The Real Weight of Lures: An Experiment

Hey all, long time lurker first time poster but I thought some of you might be interested in this. It started with me being curious about the relationship between the lure rating on rods and throwing soft plastics. We know how much the jig heads weigh, but we don't know how much we are adding for the soft plastics. I've often been told that most rods have a sweet spot in their lure ratings, and don't work quite as efficiently at the very upper and very lower end of those ratings. (as well as outside those ratings) I suspected that many people, myself included, were using jig heads that were in fact too heavy in an attempt to match the rod's "sweet spot" in it's lure rating. In doing so, we may be missing the mark by failing to take into account the weight of the plastic. I got a hold of a gram scale and started checking the weights of not just my plastics, but of hard baits and other tackle too, and the results were pretty interesting.

A quick conversion of ounces to grams, rounded. There are 28 grams and some change in an ounce, but I'll just use 28 here for simplicity.

1/16= 1.75
1/8 = 3.5
3/16= 5.25
1/4 = 7
3/8 = 10.5
1/2 = 14
5/8 = 17.5
3/4 = 21

And here are the results I got:

3" DOA Shad Tail: 5.25 grams. Exactly 3/16oz.
4" DOA Jerk bait: 5.68 grams. Little more than 3/16
5" Exude RT slug: 8.8 grams. Well over 1/4oz, this could be thrown with just a worm hook most of the time, you don't even need a jig head unless you want the action from it.
3" DOA Curl tail: 4.00 grams. About an 1/8oz on it's own.
Cajun Thunder oval popping cork: 13.7 grams. About 1/2oz. This might have been more well known but I didn't realize they were this heavy.
DOA CAL 1/8oz Short Shank jighead: 5.3 grams. That is over 3/16 of an oz. Definitely not 1/8. I thought maybe I had gotten a mislabeled pack but don't see 3/16 heads on DOA's website.
Strike King 1/8oz Flats jighead: 5.16 grams. This came from a redfish magic. The second 1/8oz jig that came out closer to 3/16. Again I wondered if I forgot what I bought, but no 3/16 on the SK website.
Strike King 1/4oz Flats jighead: 7.4 grams. Made the 1/8oz discrepancy even more confusing, as the 1/4oz version is spot on. Also came from a redfish magic.
Owner 1/8oz Twistlock hook: 3.25 grams. A little underweight, but not enough to matter. Could be from bits of lead getting knocked of the sinker bit over time.
Berkley 7" Power Worm: 5.45 grams. For the freshwater guys. Came in a a bit over 3/16oz.

This isn't everything I weighed, but this were the most interesting findings. I'm really confused about 1/8oz jigs from two different manufactures coming in at closer to 3/16, but in practical application that is just nitpicking. What I really take from this is that you might not need to use as much weight as you think you do to hit that "sweet spot" of weight in your rod where it works most efficiently. For example, I realize now that I can probably get by with 1/16oz jig heads for some applications, and using 1/4oz is probably to heavy for my smaller rods depending on the situation; I now see that I can use a 1/16oz head on a 3" curl tail or shad tail and it would probably be close to the sweet spot in my 1/8-1/2 rated ML rod. Before, I would've automatically assumed this would be too light to throw. On the other hand, my Cajun Thunder cork is pushing the limits of that same rod. If nothing else, I think it is interesting to see how soft plastics actually weigh more than we think they do, and in some applications actually weigh more than the jig head they are normally paired with. Keep in mind, the scale I used probably has some error built in, and the weights can be thrown by use (things like paint or bits of lead being knocked off). I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone, but at the very least I think it is interesting.

Let me know what you think. Criticisms welcome!
God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools..

- John Muir

Replies

  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    Wow you must be using an expensive scale
    Let's go fishing!
  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,570 Captain
    Way toooo much time on your hands:grin
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    So you found another use for the scale after you use the scale.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • fishboyfishboy Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Way toooo much time on your hands:grin

    Haha, that's what i was thinking! No, but this pretty cool info to know! What I have wanted go know for a long time is what a small, medium and large unweighted live shrimp weigh, as well as greenies, and mullet... Then I could pick out the perfect rod for freelining!
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    fishboy wrote: »
    Haha, that's what i was thinking! No, but this pretty cool info to know! What I have wanted go know for a long time is what a small, medium and large unweighted live shrimp weigh, as well as greenies, and mullet... Then I could pick out the perfect rod for freelining!

    NOW THAT'S AN IDEA!
    Let's go fishing!
  • haydenfox!#$haydenfox!#$ Posts: 2,382 Captain
    So you found another use for the scale after you use the scale.

    Now , now... :ontopic
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,309 Admiral
    So you found another use for the scale after you use the scale.

    That's what I was thinking.:rotflmao
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • LinesideHunterLinesideHunter Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    I was actually thinking this same thing about the weights of live shrimp and other baits, and have been planning to try that. I think there would be a lot of variance in an organic entity, but we can get a pretty good idea. Next time I get some live bait I'll try to weigh a freshly dead specimen, since a live one might pose some difficulty. I'll get back to you on that.

