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Why won’t this lure swim right?

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I found this lure with the hooks rusted off of it, but it cleaned up nice and I really like the paint job. I put some hooks on it and it swam kinda sideways and didn’t want to dive much, so I put these over-size hooks on it, it still swam about the same, so I put a 1/32 ounce bullet weight pegged right on the lip to see if that would force the nose down. It swam/dived better, but still wacky. You might say it “hunts”, I dunno, I’ve never been real clear on what that means exactly, other than it runs wacky - sometimes left, sometimes right, sometimes shallow, sometimes deeper. Without the bullet weight, it’s not really usable.

 

I’ve seen bills like this before that aren’t quite squarebills, but not quite a diving bill, and they never swim right to me.

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Google, “tuning a crankbait”.  Might be as simple as bending the attachment for the o-ring to either side.

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   Rattles/weights frozen inside?

   Cracked and got water inside?     jj

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6 minutes ago, bassh8er said:

Google, “tuning a crankbait”.  Might be as simple as bending the attachment for the o-ring to either side.

I've tuned a crankbait before, I don't think that's the issue here, but I will give it a try.

 

3 minutes ago, jimmyjoe said:

   Rattles/weights frozen inside?

   Cracked and got water inside?     jj

Rattles good, not sticky. Body is in great shape, not cracked.

 

This is more an issue of how that bill is designed I think. A squarebill is square and thin, this is designed like a diving lip sort of, but it's short and it doesn't flare out, and the line eye is on the body, not the bill. Maybe it's just a cheap lure, but I was really impressed with how well the gloss and paint held up. It was really nasty when I found it. I thought maybe it was a decent lure since it held up so well.

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I think it's a cheapo, as you suggested.  That bill is really thick.  If anything might help it would be smaller hooks rather than bigger, I would think.  Use a small snap (not snap swivel), and try gently bending the eye to the right and/or left just a little.  Doesn't take much.  If you can get a decent wobble, with the lure staying upright, hunting is not necessarily bad.

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It may be an old Cotton Cordell Big O. The new ones don't look as nice - they have painted eyes and the bill is painted, but the bill design looks the same and I've had trouble with other CC cranks swimming right. So yeah, cheapo.
 

Quote

The Big O was Cotton Cordell’s first “million-seller,” the first square-lip crankbait ever created.

 

 

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I don't think it is a Big O.  Big O bill is uniformly thick for its length, not tapered like this one.

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7 minutes ago, MickD said:

I don't think it is a Big O.  Big O bill is uniformly thick for its length, not tapered like this one.

Yeah, and it looks like the eyes have always been painted on Big O's.

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The eyelet does look a bit off, but what gets me is how that overly thick bill lines up perfectly with the lower body.... just doesn't seem engineered properly to me (this coming from an engineer). That design can't plane correctly as it sits.

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I just realized I have another lure that I also found, by the same manufacturer (whoever that is). The gill design is unique. I don't see it on TW, or google, so I'm guessing it's some foreign knockoff company, maybe something from Walmart. The other lure has a nice paint job too, but it had hooks on it when I found it and they were super-cheap looking. So I guess it's just junk with a nice paint job.

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Do the new hooks match the size of the old hooks? If they are bigger, that will definitely change the way the bait moves.

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The first place I'd start is the hooks, those are way to big for that bait. After you get proper size hooks try it and see how it runs, if it is moving off to the left then take a needle nose pliers and GENTLY turn the line tie to the right. I emphasized gently because it only needs to move a tiny amount to make a difference. Even cheap cranks will swim straight and catch fish but they are more prone to having what I call "fatal flaws" which are manufacturing defects that cause them to be junk from the factory.  The last thing I just noticed is the split rings, they shouldn't cause any swimming issues but they are sprung and I'm guessing it happened putting the larger hooks on so they need changed as well. Just so you understand, there are heavy wire and light wire treble hooks and the weight difference could affect the bait in a negative way but high end crankbaits are usually more weight sensitive than cheaper ones. 

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I'd throw it away . Sometimes crankbaits just dont work .

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24 minutes ago, scaleface said:

I'd throw it away . Sometimes crankbaits just dont work .

Quite possible why @fin has it now and not the original owner. :)

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That's designed to run shallow. It's a short bill, and the line tie is on the body, not towards the end of the bill. So yes, it will "hunt" shallow - that's a good thing. You want an erratic crankbait because they illicit sometimes vicious strikes.

 

I'd use a #1 snap, rather than tying directly. That will help it run to it's full potential.

