In July 2017, I came up with an idea to create a container that would store minnows under water and attract fish at the same time.
I purchased a roll of 1/4" wire mesh and some 1x6s at my local hardware store.
After cutting the mesh to length and width, I crimped the sides with my fingers in a manner similar to how HVAC ductwork is crimped, so the two sides would lock in place.
I cut three 4" wooden rings out of a 1/6" pine board using a 4" and 2 1/8" hole saw.
I stapled two of the rings to the wire mesh and planed the third ring to a thickness of approximately 1/2" for the lid, securing it in place with a bolt and wing nut.
For a handle, I added two eye screws to the side of one of the rings and tied yellow paracord to the eye screws.
I tried to find some inexpensive downrigger clips at local sporting goods stores, but they were all over $10 each. So, I purchased some hair clips and rubber bands and attached to the eye screws. After modifying the hair clips slightly, the downrigger worked better than I expected, holding the line well and released when I tugged on it.
My first prototype had two eye screws on the sides of the bottom to hold the rubber bands and clips for downriggers.
On later builds, I just attached the rubber bands (with clips) to the same eye screws used for the handle.
The wingnut (shown directly below the left cord handle) when tightened, will keep the lid in place (either opened or closed) .
This shows a work-in-process view of Bait Box construction.
I made about a dozen of this design.
Here you can see most of them. All but one are without handles, which I later added.
Also, none of these have rubber bands and clips, but were added later.
August 29, 2017 - I created a logo and product information sheet which I inserted inside the Bait box.
I thought I might try using a concrete ring for the bottom, instead of wood, to make it sink.
This was my first attempt at making them and it worked, but the concrete rings were tough to remove from the wooden forms and turned out pretty rough-looking.
Looking down over the top, you can see the 2 1/8" diameter scrap piece of wood (left over from when I cut one of the wooden rings) that I used that as a form for the inside of the concrete ring.
On the left side is the seam of wire mesh I doubled over, in HVAC duct-type fashion, to lock it together.
For several days, I tried to think of something better to use as a form for the concrete.
I finally figured it out, using the bottom of a 46-oz V8 Fusion bottle. It was the perfect diameter and when the concrete dried, it looked as smooth as plastic!
This partially completed Bait Box is turned upside down to show the concrete bottom.
I went to a few local outfitters and sold eight of the "Bait Box Sinkers" to them for $10 each. They marked them up to $15 on the shelves. Months later, I periodically checked to see if they sold any, but not even one sold.
Within about a month after embarking on the Bait Box experience, I began making walking sticks, which I find more enjoyable to make.
Without some type of tool to double the wire mesh over onto itself to lock in place, it is really tough on the fingers to make the Bait Boxes. Along with that, the time and materials involved with making Bait Box doesn't seem worth the amount of money people are willing to pay for one.
I'm going to chalk this up as a failed venture and probably won't make any more.