finlander

what wood to use for a glider?

15 posts in this topic

Looking to make a few for myself. I usually play with cedar. Now I own a Shopsmith and cant wait to turn a few baits. I bought a small piece of mahogany recently, but have not started working with it yet. Is it a good choice for a glide bait?? Maple gives one problems, sealing and stuff. Any advice? Thanks.:)

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@ finlander

If I make wooden lures , I choose the wood accordingly to the intended purpose and especially size of the bait .

For example it would be useless making maybe a 4" floating crankbait out of quite dense hardwood , with all hardware , lip and several topcoats and wire leader added , it might barely float at the end :yes:.

On the other hand , a 8" sinking glide bait made of a very buoyant wood , balsa would be the other extreme in this case , requires too much weight , that you might probably have difficulties to place all into the lurebody , due to lack of space !

Also it might not work well at all , because of too much weight concentrated at one location :huh::huh:!

Talkin' bout turning glide baits , I assume , that you intend to make round-bodied sinking lures .

Well , also such baits need to be balanced by belly weights , they are especially affected by a sideward roll , due to their round cross-section .

After my experience , such roll on a jerk results into less glide action , since it "eats" some of the initial jerk's energy .

Therefore a bait like that needs a good portion of keel weight .

This is the reason , why I am making smaller lures of this kind(3 1/2" to 5") out of more buoyant wood like pinewood or even abachewood , just because it can be balanced better .

For bigger lures this is not as neccessary anymore , since their body volume is higher , and even if made of less buoyant hardwood they can still be balanced with sufficient weights to let them stay reasonably upright , when working them .

Also the naturally bigger hooks on their bellies do provide a better swimming position in that way .

Just a little theory of mine , that I work after , sorry I can't give you any certain advice about which kind of wood to use , don't know about your intended lure sizes , and I am not too familiar with these woods , that you have mentioned .

But I know , that some European builders use mahagony for their flat-bodied gliders , I use beechwood and teakwood(for medium and bigger lure-sizes) , since its easier accessible to me .

good luck:yay: , diemai

Edited by diemai

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I make a lot of gliders for musky and use maple or oak for the wood. All wooden baits need to be sealed and you really cant get around that. Maple really isnt any harder to seal than another wood and thats type of wood I really like useing. Oak is very dense and you dont need as much ballast weight as you would with poplar or ceder but you do have to make sure you seal the bait.

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For the liveliest action I like cedar but for the best balance of durability vs action then maple is my choice.

The reason why cedar has a lively action is that the weight will be concentrated more and if you know how to place it you can really get a dancing glider that works with very little effort.

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I think Snax is right about lighter woods being more lively.

I've used fir, pine, and poplar in the past for surface gliders.

Of the three, I like pine the best for surface, punker-type gliders, because it's light, so the ballast at the bottom make it bottom heavy and less likely to roll and more lively. Yet it's strong, too.

But the wood is softer than the other two, so I coat/soak it with Minwax Wood Hardener, both to seal it and to make the surface harder.

Recently I made two punker-type gliders out of PVC decking.

They are a little heavier than wood gliders, so they have less ballast and more of a tendency to walk almost submerged on a fast retrieve.

I finished them in a white belly/sides and grey back "sexy shad" paint scheme, and they are really visable in low light and choppy water.

The PVC can be worked with tools almost like wood, and is totally waterproof, so any nicks in the top coat epoxy don't let in any water.

But they are rock hard, and haven't nicked or chipped so far when I've introduced them to the local rocks. :lol:

And they cast a mile.

Edited by mark poulson

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The only thing mark about cedar is you have to put a lot of weight in a musky plug when useing cedar and when fishing all day thats really hard on your rod reels and your back. I like to weight my gliders to where they hang there when setting still and the really come to life with little effort. I have a snax bait that I bought about two years ago it was the brown sucker and I dont even own a rod that can throw that baby, man its a awsome looking bait but a little to heavy for me. A buddy of mine trolls with it and has slammed some nice fish on that same snax,it does catch some nice fish. I can make an oak bait walk with wide glides and use little weight for ballast.I make mostly drop belly gliders style baits and oak an maple work very well for me. The only thing about oak is you have to seal the bait very well because sometimes oak will crack.

Edited by jamie

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There seems to be a misconception about the weight of baits and the type of wood used to make it.

The lure must have a certain weight for it's given dimensions to sink. If the lure is made from a lighter wood it requires more lead but the actual total weight of the lure can be exactly the same as one made from a denser wood such as oak that needs less lead.

It's just that the ballast is more pronounced in a lure made from lighter wood. I can make two identically weighted baits (Total weight) from two completely different materials and the actions will be different if the ballast is not the same.

Hope this clears that up for everyone. Jed from bikinibaits can probably explain it better.

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I have found poplar to be an all-around great wood for about everything. Mahogany or hard maple make the best gliders though in my opinion. But..........I like gliders to have a very stable action, virtually no lateral roll, and a wide glide. If you want your lure to have more roll and more life then a lighter wood like western red cedar will be a good choice for you. Make sure you a wood sealer, primer, and at least two coats of clear.

Jed V.

Edited by RiverMan

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There seems to be a misconception about the weight of baits and the type of wood used to make it.

The lure must have a certain weight for it's given dimensions to sink. If the lure is made from a lighter wood it requires more lead but the actual total weight of the lure can be exactly the same as one made from a denser wood such as oak that needs less lead.

It's just that the ballast is more pronounced in a lure made from lighter wood. I can make two identically weighted baits (Total weight) from two completely different materials and the actions will be different if the ballast is not the same.

Hope this clears that up for everyone. Jed from bikinibaits can probably explain it better.

Im sorry I did make a poor statement above . The only problem being that in a drop belly situation when useing cedar verses a more dense wood you have a space issue. Yes you can load the bait up with lead but you have to watch how deep your drilling and how much lead in one hole you can add. You add lead too far up into the bait and it will cause the bait to roll.To me I would rather add less lead and tuning a glider to suspend on a pause is a lot easier. I like to have my gliders to just sit there on a pause and there is a fine line on too much lead and not enough.

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Great points Jamie. I prefer a balance between the cedar and oak that I've used to build baits from.

Actually, the Featherlite seems to be a happy medium so far.

I'll be making some gliders with it soon and I'll post on how they work compared to the lighter cedar baits.

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Let me know how that works out because im going to lean torwards the same direction and i need all the input that I can get. Ive been whittling on wood for so long its all I know and this is all new ground for me.

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Even if you don't actually mold the lures you can mold a simple block from which to cut your shapes. The Featherlite is super easy to shape too and cuts and drills perfectly as it has no grain.

It's also possible to melt in your lead without melting it which surprised me a little.

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I was really wanting to get into the molding and casting side of things. I was thinking of going more commercial and I was wanting a molded bait for speedier turnout, toothproof, and not have to worry about sealing.

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Jamie,

The ultimate big surface glider was the big Pupfish, an injection molded plastic knock off of the Mega Bass Dog X. They ran into problems with Mega Bass and had to stop making them.

Black Dog Baits has just come out with an injection molded 9" Lunker Punker. I haven't tried one yet, but it has the potential of giving the old Pupfish a run for it's money.

I made a 9" surface glider out of pine, to keep it light so I could keep the lure higher in the water, which would make it easier to walk/glide. I have just finished shaping it, along with three reverse joint 7" swimbaits.

I hope to test them all this week.

I'll post the results.

Fingers crossed.

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