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making jointed hardbaits

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by pizza, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. pizza

    pizza

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    I will be trying to make a jointed crankbait one of these days. My only real goal is that the joint area does not take up a lot of room. I don't want jointed rapala sized gaps. Ultimately I want to make smallish 3-4" tri-segmented cranks that have a very fluid motion when viewed from above. I've seen one too many youtube videos of homemade multi-segmented swimbaits cast and retrieved into a swimming pool and they look sweet! One of the reasons they look so fluid (in addition to the numerous segments) is bc there isn't a large gap in the joints. Simply stated, I want my baits to look like a snake swimming when viewed from above. Fluuuuid motion.

    I will begin with a jointed crank and then get into the tri-segmented.

    So heres my plan. First I will make the joint and then glue it into each of the two "halves" of the bait. I am starting with basswood blanks that are 2.5" long and 3/8" thick. I will first sand and file to shape then cut in half. Then I will drill holes slightly larger than 1/4" into each half where the dowel joint will be glued in.

    The joint.

    Get two segments of 1/4" diameter dowel. Each will probably be about 1/2" length or so. The back one will probably be slightly shorter bc there won't be much room to work with. Then I will probably cut slits on opposite sides of each dowell. The slits will be where the wire sits and will be cut just deep enough so that the wire will fit in but that shrink wrap will still snug up against the wire. My guess is that the shrink wrap is not even necessary so maybe I won't even use it. Then glue the wire in the slits with super glue (and shrink wrap over if I decide to use it). At the ends of the dowel rod I will bend the wire in so that the actual joint is smaller than 1/4". Then I just glue the joint into the two halves making sure that it is in plenty deep.

    Do you think this will work? And what is a good approach to painting a jointed crankbait with a small gap? Should I paint/clearcoat the entire thing at the end? Or do one half first (including epoxy) and then paint and finish the other half?

    Thanks for any advice- I think this will be quite a challenge.
     
  2. pizza

    pizza

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    thought about it some more. I don't think I'll use shrink wrap (no need to with new plan, plus I just don't think its really gonna add much strength in the old plan). My new plan is to cut the slits in the dowell in deeper. I'll cut them to depth to match the thickness of the "U" of each joint then glue the wire in the slits. Then I won't have to bend the wire in at the end of each dowell rod.

    Does this make any sense? What is standard procedure for making joints when not using screw eyes (which I don't want to use due to the larger sized gap they would create).

    I think the super glue will be plenty strong as it absorbs real well into the basswood.
     

  3. Post some pictures as you proceed Pizza Mon. Ya Mon.:D
     
  4. pizza

    pizza

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    I've caught fish on 5 of my 7 handmades - all largemouth, and one nice 11" white crappie. Here's where I'm at with the jointed. I think I found a new hobby lol.
     

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  5. pizza

    pizza

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    here's where I'm at. I added 1/16" of balsa to each side in the middle section. Should help it wiggle better. One of the triple segmented has 1.5 small split shots in front of the front treble for weight as well as 2 small strips of aluminum HVAC tape in the bottom half of all the jointed regions. The other triple segmented is weighted soley with HVAC tape. The reason it looks white is bc of the way the supeglue over the tape dried. The bottom and bottom half of the middle section's sides also has 2 or 3 layers of HVAC tape for weighting- just can't see it bc its covered with balsa on the sides. Now I just need to sand, put a couple coats of paint and hooks and then try them out as a swimbait first. I doubt I'll get the swimbait on a first try and will probably end up using a small lip and hope to get about a 2-3 foot diving crank.

    I put hooks on the triples and put them in water last night. I was not happy with how they sat in the water (not upright), so I added a bunch more HVAC tape to the bottom of both. I also put 1/32" balsa strips on the rear of one.
     

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  6. JamesT

    JamesT Banned

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    Nice work Pizza. I've been enjoying your detailed posts and pictures from different steps of your process.

    It looks like you've been bit by the luremaking bug!!
     
  7. pizza

    pizza

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    I just need to clear cloat the front segment and remove the rubber bands that are masking the joints on the first one. Not sure how I'll finish out the other two.
     

