scoop10

weighting crankbaits

62 posts in this topic

Sorry Bob,

 

I didn't get it wrong. The colder the water is the less bouancy a bait will have. Also the deeper a bait goes the more pressure is put on the bait. In a cold water (45 deg. or less) a bait (including jerkbaits) may float at the surface or even 3 ft down. But at 8-10 ft it will sink. Most of my baits are made of solid wood. This is alot different than Balsa. Balsa is all forgiving when weighted. But the bottom line is that in cold water ANY bait will rise slower than it would in warmer water. Promise.

 

Skeeter

Edited by Skeeter
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Skeeter,  we'll have to agree to disagree on the physics.  Cold water is more dense and the bait has to push through more water molecules to rise to the surface and so you may have a point - that might slow the bait's rise somewhat.  But on the other hand, physics says that colder water is more dense and so there will be a bigger difference in density between itself and the crankbait, and bigger difference = faster rise.  Honestly, I don't throw deep diving crankbaits in water colder than 55 degrees so have no practical experience on this.  But I do throw lots of suspending jerkbaits, many of which are 8-10 ft divers that require exterior weighting to suspend properly in colder water.  Basically, I think we may be down to discussing how many angels can dance on the head of this pin. 

 

Considering balsa as a special case arises from the fact that its density is so different from the other woods used for baits.  Balsa AVERAGE density is 12 lbs/cu ft.  All the other popular crankbait woods have densities of around 20 lbs/cu ft or heavier - almost twice as heavy - and there are few if any woods that fill the gap between balsa and the hardwoods.  So balsa is special in that respect - but it still has to obey the laws of physics.

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Sorry to be brief but I wished to share a quick point. Cold water is more dense than warm water. The denser the water the more buoyant. Much like an object is more buoyant in salt than fresh water. I remember my first swim in the red sea. Very high concentration of salt. I floated like a bobber without any effort.

Now how about our baits and cold water. I believe what is missing from the discussion is thermocline. We all know in summer surface temperatures are hotter than deeper depths. We also know that in winter surface temperatures are colder than those at deeper depths. These facts would satisify Skeeters observations and the physics involved. Important to know for sure when designing a crakbait.

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I started thinking about this a little more and an idea came to me. If it is the changes in the density of the water making the suspending bait behave differently at different depths and not the depth itself. Then, it is  possible to test the baits behavior by simply floating the bait in question in water of different temperatures. I will give this a try to confirm next week. It should be easy to test. I welcome others to try as well. Always good to get second opinions. If this works, it would be very beneficial. All that needs to be known is the water temperature of the depth the bait is targeting, then weight  the bait accordingly in a bucket of water of the same temperature for the desired rise. 

Edited by littleriver

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I started thinking about this a little more and an idea came to me. If it is the changes in the density of the water making the suspending bait behave differently at different depths and not the depth itself. Then, it is  possible to test the baits behavior by simply floating the bait in question in water of different temperatures. I will give this a try to confirm next week. It should be easy to test. I welcome others to try as well. Always good to get second opinions. If this works, it would be very beneficial. All that needs to be known is the water temperature of the depth the bait is targeting, then weight  the bait accordingly in a bucket of water of the same temperature for the desired rise. 

 

If I understand your theory right Vic it should be easy enough to test and all you would need is a pot of water and one burner on your stove. Just measure the temp of the tap water coming out of your faucet and weight a bait until it barely floats in a pot of tap water. Then turn on the burner and start slowly heating the water and see what happens as the temp rises.

 

At least it sounds good in my head. :blink:

 

Ben

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I often wondered if there was a temperature that could be considered a good balance that a person could target in their designs. We should also remember that once water changes to its solid state of ice, it is once again less dense and will float.

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@ Ben

 

You have it exactly. The only suggestion I might add is to put the pot of water in the freezer first. One could take the temperature right to the freezing point. This would allow for a full spectrum analysis. Having a thermometer will be an obstacle.  I know mine is around here someplace. 

 

@Don-Art

 

Good point. Water is unique in that it condenses to a point with falling temperatures then it explodes like popcorn forming ice crystals, thus becoming less dense than liquid water and floats on the surface just as you describe. 

 

In the beginning of this discussion,  I was certain water was denser with deeper depths but after being confronted with Skeeters observations I was certain I knew less than I thought I did. :worship:

 

Seems liquids do not compress well . Though their is a great deal of pressure at greater depths, the waters density change is negligible, And from what I am reading, so is the change in buoyancy of solid objects. But the changes in water temperature at varying depths does change the density of water and perhaps enough to affect the balance of our delicate fishing lures. 

