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Lures for spin tackle
Post 21 Jun 2020, 09:32 • #1 
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
We have a whole forum page dedicated to flies and fly tying, but I don't think we have a single 'Nother Spin thread on spin fishing lures (except maybe antiques). Pretty much all my spin fishing is inshore, but I grew up bass fishing reservoirs with my dad, fished jetties as a teenager and coast flats as an adult, took my daughters to hill country creeks, and keep a coldwater spin-tackle box for guests on the tailwater.

Growing up bass fishing reservoirs, two plugs took care of me - Jitterbug early morning, and Bomber on the deep slopes after the sun was taller.
My biggest bass as a teenager, 6-1/2 lbs, was caught on the Jitterbug - the lure sitting still was the tactic that drove her strike.
Inshore, we're imitating two main baitfish - mullet and glass minnows. Mullet evade side-to-side, make a continuous zig-zag just below the surface, and topwater dog-walking plugs at first light are most effective. Gave up the big jointed plugs in favor of YoZuri Pencil Lure, and, in fact, the Japanese have pretty much run away with most of the lure ideas. They also make a suspending version of this lure.

YoZuri has also run away with the Rapalas we grew up with.
Glass minnows inshore, as well as the cyprinids and poecellids we imitate in freshwater, school or "ball-up" for defense. Lures that attract bait are most effective - when the gamefish flares to eat, the bait school scatters, and your lure is what's left to eat.
My photo above is YoZuri Pins minnow. They make this in a floater-diver (also deep divers like Bomber), but their sinking version is one I find most effective. They offer a 2-3/4" 3/16th oz, and diminutive 2" 1/16 oz (the photo above shows the floater/diver and the 2-3/4" sinker).

Spoons have the advantage of casting out of sight, retrieved correctly, they flutter side-to-side like a swimming fish.
Growing up at the jetties, Johnson's Sprite and Daredevil spoons were the second most-effective lures.
A favorite of inshore wizards is Johnson's silver minnow in black nickel to imitate a crab. Crabs have a tail folded in their shell, they kick just like a shrimp to evade, then flutter down just like a falling spoon. They also walk sideways, holding up a claw to threaten, and the silver minnow spoon shape perfectly imitates that motion. Don't have a metal spoon photo, so borrowed one, but do have a couple of spoon flies - Mylar tubing + epoxy, and spun hair + epoxy. The latter is tough to throw on a fly rod, but perfect for UL - the thing is, when I'm wading that opportune water, I'll be fishing the fly rod.
On the right are Hogy's epoxy jigs, which are more accurately epoxy spoons and shine for casting into pelagics.

Spinners are great for casting and trolling, and very effective in river current. As a kid, my most effective reservoir trolling was using a hairpin tandem rig, Pico Texas Trailer, that fished a Bomber up front, and a Shyster spinner behind - occasionally ended up with doubles, and took my first 5-lb white bass. My first foray with a fly rod was 1/64th oz Panther-Martin spinners and 1/32nd oz Rooster Tails, aimed at white bass, endemic bass in limestone creeks, and bucketmouths in slow coastal plain rivers. That was how I fly fished until I began tying whistlers for white bass.
Here's that Guest tailwater spinning box, with home-made spinners, cats whiskers tied on weighted barbells, and soft plastic jigs.
and borrowed the Warden's Vibric photo

Bucktail and marabou jigs combine the fly-tier's lure battery with a weighted hook. Marabou jig was the original bottom bouncing lure, and the fly rod analogy is cats whisker on a Teeny line. Inshore, the bait is killifish or "mud minnows." Jigs also suspend and fish vertically great. Now, many synthetic flash fibers and rubber are used in place of the natural materials.
Tandem jigs are very effective, and the store-packaged bucktail Spec Rig was that 1st most-effective jetty lure alluded above. My dad has caught every inshore double combination possible on these as his go-to lure. Because jigs look and behave so much like natural minnows, they're great at drawing those bait-balls also mentioned above.
Again, the best example I can throw up is a whistler fly, fished with intermediate or Teeny sinking lines, but fishes the same as a jig.
the original Spec Rig
A special lure combining spinner and jig is the hairpin crank bait, also Roadrunner, Beetle Spin, and buzz bait.
My favorite thing to fish on rare reservoir bass days is a buzz bait on my antique baitcasting tackle.

