dixiet

help.....are crankbait weights necessary

12 posts in this topic

I'm making 13 inch Musky crankbaits out of red cedar with lexan lips

#1 question........ are weights necessary?

I have no problem if they float at rest.

this pic not red cedar and I know it has a knot but if I turn it over it disappears:lol:

Question #2........has any ever fished with a lure with a stationary tale like this one?

All Comments Welcome

Thanks for helping me become a better lure builder

Tim

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Some hardwoods are dense enough that no ballast is needed, depending on the size and configuration of the bait. The treble hooks on the bait act as its ballast. Whether your bait will work without ballast is a question that will be answered the first time you get it wet. Ballast stabilizes the bait as it moves and keeps it upright in the water. If you bait flops on its side or is uncontrollable, you'll need the ballast. I haven't made baits with flat solid tails like yours but I'm sure it will act as a rudder and will mute the wiggle action compared to the same bait without a tail. Good luck with it!

Edited by BobP

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When making a lure such as a floating Rapala I never use a weight,the balsa bait is weighted by the hooks alone. When making larger baits of this type,you will no longer be able to cast without problems.Two ton epoxy will protect your lure even if it is made of balsa.It really takes a beating.

The tail as you show on the photo will cause you problems.

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Welcome to the world of trial and error (aka trial by fire or in our case-trial by water). Bob P and Bojon have not misled you. An additional problem may be the height above the center line of you bait. The back (top) is a continuation of the dive plain which orginates at or on the lip. A bait has to be told which way is upright. This is none primarily through a weighting system. Treble hooks along sometimes are not enough. A strategically placed weight will also aid in casting-ask anyone who throws Shad Raps religiously.

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Man that is a looong bait, nicely carved.

My thoughts are that the tail is going to totally kill the action (like Bob already said), because of its resistance. Try moving a dinner plate through water, flat on, it takes a lot of force. This force will cancel out the forces generated at the lip.

But even without the tail, you will need a BIG lip to move that body from side to side. But, until you try it, we'll never know for sure.

I really hope it works for you, but if it fails, you could cut it in half and make a two piece jointed bait.

Go ahead and try it without ballast, but I think it will require some. If you do add ballast, it will need to be concentrated around the CoG or maybe a tad forward, say around thr 9" in the photo, would be a reasonable starting point. But be prepared to experiment with this. If you spread the weight out, you are adding inertia, which will also kill the action.

The belly is very flat, this does not give much room for ballast, so the ballast will have to be fitted as low as possible. Maybe horizontal strips, inset. This relatively high ballast is likely to be the cause of excessive roll.

Another option, is to loose the lip and make a jerk bait or glider. This will require a different ballast distribution, but I know very little about this option. You could probably keep the tail with this option too.

Reading what I have put down, it comes across as negative. This is not my intention, I just like to anticipate problems. I do this with all my projects. If I thought your project was a non-starter, I would not have taken the time to post. I hope you post your progress.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

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One of the variables that must be considered when building musky baits, as opposed to most other species, is trolling at speed. The belly weighting in a lighter wood such as the one you've chosen, becomes an increasingly important variable as the trolling speed increases. Lighter woods, meaning basically anything much lighter than poplar, will produce a bait that will rather easily "blow out" when trolling, although they might cast okay.

Looking at the body you posted, I would suggest that you might consider cutting in the lip slot prior to the shaping/carving process so that while the stock is flat, you can get a cut that is perfectly perpendicular to the horizontal axis of the body. After the baits gets rounded a bit and especially if it is tapered from from to back in any way, it can be problematic to cut a perfectly perpendicular lip slot.

