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Munkin

Crankbait surfacing action?

39 posts in this topic

While fishing yesterday I decided to do some testing on my Poe's just to see how they act. The first thing I noticed was that there was no way that lure will dive 10-18ft as stated on the package. Second, the way the lure would surface when stopped looked wrong to me. I am no crankbait expert but when I stopped the retrieve the crank would surface really fast, wobble side to side, and even spin completely around. The second lure dived deeper than the first and would surface slower but it still didn't look right. The combo I was using to test was a 7' St. Croix crankbait rod, 4.4-1 Quantum reel and 12lb mono line in case it matters.

Allen

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What style of Poes were you using? How do you know that the first one would not hit 10 - 18 ft.? That is a pretty big spread. What did you expect the lure to do when you stopped it? Do you think that the rod, reel and line might have a bearing on how the lure acts? If so, why?

Skeeter

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Munkin

thinner line will allow a lure to run deeper. Also the cast has to be long enough to allow the lure time to dive. usually lures that state 10 - 18 feet mean 10-14 feet casting and 14-18 feet when trolled both under ideal conditions. If you want to test how deep they actually dive measure out some strait line depths at 10', 14', & 18' then cast and while retrieving them along these lines feel if they hit the bottom. if they hit @ 10' try it @ 14' if they don't hit you know it's between 10' and 14'

I'm not familiar with the lures you were using but unless they were suspending models they will rise fairly fast.

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ah!!!!! Now we are going to find out if you want to learn about cranks are want someone to show you the way. Skeeter will help you but only if your heart is really into doing the work. This all reminds me of when I started making cranks. I still have a long way to go but I know more about cranks than I ever thought possible....thanks to TU and some people who saw my heart was there.....thanks again for that :wink:

Tally

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What style of Poes were you using? How do you know that the first one would not hit 10 - 18 ft.? That is a pretty big spread. What did you expect the lure to do when you stopped it? Do you think that the rod' date=' reel and line might have a bearing on how the lure acts? If so, why?

Skeeter[/quote']

Poe's 400 super cedar

I could not hit a 7' bottom in gin clear water

I knew it would float back up but the wobble suprised me

Longer rods cast further, lower ratio reels are used for crankin', thinner line makes the lure dive deeper

I need to learn about crankbaits so I figured since the water was gin clear I would make some casts to observe them in their natural environment like apes. :lol:

Allen

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I can't wait to see some of the replies to this. A 400 Poe's should get at least 14-15 feet depending on line and length of cast and I waould say 18 feet on a looooooong cast is very possible. Hell, a 300 Poe's will dive more than 7 feet.

Tally

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P.S. does anyone have some templates on these lures,lip as well? I just need a good deep diving lure to test on a lake

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Allen,

The 400 should cruise to 10 ft. easily. However, I will not say that it will hit 18ft. The average a 400 will run with 12 lb. line is around 12 - 14 ft. This is if the lure is tuned and lined up properly. By lined up I mean that the body is straight, the hook hangers and the belly weight are centered, and the lip is installed straight and is level across the front of the bait. So if the lure will not reach 7ft. then there is something definitely wrong with the lure. Remember, you will need a nice long cast for the lure to obtain its depth. The lips on Poes lures are garbage. They won?t hold up. You will notice the seam in the center of the lip. This is a point of failure on these lips. They often crack around the line tie and the seam. I really don?t know if the lips are true polycarbonate. But if they are, then the polycarbonate that is used has a lot of impurities in it. There are different grades of polycarbonate, with the lower ratings being full of impurities. For example, bullet proof glass is made of polycarbonate. The cost per square foot is around $85.00. This is why I use a high grade polycarbonate in my baits.