The original soft plastic bait was the Creme worm, and caught my share of bass with a sliding bullet weight. Then followed plastic grubs (fly rod analogy is a woolly booger) and those Burke's fly rod lures.
The original inshore soft plastics were Cococahoe minnow and Hogie's shrimp tails, and here's a couple of ways to rig those. Next, another view of those UL plastic jig bodies, the plastic-body tandem jig (TTF Super Shad rig) that's taken over Spec Rig's tandem crown.
and a Japanese krill lure
Since the advent of the swim shad, they've gone a long way with soft plastics, from krill to offshore ribbonfish.
With the clicking cigar cork rig above, I set up a neophyte buddy with a D.O.A. shrimp, and he caught a slot redfish trolling while he was paddling his kayak.
Storm Wildeye, Berkley Power, and Tsunami SS are all extremely effective swim shad, and tie-up killer tandem rigs.
Another invention in soft plastics is directional flash and color - they call these holographic, but they're simply a flat mylar foil in the middle of transparent plastic.
Here are a couple of great ones, Tsunami SS3, and Fish Arrow Flash J.
What I love about the Flash J is that transmitted light produces a different color, just like it would through live bait - the mylar reflects green and transmits purple-pink.
I took this photo of the same green-flash lure over a milk jug and bike headlight
Plastic lures have also gone another direction - neutral-density suspending lures - like fishing an intermediate sinking line (slime line) on a fly rod - but you can't dog-walk a fly rod...
On the left is my buddy Tobin's TSL grasswalker, the most amazing inshore lure I've ever fished - people also report bass, surf, and pelagic success.

On the right is the Texas-famous Corky, a hybrid suspending lure, inside a heavy plug (1/2- to 1-oz), outside a plastic balloon.
Apparently the Corkys name was lost in a partnership, and these are now sold by Mirrolure as the inventor, Paul Brown lures.

I intentionally left out poppers. I fished Hula-poppers and fly rod poppers, but I've found jitterbugs, dog-walkers and fly rod sliders or round dintys to be more effective on top than poppers.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 22 Jun 2020, 06:34, edited 6 times in total.

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Post 21 Jun 2020, 11:23 • #2 
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Joined: 11/06/17
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Location: South of Joplin
I'll have to reread this when I have time to look up all these lures, most of which I'm not even sure I've heard of. So is the idea that spin fishers borrowed from fly angers designs or the other way round?


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Post 21 Jun 2020, 13:32 • #3 
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none of any of that, but talking about imitating the same bait families and stalking the same quarry.
After all, it's all fishing.
Fly fishing has an advantage when you're fishing river current, especially imitating aquatic insects, and a stealth advantage when you're sight-fishing with spared casts.
If you're doing this correctly, should be hooked up every 3rd cast. The blind fishing thing requires more casts.
But for most blind fishing, sticking to fly fishing is just obstinate when bait and spinning tackle is more productive.
No comparison was ever intended, but most people on this forum will have fly fishing experience and some may not have bait and spinning tackle experience.

Note the list of lure types - plugs, spoons, spinners, jigs, crankbaits, and soft plastics - examples, favorites and photos given.
The only idea here was to talk about lures, and hoping others will also.


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Post 21 Jun 2020, 13:52 • #4 
Sport
Joined: 07/29/05
Posts: 96
Location: Mexico,MO
Nice collection Bulldog. There were some great so called "flyrod lures" popular years ago as you stated. I have quite a collection but have most of them framed for fear of losing them. I'll try to post some photos of them in the near future.

I agree, an ongoing section devoted to these types of lures would be nice. You see some posts now and then over on the Ultralight site.

