SurfCasterNJ

Why Eelskin ?

37 posts in this topic

I’ve do well with eels and bare plugs but have never tried an eelskin....I’d be willing to try if it can give me a advantage over the others

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2 hours ago, clambellies said:

 

It is.  It was a great fish catcher in it's day, and probably still is today, but there are options that are just as good.  Soft plastics have changed that game for me.  Sure....somebody out there is going to say "But Bluefish destroy soft plastics."  Yeah, they do, so you put on another one. "But eelskins are really durable, and soft plastics cost money."  Yeah, they are, but finding large enough eels isn't cheap or easy either.

Agree. Though they do give a nice tail action on the back of a plug that's more lifelike than a deerhair flag. As for ripping the skin off a used dead eel to go over a plug? Maybe for needlefish. But besides that, casting eels are way too small for any re-use as skins over plugs. Can reuse the skin for eelskin jigs I suppose, in deep inlets or the canal. But as clambellies said, soft plastics fills that role better.

 

If you want eels big enough to fit over most plugs you need to buy the skins separately... because depending on the width of the plug, that means a 24-30+" snake. Most shops dont carry 30" eels. Those things are huge.

3 mins ago, SurfCasterNJ said:

What is the best way to preserve them on the plug ?  Just fill a bag with salt and keep them in the freezer ? 

Kosher salt in bag, in freezer.

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38 mins ago, rst3 said:

 

If you want eels big enough to fit over most plugs you need to buy the skins separately... because depending on the width of the plug, that means a 24-30+" snake. Most shops dont carry 30" eels. Those things are huge.

 

I do some freshwater fishing in the summer and I sometimes get eels weigh in anywhere between 14 to 22 oz.   They are at least as thick as a 3 oz TA Darter or Northbar bottle Darter  or Danny Plug   I can't imagine casting rigged eels that are that big.   So maybe eelskins may be the ticket for them ..   How much of the eelskin do you typically want to extend past the back of the plug.  

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Eel skin plugs aren’t necessarily fished to mimick an eel but to give a plug a natural tail action and the most natural paint job possible(skin)

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21 mins ago, tfucini said:

Eel skin plugs aren’t necessarily fished to mimick an eel but to give a plug a natural tail action and the most natural paint job possible(skin)

 

I have heard that many people prefer to fish eel skins inside out.  Kinda bluish color  ...

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2 hours ago, UncleJohn said:

I do some freshwater fishing in the summer and I sometimes get eels weigh in anywhere between 14 to 22 oz.   They are at least as thick as a 3 oz TA Darter or Northbar bottle Darter  or Danny Plug   I can't imagine casting rigged eels that are that big.   So maybe eelskins may be the ticket for them ..   How much of the eelskin do you typically want to extend past the back of the plug.  

Here's the general idea. Long enough so you get that nice tail action, but not so long that it fouls up by snagging on the hook. Imo, the needlefish on top is a little too short, but the Atom below it is just right. 

5aa445e385492_Cape2010001.jpg.4712c48a261692eecdcdb4542b02d807.jpg

 

When done correctly it really does add to the action of a plug. Just not as easy to bring onto (and store off) the fishing grounds. So if someone is looking for super simple/no mess no fuss/forget about it, then probably not worth doing.

 

For those that like a little craft in their fishing hobby, and don't mind the extra effort, they can certainly be worth trying. And as with anything you make(or partially make) yourself, it is a little more rewarding to catch a fish on something like this.

 

Lastly, the skins are almost always fitted on inside out, which gives the blueish color you see in the pics

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Skinning eels isn't that difficult.  Once you get the hang of it, you can skin a dozen of them in pretty short order.  

 

Toughest part is finding eels that are large enough to skin even medium-sized plugs.

 

There's a place in NY called cow harbor (or similar) that sells brined eel skins.  They run from $10-$20 per skin, which is more than I care to spend.

 

Don't forget that you can use large bait eels to skin plastic swimmers, as well as the aforementioned needles.

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I also think that there is an art to it, like a little thanks to the older generations and sharpies that kept on keeping fisherman like us to the love of surfcasting. If i can get a decent fish on eelskin plug instead of a newer plug or soft plastic it will be more rewarding to me since you put more time preparing it. 

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2 mins ago, Ed Z said:

Won’t storing a plug in brine or salt rust out the hooks?

Yep. In my experience the salt does speed corrosion of the hooks and rings. I've tried simply letting the skin air dry to get around the salt. No deal. At all. Wont ever do that again. Skin dries into a hard, leather-like block that--for all intents--cant be rehydrated. Tail basically glues itself together.

 

I dont know how the salt does it. Maybe it gets into the cells themselves and the crystals provide some sort of internal support when water is removed, so the flap of meat doesnt collapse fully into jerky. Then when water is re-added it flows back into the cells and displaces the salt. Or something like that who knows \_(ツ)_/

 

Anyway, one way around the corrosion might be to rinse the plug with fresh water, pat the excess, then wrap a quick thing of cling wrap over the treble and split ring before resalting for storage. Or just say screw it and simply replace the ring & treble once they get iffy after awhile 

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I know that there are other, very long, threads here re skinning plugs, but I can't find them right now.

 

Seems that there was a mention or two in those threads about storing skinned plugs in the freezer.  Don't recall if the plugs were stored in brine or in a plastic container of salt.

 

Anybody know?

 

 

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22 hours ago, rst3 said:

Here's the general idea. Long enough so you get that nice tail action, but not so long that it fouls up by snagging on the hook. Imo, the needlefish on top is a little too short, but the Atom below it is just right. 

5aa445e385492_Cape2010001.jpg.4712c48a261692eecdcdb4542b02d807.jpg

 

When done correctly it really does add to the action of a plug. Just not as easy to bring onto (and store off) the fishing grounds. So if someone is looking for super simple/no mess no fuss/forget about it, then probably not worth doing.

 

For those that like a little craft in their fishing hobby, and don't mind the extra effort, they can certainly be worth trying. And as with anything you make(or partially make) yourself, it is a little more rewarding to catch a fish on something like this.

 

Lastly, the skins are almost always fitted on inside out, which gives the blueish color you see in the pics

Do you tie it onto the plug with fishing line or does is stay on with just the sheer tightness of the skin over the plug ?!

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33 mins ago, SurfCasterNJ said:

Do you tie it onto the plug with fishing line or does is stay on with just the sheer tightness of the skin over the plug ?!

Have to tie it on.  Leave 1/4" or so of the skin above the groove.  Tie it with any one of a number of methods, trim your tag end of your tie, then fold that 1/4" (or so) "collar" back to cover the tie.

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What did you do to brake the handle in the first place ?   I would think by making it longer it would break even faster ? 

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