shaners

Why Do You Make Your Own Crankbaits?

25 posts in this topic

I have thought about trying to make my own crankbaits but would like to hear your ideas on some questions I have.

What got you started in the hobby/business of making your own baits? Is it because there was no commercial baits that would perform as you wanted? Because of the cost of baits? Just as a hobby?

If I started making baits I would want to make baits that are different than whats currently available. Is it possible?

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I was working a contract in Sweden and lived in digs on the edge of the river. I bought some gear and started fishing spinners for trout and perch. In my most productive spot their was an obstacle under the water that was collecting my lures at an alarming rate, I guess that is why it was so productive.

I decided to start making my own spinners, not because of the expense, which was considerable in Sweden, but because the trip to the tackle shop by public transport was several hours and I could only make the trip on Saturdays. Being an engineer, I tried to do something a bit different and get the spinner to swim higher up the water column. I had moderate success, considering I did not have a clue.

Someone in the office introduced me to TU and I started experimenting with wooden lures. The neighbors were complaining about the panel beating anyway. Winter was coming and the temperature was starting to plummet, so lure building became my salvation from cabin fever for the winter. It was handy having the docks only 30 yards from my door. Security was not impressed when I tested new designs at 3am with a torch strapped to my head.

Dave

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I was working a contract in Sweden and lived in digs on the edge of the river. I bought some gear and started fishing spinners for trout and perch. In my most productive spot their was an obstacle under the water that was collecting my lures at an alarming rate, I guess that is why it was so productive.

I decided to start making my own spinners, not because of the expense, which was considerable in Sweden, but because the trip to the tackle shop by public transport was several hours and I could only make the trip on Saturdays. Being an engineer, I tried to do something a bit different and get the spinner to swim higher up the water column. I had moderate success, considering I did not have a clue.

Someone in the office introduced me to TU and I started experimenting with wooden lures. The neighbors were complaining about the panel beating anyway. Winter was coming and the temperature was starting to plummet, so lure building became my salvation from cabin fever for the winter. It was handy having the docks only 30 yards from my door. Security was not impressed when I tested new designs at 3am with a torch strapped to my head.

Dave

Dave, do you believe your baits perform in a way no other does?

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I've always loved fishing crankbaits. Tried commercial wood baits and liked how they worked but they had poor durability. Frustrating to catch fish and have your bait fall apart after only one day! And they were expensive. I began building crankbaits to get baits that perform better and last longer. The durability part was not difficult. The performance part is the challenge. After building/testing/fishing many crankbaits, you begin to understand how they work and you become a better crankbait fisherman, too. And you come to understand that it's impossible to know everything about them so there will always be something new to learn.

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Since August 1992 I'm working in a shift system , .......not much leisure time for bigger things during the week , .......luremaking just came in handy as a useful leisure time occupation and I've stayed with it .

Also it enables someone to have better lures than the commercially available ones , match them to the particular fishing demands and often have the ability to present offerings , that the fish had never seen before !

greetz , diemai :yay:

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I owed this bookie in vegas a bunch of money and currently have a hit out on my head. If anyone would like to donate and save my life please pm me your email address and I will send you Jimmy's paypal account. JIMMY what's the current pay off amount? " well the boss man said, minus last weeks payment plus 32 percent interest your looking at $162,329.91 cents Tater." Well at that rate all I have to do is sell 10822 crankbaits at 15 bucks per lure this week. If Im lucky maybe I will get 17 at auction and pay off the interest....or 3246 hoochiemomma's at 50 bucks. I would like to use this momment for a cheap plug and say.... "Make Dad's Christmas Special this year and get him what he really wants!!!! A HOOCHIEMOMMA! Your bringing him smiles, joy and saving a life. ARE YOU FISHIN IN HD YET?" What, Did you really expect me to be serious?..... Ok, but only this one time.

"when you find passion in life you find peace and happiness with yourself or at least I did. So their are many reason why? But the top 3 are this.. I LOVE TO MAKE LURES.. if I never recieved another dime for them I would still make them! It is very special to think that something I made might give someone else, who I dont even know a memory or momment in their life that will last after im long gone...in a way Im catching fish all over the world that I will never get to see or reel in. That's kinda neat and pisses me off.. when you really think about it. The smiles on my customer's faces and the stories they tell me keep me going even in this crapy economy. Cause memories in life is really the only clear coat that last forever. OH YEAH THE THIRD THING..almost forgot..