Dave


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Post 21 Jun 2020, 17:19 • #5 
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Again, hoping this to be a fishing thread about lures we use, and maybe why, rather than a collecting thread - there are other threads about vintage fly rod and bass lures:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=48167
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=12730&p=79733
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=47460&p=195552
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=47460&p=195552
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=67593&p=361672

While I mentioned types of lures I used as a kid, I was mostly using it to introduce the type of lure. Everything I showed are new lures I fish right now.
And of course I still fish cocahoe minnows. but if I'm fishing heavily weighted lures on the flats, I'm also using a baitcaster for instant retrieve, and possibly a long rod, to help keep heavy lures above the grass. This is where neutral density lures really shine, but you'll also see a couple of redfish below taken on the grass flats with a cocahoe, 1/4-oz jighead, and fast retrieve (and been catching redfish that way since the 80s). Otherwise, they're great for fishing channel slopes, as are the 3/8-oz 3" swim shad.
In the winter imitating glass minnows, the light 2.5-g jighead on a bright Flash J, or a shallow-sinking Pins minnow would be choice on the flats, but also must use an UL rod to throw them.



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Post 21 Jun 2020, 21:41 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/11/05
Posts: 815
Location: US-NY
I’ve fished a lot of spinning and bait casting lures over the years. I’ve settled on a few favorites that I have confidence in. Probably my favorite bass lure is a Dalton Special. I don’t think they’re made anymore, but I still have a few left. A Zara Spook or Zara Puppy, for baitcasting/spinning respectively, is another favorite. Gitzits and other tube jigs have been very effective spinnIng lures for me.


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Post 22 Jun 2020, 07:53 • #7 
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gaddis, they still make Gitzit tube baits.
From the website, the company has also moved into swim shad, as well as rubber tail single-hook jigs.

Zara Spook is still the go-to dog-walker for many folks at the coast, and I have a couple of Jrs in freshwater spin box, as well.
The big jointed dog-walking plugs I referred were both Cotton Cordell jointed Redfin and Rebel jointed Minnow - caught my first South Padre snook about 1984, and it was always a hoot at first light to watch a big redfish mouth broach to climb up the back of one.
What I like about the YoZuri inshore pencil lure, it's small (3-1/4"), doesn't float quite so high, casts forever, and makes the same topwater fuss.
Found a good Field and Stream article on 25 topwater plugs, and with the original buzzbait and a couple of plastics thrown in.


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Post 22 Jun 2020, 08:49 • #8 
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Rapala, Silver Minnow, Little Cleo, Mepps Anglia, Dardevle, Wordens Flatfish, Cast Master and a Grape Plastic Worm are the only lures I can remember using in the few years (~'71-'77) that I used spinning tackle. As far as what I recall, I fished them all to represent minnows. Some of the other lures you mention I've seen mentioned in magazines but have no idea what they look like. Really can't picture "dog-walk", though I have seen the term used many times.
I guess I've never done it right because I've never been hooked up every third cast, even with live bait, and some days not even every thirtieth cast.


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Post 22 Jun 2020, 09:49 • #9 
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I guess I'll apologize that fishing pinch-point migration and spawning phenomena can be a fish on every cast.
Best March white bass day, 50 on consecutive casts, a December flounder day, 40 - in both cases chose to stop fishing on the round numbers, the Dec day because it was cold and a long boat ride home.
That's the time to blind-fish a fly rod, and also on any bait-compressing natural phenomena where you have a high probability of striking gamefish (pelagic jumps, draining tide passes). Fishing white bass jumps with my dad was why I bought my first fly rod - 46 years ago.
Still talking fly rod here, you get similar phenomena with insect hatches, including warmwater. Damsels, tricos, stoneflys. I've seen schools of white bass sipping tricos on a reservoir shelf and nothing else could buy a strike. Same with stationary pods up the river during spawning runs, the heavily hit fish revert to sipping tricos to feed. A cove on Lake Travis with a thousand largemouth bass sitting just below the surface for an infrequent stonefly hatch.

I'll assume you politely asked about dog-walking. In dog-walking, you don't retrieve with crank, but with pulls of the high rod, taking up slack with the reel crank. The lure makes a zig-zag across the surface - or in the feeding zone in the case of a neutral-density dog-walking lure - in the side-to-side manner baitfish normally evade.

btw, they make jigheads now that dog-walk - they call them Dart jigheads - see the white Daiwa jigheads in the Flash J photos in my OP.

Even Arroyo dock fishing last Nov time change at 2:30a, my 90-y-o dad caught 15 seatrout on consecutive casts (kept the best 5).
The rest of us changed our clocks and got up at 3:30a - he was heading back to bed.

He was fishing a mix of cocahoe, spec rig, and curly tail grub


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 29 Jun 2020, 07:35, edited 9 times in total.

