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Imakatsu Waddle Bat

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Pretty sure Bob is right. That's the whole purpose of the of the rear blade.

 

Seems too easy!  Why not just throw a rear blade on all cranks?

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I have made a few and it was not that easy for me. Once you have have it figured out, I suppose it would be easy for a manufacturer to stamp them out. Not sure why no american manufacturer except maybe patents but then that doesn't seem to stop the copy catting that goes on all the time. But probably the most important reason is no demand for it. When the market says they are needed, like maybe a high profile tourney win with one. Why make one with a blade when your selling millions without one.  

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Just my opinion, but I don't think the blade has anything to do with the hunt. I think it is there for added bling. If the blade was removed, it would disturb the balance, but it might well still hunt. Interesting design though.

 

Dave

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It looks to me like it could cause you to miss strikes on the rear hook, with the blade being fastened directly to the hook.

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I've built a couple baits that I put Colorado spinner blades on the rear. Not sure you would call the action "hunting", but it did through the balance off and made the bait run erratically. I have no doubt these lures would run without the spinner blades on the rear, but feel confident the erratic action would be lost. Just my :twocents:

 

Ben

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I will explore this concept next time I get my tank up and running. Ants have eaten away some of the structural beams and so I have some rebuilding to do.

 

Dave

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I can't speak for the waddle bat because i do not own one but my own version did not have the action shown in the videos until the blade was installed. I swam my protos without blade first and added the blade later.  The blade is  what gave my copy it's unique waddle bat action whether you call it hunting or waddling.  The blade is a very active part of the baits action. 

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If you take a look at the pic you will notice the back hook is not in the traditional place. Also, the back of the bait has an angle cut . This will allow the blade to be pushed back into that position by the hook as it is brought through the water causing the hydrodynamic flow around the bait to change, making it hunt.

 

I've never built one and I've never fished one. This is just my observation of the picture posted.

 

I could be totally wrong.

Edited by nova

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I have just managed to have a look at half the video (bad internet service), certainly an exciting lure. Quite an erratic hunt action. I agree, it is all about the plate and nothing to do with traditional hunt theory.

 

Plate size is probably a critical balance thing. I take back my first comment :)

 

Dave

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I think you'll find getting the right size blade and shape on a Waddle Bat type lure is quite finicky.  I tried making one and quickly saw that it would take more testing and modifying than I was willing to do.  The rear hook hooking power was also a ? for me.  And I'm asking myself how wild a hunting action do you really want or need on a crankbait? Does wildly erratic necessarily translate into more bites?  JMHO, the answer is "not always".

 

We need a trained voting committee of highly intelligent mutant bass to run all this stuff by.  Then they can tell us what works and what won't.  But I suspect bass are just too moody to trust their judgement.

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Does wildly erratic necessarily translate into more bites? 
Yes!?

 

I have noticed that bass will often strike a crankbait after it deflects off something like a rock or stump and changes direction.  The hunters change direction without the structure and draw more strikes in open water????

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Bob

 

I ran my homemades by several finicky bass held up in isolated brush last fall and honestly have to say none of them went for it but they did not seem to go for much of anything except white super flukes. 

 

I guess every lure has it's day; hopefully!

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Bob

 

I ran my homemades by several finicky bass held up in isolated brush last fall and honestly have to say none of them went for it but they did not seem to go for much of anything except white super flukes. 

 

I guess every lure has it's day; hopefully!

 

Must have been moody females!

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I think you'll find getting the right size blade and shape on a Waddle Bat type lure is quite finicky.  I tried making one and quickly saw that it would take more testing and modifying than I was willing to do.  The rear hook hooking power was also a ? for me.  And I'm asking myself how wild a hunting action do you really want or need on a crankbait? Does wildly erratic necessarily translate into more bites?  JMHO, the answer is "not always".

 

We need a trained voting committee of highly intelligent mutant bass to run all this stuff by.  Then they can tell us what works and what won't.  But I suspect bass are just too moody to trust their judgement.

