Home­made Top Wa­ter Rat

Many an­glers wonder if it is worth­while to cre­ate their own lures.

SA Bass - - Sa Bass / D.I.Y. - >> Luke Eber­hardt* *Luke Eber­hardt is a ju­nior Protea bass an­gler

Go­ing through the process of build­ing my own lure or hard­bait and ac­tu­ally catch­ing a bass off of it is some­thing I’ve al­ways wanted to do. Es­pe­cially with the prices of the well known brands be­ing on the ex­pen­sive side.

I wanted to build some­thing of a top wa­ter na­ture. With all the most pop­u­lar top­wa­ter hard­baits in mind, I came up with the per­fect idea… a copy of the piv­ot­ing, tre­ble­hooked top wa­ter rat.

Af­ter gath­er­ing a few ma­te­ri­als I started to ex­per­i­ment and ended up us­ing the fol­low­ing:

QMBTUJD EJWJEFS GSPN BO PME MVSF CPY B TQSJOH MPDL TQSJOH GSPN B TXJNCBJU IPPL B QJFDF PG BO PME QJDL CSPPN IBOEMF Y TUBJOMFTT TUFFM TBMUXBUFS IPPLT 2VJDLTFU FQPYZ SFTJO JO XIJUF NN EPXFM UXP OFPO DPMPVSFE QMBTUJD CFBET NN TUBJOMFTT TUFFM XJSF NFEJVN TJ[F TQMJU SJOHT BOE B DBO PG QPMZ XBY TFBMFS ɨF UPPMT * NBEF VTF PG XFSF B ESJMM QSFTT NN NN NN BOE NN ESJMM CJUT B 'SFU TBX B %SFNFM UPPM BOE BO as­sort­ment of hand files and rasps. In to­tal, the project took me about two days to com­plete with all the test­ing and mod­i­fy­ing. My first step in the project was the cut or file a ba­sic body shape (9cm in length) of a rat out of the piece of pick han­dle, then go­ing on to sanding and fil­ing the fi­nal touches. The sec­ond step was to cut a half moon shape into the CBDL UIJSE PG UIF SBU T CPEZ XJUI B 'SFU TBX BOE ëMF BXBZ the sharp corners and edges. This left me with the head and tho­rax end and back end of the rat’s body.

The third step was to join the two halves of the rat’s body to­gether, I had a lot of ideas as to how I would go about doing this but chose the one I thought would be eas­i­est. ɨJT JT XIFSF * NBEF VTF PG UIF NN TUBJOMFTT TUFFM wire, the four re­main­ing stain­less hooks and the two neon plas­tic beads. * ESJMMFE UXP NN IPMFT PO UIF JOTJEF PG UIF IBMG NPPO cut on ei­ther side of the two halves of the rat. * UIFO DVU B NN QJFDF PG UIF TUBJOMFTT XJSF CFOU UIF one end closed, threaded a neon bead onto it, the four hook FZFT XIJDI * IBE BMSFBEZ DVU NN VQ UIF TIBGU MFBWJOH KVTU the eye and the shaft of the hooks, and then the fi­nal bead, bend­ing the other end of the wire closed af­ter­wards.

I then took the first and the third hook shaft that were threaded onto the stain­less wire and epoxy’d them into the UXP NN IPMFT * IBE ESJMMFE JOUP UIF IFBE TJEF PG UIF SBU

and then the sec­ond and the fourth shafts were epoxy’d into UIF SFNBJOJOH UXP NN IPMFT PO UIF CBDL FOE PG UIF SBU I now had my hinge to al­low the bait to pivot.

The fourth step was to drill a 4mm hole in the cen­tre of the rat’s back­side and epoxy in the spring lock spring off of the swimbait hook. I did this so I am able to at­tach a plas­tic XPSN UZQF UBJM UP UIF SBU 'SPN IFSF * XFOU PO UP ESJMMJOH UXP NN IPMFT VOEFSOFBUI UIF SBU T CPEZ PO FJUIFS TFDUJPO *O FBDI PG UIFTF NN IPMFT * JOTFSUFE UXP PG UIF TUBJOMFTT TUFFM IPPLT UIBU * IBE DVU Pê BCPVU NN VQ UIF TIBGU GSPN the eye of the hook; this was so I could at­tach two tre­ble IPPLT POUP FBDI FZF XJUI UIF NFEJVN TJ[F TQMJU SJOHT The fifth step was cut­ting a ten de­gree an­gled slit with UIF 'SFU TBX JO GSPOU PG UIF ëSTU USFCMF IPPL FZF OFBS UIF OPTF of the bait to in­sert and epoxy in the plas­tic di­vider piece for

B CJMM XIJDI * UIFO DVU BOE TIBQFE XJUI UIF %SFNFM UPPM UP UIF TJ[F * XBOUFE Af­ter this, I worked out where I wanted to place the line UJF BOE ESJMMFE BOPUIFS NN IPMF VOEFSOFBUI UIF OPTF PG the bait and epoxy’d in an­other hook eye which I had cut; this one was slightly big­ger than the two I had used from the tre­ble hooks.

The sixth step only came about af­ter test­ing but I sup­pose if I had used the right wood, I would not have had to do this. Af­ter dunk­ing the bait into the pool a few UJNFT * SFBMJ[FE UIBU JU XBT OPU CVPZBOU FOPVHI BOE BMNPTU sus­pend­ing in mid-wa­ter. Af­ter this ob­ser­va­tion, I came up with the idea to add air to the body of the rat to achieve the buoy­ancy I wanted. 8JUI B NN ESJMM CJU * ESJMMFE UIJSUFFO IPMFT JO UPUBM into the body of the bait in the ar­eas I thought it needed to be buoy­ant. Some of the holes go­ing right through the bait and some half way in. I then cut 3 to 4mm pieces of the NN EPXFM * IBE BOE ADPSLFE FBDI IPMF PO FJUIFS FOE UP cre­ate air pock­ets in­side the body of the rat. The sev­enth step XBT ëOJTIJOH UIF SBU Pê 'PS UIF MBTU time, I mixed up an epoxy fill­ing and seal­ing off all the nicks and gaps in the bait where I had in­serted my dowel plugs, sanded the whole bait down and sealed it off with a rea­son­able coat­ing of poly-wax sealer.

The eighth and fi­nal step was find­ing the right drop shot type worm to act as a tail for the rat that I would screw onto the spring-lock spring at the back of the bait. I haven’t de­cided what colour to paint the rat or fill in any de­tail as of yet.

I have since tested the bait and was pleas­antly sur­prised! It floats per­fectly and swims like the real thing. In ac­tual fact, I had a fish blow up on it when fish­ing it early in the morn­ing on the day I fin­ished it but in my ex­cite­ment of catch­ing a fish on my new bait, I pulled the bait away with­out let­ting the fish grab a hold of it prop­erly and missed it.

The build did not cost me much at all as most of the ma­te­ri­als I al­ready had ly­ing around. It just took a bit of pa­tients and el­bow grease but I now have my very own home-made top­wa­ter rat.

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STEP 7

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