Duplicating Plastic Cranks...with Wood?
60 replies to this topic
Posted 02 December 2011 - 12:08 PM
I agree with littleriver; I think the lip is too long and the bait will be uncontrollable. I've tried longer lips on baits with the line tie in the nose, thinking that I'd just start long and trim it down gradually to get the right length. Somehow, that just never seems to work out for me. If you want a bait to dive more than 4-5 ft, IMO you need to get the line tie out on the surface of the lip instead of in the nose, and use less lip angle.
Lure-Prof is right about the irony but on the other hand I think the absolute best way to start out building crankbaits is to copy successful designs. They are successful because they were developed by professionals and they actually catch fish. That's no mean feat. I don't fear that a wood copy of a RC2.5 will be "too close for comfort" to a plastic RC2.5. In the first place, nobody will ever get the copy exact. And because it's from wood, the bait will behave very differently. But at least you will have eliminated some of the design pitfalls that you know nothing about and will otherwise have to learn through bitter experience. Build it, fish it, and start modifying the design over several generations and that will teach you a lot about crankbaits.
Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:08 PM
I don't see why you felt the need to post this. Who dedicated TU to custom tackle...yourself?
Here is what TU is about and who it is for:
Tackleunderground.com is an online community of fishing tackle enthusiasts and makers brought together from the world over. Tackleunderground.com boasts the planets largest group of minds and talent in the industry from weekend hobbyists to full time manufacturers in one place.
What we do
Tackleunderground.com allows you to create, exhibit & discuss techniques related to fishing tackle production and improving it's effective use. Our community encompasses a wide range of skill-sets from the weekend warrior modifying an existing bait on up to scratch-built tackle & full scale manufacturing.
Now, I don't see the word "custom" at all, or the implication that TU is "dedicated" to custom tackle making.
Even the faintest irony is completely lost on me.
Hopefully we can get back to talking shop.
Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:47 PM
The KVD 2.5 runs 7 ft, at least, out of the box. I have confirmed this on the water with 150' casts and 10 lb, .012" line. My understanding of lure design elements is halfway well rounded these days, but not real sharp - and I'm not sure what gives this square bill the ability to get so deep. I suspect it has something to do with the steep angles on the sides of the bill, which give the bill a narrower profile. There is also a spine molded on the underside of the bill that flows seamlessly into the body as it widens. I wonder if the twin ballast (one large steel ball just rear of the front hanger, one smaller ball just to the front.) maybe works with the bill to achieve a better dive angle?
Have you tried using the plastic dividers for testing? The ones I used (Plano) have ridges molded in them that allow the bill to stay in the slot without shifting and without glue on a moderate retrieve. On a faster retrieve they would probably flex downward, making the test moot, but they are nice and easy to trim on the water even with small scissors.
I just wanted to see if I could get an extra foot or two of depth. I realize even that is a long shot.
Posted 02 December 2011 - 08:25 PM
Where a lure is made is irrelevant. We all copy someone here, except maybe JRHopkins.
It takes just as much skill to copy a lure from Peru as one from the US.
Stick to what TU is about, which is making and sharing.
Everything I know about luremaking, limited as it may be, I learned here, from generous people sharing what they've learned.
Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:17 PM
Blazt, i use the bill I will be fishing with for testing . Once I have the bait water sealed i put a tin piece of masking tape on end of bill and in install in slot. This holds well enough for testing. I also sometimes employ a temporary extended line lie that may be bent to variety of positions until a good position is found. I credit Vodkaman for this fantastic prototyping idea. My very first crank with the long bill and steep angle bill was able to swim after bending my line tie down onto the bill. On the bill as bob suggests. Many of my first baits were more learning than success.
I know literally nothing of the bait your copying or how deep it will dive. But I am developing an idea of what makes any bait dive and act the way it does. Ballast effects buoyancy and both ballast and buoyancy have influence on depth and action. So does line tie position, lure shape,lure weight, weight distribution bill angle, bill length, bill width and bill shape. Basically it can get very complicated very quick. I commend for trying to get more depth. Trying a new mod often leads to dissapointment but try and try again and finally success. My intention is to hopefully save you a couple of those tries and fast track you to success. The reason we do not see commercial baits with steep bill angles and long bills with line ties on nose is simple; they usually do not work. The buoyancy (lift) of the bait with line tie on nose coupled with long steep angled bill(drag) will nose over too far and swim out of control. There is a balance that must be achieved for proper swimming action between the two like a seasaw. Put too much force on either end of this delicate balance and no wobble. For such a large bill on a short bait with this angle, it would take so much ballast at rear of bait to balance and this would not make for a good swimmer even if it did work.
I wish you well with your build and I hope your swimming this bait soon.
Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:41 AM
I have used Plano dividers for bill, but mostly on shallow divers. I switched to Lexan because it is thinner and more rigid, and I've found that it deflects better off rock and doesn't wear like the Plano bills.
Now I use Plano dividers just for prototyping, and not for my finished lures.
For deep diving cranks, I move the line tie down onto the bill about half way, like Ben's deep diver in his gallery.
I lucked out, and his bill design works perfectly for my deep divers.