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The depth and density,can vary with the seasons. For example prior to a lake freezing over. We experience a period,when the cold water is forced to the surface and the warmer water towards the bottom. It is referred to as lake turnover. It is turned over again when the ice melts in the spring, only deference is that now the cold water goes to the bottom and the warmer water is on top. I believe that I read somewhere that fresh water is at it most dense at around 39-40 degrees F.

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If you decide to try it Vic you only need to bring the temp. of the water down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit as that is the point at which it is most dense.

 

Ben

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I'm all for experimentation but I honestly think we're getting too far down into the weeds on this.  Water temperature varies by season, day, and hour.  Other variables enter into the picture, like what type and diameter of line you're using on the bait.  If you live in Minnesota, your average water temp is much different from a guy who fishes in Florida.  Rivers have different water temp determinants than reservoirs.  The variables are just too many to predict and I'm assuming few of us have reached the demented state yet in which we feel the need for a variety of crankbaits tuned to fish in different temperatures in addition to the variety we already take fishing!

 

I say build your bait to have roughly the flotation you want as observed in a test tank or a bucket of water.  Then take it to the lake or pool and test it with the equipment you typically use to fish crankbaits.  For diving crankbaits, the flotation will not change so much due to water temp that you need to worry about it.

 

If you want to build suspending lures, use water that feels about the same as the warmest water you fish suspending baits in.  Then, when you fish colder water you'll just need to add a Suspendot, a larger treble, or an extra split ring to get it to suspend.  JMHO 

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I agree, much better to be able to add a little ballast to adjust to the temperature. Not to mention you still have to figure out just where in water column the fish are at a given time.

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As far as I'm concerned  your right about this being an exercise in futility as far as trying to put it to use in building crankbaits Bob, but things such as this are sometimes fun to kick around if nothing else. I've already proven to myself that the difference between a floater and a sinker can be so small that a digital scale won't measure it even in thousandths of an ounce so building lures for specific water temps. is pretty much out of the question. That being said it also doesn't hurt to kick ideas around because you never truly know where it will lead you.

 

just my :twocents:

 

Ben

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@ Ben / Don-Art

 

Thank you gentlemen for the additional information. Ben, I do plan on doing this once I have some time for it. Most likely next week. 

 

@ Bob 

 

I would agree , I'm in over my head. But I have enjoyed the discussion and look forward to the experiment. I am not very experienced when it comes to suspending baits. Making them or fishing them, so this has been a learning experience. I believe it is helpful to see the effect of different water temperatures have on the buoyancy of the baits one is making. Knowledge is power they say. I may find nothing useful but for me, not looking where I can not see is not an option. The doorway has been opened and I plan on going in.  I am hopeful one will be able to impart at least some of this knowledge into future builds. And perhaps someone reading this thread will too.  

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Wow.... opened a can of worms on this one huh guys. You can save your tests. I have already done this for years. I have a client that wants deep crankbaits that slowly rise when stopped. He uses them for deep summer cranking. I made a few and was able to test them in a 12ft deep pool. That is the deepest pool that I had access to (so weighting was a guessing game beyond 12ft). Taking the bait deeper can definitely have a greater affect on them. The pool was 82 deg. I could watch the bait rise. It was slow. So then I took the bait to the lake and threw it on a flat that was 18 ft deep. Once the bait hit the bottom I would stop it and count how long it took the bait to rise. I had the same bait that I make with the normal amount of weight (lighter) in it and tested that one. It rose considerably faster. The owner of the heavier baits called me during the last week of Nov. and complained that the bait was slowly sinking right at the surface. He thought water got to the wood. Water temp at the dock on the lake was 62 deg. I threw the bait in the water and it slowly started sinking.

 

I took the bait to the house and played with it in a 20 gal. fish tank. The bait wouldn't float until the water temp was 74 deg. But even that could not be accurate because the bait was not in 18ft. of water when it started to float up. But, remember, this bait was weighted closely for a reason. It was not weighted the same way as the ones I normally make for folks. I will tell you now that water temp and water pressure does affect the bouyancy of a crankbait. A bait is more bouyant in warmer water.

 

Skeeter

Edited by Skeeter

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@ Skeeter 

 

Thank you for sharing your insights.  I am more intrigued than ever before. You wouldn't happen to have one of those heavy baits lying around and an interest in donating to science?  :rolleyes:  But seriously, the subject is one of such simple and most  direct impact on the actions of fishing lures that I can't see myself not testing a few. Thank you again for sharing this thread and your experience. 

