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Any Tips On How To Put Crank Bill Baits On Straight?

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#1 apaseman



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Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:46 AM

I was wondering if anybody had any good tips on how to put crank bait bill's on straight?

#2 diemai


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Posted 15 March 2010 - 01:06 AM

@ apaseman

Best way is to cut the lip slot is , when your blank is still in a rectangular cross sectioned condition(cut out the outer dimensions only).

This way you can clamb the blank in a vise or machine vise accurately without damaging the surface(yet unfinished) ,...... also hold it flat on the table of a table saw to cut the slot or even only mark an accurate lengthwise centerline and the lipslot direction with an 90° angle gauge and cut the slot accurately after that marked line by hand or with a "Dremel" cutting wheel .

The key thing is to keep the blank still rectangular , ............apart from lipslots also pilot holes for screw eyes , belly slots for internal wire harnesses or even lenghtwise center bores for wire shafts(to a certain length, drilled from either end to meet in center) can be done this way .

good luck , diemai :yay:

#3 Zolja



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Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:04 AM

This way you can clamb the blank in a vise or machine vise accurately without damaging the surface(yet unfinished)

Just an advice. When I need to clamb an already cut hard wood lure in a vise, without damaging it, I use two pieces of scraped balsa. Balsa is softer then hard wood so the lure doesn't get damaged and it holds it in place very well.


#4 silverdoctor



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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:47 AM

apaseman: Were you talking about balsa baits? Flat or 3D type? I make flat baits and cut the slot with a band saw after sealing the balsa. Some wait until the bait is painted. You need some kind of jig to make sure the bill is in the correct side to side position. I use a self centering dowel drilling jig that aligns the bait and use marks on the top of the jig to position the bills. There may be easier ways but this works for me.

Hazmail has a couple of really neat jigs for aligning the body and bill. They can be used for any shaped body. search

Good luck! ken

#5 BobP


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Posted 15 March 2010 - 04:03 PM

Like the guys said, it starts with a straight slot. Ideally, cut the slot just thick enough so you can feel just a little drag as you slide in the lip. For me at some point, it gets down to eyeballing the lip to see if it's straight. Not so hard on flat sided baits with small lips. Just sight down the bait from the tail to see that an equal amount of lip shows on both sides of the bait. On deep divers with long lips, I scribe a center line around the bait just after cutting out the blank. Besides centering the hardware, I also helps align the lip. I use templates to cut lips and I put a tic at the center end of the big lips. Take a laser level and shoot it down the bait's center line (or the tail and belly hangers) and it should point right at the tic on the far end of the lip.

When talking about squaring up the lip, it all goes back to how symmetrical you built the bait body. If your blade was squared when you cut out the blank, if you center lined the bait and marked the taper and rounding limit lines, and if you installed the hardware on the center line, the bait will be symmetrical and it will be much easier to square up the lip.

#6 CatchemCaro



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Posted 16 March 2010 - 11:56 PM

Be sure to cut your slot straight and square. Make the slot fit your lip perfect with a hair of play. Then it's just as important to make sure your line tie eye is dead center on your bait. Then some quick drying epoxy in the slot. When you set your lip give it a real good eyeball. Make sure your lip is perfectly square and not lop sided. You'll then need very little tuning of your bait when you take it to the water.

Edited by CatchemCaro, 16 March 2010 - 11:57 PM.