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exx1976

I'm an idiot

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So, the very first two baits I made were supposed to be glide baits.  I just dove in head-first, with very little research.  Made two, out of two different types of wood.  One of the types was Aspen, the other was..  Hickory or Mahogany, I forget which.

Added some weight (I guessed).

The Aspen one wouldn't sink no matter what I did - I got a bunch of those stick-on lead strips from the tackle shop.  Put them ALL on.  Couldn't get it to sink at all.  The other one sunk like a rock.

This was about 6 weeks ago.  So I says to myself, I says "Self, Aspen is very bouyant.  Open water is about gone here now, so I can't really test glide baits.  We'll have to wait for next season for those.  Instead, let's make crankbaits.  Those are easier.  Those are SUPPOSED to float.  We'll use Aspen, since I couldn't make that sink before!"

So I made 8 lures from Aspen.  6 of them came out gorgeous (the epoxy on the other 2 was a bit heavy and they ended up with bulges on the tail, but I digress).

I weighted them the same as the glide baits - nevermind the fact they were 1/4" thinner than the initial glide bait attempt, and had much more material removed from the profile besides.  Oops.

I meticulously painted them; they are absolutely beautiful, given my skill level.  Spent probably 10 hours at the airbrush (including cleaning/color changes, etc) to paint the 8 of them.

They all sink like ROCKS.

Now I have a copy of the spreadsheet to properly figure out ballast, and do all that, so I know where I went wrong.  I know how to fix my problems.  Not looking for help there (yet, anyway - LOL).

What I'm struggling with is the motivation to get off my butt and get back to it.  I put SO much work into those first 8, and they were utter failures.  Thinking about giving them to friends as Christmas tree ornaments, but I'm afraid they weigh so much they'll just pull the branches right to the ground.  LOL

 

Anyhow....  Help me find my motivation again.  Tell me a story of a time when you spent a LOT of time making a complete lure, and it ended up just being an utter disaster.  Didn't float, or didn't sink, or fell apart the first cast, or the first fish, or whatever.  Just need to know I'm not alone in this mistake.  LOL

 

(PS - no, I'm not giving up.  It's just winter and I'm in a funk.  LOL)

Edited by exx1976
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I could tell you that the rule is 'NEVER take a lure to completion without testing first', but I guess you already learned that gem.

I build cranks. A big problem with shallow, steep lipped cranks is throwing. The crank is simply not aerodynamic. Cranks are designed not to be aerodynamic, we use the turbulence created in water (vortices) to make the lure waggle. The same happens in air except the lure tends to tumble, the hooks get line tangled, and the fly distance is usually disappointing.

So, I tackled the problem using my aircraft engineering background and designed a lure with a hinged lip. The theory was that lip would move with the air and fly efficiently.

It took a lot of prototyping, different materials, different designs, but I eventually arrived at a prototyped solution. I was pleased with the lure and proud of my achievement. So, it was off to the river in Gothenburg, Sweden where I was working.

The water was only some 40 meters from my apartment. I was doing a lot of testing, so my rod was already assembled. I just clipped on the lure and threw it. I wanted to see something impressive, so I really gave it some 'welly' for maximum distance.

Just as I was releasing the line, the bail-arm snapped shut, the clip knot snapped and the lure flew. Oh boy did that lure fly, it must have gone 75m or more, straight as an arrow with no tumbling. A total success. I did not know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.

And the moral - ALWAYS tie a fresh knot :)

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman
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Wow.  That one would certainly have gotten me upset!

 

Indeed, I did learn to never finish a lure without testing.  Took me many teachings prior to my actually learning the lesson, however - two fully painted & epoxied "glide baits", and 8 crankbaits.  Ugh.

 

I did make 3 prototypes after the sinking crankbait lesson, but prior to getting your spreadsheet (thank you again for that, and I do need to use it).  These three were just quick-sealed with CA, and I hung hooks on them.  The only thing they are missing as far as weight is the epoxy.  Anyhow, all 3 float.  I just drove around for a little over an hour looking for some water that was 1) not frozen and 2) deep enough to test in.  Finally found some.

