Edited by capt mike, 23 June 2010 - 09:51 PM.
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First Handcarved Swimbait
25 replies to this topic
Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:50 PM
I just completed my first hand built lure thanks to info from this site and a little imagination. I catch a lot of big bass on live gizzard shad so I wanted to make a swimbait to represent one. It is built from tupelo gum that I cut on my neighbor's property. It is about 9" long and weighs 5 oz. Please give me some feedback and pointers. I know I have a lot to learn. I painted the bait while it was assembled and the clearcoat gummed up the hinges. I got it loose with a pick. There must be a better way. I used 2 part epoxy from Barlow's tackle. I painted it with createx paints and my new Paasche airbrush (thanks to this site for help getting it to work), I hinged the bait with S.S. cotter pins and brass rod stock from ACE hardware. I plan to use 1" eye screws from Barlows and a 1/0 treble hook on the belly. The photos are in the hard bait gallery. Please look and tell me what you think. -Mike
Edited by capt mike, 23 June 2010 - 09:51 PM.
Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:30 PM
That is a very tidy bait and I can see that a lot of time and effort went into it. Nice paint too.
I am hoping that you own a video camera, I would love to see it swim.
Top coating swimmers has been discussed a few times. Not sure if there is a perfect solution. Best to read how others do it, then find the method that works for you. That didn't help you much, but when you find a method that works, post it back here.
Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:47 PM
Thanks for the input and kind words. I swam it with the primer coat and hook. It sinks fast and slightly head first. On a medium retrieve the head has an easy wobble and the body is a quick wiggle. The fast retrieve tracked fine also.
I even had a couple of small bass in my pond follow it to the bank. I'll try the video soon if I can figure out how to load it on here. I'm drying the final clearcoat. After that I'll try to make a video. Hell, I hope to bring it to the lake and get some pics of it parked in a fish's face. Can't wait for that.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:07 AM
Gee Mike you started at the hard end of lure making here, nice job, and to have it swim too is a real credit to you - I think I made 4 before I got it near right.. Pete
Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:42 AM
Actually, to make sure it swam, I strapped lead sinkers to the bottom of the lure and tested it in my pond at the house. I made 3 trips and kept adding weight. It took (7) 1/4 oz. sinkers in the head of the bait and about 4 in the second segment. In the third I drilled smaller holes and used lead shot from a shot shell. I think I will purchase a digital gram scale for future projects.
I am working on a baby bass that is only 3 segments and around 9" long. I'm a little concerned with this bait because it has an open mouth. I plan to place the line eye in the mouth. I hope it does'nt grab too much water and throw things off. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to test weights for ballast. My tape method is not so good. The duct tape would'nt stick for long after getting wet. Maybe i'll try rubberbands next time?
Edited by capt mike, 24 June 2010 - 06:47 AM.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:56 AM
would hot melt work??
Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:34 AM
Capt. Mike... when I clear coat my baits with hinges I used candle wax to keep the epoxy out of the eyes in between the segments.. but I have now moved onto hot glue. Just put either on right before you clear coat it . I use epoxy but I am sure it will work with what ever u use. Wax is easy but you have to be careful nit doesnt flake off. Hot glue ios the deal fro me. When the clear is dry you can take a hook or pic and peel it off and your good to go.! My two cents.. these techniques haveworked for me. Im gonna post a pic of a recent swimbait order in a couple days.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:56 AM
I clear my baits in sections so I do not have that problem. when my clear dries i just take my dremmel with a pointed carbite bit and in seconds my eye screws are nice and clean. then assemble the bait with a drop of CA glue to hold in the hinge pin and your done.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:20 AM
Candle wax. Good idea. Pick it away with the ice pick when the clear dries.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:25 AM
What about the hole where the hinge pin goes in? Do you dab a drop of clear coat on that? I guess you will have a pinhole where paint is missing. I guess the fish won't know or care. I'm sure this is the most clean method since you're not trying to work in a crevice with a brush. thanks for the help.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 10:41 AM
When I used to use epoxy as a top coat, I would disassemble the bait after painting, and coat the insides of the joint faces with D2T, lapping it out onto the flat faces of each section about 1/4".
Then, after it set, I'd reassemble the lure, put it on my drying wheel, and coat the faces with Nu Luster 55, brushing it into the joints a little, but not enough to clog my screw eye/pin hinges.
One coat of D2T on the insides of the joints was plenty, since it is so thick, and I was able to apply it without clogging the screw eyes. If some did get on them, it was easy to clean it off before I reassembled the lure.
Then I'd add two coats of the Nu Lustre 55 to the reassembled lure on the drying wheel, a day apart.
I use sst screw eyes and bicycle spokes for my hinges, because the screw eyes let me adjust the joints, and the bicycle spokes are stout, and sst, too.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:10 PM
Like Pete said, you sure started with the most difficult aspect of lure building and you did a fine job. Your bait looks good. There's some stuff called "Liquid Frisket" you may want to try to protect your hinges while clear coating. It's sort of like a liquid rubber. Artists use it to keep paint off of areas they want to keep clean. You brush it on and when it dries it forms a protective barrier to keep surfaces clean of unwanted materials. When you finish it is easily cleaned by just rubbing or picking it off. It can be found at most hobby shops or artists supplies.
