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bluetickhound

Arrogant Noob Receives Comeuppance!

20 posts in this topic

Some time ago I boasted (although i really didn't mean it as such at the time...) that I would have pictures of my first bait up shortly.... Well, I finally got one finished to the point that I sealed it with D2T and hung some hooks on it. Merrily, I trotted off to a local lake to test it out to see if it would run right... It did. The problem is, that's all it does is run to the right!! As a bait... This thing is a FAIL!! As a learning tool however, this little monstrosity is nothing short of a spectacular success... I made enough mistakes on this one lure to fill a book but the good news is that I also learned enough to fill another book. I may, at some point in the future, to go back and fix some of the obvious mistakes and try to salvage this puppy but as it stands this one is the first to go on my "wall of shame" and I couldn't be more proud!

I wanted to thank all of you who have gone before and been through this stage because one of the most valuable things here at TU really has been the search function. Every question (diving bill construction, placement... Ballast location... Line tie questions... You get the picture) I have come up with, and many I didn't even know I'd have(!!) have already been addressed by someone (or several someone's) in years past. There may be no hope for lure #1 but lure #2 and every lure beyond will benefit from what I am learning here.

Thanks again!!

BTH

Edited by bluetickhound
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For me, a centerline on my bait, for shaping and for hardware/ballast locations, and another centerline on my bills, for alignment, makes all the difference.

Plus, having a similar, already proven bait to copy doesn't hurt.

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One of the (many) problems I ran into was keeping the bill perpendicular to the body of the lure while keeping things symmetrical. I took advice learned here and cut my slot while the blank was square but when I started shaping the body things got just a little cattywhompus... If the slot doesn't stay perfectly perpendicular (and true to centerline!!) you're fighting a losing battle! I had the body centerline marked (it is a through wire balsa bait so that wasn't too hard...) but I did not mark the bill's CL. Lesson learned!

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Maybe I'm being a little too ambitious coming out of the gate but through wire balsa baits are predominately the kinds of lures I ultimately want to build so I figure it's best to get the learning curve under way sooner rather than later.

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Bluetickhound,

You definitely have the right attitude about all this...I've always learned so much more from my failures than my successes.. Nathan

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Way to go BTH! The only way I consider a lure a failure is if I don't complete it.

CONGRATULATIONS! You completed it. You survived. You WIN!

You know, every one of us has an old ugly that is just so pathetic fish bite it to put it out of its misery!

The key to making ugly lures is to make them look suicidal and depressed!

Balsa is a great wood for lures. It shapes easy, sands easy. Floats like a dream. And through wire is the only way to go with balsa just like you plan.

Keep up the good work!

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If the slot was correct when you cut it, the body shaping was not symmetrical. Like everyone - been there, done that! Balsa can be harder than other baits to shape because it's easy to take too much material off the blank - then, it ends up out of whack or you end up shaping a nice soft toothpick. I go to the extra trouble to mark center lines, taper lines, and sanding limit lines on baits before I start shaping. It's a PITA to do it but I don't know any other way to keep bodies symmetrical if you hand shape bodies. You can't depend on eyeballing to make a complex body symmetrical because of the grain effects in the wood. You jumped right into the deep end of the pool and I think that's the right way to approach it. You learn from the mistakes you make.

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BTH you've overcome the adversity we have all gone through and made it to the other side unscathed, a little bruised but not beaten. I promise you the next one will be easier; from what you learned on the first. Good luck with the many more to come. You have now crossed over into the "Addiction Zone".

Jerry

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I've got a box full of mistakes and overall crap lures. I learn by doing/trying different things and that takes lots of bodies to play with. Here is the best advice I can give you. Get a wheeled marking guage for marking a true center line and carving lines on your blanks. Start with a flat sided crank and perfect the pattern where you can build 10 baits exactly the same. Then move on to the round bodies, takes some time to learn how to carve/sand those bodies to proper shape. Keep having fun.

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I think you started with the hardest material for a beginner.

Balsa, in the hands of someone like BobP, is a thing of beauty.

Some of us turn it into a pile of sawdust.

That's why I use PVC trimboard instead....much more forgiving of my miscalculations.

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Maybe the bait is not a dud. Have you tried tweaking the tow eye. Most baits require some level of tuning to make them swim correctly. Try bending the tow eye to the right and see what happens. It won't need much.

Dave

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Maybe the bait is not a dud. Have you tried tweaking the tow eye. Most baits require some level of tuning to make them swim correctly. Try bending the tow eye to the right and see what happens. It won't need much.

Dave

That's the first thing I tried. It helped just a little but one of this lures fatal flaws is that the line tie is a full 1/8" away from the bill. Next lure I build will (among several other things!!) have the line tie right up on top of the bill. On a through wire bait does anyone find it necessary to cut a slot in the bill to clear the through wire or do you design the bait to where the bill won't contact it anyway? I cut my bill slot fairly deep into this first lure and maybe that was a bad idea. I thought that having greater surface area would make for better "purchase"... Not only for the wood to lexan contact but for bill to water contact also. Maybe I just overdid it??!