Two of the three were "ok", but not *quite* what I was looking for.  The third had no weight in it - I was hoping the weight of the hooks & rings may be enough to ballast it properly - that was an utter failure.

 

Oh well.  At least I learned something today.

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Man If I had a nickel for every time I completed or nearly completed a project that ended up being nothing more than a paper weight I would be a rich man. I've said on here before that the most valuable aspects of this hobby are the mistakes you make in the process. Each part of the process of building a lure takes time and requires accuracy and attention to detail and sometimes even the smallest or, seemingly smallest, mistakes can ruin a build. The good thing is that each time that happens you've learned a hard lesson and will be less likely to repeat the mistake the next time around. Once you've made the mistakes and gotten them ironed out you'll notice things get easier and the quality of your builds will get better and better. 

As @Vodkaman stated testing a build before you paint and epoxy really is important. Even if you don't have a body of water near you or if all of the water is frozen just get yourself a cheap fish tank to use for ballast testing. Of course this won't tell you what the action of your lure is but it will help you get the correct sink rate and balance. Remember to do your sink tests with all of the hardware installed as these will affect sink rate as well. There are a couple of general rules you can follow for gliders where action is concerned. Ballast at each end, so two ballast points, will generally give the bait a more even/wide glide. One ballast point at the center of gravity will generally give the bait a bit more of an erratic glide. Mikko from Solarfall Baits has a great video on this: 

 So even though you may not be able to test the action of your bait you can use your fish tank to balance and weight it while following the guidelines Mikko points out in the video. Do this and you'll be more likely to have a working build once paint and epoxy are applied. 

I know man. Super frustrating when things go wrong and you've spent so much time on a project. However, the sweet taste of victory on a build will make you forget all about that. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it. Once that ice melts in your area you're gonna be catching fish with some killer baits you've made. 

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There is one thing you should take away from this is they weren’t failures. You learned a lot from these baits that didn’t perform to your expectations.I ‘ve said it a million times.You learn more from your so called failures than you do your wins!!..Nathan 

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On 12/5/2020 at 12:33 PM, Vodkaman said:

I could tell you that the rule is 'NEVER take a lure to completion without testing first', but I guess you already learned that gem.

I build cranks. A big problem with shallow, steep lipped cranks is throwing. The crank is simply not aerodynamic. Cranks are designed not to be aerodynamic, we use the turbulence created in water (vortices) to make the lure waggle. The same happens in air except the lure tends to tumble, the hooks get line tangled, and the fly distance is usually disappointing.

So, I tackled the problem using my aircraft engineering background and designed a lure with a hinged lip. The theory was that lip would move with the air and fly efficiently.

It took a lot of prototyping, different materials, different designs, but I eventually arrived at a prototyped solution. I was pleased with the lure and proud of my achievement. So, it was off to the river in Gothenburg, Sweden where I was working.

The water was only some 40 meters from my apartment. I was doing a lot of testing, so my rod was already assembled. I just clipped on the lure and threw it. I wanted to see something impressive, so I really gave it some 'welly' for maximum distance.

Just as I was releasing the line, the bail-arm snapped shut, the clip knot snapped and the lure flew. Oh boy did that lure fly, it must have gone 75m or more, straight as an arrow with no tumbling. A total success. I did not know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.

And the moral - ALWAYS tie a fresh knot 

Dave

LOL, that hurts I'm laughing so hard.  But, I bet you are not the first.

 

Several years ago I purchased an antique lure off of EBAY, for more than I should.  I had to try fishing with it once, just once.  On the first cast, the bait caster had a backlash I did not know I had, and the lure hit a hard stop.  As you experienced, the lure kept on going, my hard started sinking all the way to the bottom.  I never did admit to my wife that I lost that Antique lure.

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For some reason, I could not post to this thread until now. I was getting   Error code: 1S160/2

I have had some failures that should make any lure maker feel better about themselves:

1. I made a one piece glide/jerk bait out of a piece of wood. It looked like oak. I only put in a couple of small ballast weights. I did not test it before finishing.  The lure sinks faster than a piece of lead. I drilled most of the lead out, touched up the paint, and it still sinks fast.  In an attempt to re-purpose it, I added a line tie a third of the way down the back to vertically jig it, like a big blade bait. I have yet to catch a fish on it. The damn wood was so hard. I spent a lot of time carving it. That’s how I learned to test before finishing. I keep it on my boat in case I need something to cast at annoying jet-skiers (just kidding). If I am sight fishing, maybe I can make a real accurate cast and knock out the fish. It sinks so fast I might convert it to a plug knocker.