Edited by RayburnGuy, 24 June 2010 - 12:10 PM.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:41 PM
Frisket. I know what that is. I'll get some. Thanks.
Also, I'm using SS cotter pins for hinges and screw eyes for hook hangers with epoxy glue. How deep do the pins or screw eyes have to be? I would hate for the line tie to pull out and loose my lure and a big bass to boot.
I'm going to try the bicycle spokes. That'll be stronger than the brass i'm using.
Edited by capt mike, 24 June 2010 - 12:44 PM.
Posted 26 June 2010 - 08:50 AM
I took my first bass on the new swimbait. Check it out in the gallery. I mistakienly placed it in the hard bait section.
The problems have started though. The paint is peeling off in places and one of my hinge loops started pulling out. I'm going to try to remember all of the steps of this bait and maybe I can get some tips. The bait swam great at least and catches fish.
Posted 26 June 2010 - 09:17 AM
Very nice fish! And your lure is beautiful.
Sealing the wood well is the most important step in making jointed lures from wood.
Personally, I tried a lot of things, with varied, limited success, and then I switched to AZEK PVC decking, which is totally waterproof, and as buoyant as poplar, which I was making my lures from.
I still use wood, sugar pine, for one piece lures like surface gliders, where the added buoyancy is critical.
But I found that there are just too many places that water can get into a jointed lure made from wood.
If you do a search here for sealing wood, you'll find a lot of discussion about what works best.
I never tried propionate, plastic dissolved in either acetone or lacquer thinner, but some here use it with success.
Once you solve the sealing/waterproof issue, then you can start worrying about the paint and topcoat.
Seriously, waterproofing the lure will make your paint and top coat much less prone to failure.
I hope you figure out something that works for you. That lure looks great.
As for the cotter pin pulling out, when I use them for really small lures, I bend the legs back 180 degrees, and set them in oversized holes filled with epoxy. They hold fine.
But the reason I moved to screw eyes for lures that are large enough to accomodate them is so I could adjust the size of the joint to get the action I wanted, after I'd made the lure.
Good luck, and I look forward to more pictures of you lures hanging from big fish.
Edited by mark poulson, 26 June 2010 - 09:21 AM.
Posted 26 June 2010 - 09:53 PM
Thank you Mark for the info. I definitely plan to do a lure with the PVC. But I still want to get it right with the wood. I'm sure the wood has floating characterisitics that I will find a niche for. I make duck decoy keels with "Veranda" and "Trex" deck boards. Is that what your'e talking about?
This is what I used for my lure:
Tupelo Gum wood
Helmsman Spar for sealer- 2 coats. Let dry 24 hrs. each
Kilz 2 primer (water based) 2 coats. Let dry 24 hrs each
createx opaque white 2 or 3 coats
createx pearl silver etc. -layers of paint drying appx. 20-30 minutes between coats
2 part epoxy clear from barlow's tackle- let dry 48 hrs
touch up dry areas with same. .....went fishing 24 hrs later.
I did not sand in between any of the above coats.
paint bubbled when i used it in the water after a few minutes.
I also did not heat set the paint. Just found out about that process the other day on this site. Lots to learn. Having fun anyway.
Edited by capt mike, 26 June 2010 - 09:58 PM.
Posted 27 June 2010 - 05:23 AM
I'm not familiar with that Spar Varnish. I have used water based Kilz, but never on lures.
I used to use either Minwax Polyvinyl or Minwax Wood Hardener, and then oil based rattle can primer, two coats, wet sanded.
Then the Createx, heat set after each coat. And then topcoat.
With the Wood Hardener, I soaked it for five minutes, then let it dry/off gas for a couple of days, hitting it with a hair dryer occasionally to drive out any trapped solvent. The Polyvinyl was water based, and dried overnight.
I found I needed to drill all holes for my hardware before I sealed the wood, to let the sealer into the wood as deeply as possible, without soaking so long it got saturated and lost buoyancy.
And I would run my screw eyes in, to tap the threads, and then run them back out, coat the screw with crazy glue, and run it back in again, to reseal the threads and lock it in place.
I'm not familiar with Veranda, but Trex is too heavy for lures, unless you're making sinkers, as in lead.
AZEK is buoyant, and there is sign making PVC called Sintra, I think, that's also buoyant.
Buoyancy is important, even in sinking lures, because it lets you position your ballast low in the bait and toward the front, to keep the lure upright even underwater.
I never put ballast in my tail sections, because it kills the swimming action.
Hope this helps.
Edited by mark poulson, 27 June 2010 - 05:24 AM.
Posted 07 July 2010 - 10:14 PM
Posted 07 July 2010 - 10:39 PM
Thanks, I finally hooked a big bass on it monday and she jumped and slung the bait right off. That's how it goes.