blazt*

Modifying Crankbait Bills?

23 posts in this topic

I think I may try sanding down the bill on some big cranks to get to middepth fall bass...any experience out there? A big shallow crank is kind of hard to find. I might also shape into a coffin bill...would this alone reduce the diving depth and make it easier to crank? Also, of course, I wonder if I'll screw up the action.

If anybody has tried this I'd love to hear about it...good or bad.

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Most better cranks are designed to incorporate the mass of the diving lip, size, surface and line tie placement into the critical equasion as to how they preform.

Changing those dynamics can yeild some desired results, but just as well can ruin the action of the bait and its fishability totally, its really a gamble you have to be willing to make when you start modifying them.

I have designed and built prototype cranks to be injection molded for several bigger manufacturers in the industry. I also have hacked and played with creating frankenstein baits out of almost everything available, some with great results, but most get throw in a box till I get that next "brilliant idea"...

You can change almost every dynamic of an typical injection molded bait with a bit of trial and error... One of the hottest thing to do as of late for tourney guys is to drill a small hole in bottom, remove the rattles and inject a small ammount of epoxy into the moving balancer chamber to fix the weight transfer system to one desired position so the bait has the tendencies they desire.

On lip modification, you can actually chop off any of the deep diving lips and graft on any shallower type lips you desire, as well as change the angle of the lip dramatically changing the actions. Much of this can be achieved using acetone solvent to melt and weld the plastics back together. Drilling and inserting small pins in both pieces can also help to strengthen the areas being reattached with acetone. This is all very advanced, and I caution that much trail and error is to be expected.

Even if you simply just shave or file portions of a lip off, try dipping it in acetone briefly and you will see it cleans up the scuffs and evens out areas.

Quickest way to experiment with changing the action and getting a bit less depth is to take a lighter and lightly heat the lip area on underside of bait near chin, then simply bend the lip down at a sharper angle. Very little mod in this way with yeild shallower depths, and make the bait swing much harder, but as with any mods, it may also cause the bait to pitch out, roll and become ustable and unusable...

enjoy!

Edited by CatchingConcepts
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One of the things I learned from my recent lip thread was that going from a square lip to a coffin is a big loss of action. It seems that the small triangle that you cut away is responsible for a lot of the action.

Dave

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I'm with CC on modifying lips - it often sounds like a better idea than it is, so I'd be conservative in doing it. Changing a deep diver into a mid diver is especially hard because you are not changing the position of the line tie, whose position is critical to the action of the bait. I've never had much luck with it but if you are going to experiment, I'd take a battery powered Dremel sander or a pair of tin snips and do it on the water, trimming the lip slowly in stages until you either get the depth/action you want or have ruined the bait beyond repair.

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How big of a crankbait body are you looking for and what do you consider "mid-depth"?

3/4 oz - 1 oz range, 7 - 12 ft.

I could up my line size but burning a 6xd or similiar is a lot of work.

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Sounds like I might be in over my head. I wonder if I could take the lip from a DT10 KO and put it on a DT16? Because the fit is exact. Might have to try that and post results.

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How big of a crankbait body are you looking for and what do you consider "mid-depth"?

3/4 oz - 1 oz range, 7 - 12 ft.

I could up my line size but burning a 6xd or similiar is a lot of work.

Have you tried Norman's DD14? They advertise the depth at 12 to 14 feet, but very few cranks operate at the advertised depth and the depth can be controlled to some extent by the size and type of line you use. The DD14 is 3" long and weighs 5/8 oz. That seems to fit pretty close to the criteria you mentioned.

Ben

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You could easily cut / file lip flush on a DT16 Rapala and graft any style lip into the balsa bait you prefer at any new angle, just cut a new slot... Thats a very easy project and you could use a coffin style or even a fiber board style at an angle to give it harder swing... I will play with one and post my mods...

As for big cranks (3 inch) here's my take on a large flat side with coffin lip and very hard swing... model is Catching Concepts KC3 btw with size 1 hooks, great presence in the water... (shameless plug but worth showing the bait for reference)

398390667.jpg

Edited by CatchingConcepts

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One of the things I learned from my recent lip thread was that going from a square lip to a coffin is a big loss of action. It seems that the small triangle that you cut away is responsible for a lot of the action.

Dave

By this do you mean "loss of swimming action" - or "loss of deflection"?

I haven't been around here in a while...you have a new profile pic I see...is that your invisible girlfriend?Heh heh.

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You could easily cut / file lip flush on a DT16 Rapala and graft any style lip into the balsa bait you prefer at any new angle, just cut a new slot... Thats a very easy project and you could use a coffin style or even a fiber board style at an angle to give it harder swing... I will play with one and post my mods...

As for big cranks (3 inch) here's my take on a large flat side with coffin lip and very hard swing... model is Catching Concepts KC3 btw with size 1 hooks, great presence in the water... (shameless plug but worth showing the bait for reference)

398390667.jpg

Killer looking crank you have there. Those short shank #1s aren't the easiest thing in the world to find!But for the most part I'll need tighter swimming cranks - most of the water I fish is clear to ultraclear. For stained water I expect the bass to be 5 ft or shallower and I have 2.5 square bills for that. Although I reaaallly wish somebody would mold a 3.5 KO....wet dream come true.

I'm on a tight budget, I'm afraid, after dumping a bunch of money into an AB compressor, supplies, 2 ABs, some urethane clear, etc...I'm limited to KOs only for now. I just bought 10 Luhr Jensen Brush Baby blanks (yes, blanks...and I think they are pre- Rapala) but the lip geometry looks too complex to mess with. But as far as those go I can control depth a bit w/ line size or rod tip positioning. I dislike doing even this, though, because 0.015 dia line in clear water means going to a fluoro leader. And they aren't really big cranks at all. When fall patterns happen I get the shakes if i'm not throwing big!

