jointed swimbait update
13 replies to this topic
Posted 10 April 2009 - 08:23 PM
In the never ending quest for truth, justice, and the American way.....no, that was Superman.
Anyway, I played with where to put the ballast weighting in my floating and sinking PVC baits, to try and get the best action.
I had found that, if I put the ballast in both the first and third sections of my lures, they would turn back and face backward on the pause, but the tail section hung a little little. On the sinking lures, the tail dragged down a little on the retrieve, so they looked like a trout struggling to swim back up to the surface.
I tried to eliminate that problem by putting all the ballast in the first section.
In a happy accident, that made the floaters "tail" while at rest, like a sunning trout or a bonefish, and the action on even a slow retrieve was phenomenal.
On the sinking lures, it resulted in the lures swimming level, which is what I wanted, and they dive head first on the pause. Not a bad thing. But they don't do the about face on the pause, because there isn't enough weight in the rear sections to give them the inertia to keep going past the head on the pause.
So now I have two different sinking lure types, and they both work.
Just another brick in the lure making asylum I'm building.
Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:25 PM
Mark, great feedback on the bait and good proto work.
It surprised me at first, that the 180 thing stopped when you moved the weight into the head, but I think I can explain it. I do not think there is an inertia thing going on to cause the 180, I believe it is all about vortices.
My theory is based around alternating vortices forming over (or under) the nose of the body. As the vortex turns back towards the body, the water ‘pushes’ the segments and causes the swim. As the vortex forms over the nose, it ‘pulls’ the nose with it.
The 180 that happens when you pause or twitch the bait, is caused by the vortex continuing to ‘push’ the body as the body is no longer traveling forward and does not clear the vortex.
What I think is happening with your nose weighted body, is that you have created perfect conditions for the bait to glide forward that extra few inches, for the body to clear that last vortex, like a dart, with the weight at the front. So inertia is actually stopping the 180.
Like I said, this is all theory. The reason that I have never posted it, is because I am not totally happy with it yet. A recent video posted of the Dragon 2K, by Jeep, set me back a little bit, but I think I am getting close. http://www.tackleund...on-footage.html
Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:31 PM
I agree with you that votices are involved in the swimming action, but I really think it's the inertia of the rear section, like a big ship trying to turn quickly, that makes the lure turn. That big rear end just keeps on coming.
I used glide baits as an example because they have no joints, but the ballast weight placement, with the the center of gravity just past the mid point toward the rear, is key to the lure's ability to walk, or glide.
And they are one piece lures, so I don't think there are vortices at work.
Of course, they may be. You know how sneaky those dang vortices can be!
Posted 11 April 2009 - 02:25 AM
I have just finished 2 small, four segment Swim Baits (3.5” and 4”) which I have been working on, on and off for two weeks. Why two weeks !!- it has taken me that long to get them to swim (I think). Taking on Dave's suggestion 'that the wing shape was effecting the action', I changed the bottom leading profile slightly, trying to give the bottom approximately the same flow as the top – this did not make a bit of difference with weighting spread out along the first three segments, which was the same as the last batch of baits.
I added some weight here, and gouged out weight there for days, but like Mark, by accident when a strip of ballast fell out of the front segment while 'testing in the tub', it started to 'swim'. So to compensate this loss of ballast I added some to the tail section and it swam better – so it appears with Daves suggestion and removing all the ballast from the head made, this made all the difference - so to sum it up no weight at all in the head and all in the last three segments. I think by moving all the weight back this tilted the head up forcing water to flow more equally across the top and bottom profile of the lure, rather than with my standard top curve which forced the head down, and not allowing the vortices to travel along the sides, but trail off he bottom. The lure, to get the full effect of these vortices needs to be moving through the water in a horizontal plane not head down, which is probably obvious to everyone else on here except me - does all this make sense?? *****
I am painting them now and have figured by the time I add hook eyes hooks and rings it should just float and legs crossed will still swim. It does have the problem of the head overtaking the tail when stalled, and does roll a bit, but I can put up with that, after all it is a swim bait and I'm just happy to have them finally 'SWIM' – but like I said I have to finish them yet, and this could blow all my work in the tub out the window, like the last two..
