Jump to content
Stainless Wire For Swimbait
19 replies to this topic
Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:14 PM
I have been playing around with making a few new swimbaits using stainless leader wire for my joints. I have used hinges and pins for all my previous swimbaits but after looking at my pointer from luckycraft, I thought maybe I could use stainless wire as well. It would get rid of the friction caused by hinge joints and should run a bit smoother I think. I also use wood to make my lures out of and the joint areas I'm just not sure how long the wood stays sealed from all the friction. I put a good bit of time into these lures and I want them to last as long as they can. I scratch my head for a bit wondering what size leader wire to use. My test baits so far I am using 60lb stainless leader doubled up on the top half of the bait and the same on the lower half. The wire is soldered to my toweye and hook hangars. I wanted it to be basically a through wire but flexible for swimbait use. So technically the lure should be rated for about 240lb with the 4 strands of wire running through it.
Personally I think the 240lb rating is over kill, so my next model will use only two strands of 100lb leader. I just have seen a lot of posts on twisted hook hangers being stronger then screw eyes, I'm not really trying to open that can of worms again. But there is always the question how much is strong enough... I read up on some reviews on the calcutta te 400, being highly recommended for strong muskie fishing. That reel has a max of 16lb drag. So say using that reel I wouldn't think a fish would ever be able to break even just a 100lb wire. This is why I wanted someones opinion of what rating leader would be acceptable for making a hinge out of.
I wanted to know if anyone has tried to use stainless wire for a swimbait vs using hinge joints. And if so what are your opinions. I'll post some pictures of my test lures within a week or so when there a bit farther in construction.
Posted 21 August 2011 - 11:10 PM
I think you're right about wire strength versus line/rod/reel strength. But the test strength accounts for straight line pull and doesn't account for instantaneous strain caused by casting the lure or a strike by a big fish, or fatigue due to repeated flexing. I don't know any way to design for those forces so I use larger wire, as long as I can shape it accurately and easily, and can account for its added weight. For me, that's usually #12 .029" (180 lb test) ss leader wire or .041" diameter hard temper stainless. Since you can twist larger wire into just as small an eye as small wire, why not use it? If you think the screw eyes are obtrusive, you can recess them into the body segments just as you would a wood screw. And you could use 2 double screw eyes rather than 4, for less work. JMHO.
Instantaneous strain can be a b****. It's why you can break 50 lb braid with a snap hookset with a rod that couldn't survive a straight 15 lb dead weight lift.
Posted 22 August 2011 - 12:15 AM
I use wire exclusively, but would not dream of claiming that it was better or stronger than any other method. As long as your drilling, gluing, fitting, sealing and top coat strategies are sound, then all the methods are good.
Fish are not the problem regarding lure strength, although they do have their moments. Someone recently posted a pic of a swimbait, were the rear hinge was ripped apart, due to leverage gained from head shaking. Heavy cover, rocks and snags are the main problem. We cannot design indestructable lures, but too strong is almost strong enough.
My guide as to how thick the wire should be, is 'does it look right'. I know, not very scientific, but if it looks right, it probably is. On my 7" to 8" swimbaits, I use 1.5mm diameter wire (roughly 1/16"), but in stainless steel, this was very difficult to work with, so I used brass. Still more than strong enough.
Friction is probably the worst enemy when trying to get a swimbait to swim. Certainly an eye/eye construction will have less friction, as the eye is not rubbing against the slot surface. I prefer pin/eye for the extra space it gives me for ballast. But with planning, this should not be a problem. Lots af very good builders use the eye/eye construction.
I look forward to the pics.
Posted 08 October 2011 - 04:14 PM
Took me a while to a few things right but I finally got a stainless leader to work for my joints. The diameter of the wire looked just right so I gave it a go and it came out pretty well. Now I just need to add some weight to the belly and see how it floats. The plan is to get it to be a slow sinker. I have a feeling it will not have much swimming movement the way it is, so I may have to add a lip to get that movement. We will see after a few more tests.
Materials I've used for this model are Oak, 480lb SS leader, Stainless rod for my toe eye and hook hangars, 50% silver solder, and gorilla glue to hold the halves together. Never tried gorilla glue before but figured I'd give it a shot.
Posted 09 October 2011 - 02:32 AM
That 7 strand is probably a bit too heavy, but lets wait for the swim test. Interesting design. I have done similar, but I used a nylon/terynene type thread in place of the wire.
Posted 09 October 2011 - 06:03 PM
The leader I used was a bit too thick. Tried it out today and it swims strait as an arrow. Jerk it along and I get some movement but nothing consistent. I'll add a lip just to see what else it will do but the problem with the leader is between the segments there is only about 1/4 in of leader that is doing the bending. 480lb stainless doesn't bend well enough when it's that short. I think a lip will get some bending more in the middle section but as for the tail only thing I can think of to create resistance would be a decent size lexan tail. Otherwise that tail isn't getting any swimming action. More tests to be done with this model.
My other model I've already made some mods, cut out for a lip and redesigned the segments. The first section is longer to create more whip when the lip digs in the water and the tail end is a bit longer since that is the segment that is hardest to get any swimming using leader.
After playing with this type of swim bait, using leader like some name brand lures I see it is a different type of swimming action already. Joints seem to give a more free flowing motion, leader joints are more a springy motion. I've posted a pic of my other model in progress, I've put up the wire it will use (45lb leader) and the 480lb leader for reference.
Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:13 PM
I know this in an older post but do you have un update on your second prototype? I was interested in experimenting with this method as well but I'm interested in hearing what happened in your tests.
I ordinarily use eye/pin connections in stainless steel hardware but I've experimented with all sorts of different methods. I was wondering why there aren't more articles on trying leader wire because it seems like the easiest way to make joints while maintaing a through wire.
