Some years ago a friend lend me a strange little American topwater lure and I made a few knock-offs for myself , ..........gave one away recently and up to this year's predator's season the remaining two lures on the first picture where dumped into my basements storage boxes for years .
But now I've fished them quite a bit these days , .......had a few missed strikes of pike on them and I'm fully convinced and pretty much amazed about their ability to be cast and worked through pad fields and even trough waterweed already breaking through the surface , .........all with only few times snagging up pads or catching loose weed strunks on the surface .
Now I'm bound to do some more lures of this kind , but my own designs for this time ,..... but all utilizing the same principle , ........at rest they would hang about 30° to 45° tail down and be able to be tossed over the pads with the hook still pointing upward , ..........even if only little action can be generated with rodtip manipulation , the ondulating skirt obviously does it's share to attract fish .
To get some more of noise out of such lures , I designed and carved this "PoppingPadFrog" yesterday , .......it will be also trimmed to hang tail down with it's face indention still remaining above the water's surface .
The long-shanked spinnerbait trailerhook will be cast into it's accommodating groove with epoxy glue , ....also the line tie screw eye will be epoxied .
After having the lighter abachi wood sealed , a belly weight will be set in at the right location to achieve the desired swimming position and a nice casting performance , ............the so-called "quick skirt" also does it's share to enhance real far casts , as it folds back around the lure body to create a truly streamlined "projectile" , ...........when in the water , the skirt rather acts a little like a jellyfish ,..... pulsating on the slightest moves of the lurebody !
This "PoppingPadFrog" blank dimensions are about 28 X 25 X 67 millimetres(W x H x L) excluding the little round extension for the skirt , .........just thought to post this blank design in here to probably provide some input to fellow carvers and also possibly get some hints for improvement , if neccessary , ...........so well , ...... all questions and comments welcome !
Reading your posts and seeing the "old style" that a lot of your lures resemble sure bring back a lot of memories Dieter. One lure that I'm reminded of when looking at your latest post is the old Heddon Moss Boss. It would sure provoke a lot of strikes when fished over the top of heavy grass mats, but the strike to hook-up ratio was pretty low. Bass would knock that thing ten feet into the air. This was years before there were so many choices of soft plastic "frogs" and such.
Thanks , Ben , .......I'm pretty much aware about the poor hook-up changes of such baits , ....but at least they can fish where most other lures can't and it's great fun even looking at a missed strike , .......probably even having a pike jump out at full length .
I still have more confidence in such baits like the one I carved here rather than in those hollow plastic frogs , stickbaits and poppers , ...........the reason is simply the protruding hook , .........on those plastics the fish really has to engulf the lure between it's jaws and squeeze the lurebody together to render the hookpoints "armed" , .........on these "old fashioned" lures the hook stands already free and has a reasonably sized gap between hookpoint and lurebody , ......so I believe , even despite of many misses as well , ....that this kinda lure provides better hook-up chances , ..........at least counting for our native pike , .....can't talk about bass , as we do not have them over here !
..................and nevertheless I also like the looks of these timber baits , .........also the second or third pike would have shredded a plastic frog to pieces , I guess , ........wood lures would last a little longer , hopefully !
..................just ordered for some more quick skirts from US Ebay last night(can't buy skirts nor trailer hooks over here) , .......there surely are more "PadFrogs" to come ................ !
That bait looks great! It should be a blast to fish.
I just caught my first frog fish of the year a couple of weeks ago on the one local lake that has emergent grass. It is, by far the most explosive, exciting strike there is.
A more durable bait that can be fished over the grass is a smart idea.
I can only imagine what my soft plastic frog would look like after a pike ate it!
Good luck with your new designs. I can't wait to hear how they finally turn out.
...............thanks a lot , Mark , ......but I don't think , I'd be done with that bait before winter or at least late fall , ........presently I'm into carving several lure blanks per week at my lateshifts , when all of my grinding machines are running well .
Don't take the time to seal and paint them now in summer , so I've gotta wait for boring winterdays to procceed , I guess .
Just on Saturday morning I've got myself another board 28 X 80 X 4400 millimetres of abachiwood from a lumberyard in a neighbor town , ....that one's gonna take me a long way again
But I'll definately post them in here , when they'd finally be done , ........only takes time !
Just carved out another blank of this kinda lure , .......a mouse bait this time !
It's also made from abachi wood and in about the same dimensions like the first lures above .
This time I decided to make the lure's eyes out of the plastic heads of tailor's pins , snipped of the metal pin to a length of littlemore than 1/10" to serve as a stem , gonna glue them in after painting but prior to topcoating .
The sockets to accommodate the eyes are furnished with a small "Dremel" ball router bit .
Since a quick shirt won't fit much to a mouse , I've thought about making the tail of a piece of latex tubing , ...but I might also try to wrap on a thin leather strip later , ....dunno for sure yet .
