Bagley Pro Jeff Gustafson talks about balsa crankbaits, Bass Pro exclusive colors, and the tournament setups he uses on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Back in the 1960s, Jim Bagley, founder of Bagley Bait, was inspired by the growing popularity of using balsa wood to manufacture fishing lures. Recognized as both a natural and superior material, when compared to other woods and plastics used for making fishing lures on the market, balsa’s ability to replicate the swimming actions of baitfish outperformed the competition.
However, during that time, most balsa baits were lighter and hard to cast. Because of this, Jim saw an opportunity to create a heavier, more castable bait to attract larger bass. The HCM manufacturing process is a cutting-edge alternative to the traditional balsa carving method. It allows for unlimited design opportunities by freeing the lure designer to precisely position internal weighting for optimal balance points.
The traditional process could not achieve this type of perfection. When the balsa is sectioned, its halves are placed into a heated metal mold. They are then compressed together to form the mirror left and right halves of a particular lure model. The heated molds cause the balsa body form to shrink. It then slightly burns the wood to create a harder balsa exterior. The compression creates truer consistency in lure weight. And the heat process tightens the wood grain to create a smoother exterior surface. This also requires fewer coats of primer and paint.
By reimagining how to manufacture balsa for Bagley fishing lures, this new age of Bagley Bait products and lures can catch bigger game fish! Learn more about Bagley Baits and watch how our national and regional pro staff use our crankbaits to catch more and bigger bass. Buy your Bagley balsa crankbaits, like the Sunny B, Pro Sunny B, and Balsa B1 and B2, so you are ready for that next bass fishing trip.