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Post 22 Jun 2020, 10:00 • #10 
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Joined: 06/11/05
Posts: 815
Location: US-NY
Trev wrote:
...
Really can't picture "dog-walk", though I have seen the term used many times.
.


When you periodically twitch the lure and immediately give it slack after each twitch, the cigar-shaped lure swings from side to side like a pendulum, pivoting on the rear end.


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Post 22 Jun 2020, 10:08 • #11 
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Joined: 01/11/17
Posts: 203
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Over the years I've inherited a fair number of lures that we used for just about everything, i.e., smallmouth, largemouth, crappie, goggle-eye, trout and the occasional walleye. These lures accumulated in several old tackle boxes until one day my bride came up with this framed wire mesh from a local flea market and created this unique way to display the collection above my rod building bench.

Out of nostalgia, I still use some of these old lures and they still catch their share of fish.

Image

Included are a few of the above-mentioned lures.

The ever popular Jitterbug

Image

Kautzky Chug Ike (Top) & Lazy Ike (Bottom)

Image

And a Heddon Baby Lucky 13

Image

One modern lure that has proven productive is a Japanese Duo Realis. Apparently this manufacturer has been in business since the 1990's and I found their spin bait to be quite productive on bass, both smallmouth and largemouth. Reminds me of an old Devils Horse with the props located fore and aft, but it does not float. Instead it sinks slowly and the props produce vibrations that attract fish.

Image


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Post 22 Jun 2020, 18:02 • #12 
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Joined: 06/10/05
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Location: US-MI
I grew up spin fishing with my Dad, my Brother and my dad's fishing buddy Gene (a really crazy guy who rarely caught fish). I will just list some of my favorites.
1. We often drifted the Au Sable and Manistee rivers in Canoes fishing nothing but the old panther Martin. We all liked yellow with red dots or black with yellow dots. We caught a lot of trout
2. All of us were pike nuts for a while and caught most of our fish on the old flatfish in size U20 or T4. I still catch pike on this lure and caught a 48" fish on a frog colored flatfish T4 size in Canada last year.
3. We all loved to cast little cleo's off Lake Michigan piers for years. We rarely caught fish though.
4. I like the jitterbug later in the evening. Lots of smallies. I like black and if I don't have a black one, I paint the bottom black. (I don't fish early in the morning most of the time.)


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Post 22 Jun 2020, 19:06 • #13 
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My big winner here on the Creek is inline spinners, Ozark Trail (Rooster Tail Knockoffs) .97 cents at wally world. I customize them with an inch and a half bunny strip, adds something extra the Smallmouth find hard to resist. Chartreuse is the goto with white getting stronger in the Fall. I pull them down current just enough to keep them off the bottom and the blade spinning. When retrieving back upstream I reel very slowly and they sit still in the current and the blade spins. The Rebel Craw is also very good.




I got lucky at a rummage sale and picked up a lifetime supply of jig heads for soft plastics a penny apiece. Some micro spoons

Again Spring and Summer chartreuse is a good color on these Panfish Assassins
I got some fancy plastic minnows from Japan, the fish weren't that impressed.
I put a little extra lead wire on some wooly buggers and /or add a conehead to make some "Flures" as per Joe Robinson. BOOM!!!

Bought like 50 of these Snap Bean knockoffs from China for $24 bucks shipping included.

I use the small platic boxes and two of them and a smaller one fit nicely in these camera bags I find at rummage sales. have like four of them. Cardinal 3 thrown in for size comp.


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Post 23 Jun 2020, 08:13 • #14 
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Steve, I can't imagine rigging and fishing a 1" Flash-J (or even 2") -
- seems like you'd need a size 12 swimbait hook (smallest I know is 4) or 1/64-oz jighead (0.5 g).
The 3" is all I'll ever need, shown here with
3/8-oz 3" Tsunami SS,
3/16-oz 2" Tsunami SS,
3" Flash-J on about 1/11-oz jighead
3-/1/2" Westin minnow on 1/16-oz jighead (another good Arroyo dock-fishing change-up lure).


The smallest streamers I tie are about 1", but that's with size 10 200R stinger hook or 1x-long size 6 stainless,


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Post 23 Jun 2020, 08:59 • #15 
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Joined: 11/06/17
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gaddis wrote:
Trev wrote:
...
Really can't picture "dog-walk", though I have seen the term used many times.
.