    Oh, and for what it's worth to everyone, I promise there is nothing nefarious involved here! haha. I just like gadgets and science.
    God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools..

    - John Muir
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,340 Captain
    The problem is that manufacturers don't have a standardized method for rating blanks.
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    With how accurately you wield those small weight conversions and that scale, I bet you were really popular in college.
  • fishboyfishboy Posts: 1,326 Officer
    With how accurately you wield those small weight conversions and that scale, I bet you were really popular in college.

    hahahahaha!!
  • LinesideHunterLinesideHunter Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    With how accurately you wield those small weight conversions and that scale, I bet you were really popular in college.

    Just remember, the computer you used to make that comment wouldn't exist if it wasn't for nerds. ;)
    God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools..

    - John Muir
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    Nerds of today are the millionaires of tomorrow
    Let's go fishing!
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    Just remember, the computer you used to make that comment wouldn't exist if it wasn't for nerds. ;)

    Just remember, that wasn't a nerd joke
  • golflaxfishgolflaxfish Posts: 455 Deckhand
    Way toooo much time on your hands:grin


    just what I was thinking...
    1970 23 Seabird
  • sethooktmsethooktm Posts: 47 Deckhand
    Good info.. I usually go a little heavy on jig heads and will take this into consideration in the future
    Let's Fish!:fishing
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    Nerds of today are the millionaires of tomorrow

    Nerds of today are the nerds of tomorrow.:smiley-computer
  • twirptwirp Posts: 1,128 Officer
    I did this in my garage a few years back, but didn't post it. I just figured I was doing something that made sense, and that everyone else did too. Obviously a 1/8oz. jig head weighs much more with a paddle tail on it. Good write up, and nice info....It should be a sticky! I don't know if it helped, or hurt my casting, but I know I cover a lot of water per cast, and I can feel a fish fart, much less tap my lure. Thank you for your post!
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  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,244 Officer
    Gulp?
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  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Hate to ask, but does a 1/4 oz jig INCLUDE the weight of the hook? Also, thanks for taking the time to post this information.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • temmortemmor Posts: 74 Greenhorn
    The labeled weight of the jig head does include the hook. This brings up a point - molds are made for a specific hook design and the weight of individual hooks will vairy by manufacturer and often from run to run of hooks from the same hook manufacturer. This means that there will always be small variations in jig head weights.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Interesting topic, but really not worth discussion, except to say that "yes," every rod has a perfect weight lure that it will cast in a seemingly effortless manner. I actually had a rod, many years ago (a fiberglass rod) that cast one of my striped bass lures in that manner.

    BUT...I also noticed that I had to cast in the same manner, every time, in order to achieve this. If I wanted to make a shorter cast, the rod would not load the same and I would lose that effortlessness. Same would be true if I needed to reach out a little more for a longer cast....the rod loaded more and I lost the same feeling.

    We didn't have soft plastics back then, but they compound the problem even more....and the reason is wind resistance. Whereas it might be possible to find that "sweet weight" for one of your rods.....it will work for hard baits and jigs with hair tails, because when wet, the air resistance remains nil. I imagine it would also work with a short soft plastic grub tail, the kind with a fan tail, like a shrimp's.

    But if you replace that grub tail with a lizard-style soft plastic...even of the same weight...this lizard tail has 4 little legs and maybe a long corkscrew tail. It is going to be MUCH MORE wind resistant than the grub. Wind resistance comes into play during the casting motion, as well as while the bait is in flight to the target.

    Then, like I said before, you get into issues with varying degrees effort put into each cast. This will again throw you off and I think more so today with graphite rods. In the end, it is just not worth the effort to try and find this match. Back to my striped bass......With the way I like to fish for them, I could get away with just 2 plugs/lures; one top water and one swimmer. So I suppose I could get away with just 2 rods, if I could find them to match the weights of those lures. However, if I wanted to throw soft plastics to stripers, I could conceivably need a different rod for just a 5/8 oz. head and each of the different plastic tails that I might want to use, and this would be because of the different amounts of wind resistance in each different style of tail.

    In the end, it is probably good to try to get close, but other than that, don't worry about it. OBTW I put about as much faith in the range of lure weights on that little decal, as I do for what the mfgrs. put for line tests. Half of what you see there, is for warranty purposes and not for your ultimate fishing enjoyment. just MHO.
    .......Rick
  • If1shalldayIf1shallday Posts: 464 Officer
    Hmm interesting
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,456 Officer
    Very neat that you learned a lot of info on the true weight of different lures and rigs.

    However IMHO you should take this info and apply it more as to how it pertains to depth and speed of the presentation to the fish, and less to what rod casts it perfectly.

    That is, if your fishing and not just having a casting contest. :wink

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Very neat that you learned a lot of info on the true weight of different lures and rigs.

    However IMHO you should take this info and apply it more as to how it pertains to depth and speed of the presentation to the fish, and less to what rod casts it perfectly.

    That is, if your fishing and not just having a casting contest. :wink

    ^^...exactly.
    .......Rick
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