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I put a smaller/lighter hook on the tail, put an oval split ring on the nose and put a 1" Norman Speed Clip on that, and it swam great. I never got around to trying it without the Speed Clip. I think it was a combination of not being balanced heavier in the front so that its nose was down, and maybe being tied directly to the eye instead of a split ring or clip was contributing to the problem. The split ring and clip gets the center of balance out towards the lip more, if that makes any sense. Or maybe it was just the weight of the split ring and the clip.

 

3 hours ago, smalljaw67 said:

The first place I'd start is the hooks, those are way to big for that bait.

Yes, too big for sure, I was just trying to get it heavier to get the lure down. Now I see I just needed to only get the front down.

 

2 hours ago, Glenn said:

That's designed to run shallow. It's a short bill, and the line tie is on the body, not towards the end of the bill. So yes, it will "hunt" shallow - that's a good thing. You want an erratic crankbait because they illicit sometimes vicious strikes.

I think what I've learned here is that with that type of bill and line tie setup, balancing the lure heavy towards the tail will cause it to run more erratic. It was just too erratic - too far out of balance. I just need to tweak it to find the right balance.

 

I'm still curious about who made it. I was trying to find out the original hook size.

 

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19 minutes ago, fin said:

I put a smaller/lighter hook on the tail, put an oval split ring on the nose and put a 1" Norman Speed Clip on that, and it swam great. I never got around to trying it without the Speed Clip. I think it was a combination of not being balanced heavier in the front so that its nose was down, and maybe being tied directly to the eye instead of a split ring or clip was contributing to the problem. The split ring and clip gets the center of balance out towards the lip more, if that makes any sense. Or maybe it was just the weight of the split ring and the clip.

 

Yes, too big for sure, I was just trying to get it heavier to get the lure down. Now I see I just needed to only get the front down.

 

I think what I've learned here is that with that type of bill and line tie setup, balancing the lure heavy towards the tail will cause it to run more erratic. It was just too erratic - too far out of balance. I just need to tweak it to find the right balance.

 

I'm still curious about who made it. I was trying to find out the original hook size.

 

I don't know how big that bait is but when it comes to cranks a #6 treble is almost standard on most except a few smaller baits that use #8s and larger cranks that use #4s.

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You can see in the first pic the line tie is messed up turned toward the left of the bait just a touch. Twist it back to the right and drop down to a size 6 hook and she will run

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I bought a couple of those exact crankbaits last year because they were super cheap so I thought what the heck. They are absolutely garbage. Didn't run right for me either.

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3 hours ago, Hower08 said:

You can see in the first pic the line tie is messed up turned toward the left of the bait just a touch. Twist it back to the right and drop down to a size 6 hook and she will run

It looks off in the picture, but it must be an optical illusion. I had it running perfect without tuning.

 

16 minutes ago, Glaucus said:

I bought a couple of those exact crankbaits last year because they were super cheap so I thought what the heck. They are absolutely garbage. Didn't run right for me either.

Was it Walmart?

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AHH! Sports Liquidators are back in business. (those fishing in the 60's / 70's know what i'm talking about)...

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9 minutes ago, fin said:

It looks off in the picture, but it must be an optical illusion. I had it running perfect without tuning.

 

Was it Walmart?

Yes

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Slow waaaaay down and crawl the bait.  If you're lucky it may be useable with a desirable hunting action.  I have a few baits that are super unstable by design and have to be fished very slowly to work otherwise they just blow out and belly up.

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1 hour ago, BaitFinesse said:

Slow waaaaay down and crawl the bait.  If you're lucky it may be useable with a desirable hunting action.  I have a few baits that are super unstable by design and have to be fished very slowly to work otherwise they just blow out and belly up.

You're right that slowing it way down will help some.

 

You might try adding some weight to the nose, or put on a smaller tail hook like I did, if you want to stabilize any of your lures (I understand some people want them slightly unstable).

 

The main thing is changing the angle of the bill as it sits in the water. The closer the bill comes to being horizontal, the less unstable it becomes. With a diver bill that has the line tie on the bill itself, the lure will nose down when you retrieve. With the line tie on the body, it won't nose down unless the bill is sitting at a steep enough angle.

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You can try adding some suspend dots or strips to the belly of the bait near the front hook hanger.  That is where the ballast weight is usually located on crankbaits.  If it had insufficient weight from the factory adding some could help.

 

I've gone out my way to buy baits without a ballast weight that are highly unstable by design.  The Imakatsu Waddle Buggy is a haunting wake bait without a ballast weight and is kept semi stable by the blade on the back creating drag.  You have to crawl it with a lower IPT reel but it goes bonkers under the surface.

 

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