The Deep Crank Challenge
33 replies to this topic
Posted 09 January 2010 - 07:40 PM
I was inspired by a post a while back where someone said they made a balsa crank bait that got to an honest 20 feet. Now I want to try and accomplish this feet as all I've tried is medium runners down to 8 feet. I'm thinking it would be best to go with the thinnest lip possible and therefore am gonna try the 1 7/8" circuit board bills from Janns Net Craft. I'm also thinking the best way to install would be with a zero degree bill angle as that's what all the deep divers have. Just trying to brain storm about the best possible design before I go ahead. I'm wondering if I should do a deeper belly like the Rapala DTs or make a more streamlined bait like the Normans DDs. Seems like a Norman design would cast better. Also am wondering if I should throughline and place the weight it the middle of the bait ( more aerodynamic) or place it low in the belly ( better balance). I know there's a lot of smart guys out here and would like some help tackling this project. Thanks for replies
Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:08 AM
I'm not sure you'll get a true 20+ ft crank with a 1 7/8" lip, which when installed will be similar to the lip on a DT-16. A couple of design comments: Whatever wood you choose, you want to ballast it so that the ready-to-fish bait is a slow floater. That makes for a deeper diving bait with the least amount of total weight and the best dive profile. In my experience, the total weight will be very near 1 ounce, + or -. The lower in the body the ballast, the more stable the action. One of the advantages of the deep belly on the DT-16 is it puts the ballast in a low position for better action. The DT-16 is, IMO, one of the more sophisticated wood bait designs ever. It has very reliable action and it casts well too - difficult to achieve both qualities in a wood bait. Plastic baits like the DD-22 cast well because they are hollow and contain loose ballast, unlike most wood baits. You have your work cut out for you but it is "doable". I think building ultra deep cranks is a whole other deal from building shallow and medium baits but it's an interesting exercise that will teach you a lot about crankbaits.
Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:03 AM
One of the attributes of the DT-16 that really sets it apart from a lot of wooden deep divers - it casts like a rocket, and casting distance is VITAL. I think overall it's one of the best deep crank designs ever.
Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:35 AM
You guys bring up some very good points on the shape of the lure. In my mind, it seems like the shape of the DD 22 would lend to less wind resistence on the cast and thus more didtance. It just seems like the big belly on the DT would throw off the cast. But I also know that my personal experience with the DT has proven that it is a great casting design and I think Bob brings up a very good point about wood versus plastic bait shapes: With the weight lower in the belly you get more stabilized action with wood. What I would really like to see is a x ray of a DT16 so I can soo the exact weight placement. If I were to weight such a bait would it be better to split it and place the weight inside that way or could I just put an egg sinker on the belly hook hanger? One more question, does anyone know where to buy sheets of micarta, the computer board stuff?
Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:48 AM
My opinion is that the zero angle of the lip acts like the feathers on an arrow, stabilizing the flight. When I experimented with hinged lips, which allowed the lip to find its own attitude in flight, I was able to increase casting distances by about 30% (from memory).
A very big part of getting down deep, in addition to what everyone else has stated, is eye location on the lip. There is an optimum position for maximum depth. Foreward or rear of this optimum position and the depth reduces. I cannot think of any easy way to find this location, other than trial and error (I hate to say).
With a zero angle lip, sometimes getting the lure to actually start can be a problem. This is solved by weighting so the lure sits slightly nose down.
Edited by Vodkaman, 11 January 2010 - 07:49 AM.
Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:23 AM
The lip has to be longer than 1 7/8 to reach the 20ft mark. From my experience you need a lip that is 2 3/8 long just to bump 20ft. This bait has a 3 inch lip and weighes 1.25oz, the bait is nearly 7 inches long from tip of the lip to tail. It will 24-26ft on 20/6 braid, Stringjam knows a little bit about this crank. Ultra deep divers are a totally different animal compared to the shallow running baits. submart.jpg 86.89KB 236 downloads
Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:44 PM
Above are 2 sources for G-10 Garolite, aka circuit board, aka Micarta. I use the .031" (1/32") thickness on everything including deep divers - it's stiff enough.
