# Balsa jig lure: wobbling when sinking

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Hello to everyone on this forum.

I was trying to make a balsa lure that it wobbles when sinking, and on retrieving you can twitch it. I have some experience in making balsa twitch lures for trout, but I can't manage to make jig that wobble when sinks. I'm not sure that I explained correctly, it is like Gachi Jig of Samongachi - Japanese lure maker. Here is a YouTube link of this lure in action:

I appreciate any ideas and help.

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The wobble on the drop is caused by vortices as the water passes over the body. There is a minimum velocity requirement before these vortices form. This minimum speed is dependent in the size and shape of the lure.

I suggest that you experiment with ballast to find the sink rate that works. If you have a Gachi, you could perform an Archimedes test to determine the final overall density of the lure, this would give you a good starting point.

Once you find the density that works for your lure, all you have to do is match it for a guaranteed result.

Dave

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Thank you Dave for your answer. Unfortunately I don't have it, and even if I have it, I don't know how to do the test. I have read somewhere that belly should be a little bigger (1mm for example) then the back of the lure. I'm trying with that idea plus playing with a weight...

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The test is very easy, but you do need a digital scale:

Archimedes Dunk Test - to find density

1 - Weigh the lure in grams and write the weight down.

2 - Take a cup big enough to submerge the lure. Fill with water.

3 - Place on scale and tare (set to zero).

4 - Using tweezers or thin line, suspend the lure in the cup of water. write down the weight.

5 -Density = weight number (1) divided by weight number (4).

Dave

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It's quite easy to do it What for I can use density data then?

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I use it for all my lure building. Particularly for calculating the ballast weight for a specific float or sink rate. It is particularly useful if I am building a neutral buoyancy lure.

Very good for duplicating commercial lures without having to dissect; simply match the density and the float attitude.

Top coat effects; by always measuring the density and weight before and after applying top coat, you soon develop a 'feel' for the weight of the epoxy applied for a specific lure size, critical for suspenders.

Controlling and matching the density of the sections of multi section lures for a superior swim attitude and free moving hinge. Planning in advance the effect of the proposed hardware for a multi section lure.

I could probably think of more applications, but these are what spring to mind. Density control is not everyone's thing, there is nothing wrong with a bucket for float testing.

Dave

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I was able to get a wobble on the fall of my spybaits by a combination of shape and ballasting.

Spybaits like the Duo Realis 80 look very much like the baits in your video, and that's why I've suggested my method of making them.  I used one of their baits as a model for my first spybaits.

I work with PVC trimboard, which is totally waterproof, and as buoyant as med. density balsa, so I can float test without worrying about water intrusion.

That lets me play around with ballast placement more easily than if I had to seal a wood bait before testing.

I  keep the bottom flat to create the vortices Dave was talking about on the fall, so the water passing the sides exerts a pull on the sides alternately.  I keep the sides flat, and the top barely rounded over.

I found that having the ballast spread along the bait more or less evenly helps the bait to fall level.  And putting the ballast 1/3 above, 2/3 below the centerline of the bait, drawn from line tie to tail hook hanger, makes the bait just top heavy enough to be unstable on the fall, exaggerating the wobble caused by the flat bottom .

If I were going to use balsa, I would finish shape my lure, add my hook hangers and line tie, drill a series of ballast hole up from the bottom along the bait, and then seal it well with runny super glue.

Once it was sealed, I would find whatever amount of ballast (3/16" lead wire in my case) I needed to get the bait to fall at the rate I wanted in my 5 gallon float testing water bucket.

Then I would divide the ballast evenly along the length of the bait, and push each piece of lead up into the bait body to get the 1/3 above, 2/3 below position.

Once that was done, I'd do another float test, in case I needed minor ballast

adjustments, and then I'd pack the holes with facial tissue paper, and add some more super glue to make it waterproof.  I've found that tissue works fine this way, and is lighter than bondo.  I do use bondo for the final filling of the ballast holes, and sand it to shape.

Be sure you have all your hardware, including split rings and hooks, attached before you do your ballasting, so you get a true reading of how the bait falls.