There seems to be no hard and fast theory here, each individual bait/profile, length/width, seems to have it's own rules, and every one is saying, much of it seems related to ballast, just a matter of where. pete
Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:01 PM
I admire you for making such a small four piece lure. My eyes, and my patience, aren't up for that.
I found that, in order for a swimbait to swim well, the joints must allow the lure to bend in a U shape, and that the tail section must be especially loose. If the first two joints have a 3/16" gap, the tail will have a full 1/4", for example. Those aren't the true dimensions, but they give a sense, I hope, of how the joint spacing compares.
One of the pictures I posted on page 8 of the gallery show this somewhat.
I want most of my swimming to be the tail going crazy, and the head to be relatively stable, like a real fish, so I add my ballast to the head, because the PVC is heavy enough to keep the rest of the lure body from rolling.
As for not adding ballast weight to the rear sections so the sinking lures swim level, I still like that action, so I'll probably continue to do that on the next batch. But I'll keep trying to get the best of both worlds, level swimming and 180 degree turnback on the pause.
From my personal experience, I've caught most of my swimbait fish on a steady retrieve, or starting slowly, and the speeding up as I approach the cover or structure where I think the fish is hiding. Bill Siemental came up with the concept of the Big Bass Zone, and the tactic, and it works. The bass hears/sees/feels the lure approach his ambush spot, and then is triggered by the speeding up of the lure, as though it's trying to escape.
But I've had a few hit a swimbait as I jerked it like a struggling trout, so I guess there's no hard, fast rule.
And, especially with the 4" BBZ shad, a rip/pause/rip retrieve, or a jerking retrieve, works really well.
So I'm going to do my lures both ways, just to cover all the bases.
Edited by mark poulson, 11 April 2009 - 05:08 PM.
Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:31 PM
Mark can you post a pic of that bait, I have an idea but need to see your bait.
Posted 12 April 2009 - 07:52 AM
Go to Newest Uploads, and go to page 8 or 9. There should be some pics. there.
Also look at pages 16/17. More joint pictures there.
Edited by mark poulson, 12 April 2009 - 07:54 AM.
Posted 12 April 2009 - 12:00 PM
Keep in mind that all of these results are based on the weight of the material you are using. If you change building materials or add/subtract microballons everything will change.
Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:58 PM
Pete, I couldn't agree with you more. I have found that each bait has it own set of ballasting rules. Sometimes the majority of the weight goes in the head or maybe the middle section. On some baits I left out the middle weight & the head & tail were weighted. Other times I've had to add weight in the tail, just to get a nice fluid swim action. Also moving the weight 1/16" towards the head or tail can make or break the action. So many variables, so little time.
@ Mark, thanks for sharing your finds with us. Great topic.
@ Jed, if I ever get into casting & micro balloons, you will be getting a ton of questions from me, guaranteed. I can tell I will be going down that road very soon.
Posted 12 April 2009 - 07:36 PM
Not trying to derail the topic, but I didnt want to start another swimbait thread hehe. What is the smallest you think you could go with a swimbait. And if a 2" swimbait could be made feasibly, do you think it would work on small bass and panfish maybe?
Posted 12 April 2009 - 10:14 PM
Yes, I think it would not be too difficult. The main problem is getting the hardware inside. You would have to re-think the whole design, especially the hinges. If I were tackling this project, I would go for a cloth hinge, a single hook, possibly hanging off the rear of the front section.
You could have started a new thread for this one, but it is done now, never mind.
One of my early proto's was 4.5" and had 8 segments (eel), using a thread as a hinge. It swam great.
Posted 12 April 2009 - 10:45 PM
Nice Dave, how well did the thread hold up? i think that may be my next undertaking. I have completed my second ratl-trap and a 4"swimmer that i am going to upload. I just dont have the big water around me for a 7" swimbait hehe.
Posted 12 April 2009 - 10:51 PM
It was only a proto, so never got fished. But I did buy some thicker thread (nylon or terrylene) for the next level, but I moved on to other projects.
Choose the right thread and it should be easily strong enough. The main problem is water ingress and epoxy in the thread, killing the flexibility. Same with material hinges. But it can be done.