Longer rods do cast further, and thinner line does make the lure go deeper, but lower ratio reels are not the best for cranking. We have been told that lower geared reels are what is needed for cranking. These reels are suppose to crank easier and have the ?power? that is needed to throw these large deep running cranks all day long. BUNK!! All of today?s modern reels can throw cranks. In my opinion, high speed reels are better because they will take up slack quickly after a long cast, and if you mess up a cast, you can reel in quickly for another one. Throwing crankbaits requires your attention. The speed of the lure should be controlled by you and not the reel.

As far as the wobble?? this is what a good crankbait should do. When the lure hits something and you stop it, then the lure should back up alittle and wobble. The lure that you tested has the right characteristics, but there is a fault as to why the bait spirals on the way up. What you want the lure to do is backup and wobble without spiraling. The lure should stay pointed at you while it is backing up and wobbling. Now there is a reason or reasons as to why the bait is spiraling. What problems do you think could cause this?

Also, take a look at the lure and tell me why you think the bait will not go beyond 7ft.

Skeeter

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Ok children recess is over it's time to listen :D

I love it when skeeter shares his crankbait knowledge I learn something new every time.

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Skeeter,

Thanks for your help if I did not say it already? I spent at least 20 hours reading your posts along with Tally and some others before I posted this. I do not know why this particular crankbait would not dive well? An identical one would hit bottom after a couple of cranks of the handle. To tell you the truth I have no idea of what a good deep diving crankbait does? Deep water fishing is where I need to develop skill in fishing. When I fish crankbaits in shallow(7'-) I try to bang them into everything in the Potomac river. Right now I own at least 75 deep diving crankbaits in the hopes that I can learn to fish them. I read where you posted about a balanced crankbait and I understand that but what other qualities or attributes am I looking for?

Allen

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Allen,

Balanced is a word that has been thrown around on this site a lot. There were folks that were trying to go as far as to take a balancer that is used for model airplane props and use it on a crankbait. I think that those of us striving to build the best crankbait possible sometimes take things a little too far. But since you have read my posts and understand my definition of balance, then we will get into what I feel a deep running crankbait should do.

1. It should float ? All of this stuff about suspending and sinking crankbaits is just a way to get you to loose more baits so that you will buy more baits. If you run a bait that is made that way into a brush pile one of two things is going to happen. You will either hang it and loose it, or you will be spending your time trying to dig it out with a plug knocker. If the bait will float, then the bait will have the chance to float upward and free itself. A slow rise is fine, but the bait has to rise. When the bait rises then it should stay pointed at you and sway as it rises. Some baits will back up and do this. That is the perfect senario. There is a reason as to why most baits will spiral. There is an art to taking that spiral out of the bait, but that is one of my secrets that I will not post. :wink:

2. It should throw straight, even in the wind - Baits that won?t throw straight without cart wheeling are garbage. Get rid of them. I mainly make baits that are used for competition. A guy that is trying to pay the bills and hit a stump in 18ft. of water, needs a bait that will throw in a straight line consistently. If it is windy and the boat is pitching around and the guy is standing on one foot with the other on the trolling motor trying to hit the mark, he cannot be plagued with a bait that will not throw straight and far. He is doing nothing but wasting time, energy, and effort. As a crankbait maker it is my job to make him the best tool to get the job done. But the individual has to know how to throw a bait also. Yes, there is an art to that too. As a general rule, give the bait about 18 inches of line from the tip and then throw it. You may have to adjust, but believe me this helps. :)

3. The bait has to run straight ? Personally, I do not tune baits after I make them. It is up to the individual to do that. Anyone that does not take the time to completely tune their crankbaits (especially with money on the line) is a fool. An individual needs to take the time to finely tune every bait that he throws. If the bait is balanced, then the bait will run true. Maximum performance can be gained out of that bait. I even go as far as to make sure that the belly hook hanger is straight and at a perfect right angle to the lip. To me that hook hanger is a rudder. Small or not, it has an effect. A perfectly tuned deep running crankbait should come straight back at you and end up back underneath the boat at the end of the retrieve. You know that the bait is right when that happens. Some baits just won?t tune. Those need to go to your buddies that you fish against or someone that has pissed you off in the past. :D

