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Munkin

Why I make my own baits

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Figured we have a lot of threads about the "How" of making instead of the "Why". Many people want to get into tacklemaking thinking it is a way to save money which can happen but usually isn't the case. If say for example all you use are 5" senkos than yes you can save money by just getting a 4 cavity hand pour mold, pyrex cup, and a old microwave. It may take a year or two but the return on investment will be worth it. The problem is as a fishing fanatic you want to expand buying more molds, parts, etc. An example on the opposite end of the spectrum is those swim jigs I make, the first 4 unpainted heads cost me $320.

 

This brings me into why I started making lures as a teenager. What I needed was not available for me? I got tired of buying a $5 spinnerbait that I then had to tear apart and re-build to fit my needs. Another thing was the availability of the jigs I liked with the main one being the Eakins jig. I started fishing these in Missouri and they really worked here in Maryland. Problem was they were always sold out at BPS in the colors I used. Someone told me about the Do-It mold for them and I have been making them for about 15 years now. So now I just build what I want from the start and don't worry about what the big name companies are making. 

 

Allen

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Please, anyone that feels they can add to this jump in as I know I am not the only one. Explain why you started making lures and if you feel it is a money saver? This will help other members that are thinking about making the plunge know what they are getting into. 

 

Allen

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I make my own baits because it's incredibly satisfying to catch fish on something I created.

 

For the reasons you mentioned, it is not a money saver.  There's always a desire to obtain more colors, sizes, etc, which obviously adds to the net cost of each bait.  However, I've turned my fly tying into a decent little company that specializes in ice flies, so I am definitely "in the black" at this point.  It has helped tremendously to obtain a commercial account with one of the major fly tying suppliers.

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I started doing it for something to do at first when I was 16. Shortly after I discovered all the different mold options and lure making components with online stores and my imagination started to run wild. That was about the same time the Chatterbait was really taking off and I liked them, but the hooks were terrible, the skirts slid down every time I set the hook, the blades would rust, it was just not a quality built bait and I felt I could make something better myself. It took a lot of trial and error, but I finally got something I liked and have since caught untold numbers of fish with them. Now I just love tinkering and being able to save myself the money and make everything to my exact specifications of what I need. I also enjoy making them for other people and the satisfaction of having people send pictures and tell stories of big fish they caught on baits I made them is almost as good as catching them myself. 

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Have tied fly's, jigs and been doing the doit thing for over 45 years.  Love the personal satisfaction of modification and research and development.  The latest being a ned hook with two little fiber weedguards instead of wire.  

 

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Having a mindset that values a certain level of OCD, I've always enjoyed fine detail work. I started casting, painting and dressing jigs about 20 years ago and, as Bluebasser86 has mentioned, there's trial and error, a learning curve to getting proficient at it. Patience is an important component of the process. Cadman advises, "Practice, practice and more practice, and when you think you're good practice some more." I've stopped short of throwing my tying vise out of a closed window, but there have been frustrating times. If you can get through your I don't understand moments, you can become a better bait maker.

 

Even though I don't have money falling out of my pockets, I never approached the hobby with the thought of saving money. I like good tools and quality materials and budget until I can buy them. And I'm never in a hurry when I make baits; my attitude is when it's done to my satisfaction, it's done.

 

I think other bait makers will agree that when you catch a good fish on your own work you get a better buzz. Now I'm going to have a beer and think about the details for a tricked out TRD . . .

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I started making spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and jigs for my own use some 25 yrs ago, mainly because of availabilty and color selections. Fishing buddies, friends and co-workers saw some of my tinkering and I sold them a lot of lures over the years. I sold my boat in 06, life sometimes gets in the way of hobbies and passions. I still tinker with them from time to time. It was said before it’s satifying to catch fish on something you made. Yup I Agree!

 

Tight Lines!

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If I were a young man , I would get into pouring my own plastics or jigs. At 62, I just wouldn't get my  $$ worth. I don't need any color that is not commercially available and if I need jigheads I just buy them. Soft plastic pouring looks like SO MUCH FUN though...

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I got into fly tying when I lived in CO.  I tie some Crappie jigs, too.  I still tie flies for Bream and Bass and some salt patterns.  I started making spinner baits while in the Pacific NW because of the cost and how many I lost.  Plus it was/is fun.  I have not had any desire to try soft plastics or lead pouring.  I may have to try lead pouring, since I have my Gradads old lead pot.

