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5" Darter

11 posts in this topic

Hey Guys,

 

I want to make a darter version of our 5" walking bait. I've attached some pics

 

Here are the details on the current bait"  It is carved from Poplar and hollowed out from the rear to the nose with a 5/16" bit and a 1/4" stainless ball is inserted.  Then it's plugged with a 1/16 oz weight in the rear.  There is another 1/16 oz weight near the middle of the belly, 2.25 inches from the rear.  I would love some advice on how to change the weighting/shape to make a good topwater darter while retaining a similar look to the squirrel.

 

Much thanks in advance to you lure geniuses!!!  I have learned so much from these forums over the years.

 

John

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How do you want your bait to swim?

I don't know what kind of action a darter bait is supposed to have.

I want it to float but dart left to right just under the surface with line twitches and have a slight swim/wobble with a steady retrieve. I found a youtube video of a lure with similar action.  Thanks Mark!

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It looks to me like the front of the lure's notched face provides a diving bill, so the buoyant bait is pulled slightly under during the retrieve.

I weight my larger walking baits with the ballast 3/4 of the way back to the tail, so they sit almost horizontal, but with the tail slightly lower, and the front 1/3 of the back out of the water.  The weight back helps with the cast, and insures that the front slows first, so they walk.

I'm guessing, if you already make walking baits, just modifying the front to have that diving bill face will do the trick.  You can adjust how deep they go on the retrieve by changing the angle of the bill.

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I wanna take a shot at it... Let me know how i do...... Video shows the nose sinking slightly when the lure is paused, but i think the weight is in the rear.. The nose being tapered down in the front resembles my current project, only in reverse.. I put my weight dead center, yet it still floats tail down because the tail is thinner and less buoyant.... I believe there is enough buoyancy in the tail of the darter to drop the nose, and enough weight in the tail to keep its inertia going as the flat sided nose slows the front down, forcing it to inherit the sideways action.... Same reason 18 wheelers jack knife.... I bet you could get the same action without the open mouth

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Interesting theory on how you believe the side to side action is formed.

 

All lures have to follow the same basic fluids theory or the whole theory fails. This is one of the baits that I feel that I cannot explain with any confidence. This is why darters and WTD type baits are high on my list when I get my workshop up and running again.

 

Dave

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I thought wtd baits just got their action by resting nose up... Being repeadedly leveled out and returning to its rest position on the retrieve.... Even cheap strore bought poppers seem to mimic that (crudley)...... I guess theres more to it than i thought!!

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I have found that having the rear of a walking bait weighted more that the front give the rear more inertia to overcome the force of the water when it slows.  On the pause, the lighter head stops more quickly due to water resistance, and the rear keeps moving, jack knifing like JRammit says.

For me, the smaller/lighter the walking bait, the farther down toward vertical it can sit on the pause and still walk.  In fact, small baits need that rear weight to cast well, but they are still easy to get up walking because they are small.

I keep my 7" walkers almost horizontal, with about 1/3 of the top of the head out of the water, resting almost level.  That way they are easier to walk, and they are heavy enough to cast well without a huge tail weight.

But, if I want the nose to dive slightly on the pull, I would probably have to give it some kind of a diving plane, like the example you posted.

Moving the line tie higher would also cause the nose to dive on the pull, but it might spoil the walk the dog action.

Edited by mark poulson

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JR and Mark - I do see the logic and if this was the case, it would not actually damage the fluids theory. I am still going to try and prove it one way or another - it is what I do :)

 

Dave

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The original question was how to replicate this action without altering the body style... I might have a solution, was tempted to keep it and try it myself on a future project, but it never would have crossed my mind had i not seen this thread

Suggestion: flat lexan lip with line tie on the tip....... Would allow you to place weight in the center of the "body" yet still have it in the rear of the "bait".. The lexan would be the least buoyant point, so the nose should drop like in the video.. The line tie on the end should prevent deep diving while the lip acts as a "brake" allowing the heavy trailer (i mean tail) to "jack knife"..... But getting that lip the right size and shape will b a job!! Im picturing a fatter lip than on a crank bait, to prevent the sharp edges from "cutting in" and rolling the bait

Not sure if this would work in the water or not, but it seems to work in my head

Edited by JRammit

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JR - well thought out. When you build this prototype, you must be prepared to experiment. There are two variables that will need adjusting to find a balance that works:

 

1 - how close to the end of the lip. Too close and the bait will likely spiral or death roll.

 

2 - width of lip. Too much lip will prevent the glide.

 

I do believe there is a solution here, but design is always a compromise.

 

Dave

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