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I also make musky baits and listen to what fatfingers said about cutting the lip slot before you carve. While the stock of wood is still in a boxed shape you can cut a slot for the lip. What this does is it gives you a flat even surface to make a straight even cut. If you try to cut it after you carved you might get it right or you might be a degree or two off to the side , caused from the bait rolling,and the bait will not run right. As for ballest weight what I would do is start off with no weight, seal the bait, take some sinkers and some tape and go to the water. Try without weight and reel with different speed to see if it blows out , then tape some weight to the bottom of the lure and try again until you get the desired action you want. You will learn more in 10 minutes about weight distibution in a bait doing it that way and also be sure to tape weight in odd places in the bait just to see the positive and negetive effects on lures. Someone mentioned the tail above, try and see if that works for you , but if I wanted to keep the tail try making a joint there so the tail is free to move and it will add action to your bait.

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Excellent comments guys, in regards to the lips I screw the lexan lips to the underside of the baits with a desired angle which now will be aquired with the use of my kids hair straightner, not curler as I almost was considering, To me what's the dif:lol:

Gratis info from hazmail I think it was.

The Ice is 2ft thick on the lakes and 4ft of snow still on the front lawn

I 'll just keep pluging:lol:away

Thanks for the great info keep it coming

Tim

Edited by dixiet

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Hey guys forgot to mention the tail .....made some jointed and made some stationary....we'll see what works

Has anyone seen/fished a bait with a stationary tail? :boo::yay:

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@ dixiet

For such big baits you might also consider using a home made screw-on lip of sheet metal , that one(plus the hooks behind it)might balance your lure even without added lead weights inside of the body .

You have different weight options for the lip , aluminium would be the lightest , stainless steel medium weight and brass the heaviest .

Also you could partly choose the weight by the thickness of the material , but 1,5 mm should be the minimum to prevent de-forming under tension .

Your lure might probably float up more or less head-down this way , which would result into problems about tangle-free casting , but for a pure trolling lure of this size it should be OK .

As the fellas before me said , that rigid tail would kill the wobbling action of a lipped bait , but could work in terms of a wider glide path on a sinking glider jerkbait(haven't tried such before) .

good luck:yay: , diemai

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Dixiet, I make and heavily fish Muskie lures trolling, up to eighteen hours straight on tournament days. I seal with Propionate and prime with an auto epoxy primer. While first testing I tried Miniwax hardner with Kilz as primer and had failures rather quickly with the pressures of trolling at 4.5. They were not painted or top coated. Most of the guys who I have seen make a large Grandma shaped body style (thin and tall) out of wood have had to ballast the bottom. To be able to run correct casting or trolling it has to naturaly float upright with probably about 3/4 of the body being underwater at rest. Make sure to have all the hardware on when you test. As Fatfingers said they will blow out at trolling speeds or if on the edge be very hard to tune and maintain the tune. A jointed is usually easier to make run than a straight so if the straight runs you should have it. The only time I have seen that not be the case is with the new big Storms. Their straights run in the large and small bill however when I tried the jointed with the small bill it would not tune. The bait is semi transparent and you can see the jointed does not have as much ballast in it. It was fine when I cranked it in my pond with a high speed reel it just would not troll. The bill is small, a larger/wider bill may fix the problem I am going to try that this spring. I make my bodies out of cedar with a very slight tail shape to them. Muskies are followers even trolling and often take the bait from underneath and behind. There teeth tend to grab the wood and sometimes keep the bait from sliding enough to get a good hookset. I have baits with lucky charm teeth broken off and stuck in the wood. The tall tail may spread their mouth open enough to miss the tail hook or keep the bait from sliding for a good hookset, the bait may just twist in their mouth and prove not to be a problem. I do notice in the Fall they hit our big 10" Nils more in the front half then normal almost like they are trying to stun the bigger meal. I have seen big Muskies destroy some heavy duty stuff and I fear they might break the tail. I have seen a lot of bill failures, I would slot it and then use screws and or epoxy especially on a bait that size. It would always make for a fun tale hanging on the wall if it got smashed by a big one. Catching one on your own bait/design is a blast and making and painting them is a lot of fun. The guy at Target thought I was a bubble off center when I was stretching the liner of a xxxlarge swim suit liner and holding it to the light to check the scale pattern!

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