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Tom S

crank bait design

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There seems to be a lot of talk here on painting and clear coating ,but not much of design.I would like to get a discussion going on the actual building and layout of a crankbait.I have been trying to get the perfect action for a crankbait,and trying to figure out what it takes in the bait to get it.I want a bait that will run over 5 mph and will "wander" or "searching". And I want the bait to have a tight wiggle.Now that has been a tall order getting baits to do that,because there is a fine line between wandering and blowing out.I have made baits that run straight and will troll as fast as you want,but those ones dont catch fish!Here are some things I learned this year.By increasing lip angle I get more wander,and more action,but it blows out sooner as speed increases,it also runs shallower.By adding belly weight I can get more speed from the bait,but it slows down the action and runs deeper.By raising the tow eye position it gives the bait a nose down swimming posture and makes it run much deeper!I also think it tightened the wiggle a little and made it more stable running with less wander(not good).By going to heavier hooks it kills action of the bait. These are some of the things I learned this year.I could be wrong on some of this stuff,but I thought it would be fun to get a discussion going.

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I don't know if this fits into the catagorie of a "crankbait" but you can achieve what your looking for by going to a bait with a "cut face" at about a 45 degree angle.Your line tie placement should be just a hair low from center.You can get a bait you can troll at 5mph,and you'll get a good swimming action,with the random "hunting" action your talking about..Nathan

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Thanks Tom for going out on a limb. I have started toying with the idea of a big crank.

This year I made one and it works great, I only made one but it was a long road. The weighting of the bait was the hardest for me. I never thought I was going to get enough lead in the lure so it would sit up in the water, not on its side. It has a wandering from side to side from time to time. I had it running as fast as 7MPH beside the boat before I thought I would break my pole or I was going to get poled from the boat. I only trolled it for about 10 min before I could not hold on any more, I could not trust it in my rod holders I am getting Down East rod holders this year so I will know more. The 14? bait that I made took about one week to carve about 7 hours or more just in carving. I think this is why it is the only one I have made to date. Also I don?t know if it is going to catch fish with only fishing for 10min because I don?t have a good enough rod holder. I would hate to make too many and don?t use them.

http://www.tackleunderground.com/modules/mx_smartor/album.php?smartor_mode=album_showpage&pic_id=1392

I also I made a crank from my TyJack pattern bait. I thought it was going to work when the first one I made caught a fish the first time I used it, but I never liked the action. It swims like a stick coming through the water with no action or wiggle unless it hits something. I made five with deferent lip angels and weighting. All with the same result, bad lure! Some would turn and blow up. I think it was the 3/4? thick flat side lure. I think it was too thick for a flat-sided crank bait or maybe if I rounded over the sided more maybe I would have improved the action of the bait.

http://www.tackleunderground.com/modules/mx_smartor/album.php?smartor_mode=album_showpage&pic_id=1320

-Corey Karren

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Thanks for the tip Nathan.I just checked out your baits and I really like the Assasin!I dont know if my baits would have enough surface area after cutting the 45 angle.Did you have to play around with the size of the face of your lure to get enough resistance to get your lure action?Maybe I would have to cut a rectangle lip out of Lexan and screw that to the face of my bait to give it more surface area? I really like that idea though!Do your baits need any belly weight for balast?

Tom

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Corey,I made some 15" baits last year also,and man were they a pain!Mine were Grandma fashion baits with taller flat sides,and looked more like a walleye profile.I think it took over 2 oz. of lead to keep them upright!Between that much lead and those tall flat sides,It had very little action.The flat sides actaually fight against the lip and acts like a sail boat keel and wants to go straight!.I had to cut the height down and custom make the biggest lip I ever seen to get it swimming.I hate making them now,and the problem is ,my friends seen them and they want one too.They dont realize it takes me 6 hours to make without paint!

Tom

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Tom,

thanks for the comments on my baits....You don't have to ballast weight them....but I do.The front hook is generally enough weight..But a little lead in the front tends to give you a little more reliable action..and I thinks keeps them stable for higher speed trolling.The idea of increasing the surface area with lexan is definatley worth a try..Nathan

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