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Tom S

balsa\ through wire

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I am getting ready to start making a couple of big balsa muskie trolling baits and need some advice.Is it better to cut a slot in the belly and epoxy the wire in place or build the bait in halves and place the wire in between?

If I do make the bait in halves do I need to cut a channel for the wire or can I just place wire in between halves and squeeze it in a vise while gluing halves together? It seems soft enough that the wire will just dent into the balsa.Also what is the best glue to use for balsa.

Tom

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Maybe that will work for a big bait but I haven't found it good for smaller bass baits because it's hard to fit the halves together accurately, plus the vise will leave marks on the bait if much clamp force is applied. I scribe a center line around a bait after cutting the pattern out on a scroll saw. After sanding, I cut the bait in half with a razor blade along that scribed line. Bend the wire frame to fit, lay it in and trace around it with a fine Sharpie. A nail set or awl run along the trace makes a depression to fit the frame. Squeeze the halves and the wire frame together and use the awl on the other half as needed until it fits together neatly. 5 min epoxy and voila. I guess how you do it depends on what tools you have. Others cut a slot along the bottom of the bait to fit in the wire frame. Some drill a hole from nose to tail. I can't do either accurately so opt to split the bait. Plus I feel the split body lets you guarantee 100% glue coverage on the internals, giving the bait a very strong internal "backbone".

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Tom,If you want you can try this.Get two pieces of balsa "1/2 the thickness of your bait" then form your wire with hook hangers and line tie bent in it.Leave enough left over on the ends to solder,because the 2 ton wont hold the bends together when glued and a 30lber yankin on it.If you want you can even add your belly weight into the formed wire or add your weight with hook hangers later.Lay your wire on one half then place the other half on top.Press the two together mashing the wire into the bait.If you opted for the internal bellyweight make sure you cut a spot for it to sit in evenly or your bait will list to one side.If not,pull the two halves apart and appliy 5 minute epoxy.Press the halves back together and clamp tightly.I suggest using a flat piece of hardwood about the same size of bait on either side.You can probably use a vise but be careful not to crush it but get the 2 halves very tight....NO GAP.In about 30 minutes to be on the safe side unclamp and shape.Sorry for being so long winded.Its much easier to do than say........Good Luck

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Hoodaddy, for the hook hangers and line ties, are you making a " U " bend in the wire? What diameter wire do you suggest? I like the idea of the wire being " closed " if thats what you meant. I took that as both ends being soldered together making it a continuous wire. Is that right? Thanks for the ideas.

Tom

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Tom, Speaking for myself we only make bass lures, we use an 18 gauge copper wire and yes we make a loop or U bend where the hook hangers are and yes we solder to make one complete wire.You can make a jig for bending your wires by taking a piece of hardwood "we use aluminum" and laying an un-shaped bait on it and marking where we want the hangers and line tie, drilling and inserting 1/8" roll pins in it(the hardwood) "you may want larger wire and stainless on a larger bait" and forming our wire to the shape we need for the bait.BTW leave the roll pins sticking up at least 3/4" .............Good Luck

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