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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 01-29-2000, 06:54 PM
snakebit snakebit is offline
 
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Dear Frank,

Just got a bunch of old time block tin squids. I was inspired by a book called "Fishing the Surf" by Raymond R. Camp, circa 1950. (ever hear of him?) I would like some tips on how and when to use this lure. I understand that many die hards consider this their first choice, if not the only lure worth useing.

Snakebit

P.S. Ever fish Watch Hill, RI?

P.S. How does everyone know that's you on the cover of Surfcaster 2000. Also please give us the breakdown on the equipment pictured in your hand.
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Old 01-29-2000, 06:54 PM
snakebit snakebit is offline
 
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Dear Frank,

Just got a bunch of old time block tin squids. I was inspired by a book called "Fishing the Surf" by Raymond R. Camp, circa 1950. (ever hear of him?) I would like some tips on how and when to use this lure. I understand that many die hards consider this their first choice, if not the only lure worth useing.

Snakebit

P.S. Ever fish Watch Hill, RI?

P.S. How does everyone know that's you on the cover of Surfcaster 2000. Also please give us the breakdown on the equipment pictured in your hand.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2000, 11:10 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Hi 'Bit,
No, I don't know R. Camp's work. But the end of WWII is kind of the dawn of surfcasting. I think todays fishers would laugh at what they used to say back then.

True block tin, which alloys nicely with lead, kind of preceeds me. We say "true" because a lot of hustlers used to add lead to stretch the more expensive tin. Kind of like adding water to Scotch. Tin was popular because it was the only long distance, fast sinking option for situations which called for those two things. I'm sure that you know that our striper surf is a myraid of situations with another bunch of choices to confront them. Say that in your heart you knew that moby linesides were laying out there four hundred feet in the Canal bottom, you would have to reach, then sink in that current. Hardly a situation calling for a floater Rebel, which is good in the right place.

I think, and who is going to argue with me because they are all either gone or at the surfcaster's home, that old-time tin is way overrated. It was all they had, them flintstones. Technology, better manufacturing, gives us "tin" which is really chrome and has a lot more shine/sheen. Why do you think the best metal lures come from Providence? They make jewelry there, as in Kastmasters. Even at 63, I'm too young to favor tin. Put me down as the Kastmaster generation. We have metal lures that do all the things tin did and look more like a fish, which to me is very important. Speaking of which, look at the Crippled Herring, the Holligans. If I was a striper I would not take the Old Guard's tins. Key thing is that the tin's, oops, metal lures' weight has to match up with the tackle. Oh man, if they made a 4 ounce Holligan. But how many old guard is left throwing conventional?

Watch Hill is a hot-spot in the book, a one I think. Its good. Sometimes J and me go in fall.

Equipment is a 9'Fisher graphite, blank #08708X, #11 tip. Reel is a Abu-Garcia 7000 right handed as the picture is printed backwards producing the illusion tht the crank is on the wrong side. Line is 50# gorilla braid, which a hear is discontinued. There is a custom or home trigger on the rell clamp to prevent axial slippage during the cast. Lure is a 4 oz Crippled Herring with the cross lock that came with it. Waders are boot foot neoprene. Caster has quit drinking and should lose weight like he did last time. Photographer is Joyce, my high school sweetheart, St Clair HS class of '56 where pattern leather shoes nice girls do not wear.

This qualifer, not about girls, about equip -- just because it was used does not make it gospel. Sometimes old Frank does not do everything as right as an author is supposed ta. Perfection should be a town in Pennsylvania like .....

They all know me for two reasons: Photo credit on the inside cover. And, my picture is in all the post offices and some milk cartons. 'Bit, this was an informative and hopefully entertaining, thread. Good.

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Frank
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2000, 12:10 PM
Rich R Rich R is offline
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Frank,

If I may, I'd like to sort of pick up the gauntlet that you have dropped because those old timers don't have the strength to pick it up.

I'll admit, I do not have a whole heck of a lot of experience in the use of tin (yet) but here are some of the positive points of tin that I have read about and plan on putting to the test.

Tin has more of a soft "glow" in the water than the bright, shiny chromed lead or steel. When it gets crudded up you can take a handful of sand or a kitchen scrub sponge and get that nice appearance back again.

Tin can be easily manipulated to get different action out of a lure. Them Joisey boys used to put "boardwalk bends" in their eel tins to change the action and it can also be done with the thin, sand eel like tins.

The big drawback is just what you mentioned early on.. $$$$. It is cheaper for manufacturers to use alloys of tin or not to use tin at all. For personal use, $2-$3 a pound ain't bad if you can find it but I'm not supplying the East coast with tins.