4. The bait and the fisherman has to perform - Everyone gets hung up on this depth thing. What a crankbait fisherman should concentrate on is the performance of the bait. Once you have a balanced bait that is tuned perfectly, then you need to see what the limits of that crankbait are. You need to play with it like you did those two baits that started this whole discussion. Your thinking was right on the money. You need to know what that bait will do and then apply it to a situation that fits. In other words.... if the bait will run 16 ft. you should not be throwing it in 6 ft. of water. However, if you have a stump in 14 ft. of water then I would throw it. Everyone got hung up on this chest weighting thing that Fritts did. The only reason that David chest weighted a bait was because somewhere he had a situation that required the bait to get down a little further and stay there longer. He had a need and came up with a way to make it happen. Anyone can do this also. But it takes alot of time to learn and a fair amount of baits that you will peel though in order to teach yourself how to do it. This is where 99.9% of crankbait fishermen and crankbait makers fail. Those awful 3 words " it takes time " stops most from learning. If you have a bait and the lip is crooked, then fix it. If the belly weight is off center, then fix it. If the body is crooked, then fix it. Folks just won't use their head. Think! What will it take to make it right, and then make it happen. Luckily for me thinking, taking time, and putting forth hard work kills most folks. That is why I make money at this art. It is not rocket science. :idea:

Strange about that one bait. I would love to see it. Tell you what?? I need a poes 300. If you have one and are willing to give it to me, I will rework that screwed up 400 that you have and send it back to you with completely modified and repainted. It may take awhile because I have a lot of work to do for some customers. But I promise you that the bait will be right when you get it back. I should be able to tell you what was wrong with it also.

Skeeter

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awesome post!!!! Skeeter, if you get that screwed up bait, I would like to know what you found to be the problem........very strange!

Tally

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I've got about 20 Poe's 400's and 15 300's that I had decided to refinish. I had read on a post about checking how a crank bait sits on the water, tilted on one side or another and forward to back. I decided to check all of mine...results on a different post. Any way, what I found was the Poe's are very inconsistently made. I'm going to guess you have too little weight in the one that doesn't even hit 7ft and that the weight is probably way off center. I would think though if it's not even making 7 ft. then the bait could not have been running straight and was probably riding up on it's side. Could you see how the bait was running in the water?

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Awesome post Skeeter! It really gets the gears turning in my head (I might need to oil them first, they are a little rusty).

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Allen' date='

Balanced is a word that has been thrown around on this site a lot. There were folks that were trying to go as far as to take a balancer that is used for model airplane props and use it on a crankbait. I think that those of us striving to build the best crankbait possible sometimes take things a little too far. But since you have read my posts and understand my definition of balance, then we will get into what I feel a deep running crankbait should do.

1. [b']It should float [/b]? All of this stuff about suspending and sinking crankbaits is just a way to get you to loose more baits so that you will buy more baits. If you run a bait that is made that way into a brush pile one of two things is going to happen. You will either hang it and loose it, or you will be spending your time trying to dig it out with a plug knocker. If the bait will float, then the bait will have the chance to float upward and free itself. A slow rise is fine, but the bait has to rise. When the bait rises then it should stay pointed at you and sway as it rises. Some baits will back up and do this. That is the perfect senario. There is a reason as to why most baits will spiral. There is an art to taking that spiral out of the bait, but that is one of my secrets that I will not post. :wink:

2. It should throw straight, even in the wind - Baits that won?t throw straight without cart wheeling are garbage. Get rid of them. I mainly make baits that are used for competition. A guy that is trying to pay the bills and hit a stump in 18ft. of water, needs a bait that will throw in a straight line consistently. If it is windy and the boat is pitching around and the guy is standing on one foot with the other on the trolling motor trying to hit the mark, he cannot be plagued with a bait that will not throw straight and far. He is doing nothing but wasting time, energy, and effort. As a crankbait maker it is my job to make him the best tool to get the job done. But the individual has to know how to throw a bait also. Yes, there is an art to that too. As a general rule, give the bait about 18 inches of line from the tip and then throw it. You may have to adjust, but believe me this helps. :)

