JBlaze

Making A Swimbait

15 posts in this topic

Ok, all you swim bait gurus. As many of you know by now I have been trying to make a working/swimming swim bait for quite some time. I think I have followed every thread and post that mentioned swim baits or hinges. I

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Good on you John, I think this is called perseverence, which certainly seems to have paid off, and something I am running short of. pete

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Hang in there Pete, seeing the beauty of your lures, the paint schemes you do, the incredible contraptions you have made/invented and processes that you have came up with for getting things done, tells me you are a man with lots of perseverence. You and a few others are the ones that go that extra mile to create and freely share with others what you know and have learned. Learning from you fellows has been a blessing to me. Hopefully, I will be able to pass on to others what I have learned instead of guarding it like gold and having that knowledge lost when I die. By the way, looking forward to seeing more of your stuff in the future.

John

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John,

Again, congratulations on your success. They swim great.

One of the things I love about PVC is that it holds screw eyes great. I found that using a screw eye and bike spoke hinge system is much faster than through wire, and is completely solid with PVC.

You might think of making one just to test it out.

If you're laminating two pieces together to make the lure blank, the glue line will be the perfect center line to help with symetry and hardware location.

If you use one thicker piece, be sure to mark you center line after you've cut out the profile, before you shape the sides, so you have a guide line.

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Good work John, your bait looks great.There is nothing like the satisfaction you get from finally getting it right.I cant what to see bait #2.:yay:

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@ JBlaze

Nice picture album and vid's , thanks a lot for providing them , John !

Great success on your swimbaits , they really do swim very well:yes: !

Wish , that I was as productive as you are , but I don't seem to make much of a progress with my actual batch of lures presently , so many other things to do in my leisure time (often goin' fishing , though:lol:) .

greetz:yay:, Dieter

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Dieter, Liesure time? Whats that?:)I am really not that productive, matter of fact, I am kind of slow. I have a minimum of 15 hours in each one of these beginning to end. Just glad I'm not trying to make a living at it. No one would be able to afford them and I fear it would take away the joy of making them. I am taking them to the lake tomorrrow afternoon and when I get home they get put in my Gransons tackle box. Which will be given to him when he gets old enough to appreciate them. He is nine months old now so I have plenty of time to fill it up with special stuff.

Jamie, I should have been a little more clear but I posted this thing backwards. The PVC bait in the picture with three baits is bait #2. Also the one on the rock by itself in the gallery pictures is #2 bait. If it had not worked, I was not going to post at all because bait #1 would have been just a dumb luck thing. But since it did swim I think this is the right shape and form for this small bait. So I posted both at the same time.

I started on a different shaped and smaller bait this morning. It is only 2

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Mr. Blaze, very nice job on your swimbaits. The swim action will definitely be getting some attention from some healthy females, for sure. :yes: Looking foward to seeing your smaller bait. Keep us posted & thanks for sharing.

Tim

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John,

You can cut that 15 hours down to 3 by making solid lures with no thru wiring.

One of the beauties of PVC, aside from it's being waterproof and buoyant, is that it's strong enough to hold screw eyes. Just make a small pilot hole, and brush the screw eye's threads with crazy glue before you run it/them in.

I know thru wire is important with balsa lures, and I know JR Hopkins does it with his PVC lures, since he uses 1/2" material and laminates it, but the AZEK decking I use is 15/16" thick, so, even after I remove the polished surface, it's still 13/16" thick, which is plenty for my swimbaits. Any thicker, and they would weigh a ton.

Try .072 sst screw eyes for the line ties and hook hangers, and .092 for the hinges. On larger baits, I use a sst cotter pin pushed through an 1/8oz egg sinker, and then bent over and clipped short, for my hook hangers, so there is already some ballast in the sections, first and third, that need it.

On smaller baits, I only use the weighted hook hanger in the front, and use the .072 for both the rear hook hanger and the last hinge, too, to keep the weight down. Either size will accomodate the sst bicycle spokes that I use for the hinge pins (thanks Captnsully).

I think it's important to remember that the hinge joints are really most stressed by the actual swimming of the lure, as opposed to the actions of the fish once it's hooked.

Unless the fish jumps, the force from a hooked fish us usually just a steady pull. Even if they shake their heads underwater, it doesn't generate that much strain on the hinges, even if they only have the rear hook in their mouths.

If a fish jumps, it tries to use the weight of the lure to shake it free from their mouths, and, unless you drop your rod and keep tension on the, they'll succeed.

But they aren't going to pull an 1 1/4" screw eye out of the lure.

If you doubt it, do an experiment.

Tie a 20' length of 20lb test mono to an screw eye embedded in a piece of PVC, wrap the other end of the line around a piece of wood for a handle and tie it off, clamp the test piece with the screw eye in a vise, and pull. You'll break the line long before the screw eye moves, and, since most of our hinges have two screw eyes each, the force is shared.

The rod and line are a build in shock absorber. Even with braid, you still have the rod. It will break before the screw eye pulls out.

