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UnlimitedMiau

Weight - Is it really necessary?

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Hi guys! Im new in this forum and english is not my native language! So im sorry if i write something wrong!

im new to this hobbie and to fishing!,I love to go fishing with my dad, so i started to design lures in my pc, to 3dprint them... aannd the doubt came.. Do i really need to put weight in lures? for example, with Fusion360 i made a simetrical lure and a bib, so if everything is printed correctly it should work without the weight. Is that ok? Im trying to do lures for my dad and me, but is kinda hard to understand how every lure works.. and im trying to make a classic Crankbait like this.. rs.php?path=SKKVDHC-535-1.jpg&nw=600

 

Please guide me, im very lost here.. Thanks for all!

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It is completely possible to make crankbaits that don’t need weight but you have to design it in away that hooks, lip, hardware balance the lure. I have done this many times 

I also do this with my resin poured baits with different mix’s of resin and micro balloons and layers 

With 3D printing I am clueless but I assume you could print the belly so it’s heavier and less buoyant then the rest of the lure for example. If this is possible with 3D printing you should have no issues  balancing your lure 

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Thanks for the quick response! So it IS possible... that was my doubt because every lure that i see on internet everyone puts weight in it. I will try that, Thanks again!

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No problem 

It is definitely easier to use weight as ballast to balance your bait and it gives you the ability to adjust without starting over

like anything with practice it gets easy to design lures without added weight 

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Very ironic thinking that custom cranks historically was modifying through weighting commercial baits differently to perform for specific presentations or better.:lol:

In my opinion learn to weight is the only way to go if you want to be able to build a variety of lures for different presentations and conditions.   Most cranks and/or top waters will not function optimally without it as you simply won't be able to get the distribution correctly for it to preform.  Drop a dozen different style cranks in a bucket and you will see they all sit with a different attitude. 

Take the KVD 1.0 in your picture.  Have you looked at the weight displacement on it?  Part of the way that lure functions will be do its stance in the water and weighting is the key.  If you took the weight after the hook hanger in the belly and move it to the weight infront  how would that bait perform.  Dive quicker, deeper, decreased side to side displacement, quicker shorter movement,  etc..  How about we move the weight to the tail, no weight, put all the weight in top/back of the lure..   It all can change the performance of the same bait.  

You could print it more solid in areas and try to get it balanced correctly but going to be hard to do.  Would be easier to print in halves and add weight and glue  or print half add weight and continue printing.  Or print solid bait and have chamber to drill  into and insert weight and seal chamber with epoxy.

rs.php?path=SKKVDHC-NUD-1.jpg

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Travis, thanks for the explanation. That gave me a different view of how to make them. Do you know where to find information about where to put weights? to get different actions? im very hungry for knowledge! 8O

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Every case of ballast weight is different and depends on the density of the crankbait material and how you want the bait to perform.  A good place to start is to closely examine a commercial bait you want to copy and make yours similar in terms of total weight, line tie and hook hanger placement, lip size/shape and angle, etc.  In my experience, most commercial wood baits are ballasted with belly hangers molded into lead ballast plugs, which simplifies construction.  In the above plastic bait that Travis posted, the same principle is applied with the ballast in front of and behind the belly hanger.  Once you get a good performing copy of a successful commercial bait, you can experiment with that design in later baits to get some interesting variations,

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53 minutes ago, UnlimitedMiau said:

Travis, thanks for the explanation. That gave me a different view of how to make them. Do you know where to find information about where to put weights? to get different actions? im very hungry for knowledge! 8O

I would say most crank bait makers start buy just putting weight directly above the belly hook hanger.  Over all this is a "safe" place to put weight in regards to a lure and having it function.   You can mess with placing it higher up or lower in the bait and it can change action at that place.  In time you will start to play with weight placement more to achieve specific things you want to do with cranks.  Making the same bait and changing position about the best way to really learn to be honest.  Many of the cranks I make I weight in various places. 

Most of my shallow baits that I fish in small rock/gravel areas will have weight more towards the nose as I want to get the bait down quickly and dragging/plowing in the gravel.  It alters the diving angle to get their quicker to stay in the desired zone longer.  I  may want a similar nose down style to get down to stumps on creek channel quicker and longer.

 

 

Edited by Travis
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As Bob mentioned the bait above a weighted hook hanger dead center may work just fine.  You may find also that in order to get the equivalent weight you end up with a lot of weight higher up in the bait which some strive for.  Others go to the other extreme and want to put weight as low as possible in the lure. It can change things up slightly and can make good bait into a great bait  not so good.  :pissed:

You can find x rays of some lures on line to show weight placement.

