Jigging baits for muskie

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by Reel Science, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. For my first set of baits I decided to make some wooden baits similar to the recently popular soft plastic jigging baits used up in the Detroit River (the originals are named after a popular guide that designed and sells them). I made these out of poplar and oak and will see if there is a performance difference. They are weighted to 7 to 8 ounces to get down and stay down in current. They will have a colorado spinner on the tail attachment, two hooks on the belly, and the line attachment is on their back up near the head. The only real difference between these and the originals (other than wood vs soft plastic) is that the originals have one large weight in the head, and I ended up with the weight being spread from the head to the middle of the bait. The originals don't really do much other than fall head first, so hopefully these aren't too different. This is a picture after being sealed in sanding sealer. They have since been devcon sealed and are awaiting paint jobs. I have some other various crankbaits started, but I'll finish these first. The picture is of one of the poplar and one of the oak. I used Vince's suggestion and went with epoxy putty to plug the weight holes and the tail rattle chamber hole. The weights and rattle are secured in place with devcon. The baits are around 7.5" long without the eventual tail spinner. I have 6 of them in progress and just started a seventh that will have a soft plastic tail instead of a tail spinner. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. This is my first attempt at making baits and I've already learned a lot through making mistakes along the way. Thanks to Vince and all other posters for great advice in many of the previous posts that I've spent hours reading through.

    Travis
     

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  2. Interested in your results...
     

  3. JamesT

    JamesT Banned

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    Those look great! That 2nd one is especially purty!

    How about foiling them? I've discovered a new netting that works great for adding foil texture. Cherry tomato netting -brand is "Desert Glory Nature Sweet". Ease of foiling will depend on the ht. of the bait. If it is 1.75" or less you can use the standard 2" aluminum HVAC tape. If it is larger I saw some HVAC tape at lowes that is 2.5" (or 3" can't remember) in ht.

    Here's how I would foil, others may do it differently. First trace each side on the back of the tape. Trace it so that the line drawn lines up to the widest part all around the bait (i.e. the center of the bait, not where the flat sides meet the tape". Next cut out the foil but cut it with an extra 1/8" or so around the line. Next put the cherry tomato webbing around a standard spray paint can or something similar in diameter. Cut patterns, peel backing off tape and press well into webbing (you can choose to line up the foil parallel to the can or perpendicular to the can or however you want, you can also experiment with different diameter cylinders, I use a small diameter spray paint can for bass cranks). Peel off and put on each side. Since you have excess, perfect alignment is not critical. Now use something (I use a small xacto knife) to burnish the crinkled parts on the top, bottom, front, and back of lures. Now cut out a few strips and cover the remaining parts using slits where the hook hangers, tie in, prop hanger are. Finally give it a finally burnish with the xacto and something like a dart tip to burnish around the eyelets and you are ready to add paint. Just a thought, I think they would look great and perform well with a shiny surface.

    Or you could just paint them. I'm curious how much of a "rattle trap" type vibration they have when pulled up.
     
  4. I'm really up against my self-imposed deadline. I was hoping to have all of them ready to go by June. Right now I have 5 of the 6 in an interim stage of painting. I haven't had much time lately and I'm struggling with the details of operating my airbrush. Right now I'm hoping to at least have a few of them ready to go in a few weeks to take up to Detroit with me.

    Thanks for the ideas for foiling. Right now I'm considering using some green microsparkle adhesive film that I have. I want to use that for the green on a firetiger. I will also foil some, but probably not this batch. I'll finish the painting on these and use them as version one, hopefully making some improvements on batch number two. Those will be fair game for foil.

    Travis
     
  5. I finally finished two of my jigging baits (at least the painting). I still need to clear coat them, but I'm close. They are my first attempt at using an airbrush. Of course they turned out nothing like I had in my mind. They shouldn't scare the fish away. I started out with a basic orange tiger and firetiger. The eyes are holograph tape with microsparkle tape for pupils. The pictures don't show the true colors very well and they also don't show the un-intended overspray. Being my first batch I've messed them up at every step, and now I'm down to just one more step to mess up. Hopefully in the near future I'll look back at these as a crude beginning.

    Travis
     

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  6. JamesT

    JamesT Banned

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    Those look great and very effective!