3. The bait has to run straight ? Personally, I do not tune baits after I make them. It is up to the individual to do that. Anyone that does not take the time to completely tune their crankbaits (especially with money on the line) is a fool. An individual needs to take the time to finely tune every bait that he throws. If the bait is balanced, then the bait will run true. Maximum performance can be gained out of that bait. I even go as far as to make sure that the belly hook hanger is straight and at a perfect right angle to the lip. To me that hook hanger is a rudder. Small or not, it has an effect. A perfectly tuned deep running crankbait should come straight back at you and end up back underneath the boat at the end of the retrieve. You know that the bait is right when that happens. Some baits just won?t tune. Those need to go to your buddies that you fish against or someone that has pissed you off in the past. :D

4. The bait and the fisherman has to perform - Everyone gets hung up on this depth thing. What a crankbait fisherman should concentrate on is the performance of the bait. Once you have a balanced bait that is tuned perfectly, then you need to see what the limits of that crankbait are. You need to play with it like you did those two baits that started this whole discussion. Your thinking was right on the money. You need to know what that bait will do and then apply it to a situation that fits. In other words.... if the bait will run 16 ft. you should not be throwing it in 6 ft. of water. However, if you have a stump in 14 ft. of water then I would throw it. Everyone got hung up on this chest weighting thing that Fritts did. The only reason that David chest weighted a bait was because somewhere he had a situation that required the bait to get down a little further and stay there longer. He had a need and came up with a way to make it happen. Anyone can do this also. But it takes alot of time to learn and a fair amount of baits that you will peel though in order to teach yourself how to do it. This is where 99.9% of crankbait fishermen and crankbait makers fail. Those awful 3 words " it takes time " stops most from learning. If you have a bait and the lip is crooked, then fix it. If the belly weight is off center, then fix it. If the body is crooked, then fix it. Folks just won't use their head. Think! What will it take to make it right, and then make it happen. Luckily for me thinking, taking time, and putting forth hard work kills most folks. That is why I make money at this art. It is not rocket science. :idea:

Strange about that one bait. I would love to see it. Tell you what?? I need a poes 300. If you have one and are willing to give it to me, I will rework that screwed up 400 that you have and send it back to you with completely modified and repainted. It may take awhile because I have a lot of work to do for some customers. But I promise you that the bait will be right when you get it back. I should be able to tell you what was wrong with it also.

Skeeter

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 1:41 am Post subject: Crankbait Action

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

What is a balanced bait? Surely you arent calling it balanced while sitting in water? It should be balanced while running under water. There is a difference. Balance with what attitude... nose up/ nose down? This is a result of bill angle. Do baitfish swim with their noses down? No they swim in a horizontal fashion, unless they are changing depth.

I make a bait that has a body length of 2 and 5/8inches long. I weight each bait perfectly and recheck in the water for rise at the end of the finishing process. I can deduct weight real easy by a tuning tab on the bill. Each bait will slow rise.... very slow rise almost a suspending bait. When cranked it will reach max depth quick and retreive in a parallel fashion..horizontal..not nose down.

2 things...

Sinking Rapalas and Rattle traps have nailed more bass than any of our lures put together. No disrespect to anyones bait on this forum. However the mass production of these 2 sinking baits has covered a geographical area much farther than we as custom bait makers can cover. These are great baits.

So a sinking bait has it place...

I have weighted a 25/8 inch bait to its max without creating a sinking bait and still get tumbling. My lure catches fish... I just got back from Kentucky Lake and nailed them on it.

I can crank these baits at a fairly high rate of retreive before getting blow out.

How do you weight a small bait to cast straight without creating a sinking bait?

Or is my bait designed wrong? It is too small? Should I remove the line tie from the bill and place on the nose?

