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Finesse weights for belly ballast
7 replies to this topic
Posted 31 May 2005 - 05:18 PM
I'm trying cylindrical lead finesse weights as belly ballast/hanger on some small bass cranks and so far, it looks good. Normally, I drill a cavity in the bait's chest, fill it with solder, then install a stainless wire hanger behind it. The .20 finesse weights are about 1/4" in diameter and can be cut with a sharp knife by rolling them across a table. I halved them to make .10 oz weight/hangers. .29" stainless wire through the line hole works fine as a hanger. Drilling just one hole and filiing it with epoxy to body level sure makes for an easier/faster/neater installation of this hardware. If I could cast and mold lead better, I'd make custom belly weights but this gets me by OK.
Posted 31 May 2005 - 08:36 PM
I have been using the finesse weights almost from the start. If exact weight in each bait is what you are after, let me know and I will be glad to help. You will need a good scale to do this. Once you find the length that you need / want, it is pretty easy to make a jig that will allow you to cut the lead with a small hack saw blade. I cut and weigh every weight I install. It is one of the factors that you can control........good luck
Posted 31 May 2005 - 09:30 PM
Hey, Talley, I weigh everything because I build alot of suspending or slow floating cranks. I tried casting lead weights with an integrated hanger in a wood mold but was not satisfied with the results. The finesse weights work well and you aren't slinging molten lead around either. I was pretty sure I reinvented the wheel here, as you confirmed. I'll still probably ballast with solder in front of the belly hanger on many cranks because it gives you a head down attitude when paused, and it makes it dive quickly. But the finesse weights are a neat method.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 07:24 AM
The BPS's finesse weights are all I use in my baits. I use the 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4 oz weights for the different baits I make. One hole either 3/16 or a 1/4 inch is all that is needed. You will have to drill a bigger hole in the weight for wire larger than 22 gage.
Posted 04 June 2005 - 01:13 AM
I have also been using finesse weights in the belly for some time. Even though you purchase them as 1/8, 3/16 or what ever, 9 out of 10 will not weigh the same. close but not the same.
In an effort to make stronger crank baits Coley and myself purchased some balsa that was more dense than what we had first tried. You can definitely tell the difference when you pick the wood up. When we got the blocks Coley weighed them and not many of them weighed the same. I find it very difficult to get the same bait every time. Again close but always a little different. This is just a couple of things that make wooden baits so unique and run a little different.
Not sure what type of wood you are using but when I start the hole for the belly weight I use a cone shape dram el tool that was made for carving. This just kind of sands away the wood and does not split it off like a drill bit does. Then you can use a smaller drill bit to finish the hole with out splitting the wood.
I also use a SS cotter pin for the hook hanger. Put it through the hole in the weight and bend the ends over. I think the SS cotter pin makes a nice hook hanger. Epoxied in, no way to come out. I Use mostly 30 minute epoxy as this gives it time to soak into the wood.
I to like to have a few baits that will suspend, sink slowly, back up quick and rise slowly. I always get a thrill when I crank one down in the pool and it just sits there.
Charlie M, AKA boyhowdy
Posted 05 June 2005 - 02:58 PM
I just started with the BPS finesse weights on some 2" basswood baits and needed to cut them in pieces to get a small enough ballast (.07 oz). I drill (well, burn actually) a hole for them with a 1/4" cylindrical sharpening stone. It goes surprisingly fast. Just do it outside where the smoke isn't a problem! I drill a pilot hole with a 1/8 Dremel brad point drill bit before hitting it with the stone. The is the most reliable way I've found to get a uniform ballast hole - without a drill press, the right bit, and a jig fixture. If anyone else has a trick way to drill ballast holes without a drill press, I'm all ears. :grin:
Posted 07 June 2005 - 01:04 AM
do-it molds has a mold for the finese wgt. I bought one and had a buddy mill the bottom of the mold just enough that i bend my brass and place the wire in the mold close and pour,then adjust the weight by weighing and cutting.Beats the heck out of drilling and once you have twisted the wire you can pour about 25 in 15 mins