ALL THE WOMEN that stop by the shop to have their picture taking with famous redneck lures artist's is a nice perk too! Im sure all of you understand that demand.

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You absolutely can make a lure that will perform differently from those available on the commercial market. I have never found a commercial bait the will run like a "home-made" cedar flatside for example.

You will have the flexability to custom build, custom paint and custom weight the lures to your liking. Not just modifying something out-of-the-box.

Biggest reason: The gratification of catching fish on something you made. There is nothing better than spanking a competitive field of tournament anglers and getting a check with a lure you made. :D

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All commercial lures are made to an absolute price point. In other words, no matter how durable or even how productive a lure can be, it is subject to compromise to meet a pre-determined market-viable price.

Now imagine how great your lures could be if your bottom line was to just build as good a lure as you could possibly build, with its durability and effectiveness not compromised by having to meet a particular price point?

Welcome to the world of custom lures!

I'm NOT saying that time and money are not considerations to custom tackle makers. What I am saying, is that our priorities are self determined. And that means everything to me, and a lot of other custom builders, whether you are talking cars, guitars, or fishing equipment!

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What Lure-Prof says is true and I would add that commercial baits are usually design calibrated to a performance standard that will maximize the number of crankbaits that perform "good enough". Big manufacturers don't want to disappoint customers. They know a crankbait with great performance will be on the edge of the performance envelope. And manufacturing at that edge invariably means some of your product will cross the fine line from "great" into the "just a bit too far, dammit!" category. Over the line means untunable, will not run, will get bad press, and will be rejected by fishermen. Not a good outcome if you sell millions of crankbaits every year.

On the other hand, if you build for yourself, you can ignore the commercial implications and try to build every bait to your particular performance standard. Over the edge? Fix it, or give it to that brother-in-law you don't like, or throw it away. You learned something and the next bait you build will perform better. You will end up with some outstanding baits in relatively short order. Company sponsored pros are delivered a hundred crankbaits to test in their swimming pool to get the 10 which perform the best. Build your own and get crankbaits that are as good or better.

Edited by BobP

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I'm getting too old, I had a thought but then I forgot

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: !

greetz , diemai :yay:

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Thanks for all of the information guys. I believe you've talked me into it. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. I guess now I will have to decide what materials and such to use.

I fish primarily for smallmouth so rocks are the main cover I will be fishing. Would one style of bait be preferable to another?

I will say at this point I am leaning towards a pvc material so I could test with out the worry of waterproofing. Plus I figure a white bait will work with out paint.

The only cranks I have had much luck on are DT's but really don't know if it's because of the tight action or the depth I was fishing. From reading here I understand a shallow crank would be the best place to start, any suggestions?

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I will say at this point I am leaning towards a pvc material so I could test with out the worry of waterproofing. Plus I figure a white bait will work with out paint.

The only cranks I have had much luck on are DT's but really don't know if it's because of the tight action or the depth I was fishing. From reading here I understand a shallow crank would be the best place to start, any suggestions?

Yes, shallow cranks are fairly easy to get working. But you should build what you are going to use. If you only use deep cranks, then a shallow runner is not going to help you. I only do shallow cranks at the moment, but other members do a lot of deep cranks, so help is at hand.

Dave

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Thanks for all of the information guys. I believe you've talked me into it. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. I guess now I will have to decide what materials and such to use.

I fish primarily for smallmouth so rocks are the main cover I will be fishing. Would one style of bait be preferable to another?

I will say at this point I am leaning towards a pvc material so I could test with out the worry of waterproofing. Plus I figure a white bait will work with out paint.

The only cranks I have had much luck on are DT's but really don't know if it's because of the tight action or the depth I was fishing. From reading here I understand a shallow crank would be the best place to start, any suggestions?

Dont over think it shaners.... Just make the sucker and go fish it. Trial and error is the best way to learn.

