jackg

What Makes A Bait Want To Run To One Side

17 posts in this topic

I am new to making balsa crankbaits, I made a one piece thru wire with the weight in the bottom of the belly,rounded lip.when i test it starts out showing good wiggle but wants to run to one side, even to the point of getting almost entirely on its side.does anyone have any ideas how to correct this?

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It could be your line tie point need to be adjusted. The water passing over the lip is what makes the bait wiggle. If the tie point is off center, then the bait will turn and travel off center. It does this because their is more pressure on one side of the bill than the other because your line tie is off center. Depending on which way the lure is turning will determine the direction one will need to bend the line tie. This is often referred to as "tuning". Most handmade crankbaits require some level of tuning.

Littleriver

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Yeah, could be a few things. Could also be that you're lip wasn't set true to center, but could also be a problem with your ballast being off-center.

Start with messing with the line tie, for sure.

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I agree with Littleriver. If your lure is running off to the right side then take a pair of needle nose pliers and bend the line tie slightly to the left or bend it to the right if the bait is running off to the left. If this is not the problem then the only other thing I can think of would be that you didn't cut your lip slot exactly square with the bait and your diving lip is canted one way or the other. If your using a band saw, or scroll saw, to cut out your baits then you need to also cut the lip slot at the same time your cutting the lure profile before any shaping is done. This guarantees that the lip slot will be at a true 90 degrees to the centerline of the lure. (as long as your band saw is set up properly and the blade is square with the table) If your using a knife or hand saw to cut out your profiles then what you can do is clamp your lure into a vice after cutting out the profile (while the sides are still flat and before any shaping is done) and line up where you want the lip slot to be with the top edge of the vice. Then the top edge of the vice can be used as a guide for the hand saw. Go slowly and be sure to keep the saw in contact with both sides of the vice and this should give you a square lip slot.

Ben

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I build a lot of balsa baits. And the main reason some of my baits run on their side is the lip is just slightly off 90 degrees. How are you cutting your lip slot? 1 degree off makes a huge difference. Also the ballast has to be right in the center of the lure body. Rob

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I cut the slot as you desribed rayburnguy but it looks like it might be a tad off. would it be a safe bet to take some off the top of one side of the lip and the bottom of the other?

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Jack, in addition to being off-center, another problem might be that your lip is too long. It's hard to diagnose problems like this sight-unseen and without knowing how much ballast you used in the bait. If the ballast is inadequate, that can also amplify any problems with the lip.

As far as trimming the lip, yes, you can try that. Look from the tail of the bait along its belly and judge how much of the lip is exposed on each side of the bait. You want them equal. After you correct the exposure on the sides by trimming, you will also need to re-shape the leading edge of the lip slightly on a rounded lip. All of this pre-supposes that you have first tried tuning the bait by bending the line tie as described earlier.

Edited by BobP

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Bob gave you some good advice. Try some of the stuff mentioned here and if it still doesn't work post a picture of it and we can tell more about what the problem may be.

Ben

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Assuming youve spent countless hours building this one of a kind crankbait this is how I personally take care of the off center wobble. First I take the little sob that ive meticulously carved for hours, proudly admiring what a bait guru I am, and stomp the bill right off the front of the bait. Second I would take my little picasso off the floor dust it off and throw it up against a brick wall. Lastly and the most fun is setting it on fire, so noone will ever see the evidence of what was 1degree off on the lip. Hope this helps. I sure feel better.

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But on a serious note you could probably just bend the eye on the lip one direction or another. Very little movement makes a huge difference

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thanks guys I trimmed some off the lip and tuned it ,now its the best running, hunting bait so far!

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thanks guys I trimmed some off the lip and tuned it ,now its the best running, hunting bait so far!

Glad you got it figured out. For a crank to "hunt" it usually has to be right on the edge of stability in the first place. At least from what I understand about it. While some people say they can build lures that " hunt" for most of us it's because we made a slight error somewhere and got lucky. The only crank I've built so far that hunted was the first lure I built. I had no power tools and everything was done by hand. Even the lip slot was "eyeballed" square. The lip was actually a little too long for the size of the bait and it was also just a wee bit out of square with the body. It was built for a friend of mine and he claims it has a better action than anything he's ever fished and that it very rarely hangs up even when pulling it through some really ugly looking limbs and snags. The way he put it was "that thing will come through a chain link fence". Sadly I haven't been able to duplicate it yet.

Ben

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Glad you got it figured out. For a crank to "hunt" it usually has to be right on the edge of stability in the first place. At least from what I understand about it. While some people say they can build lures that " hunt" for most of us it's because we made a slight error somewhere and got lucky. The only crank I've built so far that hunted was the first lure I built. I had no power tools and everything was done by hand. Even the lip slot was "eyeballed" square. The lip was actually a little too long for the size of the bait and it was also just a wee bit out of square with the body. It was built for a friend of mine and he claims it has a better action than anything he's ever fished and that it very rarely hangs up even when pulling it through some really ugly looking limbs and snags. The way he put it was "that thing will come through a chain link fence". Sadly I haven't been able to duplicate it yet.

Ben

Man,

I'd borrow that bait back and really give a good go at duplicating it.

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Man,

I'd borrow that bait back and really give a good go at duplicating it.

It's sitting on my work bench right now Mark. My buddy wants more of them. I'm hoping that the bill being a little too long for that size bait is one of the main reasons it works like it does. I use the Dremel with the reinforced cutting discs to cut my lip slots and I've bent the arbor on both of the ones I have so it will have to wait until I can get another arbor or two or ten.

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