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DeltaMan

Your Desires

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Whether it looks realistic or outrageous, swimbaits catch fish often. When making and designing your own baits what would be a dream bait for you personally?

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Maybe i should clarify... Do you look for ingenuity? as in how the hooks are hidden or does it matter to you if the hooks are hanging? Does action play the biggest factor for you? or does paint job seal the deal? Does fin detail matter? does an open mouth make a difference? what combination of these different factors would you like to see?

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Maybe i should clarify... Do you look for ingenuity? as in how the hooks are hidden or does it matter to you if the hooks are hanging? Does action play the biggest factor for you? or does paint job seal the deal? Does fin detail matter? does an open mouth make a difference? what combination of these different factors would you like to see?

I thought that your discussion idea was a good one and thought the thread would have got going by now.

If I built my dream bait, it would probably look like one of Mr. Hopkins’ creations. We have to have a standard to aspire to and JR has kindly set the bar for us.

For me, it is all about the action. A nice undulating ‘S’ motion with zero roll. BUT, as jointed swimbaits are the most complex of all lures to build, with all the hinges, wires and associated sealing problems, usually taking many hours to build, it would be a shame not to complete the job with suitable livery. Hiding the hooks has never been something that I considered necessary.

Some builders add a lip to the front of the hinged lure, carving an open mouth would have a similar effect. There is nothing wrong with this practice, but as it is possible to get this type of lure to swim without a lip, it just seems wrong to spoil the lines of the most realistic looking lures with a plate sticking out of the front. The next problem with the lip or carved mouth, is the speed of the swim cycle or period, it is generally too fast for the jointed body, resulting in a rather stunted, head shaking motion rather than a smooth, wide ‘S’ motion. But the fish don’t seem to mind, they are quite happy to attack both versions. The lipless swimmer does take a lot more effort in testing and skill to get it to swim, but this just adds to the value and the appreciation of the final masterpiece. The subject of the discussion is ‘ideals’ and these are mine.

Dave

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once a swimbait catches my eye, i then look to the action of it. theres a few different types of swimming actions to swimbaits, what i look at is the swimming motion of it. some have wide side to side s motions and some have tighter s swimming motions. fish dont normally swim with their head rocking wide side to side, so thats when i throw out my interest in that bait. you can have a slow swimming motion without the wide head turns. the wide side to side works for some top water roll and pause retrieves, but thats about it. tail should kick more than the head, which is why adding a bill is usually the wrong way to go.

after the bait swims the way i like it, i then look at the hardware. hardware needs to be unquestioned and top shelf everything.

too many baits looking the same these days so creativity and ingenuity plays an important role.

paint usually doesnt matter at all to me. factory baits are always too clean. flaws are what make it real.

realism is what i am all about. simple as that.

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For me it is making something fish have not seen. That could mean color, action, size or retrieve speed. A classic example for me is the waters here in georgia for me. Most people fish the same commercially available baits of similar size color and action. What sets people apart down here is the ability to present a bait that has not been used in areas not readily fished (IE bank beating). Most of the water i fish is fairly heavily pressured so i throw swimbaits b/c i have 100% confidence that 99% of the people are not fishing them and they imitate prey more than any other bait out there. Plus they are versitile. I can fish them from top to bottom in the water column with any number of retrieves.

One thing i do not want to see is "small" swim baits say 3-4 inches. This is not a swim bait and it is for those that do not understand what swim bait fishing really is.

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I think for a swimbait (a true swimbait - which I consider to be a bait that is consistent with the natural form of the forage species and produces a natural swimming motion without a lip) my goal is to replicate the natural motion of a fish, while being as close aesthetically correct as possible. I view swimbaiting as more of a finesse technique than anything else. If fish are on a reaction bite then there are plenty of options that are betters suited to cover water, and produce a reaction bite than a swimbait IMO. Having a bait capable of doing all sorts of crazy moves, or move at blazing speeds is really not that appealing to me as I have literally a boatload of other baits that are better suited to fill that need. However when I go through my books at the end of the year the trend that sticks out is that the majority of my big fish and pressured water fish fall for a bait that presents a nice consistent retrieve. Big fish (usually) are not reaction biters and are often used to seeing the "typical" presentations where I fish.....that is where swim baits come in to play for me; and creating something that will fill that void is what drives my designs.

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I am very thankful that you all replied to my inquiring mind. Action seems very important to all of you. I do agree about the inconviences of a bill on the head, I don't like them either. Action and aesthetics. These are things that i will focus on with my upcoming baits. You have all confirmed my suspicions and i am very greatful that i am not the only one who feels this way. :)

Deltaman ;)

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Good question.

If you asked me last year, I would have given you a different opinion.

I fished swimbaits pretty heavily this year, of all sizes, exclusively in Minnesota (and a few Canada) lakes.

Last year I would have said my dream swimbait would have a wide S curve with no wobble, no lip, an extremely artistic and realistic finish including side fins.

Pitching various swimbaits of all sizes this year, I'd say:

I prefer my swimbaits to be unfinished (or have an unrealistic finish), whacky S curve action with at least 15 degrees of roll to either side, and a lip added to give a wider, faster wobble is fine. This seems to be good for getting the bass and pike going.

My only musky raised on a swimbait this year was on a big flat-sided very unrealistic looking lipped swimbait. This thing only has good action at high speeds. It's also painted terribly with vertical yellow/orange stripes.

That said, I would still kill for a super-realistic bullhead swimbait.

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@ mainbutter- You feel that the more unrealistic/ something the fish are more curious about reason for them striking the lure sort of thing? And my next question would be if you noticed a difference between the number of fish you caught on a realistic lure as compared to an unrealistic one?

to all reading -In your own opinion do you feel that scales are necessary?

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I guess I just want my baits to catch fish.. if they do that I could careless about the other stuff.

If you want your bait to swim like live bait... WELL GET OUT YOUR CASTING NET and USE LIVE BAIT! or buy one of my lures :D Sorry I couldn't resist!

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to all reading -In your own opinion do you feel that scales are necessary?

scales no, fins no, eyes yes. I think you should roughly imitate the 'hatch' or local food. If the food has a 'kill spot' or stripes, then these features should be added to the lure.

In the great debate of paint vs action, I tend towards action, but the debates have convinced me that when using finesse techniques in clear cold water, then details like color, shape, fins etc could be important. I believe the predators main tool for hunting is its lateral line, but not necessarily its only tool.

Dave

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@dave- if you could get the action along with the added realism what would be so bad about that? I also wonder if you have ever seen the 316 Lure company lures... it seems to me like you'd like em ;)

@ Tater- HAHAHAHA nice :)

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@dave- if you could get the action along with the added realism what would be so bad about that? I also wonder if you have ever seen the 316 Lure company lures... it seems to me like you'd like em ;)

I agree, certainly would not be a bad thing. I have seen pictures of 316 lures, but do not own any. In fact, I have never owned a crank or swimbait. I borrowed a few when I started out, just to see what I was dealing with. I mostly used spinner/metal lures in the past and they look nothing like fish, but are still effective.

Dave

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i started making my baits about 6 years ago after buying a " swimbait" made by a well known company ( Strike King ) and was not real impressed with either the action or the finish. i thought. " i can do better than that!". so i started fooling around with carving, painting, materials, etc. to get to the point i am today with my baits.

i also do not like lips and i wanted something that would have a more natural swimming motion so i started expiermenting with muliple jointed baits.

i would have to vote for action over finish details as i have caught fish on baits that were not finished when i was out testing them. but as long as i have to paint it anyway i try to get them as natural looking as i can.

i think that any bait will catch fish under certain circumstances.have caught a bunch of fish with spinnerbaits which look nothing like something a fish would eat ( reaction strike? )i think it comes down to confidence in the bait you are using that will make you stay with it rather than switching to something else that might work better.

Dave, thanks for the accolades, always nice to know your work is appreciated :D

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if youre making a swimbait and trying to match the hatch, then match the hatch. its that simple.

add fins, add gills, add scales, add every detail of the fish you are trying to imitate. thats the point of a swimbait, to look like the real thing.

you will have to work at getting the right swimming motion after all the detail is added, and it may be harder, but it can be done.

and maybe adding all the details wont catch you anymore fish, but it will give you more confidence. confidence matters in fishing.

so, i say when it comes to swimbaits, make it look like the real thing in every feasible way.

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Good question.

If you asked me last year, I would have given you a different opinion.

I fished swimbaits pretty heavily this year, of all sizes, exclusively in Minnesota (and a few Canada) lakes.

Last year I would have said my dream swimbait would have a wide S curve with no wobble, no lip, an extremely artistic and realistic finish including side fins.

Pitching various swimbaits of all sizes this year, I'd say:

I prefer my swimbaits to be unfinished (or have an unrealistic finish), whacky S curve action with at least 15 degrees of roll to either side, and a lip added to give a wider, faster wobble is fine. This seems to be good for getting the bass and pike going.

My only musky raised on a swimbait this year was on a big flat-sided very unrealistic looking lipped swimbait. This thing only has good action at high speeds. It's also painted terribly with vertical yellow/orange stripes.

That said, I would still kill for a super-realistic bullhead swimbait.

this sounds like an exception to the rule and may not be something to overly take into consideration... but do some nonetheless...

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I think thirtyacre86 makes a good point.

There is an old saying,"Action catches the fish, paint jobs catch the fishermen".

While I have caught fish on both painted, primed, and totally unfinished, raw PVC baits, fishing one with what I think is a realistic paint scheme does give me the confidence to fish it longer, and slower, which is the key to swimbait fishing.

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Thank you all so much for your response :) i will attempt to implicate all of these nuances into my current bait.

OH one more question... how many sections do you find necessary?

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