Theories on weight placement?
10 replies to this topic
Posted 05 May 2009 - 03:51 PM
Hi guys, I'm starting this thread because I want your ideas on weight placement in various styles of fishing lures: top water walkers, gliders, minnows, jerkbaits, crankbaits, etc. By weight placement I mean high, low, forward(nose), tail, or centered and so forth. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
Posted 05 May 2009 - 04:40 PM
This might be too broad of a topic. There are a twenty+ members on here that could type for hours and hours about weight placement in Topwater baits, Crankbaits, Gliders, Jerkbaits, and so on.
Try and narrow it down a little. Something like a pencil popper and weighting it for casting distance or for loud popping. Maybe a question about a Topwater walking bait. How to get one to cast farther, walk quicker, make longer glides on the surface, roll side to side and turn quicker.
I do like the topic, but I think it will be hard to keep it going with out a specific direction.
Posted 05 May 2009 - 04:46 PM
I too think it is an excellent subject.
For lipped crank baits with an 'X'ing action, group the ballast around the point you wish to be the centre of the 'X' action. Keep the ballast low for stability, but also experiment moving the ballast higher for a wilder action, but you do approach instability.
Posted 05 May 2009 - 08:09 PM
I feel that I could be one of the 20 + members who could write for an hour on this subject so I will be short this time.
the best thing I ever did was to make a test bait drill a hole add weight and see what happens. Then remove the weight and plug with a dowel and repeat in another spot to see what happens.The bait looks like hell when done but the outcome is worth it..Musky baits are a little easier to do this with due to there size and small errors in the bait design are not as critical as they would be in a bass sized lure.
Posted 05 May 2009 - 09:58 PM
Here are some comments, not meant to be comprehensive but what I think (rightly or wrongly) about ballast basics:
At the most basic level, ballast is about the attitude you want the bait to have as it swims through the water (head up, head down, horizontal) and how buoyant you want the bait to be (topwater, fast floater, slow floater, suspender).
Most custom wood bass baits have integrated ballast/belly hangers so it's easy to tell where the ballast is (it's rare ballast will be hidden where you can't see it). I'm talking wood bass crankbaits only. But you don't have to use an integrated ballast, you can distribute it anywhere you want it.
Topwater walking baits have ballast in the rear 1/3 of the bait to make them easy to walk and so the tail will sit down in the water to entice bites. Poppers and wakebaits are ballasted to float horizontal. Btw, the trebles are part of the ballast.
The lower the ballast is installed in the bait, the more stable the bait usually swims.
Where you ballast a bait fore/aft affects the attitude the bait will take as it swims. For example moving ballast forward makes the bait swim more head down, effectively increasing the down angle of the lip. It's not simple because the lip length/angle, the ballast amount/position and the postion of the line tie all work together as a system. Each affects all the others. So experiment, prototype, improve.
If you install the lip and hardware including the tail treble, and then find the fore/aft balance point of the bait and install the ballast there, the bait will swim with an X-ing action, i.e., the bait will rotate left/right on that point as it swims. That may not be the swim action you want but finding the balance point is a good place to start in figuring out where you want to put the ballast. I usually want it somewhere in front of the X point. That's a good time to do a float test and decide HOW MUCH ballast you want, too. Hang lead on a temporary belly hanger with treble until you get the rise rate you want for the bait, then install that much ballast. In general, shallow baits have quick rise rates, deep baits have slow rise rates.
If you look at the best wooden baits and measure their design details, it will give you a leg up on designing your own. You'll see that there is really not a huge amount of design variation, but small differences can have big results.
Edited by BobP, 05 May 2009 - 10:00 PM.
Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:09 AM
Have you done a search on the topic(s) utilizing the search function and some key terms .
A lot of info is already there , you only need to find it ,........!
As stated before , the subject is very widespread , would be better to specify .
greetz , diemai:yay:
Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:58 AM
Hey thanks guys for the responses. Your right, the topic is very broad and is found scattered thoughout other threads but I was hoping to compile all of the great advice you guys have into one thread so it is easier to find. The bait that I am specifically working on is the top water walker. My ennitial approach was to place the ballast in the middle of the bait as I thought this would provide a pivot point and produce that "X-ing" action that was described. The bait did walk but not well and after reading other threads I am convinced that a tail weighting system is better. After seeing how much thought could go into the weighting of a top water, I thought it would be very interesing if I could get your ideas on other styles. With crankbaits I generally either mount the ballast in combination with the hook hanger or in a spot a little farther forward( thus making the dive angle steeper). Here's another question for you guys- Would you put weight into a basswood crankbait style waker? I have made one and have not tested it out yet but am thinking a ballast might be necessary even though you lose buoyancy.
Just some stuff to chew on for a while:)
Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:22 AM
Basswood is one of the lighter woods. You could try it without, but I am sure it will require ballast.
As you gather from the above posts, there are general rules, but lots of room for experimentation.
Great thread. I hope we collect a few more lure types and their ballast configurations.
Also, this is a link originally posted by LaPala: Bass's Rapala Info pg 22 showing X-rays of Rapala lures, originally from post: http://www.tackleund...its-needed.html
Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:32 AM
I've found most top water walking baits are weighted 2/3-1/3, so the bait either floats with the foward third just out of the water, in the case of large gliding baits like the Lunker Punker, or hanging tail down, with smaller stick type walking baits.
The smaller baits need to be tail weighted to cast well. Since they're small, it's not hard to get them up and walking on the surface.
Putting too much weight in the tail of a larger walking glider bait pulls the tail down, and it is a real chore to keep it up and walking on the surface. And it won't glide.
When I'm weighting a new glider, I balance it across one finger, and adjust the weight until it balances just back of the center of the lure.
Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:52 AM
The only walking bait I made is the Japanese Balsa Pro design provided by Blackjack a couple of years ago. It was ballasted at 1/3 the distance from the tail. I made mine from paulownia, between balsa and basswood in density, and it works very well. The critical step in ballasting a walking bait is to float test it to determine the ballast weight needed so it sits in the water the way YOU want it. Different guys prefer different float attitudes. I like 45 degrees, but that's just me:drool:
Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:54 AM
Hey V-man, I checked out the rapala x-ray site and it was very interesting thanks a bunch for the link. Okay so after finally putting a real spook in the sink to check out the angle(something I should have done in the first place:mad:) I am convinced that for walkers the weight needs to be placed in the tail of the bait to make a 45 degree angle wiht 1/3 of the bait above water. I'm going to the lake today to do some fishing:) and test out some sealed baits so hopefully I'll figure out something about weighting waking crank baits. Keep the great insight coming:worship: