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RPM

Through Wire & Modern Times

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OK, Guys and Gals, lets get to the nuts & bolts?

Why do we ask or look for through wire? Answer is because we thought it was stronger, supperior, etc. WRONG! I have built Custom  Handcrafted Balsa baits since 2011, built them both ways, lets break it down.

I'm in a bad mood and will vent trying to be subjective and civil. Through wire is a joke, perception and a farse! A through wire is only as good as the build, simply as that, it can be weak, defective and cause issues if not built correctly, same as other methods. There is no sure fire method of building crankbaits, except for trial and error. You can build a bad through wire same as you can build a bad screw eye or Twisted line tie, come on be honest with yourself. Both methods work effectively and it depends on the build. Simple as that. I BUILT 12 Old school D baits for a friend, based on his perception of how the OG Baits were made, mine were better but thats another story. He wanted through wire and balsa, If you build the baits based on the old technique they are no good ( my opinion ) because they wont last, the line through pulls out and the baits fail over time. I built them to my standards and built them to last, he liked them but ask why I went to so much trouble, ? Duh! moment, why do I spend so much time making a quality bait when the user only wants a replica? my mistake, NOT!

Heres the real deal! we can replicate baits from the past and they will be just that or we can use the technology and components of today to replicate and build a superior bait that should last a life time, which would you prefer? I've built both, and given the opportunity I will replicate but build to my standards a quality bait that should last and give the user a lifetime memory of fish caught on a bait that he suggested. Now heres the problem, a D Bait that Cost $20 back int he day, cannot be bought or built for the same price Today!

I took a dozen baits to a friend that fishes for a living last fall, I explained the same cenareo to him and he agreed to try them, guess what I just checked in with him Friday and he's still usingthe baits and loves them. I charged him $25 per bait, but should have charged him $30. each, if you build a quilty bait, be proud of it, and if you sell it, sell it for waht it's worth. In my opinion a quality handcraftd bait today should bring between $30.00 and $50.00+ dollars. if it's not a qulaity bait or a prototype maybe less, but do not sell yourself short. There is a demand for quality, handcrafted lures.

I'm winding down my career and trying to build less, but starting today, $30.00 or more and the list continues to grow so if you build a great bait they will come!

Thanks Rich   

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Interesting take on things Rich, I'm only new to bait making, to be fair I've come into this hobby with a view of making baits 6" plus, my idea was to always do through wire construction, why? Because I see it as a more bulletproof option if someone else is using one of my baits, just a confidence thing maybe, in case the worst should happen.

I've seen a few videos testing twist eye strengths & I agree they would take some removing if correctly implemented, I don't know, I just feel it would always be at the back of my mind... the what if it gives and pulls out scenario, is there any difference regarding twist eyes seated in wood too seated in resin? Not seen any videos with a resin test as yet.

So what are your pros & cons, twist eyes vs through wire? :?very interested to hear.

I agree that if a bait is made with care and correctly, then you should charge what you see as fit, if someone really wants a bait they will pay for the quality in my opinion.

Andy.

 

 

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I have built both, but as I am only building for my own use, I see no point in through wire. Having said that, when I make a new design, I test to destruction well beyond the limits of what the lure will ever face in the water. Yes, I prefer twisted eyes.

There is a lot of engineering to twisted eyes. I would NEVER use a plain haywire twist, always a spaced out barrel twist. It is all about the glue surface area. It is the shear strength at the surface of the glue plug multiplied by the surface area that determines the load that the eye will take.

The barrel twist makes sure that the wire form will not pull out of the glue plug, the haywire form is too smooth to call secure. Some will argue with me but I have logic and testing on my side.

Dave

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If there is risk of your target fish species to actually break the body of the lure through wire is a good thing. In most cases this is not an issue so for most species/lures it’s not needed in my opinion 

If you are making resin baits and you cast your hardware into the lure through wire is even less important 

The main thing in my opinion is appropriate hardware matched to the material to handle your target species 

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Posted (edited)

UKandy

I have disected many baits, and alot of balsa line thru baits are not sealed properly, or should I say sealed for structural strength in mind, normaly they epoxy the line thru channel but do nothing to the balsa to make it stronger, so it's rather easy to tear the line through out of the bait either upwards or forwards, once the line through starts to tear slightly it will let water into the bait which will eventually cause catastophic damage. I twist my own line tie with stainless steel wire and epoxy it into hardwood dowells that are then epoxied into the balsa body which is sealed to my standards and have yet had a line tie fail or lost a fish because of a bad line tie, My line, hooks or split rings will fail before my bait fails. Hope that helps, but with Bass sized Balsa baits I see absolutly no need to build line through. 

Edited by RPM
Corrected spelling
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5 hours ago, RPM said:

UKandy

I have disected many baits, and alot of balsa line thru baits are not sealed properly, or should I say sealed for structural strength in mind, normaly they epoxy the line thru channel but do nothing to the balsa to make it stronger, so it's rather easy to tear the line through out of the bait either upwards or forwards, once the line through starts to tear slightly it will let water into the bait which will eventually cause catastophic damage. I twist my own line tie with stainless steel wire and epoxy it into hardwood dowells that are then epoxied into the balsa body which is sealed to my standards and have yet had a line tie fail or lost a fish because of a bad line tie, My line, hooks or split rings will fail before my bait fails. Hope that helps, but with Bass sized Balsa baits I see absolutly no need to build line through. 

Same experiences when cutting baits open.   I want my lures to last but think of lures being more of a consumable product.   If wanting to build something more bulletproof then I jump to 2 part polyurethane foams as water intrusion is no longer and issue and can still get a very "lively" bait.

I really  never have had many issues with balsa but don't build near the baits I do with basswood and no where in numbers as I used to do.

D-Baits.... brings back some good memories.

Edited by Travis
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5 hours ago, RPM said:

UKandy

I have disected many baits, and alot of balsa line thru baits are not sealed properly, or should I say sealed for structural strength in mind, normaly they epoxy the line thru channel but do nothing to the balsa to make it stronger, so it's rather easy to tear the line through out of the bait either upwards or forwards, once the line through starts to tear slightly it will let water into the bait which will eventually cause catastophic damage. I twist my own line tie with stainless steel wire and epoxy it into hardwood dowells that are then epoxied into the balsa body which is sealed to my standards and have yet had a line tie fail or lost a fish because of a bad line tie, My line, hooks or split rings will fail before my bait fails. Hope that helps, but with Bass sized Balsa baits I see absolutly no need to build line through. 

How you apply your twist eyes is very interesting, i like that idea :yay:

Andy.

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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.

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Rich, you did sound a bit like a grumpy old man in your initial post... but I completely agree with your sentiment.  For most of my bass-sized baits (3-6") I use a twist eye from either .032" or .051" stainless wire.  I haven't had any problems with any of my attachment points as of yet. 

Where I use through-wire most is in tiny lures.  I've been making a lot of "bugs" lately, which are between 3/4" and 2."  I put 1 or 2 size 12 hooks on them depending on how long they are.  Most are made from a willow branch, though I just turned a few on a lathe out of redwood.  While they are designed to target panfish, there's hardly a time I use them when I don't catch a few bass.  My concern is that with how small they are they might bust up with a decent size bass.  So far I haven't had any trouble with them.

@Vodkamandoes this picture sort of describe what you are talking about?  Admittedly I've just been using the standard haywire without the barrel twist, but I can certainly see how adding some barrel twists would make for a stronger bond.

haywire_twist_2.jpg

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Big Epp -  Yes, that's the haywire. If I were to fit a haywire eye, I would bend the last 1/8" double.

I am saying I prefer the barrel, I am NOT saying the haywire is no good. I have tested both well beyond BIG fish loading and the haywire did pull out of the epoxy, but we are talking about a 55Lb static load for 2 hours.

