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Junk Fisherman

Loose keeper wires and hooks

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So I am a newbie and did my first run of Midwest Finesse jigs.  When breaking off the excess lead, many of the keepers and some hooks started to become loose.  I am trying to softly break off the excess lead.  My dropshot sinkers came out great.  Any tips would be appreciated.  

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Get you a pair of gate shears and cut the spru off instead of trying to break if off.

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What works for me is putting the head in the vise, grasping the sprue with pliers and snapping it off with a minimal amount of force.

 

e6701755-c86a-4fbf-922f-1ed35eb95a7e_zps

 

Then give it a few strokes with a file if you're so inclined.

 

Filing_zpsudn71rzx.jpg

 

The topic of the keepers loosening came up on www.tackleunderground.com and one response was to use lead with a bit of antimony in it. This was probably the alloy:

 

https://www.rotometals.com/antimonial-lead-metal-5-pounds-3-5-antimony-lead/

 

I should mention that I cast jigs and fish them in "no lead" Massachusetts and work with bismuth/tin and pewter alloys, both of which are much harder than lead. (What isn't?)

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Using a hard alloy will keep it from becoming loose but you will still loosen the hook should you continue to break the sprue off.   Jig Man was spot on, you need to use a gate shears and cut the sprue off, in fact I believe it says that on the mold somewhere that you should cut the sprue off the small sizes.

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If you're having loose hooks and keepers, it may not be from the sprue removal, but you're not getting good coverage in the mold.   This can be from mold too cold to lead too hot.   Technically, there's surface tension and lead doesn't "wet" the metal, much like soldering copper, if it's not clean it doesn't "tin" and the solder rolls off.   This can gets worse if you reuse hooks from previous bad pours.   Oxide or combustion products builds up on surface.   Regular, non gold, hooks are coated with lacquer.   Make sure your mold is clean inside.

I'd heat the mold first, if you don't have an small craft oven(don't use anything for food), what I do is run a couple fills without hooks and then cut back the heat on the pot to just keep it molten (from wide open during melting).  Make sure you dross off the pot occasionally, I stir it first to dislodge oxides.   Should be shiny on top, if it gets bluish it's too hot.   Always heat wear gloves when pouring.

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Powder coating them afterwards fixed the problem for me. 

 

This is the most PITA mold to pour as the little wire keepers constantly pop out. 

 

Allen 

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Try bending off the sprue while the jig head is still in the mold with a diagoal cutter.

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