Vodkaman

Swimbait V-joint Experiment

50 posts in this topic

I plan to build a number of swimbait experiments, to validate or disprove ideas, opinions and myths.

Future experiments:

Compare light wood with medium density wood.

First section ballast location, front or rear.

Pin eye hinge compared to double pin hinge.

This first experiment compares forward facing V-joints to rear facing V-joints. The two types of joint built into two near identical lures.

The lures are built from Albesia wood, which has a light density of 0.24gm/cm³. The ballast is positioned directly under the centre of buoyancy position of the wood, so about 2/3rds back from the nose, in the first section. The second and third sections are ballasted centrally. Lure No1 has a very small ballast weight added to the rear section, but I omitted this in lure No2 as I considered it insignificant. Both lures are fitted with 2mm polycarbonate tails.

This particular experiment came about by accident, as I had already built the forward facing V-joint lure. JR reminded me that rear facing V-joints have a better action. This old discussion had slipped my mind, so I decided to build a comparison. Here is the video of the result:

I was quite happy with the action of the first lure (forward facing V-joint). The lure was stable, the action kicked in at a low speed, was of reasonable amplitude and responded well to the jerk.

The second lure (rear facing V-joint) blew the first lure out of the tank. It was stronger in every aspect. That is the last forward facing V-joint that I will ever build.

On the final run, were I submerged the 2nd lure, a significant amount of roll is evident. The forward/aft ballast experiment should solve the enigma of roll and head movement, or not. We shall have to wait and see.

Hope that you enjoyed the video.

Dave

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Good stuff Dave, and I do appreciate your time spent, bring them on.

Pete

Edited by hazmail

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Dave,

Nice work as usual. Very interesting to see the difference. I assumed that the second would be much better, it certainly seemed better to me, but the action of the first still looked ok. Have you given any thought about the increased turbulence the forward facing would give over the reverse if any and whether this may act as an attractant? I dont know myself, however, I remember talking to a local lure maker who tried to ensure his lures created alot of turbulence through the water. He achieved this with the lure finish, however, may be merit in it.

I assume that was an Aussie soundtrack, good work.

Angus

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Dave,

Nice work as usual. Very interesting to see the difference. I assumed that the second would be much better, it certainly seemed better to me, but the action of the first still looked ok. Have you given any thought about the increased turbulence the forward facing would give over the reverse if any and whether this may act as an attractant? I dont know myself, however, I remember talking to a local lure maker who tried to ensure his lures created alot of turbulence through the water. He achieved this with the lure finish, however, may be merit in it.

I assume that was an Aussie soundtrack, good work.

Angus

Thanks Angus and Pete.

Yes, I was happy with the first, but the difference was huge. If anything, the action is now too much, but the correct size hooks and an epoxy top coat should tamp it down a tad. It was designed for bigger hooks than I have in my box, so it is a bit buoyant. I erred on the light side with the ballast, I should have trusted my calculations.

Only those who use these baits regularly could comment on the fish catching merits of these joints. Personally, I don't use these baits, as they are bigger than the fish in my area. I build them because they fascinate me and a local friend of mine fishes for GT and wants to try one out.

Other comparison tests that I want to try out are: round head and flat head (these are flat). High, low and centre tow eyes (these are low). I am open to suggestions for other test ideas.

I met the digeridoo musician, Adam Plack, when I was buying a didge on Swanston St, Melbourne. He was hired by the shop to demonstrate and help customers. He gave me two hours of his time, teaching me techniques, history, how it is made etc. Fascinating guy and I bought a couple of his CD's too, on top of the freebee he threw in.

Dave

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Dave; first up, nice video.

While watching it I thought to myself the tank is wide enough to run both baits at the same time. Attach them about 18" apart on the rod and pull them through the tank. This will allow a complete visual comparison instead of a memory comparison.

What do you think?

Nil

www.novalures.com

Edited by nova

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Dave; first up, nice video.

While watching it I thought to myself the tank is wide enough to run both baits at the same time. Attach them about 18" apart on the rod and pull them through the tank. This will allow a complete visual comparison instead of a memory comparison.

