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Wake Bait

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Wake bait is up next on my to do list. Always wanted to build one just never seem to get around to it. Planning on a good size bait like maybe 6" or so minus the tail (if one).

Any tips from wake bait gurus?

Lip angle, joint segment ratio, tails, weight / balance? 

 

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Wakebaits are one of the simplest of the swimbait category to make. As for lip angle, you don't want always want to use a 90 degree lip. I often like to use a lip from 75-85. Lip thickness is also a very important topic when it comes to making wakebaits. With a larger bait (say 6"+), you need a thicker lip and with a smaller lure (say 4-5") you don't need to go as thick. Your lip needs to be able to withstand the impact of hitting rocks, or wood without snapping. As for the joint segment ratios, I would just take the length of the entire lure and divide it's length by how many joints there are. I tend to go with a 45 degree angle joint on my swimbaits. You also need to consider joint spacing. This determines how much motion there is in the joint and could determine how wide or aggressive it swims. Weight and balance, I would weigh it similar to any other non glider swimbait, except floating and with a lip. Tails should be soft plastic or jointed Lexan tail.

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I made a couple wake baits loosely based on the Slammer. It was a pretty simplesrylewake to start with. I used about a 90° lip angle and it worked pretty well.

Now I'm working on some to make with more detail and a realistic profile. It's about 3" long. I'm planning on using 2 joints and bristle fins. At some point I'm going to try the hinge style joint, but I'm working with twisted joints. 

IMG_20220425_142640.jpg

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The best wake I've ever fished was/is the CL8 baits Baby Possum. It has a wide, flat bottom, a mostly flat top and a reverse cut joint that is fairly tight.  It's lip depth below the bait is about equal to the baits heighth and the lip is very close to the front of the bait. It sits pretty low in the water, with just the top 3/16 inch sticking out of the water.  The waking version weighs right at 4 oz's but fishes extremely heavy,  like it weighs 6 oz and can wear you out even with the right rod.  It seems to be a small compact package that is very dense.  I've had great luck with the fish just crushing the bait, especially around wood.

 My wake making experience has been primarily with resin baits. When making a 2 pc bait, I use the 60/40 guideline, 60 being the front section.  50/30/20 for a 3 pc bait, with a short tail. When I draw out a design,  I always include a drawn in tail,  This will help me judge the size the tail section will wind up being and the overall shape of the bait. I've made a couple the with even shorter tail section on a two pc and the tail section will slap pretty hard back and forth. 

 Also take into account for the length of the joint cut itself.  Cutting certain angle joints can have the effect of shortening the front section while lenghtening the second section, creating unbalanced proportions. You want the front section and the lip to drive the back section with it's movement, not have the back section hump the front.  See a lot of new glides out there with a longer tail section than front, makes for a weird swim.  I've made a couple myself.

I use 1/8 Lexan/Poly for lips, never needed anything bigger, even on 10-12 inch wakes. I have a tablesaw blade that cuts a 1/8th inch kerf so the lips will slip right in the slot. When testing, I'll cut different shaped and length lips and wrap with blue painters tape around the inserted section to keep the test lip tight. 

In a wake I want a hard back and forth slap not a rolling type swim. Taller wakes don't make for great bait IMHO,  I think they tend to roll more and that kills some of the tail action. Different if you have a rat type tail, they tend to create good action behind most style baits.

Wakes can act dramatically different if the linetie is on the nose or under the nose towards the lip like a squarebill CB. I think a guy needs to try both positions to see how it affects your bait. 

AZsouth helped me troubleshoot a wake bait I was making.  Made a bunch of adjustments. We moved the lipslot forward, the linetie back and I moved the joint spacing back and forth. We finally found right combination of those factors the bait came alive and had a great consistant swim. You just have to work to find the right combo for your particular bait. It was like the timing of the sections and the tail movements were finally right and moved in unison and made great sounds.   That one looked like a Frankenbait but swam good.  

 Make sure each section floats level with each other,  independent of each other,  so the joint{s} won't bind.

*90 lip will help keep the bait waking and on the surface. Kick the lip out some and it will start to crank down. 

 I make a couple resin wakes with no added weights in the bottom. Just some solid resin in the bottom and the hardware, MB mix up top. I would think that wood wakes will need some lead ballasting.

This had been some of my experiences, hope it helps...

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12 hours ago, AZ Fisher said:

The best wake I've ever fished was/is the CL8 baits Baby Possum. It has a wide, flat bottom, a mostly flat top and a reverse cut joint that is fairly tight.  It's lip depth below the bait is about equal to the baits heighth and the lip is very close to the front of the bait. It sits pretty low in the water, with just the top 3/16 inch sticking out of the water.  The waking version weighs right at 4 oz's but fishes extremely heavy,  like it weighs 6 oz and can wear you out even with the right rod.  It seems to be a small compact package that is very dense.  I've had great luck with the fish just crushing the bait, especially around wood.

 My wake making experience has been primarily with resin baits. When making a 2 pc bait, I use the 60/40 guideline, 60 being the front section.  50/30/20 for a 3 pc bait, with a short tail. When I draw out a design,  I always include a drawn in tail,  This will help me judge the size the tail section will wind up being and the overall shape of the bait. I've made a couple the with even shorter tail section on a two pc and the tail section will slap pretty hard back and forth. 

 Also take into account for the length of the joint cut itself.  Cutting certain angle joints can have the effect of shortening the front section while lenghtening the second section, creating unbalanced proportions. You want the front section and the lip to drive the back section with it's movement, not have the back section hump the front.  See a lot of new glides out there with a longer tail section than front, makes for a weird swim.  I've made a couple myself.

