blazt*

Duplicating Plastic Cranks...with Wood?

61 posts in this topic

blazt,

I don't have a formula for making a crank that hunts. After playing around for a while, I gave up.

I'm sure there are other ways to achieve the same thing, but I haven't found them.

I would look long and hard at the brush baby you altered that hunts.

I'm guessing that the side "cams" on the brush baby helps to stabilize the lure on the retrieve. Maybe the ratio of the size of the lure, width of the lure, and the size and width of the bill will give you a starting point.

I've made cranks that overpowered their bills, and swam in big, slow circles. I corrected that with suspend dots between the bill and the belly hook. I was too lazy to try and play with the wieghts to get it to hunt, but that told me that the ratio of bill size to lure is important, and altering that may lead to a hunting action, too.

I've achieved a hunting action by burning a long, thin shallow crankbait, too. Long body, small bill, hmm.....

Yes the Brush Baby has a somewhat bulky bill. Not really that big but there are "brush cams" (little lobes on either side) that may increase the resistance and the end of the bill is bent at an angle. Ballast is right behind or right beneath the hanger.

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Not many commercial baits hunt, and for good reason. Hunting is generated by a bait that is almost, but not quite, out of control. During the retrieve, it kicks out momentarily to both sides but will always come back to the retrieve center line. If it stalls during the excursions, that's not hunting. If you have a bait with a standard low ballast that runs straight without hunting, raising the height of the ballast in the lure is one thing to try (among others) to make the lure less stable and induce hunting. Sometimes it works, but not always. Most bait manufacturers purposely design baits that won't hunt. If you mold a thousand baits that are on the edge of instability in order to get hunters, variability in manufacture will result in a significant percentage of baits just run straight, and some others that slip "over the edge" and will be un-tunable. Guys who buy the un-tunable ones are not happy customers. A good example of this is the original Wiggle Wart. They are a cult bait because of their erratic hunting action. Less publicized is the fact that along with the hunters, there were plenty that didn't, and quite a few others that were impossible to tune.

Maybe developments in manufacturing controls now make it feasible to produce a bait that reliably hunts, without the non-hunters and the duds. Personally, I'm skeptical that Strike King has pulled that off with the KVD square bills because I don't see Japanese-like perfection in them that would lead me to believe it. But time will tell. That certainly doesn't mean that you can't take the KVD design as a starting point to design your own wood bait that will hunt.

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A good example of this is the original Wiggle Wart. They are a cult bait because of their erratic hunting action. Less publicized is the fact that along with the hunters, there were plenty that didn't, and quite a few others that were impossible to tune.

Hmmm. I'd like to make some basswood Wiggle Warts. The Series 6 I had talked about just isn't getting bit right now, and I'm throwing it where I know there are fish. But I wonder about the "Original Wiggle Wart" that Rapala has on the shelves these days vs. the vintage baits produced under the Storm name - minus the hunt, is the action the same? Would the new "Original" be worth copying, as I could probably make it hunt and they are easily had?

It seems to be common knowledge that there are numerous differences between old and new, such as the density of the plastic. So I must wonder if they wobble the same. I'm not sure which one I'd be better off working from, but I want to work from a bait that will give me a clear idea of what to aim for, behaviour - wise.

Personally, I'm skeptical that Strike King has pulled that off with the KVD square bills because I don't see Japanese-like perfection in them that would lead me to believe it. But time will tell. That certainly doesn't mean that you can't take the KVD design as a starting point to design your own wood bait that will hunt.

I've only fished or tested fewer than a half dozen of these, all silent models. The 2.5 autopsied for this project hunted the least, requiring a faster retrieve to get it going, although the entire handful of 1.5s and 2.5s I've thrown have hunted.

I have the feeling Strike King is building a conservative range of instability into these, without getting too close to the edge. I really can't say whether there are many duds that blow out or nonhunters, because it's not like I have gone through a hundred of these. Maybe the rattling version might be more prone to untuneability out of the pack.

Edited by blazt*

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If you can make a good Wart copy, you're a better man than me, Gunga Din. I tried it once and failed! And I can't figure a way to get the same scooped lip shape without heating and bending Lexan - which I know is possible but don't want to get into. The exercise taught me to be more careful in choosing baits to emulate. Can't comment on the Rapala "Original Warts" because I've never tried them.

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Bob,

Have you tried using some 1/4" lexan, and sanding out the shape? That way, you can still have 1/8" when you're done.

I wet sand my lip afterward, to get it smoother, and then dip it into clean acetone, to make it even smoother and more clear.

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Thanks Mark, that's an interesting approach. BTW, I don't think you use DN S81 MCU but it works great to fill in Lexan scratches and clarify the bill- and it's tough enough to stay on there.

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If you can make a good Wart copy, you're a better man than me, Gunga Din. I tried it once and failed! And I can't figure a way to get the same scooped lip shape without heating and bending Lexan - which I know is possible but don't want to get into. The exercise taught me to be more careful in choosing baits to emulate. Can't comment on the Rapala "Original Warts" because I've never tried them.

Sounds like I just got shot down. But I still can't ignore the siren call:

1) Were you able to get the bait to run right? Or did you drop the project for some other reason?

2) Was the lip pretty much the reason for the trouble - ie; it wouldn't swim without a countoured lip? Because I don't want to get into the heating-lips-and-bending-them business, either.

Maybe I should just aim for a DT copy. But I still need a good deep to midrange crank for stained, cold water.

Could be modifying the KVD to go deep is the answer, instead.

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blazt,

The RC 2.5 body is easy to copy, and works well for deep divers. Just put a 2" bill on it, put the line tie half way down the bill, and set it parallel to the centerline of the bait.

I find that buoyancy is really important in making a deep diver that won't get hung up, so leave enough wood (or whatever material you're using) on the tail to keep it riding high.

The Spro Deep Little John is also a very good shape to copy. Because it has flatter sides, it stays thick in the tail, and floats really well.

Bob,

I'll keep that in mind, but I'm too cheap to buy more top coat until I've used up the 2 quarts I still have left.

At the rate I'm building lures currently, that will take years. Hahaha

Edited by mark poulson

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I can tell you the wiggle wart is the hardest bait ever to try base a design off of.

I've tackled that bait 3 different times with numerous prototypes and have yet to duplicate the original action. I feel the scooped bill is the key to get the wiggle wart style of action. I'm not willing to get into the heating and bending of the lexan to test my theory. Sanding a bill is something I had not thought of

but I will give that a try. The wiggle wart body is not easy to carve, takes more

time than any bait I've built and it does not leave much room for ballast weight. One of these day I'm going to stumble on the right formula for this bait. I think

a balsa wood version would be excellent for those river smallies in Mo.

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benton,

When I ran into the same ballast problem with the RC 1.5, I uses suspend dots, since they surface mount, and it worked.

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Mark,

I've been playing with tungsten spheres lately and having some good results with some weighting issues.

The suspend dots are a good idea also. I will try you idea of sanding a concave surface on the bill as well.

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