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Big Epp

Deep Diver Deep Dive

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So I'm still relatively new to lure-making, and one thing I have not yet attempted is a good deep diver.  I noticed some folks on here like @RPM, @All Eyes, and many others have posted pics of deep divers that look really great!  What are some things you've found helpful for getting a deep diver to run well?

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Few guys make deep diving cranks. ;)

To hit a 20 ft depth looking at probably 2.5 + inch lip and the weight as low as you can get and as forward as possible to still keep the weight in the deepest part of the lure.  Typically looking at a bait that is one 1 oz + range.  You can add weight to bill if can't move the weight forward but better to redesign the crank in my opinion.    Devil is in the details in regard to balance, build quality, and performances.   The bait has to start diving when you crank, no time can be lost getting it "started".  

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Big Epp, Thank you for the compliment, I much apprecite it. The best advice I can give is to find a design and work with it, I'm maybe differnt than others but I found I really liked Bomber Fat free shad BD plugs, I like the way they behave so I set out to mimic or perfect my lure to behave similar with some tweaks here and there. I wanted my plugs to run at a flatter or horizontal plane, not so nose down like alot of lures today. After I built hundreds and fine tuned them I decided that to me what makes a great medium deep to deep diver is it must have these traits. 1 it must cast good even in the wind, it must run parallel in the water and lastly it must run under the boat when reteived and it must float up. After many years of tuning I've been able to acheive what I'm looking for in a hand built bait, I can almost tell by simply handling / looking at the plug, and especially after seeing it sit in the water how it will react. I'm certainly no expert but after many years of building these baits I have a pretty good sense of how a lure will react.

I've been criticized by stating deep diving plugs are the hardest lure to design / perfect, and in no way was I trying to dispell anyone elses thoughts, just stating what I've learned from my own experiences. I look at it this way, it's why we see so many guys building shallow diiving or square bill crankbaits today. they are simply easier to design / build. Not taking anything away from a good flat sided sqaurebill crankbait as they do catch alot of fish, and they are pprobably the most popular lures built sold today. It simply takes more work, effort, consistancy, etc to build & design a great running deep diver.

My advice would be to choose a wood, be it Cedar, oak, pine polar, balsa, basswood, etc. stick with it as they all have thier own characteristics, also buy a big batch so it's from the same batch / lot if possible. Build 6-12 plugs however your system allows you to, take great notes, fine tune the lures until you find one that reacts to what your wanting, then perfect it and build more just like it as closely as possible. I've been building handcrafted lures since 2011 and can almost tell how the lure will perform just by how it builds. Some of my biggest mistakes were not listening to what the lure was telling me but asking for someone else to help and not listening to myself. Also I made the mistake of building alot of plugs out of differnt woods, from differnt batches and wandering why I was getting such differnt results. All woods have very differnt characteristics and need to be weighted differntly. A buddy of mine has won sevreal tournaments fishing my cull plugs as thats what I fish with myself because the more I learn how they react  and run the better I become at building good running crankbaits.

Sorry to ramble and I hope this makes sense and helps.

Rich   

Edited by RPM
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Definitely a crank that you should go out and buy a few true deep divers and study and more importantly fish them.   Many guys don't have the equipment to really fish deep diving cranks.  

Crews Little John DD, Rapala DT 20, Norman D22, and Brians Deep Bee B24 are ones I would suggest fishing.  Each is a little different in design.

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Big Epp, I just posted a picture of a plug I'm proud of, not the color, finish but how it runs / perfoms. It's in the gallary, nothing fancy it's really all about the balance, building a straight consistant lure, finding the right lip / bib / bill whatever we call them today, and how it runs in the water. What makes this bait so special is how it runs. It will run with any speed reel, I've ran it on 8:1.1 to 5.1:1 reels, and have learned how it runs at almost any speed. I'm working on a super deep model very similar and hope to have it up and running come late spring when we fish alot of Ledges around here. Thanks again

Rich

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Thanks for the feedback guys.  One thing I've been enjoying is creating a basic lure shape and then modifying it to make different baits from the same blank.  I've got 1 that I can made a squarebill, a lippless crank, and two types of gliders out of.  It seems like a good shape to try and fit some deeper lips to.  There's another one I just started working with that makes a good squarebill and lipless crank that I think might work as well.