 

I agree.... I bought a Waddle Bait last year after reading a few "hunting crank" threads, becuase as always, I had to know what I was missing taht would cause fish to jump in my boat...  I was not able to get the lure to run like the video (maybe I just suck).  I found it like most unstable cranks to be, well.... unstable..... when burned it I could get it to roll, it seemed to need a constant retrieve (not too fast, not too slow) to work best.  Between that and picking weeds off the trebles I put it back in the box and figured I'd bust it out this spring before the weeds come back up.

 

I tried to roughly mock up my own by using a LC knock off crank from one of the popular unpainted lure vendors.    I removed the rear hanger and added one under the tail with a small colorado blade.  There is a delicate balance you'll need to work out as most of the blades I tried made it sink (backwards) as soon as it hit the water and were basically un-usable.... I found using a very light / small blade solved this, but didn't get the hunt.  In the end I figured I wasn't worth figuring out.... but should this info help someone else with the energy, go for it.  If I tried again, I'd make sure to use an aluminum blade to start with or cut a few different shapes from plastic or very thin sheet aluminum and swap them out till you find a good combo.  You may also want ot start with a very boyant bait... the plastic knockoffs probably didn't help me, probably woudl have been better trying a balsa type bait that could have suspended a bigger blade.

 

 It's definitley something challenging, but you'll have to put your time in.... good luck

 

       J.

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I have been tinkering with my version of this bait for several months now and have had limited success. The blade shape is important but there is a curvature to it also... Very tricky, at least for me, to get right. Almost all of my baits have caught fish but the action is hard to pin down on a lure to lure basis.

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I've built a couple baits that I put Colorado spinner blades on the rear. Not sure you would call the action "hunting", but it did through the balance off and made the bait run erratically. I have no doubt these lures would run without the spinner blades on the rear, but feel confident the erratic action would be lost. Just my :twocents:

 

Ben

 

I've added spinners to the back too, usually inline spinners, and it definitely had an effect on balance.  In one instance I tried putting a #0 spinner on a flatfish and trolling for walleye and it didn't work because the lure would kick out too wide and end up spinning.  Some one told me that Japanese Bass fishermen have started taking the middle hook off of 3 treble lures, and replacing it with a spinner.  That is possiby where someone got the idea for this.

 

As for why everyone else isn't doing this? My 2 cents (and I'm way late, and restating a few things that others have stated)-It's not easy to get the balance right, so you can spend a lot of time and money to create something that will cost just as much and may or may not gain a foothold against the Waddle Bat.  Or you can create a cheaper version that may just define your company as one that makes cheaper versions of better products.  Why do that when you can sell plenty of cranks with name recognition, quality, endorsements, other gimmicks, etc?

Edited by nemomark

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I will probably get a lot of flak over this... but here goes. The thing was created to make a bait that will hunt every time. No one has found a way to consistantly produce a hunting crankbait. In the videos they are in the back of a confined little ditch with grass in it. They are moving that thing pretty quick and catching a bunch of squeakers. They probably catch some good fish on it too. To me it is just a gimmick. The Japanese excel at selling stuff too. They are really good at convincing you that you need something like this waddle bait. In my opinion you are better off throwing a well made square bill at the fish when they want it. Even if it runs true and does not hunt you are better off. Most of the time that we don't catch fish is because we are not in the right place at the right time. We do not have that luxury of time on the water that we all need so badly to know exactly when and where to throw it. NOTHING beats time on the water. The pros have been saying that for years and it is true. A well made bait that has a good action runs true, and thrown in the right place will outfish a hunting crankbait thown in the wrong place every time. I have hunters and I have sqarebills that run straight. I have caught plenty of fish on both. Concentrating on when and where to throw them is much more important.

 

Skeeter

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Skeeter, I agree with everything you say but the idea that "it's more about where you fish, not so much what you fish", while absolutely true, is a little beside the point if we're talking about hunting crankbaits.  I have two comments.  The first is that you can make any crankbait "hunt" if you are fishing it right and bouncing it off of everything you can while retrieving it.  A lot of guys just can't bring themselves to do that but it's what you need to do if you want to catch fish with crankbaits.  The second thing I think is that building baits that hunt is a chancy proposition because they have to be right on the edge of instability in order to hunt properly.  Unless you have supreme consistency in all your materials and your build processes (which us hobby builders seldom do), you are going to be disappointed.  When I built hunters, I could get about 50% of them to hunt correctly.  30% of them would run true but wouldn't hunt.  And here's the kicker - 20% of them were baits I couldn't tune and had to throw away.  To me, trying to build hunters is a fool's errand if I have to sweat over baits and then throw a significant number of them away.

