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castmaster

how to wire balsa baits

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what is the preffered method of wiring bals baits? i am making some shad rap style cranks and have been sawing them in half lengthwise and bending the wire around like how a shad rap is done, then epoxying the 2 halves back together.

is this necessary or could a guy get by with using screw eyes and epoxying them in?

i want to retain as much strentgh as possible.

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I think it is mostly personal choice. You basically have to 1) cut it as you are doing, or 2) drill a hole thru the length and insert the wire (usually a 2 part affair...belly and nose/tail), or 3) cut into the belly and epoxy in the wire (without cutting completely thru the bait). I use the drill mthod on my flat sides and balsa B types, but I think the belly cut is probably easier.

Have not had any of those methods come apart, but the 2 halves method is the one that worries me the most. Balsa is soft enough you can actually drill it with a bent paper clip...maybe more a "boring out" than drilling.

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thansk for the reply. i started with the 2 halves design because i figured it works for rapala it should work for me!

i also thought of drilling as you mention, as thats how i do the thru wire for my musky baits, and plan on trying that as well.

i hadnt thought of the belly cut idea, may have to experiment with that a bit.

i figured screw eyes into blasa would be a bad idea, just not much strength to the wood for the htreads to grab into. am i worng in that assumption?

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I use the two halves method and glue with 5 min Epoxy. this gives me a spine through the middle of my lures giving me a feeling of a stronger bait.

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If you are going to skip the thru wire and use individual inserts I would form them from brass or stainless wire vs screw eyes:

wireinserts.jpg

Hope the pic makes sense, roughed it out on computer paint. You can add your belly weight to the belly insert with this method. When epoxied in they should not come out barring run-ins with killer toothy critters. Should not be a problem with bass or 'eyes. Vary the length of the wire for weight and balance adjustments.

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when i make balsa baits-

-cut 2 identical profiles(as opposed to cutting a single thick piece lengthwise) from a balsa plank,

- spot glue them together, carve and shape.

- seperate the 2 halves, put thru wire and weights in. glue together with devcon.

- coat with 30 min devcon

- paint.

- topcoat with 30 min devcon.

never had problems, even with pike, and saltwater fish.

peter

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The problem with balsa is the structural integrity of the wood type itself.The less dense the wood,the greater the action possibilities.However,this also equates to the body being less durable.Many use it because of it's proven fish-catching ability anyway.I have witnessed several different methods used to strengthen the lure,while still getting the benefit of balsa's action.While most do the job,they also added too much labor time for me.

In order to provide ties which are much stronger than the lure itself and avoid all of the added complications of a thru-wire design, I use a pilot hole filled with epoxy.I have a sled-type jig that holds a lure in position directly in front of a fixed-mounted rotary tool with a jobber type drill bit that is just slightly larger than the wire forms I use.After placing the blank in position,holding it down,I slide it into the fixed drill bit and then back out and do it again(to further clean out the hole.)This set-up makes quick, accurate, and consistent work of the holes themselves.

I have made frames out of 3/4"th X 3"w X various lengths plywood with 3/4" foam centers that have equally-spaced holes drilled through the foam.When it comes time to install the wire forms,I firmly push the lures into the holes with both, the nose and tails holes protruding out either side of the foam,but not past the edge of the frames.This allows me to place the frames on a flat surface with all the nose or tail holes accessible at once.I then use a thinner viscosity two-part stuctural epoxy and an injector-type applicator placed to the bottom of the holes to fill all the nose or tail holes at one time,being sure not to fill completely.One must start filling the holes while the injector tip is at the bottom of the hole or you will have entrapped air which will try to escape.After all the holes are filled to the level I want(leaving room for the volume that the wire form will take up),I install the pre-made wire forms carefully. When they are dry ,flip the frame over and repeat on the opposite.

If this is done properly, you can break the bait in half before that connection fails.

I would not recommend this method for really large fish. I make bass baits.

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I have been making them out of 2 halves, glued together around 1 pc. wire form, using hot fuel proof model airplane glue, the kind used on balsa planes. Have never had a problem. Use balsa half as thick as you want your baits. Tony

When in doubt, Jerk & Shout.

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the 2 halves idea sounds easier than trying to cut baits in half afterthey are shaped, so i think i'll give that a try.

but how do you preform your wire without the final shape being done? i think i'll wait to wire until after the bait is shaped, then split the lure back in 2 and run the wire form and weight.

thanks for all the tips!!

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I use a 1/4 in. plexiglas plate that I have fitted with metal pegs, where the hook hanger loops & nose loop go, and use the pegs to form my wires around. It would be easier if you could see, but I am not good at pictures & the internet. (My grandkids haven't showed me how.) Anyway, I end up with 3 metal pegs sticking up from the plate, Place one half of the cut out bait on the plate, form the 18 ga. copper wire around the pegs, and glue the other half to it. Good luck. Tony

When in doubt, Jerk & Shout

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Tony, do you carve out a little groove for your wire to sit in? How much weight do you put in and do you have to carve that out too? I have been making those baits out of the pvc board so all I have to do is drill and insert weight and wire hangers and accessories. I have put out some cool baits since I have had a little time but I have been working with the balsa for a smaller / crappie crankbait.

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I don't cut out for the wire, I do for the weight. I use enough weight to make a suspending or slow rising bait. I have a homemade mold that makes a weight about 1/4 in. in dia. and drill a hole through the weight about 1/3 of the way from the end, and run my wire through the hole. I lay it out, lay the other half on top and press down, then ream a space for the weight. Hope this helps.

Tony

When in doubt, Jerk & Shout

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Castmaster,

I just double side tape the two pieces together and cut it out and rough shape it. Then I can measure for the wire and lay it between the two halves, along with the weight if you prefer then epoxy. I usually add the weight after I've epoxied it. You have a nice center line around the bait so your sure to get it in the middle from side to side. I use one of those slip sinkers with the rubber band toothpicks to hold it on the line. They already have a hole through the center and are a great shape. I just bore out the hole that already runs through it a little to fit the belly wire through and insert it in the belly hole that I've drilled and epoxy. You don't have to worry about it ever coming out no matter how much you pull.

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