Tom in Sweetwater

Wire For Through Wire Construction

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I am in the process of designing a new bait. I am going to make it from balsa or basswood. I am going to make it in two halves to facilitate easier through wire construction. It will be approx. 3" long and use #4 hooks What wire would you all recommend? Supplier, diameter, material? If they work as intended, I hope to do small scale production.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Edited by Tom in Sweetwater

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Tom, I don't see any structural need to thru-wire a basswood lure. It's plenty hard enough to work with screw eyes. For thru-wire on balsa bass baits, I use .040" soft temper stainless steel wire (aka Safety Wire) from McMaster-Carr. Safety wire is much easier to bend accurately and I also like a soft wire line tie on the nose because it is easier to tune the lure without breaking the waterproof integrity on the nose of the lure. For hard temper stainless wire, I go with the .031" diameter, also from McMaster-Carr. I use it as the belly and tail hook hanger on hardwood baits, twisted into hand-crafted screw eyes. It's small enough to twist with hand tools but has a test strength of more than 180 lbs, which far exceeds what is needed.

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There are numerous ways to hinge bait, but the simplest and one I favor is to hand-wind two stainless screw eyes one inside the other and epoxy them into the segments. Epoxy the joint hinges into one segment of the bait after painting, when you are clearcoating the segments. Then epoxy the screw eyes into the other segment after the the epoxy clearcoat is cured hard. Remember, if you use an epoxy clearcoat, you must round over all sharp wood edges around the segments because epoxy will draw away from a sharp edge as it cures. I use a double screw eye at the top and one at the bottom of the segment for a hinge. You can recess/countersink the holes for the screw eyes if you want the segments to be close together. Use a Dremel with a piece of stainless wire chucked in it to clean out the hinge joint after the epoxy has cured. Makes a nice free-moving joint.

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Tom, I use a stainless wire (19 ga) that I get from Ace hardware. It can also be purchased in 1 lb. containers at Harbor Freight. The containers at Ace are small and not expensive. Easily worked, have had no problems holding fish.

David

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I use Mig welding wire .030 diameter. Worked for my grandfather and works for me. I`ve got a small roll for sell if interested.

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Tom, I don't see any structural need to thru-wire a basswood lure. It's plenty hard enough to work with screw eyes. For thru-wire on balsa bass baits, I use .040" soft temper stainless steel wire (aka Safety Wire) from McMaster-Carr. Safety wire is much easier to bend accurately and I also like a soft wire line tie on the nose because it is easier to tune the lure without breaking the waterproof integrity on the nose of the lure. For hard temper stainless wire, I go with the .031" diameter, also from McMaster-Carr. I use it as the belly and tail hook hanger on hardwood baits, twisted into hand-crafted screw eyes. It's small enough to twist with hand tools but has a test strength of more than 180 lbs, which far exceeds what is needed.

Bob,

If you'll eliminate a hard epoxy which tends to crack (such as Devcon 2-ton) instead of giving a little, for bonding the two lure halves, you can bend the harder wire, and worry less about the softer wire causing a leak when you bend line ties and hook hangers. I use a urethane glue such as Gorilla Glue; or U-40 brand Rod Bond epoxy. Waterproof wood glues work well also, and there are other epoxies out there that have a bit of give to them when cured that will do the job without cracking under the pressure. There are some CA glues that have some give when cured, and CA penetrates balsa extremely well, and can give it a whole new dimension in strength. A well-done straight-pull wire harness glued between balsa halves with simply a premium exterior grade wood glue, and cured under slight pressure from a vise, is always going to be your strongest link between you and a fish.

www.bsi-inc.com is a good source of info about various glues---they private label various glues for many craft and hobby stores.

For most of my harnesses I use the same wire that Bob and The Captain use. Harbor Freight sells their one pound spools as Safety Wire.

Dean

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There are numerous ways to hinge bait, but the simplest and one I favor is to hand-wind two stainless screw eyes one inside the other and epoxy them into the segments. Epoxy the joint hinges into one segment of the bait after painting, when you are clearcoating the segments. Then epoxy the screw eyes into the other segment after the the epoxy clearcoat is cured hard. Remember, if you use an epoxy clearcoat, you must round over all sharp wood edges around the segments because epoxy will draw away from a sharp edge as it cures. I use a double screw eye at the top and one at the bottom of the segment for a hinge. You can recess/countersink the holes for the screw eyes if you want the segments to be close together. Use a Dremel with a piece of stainless wire chucked in it to clean out the hinge joint after the epoxy has cured. Makes a nice free-moving joint.

Bob do you have a picture of this? We are in the process of making our first swim bait. We have access to a machine shop and are making it out of acrylic and thought screw eyes would be the way to go. Any help would be appreciated. thanks

john

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Yep, here are pics of the screw eye hinge and installation.IMG_0210.JPG

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