I was also told that tins will work at night too. I'll admit that I have not tried them at night. I would imagine that if a bucktail would work at night, a tin with saddle hackles or some other sort of adornment might work. Then again, it was a tin lure manufacturer who told me they worked at night!

As to matching up with tackle, you're right. There ain't many guys out there swinging big sticks that'll handle the big tins of old. There are a few tins out there that are smaller in weight that match up nicely with the smaller stuff the surf crowd is using these days. If my mold making goes well, I'll have a whole slew of stuff to meet my needs.

Heck, I just picked up a 9' pool cue to use for bouncing bucktails in the breachways and Niantic River which would fit the big tin throwing bill quite nicely. Perhaps it'll also work as a "Joisey Rod" for tossing eels on tin squids. I know.... eel tins in Connecticut???

I like to toss in the old methods sometimes to keep the fish guessing. Just when they think the coast is clear and they've seen all there is....toss an old timer like a tin or a jointed eel at 'em!

As I said, I'm a relative surf pup without much first hand knowledge on tins, but I like to read the old books as well as the new. Anything that might just give me a wee bit of an edge.

Hmmmmmm a tin Kastmaster.... thanks for the idea Frank! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

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Rich
jrrusso@erols.com
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2000, 11:25 PM
snakebit snakebit is offline
 
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Dear Frank,

O.K. I hear you, but if I was daring enough to go ahead and use them, can you elaborate on some techniques.

Also, you are my hero. You not only have a wife that loves to fish, but a high school sweetheart that loves to fish as well, you must be the original "French Tickler"?

With all your good advise about surfcasting the only thing I need now is some tips on finding a nice girl who can catch a 50 pounder.

Snakebit
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2000, 09:27 AM
DS DS is offline
 
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SB

The few keeper fish I caught this year were taken on danny plugs and old tins found at flea markets. All of my tins are somebody elses trash, but they do catch fish. I haven't hooked into any trophies yet, but took respectable bass and a decent puppy drum (a rarity in South Jersey).

The tins I find are usually cheap, need to be shined up (one that is a favorite was covered with gray paint when I got it!), and because few guys use them anymore I believe the fish aren't wise to them.

There are a lot of old lures that look like tins but aren't. They should bend easily and if you bite into them you should here a crackle as the metal gives.

I fish them like swimmers, slow and with just a hint of side to side action. Because the metal is soft you can bend them to to your liking. Wide body tins generally run high in the water column, while narrow body tins run deep. Dress the hook with feathers or bucktail and run them alone or behind a teaser. I don't fish them at night. Full moons may be worth a try.

You can use any of metals Frank mentions above (and others he didn't) with more or less success. Personally, I enjoy ferreting out the old tins and fixing 'em up. They are a good all around *cheap* lure to add to your arsenal. For me they work great.

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Dave
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2000, 11:02 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Rich, I would endorse just about everything said here, your input no small part. To add somebody molded a tin kastmaster many -- over 25 years ago. I still think there is a little old junk worship here, but that maybe a self indictment. Just kidding.

Bit, some techniques:
Be nice to her parents.
Bring flowers
Bait her line, not yours, so she thinks she is good. If she is good, you become the messenger.
Let her participate -- steer the canoe or tow blowdowns out of the road while you give directions.
Tell her the sun is reflecting off her chin in a way that makes you wonder if she would have beautiful children.
Pretend to be surprised by her "natural talent".
Fish and hunt in nice places. Once life with you is fun, there will be no other life.
Identify her weaknesses -- we all have them -- and show her you are willing to help her.
All women love dinner out. Often.
She does not fish or hunt with your old, hand-me-down junk, your leaker waders, your disgarded reel. She gets the good stuff and you fish with the junk. If she is cold, take off whatever you are wearing and put it on her and die in the knowledge of your dedication. Finally,

When she pulls a 40-pounder up on the beach, kill it and validate her efforts with the finest fish you have ever eaten, even if you have to hire a French chef to cook it. Later you can toss a big fish back. And when you hear the report of her sidelock carbine from the wood and she is on her knees beside a fine mountain buck, you join her in prayer. Thems my techniques for a good women. Done right, only use them once. Now what was we talkin' about?

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Frank
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2000, 02:15 PM
snakebit snakebit is offline
 
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Dear Frank,

As always, you are the poet of discretion and the alchemist of Linesiders.

But help me out here. These 2 1/2 and 3 oz. tins seem too heavy to swim, unless cranked quickly. It seems they need to be skipped along the bottom. I know these are not your first choice but, if you were stuck on a beach with one what would be your plan of attack.

Snakebit (Thick as a brick)
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