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Problems with getting a 3 jointed plastic bait to sink evenly...

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#1 Weight Issues

Weight Issues

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 03:49 AM

I'm working on a triple jointed plastic bait and it sinks tail first. The swimming action is great, but I want it to sink through the water column evenly from tail to head as opposed to tail first. Any suggestions that I can try? Thanks in advance for your help/

#2 Vodkaman


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Posted 28 April 2009 - 04:08 AM

It is purely a ballast distribution. More ballast to the front. An alternative would be to lighten the rear by making the rear section out of a lighter density wood. A smaller rear hook might do the job, depending on the severity of the problem. An extra coat or two of epoxy on the front section could work.

But if your solution is just adding weight, then the sink rate is going to increase. You also may disturb the action. Only testing will tell. Does it swim well now? If so, I would be tempted to leave this one as it is and pay more attention to the bucket tests on the next one, to get the ballast correct.

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#3 mark poulson

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:27 AM

Vodkaman's right, it's a ballast issue.
Sounds to me like your choice of lure material may be part of the problem.
when I switched to PVC.
I had been using poplar, a strong but light hardwood, but when I switched to PVC, I faced the same dilemma. Because PVC is a little less buoyant than wood, I found that my usual method of including a 1/8oz egg sinker in my rear hook hanger resulted in the tail drooping, even on my floaters.
The drooping tail, to me, gave the appearance of a trout either struggling to stay up at the surface, in the case of the floaters, or struggling to reach the surface.
It's an interesting, effective retrieve, but it doesn't really work well on either a dead stick floater, or on a steady retrieve sinker, where the trout is supposed to appear unfazed and clueless, just swimming along without a care in the world.
So I tried putting ballast only in the head.
The lures float and sink level, but there was an unforeseen consequence.
One of the features that makes jointed swimbaits really attractive is their ability to turn and face to the rear on a jerk/pause retrieve. This change of direction is sometimes the triggering mechanism to turn followers into biters.
But that action requires enough ballast in the rear portion of the lure to produce enough inertia to keep the rear moving when the front stops, which results in the turning action. It's the reason top water walking baits and gliders are slightly rear weighted.
So, when I put all the ballast in the head, the lures swim perfectly level, whether floaters or sinkers, because the tail sections are weightless, but they don't have enough ballast to initiate the turn on the jerk/pause retrieve.
I like the PVC so much I won't go back to wood.
So I thought it through, since many swimbait guys swear by one type of action or the other, and decided to make both types, to cover all the bases! :wink: