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Wire In Crankbait Lips

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#1 Whitedog



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Posted 12 January 2011 - 11:16 PM

I'm a long time lurker and occasional bait maker but with the cold weather I'm trying to make a few again.

I have always used the wire form from Stamina with a preformed loop on one end to create the form for my lures, some I through wire and others just use hangers. I spend more time trying to get the wire through the lips so it is flat to the bottom side of the lip and the eye is aligned correctly than any other single step. I know there has to be a better wire and way so I am looking for any help someone might give.

I have used the search function and also looked on the gallery and have seen a couple of different ways. One is the way I do it which is to have both ends of the wire loop going through the same hole in the lip then back into the bait. The other which looks easier but less secure is to drill two holes in the lip and put the ends through the holes then bend the front wire back underneath the lip while only one wire goes back into the bait. I have trouble getting the eye straight and keeping the wires snugged to the bottom side of the lip with my current method so I need suggestions. I believe part of my problem is the stiffness and difficulty I have working with the wire I am using now and I plan to change to different wire.

Sorry for the long post but I would like to hear how some of you handle getting the wire into the lip, aligned and glued.

#2 diemai


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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:56 AM

@ Whitedog

Probably you're using the wrong wire and wrong tools ?

I use 1,0 mm stainless welding wire and a pair of slender pliers to bend all eyes around a nail vertically clamped into a vise .

Some very fine small and slender mechanics plies do the job of the sharp backward wire kink unterneath the lip to lead the wire back into the lure .

To shape the wire form start out drilling two matching holes through the lip , your wire should fit in snugly .

Now make a U-bend into yout wire and pass both shanks through the bores in the lip , the shorter shank towards the lure , the longer shank towards the tip of lip .

Now push that U-bend into the lip as far as possible , grab the shorter shank with the tips of the smaller pliers underneath the lip(the pliers should sit snug against bottom side of lip)and kink the wire sharply towards the base of the bib .

To get the wire real snug against the bottom of the lip twist the pliers a bit towards the eye direction , this will make your kink sharper and the 90° angle more pronounced .

Now do the same with the second shank , keep the rearward kink a bit more distant from the eye than the first one , so that the second wire shank would come to sit flush upon the one bent backward at first .

Now push the wire form upward again , the tow eye should now protrude sufficiently over the face of the lip , ....best is a bit more than a half circle shape .

Now shape the rest of the wire form as shown , step-by-step ,........ constantly checking the fit inbetween bending steps .

I use a permanent felt marker to mark the required locations of eyes and kinks on the wire , so I can bend around the clambed nail at proper location .

Use sidecutters to cut off excess wire , ..........after the complete wire form and lip is glued in with epoxy glue , one can also glue in lead sheet ballast into the belly slot of the blank at this stage , .......after the glue has sufficiently cured(about 24 hrs.) , I work back the excess glue flush to body level with my "Dremel" , files and sandpaper .

good luck , diemai :yay:

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#3 BobP


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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:07 AM

Dog, take a look at the "Balsa" thread below for some discussion about wire. I have trouble hand shaping hard temper stainless wire accurately when it's larger than .032" diameter. Using soft temper stainless .041" dia "safety lock wire" solved the problem for me. As to the best way to wire a lip, there are several schools of thought. I form soft temper wire into a long twisted 'eye screw', then put a 90 degree bend under the eye and insert it through a hole in the lip. Then just glue it into the nose of the bait under the lip. Or you can cut a small slot in the rear of the lip and bend the wire up over the lip and crimp it onto lip's top surface, if you want it even more secure. It makes for a neat installation and works for me even on large lips for deep divers. Other guys prefer the "2 hole" method with 2 runners back to the bait. I've seen some deep divers with one hole and a single strand of hard stainless large diameter wire that is bent backward as the line tie. Whatever works best for you.
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#4 Whitedog



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Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:33 PM

Thanks guys. I'll try both and see. I got some brass wire this morning from a friend and will try with that. I'll agree that the hard tempered wire is hard to work with. I have the holes in my fingers as evidence. I have a couple of lures waiting for lips so maybe I'll get to try in the next day or so.