The G-10 from McMaster-Carr is usually dull yellow. The ASP Rocketry G-10 is slightly greenish white. If you opt for ASP (it's more expensive than McMaster), I would ask them to confirm the color. They sell it for amateur rocket fins and may not care what color they stock.
I've seen some nice looking ultras with "DD-22" shaped bodies which reportedly work great, so am not pushing the DT body style, just commenting on its advantages. Vodkaman's comment about the placement of the line tie on the lip is right on. Little differences in position can make big differences in performance. One thing I see happening with experiments is the builder puts the line tie too close to the nose of the bait, thinking that will give a deeper dive. The result is an uncontrollable spinning bait. Look at Benton's bait. You can avoid a lot of mistakes by studying how successful custom and commercial baits are designed.
Posted 11 January 2010 - 09:48 PM
That is a serious deep crank, with a very cool action. If you can cast it out far enough, it will indeed dig into that mid 20's range.
Spider - - I'm in the same boat you are right now. I'm working up a deep crank design that I'm hoping to get into the mid-teens, 14-16' (my money zone). There are several possible approaches, so (as Bob said) studying the baits that you already like the attributes of is a big key.
Some baits use a long, narrow lip to get a lot of surface area (Poe's Competition Cedars, Marty's baits, Lucky Craft CB20) and some use a shorter wider lip (the Rapala DT's). Some use the zero degree lip and some use more angle......there's a definite difference in action, as more lip angle produces baits with wider actions and more "roll."
There are also countless variations in between.....like the Sisson P-20, which uses a moderately wide rectangular design (the biggest influence on my lip).
There aren't many builders attempting deep cranks......Bob and Marty are in a rare group that even attempts to go deeper than 20'.
Posted 11 January 2010 - 11:39 PM
A lot of good crankbait fishermen never throw anything deeper than 15-16 ft. Max 16 ft is a productive strategy on lowland reservoirs throughout most of the South. But my "home lake" is a clear water power reservoir where, if you're 50 ft off the bank, you're sitting in 50 ft of water. Bass live deep there in summer and winter. I often catch them on jigging spoons in 55 ft of water, so if I want to explore deep humps and points with a crankbait ... go ultra deep. Building one is hard enough that I needed SOME quasi-valid reason for it
All the design considerations mentioned above are important. One other I'd mention is fore/aft balance. Along with the lip angle cut into the bait, the balance will help determine the "attack angle" for the lip and the attitude of the bait as it swims through the water. It needs to be in harmony with the rest of the design or the bait will have an irregular "stagger" as it is retrieved - not a good thing. I sure can't say that I've solved all the design problems for a 20+ ft crank. Heck, there are surely some I don't even know exist yet. But it's fun messing with them.
Edited by BobP, 11 January 2010 - 11:40 PM.
Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:49 AM
The problem with trying to build a 20ft crank is knowing what the bait is doing while it's down that deep. You really have to spend a lot of time throwing that bait to get a feel for that unique action in the deep water. You can get the bait perfectly balanced, sitting in the water with the right nose down attitude, and test the weighting in a sink. Everything else is chunk and reel research. The idea behind my bait was to get past 20ft with a action that easier on the fisherman over a long day. I've always heard guys complain how a DD22 just killed their hand and wrist after a long day. Stringjam also challenged my bait building skills with the ultra deep diver, he doesn't challenge me any longer.
Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:41 PM
Wow guys, a lot of good stuff here. This is really getting interesting.
I'm starting to think I may want to tone down my original goal a little and aim for the mid-teens mark like Stringjam. For one thing most of the lakes I fish are fairly shallow so there's really no need for a 20 footer. The idea was more just a novelty to challenge myself.
Bob, thanks for those links they should be really helpful and even if I had found those sites, I would have had no idea what to order out of the myrid products that they offer.