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Good luck and keep asking questions. I have learned so much from these guys and you can never ask a question that hasnt been asked before. Go to the search and live there for awhile. I spend most of my time in the archives.

I asked some questions about lip alignment. Got my answers and solved part of my problem. Things like square the table on the band saw, use a finger nail file to make corrections, using a laser light is no good if the center line on the lip aint there. The list goes on.

The guys here are experts so I depend on what they say a great deal. On the other hand its like my grandson tells me "Me do it meself Paw Paw" I like to learn by my mistakes so that when I make another mistake just like the previous one, I aint confused.

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Good luck and keep asking questions. I have learned so much from these guys and you can never ask a question that hasnt been asked before. Go to the search and live there for awhile. I spend most of my time in the archives.

I asked some questions about lip alignment. Got my answers and solved part of my problem. Things like square the table on the band saw, use a finger nail file to make corrections, using a laser light is no good if the center line on the lip aint there. The list goes on.

The guys here are experts so I depend on what they say a great deal. On the other hand its like my grandson tells me "Me do it meself Paw Paw" I like to learn by my mistakes so that when I make another mistake just like the previous one, I aint confused.

Me too Chief. I have spent way more time in the archives than I have on the main Hard Bait page for sure. Another page I've really gleaned some jewels from is the home brew tools page. I know I have a ways to go before I get to where I want to be but I'll never get there if I don't get going and the path has been shortened CONSIDERABLY thanks to all the folks here at TU. the best thing I've learned so far is that (unlike many "hobbies"...) making lures doesn't have to be a frustrating pain in the neck.... Even though this lure isn't going to load my live well I have had an absolute blast making it. I expect every lure I make from here on out will provide that same thrill in different ways and I look forward to the challenges! I can only imagine what I'll feel like the first time that line jumps from a lure that I took from a block of wood, some wire and a piece of lexan and turned into a creation that a fish thought enough of to take a bite!

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I have made a lip too big, thinking "too much is better than not enough". And it's usually a bad idea. A too-large lip will cause a bait to plane off to one side and "stagger" on the retrieve. I think I can trim the lip after testing to make it behave. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't because reshaping a lip freehand is more black art than science.

I bend the thru-wire to avoid the lip slot. It can be hard to do on a small balsa bait but I don't want wire or epoxy squeeze-out in the lip slot because it makes installing the lip more difficult. I have enough trouble keeping the lips straight without the added hassle!

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That's the first thing I tried. It helped just a little but one of this lures fatal flaws is that the line tie is a full 1/8" away from the bill. Next lure I build will (among several other things!!) have the line tie right up on top of the bill. On a through wire bait does anyone find it necessary to cut a slot in the bill to clear the through wire or do you design the bait to where the bill won't contact it anyway? I cut my bill slot fairly deep into this first lure and maybe that was a bad idea. I thought that having greater surface area would make for better "purchase"... Not only for the wood to lexan contact but for bill to water contact also. Maybe I just overdid it??!

Post a pic Bluetick . Someone here may be able to help you figure out exactly where the bait went wrong. I have found more ways to screw up than I have found to fix so far. But still at it. Thats part of the fun and frustration.

Congrats on finishing :yay: like so many have already said.

Vic

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I can't post a pic from my iPhone and for some reason I can't log on to the site on my laptop. I can get to the site front page but it won't let me log on... I tried signing out on my phone thinking you couldn't be signed on from two different devices but that didn't work....

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DO like i do take a pic send it to your email and download it,then you can open it in paint and size it or anything else you want to do,Then you can log on here and upload it to the gallery

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Since my laptop refuses to cooperate and I'm stuck with my iPhone I guess I'll just have to describe Lure #2 and hope that will suffice!! If I had to compare it with anyone's work I've seen on TU I'd have to say Haz's lures that I saw on the "making lure eyes" thread would be the closest. If you look at my lure from the top it looks like an exclamation point (minus the period at the bottom!!) it's flat and straight on the bottom and has a curve resembling an upside down Lucky Craft Sammy...

My lure sits in the water dead level (side to side and front to back), with about a third above water and 2/3 under... but on the retrieve instead of a side to side swimming action the nose has kind of an up and down pecking motion. The tail, however wiggles really nicely side to side!! It dives rapidly to about 4-6 feet and at a stop will back up. This I really like. My thought is that the bill (which is round-tipped) still needs to be trimmed. The line tie sits right on top of the bill and ( after some bending to get it running true..) the lure itself seems to be ballasted correctly... I feel like I'm really close to having a fish able lure but I'm reluctant to trim the bill any more without seeing from y'all if that seems like the thing to do. By the way... The bill is at about a 20' angle and is exactly 1" from the tip of the body which is 3/4" at it's widest and the bill is 7/8" at it's widest.

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Now for some reason I can't edit my own posts.... It should read (among other things...) that looking at the lure from the side its flat and straight across the bottom and the top side has a curve that resembles a LC Sammy... I wish I could log on from my laptop and post pix but that's a whole other issue. Not sure if it's a crappy laptop or if I have some connection Issue with TU.

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