Weighting wood baits

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by vc1111, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. This is general information about weighting baits. Its an answer I posted on another board, but I thought I'd share it with fellow OGFers.

    Weighting a bait can provide a number of results. You may desire one or more of these results depending on the way you want the bait to run and how it will behave in the water during a pause in the retrieve process.

    One thing weight can do is cause the bait to sit upright in the water. Hook weight often achieves this result, but sometimes the wood has different qualities and different grain characteristics that cause the bait to lean to one side or the other at rest, so weighting the bait can cause it to sort of center when at rest and place the lip in the proper position to make the bait dive at the start of the retrieve.

    Weight can also help achieve neutral buoyancy which can make the bait hang in place during a pause in the retrieve process.

    You might also want the bait to hang nose down or tail down during a pause to create the image of a baitfish feeding on the bottom or maybe it can look injured with a tail down attitude during the pause.

    Weighting techniques are a matter of attaching the weight to the bait and testing it in water before actually inserting the wieght or weights into the bait. After a while, you can develop a "feel" for how much weight should be added with less testing than you might otherwise need.

    All in all, for the baits you build, which will probably be different than those built by others, will be a matter of trial and error. But it isn't brain surgery either. Tape the weight to the bait and place it in water and observe. Or put pins in the bottom of the bait and attach the weights to the pins and observe.

    Some guys drill holes in the bait in the approximate area they think its needs and they then pour hot lead into the hole. If they need to remove some, they simply take a drill and drill out some of the lead and test the bait again. I don't like the idea of messing with hot lead for obvious reasons, but I understand why some guys do. I prefer to buy Mojo sinkers in different sizes and drill holes to place the sinkers in the bait. You can use a variety of sinkers...split shots, barrel sinkers, etc.

    I like to glue the weights into the hole to make sure that inertia doesn't cause them to detach from the bait whle fishing. After inserting the weights in the holes, you'll need to fill the hole with something. A lot of people use either Devcon 2 ton epoxy or epoxy putty (also called plumber's putty) which can be found in the plumbing department at most hardware stores or departments. Epoxy putty works great. It dries in about an hour and then you can sand off the excess easily with a rotary tool and some sand paper or just plain sand paper. You should probably wear disposable vinyl gloves when mixing the epoxy putty as it tends to stick to your fingers and its tough to remove afterward.

    Epoxy putty comes in a roll like a giant Tootsie Roll. It has a light outer layer and a darker center. You simply cut off a piece and knead it with your fingers until its becomes all one color. You have about a 5 or 6 minute window in which to insert it in the hole and sort of flatten it to the contour of the bait. I usually leave a little excess to be sure I don't wind up with a concave depression when it hardens, although it does not shrink at all.

    It can be also be fun to experiment with baits you've purchased from commercial bait-making companies by weighting them. You can make a good bait into a great bait by simply adding some weight to make it suspend during the retrieve or maybe make it dive a bit deeper than it normally does. Muskies guys have been doing this since the beginning of time.:D Suicks are often weighted a bit to make the dive a bit deeper and behave better and more consistently.

  2. Thanks Vince. Very good information.

  3. Yes, thank you, very good info indeed.