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how symetrical do i need to get balsa baits

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#1 castmaster



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Posted 16 March 2006 - 01:21 PM

i am just getting into making some shad rap style balsa cranks for walleye fishing along with a buddy of mine. i have made some other types of baits in the past, and it seems like when shaping they need to be as close to perfectly symetrical as possible. so, i have quite a few bodies i am working on sanding and shaping while my buddy quick shaped a couple up, used some cheesy galvanized wire from the hardware store and testors model paint and already has 2 completed. he put them in the bath tub and they sit straight while floating and run straight in the little bit you can move them in a tub.
so now my buddy thinks this is easy as pie and tells me i am just to much of a perfectionist for my own good. while i feel that it may run a whole lot different in a "real life" application than how it runs moving it 2-3 feet in a bathtub.

who's right?

also he says i am dumb for planning on clearcoating my baits after painting (i use createx through an airbrush rather than brushing on model paint) that theres no need for a clear coat the paint is plenty tough. i've never made a bait without putting a clear coat over the paint and think this is asking for a ruined bait once hooks and teeth start beating up the paint.

who's right on this one?

#2 MaddoxBay



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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:24 PM

The way I feel is if you are going to make a handmade bait it should be right from the start. So take your time and continue like your going and be sure to put a topcoat on your baits. Quality handmade baits takes time to make right so don?t get in a huge hurry like your buddy.

#3 cesportsman



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Posted 16 March 2006 - 03:51 PM

Let him do his thing and you do yours. After a few trips to the lake look at your nice baits that you have took the time to do right and look at his that dont have any paint left on them. Its hard enough for me to keep mine out of the rocks long enough to keep a clear coat on mine much less no clear coat at all. For gods sake clear coat them!! :-D

#4 michael merrill

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:30 PM

The bathtub...

I would guess that ninety-nine percent of makers started tuning and testing in the tub.If you know what to look for,one can tell with surprisingly little room the type and amount of action a lure has.There is such a thing as too much. 8O Usually though, if the maker has a good connection between line and lure,a light and steady straight pull yields the telling results.Then, one should also pull progressively faster to note any changes or differences in action.


A necessity when designing. :D


It usually spells trouble if you don't somewhere in the process, at least once.Your friend WILL regret the lack of protection when he actually gets one right

#5 Dennis from Russia

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 01:26 AM

I guess your reason for making your own baits is not to save money. Am I right? Then you must be getting pleasure just out of the process itself. So why shorten the time of your own pleasure?
More to the point: there is no such thing as a paint that is able to withstand teeth and hooks. Or if there is it must be really generously applied. So keep on with your clear coats.

#6 czar



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Posted 17 March 2006 - 12:38 PM

Perfect symmetrical hand made lures are almost impossible to make unless you are molding them and that depends on the master , I only make Muskie lures so they are quite large but it seem that the slight imperfections each copy of the original design will normally make little or no difference to the lures action in the water, in my opinion tow eye position & weighting are key to the lures performance, for example if the tow eye is on the lexan beak/lip quite large differences in symmetry will have no effect , even if the lip is not at 90 degrees to the body the action is not effected very much the lure will not swim perfectly upright in the water , also in nature live fish are often not symmetrical due to growth and day to day damage. while we all strive to make "perfect" lures I have yet to see any for sale in the stores. I purchased $200 of lures at the fishing show in Toronto and only one of the five lures has the lip mounted squarely to the body but whatever level of perfection you have set yourself the finish is the only thing protecting the time you invested into the lure the paint will not protect very long in the water this is the job of the topcoat but I will not venture down that path

#7 Muskiefool



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Posted 17 March 2006 - 10:10 PM

Just my opinion from when I did small balsa baits the Clear is the main thing for maintaining your bait after making as symmetrical a body shape as possible, I would use a 2 part Epoxy like Devcon, Envirotex or a comparable other, and to only worry about your own ideas, hey it's all you in the bait you make, and the tub is good as long as the bait sits level and true , the attachment being centered in the lip is the most vital, when yours runs true at 2-3 MPH and his blows out ,just get some fish and you'll feel better. Good Luck

#8 BobP


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Posted 20 March 2006 - 03:48 PM

Yes, it matters whether the baits are symetrical and clearcoated. Especially balsa. I guess your buddy's shooting for the ultimate disposable bait - one that runs so-so, leaks water and explodes the first time on the water. It's easy to make mediocre baits that don't catch fish and won't last. It's hard to build good ones. You'll see :-D

I don't argue that "gilding the lily" sometimes happens with bait making. But at minimum, it should run straight at the depth and speed intended, and be durable enough to get your effort's worth out of building it. If you also get a sense of pride and accomplishment out of the process, that's gravy. I bet pretty soon your buddy will be asking you to build him some.