When you periodically twitch the lure and immediately give it slack after each twitch, the cigar-shaped lure swings from side to side like a pendulum, pivoting on the rear end.

Quote:
I'll assume you politely asked about dog-walking. In dog-walking, you don't retrieve with crank, but with pulls of the high rod, taking up slack with the reel crank. The lure makes a zig-zag across the surface - or in the feeding zone in the case of a neutral-density dog-walking lure - in the side-to-side manner baitfish normally evade.

Thanks, I've actually done something like that long ago but it never reminded me of a dog at all, dogs should be at heel or on a circle. I recently looked up "drop shot" as an unfamilar term only to find that it was a method I'd used 50 years ago. I may have to sign up for a course in "Modern American as a Second language".


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Post 23 Jun 2020, 13:24 • #16 
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Fishing has its own language.
Some of the language-use specific and common to fly tying and rod building gets creepy as hell (build and tie used as a noun).

But especially when talking about hardware and specific fishing technique, it's helpful to use common words that keep all on the same page.
Dog-walking is what it is, and no matter who coined it, using the words is easier than describing the technique.
If it wasn't so productive, we wouldn't be talking...


Something else that ought to be mentioned - poultices to smear on lures - ProCure.
Most people look at these entirely wrong - smell attractant, a variation on bait fishing.
It's nothing like that, as I learned from a guide 40 years ago, and reinforced by my Alaska guide buddy who handles all baits with nitrile lab gloves.

The purpose is to mask the taste of the steel, lead, and the smell of us on the lures - not to attract, but to postpone rejection.

Something else I do with TSL Grasswalkers is squeeze a drop inside the hook slot - if you were being eaten by a gamefish, what would you do? Exactly.



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Post 23 Jun 2020, 18:09 • #17 
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Trev wrote:
Thanks, I've actually done something like that long ago but it never reminded me of a dog at all, dogs should be at heel or on a circle. I recently looked up "drop shot" as an unfamilar term only to find that it was a method I'd used 50 years ago. I may have to sign up for a course in "Modern American as a Second language".


Ha !
most of this is just the new class of professional sport fishermen, coming up with new words to sell the old methods..
It's a good point though, never have jerked a dog around on a leash, the way I walk the dog on a fishing lure.

tend to fish plastics more than anything else these days, can find them in suspending or very slow sinking lines these days, which allow for a slow naturalistic presentation. The Keitech swim baits look great to me.

one new to me lure recently, is the Shimano Slim Swimmer 1.5g spoon which is terrific. It works well on everything bluegill through trout, looks better in a stream than any other hardware I know. Use a single barbless hook and it's nearly weedless, plus much easier to unhook the fish. Pricey though, so ordered a bunch of micro spoons from Alibaba to see if there's anything close. That shipment is three months and counting though, so not sure if I'll ever see them..

The Shimano spoon, with one of many miniature fish


otherwise have a heap of jig heads onto which I tie wooly buggers basically, like the many different ways these can be worked. It gives me something to do while the fish don't bite..



a miniature walleye on a white/silver marabou jig. I do sometimes catch fish bigger than these though not often it is true.

Tried a Browning Silaflex baitcast rod with a Lews Speedspool, running a Ned-rig worm for smallmouth in a steep and deep lake. Rather to my surprise this worked. The Ned rig is a kind of finesse rig, uses smaller plastic worms on a jighead filed or formed so it stands upright on the bottom, with the worm tails waving seductively (we hope) in the currents.
As a cheap bastard I just took one of my 1/8oz jig heads and filed the head flat, but of course there's a wide range of product for sale.



great picture of the far shore, not so great of the fish but oh well.

Throw old Heddon plugs on my old Heddon cane baitcaster, which oddly enough still work sometimes. This on a Heddon Baby Torpedo..



Still need to take the Crazy Crawler out for some exercise.


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Post 23 Jun 2020, 21:55 • #18 
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zara spook = walk-the-dog and always has -
- the plastic bait originated in 1939, its wooden predecessor, the Zaragossa, goes back to 1894.
Calling that new terminology is more than 2 generations incorrect.
Whoever coined the term was fishing a wooden plug, because there's nothing else you can do with this earliest of all fishing lure design. Similar boxed hand-made fishing plugs were sold before the Civil War.

