Bowman

Thru-wire vs balsa/basswood laminate

13 posts in this topic

Hey guys,

There was a post a while back linking to Hoosierdaddy's site detailing how to laminate basswood between 2 sheets of balsa for crank building material. Theory is that the basswood is strong enough to hold the epoxied hangers in place without having to install a thru-wire into the bait.

I have chosen to build my first cranks using this method becuase it just seems easier than cutting my baits in half and installing the thru-wire.

What I am hoping for is to have some of you more experienced lure builders reassure my decision or talk me into making my lures out of balsa only with the thru-wire.

As always, thanks in advance for the help,

bo

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Hey guys,

There was a post a while back linking to Hoosierdaddy's site detailing how to laminate basswood between 2 sheets of balsa for crank building material. Theory is that the basswood is strong enough to hold the epoxied hangers in place without having to install a thru-wire into the bait.

I have chosen to build my first cranks using this method becuase it just seems easier than cutting my baits in half and installing the thru-wire.

What I am hoping for is to have some of you more experienced lure builders reassure my decision or talk me into making my lures out of balsa only with the thru-wire.

As always, thanks in advance for the help,

bo

There is no "Better" or "Best"way. If you're good at aligning your ties and eyes, you'll be totally satisfied. I'm no spring chicken but I have yet to have a screw eye, either twisted wire or threaded, pull out. JMHO the worst part about using screw eyes is getting PERFECT alignment. :twocents:

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I have been making baits using balsa and epoxy to hold the hook hangers in and have never had a fish pull one out. (I only manufacture for the bass market). I guess it all depends upon the density of the balsa you are using. I use Med. Heavy Balsa which is very similar in density and strength to basswood. If you are using a light balsa that would be used for making model planes and gliders then I would venture to say that the laminating process would be the way to go!!

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I use a template that insures I drill my hole in perfect center as long as I'm not in a hurry and being sloppy. Knock on wood, I have not had a twisted line tie or hook hanger pull out. When I make a bait, I will generally pick one out of the litter to test/ abuse to see the tolerances. If I hook a bass that will rip my bait apart, my livewell won't hold it anyhow.

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While i'd never depend on balsa to hold screw-eyes, there are many builders here who build balsa lures and epoxy their twisted wire hook hangers and line ties in place. This method has been tested by more than one forumite who found it impossible to pull the hangers out of the bait without completely destroying the bait. How many pounds of pressure are you going to put on that lure with your baitcasting outfit?

I build thru-wire balsa lures and glue my harness between two pieces of balsa I've cut from the same pattern as one of my initial building steps. I then proceed to finish the lure. I've never cut a built lure in two.

I build a harness from a single piece of stainless wire that makes a straight connection from the line tie to the rear hanger and belly hook. I feel this is simply the best way to build a crankbait, not only for strength and reliability, but ultimate sensitivity. This way the body is built around the harness, rather than the hook and line ties being built as accessories to the body. Is this overkill & does it make that much difference in the all-around performance and longevity of the lure? I just know that it is the best way for me to build a balsa crankbait.

Dean

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Interesting info. Thanks to all.

Maybe I should try a test with one of my finished laminate baits. Maybe rig a devise to see how much pressure it will take to pull the hanger out or seperate the wood. Then see how that compares with the tensil strength of the ss wire I would use for a harness.

Anyone done this before?

Bo

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The most stressful point for a hook tie would be if the lure was actually hung up, therefore giving the fish a solid point to apply pressure. However, on the end of a line with the rod firmly in hand, I just can't see where a properly epoxied line tie would ever receive enough pressure to pull out.

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If I hook a bass that will rip my bait apart, my livewell won't hold it anyhow.
posted by longball. :lol:

I have to agree with that. I know the laminate method will hold up very well. I had to use a pair of needle nose vise grips to rip one of my lures apart. I was trying to tear the line tie out, and ended up ripping the whole front of the lure off first.

I would definatly worry about the line breaking long before the lure coming apart even if it was hung up on a stump while a fish was on.

Eric

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If you are using med to heavy grade balsa wood a twisted wire line tie will not pull out, not by a bass any way. A friend just sent me a pic of a 25lb drum with 1 of my baits hanging out of it's mouth. I did a crude test by hanging one of baits and putting all of my 265 on the rope, bait broke in half hangers still in place. Like Dean said, it's pretty much to each his own.

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I make my balsa baits out of RC plane balsa almost all of the time.I do not connect the ties in any way.I drill my hole in the belly and then punch through the nose and tail for wires.I add epoxy to wires and push back through the holes I made.I let the wires from both ends go through the weight hole in the belly and then push through about 1/4" into the other side.After this is done I glob epoxy into the weight hole and cover both wires.I put the weight and belly wire in and epoxy that in place.I have caught numerous bass from 5lbsto 7lbs on these cranks and I have never had a wire come out at all.You add the action of a rod,stretch of mono and the drag on the reel together and I don't see it happening.I HAVE had many wires pull out of $10 Bagley baits though.

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Several years ago when I started making baits, I had

a lot of trouble using balsa. So, I came up with an

idea to laminate ceder and balsa. Pictured is the

cedar center section of the bait. I wanted something

to hold an eyescrew. This worked.

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Great info from everyone.

To me, the info given suggests that the weakest point of a lure constructed without a thru-wire is the balsa wood itself. A lure constructed with a properly designed thru-wire transfers all of the energy along the thru-wire, removing the stress from the wood itself.

How much stress does it take to pull the balsa or wood of choice apart vs how much stree does it take to break the thru-wire harness?

I would think that the balsa wood would fail before the thru-wire but that is a theory. If anyone has tested this it would be interesting to hear the results. I may have to run a crude test myself.

With all the eyewash above, I suppose the real question I am looking to answer is this. Can a Bass exert enough pressure on a lure to pull it apart?

Anyone that can poke holes in my theories or answer any of my posed questions, please do so.

As always, I appreciate the information you guys share,

Bo

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Alot of it depends on the angles. A straight wire line through to back hook hanger is the strongest. Now if you deviate to provide a lower hook hanger, or any other reason, then you are looking at the strength of the wood itself.

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