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Crank Bait Lip Question

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by goolies, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. I know lip size is one factor that affects the running depth of the lure but what about shape? I have seen a number of different shape lips on lures in this forum. I could not find any discussion on lip shape and its affects. I assume different shapes give the lure different action. I'm really intrigued by the s-shape lip. Any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. eyesman_01

    eyesman_01 getting wEYESer every day

    From what I've been able to gather... the squared lips will dive deeper than the rounded ones of same size, but the rounded ones produce more wobble. The angle of the lip (to the bait) and placement of line tie also are determining factors. You notice the smaller lips placed at a sharper angle (closer to perpendicular) are usually shallow running baits. Placing the lip almost parallel to the "lateral line" will cause it to dive deeper. Line ties positioned in the nose or on the lip closer to the nose will dive deeper with less action, where as the line tie placed further out on the lip (within reason) will produce more action, but not dive as deep.

    I think I've remembered this correctly. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong. I'm sure some of you can add more to what I have here. I thought Vince and Tigger had a posting about making lips?
     

  3. The only other thing I can ad is that the angle of the lip itself regardless of "shape" will also effect how deep the lure will dive. I've tried it on a few different lures with different size and shaped lips. Best thing to do is have fun experimenting with the different variations to see what works and what doesn't. Hope this helps. :B
     
  4. You guys pretty explained the lip shape and angle variables on the money.

    The square shaped lips are generally more forgiving than the ones that are rounded. Basically, that means that a squared lip can be placed at the wrong "angle" and it will still run...usually. There are points beyond which the lure simply won't run if the angle is too shallow or too steep compared to the lateral line of the bait.

    Longer lips are trickier than shorter ones. Generally, when placing the line tie on the nose of the bait itself by inserting an eye screw in the nose (as opposed to using wire to put the line tie along the middle of a long lip), you will have more forgiveness in both lip angle and size.

    A rule of thumb when putting wire along the longer lips to make your line tie, is to put the line tie at something less than halfway along the lip. In other words, find the middle of the lip by measuring from the nose of the bait to the end of the lip and then put your line tie (made of wire) closer to the bait than that middle point.

    I'll try to put up some examples with templates you can use when I get some time.

    The square shaped lips are generally more forgiving than the ones that are rounded. Basically, that means that a squared lip can be placed at the wrong "angle" and it will still run...usually. There are points beyond which the lure simply won't run if the angle is too shallow or too steep compared to the lateral line of the bait.

    Longer lips are trickier than shorter ones. Generally, when placing the line tie on the nose of the bait itself by inserting an eye screw in the nose (as opposed to using wire to put the line tie along the middle of a long lip), you will have more forgiveness in both lip angle and size.

    A rule of thumb when putting wire along the longer lips to make your line tie, is to put the line tie at something less than halfway along the lip. In other words, find the middle of the lip by measuring from the nose of the bait to the end of the lip and then put your line tie (made of wire) closer to the bait than that middle point.

    I'll try to put up some examples with templates you can use when I get some time.

    For now, here's an example of putting the line tie on the lip by bending wire. Note two things:
    1. The wire goes through the top of the lip and is then both ends of the wire are bent back under the lip and inserted into a hole drilled into the body of the bait directly beneath the lip.
    2. Where the line will actually attach to the bait is just a bit closer to the nose of the bait than the true halfway point on the lip.
    [​IMG]
    I will also try to post a picture of how I bend the wire to make the line tie. Its easy really.

    Here's an example of a bait with the line tie attached to the nose:
    [​IMG]
    This bait will not dive as deep as one with a longer lip unless you make a longer cast or let out a lot of line while trolling. That's okay though because having baits that run shallower are actually a great addition to your arsenal, especially for trolling applications for suspending fish.

    The nose-mounted line tie with a shorter rounded lip is a relatively easier bait to build because this combination is just plain less fussy than a longer diving lip.

    Now...having said that...I sometimes purposely break all of the above rules...

    Here's a bait (the top one) that was a true monster producer for the muskies this year:
    [​IMG]
    Note that the lip on the top bait is almost too long. It is almost a diving lip, but not quite. What this does is cause the bait to become almost out of control during the retrieve. It has a tendency to very hard right, then hard left when you rip the rod tip with about a 2 1/2 foot sweep. Don't ask me why but the muskies LOVED it. Unfortunately, I tried trolling it and a large, gnarley, hungry West Branch stump immediately ate it. I'm almost always able to get any bait unsnagged with a lure retriever, but as luck would have it, that bait, which was so productive, now sleeps with the fishes.:D I'm going to build more and experiment more with breaking the rules.

