Fishsticks

Swim Bait Wood Preference

9 posts in this topic

I just finished a bait and after some thought I decided to go with oak. The plan was for it to be a slow sinking bait. Oak seemed to be a good choice since I wouldn't need to add as much weight to make it sink. The main reason I chose oak was because it was a 4 section bait made for catching larger fish such as striper. My thought was that oak would be a stronger wood and a large fish would have less of a chance to break a section off.

For any other swim bait builder out there I was wondering if you had a preference on a specific type of wood you use for something with multiple sections. My lure came out way better then I could have ever predicted. Very smooth lifelike action, I couldn't have been happier. I was just curious to see if anyone had a better suggestion for the core material that may be even stronger. I'm sure resin would be but I really don't know anything about that. Wood is all I've ever worked with before.

Here are a few pics of the oak I used, and what it looks like now to give an idea of what I'm talking about.

aftercutout.jpgbellyandweights.jpg42629510150748623786257.jpg

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I recently did some test builds to explore materials and ballast locations and found that the wood choice made no difference. Like you, I found that the heavier woods performed as well as the lighter woods and gave less problems finding space for ballast. Well done on your swimmer.

Dave

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Beauty is as beauty does. If it swims well, it's a winner. I doubt there are many materials harder and more durable than oak. The advantage you get with a resin is that it will not absorb water like wood will. The finish on a swimbait takes a lot of abuse and once it's breached, water absorption will wreck the bait.

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Great looking bait, hope it performs well for you. I know that pictures can be deceiving and I sure can be wrong, but the wood grain just doesn't look like Oak. I would guess Maple or Cherry. Then it could just be me being wrong again. Still a great looking bait. Wish I had that kind of patience. Musky Glenn

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Great looking bait Fishsticks. :yay:

You may want to give PVC a try for building swimbaits. Or pretty much any bait for that matter. I've only recently started trying my hand at building swimbaits, but I immediately saw the many advantages of PVC. There are just so many places where a top coat could fail on a swimbait with all the hardware that is used on them. Multiple penetrations just for the hinges themselves. And every spot a hole is drilled into the body for a hinge, hanger, etc. has the potential to become a place where water intrusion can occur. Since PVC is waterproof the very worst that can happen with a top coat failure is that your paint job is damaged. If water breaches the top coat on a wooden bait it could possibly ruin the whole lure if it went unnoticed long enough for the wood to swell. There are several different types of PVC with different densities in each. The trim board seems to be the lightest with buoyancy close to that of balsa. Or so I'm told. I haven't actually tested it myself. PVC decking is heavier than the trim board and is great for deeper diving baits where a high degree of buoyancy is not a major factor like in shallow diving lures. This difference in density, just as in wood, can be used to your advantage when building baits because it allows you to choose a denser material so not as much ballast is required to achieve the desired effect. Another good thing about the PVC is that you don't have to worry about sealing the bait before testing it. This alone can take hours off of the time it takes to build a lure. It can also be worked with the same tools you use to work with wood. It's not the answer to everything, but it's something that wouldn't hurt to be added to your arsenal of lure building tools.

Thanks to Mark Poulson and J.R. Hopkins I am sold on it's usefulness.

Ben

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Well I guess I may have to make the plunge into resin or PVC. I'll probably try the pvc first since it's just a different material to carve. I had a few people ask me to make them some trout like my last one, and I'd like it to hold up as long as it can. Even the way I seal my wood I know over time water will eventually get in somehow.

I'll head to the hardware store this evening to get some new material and do some testing. I'd like to make some more swim baits like my trout, and even some with 5 sections as well. I feel in the end my best option may be resin, but man that just seems like a whole other ball game right there.

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