spare tire

swimbait troubles

11 posts in this topic

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I made these three swimbaits and am having lots of trouble that I would share plus ask for some advice.

They are 12" long made of basswood, slow sinking, about 4.5 oz. hinges are brass tubes with big stainless steel eyes.

I showed a video of these swimming about a week ago and was told to leave the anal and caudal fin off to help with the swimming. I did this and they swam great.

My problems began with the weighting of them, I weghed the proto which wasn't painted so I made these a little lighter to make up for the paint and topcoat, I was all finished with them ready to go to the lake to give them the ultimate test but I decided to put them in the sink first, guess what they floated, I was devastated. I called my friend up told him the news and he said he would fix them for me.

2 days later they were back and touched with paint and still looked pretty good considering. I wont waste your time with the other problems fishing that day 3 dead batteries, treble in the hand deep :cry:, and a changing wind, but back to the baits.

I took one and my friend took the other one. My first cast had a nice 30" pike follow to the boat, nice swimming action cast 3 & 7 had light pike hits but no big takers I was thinking I had the best bait ever made. After about the 25th cast the action started going away, I had to jerk the rod a little to get the swim action I wanted, but no more follows after the action gave way. My buddy threw his about ten times and it come in without a tail section, not because of fish. So he picked up the second bait threw it about 40 times, his action started going away also, but then the back section eye screw broke, again not from a fish. He then modified the lost tail one and that started losing action as well. We counted pretty close to the amount of times we threw it and it was about 300 times each:oooh: After close examination I figured a couple of things out I think. I didn"t drill the holes for the brass tube all the way through the bait so I wouldn"t have to hide the hole in the belly, by doing this I think I made the tail section tube to short and only glued to the top, and it slid up and off, also I should of used 2 eyelets in the tail section. Second bait after looking at the eye screw my buddy drilled 3/4 of the way through when drilling in the added weight it was bound to break. I also just poured the lead in and it seemed to want to break through the bondo and the topcoat. I also tried a new top coat acrylic spray, it looked good but I don't think it was to strong as the paint wore at all the spots where the sections hit when swimming.

My question is does anyone know why they don"t swim anymore, I dont think the tube bent and they are just as free swinging. Is a bait that is close to 5 oz heavy 12" long, thrown as hard as you can 300 times supposed to swim and look as good as the first time?

How are your lead weights put in?

Stainless steel pins better then tubing?

I used 3/32 diam tubing which fit the eyes perfect, mabey to perfect? not sloppy enough?

Hoping my problems will help others not to have the same problems. :sauced:

Sorry I was so long winded

Thanks

Tim

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My guess is that water got in.

With so much hardware and moving parts, sealing the bait correctly is important. I had the same problem with a prototype. Water got in and killed the action.

I use twisted wire in over sized holes. I seal the inside of all the holes, this gives more grip strength. I usually have to re-drill the holes, but the thin sealer does soak into the wood.

You may have to go with a better top coat to completely solve the problem.

Nice baits.

Dave

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Tim- to add to Dave's diagnosis, I think I would be beefing up the pins a bit with maybe s/s spokes or rod. Imagine the leverage ratio when you cast these and the tail first hits the water (which is virtually solid) at 30mph or more - on a 12" lure this shock load would be enormous for the current pin size. A fish hooked on the rear treble would sustain the same loads with all the head shaking, going on under the water. Maybe on one of the damaged ones, stick the tow eye in a vice and see how much pressure you can put on it (within reason) before something gives. I know how you feel though, hang in there. :yay: pete

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I can address the ballast weight problem. If you drill a hole and drop in hot lead, it burns the surrounding wood and contracts as it cools, causing the weight to become loose. Slap the bait on the water a few times and the weight will break through the lure's finish. It's better to drill a hole and epoxy in cold lead for ballast.

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Dave does this mean that if I let the baits dry out they will swim again?

I soaked the sections in prop pellets for 20 minutes, then dipped four more times, all I could think is if that is the problem, mabey it is through the screw eyes I 2 tonned them in but mabey they turned with the force of the slapping of the water. I think what you are telling me Dave is to oversize the holes soak with prop pellets then set screw eyes in 2 ton with out screwing them in. just let the 2 ton do the work.

Pete, do you think .063 diameter pins will hld up better than .093 brass tubing?

.093 diam is the biggest size that will fit into the large eye holes.

Thanks

Tim :)

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Tim- I'm not sure what .093" is (sounds thin), we are metric here, maybe Dave can convert this in his head?? I would think minimum would be something around 3mm or more, but then I have never made anything near this size???????Pete

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My loose barrel twisted eyes held 47Lb for 48 hours. No reason why screw eyes would not perform the same. The loose barrel twist gives the same effect as a screw thread.

