bigbass101

ballast weight in larger baits

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i have a couple trout baits that are 10 1/2 in. long i get alot of body roll until i put ballast from head to tail the head section does get more because its larger but every section gets some and now it swims reall good at all speeds the only draw back is that now it is a slow sinker

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I think that's probably the reason the Original Lunker Punker was made from balsa.

Keeping buoyancy while eliminating roll with bottom ballast is tough.

That's why injected plastic baits can achieve such great action. They're hollow, with trapped air, so they are really buoyant, and can handle lots of ballast.

I tried to get around this by making some big punker knockoffs using pine. They work okay, but the pine isn't as buoyant as balsa, and the action suffers because of it. Much harder to work than the real Punker.

i have a couple trout baits that are 10 1/2 in. long i get alot of body roll until i put ballast from head to tail the head section does get more because its larger but every section gets some and now it swims reall good at all speeds the only draw back is that now it is a slow sinker

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What sort of tail does it have? Changing the tail from a soft tail to a hard tail, or the other way around, can really change the action sometimes.

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Keep your ballast weights low in the bait. Drilling too deep then weighting will change your baits action.

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What you say makes a lot of sense Mark. But the general cencus of TU swimbait builders, is that they prefer a heavier wood than balsa.

Does balsa work?

Is any one using balsa?

I would like to read some opinions. I think it may be relevant to the discussion.

Dave

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The original question is in regard to a swimbait isn't it which the lunker punker is not.

To answer your question Vodka........I have made topwater walk the dog baits out of woods much heavier than balsa that worked great. The key is in the weighting.

RM

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BB the lower you have the ballast weights the more of a tendency the bait will have to stay upright. The right place between no roll and a sinking bait can be tough to find though. I don't know what method you're using to weight your lures, but if you're drilling and pouring, try first not drilling as deep, then smaller bits, then more shallower holes. all will add to the bottom heaviness. You can even not use as much weight and still make the bait have more of a tendency to stay upright. The key isn't the amount of weight, it's a lower center of gravity.

But if you leave a section unweighted, you lose that bottom-heaviness. The section of wood wants to try to float on its side. One thing to try is messing around with how much weight you have. Try to weight each section individually while it's not assembled. Draw a line on the side of the bait where you want the water line to be and try to get it to float upright at that height.

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No reason balsa wouldn't work with swimbaits. Getting them to swim anyway. They can take a real beating sometimes though. I think the problem is that you're throwing baits that may weigh up to 4 oz, and you're depending on a really soft wood to hold all that weight together.

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Clamboni,

I only weight a lure after it's assembled, because it acts differently assembled than when each section is separate.

I put in the hinges, pins, line tie, plastic tail, and hook hangers, and then float test it in a bucket of water. I hang egg sinkers or split shot from the tines of the trebles until I get the lure to sit in the water the way I think it should.

I just finished an on the lake test of a 7" floating 4 piece swimbait made of PVC instead of poplar, the hardwood I used to use.

I only put ballast in the first section, because when I put ballast in the third section via a weighted hook hanger, the lures still float, but only the head is actually above the water. They hang kind of tail down, not really sinking, but more a drooping tail kind of thing.

In hardwood baits of the same size and design, I have had to use the weighted hook hanger, and also ballast weight in the second section.

In this case, because the PVC is less buoyant than the wood, the tail section didn't need any additional weighting, other than the split ring and 1/0 hook hanging from the third section, to keep it from rolling.

I'm still learning about this material, and it's differences from wood.

I made some 5" punker type lures from it, and they walk the dog well, too, plus they cast like bullets! That's what I was hoping for when I made them from PVC, because hitting busting fish from distance is crucial here in SoCal on our heavily pressured lakes.

But, because they are heavier, they are a little more work to work, so to speak.

It's a trade off.

BB the lower you have the ballast weights the more of a tendency the bait will have to stay upright. The right place between no roll and a sinking bait can be tough to find though. I don't know what method you're using to weight your lures, but if you're drilling and pouring, try first not drilling as deep, then smaller bits, then more shallower holes. all will add to the bottom heaviness. You can even not use as much weight and still make the bait have more of a tendency to stay upright. The key isn't the amount of weight, it's a lower center of gravity.

But if you leave a section unweighted, you lose that bottom-heaviness. The section of wood wants to try to float on its side. One thing to try is messing around with how much weight you have. Try to weight each section individually while it's not assembled. Draw a line on the side of the bait where you want the water line to be and try to get it to float upright at that height.

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