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Thank you guys for your instructions! I will use them in future attempts to make such kind of a lure. I will post here results, as soon as I achieve them in order to help others. Cheers

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I have a lure blank that wobbles on the sink, although more slowly. Some of the features that contribute to this seem to be: a blunt bottom, a fast sink rate, and proper weight distribution. Moving the weight up a bit in the lure might make a faster wobble on the sink. The absence of a belly hook helps with both weight distribution and vortices. Too much weight and you will get no wobble at all. I see a lot of fiddling in your future!

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Thought I would share a little test video I had done in the past. This is a glide I made and was test swimming. This particular bait was not ballasted exactly where I wanted. It was a tad heavy and had a nose down posture. I have since lightened my recipe a touch and have them swimming pretty well.  The more balanced, lighter glides don't shimmy quite as well. This bait is 4.5 oz and 8 inches long.  It has broad, kind of square shoulders, 7/8 inch,  and a thinner, round belly, 1/2-5/8 inch, so a typical "V" shape, like a spybait.  No lead ballast,  just a combo of resin and MB's and the hardware.    Poured vertically,  so solid resin in the bottom and a mix on top.  I had one that was even a little more nose heavy and with a snap on the line tie and it would actually swim back and forth as it sank, like it was swimming itself to the bottom.  Didn't swim slow horizontally very well.  My carving and painting skills have improved since then, LOL.

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I got some free time to do the first trial. This is the result...

What do you think?

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4 hours ago, Sticko said:

I got some free time to do the first trial. This is the result...

What do you think?

Wow, that thing really wobbles!  Congrats!!!

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I got similar results. Good job.

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Thank you guys! You helped a lot!

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Update: Two versions created. Version one is bulkier, heavier, with a more rounded profile. It wobbles about the same as the one on the Japanese website. Version 2 is thinner, flatter, and wobbles more quickly. The one Sticko created is thinnest and wobbles even faster.

Version 1 weighs in at 15 g. Version 2 weighs in at 14.4g. Both are equipped with Mustad 9175 single hooks and single split ring. Body length is 9 cm.

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I also make a sinking lure with Dave&Mark theory. The size of lure was 1.1cm(H) x 7cm (L), thickness is 0.5cm only, all side of lure is flat. Total ballast is 1gr

1. If i put all 1gr/1.3gr to the bottom-->no wobbling

2. 0.4 gr on bottom an rising 0.6gr up --> litte wobbling

3. 0.6 gr on bottom and 0.4gr up--> good woobling but just start wobbling after 2-3 secons (see in below video)

I think that :

a, the thickness of lure also effected to wooble action.

b, if the  ballast weight too heavy or to light also make lure stop wobbling

Note: i hope that every one can understand my crazy English. lol

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I've found a really flat bottom face, a slow fall, and ballast rising above the mid point of the lure (a line from the line tie to the rear hook hangers) were the keys for getting my spybaits to wobble on the slow fall.

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Thank you a lot. Mr. Mark.

What action do you think better?

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Clearly the first lure wobbled well, while the second just king of lay over on it's side most of the time.

I think the fast wobbling lure would be a great action for a warm water fast retrieve bait, on a rip and drop type of retrieve.

If you're trying to get a more subtle, spybait-type action, I would remove ballast until it falls more slowly.  Then you can cast it out, count it down, and do a slower version of the same rip/drop retrieve.

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Because the wood that i used have high density (around 550gr/cm3). So total of ballast only 1.6gr :).

if i reduce ballast.  The tail of the lure will heavyer than head of lure. The lure will be not wobble, just fall down.

The lure is 5cmx0.5mmx1.5cm(height). I think that, reduce the thickness to 3mm will make more action.

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Let us know how that work for you.

It might help you if you went to a more buoyant wood, so you can play around with different shapes and ballasting more.

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Posted (edited)

I have made a few of this type of lure. I can confirm all your observations about flat bottom, center of gravity - longitudinal, higher center of gravity, rate of sink. I will add that the shorter the height and flatter the sides, the faster it wobbles. Also rounding the sides slightly slows the wobble.

To help with the high COG, I run the wire for hangers along the top of the lure. I have a bass tree in my front yard, and find it perfect for this type of lure,

Edited by Chuck Young

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