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archeryrob

A Couple Of Baits

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I played with making my first swimbait, but one piece and my first real popper. Now, time to take the critque stick out and beat me with it so I can learn. Both are made from Basswood and through wired. I want to make my own plugs for stripers this year and am playing with some this winter.

The swim bait its a copy of one I saw online and its almost 5 1/2" long and is weighted with a 1/8 oz weight just infront of the hook hanger. It floats low and rolls side to side in a slow action. You need a fast retrieve to get some action. The head face is flat. I would like to see more action and would it get more if the head was dished? The last resort was to add a lip, of course.

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The other is a popper and jsut over 4" long and 7/8" round. This is a bad picture, but you can see it floats too low here. There is no weight on this except for the wire, hooks and rings. Should I tail weight it to rise the front, use pine, or dril the center out to make an air gap. The later idea would probably be better with a two piece lure and carve out the center of each. It pops and pushes water and might catch a fish. It just seems to ride too low to pop louder and make a more effective action.

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Both plugs side by siide

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All right, let the beating begin. :oooh: What should, or could, I have done differently?

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hmmm... the swimbait just requires guess and test. I've tried many many many extra exagerated ways to displace water. ALL of them failed for me. BUT, I normally find a great middle ground. For most of my lures, the best possible action is just on the brink of total failure. However, I've never made a 1 piece swimbait and every lure has its on recipe.

the popper, well I've never made a popper. But, I made my first successful walk-the-dog type lure not too long back and the big key to it was weight in the rear portion of the lure and reducing buoyancy. My proto was made from pvc and the buoyancy proved to kill the action. I tried one in Cedar and it worked great. Start with small weight in the rear and gradually increase it until you hit the break point. imo

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is the popper concaved in the front or flat?concaved works better becouse it catchs the water, flat pushes water out of the way so you won't get as much pop,as for the swim bait a steeper sloping face may work better for you as it will push the bait under water alittle more so will moving the line tie up on the flat face of the bait, as you have it now your trying to pull the bait underwater so the bait will swim but the line tie is keeping the front of the bait pulling up toward the rod tip.think of a bill on a bait and where its line tie is its at a mid to 3/5 of the bait hight on top water baits like walk the dog types its on the lower front to keep it working (trying to swim)as it displaces water thats what makes it swim water pushed out of the way running along the side of the bait pushing it side to side so if you put the line tie up on the flat i think that would work better for you imo you asked for a beating nice looking bait thou

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I am new to this, like so new I have never even used a swim bait! But isn't a swim bait made with two or more sections? The top lure looks like a jerk bait, to me. But I may be way off here. Rob

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Rob you better get on board! hahaha. Swimbaits are freakin awesome at times. Ive got a sebile swimbait that would fit in his category. Im with AMAC my best lures have always come out of total chaos. My best paintjobs on accident. Sometimes you just gotta quit trying so hard and just go with it.

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The popper is concave on the front and cut at a 20 degree angle toward the bottom. It does scoop and push water, but I think it would do more if it floated higher. I will try a little tail weight and see if it is better. If not to pine and then to a two piece hollowed out popper.

The swimming bait rides just below the surface and rocks back and forth to about 20 degrees on each side. It has a long slow action and I figure it might catch a fish as it looks injured rolling back and forth. I have not even thought to try it like a jerk bait, which, it might do a little of both.

I will play more and report back later. :D

Edited by archeryrob

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I want my poppers to start out buoyant, and then I add weight behind the front hook hanger to get them to hang down almost vertical, about 75-80 degrees. By keeping the weight up from the tail, I can walk the dog with the poppers, too.

Where you put the line tie is important. Try putting it in the center of the concave face for more popping. Higher in the face seems to make it chug more, and not spit as much, but it walks the dog better.

As for your swimbait, I think crankbait is right. Try moving your line tie up onto the top of the lure, and back from the nose a little, like a rattle trap. That way, the front of the lure acts like a diving bill, and forces the lure to move side to side on the retrieve.

I would put a slight concave up from the nose to the line tie, like a long, thin cupped bill, to help it catch water and activate the swimming action.

You're on the right track!

Edited by mark poulson

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I don't understand how to make the basswood more bouyant. That is what i asked about pine or making a 2 piece lure and hollowing the center out. Right now the popper was drilled with a 6" long 1/8" bit. Then the face was dished with a Kutzall 1" shpere and the plug sanded to shape. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the bottom to link the bottom hook hanger with the run through so the bottom hook hanger hangs over the pass through wire and is epoxy set on it and the rest of the hole filled with wood putty.

Unless I drilled at more angles with the 1/8" bit to remove more wood and make more air spaces, or drilled down the 1/4" or larger bits to hollow the center and then fill the plug face up. That is why I thought a 2 piece and hollow the center, or trying another wood.

Edited by archeryrob

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I don't know how buoyant bass wood is, but I do know pine is very buoyant, but not as buoyant as either balsa or AZEK PVC trimboard.

I've made poppers from AZEK decking, which is comparable to poplar in buoyance, and they worked fine.

I don't think you need a thru-wire system with bass wood, so you might save weight by using small Spro swivels for the belly hook hanger, and 7/8"X.072 sst screw eyes for both the tail hook hanger, and the line tie. That's what I use, and have no buoyancy problems.

So far, the biggest fish I've caught on one of my poppers is the one in my Avatar, 8.37lbs, so I know the hardware holds up.

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I don't make lures, but I do tinker and modify quite a bit. The Swimbait as others above have said, should have the line tie higher up the face, and a small oblong cup will increase the action. The Popper design is not too un-standard, With the popper in the picture as it is built now, before adding anything, I would take the heavy bronze hook and move it to the rear, and don't put any hook on the front hook hanger yet. See how that rides in the water then probably use a thin wire treble for the front. If making another from scratch, make the plug and before drilling, float test it and see how low it sets in the water. The Hardware system Mark Spoke of is tried and true, and has been used for over 100 years, literally. But try that hook switch, and see if that doesn't bring your nose up more.

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