Thanks for your post.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:50 AM
What do use to to hold the wire stable in each section I see you have small holes drilled?
Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:00 AM
I have a 3 section I started about 2 weeks ago that is only about half way carved (not much time lately). My shot at this is going to be a braided bundle of braided fishing line. About 10 strands of 30lb. Power Pro. This is an idea I had brewing for a while and Im not sure if I can get it anchored well enough or if it will fray during use but I thought I would give it a shot. This was inspired by the Hook hangers made of bundled braid that Shimano has been putting on the Butterfly jigs. They have a wrap on them and I guess if I get fraying I could try the same thing. TO keep it flexible Im thinking plumbers teflon tape? Any thoughts or suggestions on this?
Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:28 AM
I use sst screw eyes and bicycle spoke pins for my hinges.
Aside from giving me the ability to adjust my joint spacing after they're installed to fine tune my baits, I find these to have the least resistance/friction on the retrieve, and my jointed swimbaits swim at very low speeds. The floaters even move when dead sticked in the wind.
I like the little squeak that the hinges make on the retrieve. It's another attractant, to me.
I played around with cable hinging, but found it was too stiff.
Maybe the braid idea will work better. I just never figured out how to anchor that kind of fabric hinge without the glue creeping into the joint area of the fabric and making it stiff.
Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:52 PM
Wicking could very well be a problem. Im not even sure what will stick to braid. If I cant find anything I will default to some form of mechanically fastening it internal to the body. I have a few ideas to play with if that is the case.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:54 PM
The sections were just glued together and I put a few stainless pins running through them. My hook hangars were soldered to the wire so there isn't much stress on the wood sections themselves.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:38 PM
Well......my braided braid is a fail. The epoxy did not wick into the bundle but the edges of the epoxy are sharp and easily fray the braid and cut the outer strands. I did the hole thing all in one glue-up so now I need to carve another lure body to try it with mechanical fastening.
Back to the garage.........
Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:23 AM
What about putting a sleeve on the braid where it comes out of the lure body to protect it from the hardened epoxy? Say something like the insulation used on electrical wire? That is if your still interested in pursuing your braid for hinges experiment. I know how aggravating failures can be, but sometimes we have to wade through a lot of garbage before we find the nugget.
Edited by RayburnGuy, 24 April 2012 - 12:24 AM.
Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:43 PM
That sounds like a good possibility. I have some soft surgical silicone tubing. I have seen it used to dress hooks. My biggest frustration is that my knife skills are still in the infantile stage and it takes me so long to complete the carving. It only takes seconds to ruin days of work. I think i may carve one more and use the sections to make some silicone molds so they can be replaced easily.
I can see the finished lure in my head but I can also see alot of little details I still need to work out. The cool part is hat the bundled braid is super flexible. If I can get this to work it will move unhindered.......
Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:30 PM
I know what you mean about the carving skills. I can do a better job of building a knife than I can using it.
Even if you decide to lay off this project for a while don't completely forget about it. If your like me something will come to you one day, or in my case at 3 in the morning, and you'll wonder why you didn't think of that before. If you come up with something that works let us know.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:02 AM
Thanks for posting your research. I'm still interested in trying this method but haven't had the time.
Your two attempts have been with 480lb SS leader and 10 strands of 30lbs braid. Have you thought of using a smaller gauge steel leader? If you used 3 or 4 strands of 30lbs to 90lbs steel leader you might get enough flexibility without having the problem of having the braid get frayed or cut on the epoxy and still maintaining and overall force of a few hundred pounds of break strength (in the leader).
I've experimented with all sorts of rubber and PVC jointing. They performed wonderfully in the the swim tests and are much faster to build then the EYE/PIN connections I ordinarily use. The rubber has a membrane causing the lure to return to a straight bodied motion whenever you stop reeling. However, any tooth fish (Pike, Musky, and many saltwater species) destroy the jointing very easily with their teeth. It doesn't take much for a pike to cut through rubber (every have a pike hit a topwater frog?) I found one material that holds up to the abuse of these toothy fish but it was only a sample piece and I can't find a supplier. I don't even know what it's called.
Anyway, I just wanted to caution you that if there are any fish with teeth where you plan to fish, they'll have little trouble cutting through surgical tubing and braid. My prototypes worked fine for bass.
The other thing you could consider is running all your hook hangers on barrel swivels off of a single piece of steel leader (along with your braided jointing). This would act as a flexible through wire. In the case the braid got cut you'd still be fighting a fish on a steel leader.
Keep up the research. I appreciate it.
Thanks TU for allow all of us who are strapped for time to bounce ideas off each other and save the little time we have making better prototypes. If I get a chance I'll try and post a hardcopy of what I'm talking about.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:28 PM
Thanks But I wasnt the original poster with the steel leader joints. His work was the inspiration for mine.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:36 PM
In response to ,the Canadians post, my second design worked well. No pictures of it, it's in the hands of another fisherman now. It had a strong side to side motion and dove fairly deep. I had a solid lexan tail on it like my past few swim baits. I haven't made any more like it. That kind of bait did work but was more of an experiment. Seemed to be a lot more work then I'd like to put in a bait that small. There is no doubt that design would be stronger then using stainless eyes and a pin. The wood has almost no stress on it if you were to hook a fish, the stainless leader runs throught the entire lure. My larger baits I'm not so much concerned, the two stainless eyes are holding on to a minimum of 1.5" of hard wood each. That smaller bait would have had about .5" at the minimum of wood to hold onto. In a swim bait I would have been afraid that small section would crack after not too long.
Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:24 PM
Nice work Sonny!
Sounds like you are on the right track. Keep us posted.