General Discussion - What Makes The Wobble?
30 replies to this topic
Posted 18 September 2010 - 05:54 PM
I am curious on what your thoughts are in general about the actions of crankbaits.
What do you think are the key aspects of a good swimming crankbait.
Is it the following:
The shape and width of the lip?
The angle of the lip?
The thickness of the lip?
The placement of the line tie?
The shape of the body?
Is it the curve of the back?
The weighting inside of the body?
The bouancy of material for the bait?
The size of the hooks?
The placement of the hooks front to back?
"Rookie" you better not say "its the paint job"
Posted 18 September 2010 - 07:22 PM
All of the above. I'm not sure that you can take any of those off of the list.
Posted 18 September 2010 - 08:51 PM
My opinion is "yes"
There is no detail about a crankbait that doesn't affect its swim performance - except the paint!
The angle, shape, width, length and placement of the lip are obvious factors as is the placement of the line tie. But all of that has to be sized and shaped to complement the bait's body size, shape, and weight. Placement and size of the trebles is important because they are part of the ballast system. The buoyancy of the body material affects the distribution of other component weights and the overall balance of the bait.
Bottom line, there are so many variables that it's a miracle any of us builds something that can swim and catch fish! Fortunately, some of the build elements will operate OK if not perfectly within a range of values and anyway, we are usually trying to build a bait that looks like an injured prey species. Maybe if you get everything exactly right, it would swim like a true baitfish and would never be noticed by the bass.
Posted 18 September 2010 - 09:59 PM
Here's a link to a site with a lot of good info on several different determining factors as to what makes a crankbait work and how different things effect them. Might be a good idea to bookmark it because if your like me you'll never be able to remember all it has to offer.
Edited by RayburnGuy, 18 September 2010 - 10:00 PM.
Posted 18 September 2010 - 11:26 PM
The size of the lure and choice of top coat are important variables to add to the list.
I just wrote two pages on lure design, then realised that it was not relevant. It generally comes down to line tie, lip and ballast, to balance all the other choices.
Edited by Vodkaman, 18 September 2010 - 11:31 PM.
Posted 19 September 2010 - 06:41 AM
Post your thoughts Dave, I for one think design is one of the key elements to make a lure wobble like how the builder wants it to. A lure is a system where all the parts contribute to it's performance, you could not isolate a single factor and say this is what makes it move like it does.
I do not have time to elaborate but look at a lure with lips as a fulcrum system, the lip is where the force is applied to move it with the fulcrum point at the lure's COG. So to move this fulcrum system back and forth efficiently, from the design stage; every component has to be carefully distributed to provide the best balance to make it wobble (this includes the shape as well, as shape supplies the surface area which contribute to water resistance which is part of the overall force on the lure as well.... Shape affects buoyancy distribution hence overall lure balance and in part adjust the fulcrum point (ie: where and how to weight a lure)..... and many others.... and all the inter-dependent factors). I am over simplifying but this is a start.
Posted 19 September 2010 - 10:57 AM
I know all those things are important, but the one that drives me up the wall is internal weighting. I just can't seem to get the musky lures to perform correctly. Amount of weight? Front, Center or back? Top, middle or bottom? More than one internal weight? Trial and error takes forever if you don't hit on correct choices quickly. If you are wrong, then you must sacrifice that lure to correct the problem when working with wooden lures. Musky Glenn
Posted 19 September 2010 - 12:53 PM
Glenn, you can trial balance a lure before ballasting it by hanging the rear hook(s), temporarily inserting the lip and then finding where the lure balances fore and aft. If you put the ballast at the fore/aft balance point, the lure will swim with an "X-ing" action, that is, it will swim with a horizontal attitude and will rotate its wobble around the ballast as a center point. Lots of commercial minnow baits swim that way. You may or may not want that kind of action but it's a starting point. Ballast in front of that point will usually make the lure run with more "thump" because you have biased the weight forward and it will swim in a more nose down attitude, which is functionally the same as increasing the angle of the lip. I don't ballast behind the balance point because in my experience, it mutes the action of the lure (bass baits) and I'm usually looking to increase thump, not reduce it.
I don't think you can make a killer bait without the right ballasting (both amount and placement). To me, lip design, ballast, and line tie placement are the 3 critical factors that determine how a bait will perform. You may get away with fudging other factors like body shape but not these.