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  8. pizza

    pizza

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    here they are ready to be fished. Can't wait to try them out.
     

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  9. pizza

    pizza

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    all three - right side.
     

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  10. The joint's looks like a pizza slice:)
     
  11. pizza

    pizza

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    got out for about 5 minutes today to take a few test casts. I am happy with the action of the single jointed. It swims straight, in an overall vertical postion (when viewed head-on), and has good wiggle. Although I would like to have a more pronounced wiggle, I am happy with the results(looks pretty fluid when viewed from above). The double jointed don't swim as well. The biggest problem is that they don't appear to be balanced. I think they need more weight at the bottom (but concentrated towards the side that needs it to better balance them)of all three segments (but especially the front segment I'm thinking). I only had a few minutes and didn't try to tune them by bending the tie in or filing the lip so hopefully they can be made to swim better. All in all for as much time as I put into these, it is kind of disapointing as I thought they would swim better. Hopefully I can tinker with them and get them to swim reasonably. I also think I should have made the joints bigger. One of my design goals was to make the joint area as small as possible (for aesthetic reasons, I didn't want them looking like jointed rapalas) but I'm not so sure that this is the best idea. Smaller joint areas probably work better when the segments are "V'ed" (when viewed from above).

    I'm determined to get them to swim properly, the ? is can I do it without having to completely strip/sand(they've got 2 layers of D2T)/repaint/refoil/drill holes to add more weight to them. Probably not....
     
  12. Pizza,

    Take this for what it's worth, but I have made hundreds of jointed baits. All kinds....lip, lipless, swimbaits, you name it....and although the small, slim joint is appealing, if it is too small, the baits will not swim because they can't move. It appears that your baits do not have sufficient room for the segments to move enough to give significant action. Just my observation...

    Rod
     
  13. pizza

    pizza

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    makes sense to me Rod and thanks for the input. It's gonna take some time to perfect these. My biggest issue with all my cranks (I've made about 10 so far)is getting them perfectly balanced. What I mean by this is that when you look at the bait head-on, it swims in a position that averages out to be vertical (and not 15 degrees off-vertical). I had trouble with this on a couple of my non-jointed cranks. I'm not really even sure what to do to correct this as I am making them as precise as possible already(granted I use crude tools like hand saws and cordless drills). I'm wondering if the biggest problem with balancing my lures has to do with the fact that I don't rotate them when the D2T is drying. I apply my D2T as uniformly as possible then hold it close to a light bulb at all different angles to even more uniformly distribute the D2T. Then I let them completely dry in an upright position. I just dunno as far as the balance issue goes, I've got non-jointed cranks that swim straight but in a "15 degrees off vertical position" and it drives me nuts!

    The other thing that I'm not so sure about is the added thickness to the middle section(where I added 1/16" of balsa to each side). I thought this would be a good idea and would help it wiggle better but now I'm not so sure since my single-jointed was uniform thickness and was the only one to swim properly.
     
  14. Pizza, a few things I've learned in my short time making lures that may or may not be of help. I had a few of my prototypes leaning like you are saying and it was due to the weight placement. What I found is that it was really hard to find exact center after I had rounded off the lure. Now I mark my holes right after I cut out the bait and still have nice square edges. With a new design you can just scribe a centerline then round off the edges, find the spots for the weight and fill in the line with epoxy.

    Another thing I do is seal the blank after I've drilled the holes. That way I can play with the weight placement in a bucket to get the lure to sit level or drop how I want it to without worrying about water seeping into the wood. I usually over-weight them a little then slowly drill out lead until it's where I want it. I don't really have any that sit crooked since I messed up those prototypes but if I did I could drill out lead from one side to straighten it up.

    The last thing I wanted to mention is after I have them weighted and the holes filled I put on a coat of etex. I started doing this because I think it was Vince that said it fills in all the scratches and gives a nice smooth surface to paint over plus if you mess up the paint you can just wipe it down and start over. What I really like about it though is that I can go to the pond and try them out before I spend a bunch of time finishing them. That's what takes me the longest.

    Hope this helps somewhat, from one beginner to another, lol.