bigbass101

how many people use side fins?

16 posts in this topic

does anyone use side fins?

i am and ive noticed how much more stable my swimbait swims with out them i get a lot of top to bottom roll and with them almost none and the head is more stable

but i see most guys dont and theres swim great? what am i doing wrong?

i have a trout that is 10" long 1-1/4" wide- tapered to 5/8" at the tail and about 2-1/4"tall i use the 1/4" roll of lead as ballast. its a 3 part bait and i drill as low in the belly as possible drilled from the back of the first 2 sections towards the nose so i dont have to seal multiple ballast holes

i would be greatful for any help im about to order featherlite so i can mold them and want a place to start so i dont have to waste any

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For me personally I dont use the side fins. When you watch a fish swim the side fins are layed tight to its body. Only when a fish stops are the fins spread out.

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fins are for looks. . they can interfere with bait action. some things come and go. fins on funtional lures used daily will dis-apear

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Honestly I'd do some market research and see what the big companies are up to. It's what the customers want that ultimately should sway you one way or the other.

I'm actually considering this very dilemma for my next molded bait. I can go with microfiber pectoral fins that stick out or just go with the molded in ones that are flat against the body.

Both styles sell and both are functional. Do I really want to have to do all that extra work is the question! :rolleyes:

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Hmmmm, I've usually heard that the fins hinder the swimbaits as they limit the motion of the head section. I guess joint placement/type has a bigger effect on some designs than the addition of fins.

Aren't swimbaits fun to make though? When you finally get one just right and it swims like a real fish it makes all the trials and tribulations well worth it.

This website is a blessing for people who are just starting out as they can learn from all our mistakes and triumphs. I've been around for while now and I still learn something new every time I log in here. :)

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To fin or not to fin.. I go with NO FINS!!! You want the bait to roll a bit.. just my opinion.. doesnt me your wrong or Im right. plus if the fin breaks off then the customer is mad cause the bait broke. and if you carve on fins their is a chance they will break... I have always liked John's Idea.. Johns crankbaits.. with the paint brush style fins.. you get the looks and you dont have to worry about it being damage.. Or you could carve a fin on the side of the bait for looks.. or do what other do and paint them on.

The Rookie

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If you are getting excessive roll, then something is wrong with the basic setup. It might help to post a pic of the body, indicating the ballast locations and tell us the material used for the body (As this is a point of technical discussion, the pic will be allowed).

Also, when you change your material to featherlite, everything will change again, due to the difference on density from the original body material.

But my innitial guess is, that the ballast is both too high and too far back in the front section.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman
spolling

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I had a similar discussion w/ snax on one of his shad swimbaits (which does swim). I made a bluegill lure that had no action whatsoever with pectoral fins. As I started to slowly snip away the fins little by little :cry:, the bait began to get much more action. Finally, I hacked them off and the lure had the best action. The difference in between snax's shad lure and the placement of fins on my bluegill may have made the most significant difference. Snax's shad has the fins on the first section of the lure, my bluegill had them on the second. Then again, several other hydrodynamic factors could have taken place since a bluegill profile is dissimilar to a shad. All you can do is guess and test!

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I've found that the section of the swimbait, the shape top to bottom, affects how much it rolls.

I've always tapered my lures front to back, from a small "point" at the front of the head section to a full width at the back of the head section, and then a steady taper back down to just before the tail, which I flair out slightly to give me room for a soft plastic tail.

Lately, I've started tapering my lures from just over 3/4" at the top to 3/8"-1/2" at the bottom.

In section, it looks like a V.

I got the idea from looking at the 4 1/2" BBZ shad, which has no fins, but swims perfectly at all speeds.

I still do the front to back taper, and adjust the lure section top to bottom taper accordingly.

I think it really helps. Probably because there's less water resistance on the thinner lower section than the thick top.

It's just a guess, but it makes sense to me.

