TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

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TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby Cal » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:27 pm

TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

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Introduction: With the cold weather upon us we spend more time in the lab at this time of year and take a closer look at some of the most interesting new products in our ongoing autopsy series. The next product to go under the blade is an interesting new squarebill from Rapala called the BX Brat, and what makes this bait so interesting is the hybrid design which incorporates a balsa wood core and a plastic outer shell.

Complete Article: http://tackletour.com/autopsyrapalabxbrat.html
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Re: TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby mark poulson » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:00 am

Cal,
I understand that the copolymer coating coating makes the balsa more durable, and allows for better paint jobs, but, other than filling the inner void, what purpose does the balsa serve?
Mark

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Re: TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby Cal » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:28 am

mark poulson wrote:Cal,
I understand that the copolymer coating coating makes the balsa more durable, and allows for better paint jobs, but, other than filling the inner void, what purpose does the balsa serve?
Mark


Maybe ask the editor who wrote the article ;) :lol:

My guess is buoyancy
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Re: TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby mark poulson » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:36 am

Cal wrote:
mark poulson wrote:Cal,
I understand that the copolymer coating coating makes the balsa more durable, and allows for better paint jobs, but, other than filling the inner void, what purpose does the balsa serve?
Mark


Maybe ask the editor who wrote the article ;) :lol:

My guess is buoyancy


Well, I thought, since you were on speaking terms with him... ;)
Seriously, air is more buoyant than balsa, so there must be another reason.
Of course, it could just be a marketing ploy, but I'm thinking it may make the copolymer less prone to cracking, or let them use a different/softer plastic formula.
Maybe it has a different sound when it bangs off of rocks.
So many questions, so little time! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby Zander » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:18 am

Balsa historically has been a really good material but as mentioned in the autopsy it does have limitations. Why it is still used in the core is for consistency. Like I duscussed in the autopsy the same properties of a complete balsa bait is what Rapala is trying to achieve, only with enhanced durability and better finishes. This includes a predictable and consistent bouyancy that is less affected by the tempature and also offers good deflection. With a consistent balsa core the bait can be finely tuned for rise rate, one that is not too slow or quick. The balsa core also adds a distinct sound when it is deflected, and will be more solid than a bait with a large cavity. Whether or not that attracts more fish is debatable but fans of balsa baits swear by the difference. With the hybrid bait it’s a nice middle ground for fans of balsa.

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Re: TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby mark poulson » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:41 pm

Zander wrote:Balsa historically has been a really good material but as mentioned in the autopsy it does have limitations. Why it is still used in the core is for consistency. Like I duscussed in the autopsy the same properties of a complete balsa bait is what Rapala is trying to achieve, only with enhanced durability and better finishes. This includes a predictable and consistent bouyancy that is less affected by the tempature and also offers good deflection. With a consistent balsa core the bait can be finely tuned for rise rate, one that is not too slow or quick. The balsa core also adds a distinct sound when it is deflected, and will be more solid than a bait with a large cavity. Whether or not that attracts more fish is debatable but fans of balsa baits swear by the difference. With the hybrid bait it’s a nice middle ground for fans of balsa.


That makes sense, at least to me, but I'm a retired carpenter, so what do I know? :lol:

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Re: TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby Zander » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:05 pm

Hahah then you probably know the properties of different wood materials better than anyone. When working on this autopsy I had to reach out to a lot of crankbait anglers that favor balsa, including ones that still build their own balsa baits and won't fish anything else. Sure, there is the marketing angle here that is designed to appeal to balsa crankbait fans, but one thing that everyone I talked to when researching was the common goal of achieving more "consistency" in feel, deflection, and rise that balsa offers. I'm not even close to enough field time with the Brat to attest to that but so many of these crankbait anglers swear by them so I think its worth exploring more.

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Re: TackleTour Autopsy: A Brat to the Balsa Core, the new Rapala BX Squarebill

Postby mark poulson » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:54 pm

Zander wrote:Hahah then you probably know the properties of different wood materials better than anyone. When working on this autopsy I had to reach out to a lot of crankbait anglers that favor balsa, including ones that still build their own balsa baits and won't fish anything else. Sure, there is the marketing angle here that is designed to appeal to balsa crankbait fans, but one thing that everyone I talked to when researching was the common goal of achieving more "consistency" in feel, deflection, and rise that balsa offers. I'm not even close to enough field time with the Brat to attest to that but so many of these crankbait anglers swear by them so I think its worth exploring more.


I'm sold. I'll try one this spring, and I build balsa cranks!


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