    The "S" shaped lip is arguably the most difficult to build from polycarbonate or fabricate from stainless steel.
    [​IMG]
    To build this bait, you must either bend the polycarbonate after making the lip or bend the stainless. Neither stainless steel nor polycarbonate like being bent and it can be a bit tricky to get the bends in these materials just right, but it can be done. I use a vice to bend the stainless and I'm sure if you have access to car body tools or metal-working tools you can find a hand tool that would make the job easier. Stainless is a real bear when it comes to drilling holes and it requires a special bandsaw blade too. (Gotta get a drill press...next on my list of purchases)

    Here's how I bend polycarbonate (which I prefer to call Lexan because its easier to type:D )

    I took a piece of wood and made slots in it with a table saw:
    [​IMG]
    The lip is inserted into the wood slot and the wood and the lip are submerged
    in boiling water for about 4 or 5 minutes. WEAR GLOVES AND BE CAREFUL. Get an adult to do this for you, if you are not an adult!...

    Remove the wood "jig" and the lip from the water and bend the lip to the desired shape. Then quickly submerge it in cold water and it will permanently hold the bend you've made.

    Repeat the process for the second bend to make the "S" shape you desire.

    The S shaped lip is also pretty reliable and the baits I've made all ran well when the lip was properly bent to the right shape.

    Finally, if you want a real deep-diver, do as Eyesman said and place the lip parallel to the lateral line of the body:
    [​IMG]
    You might want to add a TINY bit of downward angle to the lip to be sure it will run.

    In my opinion, the lip is a critical component of a successful bait and I've spent a lot of time experimenting with different lips sizes and styles. Most worked, but some were utter failures. That's okay too. Failures are part of the learning process in building truly great producing baits that the fish haven't seen a million times before.

    The action of the bait is a very serious component in the formula for causing a fish to strike. That action is imparted by the lip shape, angle, and body shape and size. Weighting a bait is another factor but we'll get into that later maybe.
     
  5. Thanks to all for your replies. I'm looking forward to experimenting with lip angle, size, and shape.
     
  6. I'm a newbie here and somehow I came across this site, I'm enjoying the information thats being shared here. A question for Mr. vc1111, do you have any experience working on crankbaits with coffin style lips? I'm thinking of a different type of lip, different action, something different to trigger the esox. Thanks for all the info you guys are giving out. Great site!

    11Thumbs
     
  7. Welcome 11thumbs! Yes lots of good information on this site. They have helped me out with their suggestions on my baits and its opened my eyes on lure making. Hope it does the same for you. :B
     
  8. The coffin lip is an excellent compromise between a rounded lip and one with a flat leading edge, which is usually referred to as a "square lip" by a lot of guys.

    Give it go and see how if performs for you.

    Love your handle by the way...11 Thumbs...kind of like "fatfingers" which I use on some other sites.

    Welcome aboard, buddy.
     
  9. fugarwi7

    fugarwi7 Lumberjack

    Since lips seem to be one of the most important elements of lure building, I was hoping to gather more information on the subject! Can you pro's expound on the information that has already been shared thus far?

    What is a "coffin" style lip?

    I am interested about the lip designs and how they affect a bait's action.
    I am trying to minimize the failure rate before I get too far into building a bait, only to find out I ruined it because the lip was the wrong size, shape, angle, etc...after it is epoxied into place, I assume it is too late to correct it (ie, remove it and replace with a new one). I suppose I could build them all larger than I think they should be and then sneak up on the correct action/attitude by slowly grinding down to an appropriate size/shape.
     
  10. The coffin style as the name implies looks like the end of a coffin (or the top half of a stop sign if you prefer).

    I have been testing different lip shapes and sizes on the same shallow diving lure. On shallow diving lures I have been keeping the lip angle at about 45 degrees. I'm no expert. but here's what I have learned so far. A round lip gave me more action than a square lip. Adding curvature to the lip increased action. The more curvature, the more action. The more I extended the lip beyond the nose of the lure the more unstable the lure became. I'm sure some of the more experienced builders can add more.

    Until I become more experienced with lure design I have been using proven lures as guides for my designs. That gives me a rough idea on size, shape, and angle of the lip. When I complete a new body design I experiment with the lip before permanently mounting it. I cut the lip slot, shape the body, seal the body with a sander sealer, and install the line tie, hook hangers and hooks. With the body sealed and the hardware installed I can press fit in the lip without epoxy. If the lip does not fit tightly just add some tape to get a snugger fit. I then tub test the lure for stability and action. I have different weight split shots squeezed on twist ties. This allows me to experiment with weight placement and amount. I try to keep the added weight to a minimum since weight seems to reduce lure action. I play with the lip size and shape until I find what works. This little bit of testing and tweaking allows me to get a lure that works before I epoxy in the lip and do all the painting and coating.

    I hope this helps.
     
  11. I hear you the lips and their influence on the actions. At first when I started making them I would jamb a lip in there and finish the lure. Then to my suprise I found out the lure spun like a top. A hard lesson to learn for me.