If you're building musky lures, check out http://www.lurebuild...l/indexeng.html which has quite a few diagrams including ballast and lip design for an array of classic musky/pike lure types. The gliders often have multiple ballasts but the crankbaits/twitch baits usually have either a single ballast or no ballast.
Edited by BobP, 19 September 2010 - 12:59 PM.
Posted 19 September 2010 - 12:56 PM
When I am testing a new body for my hunting lures, I will build and test upwards of 30 prototypes, all with hardware and top coat. Pretty much all of them will hunt, but to get it to hunt at the slowest speed and minimise the blow out at faster speeds, I have to find the optimum adjustment for all the variables of ballast, lip size, shape, length and tow eye location. proto No6 might be the best result, but I will go through all the combinations, changing only one variable on each lure.
I do not tweak, cut or modify any proto, I always build a new one to test an idea. This way, I can go back to an earlier combo for comparison. It is not that easy to find the ideal, because as you alter one variable, it affects the other two. Also it is vital to keep notes of the changes and effects and add reference numbers to the proto's so that you can read your notes and get your hands on the applicable proto. Fortunately, this is my favourite part of the whole lure designing process. Actually the number is more like 50, but I thought that was a bit embarrassing.
The problem is to produce a range of lures in different sizes and different depths. Unfortunately, changing up the size is not just a case of scaling up. Same with changing the depth, the whole proto sequence starts from scratch. But you do get a feel for things and can 'zoom' in on the solution faster. Sometimes I build a proto that in my mind I know will not work. I do it to prove to myself that I am on the right track in my development process.
'Over the top'? Probably, but hunters are 'on the edge' and in order to be able to build hunters with the lowest possible failure rate, you have to have an optimum design, so that you have a build tolerance. To find that optimum takes a lot of testing.
So don't feel bad if your lure does not work first time. If it was that easy, everyone would be building lures and the market would collapse.
Posted 19 September 2010 - 04:17 PM
Vodkaman, You are right about adding the type of finish. With my style of luremaking I use a very heavy top coat on the lures. That can be bad and good. I have one body style that I make that will not run right untill I get two coats of finish on the lure. Talk about a leap of faith!
I also thought of another one that may seem small but is very important at times. It is the length or height of the line tie loop. You would be very suprised in how much this can effect the action of the lure. I think this is more inline with what LaPala is referring to in the calculation of the fulcrum point of the lure in the "Z" axis. Through much trial and error I have discovered that line tie location and line tie height are very critical in the "catch ability" of walleye baits. There is a certain pace or wobble tempo that triggers certain fish. The closer you have the line tie to the body of the bait the quicker the tempo or pace of the wobble. The closer the lie tie loop is to the face of the lip the more stable it is at a higher speed. I am honing in on the the right "Mojo" pace for walleyes.
Vodkaman, I take a similiar approach to the design of the baits. I will make around 20 of them and do a similiar process in the evalution of the set. Then I get the heat gun out and drill out and start to modify the lips by bending and the drill by counter weighting.
You got to the point I was hoping to lead this topic to. The "hunting" actions of baits. What I am finding is that there is a fine line to get a bait to work in that manner. You are of the edge of failure to get that action. Certian lures have it. What I am finding is that lures with flatter tails help achieve this action.
With all the factors on the above list there are trade-offs with one area covering for another based on the size of the lure. If you are dealing with musky type of lures the forgiveness is greater if one area is lacking in design. The lure will still swim. As you scale down the ladder in size all of the elements become very defined. I am amazed how some of the guys can create such small lures. I started to scale down in lure sizes to fill that thirst for knowledge. I my suprise I have really enjoyed it. I have a much greater appreciation for the guys like Hazmail with his little designs.
I have more thoughts to add but I am fighting a good head cold and the drips are getting worse. I'll take a break.
Edited by Tigger, 19 September 2010 - 04:18 PM.
Posted 19 September 2010 - 05:01 PM
That is a very valid point Tigger. I have a ready illustration I made for a pencil bait but it applies to cranks as well. Fig01.jpg 39.16KB 81 downloads
Not only is the line tie position important but we should factor in the fact that there is a slight swift in position as well as we work the lure(distance and depth). So for pickier hunting lure we should actually be designing for a "range" of position of the tow eye that still makes the lure work instead of looking at a line tie as one single point.
And don't worry about little cranks Tigger, you make little cranks you catch dinks as I do LOL.