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this is the bait im working on. the black line shows the placement of the ballast. it is sentered down the belly.its made out of poplar.

it swims really good with the fins but when i took them off for testing the back to belly roll over powered the swimming action

thanks for all the help!! this site has taught me so much

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The ballast spread along the bottom does not seam unreasonable. But concentrating the ballast, just behind the front hanger, would be my choice.

The narrow, roundish section only promotes roll. A deeper body would resist the roll motion more.

Before getting too involved with the carving and painting of the next body, you should keep it simple and experiment with the ballast geometry. Be prepared to sacrifice a body or two for the art. There are no definites in this game, my suggestions above, are only that, suggestions.

Drill some holes and try out different configurations and make notes.

Dave

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It looks perfect! Great shape and detailing.

I haven't tried fins since one of the first swimbaits I made, and that one only had a huge dorsal fin. Total failure.

The only reason I could think of that it might roll is that it's more of a rounded shape. My lures, even though I soften the edges, are more of a flat sided lure.

Think Triple Trout, but with more detailing and my own paint schemes.

Your lure looks tall enough that the additional rounding might affect it.

Ask Vodkaman Dave. It's a vortex thing. The rounder body profile isn't as affected by the passing water as a flat side, so the swimming motion isn't initiated as easily.

I had trouble with a rounded four piece bait that I made out of a punker-type home made lure. It doesn't roll, and is a great twitch bait, and swims on a jerk, pause, jerk retrieve, but it only actually swims at one very specific speed.

Let us know what you finally figure out.

I just saw Dave's post. See, I knew he'd have an answer for you.

One more thing. I rechecking your pictures, I noticed your lure is kind of blunt, for lack of a better word. The head is rounded, instead of starting out thin and widening as it moves back toward the joint.

I wonder if this isn't causing the water to be spread all around the head instead of being "split" by a tall, thin head, and forced down the sides. In that case, the side fins would act to redirect the water down the sides, like diving planes on a submarine, and make the lure more stable.

Just a thought.

Edited by mark poulson

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I agree with some of Marks comments, the tall front. Not so sure about the thin though. But the lure has action, so that is not an issue here, we just have to solve the roll.

By spreading the weight along the belly, you are kind of providing an axle for the lure to roll around. By concentrating the ballast in one place, behind the belly hanger, the body will want to rotate around this point. But it will be unable to, due to the increased distance. Well, this is the theory anyway.

If you look at some of the video's published on TU, you will see that the more bulbous the nose section, the wilder the action. Search through The_rookie vids, he has some fine examples of the bulbous nose. My feeling is that a thin nose would part the water evenly and not innitiate the driving vortices. BUT, if you've made a thin nose bait that swims, then I hold my hands up, but a thin nose with a high forehead still swims.

I am not ready to publish a theory on swimbaits yet, but all the above fits into my ideas.

Dave

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ok heres what im understanding

taper the nose to more of a point?

keep as much weight in the front section just behind my hanger?

i kinda based the rounded body off a bbz1 and i noticed that its weight is in the front section but i havent been able to do that with wood and get it to float level in the water?

but featherlite "acts" different than wood so maybe once i mold it i can put weight in the front section?

what about the joint spacing or amout of flex?shoule i even change that?

thanks for all the help again ive already started making another one and im going to use the ideas you all gave. keep em coming

how do i post a vid?

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Hollow, injection molded plastic swimbaits are a whole 'nother ballgame. :lol:

Being hollow allows the manuf. to put lots of ballast in them, down at the belly, and that makes them roll less, or not at all.

Plus the BBZ does have fins, and I'm sure they are there to add stability, as well as to make the lure more realistic.

In my experience, solid lures with more rounded body sections are harder to weight properly, especially if they're floaters, and not have them roll.

Even the Huddleston, the most successful soft plastic swimbait made, has a relatively thin, tall section, and they have big lead ballasts molded onto the hooks to keep them oriented correctly.

In the Huddleston, the front half of the lure is held rigid by the hook and weight, which extends beyond the hook bend, and so the head is stable on the retrieve. The tall, thin tail swim with a tight wiggle.

It's a great bait.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're probably just going to have to experiment with your particular lure design and shape until you get it to work the way you want it to.

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