What do you think?

Nil

It did briefly cross my mind, I should have tried that. Will do on the next vid. Besides, I have to justify the size of the tank somehow, seeing as local statutes prohibit public bathing.

Thanks Nil

Dave

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nice video, i envy your tank haha. i need to make something like this. its interesting to see the comparison, i make all my swimbaits with forward facing joints and have never really given much thought to reversing them.

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For a swimbait newb, could you post a pic or graphic showing the difference between forward and rear facing V-joints? It's good to see you posting this; I was reading an old thread last night that sparked my interest on this very facet. Would one or another design swim better at full burn, slow retrieve notwithstanding?

I plan to build a number of swimbait experiments, to validate or disprove ideas, opinions and myths.

Future experiments:

Compare light wood with medium density wood.

First section ballast location, front or rear.

Pin eye hinge compared to double pin hinge.

This first experiment compares forward facing V-joints to rear facing V-joints. The two types of joint built into two near identical lures.

The lures are built from Albesia wood, which has a light density of 0.24gm/cm³. The ballast is positioned directly under the centre of buoyancy position of the wood, so about 2/3rds back from the nose, in the first section. The second and third sections are ballasted centrally. Lure No1 has a very small ballast weight added to the rear section, but I omitted this in lure No2 as I considered it insignificant. Both lures are fitted with 2mm polycarbonate tails.

This particular experiment came about by accident, as I had already built the forward facing V-joint lure. JR reminded me that rear facing V-joints have a better action. This old discussion had slipped my mind, so I decided to build a comparison. Here is the video of the result:

I was quite happy with the action of the first lure (forward facing V-joint). The lure was stable, the action kicked in at a low speed, was of reasonable amplitude and responded well to the jerk.

The second lure (rear facing V-joint) blew the first lure out of the tank. It was stronger in every aspect. That is the last forward facing V-joint that I will ever build.

On the final run, were I submerged the 2nd lure, a significant amount of roll is evident. The forward/aft ballast experiment should solve the enigma of roll and head movement, or not. We shall have to wait and see.

Hope that you enjoyed the video.

Dave

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For a swimbait newb, could you post a pic or graphic showing the difference between forward and rear facing V-joints? It's good to see you posting this; I was reading an old thread last night that sparked my interest on this very facet. Would one or another design swim better at full burn, slow retrieve notwithstanding?

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For a swimbait newb, could you post a pic or graphic showing the difference between forward and rear facing V-joints? It's good to see you posting this; I was reading an old thread last night that sparked my interest on this very facet. Would one or another design swim better at full burn, slow retrieve notwithstanding?

The lures are labeled at the beginning. (Video1.....Video2) Video 1 is the forward facing joint and Video 2 is the rearward facing joint.

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Nice work Dave! I really appreciate when a builder takes the time and effort to perform good clear side-by-side performance testing.

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I have to say the first lure pulls off a 180 much better than the second and looks totally injured, presumably from the increased resistance from the forward v. And while the second swims with a stronger gait (or whatever you call it) it might be a little too healthy looking, especially when twitched - those strong, smooth, unhesitant (sp?) turns look just like a normal, feeding baitfish or panfish.But that might not be bad thing. I think both have great action, and it might be good to have both in your arsenal to fit this condition or that. After seeing this I could definitely see swimbaiting going where cranking already is - the pinnacle of the bassin' sport because more variables go into putting together a good crank pattern (fat vs flat, wood vs plastic, bone vs chrome, line diameter, specialized cranking rods, fluoro vs mono, etc......) than anything else I can think of including jig fishing. Nice work, love that vid. I'm sure I'll watch it again.

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Man, that's a great video! Thanks for all the hard work. And the music was excellent!

Several years ago, I played around with reverse joints, where the pivot point of the lure joint was in the rear portion of each section, and the front face of each section was cupped, like in your Video 1. I was disappointed in them. My experiece was they didn't swim well a low speed.

Now, I may not have made them as well as you, so that may be the difference, because your lure seems to swim well at slow speed, too.