A natural look on retrieve? Baits with bill's coming straight out of the end of bait...(deepdivers)with bills parallel to the bait tend to run with a digging motion.A nose down stance.

Most of the shad that I see that havent been scared are swimming in a normal horizontal fashion...typically in a circular motion if they are in a school. But they never appear to be getting no where with there noses down.

Is that natural for a bait fish? The relationship of the line tie and the angle of the bill to the bait is what causes tumbling. .

If when a lure is cast everything about the lures axis can be put into a perfect line....it should cast straight. However you will run into tumbling as you begin to deviate from this parallel configuration. Line ties in the bill... tend to throw a bait off center during the cast if the bill is not perfectly straight with the bait (parallel). This causes tumbling... such as in shallow runner bill configurations.

The bait is wanting to go one way through centrifugal force however the friction of the line coming off the guides along with the opposing wind forces being created by a non parallel bill, is causing the lure to spin out of control.

So my theory is that if you run a line tie on a bill that is set parallel to the centerline of the body of the bait or in the same plane you will get a good casting bait.( no tumbling ). However if you attempt to run a line tie on a bill in a different (non parallel ) plane than that of the centerline of the body of the bait... it could result in tumbling. Is it worth fighting the tumbling for a more shallow running/ running horizontal (more natural ) on retrieve bait? Versus a digging motion?

So how can I make a bait with a line tie on the bill and a shallow running lip configuration cast without tumbling? What if I want wobble and dont want to go to the nose of the bait (wiggle) with my line tie? Of course I dont want it to sink either.

Am I overlooking something ? I can currently cast this bait 30 yards with reasonable accuracy...5 ft plus or minus.

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I guess I started some debate here?

Skeeter,

If I can figure out which lure would not dive right I will send it to you for analysis. I have 6 of the same size and color but I think it is the one with the cracked lip. Right now I am in the process of replacing that lip with one I bought from Jann's. When I get a chance I will test the other 5 to see if by chance it is one of them.

I am learning a lot from this site now I just need to figure out how to adjust weight after the lure is finished?

Allen

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There is more than one way to make a crankbait for sure because a crankbait can be made especially for special conditions, it just depends on your design parameters for a particular lure. If you're designing a crank to reach a particular depth or maximum depth, obviously the parameters of design for the lure become very narrow, and Skeeter is a superhero of this very particular science; and if I tell someone I caught fish cranking, what I mean is this; that I am covering a particular maximum depth of water, contacting as much cover as possibe at that depth as possible. Skeeter is obviously a master of designing lures for this type of depth-contol fishing. but if I tell someone I caught fish "on a crankbait" I'm not giving nearly as much information because I'm not necessarily talking about this type of depth control fishing, and this where the design parameters really open up as far as weighting, lips, etc. Shallow crankbaits are as much an art as deep ones, and to limit yourself to a single design parameter is to not take advantage of everything a crank is capable of in shallower water, and I'm talking pumping actions, which can be described as sort of a vertical wobble, hunting actions, and wiggles that seem to miss a beat, giving them a kind of odd cadence in their wiggle, and sometimes all of these actions put together, which is for the most part unachievable by factories making plastic lures by the thousands--which is an example of ultimate quality control for a certain strict design parameter. If I can design a non-max-depth lure that has action that is unreal compared to a walmart lure, and it catches the crap out of fish, it is not junk if it happens to blow out when cranked at fast speed with high speed retrieve reels, especially when it blows out randomly right or left :wink: . And slow rising, suspending, and sinking cranks can be killer on fish suspending on vertical structure; it gives them a little different look than jerkbaits and soft plastics. Roland Martin's use of Countdown Rapalas have contributed greatly to his overall career, and he'd probably be the first to tell you that.

Dean :D

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I also always test the surface action of my shallow cranks, because alot of times this is makes for a killer one-two punch.

Dean :grin:

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:?8O

To each his own and I guess I just preferr a crank to be beating the hell out of the bottom or off of some kind of structure. Making a bait look "natural" may be important but a crank swimming natural......????

