martbaz

Woods?

59 posts in this topic

Hey guys what type of woods does everyone use and where do you usually get it? I make some soft baits and want to try making cranks and jerbaits

thanks

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Baz,

I am a carpenter, so I love wood.

When I first started making hard baits, I used wood.

I love building hard baits, but hate the time the individual steps take. I build baits to fish them, and am very impatient, so I am always looking for ways to do things faster.

My process with wooden baits, which I still build occasionally, is shape and seal one day, add hardware and test float for ballasting the next, then paint and topcoat. That is a four day process minimum, with the extra day for letting the top coat cure out.

I struggled with finding a sealer that would make my baits, especially my jointed swim baits, waterproof, without having to soak them in linseed oil for a week, and then letting them dry out for another two or three weeks.

So when one of the most accomplished builders on this site, J.R. Hopkins, read my posts about my sealing struggles and recommended that I try PVC decking for building my baits, I gave it a try.

It has been truly revolutionary for me in my lure building.

It has cut my lure building process down to shape, add hardware, float test and ballast one day, and if it's early enough or I have the time, paint and top coat the same day. Then let the bait hang to cure a day, and I can fish it.

In fact, because the trim board is white, I usually take the unpainted baits up to a local pond to test swim without paint or topcoat, and have caught fish on the unpainted baits.

I would never do that with an unpainted wooden bait.

PVC has no sealing issues. It is completely waterproof, buoyant, and hard.

So even an encounter with a sharp rock that damages the top coat doesn't result in a swollen, ruined lure. It just requires a touchup, ususally right there on the water with some clear nail polish.

The PVC I use, AZEK, had both decking and trim board. The decking is a little stronger and less buoyant, and it is great for swimbaits and larger cranks and gliders.

But for my cranks and walking baits, I mostly use the trim board, because it approaches balsa wood (the best wood for building by far) in it's buoyancy, but is much harder and stronger.

PVC machines and carves like wood. Just be sure your tools are sharp. PVC melts when it gets hot.

Dull saw blades will raise a wispy tail of melted PVC when you cut it.

And applying too much pressure when you use a belt sander for shaping will make it sticky from melting the surface a little, so don't push too hard.

And wear a dust mask when you machine and sand PVC. The saw/sanding dust is fine, and clings. It raises hell with my sinuses.

I hope this helps cut down on your learning curve. I wish I'd known about PVC when I first started. I would have never even tried wood.

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Listen to Mark. I have switched to PVC too for all the same reasons. You can find PVC trim and brick mold at the big box stores but it won't be AZEK that the pro-builders use. Some of the stuff is more poreous and needs to sanded a bit more to get a smooth finish. But it will work if your anxious to start out. It works for me as I haven't found a local AZEK supplier. I really like the feature of not having to seal and can check out ballasting in water right away.

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Wow!!! This was really helpful guys !!!! Thanks a bunch it will help me try them faster!! Will try picking up some brick moulding tonight as I know where I can get some thanks!!

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Yup but it will all be with manual tools because I am a student haha would I still need a mask ? I have pretty much all the basic supplies to start carving now will post results later...

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I wear a dust mask whenever I dremel or sand it. The dust is nasty for my sinuses.

Carving with hand tools and drilling, or even cutting it with a bandsaw, isn't a problem.

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Really can't add to what has been mentioned but X2 on the dust mask. Especially when sanding. When sanding the particles of PVC get charged with static electricity and cling to everything, even skin. Just be careful with the sanding aspect of shaping. However the carving as Mark said isn't a problem, and always use a sharp knife!

Jerry

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Hey guys I did my first one! All from scratch the lip and all....now how to link a photo? Haha hasn't been painted it all in PVC white weighted ballast and all but I need an airbrush now ....

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Hey guys I did my first one! All from scratch the lip and all....now how to link a photo? Haha hasn't been painted it all in PVC white weighted ballast and all but I need an airbrush now ....

Setup an account on photobucket.com and upload your photos there then just click the image link and paste where you want it. Very simple and full size photos instead of thumbnails.