2. I was testing a 2 section bait. I had sealed the bait with superglue but had not put any glue in the screw eye holes for the joint so I could adjust the gap before permanent installation. I just had some hot glue where the joint screws went into the body. I was only making short easy casts. Somehow, I hooked a pickerel on bent-in trebles with no points. The tail hook must have got wedged in the corner of its mouth. The fish pulled off the back section off the bait.

3.  (Mentioned in the flat parallel wood post) – I made a swimbait with my best paint job to date. I usually don't do detailed paint jobs. I took alot of time on this paint job. The lure fell off the curing rack and cracked the lip.

4. I had just built a stencil making box. I was making my first stencil with a piece of semi-flexible plastic I found in my father's shed that he was cleaning out. I didn’t realize there was some sort of protective film on it. I heated the plastic and did not see it conforming to the lure with the shop vac on. So, I kept on heating the plastic, and kept on heating the plastic. Eventually, the shop vac blew a circuit breaker and started smoking. The film that was facing the heat gun was not melting or even bending much. The plastic on the other side got so hot it liquefied and some globs got sucked into the shop-vac and killed the motor. I wrecked a fairly new shop vac.

5.  I made a rat lure and gave it to a friend. He catches a lot of fish on it. Now, I get to listen to him yelling about slaunches, pigs, big uns, toads, footballs, corkers, and other stupid nick names for fish. Every fish to him is at least 5 pounds, even if the scale says 1 pound.  It's a topwater so he will never get snagged. Maybe a fish will break it off. The one time I want a lure failure and it won’t happen. I know, not really a failure, but I am still not happy about it.

The only thing I consider a failure is a safety failure. Those are the true painful failures.  I have drilled into my hand holding a lure, for that real blood scent. I took some rotary tool cut-off disc fragments to the arm while cutting a lip slot. That was really painful because I also have a band saw that could have done the job easily. 

Edited by JD_mudbug
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On 12/5/2020 at 2:33 PM, Vodkaman said:

So, I tackled the problem using my aircraft engineering background and designed a lure with a hinged lip. The theory was that lip would move with the air and fly efficiently.

Yea, I had the same idea a few years back and looked it up, it had been patented many years ago. We all think about these little lures

and often come up with similar solutions. Imagine that.

I laughed when I read the part about the bail breaking the line, that has happen to me so many times, it's ridiculous.

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I made the stencil box based on info in past posts on TU. Basically it's a wooden box. Mine is about a foot long on each side. The seams are sealed with duct tape/wood glue/silicone or whatever you have to prevent air leakage. The top has a bunch of small holes drilled through it around the center around a half inch apart. One side of the box has a hole cut out to fit a shop vac hose. 

You put a lure on the top over the holes, put a plastic sheet over the lure that a extends around the lure by a couple inches and heat the plastic sheet with heat gun. Make sure to remove any protective film from the plastic sheet before heating. Some plastic has film some doesn't. The film can be hard to see.  Keep the heat gun moving over the plastic. As the sheet heats and gets a bit soft, turn on the shop vac, and the shop vac sucks the plastic around the lure. This gives a one half stencil of the side. Flip the lure and repeat for the other side. Cut what pattern you want out of the stencil with an Xacto knife or dremel tool. If you want to sacrifice a lure, you can cut the lure in half down the center-line before and put both halves on the box to make stencils for both sides at the same time.

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/topic/30214-vacuum-box-question/?tab=comments#comment-241333

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1H7uuNIOeg

 

You can also make a stencil box out of a popcorn or cookie tin or a coffee can.

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/topic/36561-easy-stencil-making/?tab=comments#comment-298696

Post on plastic material:

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/topic/26172-help-with-vaccuum-box-clear-plastic-film/?tab=comments#comment-198913

 

Edited by JD_mudbug
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