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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 12-25-2008, 03:34 PM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default New year plug building

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday - I know in September there was a plug building thread. A whole lot of great advice but I am a real beginner and that didn't cover it. So if it is ok with you Frank, I'd like to see if anybody can direct me.
I have lost tons of plugs. Some very big old woods. My knots are better, I get the new line issue, I'm fixing guides so my loss count will be lower. I would like to ease into this plug making stuff ...First off I am hand craving. I have no lathe yet and I'm ok with it. I got cedar, mag, even walnut and cherry....
If it hooks to my nail gun compressor, I might try the airbrush I got laying around and never used. Hand painting doesn't bother me. If it doesn't bother the fish!
As I said, the past threads have given me tons of info but.
I got VMC trebles from Nj tackle but To make it all cost effective as well as rewarding on other levels, where can you buy all things you need-
grommets,
split rings
eyes
stainless eye hooks
and
Do ya make your own metal lips or buy them too.
I have seen nj tacle and saltyB. sites great , I use them but ... but after shipping and all the labor we put in I want these plug to be costing cents! That is one of the attractions to building them. Thank you guys and have a great christsmas - I'm getting yelled at to get the lamb off the barbie.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2008, 11:44 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

I have to pass on this because I only made plugs in the early 70s when we had tons of bluefish. These were poppers and not all that technical. I also made bucktail jigs after buying the lead bodies. Can anybody help on this?
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2008, 12:03 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Plug making is a lifelong hobby. In order to get good you really have to keep at it. From choosing the right hardware to sealing the wood and to selecting the right wood. That just the start, You have to weight them in the right spots to get the action you want. Even people that make and sell them are constantly making improvements. Your best help would be at plug making fourms on the internet.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2008, 12:34 PM
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ragman ragman is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Bruce,
You might want to check out the plug building forum further down the page Eric (StriperKnight) is very accomplished (hobby, doesn't sell), and a real nice guy. Pretty sure he can answer most of your questions and if not, point you towards someone who can. Make sure to ask him about his bunker head plug... The thing won him a prize in some show a few years back, and looked more realistic than some bunker heads I have seen...
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:51 PM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

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Originally Posted by ragman View Post
Bruce,
You might want to check out the plug building forum further down the page Eric (StriperKnight) is very accomplished (hobby, doesn't sell), and a real nice guy. Pretty sure he can answer most of your questions and if not, point you towards someone who can. Make sure to ask him about his bunker head plug... The thing won him a prize in some show a few years back, and looked more realistic than some bunker heads I have seen...
Ragman - will do and thanks... but did that bunker head catch fish?... I'm sure what I build aint winning any beauty contests but it will have a face
only a mother can love....
mom
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2008, 10:33 AM
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ragman ragman is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

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Originally Posted by brucelieb View Post
Ragman - will do and thanks... but did that bunker head catch fish?... I'm sure what I build aint winning any beauty contests but it will have a face
only a mother can love....
mom
I dont know, you would have to ask him. When I saw it, it was just after whatever show he won at (think it was second place ) Ran into him at a local fishing flea market, and he pulled this brown bag out of his pocket (thought he was going to offer me a taste... ), and took it out. It was so realistic looking I wondered why it didn't smell! Eric is a plug purist, wont fish bait , and figured he would try to duplicate a bunker head and see if it worked...
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2008, 12:32 PM
NIB #1 NIB #1 is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Stop Immediately,,Heed my words..
Plug making has been described as a great disease.One for which there is no cure..
I think on my next plug the cost will be down to around $267.00 per plug.
Only kidding,but it does add up.lathe,drill press band saw all kinds of other tools,hardware and woods and you have not painted a body yet..You run the gamut of sealers and compatible paints and top coats.These are the great treasures of the top builders..Then you have actual design.Making a well casting plug that will score well.Not as easily done as it sounds.You could just copy tried and true designs.I do mess around with it and have found it to be quite rewarding.I made some nice things out of necessity.I make my own pencil poppers and copied a few nice swimmers I have come across that are no longer made.Like many of my hobbies over the years, all that equipment sits in a pile of old wood chips and dust.I have not spun a plug in months.Don't ask me how the builders do it.If you can imagine a bad factory job,Like being a machinest...
it's right up there.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2008, 08:27 PM
Merlin Merlin is online now
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Default Re: New year plug building

Be careful as mentioned: There are people that restore cars and people that drive them. If you get that analogy you are with me. Often times builders of plugs will fish but they will not have enough time because they have the other calling.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2008, 10:07 PM
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gadabout gadabout is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Bruce,

I think I answered your question on another board so I'm not going to repeat myself here. I will add this though. What is your basic motivation for building your own plugs? Correct me if I'm wrong but from your post it sort of sounds like you are wanting to build plugs because you keep losing them. I think you need to address this issue first whether you buy your plugs or build them. You shouldn't be losing that many.

Making your own plugs is very rewarding, but it's also pretty time consuming. Not to mention dangerous if you don't take the right precautions. Unless you already have a lot of the tools, it's a big outlay of money just to get started. I'm not trying to discourage you in any way, but want you to be aware of the reality of it.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2008, 09:44 AM
fishinDan fishinDan is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

I would never build a plug instead of fishing, to me it is something that gets me through the winter when fishing is not an option. (ice fishing? no way!) It is something that I feel is in a progression, as our love of the sport grows. When we start fly fishing we learn to cast, then we catch our first fish on the fly, then we learn how to make our own flies and catch on them. There certainly is an extra feeling of satisfaction when you catch a nice fish on a plug that you made yourself. I was a wood worker before I was a plug builder so the outlay was minimal as I had every tool that I would need anyway. I use NJ tackle for my supplies, good guys and great service. You will not build plugs for cents instead dollars, but they won't cost you $25 apiece either.
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2008, 10:25 AM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Look there are a lot of great plugs out there you can copy. From size to weight and by lookin them over carefull where some of the loads are. You can even cut one in half to see what makes it tick. It's not rocket science to make it only if you make it as good as the experts.
Start making poppers that way you'll get the confidance to go further. Another thing not everybody can work well with wood. I know I can't.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:23 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Once upon a time my wife designed and made a popping plug.

She carved a blank from balsa wood and used that to make a plaster mold. She then cast the plug out of translucent light green fiberglas resin with a through wire and a swivel for the belly hook. She painted a plastic toothbrush tube with black mackerel stripes and molded that inside the plug. The stripes were visible through the plug body.

It had good inherent weight so it casted well, and she caught fish on it. We still have the plug. If I can find it I'll post a picture of it.

CL
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2008, 11:40 AM
clambellies clambellies is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALB31 View Post
Look there are a lot of great plugs out there you can copy. From size to weight and by lookin them over carefull where some of the loads are. You can even cut one in half to see what makes it tick. It's not rocket science to make it only if you make it as good as the experts.
Start making poppers that way you'll get the confidance to go further. Another thing not everybody can work well with wood. I know I can't.
I agree with your hint of cutting some good plugs open to see where the loads are and what weight they are. After building a couple of what I thought were keepers, I got frustrated that they swam like a sock full of mud. Talking an $18.00 custom name plug and dissecting it for the info within actually saved me $$ and time in the long run.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:41 PM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

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Originally Posted by clambellies View Post
I agree with your hint of cutting some good plugs open to see where the loads are and what weight they are. After building a couple of what I thought were keepers, I got frustrated that they swam like a sock full of mud. Talking an $18.00 custom name plug and dissecting it for the info within actually saved me $$ and time in the long run.
"PRETTY FUNNY STUFF... sock full of mud...."

I FIXED my knot tying issues and I'm switching to braid so I figure I will not lose too many plugs ... Sure until I fish the one I put countless hours into... . But Poppers seem to be the first start .... by then I might come to senses and make bird houses...
I did post this on the plug building forum and got some great advice...
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:30 AM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default Re: New year plug building

Crusty, if I did not say it before, those are really beautiful... After making my first one, I am even more impressed. I found the hardest was getting it sort of equal on all sides, but then it floated great ( with the hook) so what the heck. The next hurdle was the weight. I think I'm buying "the official" plug building weights from Salty , or NJ. I hammered a 1/2oz weight into a shape a thought would sit in the bottom back of the plug to add some casting and sink the tail a bit. I all most butchered the whole thig tryig to cut a spot for it..... thank the gods for wood putty.
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