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while we still prefer wood,the azek?.whats the largest diameter or thickness available guys?.in canada trees are more readily available lol.

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while we still prefer wood,the azek?.whats the largest diameter or thickness available guys?.in canada trees are more readily available lol.

I was using 3/4 inch thick PVC from lowes and yeah I'm Canadian too lol northern Ontario guy lol

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I find it to swim pretty well but there is still some room for improvement.....I am now trying to do jerk baits ..another crank and a top water pop/walk

Was only tested in the tub though..

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It looks to me like you have two line ties.

I've found that, for me, with shallow runner, having the line tie right where the bill meets the lure seems to work best. I used the RC 1.5 as a model.

You might want to play around with line tie location as one of the variables you play around with.

I am constantly surprised how little things can have such huge consequences in a lure's action.

One of the things I like about PVC is that it is consistent, so I remove varying buoyancies of different woods from the equation.

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Different strokes for different folks :rolleyes: I don't think I'd make many crankbaits if PVC was all there was to work with. PVC certainly has advantages in the build process but light woods like balsa or paulownia open up possibilities for distributing ballast in interesting and useful ways, even if you want the bait to be the same size and weight as one made from heavier, more durable stuff like cedar, basswood, or ..... PVC. For instance, if you want a very buoyant shallow runner to bang into cover, be very lively, and rise fast over obstructions, balsa is simply unbeatable. Yes, wood requires more finishing steps but balsa, paulownia, cedar, and basswood are great crankbait woods for good reasons. I'm NOT knocking PVC. But given the smorgasbord available, I just can't sit at the table and choose to eat only the mashed potatoes.

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I make them from balsa (lonestar balsa is the name of the place I got planks from, I think), pvc, and also casting resin. Pvc is my favorite for making lure designs, because they shape very easily and is easier to make a mold from than wood for casting resins. All the sources run great. However, balsa has by a LONG ways my favorite action. You will occasionally get that random wood lure that will hunt like a weenier dog after a badger! And man, those are my big time fish catchers... especially on sunny calm days. I consider these "finesse" crankbaits.

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I agree Bob. Balsa is the gold standard for responsive cranks.

And, like AMac said, when you get one that hunts, it's worth it's weight in gold.

But, for me, the PVC trimboard is a close second, and much easier to use, especially for us semi-builders, who are just learning.

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Yeah I did have 2 line ties on it because I had started with a tie in the nose of the bait but moved it down on the lip because it wouldn't swim tied higher but now swims good ...slow sinking so I should still be able to get good depths

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I'm still playing around with all the bill size/line tie variables. It's a challenge.

If your bait is slow sink, use strong enough line to pull it free if it gets hung up, or maybe some of those line strength rated split rings, that open up before your line breaks.

You don't want to lose a lure you made!

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Hi guys,

I was really interested in trying out this PVC stuff. I searched for Azek on Lowes.com and found quite a few items. I'm not quite sure which one you guys are referring to. Is this the item? Thanks!

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Hi guys,

I was really interested in trying out this PVC stuff. I searched for Azek on Lowes.com and found quite a few items. I'm not quite sure which one you guys are referring to. Is this the item? Thanks!

No, but if you go back to the site, and type AZEK trim board in the search, a variety of stuff comes up.

I bought 12' piece of white 1" net by 3 1/2" through my local lumber yard, but they are a commercial yard. Lowes doesn't seem to carry that, or they don't list it.

I like the 1" net because it lets me build thicker stuff without laminating, but the 3/4" will work for almost all of the cranks we build, so you can use it if that's all you can get.

I like the white because my baits are easier to see when I test swim them unpainted.

You might give your local Lowes a call, and talk to someone in the lumber ordering department to see if they can order you something that's not on the site.

Also, try going to the AZEK website to see if there is another dealer near you. I know Home Depot can get it for you. I had them bid the AZEK decking for a job.

Do get the trim board, and not the decking, if you're making crank baits. The decking is as buoyant as poplar, and harder.

The trimboard is even more buoyant than the decking, because it isn't structural, so it doesn't need the denseness or strength of the decking.

Edited by mark poulson

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