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Musky Crankbait build

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So I figured I would take you along with my latest build.  I thought I had taken more pics along the way to document how I did it.  This is by no means a different or revolutionary way to do any of the steps, but I always like the how-to's when I first started out, so I figured i'd post one here. 

A bunch of the first steps aren't documented unfortunately. First I design a lure, in this case I wanted a smaller (6"), medium diving crankbait that floats when paused.  For a down sized option for casting in spring.   I ripped some (mostly) clear straight grain cedar down to 3/4", and cut them in to rectangles just over 6" long and 2" high.  Then I traced the shape out on cedar, and rough band sawed out the shape.  I also use the bandsaw to cut out the lip slot that I traced on to the blank.  These particular lures are flat sided, so they are easier to shape than some of the others I built that have a more 3d shape (maybe a good lure to attempt for starters).  I also designed a diving lip, traced it out on a 3/8" sheet of Makrolon (polycarbonate, same as Lexan), and cut them out on the band saw.  I cleaned up all the edges on the lips and wood bodies, up to my trace lines on a bench belt sander.   Pic 1 is of my woodworking corner with my big old bandsaw, RAS and table saw.  I also love collecting old iron vintage tools from the 1950's but that is another topic all together.  

The next step for the wood bodies is to round over the corners.  I have done this several ways.  Hand chisel, or belt sander are options, but I chose to use the router because these lures have a flat side.  I build a jig similar to this one in the 2nd picture in order to remain away from the cutter.  I have not much experience with the router, and from what I've read, I HIGHLY recommend caution using this powerful tool.    Once the lure bodies are rounded over, I gave them a quick sand with 80, 120, and 180 grit to smooth over any imperfections.

Now I move over to the other side of the shop and drill the hook hanger, lead and thru wire holes. 3rd picture. I don't have a big old drill press yet, so this is all done with a regular 20v dewalt hand drill.   

In the next series of pics I bend .051" wire to go thru holes in the lip, then into the lure body all the way straight thru.  I also bend little 'figure 8' hook hangers that will connect to the thru wire and act as the hook hanger.  Some of the lures have a separate lead hole, and some will only get lead in the hook hanger hole (experimenting with different weights).  

I will sand the edges of the lips with 120, 180, 400, 1000 and wetsand with 5000 to get them very smooth and back to see through.   I fill the lip slot and the thru wire hole with epoxy, then insert the lip and wire and hook hanger.  Once this is dry I fill the rest of the thru hole with epoxy until it just shows up in the hook hanger hole.  I also drill a small hole through the head of the bait all the way through the lip and use a thick wire to pin the lip in place as well.   

Then lead gets poured into the holes, and I use bondo (car body filler) to fill in the gaps  and any other cracks to smooth it out.  Then I dip the lure in polyurethane twice to give it a smooth overall surface and to seal the endgrain.  You can see this in pic 12.

Next comes the first layer of epoxy making sure to let the polyurethane dry completely and making sure there are no little nibs sticking up. I used and art resin called Ecopoxy Uvpoxy for the first time just to try it out (love it so far).  You can see the lures on the lure turner in pic 13.

Then comes the creative part.  Prime all the lures with white spray can primer.  I foiled some of them (pic 14 and 15).  Paint in any design imaginable.  There are many great resources on youtube, Instagram, right here in the gallery especially!

 Once painted I added lure eyes that I got from Lisa and Ed's eyes (https://lisaandedseyes.ipage.com/lure_eyes.htm).

Then each lure got two more layers of Ecopoxy (pics 16 and 17)and now they are ready to fish.  The lures spend the night on the lure rotator that I built out of a bbq rotisserie after each layer of Ecopoxy.   


This is my first tutorial, I'm still learning every time I step into the shop.   It is a fun hobby ( our winters are too long anyway).   I will have to take more pictures detailing some of the steps next time.  If anyone has any input, ideas, questions or whatever, let me know.  Thanks


















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Thanks!  I'll be testing and tuning them as soon as the ice melts and I can get out on the boat.  The prototype one I made last year worked great, with a nice wobble.  Hopefully these all do the same!

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These look great!  When are you expecting ice out up your way?  Here in IL we're all thawed out, but I haven't been able to get out and spend much time on the water.  Depending on how this covid-19 thing plays out, I may be able to get some time on the water in Western Ontario this summer.  If not, hopefully next summer.  You guys have some great fishing up north!

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