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Your welcome, and that's exciting and sounds like your onto the right track. It's pretty hard to describe the satisfaction level of achieving goals you set for yourself in lure building but this far into it, I'm starting to understand what some of the old timers were trying to tell us,  now I even enjoy it more because I understand my lures and can alter them to do what I need / want them to. It's been mentioned many times here so elegantly, it really is a labor of love. Keep after it, keep us posted and ask anytime I'll certainly try to help if I can. Merry Christmas

Rich

Edited by RPM
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I've made several large deep diving lures that hit 25+ feet (obviously speed/how much line makes a different).  These are trolling baits, 14" (plus 3" of lip) 12-16oz.   I think the tow point makes a huge difference, how far up or down the lip or the body it is.  It is the pivot of how much your lip can rotate "down" and pull the bait with it.  Now I'm only speaking from making large lures, so I think there is more room for error or variances in weight and slight imperfections.  

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but how much does the actual weight of a deep diver make a difference.  From my experience, i need to add enough ballast to make sure the lure sits in the water properly so the lure catches the water and dives.   After that, more weight I don't think would make it dive deeper, I think the action and size of the lip would overtake anything that a bit more weight could interfere with.

Again it may seem obvious, but my biggest thing with the baits working well, is making sure that lip is in there perfectly!  Joint your wood, cut the lip slot while the wood is still square. Or make jigs to align the lips in the baits perfectly.   You can correct some wander off to the side by bending the tow point slightly to one side or the other, but if the lip is not straight to the body in the x or z axis, the power of the lip will overtake anything else you can do at that point.     Make a lip with several tow points when testing, so you can figure out what kind of action and dive curve you are looking for.

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I typically  try and to get as close to neutral buoyancy but still want it to rise.    The more weight the more depth you can squeezer out of the same bait size/profile.  It is counterproductive to constantly have a force in the opposite direction of where you are wanting to go.  

You have to think as a lure as a bobber/life jacket. 

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Travis - let me expand.

Throw a 1Lb spherical weight and retrieve as fast as possible. The weight will bounce along the bottom of the lake.

Gradually reduce the weight and a point is reached were the weight no longer touches the bottom.

The weight is still well beyond the limits of lure making, we would never make a lure with such a down force. This demonstrates that the effect of line thickness is far greater than tweaking the ballast as it is the line resistance that is keeping the weight off the bottom.

If line thickness can have such a profound effect then the buoyancy/gravity of the lure becomes insignificant, and we must concentrate on the moving dynamic water forces that the lure experiences.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman
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I was hoping you would weigh in here a bit Vodkaman as far as a more scientific approach.  From my experience building a crankbait, weight can act to dampen side to side action somewhat, but with a steady retrieve, or trolled, it seems like the lures i have experimented with did not change their depth significantly when weight was added or removed. Now when you have a neutral/ slow rising crankbait that can be paused and hung in the water column, that is a totally different thing (very useful).  But it seems to me that the forces acting on the lip outweigh the force of gravity/buoyancy on the lure when it is in motion.

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Eastman03 - believe me, I am itching to 'dive' in on this post, but I do not feel that I have enough real information to offer. Rest assured, I am typing away in a word document parallel to this post, trying to put something useful together, but as far as making profound statements, experience holds me back.

Everything you mentioned in your post is entirely reasonable. But the dampening comment contradicts the water forces thing. The lure is going to move regardless of the ballast number, within the realistic limits of lure building.

As speed increases so the effect of gravity and buoyancy decreases relative to the water forces. As speed increases, the water forces increase, but the static forces of ballast and buoyancy remain constant. It is all about static (still) and dynamic (moving) forces.

Within reasonable dimensions of lip and eye position, Deep divers are 'theoretically' a lot more stable than shallow cranks. The reason being that the COG and COB (up and down forces) are way above the swim axis line.

As speed increases, the width of the lip has more effect. Eventually a speed is reached were the lure will roll over.

The only thing that can throw out a deep diver, apart from a bad tow eye location (too far forward or rear), is an excessively wide lip. A bit like one of those toy clowns with a round base that always stands up because the COG is so low.

This is a subject that interests me immensely, but with no building or practical testing experience to back up my thoughts, I feel that I must hold back until my confidence in my ideas prevails.

