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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've already forgotten which of my first batch of crankbaits is designed to run deep and which is designed to run shallow. I can guess from the size and angle of the bill, but aside from that, what methods do y'all use?

I'd heard a suggestion to write the running depth on the bill... I tried using a normal sharpie, and after one day's use, my experiment is a barely-visible shadow. I've got an etching pen (not electric) that won't wear off, but I'm afraid it would affect the run of the lure. Should I look for a paint pen, or is there another better way?

Thanx - lefty
 
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Yeah, maybe. If you have a depth finder on your yak or your partner does. Cast it out and troll it under a buddies boat and you will know how deep it runs with the line on your reel. That is a lot better than you will get off the box. if you don't have a depth finder you ought to just go fish it for all the difference it will make. You were right on about the size and shape of the bill as well as the angle. You could just troll around and go back to the first spot you think it was and drop a lead line down but you will never know for sure how close to the right spot you were.Casting it out and trolling under your buddies boat near his transducer would be most reliable. You can always take a sounding to check the accuracy of his fish finder. You could probably get a reading in one pass if you approach his yak pointing the same direction as he is. Pass close by and and then cross his bow and immediately resume your original heading. Line size and distance back have a lot to do with the depth a lure will run. Speed also figures into it. You want to test it under the same conditions you will be fishing it. I think you will learn a little by doing that.... although it might not help you catch fish. Another way to check the accuracy of his depth finder is against yours if you have one. You can raft up and switch one on long enough to get a reading and turn that one off and check the other. If they are the same you can be reasonably sure they are both accurate.
 

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Most of the manufacturers state on the box or somewhere in their literature how deep the baits are designed to run.

Here is a link to a good website that talks about trolling crankbaits/lures and depths.
Welcome to Precision Angling!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Most of the manufacturers state on the box or somewhere in their literature how deep the baits are designed to run.
Problem is that I don't keep 'em in the manufacturer's box, and I don't keep all the literature with each. Once they go into the Plano boxes, all that literature is lost.

I initially tried cutting out the little box-top part that included that info, and taping it into each compartment in my plano box, but wound up "reorganizing" the lures, so all that got scrambled.

Al, your idea of retrieving under my own sonar might not be a bad idea... although offhand, it seems I'd still want some indication of shallow/medium/deep to stick with each lure, rather than having to try six shallow ones before I find a deep one to fish with that day... Although even when I've dropped my spinnerbait straight down, I've never seen it show up on my sonar... which perhaps might be cause for concern...

I like the idea of marking each lure, somehow. But I'd like to find a marking mechanism that does not "destroy" the action of the lure, and is gonna last. I'm not a precise enough fisherman to notice that the thing runs two-tenths of a degree more to the left than it used to, but if the thing just turtles and floats instead of diving, that would not be good. My two best ideas at this point are that etching stylus and finding a paint pen of some sort.
 

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I take a permanent marker and put 1 dot on the bill for shallow, 2 for medium and three dots for deep. The bandit 100 would get 1 dot etc. Hasn't washed off yet but the mark is on the back side of the clear bill. You could use anything that left a perm mark. Because it faces forward I guess the fish can't see it.
 

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I think your depthfinder needs to be dialed in if it won't read a spinner bait. I've watched a crappie minnow swimming around many times with nothing more than a splitshot for weight. You should be able to watch a bait all the way down into a school of fish if you have the gain and sensitivety set right. I know you didn't throw that book away. Different sounders work differently, but if you have a narrow cone lower frequency model, that might be part of the problem. For kayaking a higher frequency and a wide cone would be the best. Read your manual and it should explain everything.
Here is a quick primer on crank bait lips. Lip in line with the body: deep runner.... lip near 45 degrees down angle medium runner.... lip straight out down and then back out or at a 45 but short.... shallow runner.... narrow lip: tight wiggle.... wide lip: slower wobble... Long inline wide lip with a cupped front edge: extra deep. Wide square lip: snag resistant when running into wood ect. (bass tend to hit them as they bounce oh a stump or log,)
Long inline lip: Good for bottom bumping (Plug runs at an angle picking hooks up behind plug)
45 down down and short rounded lip: sub surface 6"-24"
45down and clipped corner's:3'-6' intermediate wiggle not as snag resistant will hug whatever you bump it off of. Needs small extra short shank treble on front to fish cover and shallows otherwise better for deeper flats with few stickups etc.
 