I had guessed that having the pivot point in the front of the section resulted in a longer swing arc, since I use screw eyes and pins for my hinges, and that seemed to dampen the slow speed action.

I discounted any difference in turbulence that the reversed joint faces might create. In hindsight, that may have been a mistake.

When I put the screw eyes in the rear of each section, and the hinge pin in the front of each section, with the corresponding hinge hole, the sections have a very short swing arc, since the pivot takes place right there in the front of each section, and the lures swim much better at all speeds.

Unfortunately, I gave away the three protypes of the reverse joint lures, so I can't go back and retry them, but your video really demonstrates the differences, and that both systems work.

You seem to have been able to get great action from both types of joints.

Congrats.

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I have to say the first lure pulls off a 180 much better than the second and looks totally injured, presumably from the increased resistance from the forward v. And while the second swims with a stronger gait (or whatever you call it) it might be a little too healthy looking, especially when twitched - those strong, smooth, unhesitant (sp?) turns look just like a normal, feeding baitfish or panfish.But that might not be bad thing. I think both have great action, and it might be good to have both in your arsenal to fit this condition or that. After seeing this I could definitely see swimbaiting going where cranking already is - the pinnacle of the bassin' sport because more variables go into putting together a good crank pattern (fat vs flat, wood vs plastic, bone vs chrome, line diameter, specialized cranking rods, fluoro vs mono, etc......) than anything else I can think of including jig fishing. Nice work, love that vid. I'm sure I'll watch it again.

Nice comments Blatz and constructive, thanks. Not being a swimbait user, probably means that I don't interpret the lures movements in the right way. Looking for the perfect gait might not be relevant to field applications. But once all the test results are in, swimbait designers will have enough information about which attribute does what, to design a bait to do exactly what he/she wants.

Hope you're patient, as I am not rushing with this project. I have two partially built bodies in front of me and I cut 5 pieces of meranti down to stock size today. The wood seemed very heavy (SG 0.7) for meranti and a bit cold to the touch, so I put the stock in my PoP dryer. The density has dropped to SG 0.56 but the wood is showing signs of cracking. Normally I would dump this batch and start again, but for prototype lures that are only going to swim a few times up and down my test tank, they'll be fine. Lesson learned, wood drying has to be done slowly.

I will have a play with the twitch technique tomorrow, to find out exactly what these baits can do. I have a feeling that the second bait just needs a lighter touch. I had to twitch the first bait quite firmly to get it to turn nice and with the same power applied to the second, it went wild.

The next test will be ballast location in the front section, forward and aft.

Dave

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Double pin hinge test

I was keen to make a double pin hinge swimbait, so went ahead. It doesn’t really fit into this series of tests at this stage, but the results were surprising.

Comparison between rear facing pin-eye hinge (V2) and double pin hinge (V3).

The differences on the double pin lure (V3) are:

1 - Slight sinker compared to a strong floater.

2 - Different hinge type and shape around the hinge area.

3 – Different density wood (0.411 compared to 0.295gm/cm³).

All other aspects of the build are the same.

The DP hinge is not as pretty as the hidden pin-eye, with the hinge more visible. But it does allow more movement in the hinge and also more room for ballast placement, as the hinge hardware only extends into the body by about 11mm.

Both lures demonstrated a smooth sinusoidal action, but the DP hinge lure (V3) showed less head movement, once the hinge had been modified to fit correctly, this is why I included the pre-fit video.

If the hinge movement is restricted during the swim, the forces that move the segment will tip the body, causing a head shaking effect. This needs further investigation, with some close-up overhead video shots. If this shows a restriction on V2, I will modify the hinge and see if there is any difference.

The next test will be the forward ballast test. I am in the final stages of the build and it should be ready tomorrow.

Dave

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This afternoon I will be testing two different configurations of swimbaits, the first will be a 3 segment v-shape joint bait and the other will be a 4 segment solid hinge. Both baits are from the same design with very similar ballast placements so the comparison should be univariate. I will post the results in your thread if you don't mind since it seems to be relevant to the topic.

