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CarverGLX

Wire

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I was wondering what most of you use for though wire construction on balsa baits. I have read several posts and see that alot are using stainless steel. Made a bait or two using the stainless and feel that adjusting the line tie would cause the d2t to crack. Using .040 stainless wire used for spinnerbait shafts on balsa baits used for bass.

Is the wood too soft?

Could copper wire be a good substitute in maybe a 20 or 18 gauge? How much tention until it distorts with a 1/8'' loop?

If stainless is the way to go then how do you get it to go around a pin form easily or should it be done by hand?

Thanks in advance.

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I was wondering what most of you use for though wire construction on balsa baits. I have read several posts and see that alot are using stainless steel. Made a bait or two using the stainless and feel that adjusting the line tie would cause the d2t to crack. Using .040 stainless wire used for spinnerbait shafts on balsa baits used for bass.

Is the wood too soft?

Could copper wire be a good substitute in maybe a 20 or 18 gauge? How much tention until it distorts with a 1/8'' loop?

If stainless is the way to go then how do you get it to go around a pin form easily or should it be done by hand?

Thanks in advance.

.040 spring-tempered spinnerbait wire will certainly exercise your fingers, not to mention your frustration! I sometimes use .032, but 99% of the time I use 19 gauge stainless I buy at Ace Hardware or sometimes Harbor Freight. This wire doesn't have the temper of spinnerbait wire, making it very much easier to form. This is the stuff you need! Some builders use 18 or 19 gauge brass or copper wire, but I simply prefer the stainless from Ace which will tune easily enough, but will hold tune much better than the soft wires.

Ace Hardware has a whole rack of spools of wire, however the only stainless is the 19 gauge. The rest of the steel wite is zinc plated, which will work fine, but can rust, unlike the annealed stainless. If Ace doesn't have it in stock, they can order it for you. Harbor Freight has what appears to be the same wire on a much larger spool that is less expensive. I'm sure McMaster-Carr has, if not the very same, then a very similar annealed (as opposed to spring-tempered) stainless wire also.

Dean

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i use the same wire from Ace, and have found it at other places as well. comes in 30' roll in a yellow blister package. says ' Hillman' on the back bottom corner. i'll have to check Harbor Freight to see if they have the same stuff. easy to work with.

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You can use copper electrical wire, some commercial custom builders like D-Bait use it. I don't know what gauge though. You can also use soft brass or soft temper stainless stell (aka "safety wire"). Of the options, I prefer soft stainless in .040" diameter which I get from McMaster-Carr online. It is the hardest of the "soft wires". A word about softer temper wires - the small diameter of the line tie and hangers on a bass bait prevents the wire from deforming. Wire that seems pretty floppy in your hand can perform well if bent into a small loop for a line tie or hanger. I have used as small as .032" dia brass wire with no problems. .But a good "all around" choice for soft wire diameter is .040". Advantages of soft wire - MUCH easier to shape for through-wire frames, easier to tune baits with soft wire line ties and less chance of breaking the waterproof seal at the bait's nose, which ruins the bait. If you choose soft stainless, you also don't have to worry about corrosion caused by dissimilar metals (copper wire, stainless split rings, etc).

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Bob, do you happen to know the specifics on the soft stainless wire? (alloy type or number, Etc.) I've tried the McMaster-Carr site along with others, and I'm more confused than when I started. I''m doing saltwater stuff and need something in the .050-.062 range, preferably bright finish. I've found brass wire in the diameters I need, but again, I can't seem to find any info on whether I need soft, half-hard or hard. I've been using .040 spring-tempered SS just to get the hang of making wire forms, but as has been mentioned, that stuff is a nightmare to work with.

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Yep, what Whittler says! McMaster-Carrs sells a BUNCH of wire types! What makes it more confusing - when you get the wire, it only says "Malin Soft SS .041" on the spool, so you can't just order the same stuff next time without renewing your membership in the "Wire Engineers Local # 302".

I just remember "Safety Wire" and can usually figure it out from there.

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Thanks for the help guys. I was about ready to start combing the yellow pages for a metallurgist.

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Bob hit the nail on the head. Follow his advice and you won't go wrong. JR, Went out to your site and looked at your baits......... Excellent work !

Skeeter

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Thanks, I never knew I could find a local source for wire (Ace has it here). I never had a problem tuning balsa baits with the harder wire since most of the tuning was just side to side. I also usually make them with epoxy running clear through from the nose to tail wire (and into the weight hole), with the wires maybe 1/2 - 1" long depending on the size of the lure. What size of wire do most of you use for the larger musky sized baits?

Koop

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Most of the comments above concern bass baits. If you're talking musky, that's a different beast. JMHO, you could still try soft stainless but you'd want it thicker, maybe in the .06-.08" dia range. Personally, I'd go with hard stainless wire for a hardwood musky bait. I might consider soft stainless for a balsa musky bait. Maybe.

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take it from an electrician, small gauge copper wire (10g or smaller) will not hold against any kind of pressure at all. you will very easily bend this stuff with your hands and loops will probably straighten out even under the stress of casting the bait. at least that for copper electrical wire. if there is a type of copper wire that has a stronger tensile strength then im not familiar with it. i hope this prevents someone from making a bad purchase seeing how copper right now is very expensive!

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Thanks, I never knew I could find a local source for wire (Ace has it here). I never had a problem tuning balsa baits with the harder wire since most of the tuning was just side to side. I also usually make them with epoxy running clear through from the nose to tail wire (and into the weight hole), with the wires maybe 1/2 - 1" long depending on the size of the lure. What size of wire do most of you use for the larger musky sized baits?

KOOP we use 1/16th or 0.62 stainless for musky baits. tig welding wire is good. its a bear to form. after a few hundred you will have hands of steel. lol.

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