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Where To Get Crankbaits & Accessories

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Where is the best place to buy the best blanks and accessories for baits? I have searched and found a few but seems everything has been the same so far. I am looking for a variety. I have seen pictures of baits that looked awesome and I would love the blanks but I can't find them. So I would just like to ask peoples opinions on where they get there blanks and accessories. Thanks to everyone!

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If you're a stickler about how your baits perform after they're all prettied up with paint, you'll find that the market in unpainted plastic baits is pretty much a crap shoot.  Major manufacturers don't sell unpainted baits to the public.  When you buy something that looks exactly like a $27 Megabass Ito Vision 110 jerkbait for $5, no, you aren't getting a lure from the Megabass factory.  Most times, you're getting a  copy made in a Chinese factory for a few pennies.  Sometimes, you're getting a copy of somewhat better quality made in a Japanese factory.

 

Your mission is to sample various offerings and winnow out the ones that actually catch fish. Through the years, I've probably bought 25-30 different unpainted plastic baits and of that group, maybe 15% of them were really good crankbaits.  No, they don't have the action and performance of the original lure on which they're based - but they had their own performance characteristics that I considered "good".  And I caught fish on them.  Sometimes lots of fish.  I had fun painting them but whether it was cost-effective to buy the knockoffs or an original - well, I'll leave it for you to do the math on that.

Edited by BobP
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Where is the best place to buy the best blanks and accessories for baits? I have searched and found a few but seems everything has been the same so far. I am looking for a variety. I have seen pictures of baits that looked awesome and I would love the blanks but I can't find them. So I would just like to ask peoples opinions on where they get there blanks and accessories. Thanks to everyone!

I like dakotalakestackle.com, super reasonable, prompt shipping, and shipping & handling is affordable. Some of these places charge an outrages fee to ship a couple of small lures that weigh nothing. thats not the case with Dakotalakes. Also if your new to it, he has some great tutorials on youtube to help you out.

 

As far as the knockoffs go, it's true some aren't as nice as others. I really like the pointer knockoffs from dakota lakes, everyone ive bought needed no prep before painting. The tail drop sammys are nice too. Airbrush paint can be pricey, but it goes along way if your not wasteful. The Hobby Lobby 40% coupon is a life saver. Michaels does it too.

 

If your building your own Janns netcraft has a lot of stuff.

Edited by shakyhead

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Another thing you can do is rummage through the bargain bin at Cabelas and get some crankbaits for dirt cheap that have really lousy paint jobs, and paint them how you like.

Edited by shakyhead

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Im going to buy the ko to paint and i had also planned to buy cheap ones with the crappy paint jobs and repaint them myself.

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Yeah, nowadays I mostly paint lures that I build but when I started out I would cruise the "Reject" box at Walmart and tackle stores to find popular crankbaits that had really ugly paint schemes or damaged packaging.  It was sort of hit or miss, but that and modifying/repainting my own crankbaits kept me busy and introduced me to the hobby.

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How much would it cost to make a square bill if you buy the PVC yourself and make it. Compared to just buying them from Dakota lakes and tackle?

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I think most of us who build crankbaits from scratch don't go into it trying to save money. If you add up all the costs plus labor there is no way you can build one for $1.75. And that's not even taking into consideration all the tools and expendables we use on every bait we build. There are several reasons other than money why we build lures. Most of us like to work with out hands. We like building stuff you can't buy off the shelf so our lures haven't been seen by half the fish in North America. We can engineer the lures we build to fit certain applications. These are just a few of the reasons we do it. If your just looking to paint a few baits then your probably better off buying unpainted baits and painting them. I started out just wanting to paint some old lures for myself and a friend. After about a year of painting baits the "building bug" took over and I haven't looked back.

 

Ben

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I figure I can built a crank bait for probably 75 cents, but its not about the cost for me, it's something about building crank baits that makes it much more rewarding when you catch one on your own creation!

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Thank for the INCREDIBLY informative awesome reply Ben!!! I love this forum!!!!

 

Glad to help. If you decide you want to get into building a few cranks there are ways of doing it with just a few fairly common hand tools that will get you started. Just be warned that once you start feeding this obsession it's hard to turn back.  lol

 

Ben

Edited by RayburnGuy

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I think most of us who build crankbaits from scratch don't go into it trying to save money. If you add up all the costs plus labor there is no way you can build one for $1.75. And that's not even taking into consideration all the tools and expendables we use on every bait we build. There are several reasons other than money why we build lures. Most of us like to work with out hands. We like building stuff you can't buy off the shelf so our lures haven't been seen by half the fish in North America. We can engineer the lures we build to fit certain applications. These are just a few of the reasons we do it. If your just looking to paint a few baits then your probably better off buying unpainted baits and painting them. I started out just wanting to paint some old lures for myself and a friend. After about a year of painting baits the "building bug" took over and I haven't looked back.

 

Ben

 

Well said Ben. I started out just buying blanks for a few bucks, and then more and more. I gave them to friends and they caught fish. I thought I could make my own and save the money....ah, no. The blanks I purchased were about a $1.24 each. Now, building my own, parts i.e., body material, hooks, split rings, wire for hook hangers, line ties, lexan for the bills, paint, and weights for ballast and not counting labor, are $4.00 per bait plus or minus. I can get some of it back if I sell them but you can never get the labor back no matter what, but it is fun.

