Finally finished my first bait...

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by Young Whiskers, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. This was my first time for, well, everything...

    First bait, first foil job, first time airbrushing, etc.

    I built everything I needed (i.e. a drying rack, patterns and other little jigs and fixtures) along the way.

    Well, after a bunch of failures (actually, I learned A LOT from them), I finally finished a lure. It is about 3" overall and made from 3/8" basswood. It runs real tight about 2 1/2 - 3 feet deep.

    Let me know what you think, and how I could improve future ones.

    I think I'm addicted...

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  2. Whiskers,

    That's a beautiful little crank. I'm sure that you'll be haulin' in some fish one that one. Is it through-wire?

    nice job,

  3. No, it has hook hangers epoxied in. Ten pound mono will break before they pull out, so I hope that's strong enough.
  4. That's sweet. I wish my first one was that good!

    I remember you were messing around with weighting it. How'd you finally end up? How many lip angles did you try out? I'd love to hear more of what you went thru and learned along the way.
  5. Plugman,

    My initial profile ended up being much too large (it looked a lot smaller in my mind), so I went back and made an approximate 50-60% scale model. This is the body I work with now.

    As far as weighting goes, it turns out that I didn't need to weight it to make it stand (the hooks and hook hangers were weight enough). Initially I assumed that it needed weighting and when I tried it out it sank...

    I never really changed the lip angle too much, but I did change the size and shape. The smaller ones I tried initially didn't work too well, so I upsized them until they worked. This took several iterations. I'm really happy with the current lip. It dives to exactly the depth that I want it to (for the Great Miami and Ohio Rivers).

    Getting the hook hangers centered has been and still is the hardest part of preparing the body, and I ended up making a little jig to facilitate this. I also made jigs to get consistent line tie and lip placement/angle. I also learned that, in putting the hook hangers in the basswood, it is very easy to stray from perpendicular, and I'm still learning to make accommodations for this.

    I tried several different sealing techniques, but the one I like best is the Super Sealer that I got from Swede. It turned out to be really easy.

    Foiling was never really too big a problem, as I followed the tutorials that some others have posted (these were a huge help). However, I still had to find some things out on my own. I learned that it was easier for me to make a pattern to cut the tulle from than cut it after it was glued to the bait. I later eliminated the glue applying the tulle to the adhesive side of the foil tape before putting the foil on the bait. Also, I was having some trouble getting wrinkles around the transition from the side of the bait to the back (top), even after burnishing. Eventually, I resorted to cutting the excess foil to make 'tabs' that would fold over each other much nicer. I later learned that proper placement of the tabs aided in getting a better look after burnishing.

    I also tried a lot of different burnishing 'tools,' although I don't have a real one per se. I used the rounded side of a screwdriver, pen, etc., but the one that worked the best was a pencil eraser. It got the foil further down into the tulle, and the rubber left behind was easily wiped away with rubbing alcohol.

    Placing the lip in the lip slot after the bait had been foiled had been a problem, as the foil would bunch up near the lip, but I figured out (just the other day) that I could cut the lip slot on my scroll saw after I had foiled, and it resulted in a perfect transition from foil to lip.

    I had never airbrushed before, and it showed on my first couple of attempts. After I got a handle for what I was doing, and started using a template, it became much easier.

    I had to build a drying rack, for which I got ideas from pictures that many members provided. I had to learn the hard way not to mess with a lure until well after the epoxy was supposed to have cured, and I messed up a few lures doing this (I used the Devcon 2 Ton).

    I also had trouble keeping the epoxy out of the eyes of the hook hangers, and then I remembered reading something about putting toothpicks in them. This helped a lot.

    All in all, I probably screwed up 20 or more baits in various stages of progress, and there are still some things I know I can learn from and improve on.

    So.... If anyone has actually read this far, I have a question for you lure gurus (or lurus? ;)).

    My bait runs very well when the line is tied directly to the line tie with either a palomar or clench knot. It will not run if I try a loop knot (like for jerkbaits) or try to use a split ring. Also, if the knot isn't coming straight out of nose of the bait, it won't run. Sometimes when I cast it, the knot rides up the line tie and the lure simply rides on the surface of the water. Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  6. Whiskers, I really enjoyed reading this thread. It shows a lot about your determination to learn all this stuff and that is a key thing to success.

    I'd like to comment on a few things you mentioned.

    As to epoxy in the screw eyes... Just let it go and drill it out with a drill bit that fits just inside the screw eye. No big deal, really.

    The question about the line tie...Once the lip gets so long, you'll need to place the line tie on the lip itself with stainless steel wire. Cut a length of wire, drill two holes in the lip. Bend the wire into a "U" and push it through the two holes in the lip; then bend it under the lip toward the lure. Drill a hole under the lip slot and as you slide the lip into the lure, slide the two wire tag ends into the hole under the lip.

    The line tie on the lip should be...just inside the halfway point between the lip slot and the end of the lip...but on the half toward the bait. Here's a close up example. Note where the forward-most point of the line tie ends...see how it does not extend past the halfway point of the lip?

    If you go too close to the bait with the line tie it won't run...if you past the halfway point of the lip, it won't run...just behind the halfway point of the lip is the "sweet spot," where not only will the bait run, the lip will impart maximum action to the lure. Hope that helps.

    A second method on the bait you posted would be to build the next with a shorter lip. It will run shallower, but it will still run. Thus a deeper diver wants a longer lip with the tie on the lip, and a shallow diver wants a screw eye under the nose and next to the lip itself.
  7. That looks great! I can't wait to see the next one.
  8. eyesman_01

    eyesman_01 getting wEYESer every day

    Agreed, that is an awesome looking little bait. Looks like you have the foiling and paint down pretty well. Lips can be a tricky thing. I'd made a bait a while ago with the line tie in the nose and too big a lip, the bait would do flips when being retrieved. I ended up resizing the lip 1/3 smaller than original to get it to swim decent. Most of mine are with the line tie in the lip for deep diving, but wanted to try a shallow bait also. Still experimenting.

    This is a never ending learning experience. Even our masters tell us they are continually learning something new.

    Keep up the good work and hope to see more from you soon.

    Best of luck.
  9. Great job and you are absolutely correct, this can be addicting.
  11. Young Wiskers...Everything has been said that can be...Fantastic looking bait for your very first...Can't wait to see your next one...Keep them comming.....Jim.....