mark poulson

Reverse joint test results

45 posts in this topic

My question is about concave vs convex face on the joints but Mark does raise an interesting observation.

One thing I have found in my own testing is that if the sections have too much lateral twist they will make it harder to get the bait to swim.

The optimal swimbait in my estimation should therefore have the following attributes:

1. A tapered body as a real fish has when viewed from above or below with concave body segment faces facing forwards into the direction of movement.

2. Sufficient number of body segments to allow for fluid motion.

3. Free swinging range of motion but minimal ability to twist out of line

4. Either a very supple, flexible tail or joint right at the tail

5. Weighting mostly in the front section and perhaps also some in the next but the rest left unweighted for less resistsance on the hinges.

6. Hooks placed so that they do not interfere with the joints or hang up on any fins.

Hope this helps anyone attempting to build a swimbait from scratch.

Edited by Snax

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For anyone just starting, or having trouble getting their lures to swim, this is GOLD!

My question is about concave vs convex face on the joints but Mark does raise an interesting observation.

One thing I have found in my own testing is that if the sections have too much lateral twist they will make it harder to get the bait to swim.

The optimal swimbait in my estimation should therefore have the following attributes:

1. A tapered body as a real fish has when viewed from above or below with concave body segment faces facing forwards into the direction of movement.

2. Sufficient number of body segments to allow for fluid motion.

3. Free swinging range of motion but minimal ability to twist out of line

4. Either a very supple, flexible tail or joint right at the tail

5. Weighting mostly in the front section and perhaps also some in the next but the rest left unweighted for less resistsance on the hinges.

6. Hooks placed so that they do not interfere with the joints or hang up on any fins.

Hope this helps anyone attempting to build a swimbait from scratch.

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Or just have Nate or John Hopkins make you one! :worship: lol

Seriously though, I'm curious now about Marks observations about reversing the slots and pins on the opposing sections. We just might have made another breakthrough on getting consistent action if he's right.

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I noticed that too. He's really doing an amazing job on his baits and has set the bar pretty darn high for the rest of us!

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@ Mark

I really appreciate all the info on the reverse joint tests. Haven't gotten around to try it yet, but I have a new hinge style that your reverse joints should be killer on. Its all on paper for the moment and may be a few months before any protos are made. Just figured I'd say thanks for sharing!

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I made another reverse joint 7" four piece floater, with the screw eyes in the back of the sections facing to the rear.

It swam better than the ones that had the screw eyes facing forward, but I found that I still had to adjust the joints until the lure could bend almost backwards, in a U shape, to get it to swim the best. And a free moving tail section is essential.

Once I'd adjusted the joints, the new bait swims like a snake. It has more head movement than the other reversed joint baits I made, but it swims at a crawl, and when I burn it.

I'm going to use this method for all my future baits.

One thing I found is I have to relieve the recessed holes that accept the eye of the screw eye, so there is maximum side to side clearance. In my original jointed lures, the visible slot provided this clearance. Getting it in a joint with a recessed hole instead of a slot is a little more tricky, but, since I'm using PVC, I can easily carve out the sides of the holes to make the room I need. I leave about 1/8" of meat or less, but it's still strong, since it's carved at an angle, and is tapered to that thin section only at the very face of the joint.

And I've been able to use .92 screw eyes for the hinges on the first two joints, which connect the parts with the hooks, and only use the .72 eyes to connect the tail section. That way, I feel much more confident about my screw eyes even if they're not epoxied in. I use the same small pilot hole for both, so the larger eyes are really well seated in the PVC, and I can adjust them on the fly without worrying about failure.

I haven't done an actual strength test on either size screw eye, but I've caught enough fish with them to know both sizes work.

I can't stress enough how much easier changing to PVC has made my lure making process. Thank you again JRHopkins for encouraging me to give it a try!

I am almost cavalier about my epoxy coatings now, knowing the lure itself is waterproof, so any damage will remain local, and the lure body is so hard it doesn't dent on rock impacts, which has caused the topcoat to fail in my wood lures.

One of the things holding me back from selling lures is confidence that they will hold up, but, with the PVC, bicycle spokes for hinge pins (thanks Captsully), Nu Lustre 55 with UV inhibiters, and the larger screw eyes, I'm now confident that the only complaint I'll hear is that they don't catch fish. I can live with that, since swimbait fishing is mostly miss, with an occasional hit. I just didn't want a mechanical failure of one of my lures to cause that one hit to be lost. And I don't want to have to constantly refinish lures, like I've had to when I made them from wood.

I feel like I now have a system that works, and designs that work, and I am going to go for it.

When I have my computer back, I'll post some pics. in the gallery.