This is a hard thread to read (follow) but the lip does more than just make the bait dive shallow or deep.

Tally

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My point was that if you look at the picture posted on the thread, You will see why it is so easy to get a bait to tumble. Versus if the bill were coming straight out of the baits centerline like the pic in Skeeters Avatar. If everything is in line, there is not wind resistance on the cast against skeeters bill, however there would be wind resistance on my bait due to the bill angle being off the centerline. This resistance is what initiates the tumbling.

I would almost assure you that anyone using a bill angle similar to this will have tumbling problems as well. The reason I say this is because the bait in the above pic is weighted to the max. without creating a sinking bait. Weighting is not an issue. Bill angle and wind resistance on that bill are what create the tumbling.

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Yeah baby...... people are starting to think!! :idea: This is my kind of post. I have to get up in 6 hrs and drive out of town to work. I need to get to bed. But I am going to have an answer to all of this. Need to think! :?: Geez, I can't believe that folks are throwing posts at me that I did over two years ago. B) Hang tight fellas. My reply is comming.

Skeeter

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A slow rise is fine' date=' but the bait has to rise. When the bait rises then it should stay pointed at you and sway as it rises. Some baits will back up and do this. That is the perfect senario. There is a reason as to why most baits will spiral. There is an art to taking that spiral out of the bait, [b'][/b]

I haven?t tested this fully yet but I tend to think that perfect balance and the lip width at the point where it starts plays a big role in this. Weight placement should be low, and centered in the horizontal and vertical axis of the bait. Any deviation will cause the bait to list. This causes a ruder effect with the lip. The way the hook hangers are installed could also affect the baits action when the bait is at rest.

I would think that a bait with a good nose down resting angle stands a better chance of backing up when at a floating rest. It already has its tail pointed in the direction that it floats. If you can get the bait to back up at the same rate that it floats up that might help stop the spiraling due to less resistance on the top of the lip. The flutter in the bait will come from the lip, body design, and wood density to some extent.

When all's said and done the bait has to be precisely tuned and running perfectly STRIGHT!!! The line is adding a pulling force that helps keep it running straight when the bait is retrieved. That force isn?t the same when the bait is at rest when you quit pulling. If the bait isn?t 100% true it?s going to spiral.

Now that?s my thoughts and I haven?t tested it 100% yet, but it is food for thought. :?

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction!

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2. It should throw straight' date=' even in the wind[/b'] - Baits that won?t throw straight without cart wheeling are garbage. Get rid of them. I mainly make baits that are used for competition. A guy that is trying to pay the bills and hit a stump in 18ft. of water, needs a bait that will throw in a straight line consistently. If it is windy and the boat is pitching around and the guy is standing on one foot with the other on the trolling motor trying to hit the mark, he cannot be plagued with a bait that will not throw straight and far. He is doing nothing but wasting time, energy, and effort. As a crankbait maker it is my job to make him the best tool to get the job done. But the individual has to know how to throw a bait also. Yes, there is an art to that too. As a general rule, give the bait about 18 inches of line from the tip and then throw it. You may have to adjust, but believe me this helps. :)

Skeeter

I'm a bit whack today so I'll reserve my comments on details & other stuff for another day.

Here's food for tought on a lure that would throw straight:

Think of a dart -- weight is forward, and there are tail fins to help it track true. Check out a well made competition dart & hold it in ur hand, feel the balance that is in the dart for u to throw it accurately.

This also points to why a lot of lures these days are made with a shifting weight inside to slide to the tail for casting.

Have fun thinkering.

PS: this is my take on making a custom lure instead of buying off the shelf -- because we want an extra edge over production lures; one that is tuned, designed and have that something extra that gives us extra confidence in taking one extra fish compared to production lures. Or we want to incorperate an "improvent" over what we can buy. So however slight the advantage when u custom a lure, GO FOR IT!!!

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