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Everything posted by BobP

  1. Yes, from Asian manufacturers where you can either buy existing designs in bulk or work with a company to have your own design produced. You might contact some of the sellers to get more info.
  2. I choose wood based on its density, which determines what kind of action the finished bait will have. Three kiln dried species for me. Balsa for lively shallow running baits. Paulownia for slightly more dense and durable baits but still lively action. And basswood for dense, easily shaped and sanded deep divers. Is it critical to use these specific woods? Nope. There are other choices. You need to experiment and then settle on a specific set of materials to become competent with them and produce baits of consistent quality. I say “material”, not wood because there are other choices like PVC trim board and various casting plastics that are also popular choices.
  3. Chris, you’re right that a line tie in the nose of a wood bait can be a weak point, especially in soft balsa. If you break the finish in the bait while tuning it will be a goner quickly. Rather than use a steel screw eye, many builders use hand twisted screw eyes made from soft temper stainless steel or brass, either of which is easy to bend to tune a bait. I use .041” soft temper stainless from McMaster-Carr online in standard sized bass baits. It’s easy to twist accurately and plenty tough enough to last well, and won’t break finish while tuning the bait.
  4. BobP

    Wire size(s)

    Musky bait builders often use .051” ss wire. But if your baits are “bass sized”, not larger than 3-4 inches, .041” SOFT temper ss wire works great, and it’s much easier to form accurately with hand tools. I use it for all the line ties and hook hangers on bass baits and it has never failed in 20 years. I get Malin wire from McMaster-Carr online.
  5. George, I tested water based polyurethane as a clear coat a few years ago. It failed miserably so I’d be leery of using it in any crankbait application. It will definitely reabsorb water after drying (assuming you can actually get it to dry without a kiln) It will also cause wood to swell, unlike most oil based products. So, if it can reabsorb water and cause a bait to swell up, what utility does it have?
  6. BobP

    Uv curing

    I use a UV nail polish light from Amazon. Wave length? No idea. Time to cure? From a few seconds to half an hour depending on the specific resin you are using. If the resin doesn’t want to cure completely, I stick it outside in the sun on a lure turner for half an hour and that, so far, has always done the trick. Sunlight contains ALL the UV wave lengths and hits the Earth all day long, clear sky or cloudy. Maybe not the best scheme for a commercial builder, but it works OK for a hobby builder like me.
  7. That’s an interesting tech sheet, Jim. Thanks for posting it.
  8. You can get just about any lure design to swim but talking guaranteed SUCCESSFUL designs, I favor copying actual commercial baits. If you build them for your own fishing and not for sale, it’s no sin. I started copying baits by simply tracing a pic and working from there. That was not sufficient to get a good copy. What you need to do is buy a bait and get exact measures and weights. That’s needed especially to copy the cross-sectional shape of the body and get a finished target weight. From there, it’s a straightforward process of weighing components and subtracting the total from the target weight to get the ballast needed. I estimate 1/50th ounce for the bait’s finish. All done, you can get a creditable copy that weighs within 1/50th of an ounce of the original and has a good chance of performing as well. It should be noted that this method works best on copies of WOOD baits, not plastic, where the variable internal body structure can’t really be duplicated in wood. My favorites are custom wood baits like the classic D-bait and the WEC E1, which are fairly pricey balsa baits that are no longer available commercially.
  9. It really depends on how many lures you dip and how often because it’s all about how much the finish is exposed to moisture laden air. When I built a dozen baits a month, I often lost half my quart of DN to going off in the jar after 6-8 months. Using a nitrogen gas in the jar helps. Using plastic wrap under the jar lid helps. But what I ended up doing is using the “tap the can” method where you screw a tap screw into a low point in the side of the can, a vent screw into the top, NEVER removing the lid, and dispensing just enough DN to flood coat lures with a soft brush. It’s about as quick as dipping and makes the can of DN last a long long time. I’ve never used KBS MCU but it is apparently less sensitive than DN to going off in the can. I just tried DN first, liked it, and have kept using it.
  10. I use a standard 12 tpi blade on my scroll saw..
  11. I’ve never seen those, they must be new? My questions are: are they crystal clear? How durable is the finish? What is the cost? Is this a pure UV cured resin or is it a special formulation? No wax flakes to promote surface hardness like their dual cure formula designed for surf boards, I hope? what we need is a guinea pig to test this stuff. I nominate..... Nathan!
  12. BobP