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I used to fish those and DD22s but it seems like they crack and sink a lot in the rocks. Plus everbody and there brother throws them...plus they cost more than KOs. The brush babies I mentined below go down to about 12 and are about the same weight....what I'm really wondering (now) is if you could transplant a DT10 KO lip onto a DT16 with good results. I know one thing: I won't ruin a lure like that at least and effort is near zero! Although I'll be suprised if it works. I wish I had some sitting around - but my last order from Predatr got lost in the mail.

Have you tried Norman's DD14? They advertise the depth at 12 to 14 feet, but very few cranks operate at the advertised depth and the depth can be controlled to some extent by the size and type of line you use. The DD14 is 3" long and weighs 5/8 oz. That seems to fit pretty close to the criteria you mentioned.

Ben

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If you transplant a DT10 lip onto a DT16 I bet you'll end up with essentially another DT10. I don't fish a DD22 much but they are popular for a good reason: They dive to 17-18 ft, catch fish, and are cheap as dirt compared to most other deep cranks. Any caution aside, I'm all for experimenting with lips/bodies/etc as long as you accept that there will almost certainly be losses along the way. Nonetheless, it's a good way to learn what works and what won't. With 500 crankbaits in the garage, I can afford to tinker but am more likely to build a new crankbait that incorporates my crackpot ideas!

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If you fished the DD14's at one time you should have a few laying around somewhere. You could always paint a new color pattern on them that Norman doesn't offer. That would give the bass something they aren't seeing all the time. Just a thought.

If you end up gluing different lips on your DT baits let us know how it works out.

Ben

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By this do you mean "loss of swimming action" - or "loss of deflection"?

I haven't been around here in a while...you have a new profile pic I see...is that your invisible girlfriend?Heh heh.

Yes, swimming action. It may not be a bad thing, it depends what you want. Many builders like a tighter action.

The hand graft is working well, I am now up to six fingers of vodka.

Dave

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How big of a crankbait body are you looking for and what do you consider "mid-depth"?

3/4 oz - 1 oz range, 7 - 12 ft.

I could up my line size but burning a 6xd or similiar is a lot of work.

If looking for a good depth of 8-10', try these on 10lb p-line. These lures will hit the bottom on a hood cast in 10-12' and the action is very similar to LC's... Plus they are 3/4oz...

http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_22333_-1?color=Ghost+Shad&N=97009336+4294966997

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Last Summer I bought a heap of blanks (4")-- when they arrived the lips were way over what I thought I was getting (probably1" long). As I was after a slim shallow diver to about 4' max, I just stuck them on the sander and ground them back to about 3/8 - 1/2", painted them up and they worked a treat, more a shallow sway than a solid shake though,, which was what I was after anyway.

Pete

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Killer looking crank you have there. Those short shank #1s aren't the easiest thing in the world to find!But for the most part I'll need tighter swimming cranks - most of the water I fish is clear to ultraclear. For stained water I expect the bass to be 5 ft or shallower and I have 2.5 square bills for that. Although I reaaallly wish somebody would mold a 3.5 KO....wet dream come true.

I'm on a tight budget, I'm afraid, after dumping a bunch of money into an AB compressor, supplies, 2 ABs, some urethane clear, etc...I'm limited to KOs only for now. I just bought 10 Luhr Jensen Brush Baby blanks (yes, blanks...and I think they are pre- Rapala) but the lip geometry looks too complex to mess with. But as far as those go I can control depth a bit w/ line size or rod tip positioning. I dislike doing even this, though, because 0.015 dia line in clear water means going to a fluoro leader. And they aren't really big cranks at all. When fall patterns happen I get the shakes if i'm not throwing big!

That was you that outbid me on those brush baby chrome blanks!!

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Last Summer I bought a heap of blanks (4")-- when they arrived the lips were way over what I thought I was getting (probably1" long). As I was after a slim shallow diver to about 4' max, I just stuck them on the sander and ground them back to about 3/8 - 1/2", painted them up and they worked a treat, more a shallow sway than a solid shake though,, which was what I was after anyway.

Pete

Mine have that lazy sway even with the full lip. But I work them with the rod tip low, ripping the tip down with a bit of slack before and after ripping the tip, which makes the bait dart side to side. Sometimes it rolls belly up and breaks surface. Nice.

Why did you grind the lip...they barely run 1.5 feet as it is?

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That was you that outbid me on those brush baby chrome blanks!!

Knew I should have picked a different username! Bwahaha! But I cut the "brush cams" off the side of the bait and the 2 I have painted up and tested hunt like it's the first day of the season. 8O I'm not sure if they run like this because of the mod or not because I haven't tested the other 8, which I have left unmodified. You should get some of these - they have been relisted, but I'll warn you the bills have yellowed with age. But at least that's the mark of pre - Rapala quality. I've heard things have gone to crap over there at the plant, as Rap reportedly has fired all the experienced managers.

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Has anybody tried hacking off the front section of bill to produce a square bill? It seems like I remember the pros used to do this a lot back in the 80s - maybe that's how it all began - but it seems you would need a crank with a nose - mounted line tie in order for this to work. The Predatr 2.5 KOs look like a lot like this was done to them.

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Haha I did end up ordering some of the clear bodies, They were in pretty good shape with no yellowing.I'm in the process of talking to the guy to see if I can order more than 10. Thats pretty interesting that you cut the cams off and they hunt, let us know if you test the other 8 and get the same results. If not I might just have to cut the cams off mine to :o I live in the desert and the closest lake is 2 hours away and it aint that great, have to drive almost 4 hours just to get some decent fishing in :( So the only way I can test mine atm is the bathtub and I don't think thats enough water for a proper test.

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