Note: Final design has the lip's leading edge shaved, when they are this tiny every little bit counts. There is no added weight for this lure either; everything is designed to come togather to make it's mojo.
Sorry for the picture sizes, this is what I have handy. Now is battle time to get kids ready for school so didn't have time to resize them.
Posted 19 September 2010 - 10:09 PM
I too have had to start making smaller bodies. I showed the local anglers my 3.25” bodies and they looked at me like I was crazy. The lures in my hand are a tad over 2” and feel like I am doing micro surgery. I cheated and made the bodies fat, so I had something to hold onto. The finished weight of this lure is 11 grams (0.4oz) and take 3 grams of ballast with a single size 6 treble just aft of the thickest point. the 3.25” finished weight is 20 grams (0.7oz).
The three body masters are 3.25”, 2.5” and 2”. I was aiming for a small lure with the 2.5”, but after shaping, it still looked too big, but I finished it anyway and then made the 2”. I will make one more smaller master 1.75” but that is about the limit on the duplicator, as the 6mm dia rod takes up half the body. I will add larger bodies later, 4”, 5” and 6”, also I am thinking of making the 3.25” body fatter and deeper, now that I have made the 2” shape and like it, maybe with the thickest part a little further aft. As you can see, I still haven’t settled on a shape, like the missus getting dressed for a night out, can’t make my mind up.
The bag of 3.25” bodies are for the lure that I am currently going through the prototyping process with. I have cut 6 of the 2” bodies and assembled two of them, to get a feel for how they will swim. The 2.5” body has not been cut yet.
Posted 20 September 2010 - 07:47 AM
I think that everyone would agree they are many factors that will make a lure wobble, but not all variables have the same degree of influence on the action of a crankbait.
To some of my crankbaits I have installed 2 tow points, which I made out of a single twisted wire. The 2 tow points are on top of each other, so they are about 3 mm apart (and the lip is under the tow points). The 2 tow points have a totally different action. The one at the top gives the lure a tight wobble, while the other makes the crankbait run with a large, sometimes almost uncontrollable action. What would be the difference here? It is the difference between the tow point and the lip, and that's a most critical factor. Actually, I think in terms of levers to try to explain explain to myself the lure's action, and the most important lever in a crankbait is the lever between the tow point and the lip, and this is also the factor which will trigger the wobble in a crankbait. The same lever exists when the tow point is situated on the lip. In this case, the lever is formed by the tow point and the part of the lip which is in front of the tow point. But the part of the lure which is behind the tow point is also important (shape, weight, buoyancy, etc) So this is a variable which can be easily tested.
Another critical variable is the lip shape and angle. I test several lip shapes and angles for almost all the crankbaits I make, so I have a little experience in this respect. What I have found out is that lip shape has little effect on the action, whether it is round, square, or coffin, provided they have about the same surface, but the action could change a lot if I put in an unusual shape of lip, such as a half moon (about) lip. Also, I have found out that lip shape affects the action more or less, depending on the lure shape. The angle of the lip is also important. I can change the angle of the lip by using bent lips. Sometimes I can save a crankbait which doesn't want to wobble, or doesn't wobble the way I would like to, by just using a bent lip. Surely, this will make the crankbait run higher up in the water column, but shallow runners are also a "must have" for fishermen (and I do not find too many deep waters around my house...
So once you have tested a "system" (well said, LaPala) that works for you, next step is to make another system that could also work well.
Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:29 AM
CAN I SAY PAINT JOB YET? ITS BEEN 2 DAYS!
GOOD ONE JOHN.. that cracked me up!
I vote for vibration in the rod.. just my opinion. But I like to feel my bait hit stuff and good vibs help you feel it
when you fish. All of the stuff everyone is posting makes alot of sense. But in general I think just keeping it simple
is the best.
BAIT SHAKE 101 JUST A TIP FOR NEW GUYS THAT ARE JUST STARTING.. THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE LEARNED BY MAKING BAITS..
CLOSER YOUR EYE TIE IS TOWARDS THE NOSE OF THE BAIT THE BIGGER THE WOBBLE
FARTHER AWAY FROM THE NOSE OF THE BAIT ...LESS WOBBLE or TIGHTER ACTION...
TOO CLOSE sometimes will cause a BLOW OUT... TO FAR will cause NO ACTION... FINDING THE SWEET SPOT!!! TRIAL AND ERROR.
The Lip angle effects this too... so take that into consideration.....