    Some things that I have noticed on the lips thru many mistakes.

    - with deep diving lures that have the line tie on the lip......... Keep the line tie less than 1/2 the lip length to the body side. 2/3 the half works best for me.

    - The baits that have the nose line attachment. The bait is more forgiving if the line tie is on the underside of the nose instead of the tip of the nose.

    - Lip widths ........... I am finding that the lip width at its widest point for me has to be a least the width of the thickest point of the bait....... Minimum

    - I have salvaged baits by doing some crazy weighting. Including putting weights in the the back half of the tale section. This sometimes works but not in all cases.

    I have cut out many lips and changed their angles. You can make a tape dam and pour epoxy to fill it back out.

    The lip shapes:
    - Lips with the rounded outside edges tend to have a rolling action. I like them for slower speed trolling baits.

    - Lips with the hard corners tend to be shakers. They seem to work better at a little faster speed also. Butt.......... When they hit their max speed, they really loose it.

    - utltra fast baits will have a spoon shaped lip that has a narrow profile reaching he width that matches the same width of the bait.

    Lip angles.

    - a steeper lip angle is more forgiving than a shallower one. I have found that in some cases I don't even have to weight them for the deep diver.
    - a shallower angled lip is less forgiving. The weighting becomes more of a factor. For me at least. I think these are the hardest ones.

    I am still learning a ton about the lips. I am even thinking about ordering an array of them to test.
     
  12. eyesman_01

    eyesman_01 getting wEYESer every day

    WOW John, that has got to be the most informative single post on lips I have ever read. Pieces like this are what make this forum so special, and make you so special to us. If it weren't for you and Vince, I would never have had the pleasure I do from making my own stickbaits. I have poured lead and plastics for years, but always felt the hardbaits were out of my league. The lessons from you guys have been so inspiring and helpful, you can only imagine how much the sharing of your knowledge means to me. And I'm sure many of these other guys feel the same way. I only hope I can return the favor one day.

    For the others of you more experienced than I, my appreciation is no less for you. Black Talon, rjbass, hazmail, among others, have all also been a great inspiration. Fugarwi7, goolies, peple, and others like me just learning, your work is also an inspiration to explore the many avenues this hobby has to offer.

    I hope all of you have had a very Merry Christmas, and I hope to get the chance to meet all of you to share more ideas, knowledge, and experience in the year to come.
     
  13. fugarwi7

    fugarwi7 Lumberjack

    TIGGER & goolies, that is exactly the type of information I was hoping to get...thank you.

    I like the tip to make a tape dam to refill the epoxy if I have to cut out a lip and start over...that gives me hope that if in the very end I still get it wrong, I have a chance to salvage the mission...thanks for that!

    Also the relationship between lip width and body width...A nice reference to refer to in the design stages.

    And making a temp mount and tank test before proceeding...hooks, weights and all

    These are all good, helpful tips to help minimize the risk of total failure.

    Now I can go back to the drawing board and get cranking...I have 5 baits in the final shaping and sealing stage and will be testing for lip size next. Also have one radical design I started today with a lip concept pretty far out there...not sure if it will work but I am going to try it anyway!

    Thanks again for your input...it is greatly appreciated.
     
  14. Vince that is a neat link.

    Vince really helped me in the beginning with my crankbait lip adventure. I have now moved up to mid-level beginner! LOL

    The lips are really a whole science of their own. So much to learn!
     
  15. Lips are fun to mess with because they change so much about a bait that mimics a commercially offered bait. Its one of the things that I enjoy messing with.

    Even when I know which lip will work, I like to try something different and sometimes with the weighting done differently too.

    Sometimes I'll have a bait painted and cleared with a coat of epoxy and ready for lip installation and I'll decide to test a different lip style. You can do this without getting water inside the lip slot (which could cause the bait to swell or the paint to lift)...just slide the lip into the slot and the put rubber cement all around the slot where the lip touches the bait...that waterproofs the bait long enough to test it. The rubber cement peels off easily when you're done testing.

    Tigger, I wanted to ask you what program you're using to create CAD lips on the computer?
     
  16. I use an Autocad (2003) version. I do the CAD drawings at my work for the cabinet shop.
     
  17. So, I'm thinking about making a few twitchbaits from 5 to 11 inches long. My question is...if my twitchbait increases in size, do I need to scale up my lip on my twitchbait. So my thinking is the bigger the lure I need a bigger lip. Am I thinking correct on this?
    Thanks - 11
     
  18. Yes, you'll need to increase the lip size for a larger bait. You might try using simple math...if the lure is 10% longer/larger, make the lip about 10% larger.

    It is a trial and error process, but after a while, you get a "feel" for what size is required and after a while, you'll land much closer to the right one on the first try.