    I like the denim on denim style eyes!
     
  7. They look great to me!
     
  8. Five clear coats of envirotex later these two baits are finally finished. I learned a lot going through the clear coat process for the first time and I think that it will really pay off on future baits. Here are a few pictures of my first two completely finished baits.

    Travis
     

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  9. Those came out beautiful!
     
  10. RS

    They are beautiful, and by no means do they look like your first baits. I have recently finished my first baits as well, and I wish they were as sharp as yours. You should be very proud.

    Please let us know how they work and keep the updates coming.

    MS
     
  11. I'm happy to report that the jigging baits do exactly what I hoped they would do. In a recent trip up to the Detroit River they dropped like a rock with a head-first orientation and they jig very nicely. You can feel every thump of the big blade. I only put a total of 2 hours or so into jigging them during a 3.5 day trip. I spent most of my time casting the shallows with store-bought baits. I wanted to make sure the jigging baits are all ready to go in the fall when the jigging really gets good. Now I just have to finish clear coating the rest of them and hopefully catch my first muskie(s) on homemade baits later this fall.

    The trip was a lot of fun (third weekend of June). Over 3.5 days we saw 39 fish and landed 11. The three biggest were between 41 and 43 inches. Two of the follows were upper 40's, but after following into figure 8's they wouldn't pull the trigger. We caught fish on a mix of muskie spinnerbaits, hellhounds, bulldawgs, sledge jerkbaits, and bucktails. The river is great for numbers in June, but in the future I'll probably put more effort into casting Lake St. Clair to look for a little more size at the expense of numbers.

    Travis
     
  12. Those turned out great! They sure do look a lot better than Bondi's! -Not just a sheephead-shaped chunk of rubber.;)
     
  13. You are in what is pretty much uncharted waters building and fishing with a hard jigging bait for muskies.

    Very cool stuff and I hope you score with them, RS.

    There is still a lot more to be learned about what will constitutes a meal beneath that layer of water where the beast resides.
     
  14. I finally finished two more jigging baits. The firetiger is oak and the glitter tiger is poplar. The camera flash over-emphasized the microsparkle glitter sheet on the side, but it does really flash in the sunlight. I'll be trying more of the microsparkle glitter sheets and tape. It's easy to work with and really adds flash. I should have faded out the microsparkle tape on the belly of the glitter tiger. I'm not a big fan of the hard lines that I left by not painting the edges of the belly tape. I'm thinking about naming that bait the purple bling tiger. The picture doesn't show it well, but the back of the bait is a cool iridescent purple. I'm still struggling to get the airbrush to do exactly what I want it to, but for jigging in deep water I think that they'll all work just fine.

    Travis
     

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  15. Reel,

    Those are sharp, I really like the purple bling. Keep them coming!

    MS
     
  16. They will get smashed for sure! You said you did 5 coats of Etex!! The Musky might break their teeth on those.
     
  17. very nice, love your outside the box thinking when doing this bait, kudos brother

    Etch
     
  18. Here is the 5th jigging bait ready to go for this fall. The back is iridescent violet (not really shown in the picture). This is the first time that I've played with glitter mixed into the E-Tex. I used really fine glitter from Jann's, fire opal. I like how subtle it is, but it still lights up pretty good in direct sunlight. The second picture is my first jerkbait. It has a long way to go, and we'll see if I can even make it run in the water. I have to seal it and play with some different weights. If I can get the weighting right and it has any action I'll go ahead and paint and finish it. It is cherry wood, 10" long, has size 5/0 gamakatsu's, and was inspired by Vince's stogies. It's soaking in sanding sealer as I type.

    Travis
     

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  19. BaddFish

    BaddFish Searchin for Skees & Eyes

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    Looking good RS!
    I just started some jerks yesterday out of bamboo.
    I'm putting weight in the upper chamber and "Great Stuff" in the lower larger chamber- I'm excited to see and use!
    Love Jerks!

    Let us know how you did on the Detroit! I've fished out of the mile rds 3-4 times- love it up there!
     
  20. RS, you have a style of your own in your paint work. It looks great. The jerkbait you came up with is very interesting too. Let me know how it runs. I love jerkbaits for muskies.


    Baddfish, I'm curious about yours too. How did you make this out of bamboo?