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Making my own baits came out of necessity and it began with the spinnerbait in '98. Now I have tied simple bucktails going back to '95 but I wasn't casting my own jigs at that time. Anyway, a long trip without getting any bites for over 4 hours was frustrating, I had a Strike King spinnerbait tied on and made an errant cast so I was reeling super fast when a nice smallmouth hammered the lure, that was something I never thought of doing. So I continued to burn the bait and it saved my day as I racked up over a dozen more in the last 2 hours but I missed a lot more. Reeling that fast caused the bait to lean and often roll over and a lot of fish would hit the blade because of that action. Every bait on the market did it and so I began changing blades and discovered downsizing the blades made the bait run better but it wasn't perfect. So after more tinkering I found ways to make the baits work for me and thought I may as well make from scratch since I was buying baits and then different blades and clevises and figured I could do better from scratch. Then came more and more and now it is an addiction but one I don't intend to quit voluntarily.

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I started to save money.  I bought 1 mold for a 6 inch worm, a quart of plastisol and a bottle of red dye.  I did my melting on the kitchen stove {bad idea}.  My first bass on one was a 7.25 # largemouth.  I was hooked. I later started making Arke jigs.

 

In the late 90s a friend got me started on white bass.  One day I saw some guys whacking them on bucktail jigs.  I bought some from them and went home and learned how to tie them.

 

Put it all together and you see that I am into making all kinds of wire baits and plastics.

 

i have several store bought and hand made molds.

 

On a regular basis several guys come over to make baits.  Some are kids from the local high school team and their dads.  One of them just made 6 dozen flukes for a smallmouth trip to Canada.

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I started pouring Arky and bullet jigs in the late 90s because I couldn't find high end jigs in New Hampshire.  

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I bought a spinnerbait mold because I wanted a heavy Strike King Rocket Shad with a single hook  for deep water . Then I had a Banana head mold and buzzbait mold with components given to me . My lures dont cost much to make . I find skirts on clearance and take blades and swivels off of old lures .  Back in the 80's I made a mold for a plastic bait . I whittled it out of a piece of wood , made a plaster of paris mold and melted old soft plastics . Then I tinkered with carving crankbaits for  a little bit . Heres a couple of my cranks .

cranks.jpg

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I met an old man at DSG who was buying baits on clearance for parts.  He says he can buy blades and hooks and split rings that way and then put them on his own designs.  He was a bit eccentric, but then I guess we all are.

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Over the last several years I have fished a toad for at least 75% of the time I am on the water.

I will sometimes go thru 20-30 toads in a single trip.

They mostly would tear at the nose

 

First I bought a wood engraver and once it would get hot I'd run it thru the nose melting the plastic, squeeze the plastic back together and I'd be good to go for a few more fish.

 

These "seconds" did not last as long as the fixed material is just not as good as original.

 

I then decided to see if I could give "remelting" a try.

I read quite a bit about how to begin pouring plastics on a budget.

So I ended up making some molds using Durhams wood putty.

 

In doing so, I solved the biggest problem for me when fishing a toad.

I got them to stop flipping over. By hand pouring the toad all the weight is at the belly.

 

I've got a 5 gallon bucket of greenish baits and a bucket of darker baits.

I've got 3 other guys that save their plastics for me too!!

The colors are not pretty but I dont care for how I am fishing them.

 

However, this has led me to buying plastic, glitter, colorant, more pyrex, an injector, a respirator, an additional fan, a hot plate and probably another dozen things that continue to add up in the cost.

 

But its worth it for the enjoyment I get from the whole process start to finish

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I have been thinking about making my own rods and tackle. Living in New England we have a pretty long offseason. I need something to keep me from going crazy!

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I started making my own spinnerbaits in 1972 and still do so. I have 4 different molds with weights from 1/4 oz. to 1 oz. and I bend the wire with a closed loop. I started doing this because in the early 70's there were not a lot of choices to choose from. And being in south Louisiana, the spinnerbait is still used to a great extent down here. 

 

I not only make them for myself but I've got a few friends that also ask me for some every year.  I really like the thought that I can make something that catches fish.

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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 1:16 PM, riverat said:

I not only make them for myself but I've got a few friends that also ask me for some every year.  I really like the thought that I can make something that catches fish.

 

The whole purpose of this thread is that you can make things that work locally that cannot be bought in a store. I have made thousands of spinnerbaits and jigs over the past 20+years based on this theory. 

 

Allen

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