Hand winding is fine, nut I did build a tool for winding barrel twists. There is a video of it somewhere.

Dave

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From my prospective it's only worth through wire if there's a possibility of the lure being bit in half. The entire fishing rod, reel, and line is a dynamic system and should hold up okay with installed correctly. It's sometimes frustrating to see consumers so attached to certain characteristics of lures while not having any criteria or backing for their reasoning.

 

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51 minutes ago, LangLures said:

From my prospective it's only worth through wire if there's a possibility of the lure being bit in half. The entire fishing rod, reel, and line is a dynamic system and should hold up okay with installed correctly. It's sometimes frustrating to see consumers so attached to certain characteristics of lures while not having any criteria or backing for their reasoning.

It is a bit more complex than that. I have had 15Kg line snapped while trying to hold a freshly hooked 3Kg fish away from an obstacle. Smaller fish have snapped my line when I have struck too aggressively. Hitting a deep bodied fish is like hitting a brick wall.

It only takes a millisecond for a limit to be breached for a failure to occur.

Dave

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What I always find interesting when it comes to to debating the lure construction strength is most are not considering is the shear range in size/power of fish people target with lures. Most are comparing lure construction to species like bass where 10lbs is big and failing to realize this is a small fish to some who target larger species 

I would be choked if someone built me a lure for a tarpon trip using the same construction they used for largemouth 

I have had big chinook, lake trout, and pike break lures. I have had pike break hangers twisting in a net/cradle. Chinook have pulled out hangers/break  hangers. I have had big Lakers crack hollow plastic plugs/crankbaits on the strike and break hangers rolling in the net

Through wire is not needed for the species I just listed but construction that some are assuming is good enough will experience failure. Theses are not even true big game species either 

What some view unnecessary/overkill may be just what is needed for another. There is a big difference between building lures for panfish and saltwater big game species 

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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.  

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3 minutes ago, BobP said:

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.  

You ever have a bass break your crankbaits I want to see a pic of the tank that did it so you better land it lol

Sadly I don’t think that day will come 

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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.

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This picture has "bugs" in various stages of completion with a utility knife for scale.  I use through wire in these because I make a lot of them out of willow branches and the pith in the center of the branch isn't a very secure place to glue anything.  Also, these are around 1/2" thick, allowing very little space to glue stuff in.  With the size of these guys I'm nervous to hook into a decent bass and bust the lure.

I suppose catching a decent bass on one of these would be about like catching a muskie on a normal muskie sized bait, so I see the point of through wire for those toothy studs.  I wonder though, typical muskie baits have a lot of space for gluing or epoxying in thicker, longer twist eyes.  I completely understand the argument for through wires.  My guess is I'll make some both ways, then someday I'll lose a huge muskie because it busted out a twist eye.  From that point on I'll only use through wire, curse twist eyes, and troll anyone who uses them :nono:

Bugs.jpg

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I don't mean to stir this boiling pot, but I am old enough and fish enough that I have had several lures break in my day.  Funny, they were normally the older two piece cheep molded lures or the through wire balsa lures.  

I have had the OLD wooden lures that had the poor seal coats have screws rust out, and I have had a few Lucky Craft Live Pointers where the "through wire" on the multiple joints broke.  But.......

Guys, they are lures, not bridges.  If a few break, people don't die.

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5 hours ago, Anglinarcher said:

I don't mean to stir this boiling pot, but I am old enough and fish enough that I have had several lures break in my day.  Funny, they were normally the older two piece cheep molded lures or the through wire balsa lures.  

I have had the OLD wooden lures that had the poor seal coats have screws rust out, and I have had a few Lucky Craft Live Pointers where the "through wire" on the multiple joints broke.  But.......

Guys, they are lures, not bridges.  If a few break, people don't die.

Second on the Excellent Point, and very eloquently stated I might add. I was trying to come up with a sensative way of putting it but you beat me to it.

   

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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.

Edited by BobP
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