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Need some help!
5 replies to this topic
Posted 20 January 2009 - 08:09 PM
So, guys, I tried to make a crankbait yesterday, and let's just say it turned out horrible. So, I've got a couple of questions that I'd like to ask you experts about.
1. What alternatives are there to spray adhesive for gluing the fish image onto the foil?
2. Do I need to weigh down my crankbaits in some way?
3. What is a ballast?
Posted 20 January 2009 - 08:57 PM
A2xd, welcome to TU.
Yes, you will have to add some weight. This weight (usually lead) is called the ballast weight. It will make the bait swim the right way up and make it easier to throw.
Seal the body to water proof. Tape a strip of lead to the belly. Trim the lead so that the body floats, with about 20% out of the water. Fit the lead in a hole in the belly, about 40% back from the nose.
These figures are only a starting point and can all be adjusted. Unfortunately, lure design involves a lot of trial and learning. Don't be afraid to experiment and make notes.
Posted 20 January 2009 - 09:02 PM
Can't help on gluing paper onto foil but can give you some basics about ballast. Ballast is weight (usually lead) you install in the belly of the bait to make it float upright in the water. It also balances the body of the bait against the forces exerted by the lip, to swim better. Lastly, it gives the bait more "throw weight". Most guys put ballast near the belly hook hanger - in fact, many build baits using a hook hanger that is cast into a lead ballast weight which is epoxied into a hole in the belly. But you can drill separate hole(s) for the ballast as you wish to affect the bait's performance. With the lip and hooks installed, you can find the natural balance point of the bait without ballast. Slowly push it off a flat surface and, when it begins to tip off, that's the balance point. If you put the ballast in front of that point, it will give the bait a more head-down attitude in the water. Installed at the balance point, it will make the bait sit level and give the bait an "X-ing" wiggle around that point. Changing the float attitude of the bait has a big effect on how the bait swims, so choosing the placement and amount of ballast is important. Too much ballast deadens the action. Too little makes it uncontrollable.
Posted 21 January 2009 - 06:58 AM
Darn, wish someone had explained it to me like that when I first started out. Nice explanation, BobP
As you are finding out, taking on crankbait construction can be a daunting task. Unlike any other bait, crankbaits require a confluance of factors, each important unto themselves, that have to work almost perfectly together. This curve you are now on is mostly learn as you go (other than sites like TU) and the set of principles you uncover/discover will ultimately shape the type of bait you make.
I was a year or more into this when I realized the head of the lure is as much a part of the dive plane as the lip. (Wiggle Warts taught me this) I also learned the smaller the bait, the harder it is to get to run correctly. So start medium to large and work your way down.
Somewhere there is probably a formula regarding mass to weight to lip size to lip angle=desired action. It's not as hard as E=mc2 but sometimes it feels that way. I'm working a bait right now for a guy-I'm in my second year with somewhere around 30 prototypes. I'm closing in on the target but it's been a real battle and any of my recent hair loss is not natural. Making all those bodies and all those mistakes only made me better.
I'm going to sign off before I decide to erase this pontification.
Posted 22 January 2009 - 09:47 AM
Lol, one of the first questions that I asked was, 'so, what is the formula?'. I must add that the question was not well received either, people thinking that I was looking for a short cut, undermining the years of valuable experience of others. Personally, I think it is a perfectly reasonable question.
I did a lot of work on trying to explore the possibilities of a formula, but to no avail. The problem is that some of the variables are not linear, the main one being the lip forces. Other things can be calculated, like the ballast, buoyancy, volume final weight. But here again, so many variables like, seal coat, paint and top coat weight, even lead density. These variables only really come into play if you are going for neutral buoyancy, a floater of sinker obviously have a bit more latitude. BUT, repeatability is important, so reasonable control ove the lure elements should be maintained.
I suggest a digital gram scale and a note book. Not essential gear, but very useful.