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how long did this take you people?

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#1 tschneid83



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Posted 17 July 2003 - 08:41 PM

ok so i have been trying to make a crank for about 2 weeks now and i think a 3 yr old could do better. I cant get the lip in straight, it does not sit straight in the water. I cant get the sides to look the same. Is this one of the those talents that you either can or cant make a bait. I mean how long did it take you guys before you made a bait that looks good and ran straight and actually caught fish. I dont need to become a pro at this but i dont just want to waste me monrey making these baits. I dont mind putting the money into it as long as i eventually get it. I want one day to be on the lake and say this looks like a great time for my shallow running crank in firetiger etc, etc....... i dont want to make baits and never have confidence using them. I am just hoping for some feedback as to how long it took you to get this stuff down. I mean am i wasting my time unless i have the money for all of the tools that i need. Thanks hopefully someone can shed a little light on this subject........

#2 redg8r



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Posted 17 July 2003 - 09:11 PM

Dont get discouraged,
Weve all been there.

I see youve taken a notion to making a crankbait for your fist lure.
I will say from experience & the other crankmakers will agree, that cranks are one the more "difficult" baits to make....

I respect a good crank, because theres alot of factors needed to make a crank work as intended, you gotta have a fine balance of weight, shape, bill placement & angle. even hardware & the plcement of it makes an impact on its action.

I'm not saying to give up cranks, but my advice would be to try your hand at some topwaters, & darters also. these will help you understand some of the needed components needed to better your crankbait. When I started, weight placement was my problem & like you, I WAS frustrated.

Dont rush yourself either, if your making a crank for your fishing pleasure, the amount of time involved has no bearing. when you catch that first fish, its worth any amount of time taken.

of course the time invested in the bait is what I enjoy most about makin them, its kinda MY personal time, so I really dont watch the clock, or the money involved, as long as I enjoy it, its a good investment in my opinion.

keep your head up my friend, youll get it :wink:

#3 Coley


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Posted 17 July 2003 - 09:27 PM

Don't get discouraged. The first bait I made was
a top water popper. The next was a crank and it sunk.
Thats right it sunk. My advice is read all you can
in here. Read the tutorials. Look up skeeter and hughsey
with the search tool. Or ask them direct?? Or any of the others
in this forum are willing to help you. I asked so many questions
I felt ashamed. But, someone was always there to answer.
All the cranks I make are flat sided. I am not good at carving
or sanding to shape. But now I am adding balsa sides to my harwood
and it makes it very easy for me to shape.

Just hang tough, it will come.

I made a small crank with a metal lip yesterday and all it did
was spin. So, back to the drawing board with that one.


#4 luresmith



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Posted 17 July 2003 - 11:22 PM

I agree with the others, perseverence is the key. After a while you'll get a feel for it, perfect a pattern or two and you'll find that you have few failures with your favorites. You should still expect to have a reasonable number of failures when you're developing new patterns. Often I'm quite specific about exactly what I want a pattern to do and it takes plenty of trial and error to get it right. After that you can usually churn them out pretty quickly and without too many lemons.

Keep at it, don't give up!


#5 Big Splash

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 02:13 AM

Red's right about the crankbait being more dificult to master than some of the othe designs. It helps to have other skills too, like woodworking, or artistic talent, but that can be learned 'on the job'. Don't compare your first efforts to lures made by those with a lot more experience, lure making is a complex skill and you must give yourself a chance to learn.
Try to find a pattern that is more foregiving to start with, like topwaters, or even minnow shaped plugs. It is best if you leave the desingingof your lures untill you have mastered the carving. Check out Luresmith's web site for some very cool patterns to download. Start with a square piece of wood and use centerlines thruought the carving, replacing them with a pencil when you have carved them away. Rather than spending time finishing each bait you make(the most time consuming part), get a few of them shaped, undecoated, and outfitted with hardware, then hit the water for some testing. Make notes, use a tank at home to float test, read everything you can find about lure making, study every bait you can get your hands on.
It realy wont take long before you will get some lures that run true, and you might even catch a fish or two while you are casting those test baits. Paint is not as important as a lure that runs true, and you need lots of carving experience at the start anyway. Great lures can be carved with a handsaw and a knife ( see Hiro's web site for nice minnow plugs caved with a minimum of tools). After learning the basics, then you will know what tools you need to do the job.
Stay with it! I learned to carve lures in the winter, and had no open water until spring to test them out, only the sink to float test- most of them worked. GOOD LUCK!
Oh yeah, if you want to build your confidence in your own stuff you can try some 'easier' lures to make, like spinnerbaits, jigs, and handpoured plastics. Your gonna want all that stuff anyway :wink: !