Their was a discussion a while back, on drilling for screw eyes. No one particularly liked my idea, but it works for me. Cutting into wood with threads is offering a leakage path for the water into the body.:twocents:

I dried my lure out (in my PoP dryer). Weight reduced from 31.8g to 28.6g. I haven't re-sealed yet, but I am sure it will work again.

Mine leaked because I went too deep with the hinge slot and broke through into a ballast cavity. Silly mistake.

Dave

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@ hazmail

Multiply by 2,54 , so its about 2, 35 to 2,4 mm(in my head:huh::lol:) .

@ spare tire

I also think , that sealing problems are the genetral cause , also by the center lure I can figure out , that the screw eyes are twisted way too short into the wood , seems to me , that only half the length of the screw eye shaft was inside of the lurebody ?

If so , the thread's grip in the wood was insufficient , I'd possibly take longer shanked screw eyes .

Did you epoxy them in ?

I always do with mine , the first about 1/6" at the pilots hole entry I would extend to about twice the shanks diameter , smear epoxy on the eyes shank and twist it in ,.....this way a kinda glue-plug evolves ,.... adds stability and seals off the hole .

good luck , diemai:yay:

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First, let me say I love your lures. It's no wonder you catch fish with them.

I think everyone here has covered the problems....water absorption and hardware failure.

Those were my problems, too, when I first started making wood swimbaits.

I've several spectacular failures, so let me share my experiences.

I have found that a penetrating sealer is much better at getting into the wood deeply, so water, even if it gets past the topcoat, can't be absorbed.

For me, the sealer that works the best is Minwax Wood Hardener.

I also found that drilling every hole before I seal the wood helped a lot.

I soak the individual sections in a salsa jar full of the hardener for at least 10 minutes. I can tell it's penetrated to the max when the end grain stops bubbling.

Then I let dry for at least 24 hours, and hit it with a hair dryer, so any solvent that's trapped will bubble out. If it bubbles, I let it sit another 24 and try again.

I don't use any screw eyes shorter than 1 1/8" for my big baits, and I run them in, to cut the threads in the wood, then remove them, put a drop of runny crazy glue into the hole, coat the shaft of the eye with brush on crazy glue, and run them back in. That way, even if I have to adjust them out later for more joint movement, the threads are really strong.

I use .092 sst eyes for all but the rear hinges, where I use .072 eyes to save weight if I need to, and both sizes accept bicycle spoke hinge pins.

I always use two eyes per hinge, because I've had the tail section come unscrewed from the torque of the swimming action with one eye.

I move my lower hinge eye up in the body so it clears my ballast and hook hangers. I mark the blank with a scribe line that's as deep as the ballast/hook hangers, and make sure my hinge eyes clear that. If a hook hanger eye hits a hinge eye, I'll shorten the hook hanger eye. I've found that a 3/4" eye, embedded 5/8", is plenty for my hook hangers, which are also locked in by the top coat epoxy I use.

Believe it or not, the strain on the hinges is much greater that the strain on the hook hanger, even with a large fish.

I set my hardware in D2T, not 5 minute epoxy, because the 5 minute is water resistant, not water proof.

And I don't pour lead into the ballast holes for exactly the reasons mentioned above. I drill semi-tight holes, and use 1/4" diameter lead wire, which is easy to cut with an exacto knife to the length I need. I roll it back flat on my table saw bed after I cut it, using a flat piece of 1/4" steel plate, to get rid of the raised edges cause by cutting. My holes allow it to just slip in, and then I put a drop or two of runny crazy glue to attach it. Then I Bondo over the holes, and it never moves.

I've even found that I can drill out some ballast after I've float tested, without worrying about water. I just put a small piece of paper towel, lightly compressed, into the hole, just past flush, hit it with a couple drops of crazy glue, and bondo over that.

Lastly, if you remove the hardware and let the lures dry out, you can put the wood hardener into the harware holes, and it will penetrate and seal them, including the hinge pin holes. Then you can reinstal the hardware, using glue with the screw eyes, and be water tight. This should let you save the beautiful lures you've already made. I would, however, use longer hinge screw eyes.

Wood has a lot of challenges, but it's a great material. I've found that some lures, like poppers and walking baits, are just better made of wood.

But it does require attention to detail.

Edited by mark poulson

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Diemai , The screw eyes are he biggest available, they are 1 1/8 long the picture in the middle is of the broken screw eye, over half is still in the bait, and all hardware is 2tonned in.

Dave,

I know I hit the lead cavity in mine as well but I thought the 2 ton on the eyes would help this.

Mark, Thanks for the compliment, the runny superglue in the holes might help, but the ballast is a lot in these baits to get them to sink, I dont think I can raise the hinge pins high enough to clear.

Thanks everyone for the advice, I hope I can salvage these for my own personal use and take new lessons with me.

Tim

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@ spare tire

Sorry , should have read your explanations more thoroughly:worship: , ...certainly 1 1/8" shanks are long enough , but actually the shank was shortened/weakened by drilling the weight hole.......!

good luck:yay: , diemai

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