Dave, good insight on the postition of the pull point. I've thought about this too, my general theory being that the farther forward you put the line tie the tighter the action and deeper you will go (to a point of course). A wider wobble resulting form moving the line tie back towards the nose.
I've got to say I'm quite impressed by the beastliness of bentons crank. That's pretty hard core right there. Nice work
Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:08 PM
Marty's built his share of beastly baits, but this one is by far my favorite. Now if I could just get it BACK from him!! Will definitely hit the 20' mark, and deeper if you can get it out far enough.
I have limited use for baits that go much deeper than 20'. I tend to switch up to a lipless crank at that point.
Another bait you should check out is the new Rapala DT-20. It's an amazingly easy crank to get down to 20'. Casts like a cannonball and dives like mad. Rapala has really impressed me with their new-found love of deep cranks.
Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:56 PM
The DT 16 casts better than the DD 22 in part because it weighs 5/8 oz, instead of the 1/2 oz the Norman weighs.
Before deep cranks became so popular, I used to tie a Fat Free Shad onto my C rig, and fish it as deep as I wanted. Typically, I fished it down to 40', and caught fish. The only drawback was the lure sometimes spiraled on the fall, and wound up fouled. I figured out pretty quickly it was probably not going to get bit when it was fouled, so I used to watch it like a hawk on the cast, and I found that it was much more consistent down to 30'. After that, the fouling really became an issue. I also used shallower cranks on the C rig, and they seemed to not foul at all.
With appologies to those who think water pressure is that big a deal in terms of how a crank behaves, I think the lure's action is the same at all depths, or at least the depths I want to fish. I'm sure that there are differences at 100', but those deep fish probably wouldn't care anyway. If they saw a crank down that deep, they'd be so surprised they'd eat it out of shock!
Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:48 AM
Look out for Australian style lures for some inspiration , the fellas "Down Under" do make pretty impressive deep diving lures with real oversized diving lips ,....... this one bladed example in the video is said to go down 12-14 feet(the black lure with silver stripes) , ....and compared to others it's lip is just average sized , ........there are homemade lures of this style running more than 30 feet deep !
good luck , diemai
Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:26 AM
Diemie, I really like that idea in the video to put blades on a crank. I've experimented with styles where the blade is on a swivel where the belly hook should be. What was that that they were catching in the video. Looked similar to our American style yellow perch but somewhat different.
By the way stringjam, What type of material is that one raw crankbait made from (with the rectangular bill).
I've been thinking about experimenting with some of that PVC trim board that the guys are using on here. Do you guys have any dos and don'ts as far as bait style applications for PVC. I also wanted to try it for jointed swimbaits as it would enable testing and alterations without sealing the bait.
Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:31 AM
The raw bait is made from Sintra (an expanded foam PVC board).
Posted 15 January 2010 - 12:25 AM
It was rather more my intention pointing out those oversized lips than these trailing blades on that particular Australian lure !
That fish there is an European perch , the Australians call it "redfin" or "reddie" , ........ like some other species(carp , rabbits) it was taken to Australia by European immigrants and turned to a pest there , .........a lot of fishermen "down under" are complaining to catch a lot of these before finally being able to hook a native Australian species of a predatory fish .
You might visit the site mentioned on the end of the video to view a lot more of such deep diving lures(amongst others) .
greetz , diemai
Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:32 AM
Stringjam, that's what I figured that bait was. I think I'm gonna finally break down and buy some of that PVC. Any tips for shaping? I use a wood wrasp for the basswood that I normally carve but is it better to use carving knives on this stuff. I'm thinking it might gum up the rasp pretty bad.
Adding weight to the bills could probably work. The Rapala DT 20 does that. The only diffeculty might be determining the best spot to install the weight as it would at like a pivot point for the wobble. This of course would be learned best through trial and error. The "fun" part of lure making
Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:32 AM
The weight is added to the bill to make sure the bait has a nose down attitude while sitting at rest in the water. You can ensure this by placing some ballast weight in the chest of your bait. I do not believe the bill weight has any noticable affect on the action of the lure.