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Lochie

Selecting the correct timber

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Guys select wood for different reasons.  Some it may simply be what is available at the local big box store, some may be trying to combat toothy critters and select harder/dense woods, some select wood based on the workability, and others properties of the finished baits.

I make bass lures and typically use basswood and some balsa.  I like them both for different reasons.  The basswood is nice to carve (probably one of the most selected by wood carvers based on properties).  Overall it lends itself to a high degree of modification with respect to weight placement to get the actions I want.  A more dense wood behaves a little differently. 

Balsa I like because it makes for a very lively buoyant bait.  Around cover they are great due to the deflection properties and quick rise and helps to reduce hang ups.  I like to make some smaller balsa sammies for creek smallies.  They are some of the "snappiest" versions I have fished and can be cast a mile.  Besides lighter 2 part polyurethane foam molded lures haven't found much that is close.

If I was making larger lures for muskies, pike, or some inshore species would select something a little more dense.  I would also likely be using power tools more often.  

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22 hours ago, Travis said:

Guys select wood for different reasons.  Some it may simply be what is available at the local big box store, some may be trying to combat toothy critters and select harder/dense woods, some select wood based on the workability, and others properties of the finished baits.

I make bass lures and typically use basswood and some balsa.  I like them both for different reasons.  The basswood is nice to carve (probably one of the most selected by wood carvers based on properties).  Overall it lends itself to a high degree of modification with respect to weight placement to get the actions I want.  A more dense wood behaves a little differently. 

Balsa I like because it makes for a very lively buoyant bait.  Around cover they are great due to the deflection properties and quick rise and helps to reduce hang ups.  I like to make some smaller balsa sammies for creek smallies.  They are some of the "snappiest" versions I have fished and can be cast a mile.  Besides lighter 2 part polyurethane foam molded lures haven't found much that is close.

If I was making larger lures for muskies, pike, or some inshore species would select something a little more dense.  I would also likely be using power tools more often.  

Cheers for all the info mate

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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.

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I use whatever is available. Makes for more variability and more of a challenge, which can be a pain in the neck.  I happened on a good supply of old redwood, so I'll be working primarily with that for a while. Every product has different properties, and I suppose you just adjust your approach to the material you are working with.

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