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Ok I think I will be getting into it soon and I know what I need to buy to do it. However I am little confused as to wether it would save money to build my own PVC square bills to sell. That's what I am going to start out with and SLOWLY expand. On tis forum one guy says there is no way you can make a crank for 1.75$, one says he makes them for 1.24$ each, and one guy says he makes them for .75 each. Is it possible some people are taking about PVC cranks while others are taking about wooden carved cranks? Sorry for the confusion I am creating and my billions of questions!!!

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Ok I think I will be getting into it soon and I know what I need to buy to do it. However I am little confused as to wether it would save money to build my own PVC square bills to sell. That's what I am going to start out with and SLOWLY expand. On tis forum one guy says there is no way you can make a crank for 1.75$, one says he makes them for 1.24$ each, and one guy says he makes them for .75 each. Is it possible some people are taking about PVC cranks while others are taking about wooden carved cranks? Sorry for the confusion I am creating and my billions of questions!!!

 

Welcome to the world of lure building. lol  As you will find out there are a multitude of ways to build lures. If your building a couple different styles of lures to sell you will find ways to optimize your production. A flat sided square bill IMO is one of the easier lures to build in that it doesn't take nearly as much time to build to construct that shape and get it ready for paint as it does a deep diving crank. It's not going to require as much material to build a shallow diving flat side as it will a deep diving bait either. A deep diver is going to require more ballast, more wood due to it's size, a much larger diving lip, a larger surface area that will require more top coat, bigger hooks and so on. All of this means added expense. Even the type of material you build them out of can be more, or less, expensive than what the next guy chooses. Ultimately what type of lure and how you decide to build them will govern the cost. Hope this helps.

 

Ben

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One tool that I was introduced to here at TU that has done more to advance my craftmanship than any other (except maybe my airbrush...) has been my Murphy knife. Like many others here, I jumped in the deep end first and went right to carving my own out of balsa... The Murphy knife affords me great control and I can get a lure ready to be sanded into final shape very quickly now, maybe 10-15 minutes max... If you decide to start making your own, be sure to get one. Let me find a link to the store and I'll edit this post shortly....

Here's the link. You may be able to get these knives elsewhere, but if you like to do business with people who really appreciate your choosing them then give these folks a call!

http://www.woodcarvers.com/murphyknives.htm

Edited by bluetickhound

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I build a very large bait, around 4 1/2 inches counting the bill. The PVC I use enables me to get around 30 to 35 blanks per piece, which equates to around $.50 per blank and I only use Gama's and they are around $2.00. So as you can see I haven't added up the ballast, the lexan, split rings, ss wire for wire ties and hook hangers etc., so my costs add up very

quickly, but like I said it is fun to catch fish on baits you've built.

 

Jerry

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I build a very large bait, around 4 1/2 inches counting the bill. The PVC I use enables me to get around 30 to 35 blanks per piece, which equates to around $.50 per blank and I only use Gama's and they are around $2.00. So as you can see I haven't added up the ballast, the lexan, split rings, ss wire for wire ties and hook hangers etc., so my costs add up very

quickly, but like I said it is fun to catch fish on baits you've built.

Jerry

And THAT, dear friends, is something you cannot put a price on.... The feeling I had when I caught my first bass (small as it was...) on a lure I had made from scratch is indescribable...

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3"x3"x18" piece of balsa at hobby lobby costs 8$ , with. 40% off coupon it's 5$. I can get at least 50 2" lures out of it. So that's .10 cents. Lips I buy from Lurecraft, 10 for 2.50$ that's another .25 cents. Hooks from captain hooks, vmc 100 for 17$ that's .34 cents, that's how I came up with .75 cents, just saying! Time making a lure is extrA, but I don't charge for that!

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3"x3"x18" piece of balsa at hobby lobby costs 8$ , with. 40% off coupon it's 5$. I can get at least 50 2" lures out of it. So that's .10 cents. Lips I buy from Lurecraft, 10 for 2.50$ that's another .25 cents. Hooks from captain hooks, vmc 100 for 17$ that's .34 cents, that's how I came up with .75 cents, just saying! Time making a lure is extrA, but I don't charge for that!

I use Hobby Lobby balsa also and haven't had any problems... I understand some folks are really picky about their balsa and go to great lenths to obtain just the right (for them) grade/grain/density etc..... I have never used anything but HL balsa so i don't really have anything to compare it against...

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I was buying plastic ko's and all my feedback on the lure performance was that they sucked. I have since been building wooden crankbaits and I have had great success with them. Look into wood.

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I've been using knockoff baits for a few years now.  I paint my own patterns according to the lake's I'm fishing, the predominant forage and the season.  Most of the lure blanks I use come from Dakota, Predator or M&N.  I pick a blank I like and buy a test batch (2-3) before buying a bunch of them. If I like the action and overall quality I buy more, if they don't fish well I don't buy them.  You really have to search for baits that fish well and you enjoy painting.  If they work for you chances are pretty good they'll work for other fishermen.  I have a guy who fishes tournaments and has friends who guide on local lakes that use some of my lures/patterns.  I get honest feedback with tournament tested results from guides and serious fishermen.  It helps me weed out the not-so-hot lures and paint patterns from the ones worth keeping....and make a few friends along the way.  The folks on this forum are a great resource and have lots of experience at this stuff.  Your on the right path, just find your groove and go with it.  Hope this helps. :)

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