To me make the bait work is the most enjoyable part of the design process.. trying to get it too swim.. once you do it..
it's kinda no fun anymore...and you want to move on to a new design. Just my A.D.D personality I guess.
ALL BAITS CATCH FISH... YOU JUST CATCH THE MOST FISH ON THE ONES YOU USE THE MOST!
AND WITH A PURDY PAINT JOB YOUR GOING USE IT LONGER ALOT LONGER.. SO BITE ME TIGGER (just kidding!) ... ITS THE PAINT JOB THATS MOST
Edited by The_Rookie, 20 September 2010 - 10:31 AM.
Posted 20 September 2010 - 12:27 PM
I guess I have A.D.D. then.
Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:01 PM
Man some great stuff!
Lapala is that a Snakehead? I have had Redline Snakeheads in the past in my aquariums. I had one get to 5 pounds. It was in a 200 gallon fish tank in my basement. I would feed it 8 to 10" goldfish.
Rofish....... interesting stuff. I had played around with double line ties before. I ran two wires back as seperate loops into the chest cavity. I did like the results. I could never make up my mind if the unused loop was effecting the action of the bait. Bending lips...... this in my newest project at the moment. I have been playing around with a an upcurl, concave cup and and a "V" inversion. To my suprise the there is little difference in the actions with the 4 to 6 inch baits that I have been playing with. I think it may become more of a factor with the even smaller sizes. I know I am going against the grain with the line tie / tighter wobble moved closer to the body. For some odd reason I am getting a crossover effect once I pass the maximum widest wobble going to the body. I can still get it to dive deep and get stability as the whopping 1.5 to 2.3 mph speeds. I have not had good results moving the line tie forward to the front of the lip. It fights against the deeper running depths I was looking for. I need to play around with it some more this winter.
Vodkaman..... how do you shape your baits? I am just curious. I don't want any trade secrets or anything. Routers , CNC , or hand shaping? It is easy for me to make the resin ones fast but I can't imagine wood ones.
Matt what am I going to do with you! I wish we all had your personality including myself. The world would be a better place! What were we talking about? I have that A.D.D. thing also. Oh crap I forgot the stuff on the grill!
Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:57 PM
I use a home made duplicator machine. It uses a 4.5" diameter 40 teeth circular saw as the cutter.
The result is rough and needs cleaning up, but cutting and cleaning is about 5 minutes a blank.
Their is a post (rocking beam duplicator) but the pics are lost, so I have attached one here.
Posted 20 September 2010 - 11:17 PM
I hope this is in line with the general discussion as it's something I've been wondering about since reading this post. If your trying to make a slow sinking lure what would be the difference between using a lighter wood with heavier ballast and a denser wood with lighter ballast? Would the lighter wood have more action versus the denser wood even though they were weighted to sink at the same rate? Or would the ballast cancel out the differences in the wood density? For the purpose of this question let's say all other physical properties are the same. (size, shape, etc.)
Edited by RayburnGuy, 20 September 2010 - 11:18 PM.
Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:01 AM
The lighter wood would display more action Providing that all the ballast is positioned at the centre or CoG or fulcrum.
It is all to do with inertia. Wiki -
The heavier the object, the more inertia it has.
Example - a polystyrene car is almost infinitely easier to start to push than a Volvo, even though they are the same size. This is inertia in operation.
Once they are moving, they are both fairly easy to keep moving, in fact, it is only the wheel friction that makes the Volvo slightly harder to keep moving.
The body once moving has no inertia.
On the fishing lure, The dense wood has more mass at the nose and tail and will demonstrate more inertia or resistance to changes of direction.
Example - take a length of dowel. Attach an ounce of lead to each end. Hold the dowel at the centre and twist your wrist back and forth fast.
You will feel the inertia each time you change direction.
Now move the lead to the centre of the dowel and repeat the experiment. Much easier to change direction, even though the dowel/lead assembly
weighs the same.
Grouping the lead at the centre will maximize the action. If you want a more subtle action, you could split the ballast into two parts,
mount it some distance fore and aft of the centre. The CoG or fulcrum will still be in the same place, but you have increased the inertia.
Posted 21 September 2010 - 07:38 AM
Thanks Dave. I had a feeling there had to be a difference, but wasn't sure of the reason behind it.
And thanks again for explaining it so this old country boy could understand it. I'm beginning to
understand just how many variables there actually are when it comes to designing and building
a "simple" lure to catch fish with. It's enough to boggle the mind.