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This afternoon I will be testing two different configurations of swimbaits, the first will be a 3 segment v-shape joint bait and the other will be a 4 segment solid hinge. Both baits are from the same design with very similar ballast placements so the comparison should be univariate. I will post the results in your thread if you don't mind since it seems to be relevant to the topic.

You are welcome to post your results here, this thread is about gathering swimbait knowledge. Post as much information as you can, include photos, ballast positions, materials and size. Same goes for everyone else.

Dave

PS. Mods, I seem to have a double post. Can you delete one please. Having a lot of Inet problems here. Thanks

Edited by Vodkaman

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Video No3:

Four lures have now been tested.

Video 1 - proved that rear facing joints have a stronger action than front facing V joints.

Video 2 - proved only that it was possible to minimize head movement, but with too many variables changed to identify the controlling factor.

Video 3 - proved that forward/rear placement of the ballast does not control head movement.

The variables introduced in video 2 are: density and joint flex.

Joint flex - I attempted to explore the joint flex idea, by increasing the flex of lure V2 (2nd lure from first video) and also lure V4 (forward ballast location). Neither test reduced the head movement. I addition, closer examination of the videos, shows that the head is moving before the segments. This virtually eliminates the joint flex argument. This could be confirmed by building a double pin hinged lure of light density. I intend to test the density angle first, as I don’t relish the idea of building a swimbait that is destined to fail.

Density – there is a reasonably strong argument for density causing the head movement. As the water flows over the head, it is pulling or dragging the head. An increase on body density would increase the inertia, resisting this tendency. I intend to test this idea next, by fitting 30% of the front section ballast in the top/rear of the body, using low density wood. This will increase the inertia, simulating a high density wood.

Nose design – The shape that I chose for these tests was a low nose location, below the centerline. I am now inclined to think that a high nose location would eliminate the head movement, as the water will be pulling on the throat rather than the head. After the inertia and joint flex tests, this will be the next test.

I am tempted to build another double pin hinged lure, using light material, all other features identical to V3 (DP hinge). This would be a direct comparison for density as the head shaking factor. But again, this feels like a wasted build, when I could be testing the inertia theory.

Sorry if this read has been complicated, but this is what prototyping is all about. I welcome any other thoughts or ideas on the head shaking phenomenon.

Dave

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Video No3:

Four lures have now been tested.

Video 1 - proved that rear facing joints have a stronger action than front facing V joints.

Video 2 - proved only that it was possible to minimize head movement, but with too many variables changed to identify the controlling factor.

Video 3 - proved that forward/rear placement of the ballast does not control head movement.

The variables introduced in video 2 are: density and joint flex.

Joint flex - I attempted to explore the joint flex idea, by increasing the flex of lure V2 (2nd lure from first video) and also lure V4 (forward ballast location). Neither test reduced the head movement. I addition, closer examination of the videos, shows that the head is moving before the segments. This virtually eliminates the joint flex argument. This could be confirmed by building a double pin hinged lure of light density. I intend to test the density angle first, as I don’t relish the idea of building a swimbait that is destined to fail.

Density – there is a reasonably strong argument for density causing the head movement. As the water flows over the head, it is pulling or dragging the head. An increase on body density would increase the inertia, resisting this tendency. I intend to test this idea next, by fitting 30% of the front section ballast in the top/rear of the body, using low density wood. This will increase the inertia, simulating a high density wood.

Nose design – The shape that I chose for these tests was a low nose location, below the centerline. I am now inclined to think that a high nose location would eliminate the head movement, as the water will be pulling on the throat rather than the head. After the inertia and joint flex tests, this will be the next test.

I am tempted to build another double pin hinged lure, using light material, all other features identical to V3 (DP hinge). This would be a direct comparison for density as the head shaking factor. But again, this feels like a wasted build, when I could be testing the inertia theory.

Sorry if this read has been complicated, but this is what prototyping is all about. I welcome any other thoughts or ideas on the head shaking phenomenon.

Dave

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Dave,

I've found, for me, the only way to reduce head movement is to increase the length of the head section in relation to the rest of the lure.

For my lures, a head that's 1/2 the total body length is the most stable, but it makes jointing the smaller rear sections difficult.

