Wood Trap?

This past winter while making some new crankbaits I found myself wondering why doesn’t anyone make a wood trap for bass?  To the best of my knowledge, all of the lipless crankbaits I have seen, in my lifetime, have all been made of plastic.  Now I’m not saying that a wood lipless crankbait doesn’t exist, but if it does it has been a pretty guarded secret in the bass world.

Flat Side Crankbait Body

So… I decided to make one.  Starting out with a flat-side wood crankbait body it appeared there really wasn’t much work that needed to be done.  The overall shape and profile was a pretty close match.  From what I could tell, all this wood body needed was a flat nose to create the tight vibration seen in a lipless crankbait.  To help create the proper shape and to identify the correct angle I just traced a 3″ ratltrap on a piece of paper and cut it out. Now the profiles didn’t match exactly but it did allow me to identify some key features to a proper running lipless crankbait.

  1. Angle of the flat nose
  2. Line tie placement
  3. Belly hook hanger placement

With those 3 features identified I also bored a small hole between the nose and the belly hook hanger and epoxied in a 3/16 oz tungsten weight to create the nose down positioning needed.  With a flat nose and the proper nose down posture I was pretty confident this bait would shake.  What I wasn’t sure about was will the bait swim correctly.  To help with this I decided to attach one of the medium sized decoy open swivels to the line tie.  Today was the initial test day so check out the video below.

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    1. Now that would be cool. Keep me posted on that idea. Would love to hear about what you come up with.

  1. Ryan
    Did it consistently run true? How about at burning speeds?
    You talked about going to a bigger single hook on your reg traps, whats the benefit? Do you get more vibration not having the tail hook because the ass end of the trap doesnt have to throw the hook around when in action?
    Interesting idea

    1. Zach, the bait ran very true. I think the decoy open eye swivel actually helped with that. I tried both a slow and fast retrieve and the bait stayed true. I read an article this past year where David Fritts was removing both trebles and only replacing the front one with a one size larger treble. i.e. taking of two #4’s and replacing the front one only with a #2 treble. David’s philosophy was that one larger hook would consistently be inside the mouth and there was no way the fish was going to throw the bait. After Wednesday’s outing I think he is right. Most of the time the fish couldn’t even open their mouth due to all three points being stuck inside the mouth. Not sure about the extra vibaration with no rear hook. In theory you would think it might help a little, but in all honesty that rear hook, regardless of size, doesn’t weigh all that much.

    1. Kevin, copper brown works very well on multiple bodies of water here in the NW. Copper/Brown, Straight Copper, and Copper/Black. We have had great success with this color for both smallmouth and Largemouth. Spinnerbaits, Lipless Cranks & Regular Crankbaits.

  2. Ryan, I’m clapping loudly! I’ve been making wooden traps for years and trying to get others excited about them. The sound of a wooden trap is lower pitched than a plastic one, making it more audible to fish (bass only hear in the 200-800hz range).

    And lets not forget that fish learn to recognize the sound of commonly used lures. In fact, they hear the sound long before they see the lure or feel the vibration. That’s what makes wooden traps lethal on pressured waters IMHO.

    I also make silent lipless lures, which are deadly reaction baits when conditions are tough. But that’s another story…..

    1. Greg, I figured someone must be doing this. We have continued to explore the wooden reaction bait topic even more now. Thanks for the feedback.