#6 Celticav


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Posted 18 July 2003 - 02:28 AM

You came to the right place to ask that question!! You are probably doing fine, don't be too critical on yourself. You are just getting started and if you like making them then you will only get better and better with every bait you make. The key is to be patient with yourself, recognize your strengths as well as the areas you need to work on. These are the fun days, right now every time you make a bait you will see or think of something else to try the next time.... and that list will probably double when you fish that bait it for the first time too, :lol: If you are enjoying working with them, then it will only be a matter of time before you get it all down to a fine science. If you are serious about making cranks and other wooden plugs, I would highly recommend building or buying a Duplik8r(See Red G8R) or mini lathe or dremel tool, drying rack, etc and whatever else you need to produce them safely and correctly, the right equiptment can make the biggest difference in the beginning. Alot of the guys that I know who make their own cranks started by copying a design that they liked and/or already used and went from there to building their own designs, if that helps. Just remember to have fun and let this be the Learning Stage, that is what the begining is about after all. Your crank may look junky to you now, but try to image what you will produce when you do work the kinks out and trust me... you eventually will. If its like most of my hobbies then the Learning Stages are often the most rewarding to me personally, I still don't get near the satisfaction outta making the same old thing as engineering and then getting my engineering to work right on a totally new kind of bait, and there was a first time for "the same old thing", LOL. I can't wait to see what you make when you are ready to post some pics of it, but be sure to have good time making it, JIM

#7 RiverMan


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Posted 19 July 2003 - 01:07 AM

I think some folks do have a "nack" while others do not for this type of thing. That is probably true for most everything a person chooses to do. I am unfortunately one of those who "does not". I look at the design specs Red put together for his duplicator and it might as well be written in Chinese! Everything I have built has been through a ton of trial and error!! I worked on a shrimp pattern for literally years. This was before the internet and the wealth of information available to us now. Once the "tackle building" sites became available and I learned how to properly build a mold things went a bit faster. My first cranks were beautiful, well I thought so. I got out on the water, through the bait out, and it wouldn't dive an inch! It rolled in a circle all the way back to the boat. The balance of the bait was entirely wrong, I hadn't even thought about that.

As Red and others have mentioned, be patient, have fun, be creative. If you get tired or discouraged, walk away and come back. Afterall the next best thing to fishing, is "thinking" about fishing.


#8 Skeeter


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Posted 19 July 2003 - 07:06 PM

This is simple to answer. You really have to love crankbaits, and you MUST HAVE ALOT OF PATIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!! If neither of these fit, then make something else. I have been doing this for three yrs. I learn something every time. I have made copies of just about every wooden crank out there. I have modified tons of baits for folks. In the past 3 yrs I have spent over 1000 hrs throwing nothing but a crankbait. Just last week I spent over 8 hrs studying crankbaits in my pool. I learned a ton. A truely well made crankbait that sits and runs properly in the water takes time. Just because someone makes a good looking plug and catches some fish on it does not mean it is right and performs to its optimal potential. It takes time, dedication, and you just plain have to love it. Without a doubt, it is the hardest of lures to do right. Stick with it
and stick with the guys on this board. Your questions will get answered here. The regulars are all very talented and are happy to share with others. You don't need alot of money or equipment. However, I would suggest either a scroll or band saw and a drill press. You can get these items fairly cheap at www.harborfreight.com If I can help you in any way just let me know.