MrCribs

Lurelips In Balsa Wood

9 posts in this topic

ive posted a topic about screweyes in balsa wood not long ago, now ive noticed that alot of (deep) diving lures have the linetie in the lip and the lip glued into the body. there seem to be no other connection then the lip to the body.

now i would like to make some balsa deep divers but i dont know if i should use this method that i discribed above so does anyone here have any experience with this?

im not doubting the strength of the lexan im planning to use, its a pain in the ass to cut with no electrical tools at hand, so it must be strong enough. its the connection to the balsa that i expect failure in. has this ever failed on anyone''s custom build lures?

thanks,

Chris

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Chris, the failures I've seen with lips in balsa are most often the top of the lures' heads breaking off, and I believe that results from the lure being smacked on the water when trying to clear weeds off the trebles. I've done it myself with lures I made - which taught me a lesson about what never to do with balsa lures! You can break a short lipped balsa lure that way so I'm sure it's even easier to do with a deep diving balsa lure where the long lip makes for increased leverage on the body. JMHO, I wouldn't use balsa on a deep diving lure. You're going to need extra ballast to make a deep diving balsa lure behave correctly anyway, so why not avoid the problem and just go with a more dense wood like white cedar, paulownia, or bass wood that can take the abuse? I know Rapala has deep diving balsa lures in their DT series, but I think an internal look at them would show special construction techniques to try and avoid the problem. And special construction techniques aren't readily available to the hobby builder. Rapala's solution apparently isn't so good because you hear about lots of DT lips breaking. As far as the line tie being out on the lip of a deep diver - that's true of ALL deep divers, plastic or wood, because that's where it has to be for the lure to work properly. You can build a line-tie-on-the-lip bait with Lexan or circuit board that will be every bit as durable as one with the line tie in the nose. You just need to run the wire from the line tie under the lip and glue it back into the bait. Personally, I like to cut a slot in the back of the lip and bend the line tie back over the top of the lip so the whole thing becomes a rigid "package" that I can glue into the lip slot.

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thanks Bob, something like the DT series is exactly what im trying to make. ive looked at some videos of rapala on youtube and the DT series seem to have a pretty low center of gravity, around where the first hook hanger is. the lures almost seem to pivit around that hook hanger.

ive made some blanks now of 8 cm long they weigh about 6 grams, i think the lexan lip (3 mm) ive made weighs about 8 + hooks 2 grams = 16 grams im aiming for 24 grams so i have to put 8 grams of lead somewhere in there.

i just dont want to take the risk of hooking a fish and end up pulling the lip out of the lure, so ill do it trough wire.

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Havent made anything that dives much more than 6 feet (i fish rivers 99+% of the time and they max out about 6 ft), but i have made a few 6-8 feet divers out of basswood. As bobp mentioned, for deeper divers, i would start out with a denser wood than balsa, master this(the deeper diving the bait the harder it is to get it to swim properly, not roll, etc) then move on to balsa(when i started using balsa, especially balsa baits with more volume, i realized it takes much more ballast than you think). On my 6-8 foot diving basswoods, to get a lil xtra strength(these tie ins went thru the lip), i clipped my tie in so it would go into the front of the body (below the lip) about a cm or so. Then i glued this in(in addition to gluing in the lip obviously). This will add more strenth, since now for it to fail, it will basically have to rip the head/front of the bait off, and not just pull out the lip. This i did for the sake of doing it, but it will add strenth up front which could be very useful the deeper the diver and/or the weaker the wood.

Another way to toughen up balsa baits is to use an extra coat or two of clear than you normally do. Make sure all coats of clear make good contact with hook hangers, tie ins(do it up then drill out the holes), and lip.

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If you really want to bombproof your bait, look into thru wiring.

And before you glue in the lip, harden up the cut lip slot with some glue (something that will soak in like cheap runny super glue or thinned epoxy). Then light sand/saw to clear slot if necessary before gluing in lip.

The only baits ive had the lips rip out (or break)on are rapalas. Floaters, sinkers, long cast, and dive2. I dont slap my lures either.

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Watch grain direction of your wood. I broke a couple balsa baits when I first started building them (not even making it to the water). As mentioned above, they all broke above the lip (head chipping off). I changed the grain direction and this proved to create a stronger bait. When you carve your baits, make sure the wood grain is running the length of the bait.

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well so far so good, ive made some blanks and finished the lexan lip. ive made a thru wire constr. and it looks pretty good. i had to add 10 grams of lead instead of 8 and this is the first crankbait where i had to think about where to place the weight. i took the Rapala DT 16 as example but with a DT 10 lip. i calculated all the sizes to what i wanted from pictures on internet.. for example i measured the length of a lure on my computerscreen divided it by its height , then took the answer and divided 8 cm with it. 8 cm was what i wanted.

i never copy lures exactly, if so i dont mean to. i always give them a twist of my own. with the first lure of a kind i usually freestyle the tapering of the tail and head then on the second lure i take the first as example and copy it.

the lip balsa construction mayb works better with the smaller size lures, so that is what im going to try.

thanks all,

Chris

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i think the place of the lip and angle is responsible for the breaking heads. when the lip is placed in the lure under an angle, the grains on the top and front of the lip are short and will break off easier then a lip that is placed horizontally in the lure.

this can be sovled by leaving the first bit of the lip thats inside of the lure straight, so its parralel to the grains, and making a bend at the outside part of the lip.

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