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Ballasting Technique For Resin Baits
11 replies to this topic
Posted 29 May 2011 - 01:36 PM
I accidently smashed a wakebait from a well known swimbait manufacturer in my rear door in a rush to get to the lake. After laughing at myself for being an idiot a lightbulb went off in my head. I got out the saw and started cutting cross sections of the bait every 1/2" or so. This particular bait has a fishy teardrop profile to it. My main curiousity was to see where this particular bait builder orients his lead ballast in the bait.....well I kept cutting and pretty soon I had about 10 cross sections of the bait and was mystified....NO LEAD???? No inserts...nothing but resin. I thought how the hell does it orient upright in the water??? Upon closer inspection I could see the answer to my mystery....the very bottom 1/4" of the bait had a distinct striation and was clearly darker than the upper section of the bait. My conclusioin is that the bait is poured using a metered amount of heavy resin for the bottom section followed by a lightened resin for the remaining upper section. With the correct ratios the need for lead ballast is eliminated.
I guess its relatively simple but I thought it was pretty slick and this particular bait performs AWESOME in the water. I just started building some lipless swimmers and this would eliminate all the surgery of carefully placing ballast weights around hinge pins and protruding screw eyes. I'm sure it will work good with swimmers and perhaps not as well for topwaters that need a lot of weight concentrated in a particular area.
Anyone else doing this?
Posted 29 May 2011 - 02:18 PM
It can also be caused by orientation of the mold and using a slow (or slower cure resin). By orientating the mold upright and allowing the resin to cure, you let the tiny air bubbles float to top. This also causes natural ballast and is the method I use the most.
Posted 29 May 2011 - 07:06 PM
John - the well known swimbait maker might not be too happy about you revealing his secret.
Posted 29 May 2011 - 07:22 PM
Dave, I certainly thought of that and thats precisely why I didn't identify the maker or the bait. I'm sure its not the first time its been done...I just found it an interesting build strategy and don't advocate anyone knocking off anyone elses baits for sale anyway. I did think of what you told me about using the teardrop shape for vertical stability and I notice this particular bait uses that same shape so that may contribute to lessen the need for tons of ballasting weight.
Posted 29 May 2011 - 07:59 PM
My comments were kind of tongue in cheek, just jerking your chain but you were right to withhold the builders name. Maybe he will post here and add more insight to his technique.
Once you put a bait on the market, you have released the knowledge for all to discover. If a builder wanted to protect an idea, he would have to apply for a patent, otherwise the idea is available to all. It is fairly common practice to perform bait autopsies and there are a number of threads on TU with xray pics of popular baits. No one even mentioned the subject of ethics on those posts.
Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:02 PM
I have done some castings of solid baits with just strait resin on the bottom and resin with micro balloons on top. The resin I use will sink like a rock with out balloons. But it was a pain getting the first one to do what I wanted it to do after that it was all gravy. I would do one bait after wrighting down the weight of the 2 part and the micro balloons then run the bait, 4 baits was all it took. I use the numbers from that bait as a primer and I always mix the resin with balloons the same. If I want more weight just use more strait and less mixed or if I want a floater more mixed an less strait
Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:14 PM
Actually it can be done just orient the mold nose up hill or down hill the strait resin will just settle to the lowest part. I did a cast of a spook type bait with a tail down stance just by tilting the mold to a nose up angle.
Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:48 PM
Larry Dahlberg had a show on earlier this year and he was adding some type of powdered metal (magnesium maybe?). It was pretty interesting. You might be able to do a search on the internet and find it. It was an episode of "hunt for big fish".
Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:08 PM
Magnesium is very light, but still heavier than water. It may have been tungsten, as this is supplied as a powder.
Posted 29 May 2011 - 11:36 PM
Excellent replies. Any suggestions on a high density resin. I'm using featherlite and adding more mb's for my buoyancy and have a pretty good handle on it. I'm looking at something like smooth cast 380 to use for the ballasting. Its referred to as high density and I'm sure it doesn't float. Question: When you pour the first portion for the ballasting do you have to let it set up for a bit before you finish your pour using the resin w/mb's? I guess heavier objects will sink anyways just don't want it to chemically homogenize out and lose the orientation of the heavy resin in the mold. Thats a good idea with the topwaters...I usually set my molds up pretty squared up but I can see how if you tilted it you could easily get the heavier resin to flow into the right spots.
I hear you with getting the ratios right. It takes a while but once you find that sweet spot and track your numbers your golden.
Thanks for the reply. Glad to hear someone else has had success with the technique.
Posted 30 May 2011 - 08:33 AM
It could also be aluminum. I have an epoxy that is chalk full of aluminum powder and it is extremely dense.
Posted 30 May 2011 - 10:18 AM
it was tungsten powder. he was mixing it with soft plastics to get different sink rates and actions. i did a search on it and found that some golf shops carry it to weight club heads. i think half a pound was like 20 bucks.