1977 is the first print reference that googles, but that's limited by google's print database, and that specific date coincided with Heddon's redesign and marketing push of the lure - clearly the techniques and synonyms "Walking the Dog" and "Half-Step" were common and traditional then. Half-step, btw, is dog-walking using two twitches, a short followed by a long.

There's a very good chance "walking the dog" originated as a pun on lures made by Moonlight, later Paw Paw Bait Company, of Paw Paw, Michigan, a commercial enterprise in 1908, but selling handmade wooden plugs even earlier.

If it makes you feel better, Doc Henshall didn't have a name for it in 1881 - he simply called it "the bob" - but he also stated then it had already been fished in Florida for a century. Otherwise, his book stuck to instructions fishing live bait, trolling, and skittering a 15' fly rod, and with excellent descriptions of rods, reels, and lines, including wood-rod-building formulas.

1909 Chubb Henshall bass rod (rebuilt without intermediate wraps), and Bluegrass 33 reel


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 29 Jun 2020, 07:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 24 Jun 2020, 08:40 • #19 
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doug in co wrote:
...
one new to me lure recently, is the Shimano Slim Swimmer 1.5g spoon which is terrific. It works well on everything bluegill through trout, looks better in a stream than any other hardware I know. Use a single barbless hook and it's nearly weedless, plus much easier to unhook the fish. ...

The Ned rig is a kind of finesse rig, uses smaller plastic worms on a jighead filed or formed so it stands upright on the bottom, with the worm tails waving seductively (we hope) in the currents.

I have a still-carded antique fly rod spoon made from mother of pearl, but I remember Austin Angler selling tiny versions of spoons and even hairpin spinners to attach to your fly back in 1980 (in all likelihood imported from Japan). A micro swivel is a great idea if you're going to fish a spoon or spinner on either fly rod or UL. When making my home-made spinners, I incorporate them in the wire twist:


I took home a tiny endemic bass once to watch him in an aquarium, fattened him up and took him back to the river. (Legal, the State Fish has no bag or size limits.) He happened to be in a room that was normally closed off, there was cover for him, and he stayed wild. There were water trails in the river flagstone strata where I could count on aquarium-netting the tiniest minnows to throw in with him. He also readily ate mealworms and no cricket dropped in the tank was safe.
When I threw earthworms into the tank, I was amazed how animated they are - you can't over-animate your plastic worm - all motion you can put into it is natural.
And yes, they're always either tail-standing and stretching or doubling over in a kick to propel themselves upward - jigging a plastic worm that stands on the bottom is a perfect natural imitation.


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Post 24 Jun 2020, 09:29 • #20 
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Cool thread! I got this for Father's Day.



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Post 24 Jun 2020, 10:01 • #21 
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thanks for posting John, that's trick and priceless on a personal level.

Not to be following John with this, but I have a consideration - the consideration is in the last sentence.
Marketers have inundated our culture with choice of gear affects your success and reflects your skill level, intelligence, and even social class.
The only thing that affects your success is being an observant naturalist, then picking your gear based on that result.


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Post 24 Jun 2020, 12:21 • #22 
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Quote: " When I threw earthworms into the tank, I was amazed how animated they are - you can't over-animate your plastic worm - all motion you can put into it is natural.
And yes, they're always either tail-standing and stretching or doubling over in a kick to propel themselves upward - jigging a plastic worm that stands on the bottom is a perfect natural imitation."

Agree, but all the motion is because they are drowning, as not really in their natural environment - don't get me wrong, no problem drowning worms, and often fish plastic worms.


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Post 24 Jun 2020, 13:31 • #23 
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well, no, the little bass ate them, hence, the reason for putting them in the tank.


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Post 24 Jun 2020, 13:36 • #24 
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Well yes, their final outcome was not drowning :lol


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Post 24 Jun 2020, 14:06 • #25 
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I had to watch from a stealth position, because he wouldn't do anything if he saw me there.
But it was kind of cool, because he drug them around for awhile and took him several gulps to swallow them - they were almost as long as he was.
He really grew in the month or so I kept him there and went home fat.


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