mainbutter

small wooden swimbaits?

8 posts in this topic

I realize with wooden swimbaits, room for all the lure hardware is an important consideration. Does this make it more difficult to make smaller swimbaits, as opposed to the big'uns often used for musky/pike fishing?

Does anyone have any smaller swimbaits?

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It can be a challenge to fit the hardware, including joint hinges, into a swimbait gets smaller than 4-5 inches. It can be done but it takes some planning.

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Anything smaller than 5" length starts to get real tedious, but not impossible. I remember Lapala posting a pic of a very small swimbait with four or five segments and about 3.5" long. I could not find the link for you, maybe LP will jump in here and give you his personal experiences on the subject.

Another consideration is the swim cycle. As the lure reduces in size, the speed of the cycle increases and you don't get that slow sexy wide 'S' movement. The action becomes a bit frantic and narrow. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as small fish have faster swimming actions, for the same reasons as small lures. I found that by having more segments on the micro lures, I could get back the 'S' action.

I would also imagine that strength would become an issue, as the geometry of the joints is reduced. Builders would also have to charge more as more work is involved. This is hard to justify when the lure reduces in size, the buyer would probably be expecting a reduction in price.

If you are going to attempt a small swimbait, plan it out on paper first, to get an idea where all the hardware will go. Forget about two trebles, go for a single treble from the belly. You will probably have to go with a lighter wood, in order to be able to get some ballast in there (not balsa, not enough room for the extra ballast and strength issues).

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

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I have made a couple smaller swimbaits and it does get hard to fit all that stuff in there. There is a couple in my gallery if you want to see them. My bluegill did not turn out to be as hard as some other ones, mainly because the profile is taller then other fish. I plan on working on some smaller ones still, but I havent had the time to really commit to it just yet. I am playing with smaller cranks. I am leaning towards making some out of resin, but that is a lot more work to get a bait out of.

Edited by atrophius

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Thanks guys you pretty much affirmed what I thought I understood about swimbaits :)

@ vodkaman, I was particularly interested in smaller swimbaits specifically because as you mentioned, the big ones have the big S movement, the smaller ones seemed to have the more rapid wiggly movement. I want to experiment with fishing some more erratic swimbaits versus slow S moving swimbaits next time I hit up some Canada fishing.

Edited by mainbutter

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A three piece lure will give you the most erratic action, with the tail flapping like a flag in the wind on a fast retrieve. Four piece lures swim in an S pattern, although, by leaving the tail section joint a little looser, you can still get an erratic retrieve when you bring it in fast.

Most of the commercial small jointed swimbaits, like the 4" BBZ 1 shad, have one treble in the first section, to keep the stress on the small hinges to a minimum.

In smaller baits, the stress on the hinges from the swimming action is minimal, so the real concern is having the lure pull apart once you've hooked the fish.

In bigger baits, the joints are stressed by the swimming action more than the hooked fish, since the segments are heavier, but the hinges are more robust.

JR Hopkins uses Kevlar string for hinges, which would probably work better for small lures.

I've used very small sst cotter pins for the hinging on small, three inch, three piece lures, but it's very difficult to get everything to line up and work right.

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I build a 3.5 inch long swimbait with 3 sections. It's not any more difficult than the 5 inch bait I build.

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