Jwags

Need advice on weighting a crankbait

10 posts in this topic

When you guys put ballast/weighting in your crankbaits, do you put just enough in so that the lure sits upright in the water and doesn't spin out, or do you put enough in so that the lure sits low in the water? If I weight them enough to sit low in the water, will that make them dive deeper?

I'm making some 8" muskie baits out of oak, maple, and poplar. I am making them to be shallow divers (3-4ft) and I am concerned about making them to heavy because I'm already using a dense wood.

I'm completely new to this so any advice I can get will be greatly appreciated.:yay:

thanks,

jeremy

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Whether it is a sinker or a floater, this will not affect the depth that the lure swims, nor does the angle that the lure sits in the water when stationary. The depth is controlled by the water forces on the lip and body and also the resistance of the line as it passes through the water. So, if the lure started on the bottom, it would swim up to its depth.

If you pause the bait, if it rises or sinks too fast, it will look unnatural. Also, most prefer to have the lure slightly floating, but this is not essential, just easier to manouvre over obstacles. If you hit a rock, you pause a few seconds and the lure rises. This change of pace, plus the disturbance can often be enough to trigger a strike. Well, that is the opinion of many here on TU.

Dave

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As a general rule:

With a complete and fully hardwared lure, the water line should land around 2/3 to 3/4 up the side of the bait. In most cases this will provide a good action and stabillity. Also the diving bill should be completely submerged.

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What a great question because it underscores the importance of selecting the best wood for the bait.

We all know not all wood floats, infact some sink so the same bait made out of different woods will sit at different heights on the water .

Wood density or its bouyancy is measured in what the white shirt/pocket pen holder crowd call specific gravity. Because all woods vary (age of tree, climate conditions during its growth, core rings or outer rings) these numbers are just general

SPECIES

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I've got a problem here-keeps uploading.......

SPECIES AVERAGE SPECIFIC GRAVITY

Balsa .16

Norhtern White Cedar .32

Jelutong .40

Red Oak .63

White Oak .68

Sugar Maple .63

Red Maple .54

Poplar .33-.40

I think those numbers are pretty revealing. I believe it is resistance that causes our baits to move side to side and the higher the resistence (balsa) the higher/better the action.

Anyway to answer your question, go easy on the weights. Weight is already built into those three woods.

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Wow, you guys are like walking encyclopedias!!:worship:

If it weren't for this website and the expertise of the people on it, I would be an utter failure at building lures. Thanks so much for your willingness to share your knowledge with those who are just starting.

I'll do my best to keep you posted on how things go for me. I'll post some pics in the gallery when I get a chance...probably in a week or so.

thanks again,

jeremy

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No matter what density wood you use, the final weight of a particular body ballasted, will always be the same. The difference is that the lighter woods will have the mass concentrated in one place. This will become the pivot point for the action or wiggle.

By spreading the weight out with a denser wood, inertia becomes a problem and reduces the action. An example that I have used before is, take a 3' length of broom handle, tie half a brick to each end and twist it with your wrist. Now move the half bricks to the centre, ether side of your hand and repeat the twist test. Now it is much more easy to twist.

Its a lever thing, force x distance. The same happens with the balsa body, the mass is all around the wrist and so it turns easier. With a heavy wood, you are moving more weight out to the end of the pole.

I am torn between using density or specific gravity. People understand the meaning of the word density, but it requires units. But Lbs/cu inch are a pretty meaningless unit. Specific gravity is a dimensionless number that literally compares the mass of the object to that of water, so the number can easily be related to, just the name sounds techy. Hell, you choose!

Dave

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Try taking a couple baits and make test baits out of them. These baits you can add or take weight out to find the results that you want. Im a fellow muskie man myself and I like my cranks to sit lower in the water but still floating, this makes the bait have a slower rise and on a pause you can a make your bait hang there on a pause. I use these cranks for twitching out of brush and logs here in the creeks and small rivers in wv.You can also play with other weighting options .some here add weight along the spine of the bait to make a wide wobble. Be careful when adding weight to the spine because to much weight will cause the bait to blow out. I used to add weight here and it does make a nice wobble or tipping of the bait from side to side on a retrieve. Once again take some spare blanks and see what happens when you add weight here or there.

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I own a few "Rapala Super Shad Rap's" , an excellent lure for pike . After some tinkerers had frequently weighted that originally floating lure to sink , Rapala came out with a sinking version a couple of years ago .

Both versions do look absolutely identical , both are made of balsa , but the sinking version is weighted to be about 1,75 times heavier than the floating version .

But if you work them , you will find , that the lighter floater is very "lively" , it kicks to wobble instantly , whereas the sinker acts rather sluggish , it takes about 2 feet of retrieve , before it makes the first sideward move , and its frequency of wobble and sideward moves are also not as pronounced as with the unweighted version .

But still they do catch fish , I'd use the floaters in the warm season to work the shallows and the sinkers in fall , slowly worked along the bottom at up to 45 feet .

greetz :yay:, diemai

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