic change it made in the realism of the swimming motion. The first video is of the painted up 3 section one and the second video shows it unpainted and with 4 sections .

The beginning of each video is the same however so wait until you get to where I show them swim.

Here's the links...

YouTube - New Plastix Sucker footage.mov

YouTube - New 4 section Plastix Sucker footage.mov

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That's pretty cool Snax. I was planning on attempting a similar experiment now that I have a mold set-up. I guess now I have a bit more info to start with. Thanks for sharing.

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Snax,

I've also found that four piece lures swim with a more fluid, snake-like action.

I make smaller, bluegill/crappie shaped flat sided three piece lures, and they seem to have a more stable head with a flag waving flap for the rear sections on a fast retrieve. I've posted some of them in the gallery.

I'm really impressed with the amount of detail you put into your carp lures. :worship:

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thats awesome! i just made a 4 piece swimbait to just posted a thread about it (2new swimbaits)... the action yours has is awesome!..whats that bait made out of? i dig the scales

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thats awesome! i just made a 4 piece swimbait to just posted a thread about it (2new swimbaits)... the action yours has is awesome!..whats that bait made out of? i dig the scales

Thanks! These baits are made from Featherlite resin and are poured for me by muskydan666 from the forums here. He has years of experience in making molds and pouring this product so I'm paying him for his expertise. So far he's doing a fantastic job on them. The original I carved from cedar and I used a Dremel cutting wheel to cut the scales. Of course I do all the paint work myself as well as installing the tails.

Edited by Snax

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I think that regardless of how many sections a swimbait has, it will have a better chance at swimming realistically if you have a short tail segment at the back end. Another option is a rubber tail with bit of body length on it. After studying footage of fish swimming, it seems that this is the area that will make or break your swimbait looking "fishy" as opposed to just having a swimming motion that looks kinda cool.

Just my opinion of course! :wink:

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The change in the geometry has significantly reduced the roll of the head. I agreee a lot more realistic swim.

Shock! so who is the guy in the avatar?

Dave

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The change in the geometry has significantly reduced the roll of the head. I agreee a lot more realistic swim.

Shock! so who is the guy in the avatar?

Dave

It's me but with much less hair! lol

I think that I'm finally getting a good grasp on swimbait swimming motions and this will come in handy as I'm currently redesigning my whole line to be molded from Featherlite.

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I think you guys locked into something more than just 3 vs. 4 sections.

here is a simplified diagram of general fish swimming forms

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj100/amcalexa/fishforms.jpg

I will say this before anything, your lure def has awsome action as a 4 section...

But is this the right action? By changing from 3 to 4 sections you didn't make a sucker more realistic, you changed the actual fish that it could be percieved as (not saying that 3 or 4 sections is right or wrong, this is for the fish to decide). Look at the diagram, a blue fin tuna has thunniform swimming action while at the other end of the spectrum the sea lamprey has anguilliform.

So here are some things to consider (just to make lure designing that much harder for everyone!)

What is the swimming form of a gizzard shad to a cisco?

What about a perch to a bluegill?

Bass to a walleye?

Another thing to consider. Say swimming action of a sucker is suppose to be like snax's 3 section lure. By changing is to a 4 section does this signal to the predator fish that the fish is injured (thus making the bait more vulnerable to predation and increasing chances of strikes) or does this change what the fish is actually percieved to be (which means that big o musky is just laughing at a sucker trying to swim like a lamprey?)

-i am definately not putting your bait down w/ this post, just giving a new perspective (yours just happened to be a good one to critique for this).

i definately want to hear a fishing report comparing each lure!

i'm also interested to see what some of these guys can create w/ propper swimming forms of fish in mind.

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You raised some excellent points with your observations. For me anyway, the action looks "right" with the placement of the joints with the 4 sections. This is going by what I can recall from seeing many suckers swimming over a lifetime. Of course the action is probably somewhat exaggerated compared to the real thing.

You mentioned how different fish swim compared to one another which is a great point. I have noted that making the shape of the lure as close to the actual fish you are simulating does automatically get you closer to what is correct.

The panfish profiles such as a bluegill or crappie tend to have a very darting and tighter swim compared to a cylindrical fish shape such as a perch or walleye.

I think that there are many factors that come into play when trying to really get as close to a live fish motion and the placement and spacing of the joints is probably the most crucial after the body profile.

Regarding weight placement I've found it not to be a major factor as long as it is low enough in the belly to give stability. I do tend to avoid weighting the very last section by the tail although prototypes still swam well if I did.

Well, I'd better get back to airbrushing now but thanks for raising some great points.:yay:

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I think the swimming motion of fish and eels is different because eels don't have enough mass in their heads to use for leverage when they move their tails, and fish do.

That's why eels, and snakes, have an S shaped motion when they swim, even at low speeds.

Fish, on the other hand, at low speeds, move only their tails, using their heads as the rigid base for the tail movement. It's probably more efficient, or they wouldn't do it.

At faster speeds, most fish employ a more snake-like motion, because they are moving their tails so much their heads can't stay still.

I've seen a trout that was trapped by some bass in the shallows make a mad break for it, and it was doing a speedy S swim, leaving nothing back.

I've caught fish on both my three piece and four piece lures.