 

BTW, I think manufacturers that build or have built baits that are supposed to hunt have the same problem.  That includes the famous 'original' Storm Wiggle Wart and the Rapala Scatter Shad.  One thing that is often forgotten is that many of the original Warts never hunted or were un-tunable duds.  I bought a few Scatter Raps when they first came out and they would "sort of hunt" at slow speed but would always spin if retrieved much faster than dead slow.  In my book, a real hunting crankbait will hunt at any speed, including warp speed.  If it doesn't, it's relegated to "special purpose, very stained water and very hungry bass" occasions only - and it never goes fishing with me.  JMHO

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Bob,

 

The point that I was trying to make is that I don't believe that the hunting action will get you more bites. As bait makers we are always centered in on the correct action of a bait. And... rightly so. However, I think that we as fishermen need to spend as much time on learning to find the fish. And you are completely correct about making a bait hit into things. As you put it.... you need to throw it in harms way.

 

Skeeter

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A few points I'd like to make here.  First, on the subject of running baits into things.  As an angler who was confined to shore for most of my life, I can tell you that in that situation, anything with treble hooks that gets snagged is usually as good as lost, unless you have heavy enough line to muscle it out, assuming that's even possible.  For years I had to avoid sinking cranks, and could only use deep divers in limited situations, so I can understand the reluctance people have to run their lures into stumps, especially with crankbaits climbing to $8-10 & more, or the amount of time spent making your own.  I'm getting over it, but losing a crankbait is still irritating. 

 

I will certainly agree that what is most important is finding fish and getting them to see your bait. You also want to show them something that looks/sounds/feels somewhat real (i.e. not pink/chartreuse in clear water on a sunny day).  But if it's that simple why don't I just fill my box with the cheapest off-brand lures and catch all kinds of fish (once I find them)?  All predators have an instinct to chase prey and expect prey to run and react to their presence.  It's the reason cats chase string, dogs chase tennis balls, and you don't want to run from a bear.  A long time ago I read something that said to twitch a topwater as soon as it hits the water or a worm as soon as it hits the bottom, because fish hear the splash and swim to investigate, and bigger fish are used to baitfish reacting to their presence.  That's what lures that 'hunt' or 'evade' are trying to trigger.  The only "evading" lure I have experience with is the scatter rap.  It works well for me, but the interesting thing is it seems to work when other lures don't, and not as well when they do.  On one occasion, I had been casting cranks off a point with no luck, and finally I threw a scatter rap in the bluegill color and caught a crappie on the first cast, and a green sunfish a few casts later.  On another occasion, I had spent 2 hours using cranks, topwaters, jerkbaits, and lizards, to produce 2 7" bass, in an area that I knew had more.  On the first two casts with the same scatter crank I caught a 10" bass, and hooked a larger one that managed to spit it out, then over the next 90 min I caught a 10" bluegill and 6 more bass, 4 of which were over 14".  After experiences like these, I tried throwing it more, and had the opposite experience.  Catching nothing in familiar places with the scatter crank, and then switching to other baits and catching fish.  I'm still not sure how much I like the scatter rap line, and some versions are definitely better than others, but I'll keep one or two will in my tacklebox.

 

I also have to admit that I'm a bit of a lure 'nerd'.  I like finding unusual lures, and baits with different actions, and not just for catching fish.  Granted, I'm not going to spend $20 on a crankbait that doesn't work any better than your typical squarebill, but they do interest me.  You can learn from these baits with exaggerated actions how lures move through the water and what caused them to do what we want them to do or don't want them to do, and apply that to your own lures.  Stephen King gave this advice to aspiring writers (I'm paraphrasing, it's been a while)- "Read good books, read bad books, so you know what to avoid, read what you love, read things you would never read, read the classics and authors you've never heard of, read everything you can get your hands on."  In the same way, it's good for lure makers to be familiar with different lure types.

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