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Very interesting read , ..never could imagine , that water temps would have sucha significant influence .

 

greetz , diemai :yay:

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I didn't mean to throw cold water on anyone's experiment if it can tell you something about how to do it better.  Maybe my approach is overly practical-minded.  Build it - fish it - build another and try to make it better - fish it - etc is just the way I do it.  I try to exactly replicate all the baits in a batch but I often find there are small but sometimes significant differences in how they fish.  This hobby can absolutely drive you crazy if  you let it :drool:  

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@BobP

Cold water is sometimes required. No offense taken friend. I think sometimes the things more experienced builders take for granted, young builders find to be eye opening revelations. I know the information you and others have shared here has really helped me. Thank you!!! TUs best feature is it allows the experienced and novice to meet on the same playing field. Sometimes it is frustrating but I wouldn't change a thing. Well maybe a couple of things.

I have seen your work Sir. First rate!!! All my baits are a bit different unfortunately. I am working to get my process more standardized so successful builds may be duplicated. But I have to admit the real fun for me is prototyping. I really like msking something new

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LOL.... Ben you kill me. :wink: I understand about having to find out for yourself. I know it is hard to believe, but I am pretty hard headed to. Seems most of the guys in this post are the same way. Have at it my friends. Enjoy.

 

Skeeter

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Skeeter.......YOU??.........hard headed??............Why I never woulda thought it. :huh:

 

I can't speak for anybody else, but I definitely enjoy my time around here. I love this place. There's a bunch of smart folks that have been building lures for a long time to learn from and there's a few goofballs like me that appreciate a good chuckle every now and then. If you can't have a little fun every once in a while it makes for a pretty dull existence.

 

Keep posting your pearls of wisdom buddy and I'll definitely keep reading them.

 

Ben

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I think that a person has to be a little hard headed in order to be successful at scratch building Crank baits. There are also times when it is better to learn something by doing. If it helps raise your confidence level for future builds,its a positive thing. I think that it is great that everyone shares their information on this site. I know from experience that we tend to over complicate things at times,and that a similar approach is the answer. The main thing is that regardless of the approach,we enjoy what we are doing.

Don

Edited by Don-Art
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This is a good read.   I haven't been able to get out on the lake as much as I used to, (probably because I build lures every free hour I have)  and there's only so much you can learn about a new design pulling it through the bathtub.  

 

Skeeter -  Do you have a public gallery or catalogue of your lure models?  I try to make all my designs (outlines) free-handed and original, but I have to admit,  my flatsides started behaving better after I took a look at how you taper and sweep the tails of your baits.   I didn't realize how much of a negative effect that hook interference was creating on my steeper angled baits.    Its funny how just a 5 degree angle change can make a bait run 100% better.    

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Finally, I  got around to do some of those kettle buoyancy tests promised. 

 

My plan was to do a thorough scientific study but after seeing the difficulty of trying get a lure to remain neutrally buoyant :censored: I quickly decided to wing it. :teef:  God bless those who make suspending baits.  :worship:  :worship:  :worship:  :worship:  :worship:

 

Here is what I did do: 

   

  The experiment consisted of two pots with 3 1/2 inches of water. One pot was warmed to 87.26 F while the other pot was cooled to 40.1 F.  I took this lure 

little bud.jpg

and added enough weight till it would slowly rise in the 87 F water. Next I attempted to time how long it took for this small bait to rise from the bottom of the pot and breech the surface. I say attempted to time. The release of the bait, starting and stopping of the timer and identifying the breech was all subject to my interpretation. I did my best and made several attempts to give an average rather than an absolute but still not perfect or scientific by any means. 

 

Here are the results

     

    87.26 F       6.36 seconds  avg

 

    40.10 F       4.79 seconds  avg

 

  There was one other caveat of importance noted during the experiment. This goes back to something Bob said about an object shrinking when cold and this effecting it's buoyancy.  After doing some testing in the cold water with this small bait, I noticed it did not want to float at all in the warm water. Infact, the same bait that would rise without hesitation would not rise at all after testing in the frigid water. After the bait had had time acclimate to the warmer water( appx 2- 4 minutes) it was once again rising to the surface. I tested  this too several times and each time same result. I believe the larger the bait the more of an impact bait temp will have on it. I am equally sure lure composition too will be a factor but in general terms hot baits rise faster than cold ones. 

 

Thank you again Skeeter for bringing up this interesting topic. It has been insightful. Thank you!!

 

Questions or comments please..........

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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