highwayman

Jerkbait Confusion

5 posts in this topic

I like to use jerkbaits so I've been building some.I recently bought some blanks with a fixed weight and 3 movable rattle/weights.The weights can travel from the nose to the tail with some interference from the belly hook hanger inside the blank.It seems to me that this style construction would cause the bait to act differently depending on where the weights come to rest inside the bait.When I float tested the baits they stayed level when the weights stayed toward the front which is what I want.I drilled a small hole near the belly hanger and inserted a wire to prevent the weights from going past the midway point.I was just wondering if I missed something with this style construction.

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Most jerkbaits are designed like yours;  the ballast is in the tail when the lure is cast so it stabilizes the bait in flight and makes for longer casts.  After the cast, the first jerk on the bait causes the ballast to ride forward, often over a hump or an incline so it stays in the front of the bait for the remainder of the retrieve.  So what you may be missing is the in-flight stability.

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BobP is correct.  They call this a weight transfer system.  Some baits use magnets instead of the hump, but it is all the same concept. 

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I uses Sledges to cast for Musky, I guess they have this feature. Sometimes they land and sit all wrong on the surface, occasionally they won't retrieve correctly either. They act so badly that I have inspected them for leaks thinking they are filling with water.

 

I guess this is the answer, the rattles are just getting out of whack somehow.

 

Probably ceases to much of an issue with very small baits as they cast fairly reliably however if a long jerk bait like a Sledge gets tumbling in the air it usually winds some line thru the hooks and your cast is wasted.

 

In the way of an educated guess, it matters, just maybe to a lesser degree with shorter and smaller baits. As long as the rattles / weights are not trapped in the rear of the bait.

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Allowing the bearings to freely roll to the tail makes these baits cast a lot better (tail first).  They will move up to the front of the bait for correct balance pretty quickly when you start the retrieve.  With a little practice you can get these to cast really well and almost never "tumble" in flight.  The trick is to keep the cast more of a smooth sweep rather than a quick jerk so the bearings stay in the tail through the lure's flight.  We use these in ocean/bay so the longer casts are usually what we strive for.

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