Jump to content
Crankbaits That Hunt
36 replies to this topic
Posted 11 May 2007 - 09:10 PM
I'm not sure why the definitions we all have for this would differ all that much. Even if you cannot see the lure running in the water, you can feel it in the line. If it is a shallow running bait, it is a beauty to behold.
When the bait is tested for the first time and you discover the hidden talent, well all I can say is....
Like I think I said before, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. Now if I can just find that oak tree....
Posted 11 May 2007 - 09:54 PM
I hear lots of rabble rousing,saber clanging,and theories on this and that but the proof is in the pudding. Lets see some pics and diagrams, or even better, actual bait that have been fished and are confirmed hunters, maybe someone may be able to pick up on something that would benefit all of us. I have made tons of fish catching baits and a bunch of hunters, best I had was a batch 14 baits that I made 3 years ago,5 were hunters, 4 others caught fish and the rest ran straight and true, but the bait that caught the most fish day in and out was one that had a nervous twitch and did not hunt.All of these baits came from the same plank of balsa. That bait was one of those special ones. I have weighed it measured it, studied it for hours on end and I can get close to the original baits action but it is still not exactly the same. Way to many variables in the materials that I use to make baits. When I make a bait there are exactly 34 different steps that are taken to get a finished product. Maybe one of those steps is the key. Until then trial and error is the way to go for me Tight lines boys and keep your nose to the grindstone and your fingers out of the sawblade!!
Posted 12 May 2007 - 11:46 PM
Blackjack, your experience with the 14 is all too familiar. My very best fish catching baits, on detailed examination, are exactly like the others in their batch. Same weight to .01 ounce, same bill angle, etc, etc. My guess is very small differences in shape and wood density that I can't see make the difference. And there is no reasonable way for me to make them more alike with handbuilding. Wood crankbaits will have some variability. The better you get at building, the more you reduce it, but you can't eliminate it.
Posted 13 May 2007 - 12:01 AM
Very well said. I think maybe the approach for those who want to sell them is a "hunter trader" forum. I could be way off base, but maybe those special baits should not be buried, but rather auctioned off to the highest bidder?
I guess China would bid the highest price on all of them.
Posted 13 May 2007 - 04:57 PM
If you make hundreds of crankbaits, you'll get a statistical bell curve of crankbait grading. As you gain experience, you work to make the curve skew to the right but there are always going to be above average and below average baits. Personally, I don't look for hunters. I look for a particular thump rythym and amplitude that has been the most productive for me over the years. Hunting doesn't seem to have much to do with it and I try not to get wrapped around the axle about it. But that's just me.
Posted 13 May 2007 - 06:45 PM
Tally, A "special" bait does not have to hunt to be "special", but you can have a hunting bait thats also "special"
If the action you think is hunting can be imparted with the rod tip, you probably have never seen or recognized the hunting action. It can also not be imparted by striking an object, thats deflection, which is an excellent way to entice a strike. I have several shallow running baits made by Skeeter (5) and of those 5 I have 2 hunters and one of those is "special" One of the 5 I have yet to throw so I might have another hunter and/or special bait in the bunch.
Let me throw another variable in the mix, in my experience one of the biggest factors in wheather or not a bait is bit on any given day, is the size of the bait. There are days that I can't buy a bite on one of my hunting baits, but they will eat a smaller bait. In the same token, if they are wanting the size of bait that I have that hunts, I can get more bites on the hunter. This also seems to be true with the special baits as well, if they match the size that the fish want they will out perform baits of similar size or even the same model/color/size etc.
Based on this I think my next project will be a series of baits that increase in size by 1/4" from say 2" to 4" or so, and I am going to paint them all the same color. I don't make as many baits as some of you so this might take me a few years lol.
Posted 14 May 2007 - 02:57 PM
Skeet.. I could be wrong I have been before but.. I thought the brass wire on a bagleys were a collectors sign or a way to date the bait.. Bagleys are more of a collectors thing on ebay.. yes some guys buy them to fish.. but I sell alot of stuff on ebay and the brass wire bagley is worth more money than ones with out one.. As far as the hunting thing goes.. very interesting stuff.. I think I know know why I dont catch fish now.. I am always buying the ones that dont hunt if its the luck of the draw!!
Posted 14 May 2007 - 04:38 PM
the hunting action just adds an extra ingrediant to enhance the lure.....they all will catch fish!!!!
