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Juice780

Balsa Question

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I was wondering where people who use density balsa buy theirs. I can find only 1 site online that's sells high density balsa. I was reading that one popular lure builder uses 19 ha balsa, what exactly does that mean.

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I was wondering where people who use density balsa buy theirs. I can find only 1 site online that's sells high density balsa. I was reading that one popular lure builder uses 19 ha balsa, what exactly does that mean.

Balsa can be anywhere from 6 to 18 lbs/cu ft. Average density is 12 lbs/cu ft. If you want balsa of a specific density, you will have to special order it and trust what is delivered matches your spec. The density is really player's choice. You can make baits out of any density balsa but there are trade-offs. If you want a super buoyant bait, you can use 6 lbs/cu ft "competition balsa" (a term used by model airplane builders who like the light stuff) but you need to strongly reinforce the exterior surface and use a 100% through-wire frame for the hook hangers and line tie for it to have any durability. It will never be as durable as one made from heavy balsa but it will be super buoyant and very lively. Commercial builders use heavy balsa because it requires less exterior reinforcement and they can also avoid using through-wire construction techniques. Time is money and fewer construction steps = a faster build with less labor and materials.

If you are building baits solely for yourself and your buddies, you aren't constrained by commercial considerations as long as you are willing to spend the time and effort to build the bait you want to fish. I sometimes build baits with very light balsa. It's more work, requires more patience, and no, the baits don't "wear like iron". You have to treat them with some gentleness. But they have unmatched buoyancy and action and I'm willing to make that trade-off. Sometimes.

I don't know what 19 ha means.

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I was wondering where people who use density balsa buy theirs. I can find only 1 site online that's sells high density balsa. I was reading that one popular lure builder uses 19 ha balsa, what exactly does that mean.

Big towns, Dallas, San Fran, Atlanta, etc. may have exotic lumber dealers that sell rough cut imported timber. Maybe you can find such a place within driving range?

Good luck!

John

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