Skeeter

Crankbait Action

4 posts in this topic

Since I started making crankbaits and participating in forums such as this one, a large ammount of concern has been toward weighting crankbaits. Many, including myself believed that good crankbait action is greatly affected by the ammout of weight in the crankbait. The trend is to get the crankbait as light as possible to achieve optimum action. WRONG!!!!!!!! Crankbait action is achieved through proper lip design, line tie placement, and angle of the lip. Now don't get me wrong...... proper weighting is a definite factor in a well made crankbait. However, weighting is there to give the bait the proper position in the water so that it can obtain maximum performance. Straight bodies, properly aligned hardware, and perfect ballance, is what separates excellent crankbaits from good ones. Just because a crankbait is custom made, made by hand or is designed by some pro does NOT mean the bait is made correctlly. The proper action is something that you learn through countless hours of throwing a crankbait. Many of my own baits that I thought were correct.... were not. I took a dozen of my own baits and tested them in my pool. Only 7 passed my testing. I took the other 5 and reworked them. The action greatly improved. I took those baits to the lake and I caught more fish on them in 3 days than I had in the past year. Take the time to throw some wooden cranks in a pool and really pay attention to how they act. Throw something in the bottom of the pool for them to hit and watch the reaction of the bait when they hit it. You will really be supprised to learn just how much you don't know. I was.

Skeeter

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Thanks Skeeter,

Some good points regarding weighting cranks, and well made too. With most I couldn't agree more. Correct weighting is definately an important aspect of getting cranks to perform properly. Get it right and your cranks can be retrieved or trolled at higher speeds without "blowing out" to one side or other. Get it wrong and you can throw the crank out and start again.

I also agree that proper lip design, placement and towpoint configuration are the most important things to get right.

There is just one point you make that I take exception to: That weighting a crank doesn't decrease it's action. The action of a well designed crankbait is the result of opposing forces that are placed on it as it is dragged through the water. One of those forces is buoyancy. One way I proved this to myself was to make a wooden crank, drill it and place a small amount of lead in the hole with a small blob of hot glue to hold it in place. Give it a test swim and note the action. Then remove the weight and replace it with progressively larger amounts of lead giving it a test swim each time. Believe me, all other things being equal the action does decrease.

Having said that, a more heavily weighted crank tends not to blow out, so action can be increased by increasing the size of the lip or moving the towpoint back slightly.

Going back to basic physics - crankbait action is the result of opposing forces. Among those forces is the competition between buoyancy and the force of water on the lip making the lure dive. The greater the difference between these forces, the harder the lure will work to counteract them, hence the stronger the action.

It all comes back to the basic reality that you can't just change at one aspect of lure design in isolation. If you increase the weight you may need to change lip and towpoint configuration to compensate.

Thanks for the useful discussion, keep the thoughts flowing!

Regards

Greg

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Greg,

You are correct. If the weight is increased and the action of the lure changes to where it is no longer acceptable, then changing the design of the lip and placement of the line tie further back can put the action back into the crankbait. Also, increasing the angle of the lip downward can increase the action if the other two changes don't work well enough. On large lips, moving the line tie back too far can cause the bait to skip or loose action momentarily. This can also happen if the lip is too wide for the bait. I like heavily weighted baits because they will throw straight in the wind, and as you put it, "don't blow out" I started this whole thing because of the large amount of email that I receive about weighting crankbaits. Many are concerned that they will kill the action of their lures by adding too much weight. At one time I thought this to be true also. But through time I learned that heavier weights can be offset by proper lip design. Now don't get me wrong, there is a point where you can have too much weight. But as a standard rule, as long as the lip is under the water and ready to start digging as soon as you turn the reel handle, then you are headed in the right direction.

Skeeter

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