Hehhna

Im Stuck On My First Lure

14 posts in this topic

What do I do about my ballast? I don't even know what to do for that. I haven't sealed it yet or put screw eyes on or painted. Where do I add the ballast or how do I figure that out? Ive tried searching but everything is so confusing.

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Edited by Hehhna

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You can learn a lot about crankbaits just by looking at commercial examples. Probably 90% of wood crankbaits use a ballast that consists of a small cylinder of lead that has the belly hook hanger molded into it as a single unit. See where the belly hanger is and that's also where the ballast is. You can buy integrated ballast/hangers or you can position your ballast in the same general area on your crankbait, just in front of or behind (or both) the hanger. How much ballast? Depends on how you want your crankbait to perform. Again, look at a good commercial crankbait. If you are building yours from the same type of wood, weigh the original crank and you can estimate how much ballast you will need in your bait. Or you can do a float test when the bait is waterproof by temporarily installing all the hardware then hanging lead on the front treble hook until you get the buoyancy you want. Then just drill a hole and install an equal amount of ballast in the bait.

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My first attempt would be just very slightly aft of the pencil mark. The problem is that you will probably want the belly hook in that position too. I cast hollow lead slugs, just for this purpose.

Dave

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Ballast keeps the bait upright. Hooks are a part of the ballast system and are often enough to get the job done on small lures.

Dave

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Ballast keeps the bait upright. Hooks are a part of the ballast system and are often enough to get the job done on small lures.

Dave

What would you consider to be a small lure. So right now I plan on sealing the lure, then putting the screw eyes and hooks on and seeing how it sits in water?

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Up to around 3". But your bait had a lot of depth, so might need some ballast. Your plan to try without is reasonable.

is a video of a similar lure that I was prototyping. The adjustable weight fell out, so I decided to make a video of it weightless. You can see that it is trying to swim on its side, as the hooks are just not quite heavy enough. It does swim fine though. 2 or 3 grams of ballast would make all the difference. I have more videos of this prototype if you are interested.

Dave

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Up to around 3". But your bait had a lot of depth, so might need some ballast. Your plan to try without is reasonable.

is a video of a similar lure that I was prototyping. The adjustable weight fell out, so I decided to make a video of it weightless. You can see that it is trying to swim on its side, as the hooks are just not quite heavy enough. It does swim fine though. 2 or 3 grams of ballast would make all the difference. I have more videos of this prototype if you are interested.

Dave

Yeah this is my first carving and sanding of a crankbait. I have to say it looks pretty good other than the tail is a bit flat. Ill learn as I go. Anyhow, I have heard some people saying a split shot is a reasonable thing to use as a ballast. Would I just drill a hole the size of the split shot, insert the split shot in the hole, then fill it in?

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Yes, you got it. After sealing the wood from water, you could fit the hooks, then tape lead to the belly until you get what you want. Then drill the hole, fit, fill, sand and reseal. Yes, it is a lot of fiddling about, but you are guaranteed a good result. If you just guess at it, you may be disappointed, if you paint and finish without testing.

Make notes. Next time you make a bait the same, you will already know how much lead and where to fit it.

Dave

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Yes, you got it. After sealing the wood from water, you could fit the hooks, then tape lead to the belly until you get what you want. Then drill the hole, fit, fill, sand and reseal. Yes, it is a lot of fiddling about, but you are guaranteed a good result. If you just guess at it, you may be disappointed, if you paint and finish without testing.

Make notes. Next time you make a bait the same, you will already know how much lead and where to fit it.

Dave

+1

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This is an awsome thread! As a beginner, I would love to sit down and make a bait with some of you guys in person. I have learned a LOT from this site and look forward to learning a lot more. Thanks, Tracy G.

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First off, great looking lure. A couple observations from a newbie. I would put the balast right where your thumb is. And second, I think it works best to screw your line tie hanger, straight into the body. An with your angle for your lip you will have a difficult time doing that. You may hae to cut out a notch on your lip to allow the screw eye to pass. Good bait though.

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First off, great looking lure. A couple observations from a newbie. I would put the balast right where your thumb is. And second, I think it works best to screw your line tie hanger, straight into the body. An with your angle for your lip you will have a difficult time doing that. You may hae to cut out a notch on your lip to allow the screw eye to pass. Good bait though.

Its been awhile since Ive been on here due to school and also football, but i put the ballast in right where you said and it sits very good in water. The next step for me is painting and finish coating it as well as install the bill. other than that, ill be good to go. Any tips on that will be great and ill post a pic of when Im done.

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