Woodland

Testing/tuning First Curly Maple Cranks

16 posts in this topic

Howdy!

I'm new to the forum, glad to be here. I turned a few crankbaits from leftover tonewood scraps used in violin making. The wood has such a nice flame to it I decided to finish them with a clear poly (which is what I happened to have at the time, I'll coat the next batch with epoxy) and hung some hardware on them. They're made from European sycamore maple and American red maple, both of which are considerably less dense than sugar maple. I threw them in a bucket of water just to get a feel for how well they float or sink and they seemed to suspend just below the surface with the nose down. I'm hoping they'll make good suspending lures for walleye. I'll be taking them down to the river for a test drive tomorrow. I'm sure it will take some tuning with the diving bill and the placement of the hooks, we'll see how it goes.

cranks.jpg

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Hello

Welcome to T.U.

Really nice looking baits! My first lathe crank was a nudie covered in poly. Red cedar made to appear as a crawfish. What is more natural than wood grain?

Violins? Did you make them? A beautiful musical instrument. If so, my hat is off to you. Crankbaits will be a breeze.

Vic

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Thanks for the compliments. I'm a violin repairman/dealer by trade, I'm building my first few instruments just for my own enjoyment, but it's very slow going. I'm addicted to making smaller, "instant-gratification" crafts like pens, guitar picks, tying flies and now turning lures on the lathe. I'm going to start making painted basswood lures within the next week, so I need to make a lure turner so I can start coating them with epoxy.

Photo0011.jpg

Edited by Woodland

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Beautiful! The deep shimmer in some hardwoods is amazing!

Be sure and use a wire leader, so you don't get bit off!

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Here's the actual lures I field (river) tested today:

IMG_1199.jpg

They all behaved somewhat differently. From top to bottom (largest to smallest), the top lure had a wide, clumsy wobble and wouldn't dive worth a crap. The second was a little better, still not much of a diver. The bottom lure was tightest and dove fine, just like a shallow diving Rapala. I'm convinced its the size to metal hardware ratio. Not to say the top lure was bad per se, it was more of a topwater pike lure, just not what I usually fish with. Bending the metal diving bill didn't seem to change much of anything. And no, no fish today, but that's okay, I learned some good lessons about lure action. Next, cedar and basswood lures...

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Hello again

The first go is always a big day. Exciting with some success and some set backs. But no teacher like experience.

I am going to assume you used no ballast except the hooks and attaching hardware? The hardware is the same on all three baits? Looks like you positioned the front hook a bit different on the middle lure. I believe the third lure swam the best because of the shape. Study the difference in shape closely. If all other factors are same except shape, then there lies your answer. Most baits will have ballast toward the front of the lure. The wood itself acts as ballast. The weight of the wood is acting as forward ballast on this lure. The others may swim if a bit more ballast is added. One way is to add a third hook and attaching hardware to a non swimmer. Keeping all other factors same as swimmer. Things like bill angle. One might get lucky. Good Luck.

Vic

ps I can not tell from photo but it is extremely important that hooks swing free you your bait. Also adding split ring to line tie will ensure lure is able to swim freely.

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Yes, no additional ballast except the hardware. Originally the top lure had a center hook hanger, but I decided to move the hook to the diving lip to see how it would react, it didn't really change anything. All hooks were attached with split rings, and the diving lips had split rings mounted for tying on the line. It appears the size of wood body was the determining factor. I'm going to experiment with ballast and different wood bodies this week, including ash.

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look sweet. you might try a more agressive lip angle. 36-45 for dive angle.

funny my brother inlaw make guitars and violins in upper ont. canada..

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Hi Woodland

Taking a fresh look at your baits this afternoon one thing that is glaring back at me is bib position in relationship to placement on lure body. The top bait with wide clumsy action appears to have bib set further back on body than bottom bait. Moving the bib closer to the nose of the bait will tighten the action of the bait. Many modern shallow divers have bib right on nose of bait for max action. I would try moving bib to the point of bait and set at angle woodieb8 suggests.

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It looks to me like the bottom lure has both the diving lip and the hook/hanger closer to the front of the lure. This is probably why this one swam the best. More weight toward the front. The density of wood can play a factor in the way a lure is built and how it performs. If you are building deep diving baits a heavier wood can be used so not as much ballast has to be added. For building shallow diving baits most builders like to use lighter and livelier woods like balsa to get a fast rising bait that deflects off cover better than heavier woods. You can build deeper diving cranks out of lighter woods, but it is going to require that you add way more ballast to get them to the same depth as a bait made out of heavier wood with less ballast. I suggest you read up on Archimedes theory about water displacement.

Ben

Edited by RayburnGuy

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I like the lightest material I can use for deep divers, so they back out of hangups really well.

It's no accident Rapala uses balsa for their DT series.

I'd rather be able to add ballast between the bill and the front hook hanger, like the DT series of lures, because it makes the bait more stable on the retrieve.

I don't build with wood anymore, but, if I did, I'd look at either a strong balsa, or sugar pine, for my material.

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Thanks everyone for the input. I looked at the baits again more closely last night. The best swimming lure does indeed have the furthest forward diving bill, I doubt it's a coincidence. I'm going to reset the other two bills and drag them through a bathtub full of water.

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Just got back from the Kankakee River, cuz I heard the walleye bite was on. Unfortunately for me it wasn't, but it was a great day to get outside. I moved the diving lips forward on the two cranks that were clumsy and voila, it did the trick, they dive just fine now. They do "float" nose down, so maybe some ballast in the tail end would even them out a bit and make them more of a suspending lure. Thanks everyone for your input, back to the workbench...

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HI Woodland

Glad we were able to help.

Sorry to hear the bite was off for you.

A little nose down is not a bad thing. Some really good baits set at a 45 degree angle. Be careful adding weight to the rear of your bait . Too much will dull the action of your cranks. Keeping your weight near the center of gravity of the lure will be action neutral.

Edited by littleriver

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