I will get back to my word document and hope to come up with some useful engineering explanations, but I doubt most of you will enjoy :)

Dave

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Dave heres something for you to ponder. Back this summer I had an opportunity to fish a trophy private lake owned by a local Doctor, avid fisherman who loves Handcrafted crankbaits and trophy bass. He asked me to build him a few special Big Bass Baits, so we decided on huge crankbaits. I built 4 total 2 square bills and 2 deep divers, Huge baits, I mean 4.25" L X 2" Wide bodies not counting the lips, one of the sqaure bills weighed just over 2 oz, and the other weighed right at 3 oz, the Deep divers both weighed over 3oz with one close to 4oz, sorry I dont have my notes in fron of me. The Square bills in testing were so bouyant it took this much ballast to get them to sit in the water correctly butt even more so it was the heaviest lure that performed the best and dove to about 4' the lighter lure acted more like a wake bait, swam great just below the surface not enough ballast because the bill was under the water while sitting. The forces did not have a great enough effect to pull the lure underwater due to the huge amount of bouyancy, but once weighted properly the lure would dive and swim like designed. 

Now the deep divers, it gets interesting, same body shape, size of the squarebills and the bills had the right angle to be under the water line while sitting still. The lighter lure would dive but once it got a few feet below surface it would not perform and would act crazy, my thoughts were the huge bouyancy was trying to lift the bait from the water while the bill was trying to pull it below? So we added and rebalanced the lure with more weight, gues what we acheived a balancee that the lure would float up, sit at the right angle and would dive to the bottom of this 14' lake with no trouble and have such a thump it would almost shake the rod out of your hand while cranking with a big action. This was an extreme and first for me, but guess what he choose 2 of the lures and has fished them with great success, caught almost a dozen Large Bass all over 6lbs on these lures. I'm not sure I want to build anymore but would love to hear your thoughts - ideas as I've got several of these Monsters sitting waiting to be finished. I'll post a few pictures in the Gallery incase you would like to see them?

Thanks Rich   

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6 minutes ago, mark poulson said:

Please do.  I'd love to see what you made.

Mark pictures are posted in gallery, let me know your thoughts, please overlook the paint finish and the Deep diver is one I grabbed in the dark, i think the finished plug is still in my boat? They are pictured next to a poes for size reference.

 

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1 minute ago, RPM said:

Mark pictures are posted in gallery, let me know your thoughts, please overlook the paint finish and the Deep diver is one I grabbed in the dark, i think the finished plug is still in my boat? They are pictured next to a poes for size reference.

 

I just checked them out.  They look good, and you said they got bit.  Congrats!  That is the true test of any bait.

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RPM - It must have been a huge buoyancy force to have that effect, as you stated.

The other clue is the 'thumping' action. This is an indication that the lure is swimming at a very steep angle. The drag from the lip is very high but the down force is small.

The optimum angle is around 45 degrees for maximum depth. This smaller angle presents less lip, so less thump but more down force. To achieve this, your tow eye needs to go further forward.

Dave

284260528_lipforces.JPG.711d9d229fb98870aae60aa1ee5ed877.JPG

Edited by Vodkaman
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6 hours ago, Vodkaman said:

RPM - It must have been a huge buoyancy force to have that effect, as you stated.

The other clue is the 'thumping' action. This is an indication that the lure is swimming at a very steep angle. The drag from the lip is very high but the down force is small.

The optimum angle is around 45 degrees for maximum depth. This smaller angle presents less lip, so less thump but more down force. To achieve this, your tow eye needs to go further forward.

Dave

284260528_lipforces.JPG.711d9d229fb98870aae60aa1ee5ed877.JPG

Great explanation, Thanks Dave I appreciate it.  

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In addition, I need to re-evaluate my thoughts on the subject, as expressed in my reply to Travis. buoyancy obviously has more of an affect than I thought. This is what makes TU such a good learning environment. Thanks for the enlightenment RPM :)

Dave

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Dave, your welcome and Thank you again for your scientific approach & knowledge on this and many subjects we are truly blessed to have this forum and each other to bounce ideas, thoughts and share our experiences. I appreciate and want to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas. 

Rich

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Thanks Rich.

Getting back to the original post, I really do want to read more of member's experiences with deep divers, experiences, failures, explanations. Even dimensional information, eye location (distance from tip to eye AND distance from tip to lure nose), ballast location. Observations of lure angle 'guestimates' for successful divers, and any more information that can be provided.

In the mean time, I will build a CAD model and take a look at the mechanics.

Lip dimension information would be very useful too as I do not currently see any way of predicting a lip size for a particular lure. If I can gather enough data from deep builders I am hoping a pattern might emerge. This reads like I am trying to steal valuable information, believe me I am not. I have no plans to build deep divers. I simply want to learn and pass that knowledge on, like I always TRY to do.

PM me if you don't want to post.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman
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