The three piece have a more subdued action at low speed, but still swim well. At high speeds, the head is almost steady, but the rear sections flap like a flag in the wind.

My four piece swim with an S shape, slow or fast.

The Huddleston 8" trout, the best soft plastic swimbait ever made, swims with a tail only action, slow or fast. I bought a clear Hud., and can see that there is a lead section on the hook shank that starts about 1" back from the line tie, and extends past the hook bend, so the front 1/2+ of the lure is rigid. It swims really well at both slow and fast speeds, but really shines as a slow, natural, finesse lure.

When I'm fishing slow, or on the bottom, the Hud. is deadly. If the bass aren't keying on trout, I throw a ROF 12 (rate of fall 12' in 10 seconds) Hud. into pockets and swim it back at a med. slow retrieve. It looks like a real trout, just cruising.

I have gotten most of my Huddleston fish on a straight retrieve, without any additional action of the rod or reel by me. Bass just think it's a stupid trout, and swim up and eat it.

So I fish the Hud. as a finesse, search bait, and the jointed lures as reaction baits.

If I'm fishing more aggressively, like early in the morning, on windy days, or on dark days, where the bass have moved up tight to ambush points, I throw a jointed lure across the point, start it back slow, to get them following, and then, as I approach the point, I speed it up so it looks like it's panicked and feels trapped. Bass think it's prey escaping, and hit it.

I'll give you an example of a reaction attack.

I was throwing one of my 6" fast sinik silver crappie 3 piece lures parallel to the rock walls in one of the deeper coves at Castaic early last spring.

I had already caught one 3lb. bass on it that morning, and my partner had on of my 8" fast sink trout lures tied on, and was casting it behind the boat. He had already had two big followers, but no hookups.

I threw my crappie parallel to a long rock wall, on a long cast, let it sink 20', and was bringing it back on a slow, steady retrieve.

As it neared the boat, I began to speed it up as it started to rise toward the boat.

When it was about 6' deep, a huge bass came racing up under it from the inky depths, but turned away when it saw the boat. It's tail was as wide as both my hands. Scrared the crap out of me.

Obviously, it had been watching or following the lure, and got turned on when I changed direction and sped up the retrieve. I had triggered the escaping prey reflex in her.

Now, my paint job on that lure, and the body shape, weren't anywhere near natural, but the swimming action, both at slow speed, and when it was burned fast, were enough to interest a big bass, and trigger an attack.

Did I tell you I'm in the market for an invisible boat? :lol:

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Hey Snax, NICE JOB

I'm leaning on the site here that a lot of you guys put weight in all segments & @ the lower belly of your baits. I have have put my ballast in the first & second ,but not all segments. Do I just add equal amounts of weight until I get the right bouyancy I'm looking for? Have you found that this helps or hinders the action? Do you look for your bait to be level, nose up or dowm, or does it even matter? Anyone else have some input, the more the marrier. Thanks & keep up the great work.

Edited by CA Delta

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I try to put as little ballast weight in the rear sections as possible.

I start out by test floating my lures until they sit upright and level in the water, and then add additional weight as needed. I just hang egg sinkers or split shot on the trebles, evenly, until I get the floating or sinking action I want.

I incorporate an 1/8oz egg sinker in my hook hangers, so that's my initial ballast, which goes into the head and third section. I also put a rattle in the head and third sections.

After that, I put the ballast in the head, and only start putting more in the next section if I find the lure doesn't fall fast enough.

Even with almost all the ballast in the first section, the lures hang horizontal, if they're floaters, and sink horizontal, landing on their hooks in my test bucket, if they're sinkers.

On the lake, the tail sections always seem to sag just a little on slow retrieves, just from the weight of the hinges, tail screw, hook, and hook hanger. The actual soft or hard plastic tails are neutrally buoyant.

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I also prefer to keep most of the weighting towards the front of the swimbait. I like them to sink nose down.

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Snax,

Just wondering why you have a different hinge type for the last section, is it for more mobility on the tail?

No, I decided on the extra joint after the mold had been created so it's easy for me to just cut my tail sections with the band saw and use the screw eyes. It would have the same action if the joint was the same as the others.

On future baits the same size I'll mold in that joint.

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I've caught largemouth and smallmouth bass on the original wooden versions of the suckers.

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Snax,

Can you vary the buoyancy of the tail sections by modifying the mix of the stuff you make the lures from, by adding micro balloons, or some such stuff?

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I would think so but there's no reason to for me anyway. I have someone else do the actual molding that has far more experience. Featherlite is the particular resin that is used for my new baits.

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I just got a wild hair, and thought I'd ask.

I'm thinking about using removable weights of some kind to adjust the sink rates in my PVC baits. Seems like it shouldn't be too difficult. Of course, that's what Einstein said when he tried to come up with the theory of everything. :lol:

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Hey Mark!The feather lite is not a stuff that you can modifyed,you must be talking about the alumilite stuff?you add microballons to it but thats to complicated!If you use the feather lite the right way at the right temp it works great!!!muskydan

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Thanks Dan.

I was just tripping and that thought came into my head, pushing out everything else (limited carrying capacity).

Molded baits are way beyond me.

And seeing the new injection molded plastic Lunker Punkers made me sick with envy.

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