Posted 14 May 2007 - 08:30 PM
Rookie.... here is the deal on the brass wire. When Rick won the tournament with the hunting bait, he originally said that it was an old BIII that he had gotten from Van Dam. When asked about the bait, Clunn said that the bait had a rare characteristic..... it hunted. This started the hunting craze that is still going on years after the tournament. That is all that I truely know. As I saw pictures of the lure I started to believe that the bait was actually made by Jeff Thompson of Ky. Jeff is the baitmaker for Tim Hughes that make up H&T baits. The bait would have been made and painted by Jeff because he had not yet teamed up with Tim. But I cannot be sure if the lure is Jeff's or not. There are some other things about the lure that Rick used to win that tournament, but I won't share that information. So because of Rick saying that it was an old Bagley BIII everyone wanted one. At first on Ebay the BIII's were selling like mad. Then, the now popular BII started selling like mad. The rumour was that it was the old Brass Thru Wire construction that caused the bait to hunt. I saw 2 very old and chipped up BIII's go for over $125 on Ebay. I thought it might be the wire also. That was the buzz. But I have never seen a BIII or BII old or new with thru wire construction. I have been told by MANY old Bagley fishermen that Bagley never did make a true thru wire harness for those two baits. So I spent months learning about the old Bagleys. I have bought 4 Bagley square bills that were made in the very early 80"s. I couldn't stand it so I cut two of them in half. One of them being the oldest of the 4. Guess what.... no thru wire. The other one wasn't either. How do I know the baits were that old... easy... I sent them to Bagley and they dated them. I also have some of these baits where the lips were punched out of lexan stock. The lips are not injected. Now that is old son. I had them x-rayed. No thru wire. So all of you guys that killed your bank account on a thru wire BII or BIII.... I am sorry. I have bought many so called handmade and custom thru wire harness baits. I have yet to see one with a harness in it. NONE of them have been true thru wire. I cut them all in half to learn. I learned alot. I do make a true thru wire. But it takes alot of time and patience to make right. Some have tried to drill from nose to tail all of the way thru the bait and insert a straight wire thru the hole to make the bait a thru wire. But believe me, it is not the way to go. There is alot of flaws that can become of this. Seems I have a little Blackjack in me . Trust me... it is not the wire harness made of brass or anything else that causes a bait to hunt. I promise that you can mark that myth off of your list.
Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:30 AM
A little bit of convoluted logic goes a long way among bass fishermen and their lures, and the brass thru-wire-hunting myth is a prime example. The first popular balsa bait made by Jim Bagley was the Bang-O-Lure and it was indeed made with a brass wire harness which looped through the bait and was soldered together in the belly. Bang-O-Lures have not been made this way since the early 80's, and consequently most fishermen prefer the early ones. This led fishermen to believe that if any Bagley lure had brass wire hook-hangers and line-tie that it was thru-wire (of course, not so) and because most lures were not built with brass wire hangers and line tie, that because some of the Bagley cranks hunted and they differed from most other lures with their brass wire hangers, it was concluded that having brass thru-wire construction caused the Bagley lures to hunt. Like most myths, this had the ring of lofic and truth behind it although it was simply not so, as Skeeter said. Fishemen simply jumped to erroneous conclusions.
For what it's worth, all the balsa cranks I sell are true thru-wire construction. I just prefer this construction method.
Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:15 AM
That's an interesting story, Dean, and one of which I was unaware. It shows how we are constantly trying to "figure out" the fish...which is the foundation of the search for "the magic bait" and the basis of a multi-billion dollar industry.
I always get a kick out of listening to Bill Dance and Roland Martin as they go about the business of explaining why the "bait of the week" is vastly different from all others that have sold before. Its all very entertaining, but there have actually been some very innovative baits offered commercially in the last 20 years or so.
I've built a few "hunters" completely by accident. So far, the muskies have been less amused than I am.
Posted 16 May 2007 - 10:53 AM
Hey Skeeter I was just wondering if you asked the folks at Bagleys if they ever made a thru wire bait when you sent the baits back to be dated. Also I Have or at least had a Bagley Honey B that was made back in the mid to late 70's ( I know this because I was in high school and there was a pro shop we would walk to during lunch hour to buy bait instead of lunch) This one bait of many was smacked into the rocks to many times for the paint to take it, I did have it hanging around ...If I find it I'll disect it for the knowledge of how one of the truely great bait companies of old made their baits. I was not into making baits when this bait was retired, however I knew I would find a use for it. Now to just find it!!!!!!!!!!
Posted 16 May 2007 - 12:17 PM
There is no need to continually cut baits apart to see if they are constructed with thru wire harness. Take a ohm meter and check for continuity at every point. If there is continuity at all points it is a thru wire construction, if no continuity...no thru wire construction.
Posted 16 May 2007 - 12:42 PM
GREAT POINT. however the bait I was talking about was shot anyway. In the meantime I was not able to find the bait in question however I do have two that sure look like thru wire construction and I will give them a try. THANKS
Posted 16 May 2007 - 03:13 PM
KcDano hit the nail with his answer. Thats how I check baits also and it works great.
Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:09 PM
I should have just taken them to Calvin Johnson in Greensboro. He is a Bagley expert. But I just had to know what I had. Someone here in town gave them to me for a coffin lip that I make. He has a tremendous collection of vintage crankbaits.