And if you screw up!!!! Give it to Bob's Brother in LAW :nono:

Edited by The_Rookie
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Based on what I like to fish, I'd build a 2-2/14" flat sided bait with a circuit board lip. That's the optimum style bait for fishing shallow rocky cover. Added benefits: circuit board lips and flat sided bodies are the easiest to shape accurately.

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Based on what I like to fish, I'd build a 2-2/14" flat sided bait with a circuit board lip. That's the optimum style bait for fishing shallow rocky cover. Added benefits: circuit board lips and flat sided bodies are the easiest to shape accurately.

I picked up a piece of pvc 1X4X8 today so I will have to work on a design. The board I bought is 3/4 thick and has a glossy finish all of the way around, so I sand all sides and it all came off easy. ( wasn't sure if it was a skin that had to be cut off) I cut a 1" strip off of the board and sat it in water to see the buoncy of it. The piece floated with about half out of the water.

I said all of that to ask this, Does this sound like the correct material to make cranks out of?

BobP, That sounds like a good idea. Now I will have to find some circuit board and other hardware that I will need. Do you make your own hardware or do you buy screw eyes?

I believe I read that superglue works best for glueing pvc together, but what do you use to glue in the lips and and screw eyes?

Thanks for all of the help.

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I do not attach my line ties to my crank lips, so I don't need the same strength for attaching them.

If I did, I'd use D2T.

For my lures, I use gap filling crazy glue to attach my lips, and to coat my screweyes before I run them in for the final time. There is an accelerant in a spray bottle I bought that sets up the glue fast once the bill is positioned correctly.

Edited by mark poulson

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You can get yellow 1/32" (.031") G10 circuit board (aka Garolite) from mcmaster.com. They also carry a green G11 circuit board for a little more money. McMaster-Carr also sells polycarbonate (aka Lexan) and various types of wire at decent prices. Many guys go with store bought screw eyes and I'm sure they'll hold fine in PVC. Personally, I prefer to hand twist screw eyes from .040" soft temper stainless steel wire that I also get from McMaster. It's called "Safety Wire" and comes in a 1/4 lb spool for $6-8. Lots easier to work than hard temper stainless and it's plenty strong enough for bass crankbaits. Hard temper stainless in .031 diameter also works. If you'd rather not "roll your own" lips and hardware, you can buy both from Jann's Netcraft or other online sources.

I don't build from PVC so don't know about PVC-specific glues. I often use Devcon Two Ton 30 minute epoxy to glue in hardware/lips and as a clearcoat on the bait when I finish painting it. There are many options on clearcoats (probably the most discussed topic here on TU) . Use the search feature at the top of the page to explore hundreds of threads about them.

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I haven't built any lures from PVC, but the floating half sub merged tells me that the specific gravity is probably in the range of .50 specific gravity which is probably a little on the heavy side of the woods used for making lures. It's always good to try it out and see how it actually works. Musky Glenn

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My favorite crankbait was no longer available, so I began the task of reproducing them. Without this site I never ever would have "got 'er done" . Thanks to everyone who helped me.

Edited by Stickman Baits

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I haven't built any lures from PVC, but the floating half sub merged tells me that the specific gravity is probably in the range of .50 specific gravity which is probably a little on the heavy side of the woods used for making lures. It's always good to try it out and see how it actually works. Musky Glenn

MG,

The PVC decking I use has the same buoyancy as poplar. It is a mixture of PVC and cellulose fibers. It works for 2" poppers, and med sized cranks, but I haven't tried it for small, shallow square bill cranks because I don't think it's light enough for that.

The Sintra sign board, which is an expanded PVC with no cellulose, sounds like it would work fine for those small cranks, but I'm still looking for a local supplier.

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I enjoy making baits, but there is a certain amount of confidence you can convey if you start catching fish on your own hand made baits. At that point its no longer fun, its much much better!!

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All the reasons stated so far apply to me, however; the most compelling reason for me was to duplicate old lures from the 1930's 40's and 50's that my father left me when he passed away. Special gratification when I catch a bass on my own rendition of a paw paw minnow,river runt, or various other old lures my father used when he was a kid. I am sure my father's spirit is proud. :D

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