Anyone who had hung up a lure on an underwater snag will tell you the same thing. They are a bear to pull loose, and, if you do manage it without a lure retriever, either you get it back with a piece of the tree that you snagged, or with a straightened out hook.

I have three retrievers on my boat, because I work too hard to lose my lures.

The one with the extendable handle has saved so many lures I christened it the Golden Retriever. :worship:

Sorry to rant. I just hate to see you put that much time into each lure, when you could be fishing! :wink:

Dieter, Liesure time? Whats that?:)I am really not that productive, matter of fact, I am kind of slow. I have a minimum of 15 hours in each one of these beginning to end. Just glad I'm not trying to make a living at it. No one would be able to afford them and I fear it would take away the joy of making them. I am taking them to the lake tomorrrow afternoon and when I get home they get put in my Gransons tackle box. Which will be given to him when he gets old enough to appreciate them. He is nine months old now so I have plenty of time to fill it up with special stuff.

Jamie, I should have been a little more clear but I posted this thing backwards. The PVC bait in the picture with three baits is bait #2. Also the one on the rock by itself in the gallery pictures is #2 bait. If it had not worked, I was not going to post at all because bait #1 would have been just a dumb luck thing. But since it did swim I think this is the right shape and form for this small bait. So I posted both at the same time.

I started on a different shaped and smaller bait this morning. It is only 2

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Mark,

Good stuff there. I am still having enough trouble getting consistent cuts for the hinge slots in the PVC I could not imagine trying to make a full harness to accomodate all of the hardware.

John,

I am not an expert yet in building swimbaits, but I have been able to create a system that works for me where I can work on three baits at a time and have pretty consistent results. I am using cotter pins and stainless brads, I just ordered screw eyes to replace the cotter pins and can have the baits ready to paint in a couple of hours. The only negative feedback I have received from an angler testing my baits is the topcoat. Hinges and hook hangers have not been a problem and the baits have been catching fish.

Good luck and nice looking baits,

DaveB.

KelpKritter

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Dave,

I cut my hinge slots on the table saw, while the blank is still rectangular.

I draw the outline of the bait's profile on the side of the blank, mark where I want my joints, and cut them. I use a piece of wood, screwed to the mitre guage, with the hinge cut marked on it to align the cuts on the two sides.

I don't cut them all the way through, so I can shape the lure in one piece.

I also mark a center line around the entire perimeter of the lure at that time, and locate my ballast and hook hanger holes. I also drill a small pilot hole through the bait where the eyes go, so they line up.

I drill my ballast and hook hanger holes while it's still rectangular, on the drill press, so they are all parallel and centered. If they aren't deep enough after I've shaped the lure, I deepen them on the drill press by hand.

After I've done the slots and holes, I cut out the profile of the lure on the band saw, and sand the profile down to final shape on the occilating sander.

Then I remark the center line all the way around again, and use it to keep the two sides symetrical while I'm finish shaping the lure on the sander. If it's close, it works. I don't sweat perfect.

Keeping a center line on the lure throughout the whole process helps me keep things centered and in line.

After I've finished sanding the final shape, aside from touchups, I drill the eye recesses by hand at the drill press, and then layout my hinges, so I miss the ballast holes.

I use a drywall knife to separate the sections, using multiple passes on the side closest to the head, the concave (female)side, because it's harder to get in there to clean up any leftovers than on the other side.

Then I take the sections back to the sander to remove the excess from the joint connectors, and to steepen the angle on the convex (male) side, for more joint clearance.

Then I drill the holes for the hinge eye slots, widen them with a wood carving burr, drill the pilot holes for the screw eyes, and start the hardware and ballast installation.

Whew! Didn't mean to run on, but sequence is critical for me, so I didn't want to leave out a step and maybe be unclear.

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Mark,

That right there, with a few pics, can take anybody from start to finish and end up with a good bait.

In your first step where you cut the "hinge slot", I assume you mean where the bait will become an individual segment. And later when you say "hinge eye slot" you mean the section where the screw eye and hinge pin meet. We are about identical in our approach in the step by step process. The trouble I was talking about is the cleanliness of the hinge eye slot. I am using a bit for the Dremel that is a high speed cutter, but it still wanders a little, but not as bad as a drill bit trying to ream out the slot. I am still on the lookout for the bit you are using.

Good stuff,

DaveB.

KelpKritter

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nice looking baits you made there.

i had an attempt at making my first swim bait today and overall i don't think its too bad just needs ballast and some sealant and i can see if it swims or not, the only thing i'm not sure about is the tail but i'm sure with a small nail file i'll get it looking ok

DSC00063.jpg

DSC00064.jpg

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Looks good, nice clean hinge slots too. Hope your first one does better than my first ones. I had several failures but I learned something from all of them. Hope you will keep us informed of your progress pics are nice. Good Luck with this. JohnB

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Mart, when you test it, make sure you fit the split rings and hooks, it is important.

Dave

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