John Curry

What is the best wood

7 posts in this topic

to use for bouyancy when making wake baits?

Balsa?

I have heard basswood is the best for sub surface , but what about surface baits?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done most of my surface baits (4-7" length) out of basswood. If you want max buoyancy, balsa is the lightest. But it's also the softest and easiest to damage. If you want to use balsa, I suggest "hard balsa" with a nominal density of 12-16 lb/cu ft, not the light stuff used for model airplanes (6-8 lbs/ cu ft). Basswood is 23 lbs/cu ft and much more durable. Whichever you choose, you'll have to ballast the bait to get the correct float level and action so the wood type is somewhat irrelevant re buoyancy. Correctly ballasted, they'll all float. Personally, I like a wakebait with a moderate, regular action and basswood works well for that. Also, if you plan joints in the bait, wood durability and hardness become more critical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do I go abotu the ballast process? This will be my first wake bait I have ever made. I want to make a rat bait.. single joint or dual joint. I havent decided yet, but i want two hooks. Im sick of all the stock baits only having one hook these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many commercial wood baits are built with a belly hanger cast into a cylinder of lead ballast, sized for that bait, which is glued into the belly. You can alternatively drill holes along the centerline of the bait and epoxy in lead weights, solder, etc. How much? Ah, there's the rub! When you have shaped, sanded and waterproofed the bait - just before painting - with all hardware, hooks, and lip installed, float the bait in a pail of water and hang lead on the trebles until you get the float depth and attitude you want for the bait. Then drill hole(s) for that amount of ballast and epxoy it into the belly. Repair the hole, paint the bait, topcoat it and voila, rat extraordinaire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That makes a lot of sense. Thank you. Now is the action of that bait determined more by the weighting process or by the grooves where you attach the two together with hinges?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's true to say that everything on a bait affects its acton. The lip is what sets the bait in motion. IMO, a jointed bait requires less lip area because you are only driving the first segment to oscillate, with the rear segment(s) just following along in train. On a single piece bait, the lip has to drive the whole body mass. The lips on wakebaits are usually set at almost but not quite 90 degrees relative to the horizontal plane of the bait. Ballast keeps the bait upright in the water and sinks it to a level that causes a good wake to be generated when the bait swims. Too much ballast tends to slow and kill the action. Too little makes it unpredictable and unable to swim straight. The best advice I can give about where to put the segment hinge, what size lip to use, etc, is to study some commercial wakebaits and pay attention to how they are built, in detail. A lot of research went into developing those baits and you can benefit from it without reinventing the wheel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now