But making a prototype with multiple line tie connections in different locations on the bill, like Vodkaman does, will help you achieve the best location for your lure.
I float test my cranks to ballast them, and want them to hang nose down, so they begin diving immediately on the start of the retrieve. I find the best way to find that angle is to put a deep diving DT16 Rapala, or any lure that similar in design to what I've made, in the float tank, and duplicate that angle with my test ballast.
I think you'll find that adding your ballast between the front hook hanger and the bill, and as close to the belly of the lure as possible, will help keep your lure stable on the retrieve. Adding ballast behind the front hanger seems to dampen a lure's action for me, and to make it hang more horizontal. I find that more horizontal makes it dive more slowly and more shallow.
If I need a lot of ballast, I'll add it in two smaller portions to keep the weight down low.
On the other side, raising the position of the ballast toward the middle of the bait and away from the belly can make the bait more unstable, and help it "hunt", but achieving that action with ballast position is a real pain in the neck, at least for me.
You've got a lot of work, and fun, ahead of you.
Enjoy, and good luck.
Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:43 AM
One of the first mission statements that Jerry used for this site was "all custom, all the time". While Tackle Underground may have expanded its scope beyond that statement, at its core, TU, and the well from which all this has sprung is the spirit of Underground, the collective effort of imaginative individual tackle craftsmen going beyond the mass-produced built-to maximize-profit products which the Commercial Tackle Industry gives us.
So to answer your question, no, the custom tackle thing was not my idea, but was the mission that supplied fuel to the original tackle innovators of this site to get it to where we are today, approaching a 10th anniversary of solid tackle building innovation and information; Tackle Underground, where, as our long-suffering site administrator Jerry Goodwin pronounced, as mission, "Custom Tackle Has No Limits".
I hope you can see now why a thread that began with the idea of copying a commercial product struck me as ironic. Without the battle flag of custom tackle, there would not be this site upon which this thread could be posted!
Posted 04 December 2011 - 06:33 PM
I took the first blank out for a swim a couple days after shaping it and it swam ok (I trimmed the bill some), very much like the original but it does need some refinement. It has more thump, whick I like, but the side to side swing was a bit choppy and abrupt. This is probably just because I stuffed the two ballast weights in the belly halfway, with half hanging out. I was pretty much just trying to get the buoyancy down (moderately slow rise, so that it will grind bottom on a slow retrieve). I would guesstimate it ran about 6 ft on a shorter (90 ft maybe) cast because at the end of the retrieve it was about 4.5 ft down. I have two more waiting on hardware and when I drill them out I'll be more careful to get good ballast ports, so that the weights are well into the belly.
The first one I swam was a little too big, with sides that were flatter than the master bait but otherwise the shape was an 85% match, but blank #2 is almost dead on in every way. So hopefully it will be fully awesome once it's ready to go...can't wait to teach it to swim.
I couldn't believe you started talking about hunting action relates to how deep the belly weights are positioned- I've been wondering about that for a while since it seems like it would destabilize the center of gravity- why do find tuning it that way is a pain? Do have a preffered method? Anybody? The only time I had a bait wind up a hunter was a batch of Luhr Jensen Brush Babies...happy accident...I cut the "brush cams" off the sides and they started hunting like crazy.I was thinking maybe put the egg weights I'm using on a toothpick and use that to slide them in and out for easy adjustment while testing.
Also I too have thought about an adjustable line tie for prototyping but couldn't see anything in my mind that wouldn't be too fat and have too much resistance in the water...do have a link or some pics for that by any chance?
Next question: If I wanted to convert the 2.5 body to a deep diver, with a big lip running almost straight out, what adjustments would I probably be looking at to get the same action?
For those that haven't heard, these KVDs are made to hunt of of the box.
The 2011 Classic was won with a KVD 1.5 .
I only had one each - a 1.5 and a 2.5 - but despite the cold water they wouldn't even breathe on the 1.5, even though the one I had hunted a lot more than the big one.
Edited by blazt*, 04 December 2011 - 06:39 PM.
Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:22 PM
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.....
Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:32 PM
I got it to hunt a bit (nothing impressive) before I started messing with the bill. Should have left it alone, because when I cut a bit off and rounded the corners it stopped hunting and didn't swim as well - back to the choppy swim. It was a pretty square looking square bill before my "improvements" and I'm starting to think square bills really should be square. But the stock bill has a rounded profile. I'm going to yank the bill and start again if needed. I wound up with 3/16 oz of ballast stuffed into the belly.
I put one of the finished baits in the gallery (crappy cell phone pic!) :
Will it swim the same if I just put a big deep diver bill on there with the line tie on the bill or would I have to make adjustments?
Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:34 PM
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.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:50 PM
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.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:26 PM
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.
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*, 13 December 2011 - 01:27 PM.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 03:01 PM
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.
Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:55 AM
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.
Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:05 AM
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.
Posted 14 December 2011 - 04:31 PM
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.
Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:26 PM
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.
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, 14 December 2011 - 07:34 PM.
Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:25 AM
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.
Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:03 AM
When I ran into the same ballast problem with the RC 1.5, I uses suspend dots, since they surface mount, and it worked.