I use 1/8 Lexan/Poly for lips, never needed anything bigger, even on 10-12 inch wakes. I have a tablesaw blade that cuts a 1/8th inch kerf so the lips will slip right in the slot. When testing, I'll cut different shaped and length lips and wrap with blue painters tape around the inserted section to keep the test lip tight. 

In a wake I want a hard back and forth slap not a rolling type swim. Taller wakes don't make for great bait IMHO,  I think they tend to roll more and that kills some of the tail action. Different if you have a rat type tail, they tend to create good action behind most style baits.

Wakes can act dramatically different if the linetie is on the nose or under the nose towards the lip like a squarebill CB. I think a guy needs to try both positions to see how it affects your bait. 

AZsouth helped me troubleshoot a wake bait I was making.  Made a bunch of adjustments. We moved the lipslot forward, the linetie back and I moved the joint spacing back and forth. We finally found right combination of those factors the bait came alive and had a great consistant swim. You just have to work to find the right combo for your particular bait. It was like the timing of the sections and the tail movements were finally right and moved in unison and made great sounds.   That one looked like a Frankenbait but swam good.  

 Make sure each section floats level with each other,  independent of each other,  so the joint{s} won't bind.

*90 lip will help keep the bait waking and on the surface. Kick the lip out some and it will start to crank down. 

 I make a couple resin wakes with no added weights in the bottom. Just some solid resin in the bottom and the hardware, MB mix up top. I would think that wood wakes will need some lead ballasting.

This had been some of my experiences, hope it helps...

I forgot to mention something-- if you are trying to figure out what to do for your baits, you can always look to other baits for inspiration. I am not saying just blatantly copy somebody else's lure, I am just saying learn from other baits that work. Other than that, just get some experience and try new things and you'll learn what to do.

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You might want to pay attention to what AZ Fisher is saying....I have a few of his wakes and I do quite well with them.

I still have" That one looked like a Frankenbait but swam good" and it still gets crushed.

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I learned yesterday that the joints need to be much looser than what you’re used to with other lures. I was not getting any clacking on the joint but then loosened it a couple turns and now it’s noisy. If it’s a two piece make sure the back in is smaller than the front end and make the front a little thicker or fatter. At least that’s what works for me.  One very important lesson I learned the hard way, I was testing my wake in my pool and it was working fine but when I got to the lake I had already painted it and clear coated and it dove. I have a nice little wake and crank but that’s not what I wanted.

Where are you place the line tie is also important. If you place it right up against the lip you make it a better wake, but I may not be that stable at a medium to fast retrieve. From the nose you’re going to get a tighter wiggle, but maybe not the wide wobble you want. 

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2 hours ago, Flaswimbaiter said:

I learned yesterday that the joints need to be much looser than what you’re used to with other lures. I was not getting any clacking on the joint but then loosened it a couple turns and now it’s noisy. If it’s a two piece make sure the back in is smaller than the front end and make the front a little thicker or fatter. At least that’s what works for me.  One very important lesson I learned the hard way, I was testing my wake in my pool and it was working fine but when I got to the lake I had already painted it and clear coated and it dove. I have a nice little wake and crank but that’s not what I wanted.

Where are you place the line tie is also important. If you place it right up against the lip you make it a better wake, but I may not be that stable at a medium to fast retrieve. From the nose you’re going to get a tighter wiggle, but maybe not the wide wobble you want. 

Very true with your line tie observation. Design is a compromise, and you can change the location of the lip as well to change the effect of the line tie location.

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Wow! Lots of great feedback on here!

@AZ Fisher, I feel like you just took me to school on this, and I am excited to put some of this stuff into practice.

 @Flaswimbaiter, I hate the feeling of painting one up and making look just great then having it not swim like it did previously.  Nothing hurts quite like drilling into a nice paint job and clear coat to add or adjust some lead...

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On 4/25/2022 at 9:44 AM, RiverSmallieGuy said:

Wakebaits are one of the simplest of the swimbait category to make. As for lip angle, you don't want always want to use a 90 degree lip. I often like to use a lip from 75-85. Lip thickness is also a very important topic when it comes to making wakebaits. With a larger bait (say 6"+), you need a thicker lip and with a smaller lure (say 4-5") you don't need to go as thick. Your lip needs to be able to withstand the impact of hitting rocks, or wood without snapping. As for the joint segment ratios, I would just take the length of the entire lure and divide it's length by how many joints there are. I tend to go with a 45 degree angle joint on my swimbaits. You also need to consider joint spacing. This determines how much motion there is in the joint and could determine how wide or aggressive it swims. Weight and balance, I would weigh it similar to any other non glider swimbait, except floating and with a lip. Tails should be soft plastic or jointed Lexan tail.

I should add, I am not a swimbait guru, but I was giving my personal experiences with wakers.

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If you use resins you can try these ideas too,

The unpainted one up top is Alumires ( RC-3 ) tan for the lower body and the Alumifoam on top . I let the RC-3 cure and poured the foam in mold and use a small piece of cardboard at the pour spout to keep the foam compressed in the mold as it rises - makes the foam more dense , this foam cures very hard and dense but really floats .

The unpainted one sinks slowly and upright , I didn't add micro balloons to the RC-3 as I did with the painted one .

The painted one is a moderate wake bait with great action , I don't have any of the ones I made with a lip around any more to show you but use the advice above about lip angles and such . The resin portion is heavier and the foam keeps it upright so with this style of bait no weight is necessary .

Can also use the Alumilite White to do the same thing , You might be able to see in the painted version some of the " grain " from the foam come thru . The foam may not keep the crisp details .

The exploding one was the first attempt , the resin was still soft . Poured foam in walked away and came back and had a good laugh . I have poured the resin and let it partly cure and add foam , fully cure and add foam ( to see if the foam bonded any better to the partly cured resin ) seemed to be the same good bond .

 

 

 

 

IMG_4122.JPG

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