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I think your depthfinder needs to be dialed in if it won't read a spinner bait. I've watched a crappie minnow swimming around many times with nothing more than a splitshot for weight. You should be able to watch a bait all the way down into a school of fish if you have the gain and sensitivety set right. I know you didn't throw that book away. Different sounders work differently, but if you have a narrow cone lower frequency model, that might be part of the problem. For kayaking a higher frequency and a wide cone would be the best. Read your manual and it should explain everything.
Here is a quick primer on crank bait lips. Lip in line with the body: deep runner.... lip near 45 degrees down angle medium runner.... lip straight out down and then back out or at a 45 but short.... shallow runner.... narrow lip: tight wiggle.... wide lip: slower wobble... Long inline wide lip with a cupped front edge: extra deep. Wide square lip: snag resistant when running into wood ect. (bass tend to hit them as they bounce oh a stump or log,)
Long inline lip: Good for bottom bumping (Plug runs at an angle picking hooks up behind plug)
45 down down and short rounded lip: sub surface 6"-24"
45down and clipped corner's:3'-6' intermediate wiggle not as snag resistant will hug whatever you bump it off of. Needs small extra short shank treble on front to fish cover and shallows otherwise better for deeper flats with few stickups etc.
Gee Sinker, good info. But now I have a headache...LOL :)
 

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If you are trolling or making fairly long cast the size and density of your line will make a big difference in the depth a lure runs. Braids will run deepest per rated strength, followed by copolymer lines followed by dense mono like Ande Back country and then standard mono. Small diameter=deep. Check the actual diameter either on the label or on a website. You can get by with 25lb line for shallow work but you need to decrease your line size as you try to gain depth. Yozuri Hybrid is a good line for trolling deep because it over tests for the rating. You need to go by their chart on their web site to see what I'm trying to tell you but their 12 lb test will break at 19 lbs and is very dense with low stretch so you get a better hookset at a longer distance. I hope this helps. It is a lot to absorb all at once.
 

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Sinker Man, everything you have said here is exactly what I was about to post. You beat me to it by just a few minutes. Strange how we had the same thoughts on the subject.:D:D:D


Jim
 

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perment marker i wright the depth on the bill.depth all depends on what test line and kind that it is..

i openith thy can o worms now..

first off the mass production made crankbaits now a days are done in vast numbers. you can buy 6 crankbaits same kind, color, ect.. none will run the excate same depth on the same line.. only 1 in 30 will have that lil something the others don't. that for some unexplained reason catches more and bigger fish..these i put a marker dot on..

zooker
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First off, the mass production-made crankbaits now-a-days are done in vast numbers. You can buy 6 crankbaits same kind, color, etc.. none will run the exact same depth on the same line.. Only 1 in 30 will have that lil something the others don't. That, for some unexplained reason catches more and bigger fish.. These I put a marker dot on.
zooker
Well, Zook, I don't think I'm at the stage where I'd notice a lure running at 5' when it's twin is running at 5'6". I'd probably blame the difference on my retrieve speed as soon as anything else. And I'm not ready to go buy 30 or more "identical" crankbaits to find the one that's better than all the others. I've heard of some of the pro's casting into their swimming pools to study the action of their lures -- something makes me think the folks at the Y would not appreciate that...

Sinkerman, thanks very much for the dissertation. That's gonna take some time to digest. I'd love to come up with a way to take some of that onto the water with me sometime, so I can watch how real-life matches up with what you've described. Gonna have to hunker down and study one of these days....
 

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I have been using Poe's 400 crankbaits for a long time, of course there are none like the original cedar wood Poe's. One thing (and I guess I really shouldn't be tell'n this) that I use to do with alot of mine is drill holes in them and put round split shot in them in various positions to get what ever effect I wanted. Once I would get it like I wanted I would seal it up with silicone. For instance a neutral buoyancy so the bait would stop dead still when you stop cranking or rise slowly or sink slowly, or wobble erractically, etc.

In my opinion the old original cedar wood baits can't be beat.
 

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Why don't you look them up at bass pro shops on line catalog. the depth they run at is often listed in the catalog. They have crankbaits in a section all by themselves. When you find one you recognize as one of the ones you have click on it for a description of depth action etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'd thought about that (actually I know most of them are Rapalas, so I was going to look on rapala.com) but was concerned that there might be invisible differences, or differences my eye was not trained to notice -- two visibly-identical lures with different weights or materials, for example... Might be worth a try after all!
 
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