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P.S. The slotted joint swimbait swims the best, but the reversed joint, done right, can swim as well.

I've found that joints that are loose enough to bring the leading edge of one section past the trailing edge of the section it follows it key, since it lets the lip of the section catch the water as it flows past the lure.

I haven't tried to make a reversed joint lure that's thinner than 5/8".

I will, but I'm afraid that, unless you're Bill Siemental, who'se been carving lures his whole life, the mechanics of the joint may be problematic. Slotted joints are easier in thin lures, at least for me.

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@ mark poulson

Mark , though you might possibly not read this immediately due to your PC problems , I'd just like to say thanks for sharing your results and experiences !

I am sure , a lotta people(including myself) would certainly benefit from these for their own luremaking .

greetz :yay:, Dieter

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Amen to that! Thanks for sharing your findings Mark. I've been doing some experimenting of my own and my results pretty much mirror yours.

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Mark, this has been a great thread. You have reported your results as well as I have read anywhere. Thanks for all your info. Good luck on your business venture.

David

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Dave exemplifies the spirit of this website unlike certain others who only post jealous wise cracks.

I look forward to the photos showing the differences in the designs. As they say, a picture's worth a thousand words.

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Everything I know about lure making, except how to carve wood and how to make mistakes, I learned here at TU from you guys who posted and shared, and answered endless "dumb" questions.

I'm happy to have something to give back.

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Mark, I too wish to say thanks for sharing your learning experiences with the rest of us. I too have learned a lot from TU especially about crankbait making, I very recently made my first 6 suspending jerkbaits and am in the process of trying to make my first jointed swimbait. I am following these threads closely. I have one carved split and cut into sections. It is 4inches long and will be a little longer with joints installed. Should I use soft stainless wire for the hinges or tempered spring stainless wire. Between work and having my first grandson to play with, I will be a while getting this thing finished but I will post pics when I get it done.

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Jblaze,

That's a good looking "starter" lure. You're well on your way.

Is it balsa?

For wire choice, I'd pick the thickest soft wire that you can still bend into tight coils. I have only used soft tempered sst wire, and couldn't do tight coils with it.

I stopped using twist wires for hinges a while back, so I'm really not the guy to get advice from.

One tip, though. If you're going to use a single hinge in the tail for more action (I recommend it), and are using twist wires, make sure you leave a right angle tag on the wires, or the hinge might unscrew, due to the force of the water on the tail.

JRHopkins posted some pictures of his wiring system for hinges and hook hangers a while back. It is how I'd do it if I were making split balsa baits.

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Thanks Mark, I wish you well with you business venture should you decide to go that route. I would like someday to do this for a living but I would have to get much faster at making lures than I am now. It is a good clean hobby and stress reliever. You are right, the wood is Balsa. I saw the post by JRHopkins and really liked his hinging method. I also like because of the simplicity, the idea of using twist wires and a hinge pin but there is not much wood here to work with. Like you, I seal my balsa with the wood hardner but I am afraid the hinge pin might pull through under load. I was thinking about a single hinge for the last section but only because it is so small. Thanks to you I now have another reason to make it a single. Thanks for the tip.

John

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JBlaze,

Dave Orso's Split Tail swim baits have a crazy tail action, and he uses a single hinge pin in the tail. Actually, it's two cotter pins, one tight on top of the other, and that limits the rotation of the tail just enough. His tail sections are almost round, so the action is very erratic.

If you use a plastic tail attached to your wood tail section, and it's tall and thin, it will act like the vertical stabilizer on an airplane, and the tail will be stable enough, even with only one hinge.

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Thanks again Mark. I think I may have Hi-Jacked this thread. Sorry guys that was not what I meant to do.

John

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I finally got around to reading this entire thread, swim baits seem to be becoming a real craze there. These are something I have never seen in the flesh here, but sooner or later they will take off here also.

There is some pretty impressive work being done, so I had to check the gallery, and Mark/Snax amongst others, have obviously put in heaps lately, for some excellent results. Nates creations swim across the screen, the paint is so realistic, and he seems to have that joint 'down pat'.

After reading this thread, in conjunction of many past posts, I am amazed to see the evolution of hinges, ballast weighting, optimum segment sizes etc, and for me they are engineering marvels, when I check out one swimming on YouTube.

Keep up the good work guys, there will be a lot of spin offs from all your work, for us 'Mono' body builders (Mark must spend hours fiddling).

Thanks for sharing, I think I will have to have a go at this.pete

Edited by hazmail

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Nate was a big help to me when I started making swimbaits and as I began getting more adventurous with the designs John Hopkins input was invaluable.

Thanks guys!:worship:

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