This topic comes up ever so often so search the site and might find some really good information over the years.  Sometimes may have to dig a little but can be rewarding if you come across it.

 

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Putting a mass in the belly isn't necessarily for floating/sinking properties although it sometimes is for that if you want one to sink. The lure has to float upright in order to wiggle right. This has to do with the shape of the lure also but if not weighted properly when it undulates in the water it will also roll from side to side too. Sometimes if it goes fast it will do a complete 360 rotation. For me the weight is to keep it upright.

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Weighting is definitely something worth learning and opens up options. Sometimes it’s the only way to accomplish the desired action on a lure
 

That said there is definitely lures the will benefit from no added weight and you can accomplish a lot with materials of different weight and buoyancy without using conventional weighting. I built almost all my lures with lead weight for years. I also weighted lures in lots of different locations. In the last two years I have shifted to only using lead in wooden lures for the most part

adding weights is not a superior way to build a lure. It is not mandatory either. It is just one of the many tools that can be used for building lures. Yes at times it is the best or even the only way to accomplish the action for the lure you are building. There is even body shapes where it is basically a must

Good knowledge to have but not mandatory 
 

 

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The hooks are a part of the ballast weight system, so yes, you may get away with no lead inside the body. It all depends on the size of the lure and the width of the body.

If you are 3D printing then presumably your lure is designed on CAD. This gives you an advantage to get the lure balanced correctly before you even switch on the printer.

You can model every piece of the hardware and assign materials to all the parts. You can calculate whether the lure sinks or floats and by how much. You can even calculate how the lure sits in the water.

Dave

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In my crankbait building, I've found it helpful to think of a crankbait's actions as wiggle, the X shaped movement of the lure's nose and tail as viewed from above, and wobble, the amount the bait moves/rolls from side to side as viewed from the front.

The bigger the X, the wilder the bait's side to side action, and the bigger the wobble, the more water it displaces on the retrieve.

I need to add ballast to all of my PVC trimboard lures to get them to swim right.

I typically use a successful commercial crankbait as a model, floating it in my 5 gallon water bucket to see how it sits at rest.  I add ballast to my lures to achieve that same "angle of attack", and then , once I've gotten a lure to duplicate the commercial lure's performance, experiment from there.

I've found that adding my ballast at the belly hook hanger's location, and as low as possible, give my the widest wiggle (X ing) because both the nose and the tail are the lightest and easiest to move when they have no additional weight, other than the line tie/lip, and tail hook and hanger.  It also produces the most stable lure, one that won't roll over no matter how fast I retrieve it.

Splitting the ballast, and installing it in front of and behind the belly hanger, dampens the wiggle.  The farther apart the weights are, the more they act to deaden the wiggle, because they become counterweights.  

I've found that the higher the ballast is in relation to a line from the line tie to the rear hook hanger, the more the lure wobbles.  In my crankbaits, I still put the majority of my ballast weight at the belly hook hanger, but I've found that by moving up to a third of the ballast weight about that line tie/rear hanger line, I can get more wobble in an otherwise stable lure.

I'm afraid you'll have to just try stuff to really learn how to ballast whatever lure you're making.  Of course, if you're smart like Dave, you can figure it out as you design your lure on the computer.  I've never been able to do that, so trial and error has been my method.

Everything I know about lure building I've learned here on TU, from people like Bob P and Dave, who have shared with me, and from just trying stuff to see how it works.

Good luck, and let us know how you progress.

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I've made plenty of smaller wooden plugs that have plenty of balance with just the hooks hanging off the belly. That said, it doesn't hurt to have some ballast in the belly for increased stability and casting distance.

As mentioned above, 3D modelling gives you a ton of different options when it comes to balancing your bait correctly. You can do all the buoyancy/ballast/righting moment calculations all on your computer without even having to test the bait in the water. Print solid plastic along the belly or design pockets for lead to be added as necessary. Good luck and have fun!

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CAD design the bait in halves and build in a sliding weight transfer system for ball bearings.

This is a work in progress.

Dave


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I had a pure resin ballast section of one of my designs from when I ran out of micro balloons pouring a batch. This gives an example of a bait being balanced without the use on conventional weighting. I reach my desired action through trying different levels of buoyancy with the main body resin micro balloons mix, the angle to pour the pure resin ballast and how much pure resin to use

this just one way to do things 
 

 

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