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First Lures (not flies)

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32 replies to this topic

#31 Capt Bob LeMay

Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 04:20 PM

All of the advice given here is very sound.. Wish I'd had access to a site like this all those years ago... back before the computer age when all we had were a few monthly magazines and an occasional fishing show to go by.... 


Here locally we really do have fish that will attack a brand new, well built plug and simply pull the hooks off of it... It's been a long time since I deliberately went looking for jack crevalle in the 20 to 30lb category so the only ones we ever encounter these days are the smaller ones that are less than 20lbs (and unless they're blowing up everything in sight you just wouldn't know one is around until you're bit and yelling at your partner to "start the motor" since the first 30 minutes or so you'll be chasing what you've hooked...).  They not only attack ferociously but actually have the horsepower needed to take any rod to its limits -not to mention what they can do to a lure or fly.... I don't count sharks since you never get back any plug that they eat, period... so it doesn't matter how well it's made as long as it will stay together during the fight... The first time a big blacktip hunts down and eats a fly or a lure will get your attention.  Not many sharks will jump when hooked up.  The blacktip not only jumps - it comes up spinning like a missile... very hard on lure or fly and also the leader (even with ten feet of heavy leader...).


Straightening hooks, tearing up leaders, taking all your line and simply never slowing down - all are possible where I am... When you've lived down here in south Florida for years you begin to take it all for granted... 

Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#32 tidewaterfly


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Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:45 PM


The debate over thru wire and screw eyes is long and will never end. I use to do thru wire for my striper plugs and screw in for your freshwater bass stuff. I have read tests of proper length epoxied in screw eyes being stronger then the wood itself so I believe thru wire is not necessary for my fishing and 99% of all other fishing. If your fishing for something that is going to break a piece of wood, not called balsa and basswood, then I guess thru wire reigns supreme. I've caught many large stripers and Slammer blues on screw eye wood plugs with never an issue but that's the extent of my large fish fishing. Thru wire does over piece of mind over the long haul.

The placing of weight in various amounts and locations in a plug along the length is more for the levelness of the sink or buoyancy. The placing of weight up or down from the center line of the plug is what determines, along with shape, the amount of wiggle/wobble or glide a bait has. There's a lot more to Lure building then simply carving out a fish shape, painting it and slapping hooks and lips on them.

Some of the striper plugs made by noted builders in NJ sell for 60 bucks and up to hundreds. They have tested the crap out of their lures and are able to duplicate them. They use all thru wire construction by the way. I made quite a few myself and even built a duplicator for my lathe so I could turn consistent shapes. The weighting and testing and weighting and testing of unfinished plugs was the time consuming part and it must be done after sealer is applied but before the final paint job and with all the hardware temporarily installed. I called it quits because it was simply way to much work before even one workable plug was produced. I still have various plug body's laying around hoping to "get back to it"





Poopdeck, that's very cool! I didn't know you were a plug builder! Indeed, there's much more to it than most folks realize. I've followed several of the builders who frequent the Stripers Online Lure building forum, and they spend a lot of time & effort building a lure as you've mentioned. I know there are some lures that have become highly valued for collectors and folks will pay more that the $100 you mentioned. Most of the wood surf "fishing" lures that I've seen, are closer to the $30-$40 range new, but as you say, some demand higher prices.  


I played around making a few wood poppers when I was in my teens. Broom handle poppers, with screw eyes. Didn't know anything about how to build them or properly weight them and they were not good to cast or to fish. I finally gave up & just stick to purchased lures.


I may have around 100 large lures now, both plastic and wood and many were acquired used. I don't see much of the corrosion issue around the wire or screw eyes as Mike indicated, but there is rust stains on some of them from hooks rusting. It's a battle trying to keep them in decent shape and even harder if they're not done right to begin with. 

#33 Poopdeck


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Posted 06 November 2019 - 11:59 PM

Just to be clear, I was never a plug builder. I was a fledgling plug builder who stopped because the testing process was so time consuming that I had to give up either plug building, fishing, my family or my career. I choose to give up plug building. I can turn or carve a plug shape in a matter of a handful of minutes. I could drill holes, thru wire and attached hooks and lips in a handful of minutes. Sealing, priming and painting took a few days but the testing took far more time then everything else combined.

My hats off to the true plug builders in NJ because I know it has taken them years if not decades, to hone their craft. I would not want to sully their names by including me in that group. Maybe one day I'll pick it up again who knows but right know this fly fishing thing is keeping me busy.