When I make a lure with that long a head, I only put a hook in the front section, so the smaller, weaker hinges aren't stressed by a hookset, or a fish pulling on them.

Your double pin hinge system eliminates head shake completely.

Congratulations.

Did you find you had to round both ends the sections to get it to swim right, or is that just to give the hinges more play?

Edited by mark poulson

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Since my last post, I have completed two more test swimbaits:

V5 – split ballast, top and bottom. The thinking being, to increase the inertia at the top, to stop the roll. The only effect this had was to reduce stability a little, making the swimming action a bit raggedy. Apart from that, the action was no different, nice ‘S’ shape and lots of head movement. I have made a video, but it hardly seems worth posting, as it looks the same as all the others.

V6 – rounded forehead shape. The thinking behind this change, was to reduce the lip effect of the flat that I had built into the other lures, hoping that the ‘pull’ from the water would reduce, thus reducing the head shake. It made no difference, still nice swim action, but lots of head movement. Again, no point in posting the video.

This is now starting to get frustrating, as I really want to solve and be able to control the head shake.

Mark, I accept your lengthening the head section idea and I would have moved on by now, except that V3 (double pin hinge design) swam with virtually zero head shake, which tells me that I am missing something. The only things left to test for head shake are:

Joint shape – both sides of the double pin hinge are rounded. I fail to see how this can affect things, but it needs to be tested. I will probably modify one of the earlier baits for this test, as there is so much work in building these babies, especially for a test that I am not convinced about.

Wood density – the double pin hinged lure was constructed from a different wood with a slightly higher density and this is looking favorite as the explanation for the head shaking. I really wanted to make the lighter wood work, but this is looking increasingly doubtful now. I will build a pin-eye jointed swimbait from a heavier wood, to compare. I am not convinced about this either, as most swimbait builders use heavier woods and their baits also have head shake.

This is rapidly becoming an obsession. Am I missing something (apart from a life)? I will have a few more goes at this head shake thing and then, reluctantly, I will have to move on. One thing that I am pleased about, is that every build has swam well, with no failures.

Dave

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Dave,

I was so impressed by your double pin swimbait, and the steady head, that I'm going to build a lure with my usual V shaped joints, and see how it works. I really like the idea of the additional room for ballast and hook hangers in each section that elimination of the screw eyes provides.

The making of the second set of pockets is a little more work, but a drill press and dremel with sanding drum makes it pretty easy.

I don't have any soft sst wire to use, so I'll probably use double pins and heavy sst snap locks for hinges. I have the round bend snap locks in different sizes, so adjusting the joints will be a little easier.

I'll post my results.

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Dave,

I was so impressed by your double pin swimbait, and the steady head, that I'm going to build a lure with my usual V shaped joints, and see how it works. I really like the idea of the additional room for ballast and hook hangers in each section that elimination of the screw eyes provides.

The making of the second set of pockets is a little more work, but a drill press and dremel with sanding drum makes it pretty easy.

I don't have any soft sst wire to use, so I'll probably use double pins and heavy sst snap locks for hinges. I have the round bend snap locks in different sizes, so adjusting the joints will be a little easier.

I'll post my results.

Mark, the douple pin joint will not work with a 'V' shaped body, the joint movement is restricted. I suggest you cut some card shapes and try it first.

I have another solution for the belly hook hardware, which sits under the lower screw hinge eye. It is a 'V' shaped wire form, the holes for which are drilled both sides of the hinge eye. A little fiddly, but after building a few, it is no problem and a lot stronger than a single twisted eye. I guess I should start a new thread with it. I'll take some pics next time I build one.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

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A piano hinge joint will get rid of the head shake and also get rid of your slight rolling provided you ballast is correctly. Some may scorn you for using this type of joint b/c it appearently belongs to someone lol. They are difficult to build but once youve done it once you get pretty good at it. Also with this style hinge you lose hardware weight and gain bouyancy from the added material that makes the hinge since it is lighter than the S.S. harware you would use in an eye-pin set up.

Awesome videos by the way! I know your saving someone out there goooooobs of time. I think i may build myself one of those tanks too!

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