The lure is gonna be tail-weighted , so that it would hang head-up at about 30° , ............I hope that I could still get it to flip over to proper swimming position , if it lands on it's back after casting , .........but I guess , that the high and rounded back , also the almost round tail end would enhance this feature , ......provided that I get the ballast as close to the belly outline as possible , .........gotta beat a sinker flat and cut a flat weight pouch into the belly for that reason .
Just put it into a 50/50 solution of turpentine and boiled linseed oil , ....gonna soak it there for a couple of days , ..........after drying out for some weeks afterwards , it would be ready for procceeding .
I'd like to stick a very large hook in a real one at the moment, as I spotted one nibbling at my food, a few days ago. Now everything has to be covered and clamped. I hav laid some poison, so hopefully, it will die a slow death.
I just don't have your patience for using BLO. Looking forward to seeing the results and possibly a video.
Awesome work Diemai, Thanks for sharing it with us!!
Thanks a lot , mate , ....here are two more(one is not weedless) , .......this blank carving just helps me to pass through my boring lateshifts easier !
First one is of the same kind like the blanks above , I even added a small nose indention for popping sound , made with a "Dremel" oval router bit .
This lure supposed to resemble a small minnow swimming on it's side , ....gonna paint it in a natural fish pattern and attach a red/black skirt later .
The second non-weedless blank is a version of the old "Shakespeare Baby Popper" , .......a bit of a unique lure , because different to "ordinary" popper lures it hangs on the surface vertically , only the nose sticking out .
Because of this the lure can be worked "on the spot" , with little flicks from the wrist it can be used to tease a located fish to strike or to thoroughly work it at likely holding spots , ..........it would just remain at the face of the pike for a longer time .
The blank is about 3" long , .......I hope , that the long rear screw eye , the big hook and the homemade brass bush for skirt attachement would provide enough weight to allow for proper vertical swimming position .
The brass bush was cut off from round brass rod , drilled through in a machine vise on my drill press and turned down to proper diameter on my lathe(it's motor has a chuck) by filing and sanding , .......no milling machine neccessary .
Since there is not much space to add more ballast in the tail , I'd have to wrap some solder wire around the hook shank , if I should really need more ballast .
Started out working on another weedless lure yesterday , ....also same weedless design as above with a rigid hook attached , .......but I wanna try to assemble a small prop in front in a way , that the lure would still be able to be tossed over the pads , ...........difficulty is rather more to get such lure to flip over to correct swimming position aftercasting due to the added weight of the prop , .........but I shall see , ....gonna keep you updated .
As an avid frog fisherman in the thick grass of Florida, there's times when they want the bait paused over the bed, the beds down here are in fields of grass weeds pads and anything else you can imagine, that's hard to do with rubber toads because they sink down on the bed ( which at times is great in itself) the baits first pictured look like they would suit this need the best.
I'm afraid the mouse head would get caught up in our area.
Thanks a lot , ......Off course I've designed these lures mainly to slide over lily pads , thicker waterweeds would surely take them to their limits as well .
By now I've carved two more blanks , and these are gonna be the last ones so far , ....actually I ran out of ideas about what else to try .
First one is really a bit chunky , but I need added buoancy to keep the lure afloat and still be able to trim it to proper tail-down swimming position(if it would even be possible ) .
It is a lure with an interior paddle wheel , that I have made from 10 X 10 millimeters aluminium square tubing .
The groove to accommodate that wheel I've cut out on my hobby routing machine while the blank was still in it's block shape , ...I've carved the blank around that groove , so to speak !
The axis of the wheel consists of 1,5mm SST welding wire , it's bearings are small pieces of brass tubing 3,0mm X 2,0mm(bore) , ..........after painting and topcoating it will be assembled and secured by two pieces of electric cable insulation firmly pushed over either end of the axis , ....countersunks on either side of the blank allow for enough space for these tubing pieces , ....the bond could be disassembled again any time in case of maintainance required .
A small piece of 1,0mm SSt welding wire makes up for the roughly "W"-shaped line tie , gonna be pushed into position from the inside of the paddlewheel groove and later epoxied .
Second blank is a prop lure , .........I'm also a bit anxious , whether I'd be able to trim the lure properly to achieve the required tail-down swimming position and still have it flip over incase it would land on its back after casting .
Note the shop-bought prop , .......I've tuned its tips to get it to spin much easier , .........also I have souped it up with a little bearing made of a 3,0mm Plaster of Paris rivet .
Don't like these narrow props that much , as they do not get to spin that easy , .....but with these little modifications they'll do fine !
After these lures are finally completed after months(posted them in my gallery yesterday) , I've made a bath tub test video this morning :
Sadly two lures did not work out to my satisfaction , ....one even is a total reject in my opinion .
Anyway , .......did not expect the paddle wheel lure to perform well right from the start , never had much of luck with the few lures that I've made with such wheels before , anyway .
But the minnow lure is a total reject , as it does not flip over to proper swimming position .
Anyway , .....I'm not feeling too uneasy or even ashame to display my failures as well , .......probably they might at least still serve the purpose of teaching fellow tinkerers a way to make it better ?