    Paint brand

    Createx is a good brand for standard colors. But I mix and match various airbrush paint brands just depending on color. I use a lot of taxidermy acrylic paints to get their unique colors.
  13. I got “Let’s Resin” brand, Hard formula resin 200 g on Amazon and it came in about a week. That was before Covid screwed up everything. It takes around 30 minutes to cure under my UV nail light, which seems pretty long. But the end result is good. It’s manufactured in China but I don’t know where it ships from.
  14. I do exactly as Mark does it. But it depends on the thickness of the G10. I use 1/32” G10 and Tin snips cut it easily. I got my Wiss compound snips from Home Depot a decade ago for about $12.
  15. Maybe it’s just my imagination but the lip seems too far back in the body. Depending on the attitude while retrieved, the nose of the bait might obstruct the water flow over the lip, killing the action. Like Travis, I always look at commercial baits for clues to designing good baits. If anyone thinks they can build a better jerkbait than a Megabass Ito 110, they’re probably mistaken. So why not copy its basic design details. Take a look at jerkbaits from 20 different companies. See much design variability? I don’t. If you want to experiment, good on ya. I do that too. But only after I’ve built a bait that works exactly as it should and most times, that one is a slavish copy of a commercial bait I admire. I don’t sell baits so see copying as the highest form of flattery, not a sin.
  16. It may help to strain it through a piece of nylon hosiery.
  17. I use a scroll saw to shape baits and cut lip slots. A “standard” blade has a kerf that exactly fits 1/16” G10 but is too thin for polycarbonate Lexan lips, so you have to cut them double. Frankly, I don’t see it as a problem. Since I use Rod Bond paste epoxy to glue lips, if the slot ends up a little ragged or oversize, the paste fills the extra space up and it doesn’t matter.
  18. I started lure building because I bought high priced balsa baits only to have them fail after only a few hours of fishing. But I never had a bass break one. They all failed because of water infiltration, which I think is the primary failure point of all wooden crankbaits. So when I build, I pay most attention to making a tough waterproof finish. If they can’t break the finish, they can’t do more harm and thru-wiring is irrelevant.
  19. I build bass lures but my buddy trolls for stripers and I build balsa trolling cranks for him. Same construction methods as my bass cranks. Pound for pound, stripers fight twice as hard as largemouth. No failures yet over 15 years of striper fishing. Just like all you guys, my opinion about thru-wiring is informed by my fishing experience. That’s mine. Yours may vary.
  20. I exclusively build bass lures and if a bass ever breaks one of my non-thru-wired balsa baits I will gratefully and cheerfully salute the beast as he swims off with half my lure in its mouth. Hundreds of crankbaits, hundreds of bass, I’m still waiting. I don’t think thru-wiring offers added strength to a lure compared to well designed and installed hardwire. But build crankbaits however you think is best for the species you target.
  21. I think thru-wire is mainly an artifact of large scale lure manufacturing simplification by Rapala and not a quality based decision. How many times has a bass fisherman had a fish break the body of a Balsa crankbait but had the catch saved by a thru-wire? Not often enough to worry about.
  22. Quite a few commercial crankbait makers use siphon feed bottle brushes. Hobby builders? Not so many. If you paint batches of lures with the same color scheme, a set of siphon brushes or a single brush with multiple bottles makes good sense.
  23. BobP

    Clear coats

    Though you didn’t say, I’m gonna assume you are using a SLOW cure type of epoxy, such as a slow cure Devcon Two Ton glue or a craft decoupage epoxy like Envirotex Lite (aka Etex). There are dozens of epoxy brands with different formulas, viscosities, cure times, etc. You want to avoid fast cure 5 minute cure epoxies. They are not waterproof, cure too fast to level properly and yellow quickly. Epoxy and UV cured polyester tend to be thicker coatings, MCU tends to be thinner. I have no data on hardness and scratch resistance among the recommended coatings but just to me, MCU SEEMS to be tougher and slicker than the others. MCU = moisture cured urethane.
  24. BobP

    Clear coats

    I don’t know what’s available in SA but there are 3 clears that I consider tough enough for crankbaits. Epoxy, UV cured polyester resin, and moisture cured urethane. Of these, UV cured resin is the fastest by far. Each has pluses and minuses and each requires a specific application and curing procedure. To my mind, none of them are really suitable for dipping because they are either too viscous (UV resin) or too susceptible to contaminating finish you want to store after dipping ( Moisture cured urethane). I brush on all of the clears. The easiest to apply is moisture cured urethane which I quickly flood coat on a lure and hang it to drip dry. But UV resin is also attractive because its cure only takes a few minutes in total. All that said, I still use epoxy pretty often just because I have it around and have used it for decades.
  25. For line ties in the nose, the closer it is to the lip surface, the harder and wider the action of the bait will be. Of course like Vodkaman says, there are multiple factors in designing how a bait will operate. Your lip angle is quite aggressive and the lip itself seems fairly long, both of which impart more action to the bait. Too much? Depends on testing and how buoyant the bait is, or in other words, how much and where you placed the ballast.
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