CaryGreene

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  1. Based on a few requests I'm starting this thread so we can journey together and share our insight on all things Metal. When added to Bucktails, Plugs and Lures, Metal can be an essential part of your surf casting and boat fishing game. This is an awesome category and a very under-utilized category of surf lures. Most local shops are out of stock on much of this stuff, especially in season, so unfortunately it's largely an order it on line type of item. As a huge retailer, I have observed Metal go out the door literally in wheel barrels. I have also seen shop lifters clipped 20 per. day for stealing metal, so if even a shoplifter knows metal works, it may be time to get with the program fellas! Let's share our insights and experience with this cool cult like Surf Lure. I would encourage stories, experiences, photos, and the general expansion of the starting point I am giving you. I'm quite certain I will learn a thing or two from this post, as I do with all posts. Together we will dedicate an all things Metal thread that will hopefully grow in time. So let's get started. First, why use metal? Well, there are more reasons than I can list. Metal comes in various forms and Metal Lures are made of various substances and given various finishes, from dull to polished to hammered to painted to holographic, Metal is a SERIOUS Saltwater stand by. Yet many of us don't carry Metal. It certainly can and will add a little weight to your plug bag. But it will also more than pay for this by adding a little weight to that Boga Grip you keep wearing! I'm going to copy and paste my starting point which was made in a recent thread as a starting point here, only as promised I will have some photos for you cats to browse as well. Don't take my ranking too seriously, I just whapped them down in the order I like them. Depending on your situation and your confidence level, you may certainly beg to differ with me. Metal is a superior WIND IN YOUR FACE type solution. It is also super for reaching long distances. It is deadly in a blitz. Metal lures can be heavy and you need to fish deep or move them fast sometimes. Other Metal lures can flutter and drop slow or wobble nicely at a steady pace as they are made from Hammered Tin, not cast, heavier metals. Metal can dredge the bottom 120 feet down for boat guys or provide a surface solution for all of us. Metal is lethal in a Blitz and is equally adept as a searching pattern for when you want to cover a huge area of water from a single position. Metal sometimes doesn't look like much. But remember, once it's moving it becomes a panicking baitfish very quickly. Metal reflects light and can slash all over the place. Metal can hang in the froth and just flutter away. Cruising Predators will ambush Metal. I know guys on Montauk who ONLY fish Metal and or Bucktails. So if you want to be hard core, if you want to have some fun - because throwing Metal is a serious blast - if you want to have some answers when other Surf Lures just aren't cutting it, then this season would be a great time to get in the Metal Game. There are a lot of choices for different types of fishing. Let's put our focus on ALL applications in this thread. I am going to keep to a Surf Casting perspective but understand I do fish from a boat a lot as well. Keeping Metal simple is a good place to start. As you read down through my ranked list, think of the type of situations that you encounter a lot and which Metals might be best suited for you. Also, maybe you use metal differently than I describe. Please add to the list below and share your feedback ok fellas. Top Metal Lures, Loosly Ranked 1. Point Jude Lures - I had originally ranked Point Jude Lures individually but they have numerous Metal Lures and are in good supply usually. For this reason, they get the nod over the competition. They also work terrific which goes without saying. the craftsmanship on the Point Jude lures is also nothing short of superb. I have never had one fail for any reason. I actually prefer Charlie Graves Tins, but they are harder to get and often not available. Point Jude features many options and most of what you want can be found without needing to go elsewhere. When you want to reach into the cookie jar and just go fishing, starting with Point Jude is an Awesome place to begin. I have a few favorites in the Point Jude lineup. Some of the Point Jude Lures come in Silver or Gold. They also have some other cool stuff for Night Guys A. Point Jude Nautilus. THE wind if your face skip it or slash it on the surface, casts a mile. 2oz. & 3 oz. Get some confidence with this lure. Fish it when fish are far out and up top. This is a heavy ICBM 2oz. or 3oz. reach out and tough a blitz even in the wind lure. It features a full keel, and it skips on top like no other bait I've seen. B. Point Jude Sea Scallop. THE flutter it along bait. I sometimes ditch the Siawash Tail & Hook that comes with it and install something smaller like an Akai Bait hook. I mean, side to side beneath the surface, nice and seductive. VERY overlooked by many. Neat tin. Probably the second best seller in the Point Jude lineup & most die hards will happily show you one from their belt. C. Point Jude Sand Eel. Great for when Sand Eels are present. Beyond Great. Groovy. D. Point Jude Butterfish. Day Saver from the boat. If you're out in the race a lot, grab a few of these pronto! I like to remove the tail on this for small Butterfish. E. Point Jude Bunker. Nice little Peanut Imitation, may need to remove the Saiwash hook and fish it with just an Akai ​ F. Point Jude Striper Knight - a Black version of the killer Po-Jee, including a cool feather tail. G. Point Jude Po-Jee. If you want an all purpose Sand Eel/Silver Sides type metal for working open, Sandy Beaches or for hucking off the boat, look no further. Comes with a kicker tail or a saiwash style, or with just a trebble for you toothless, snarly types. The Po-Jee is the single, most popular Point Jude lure. 2. Charlie Graves Custom Tins. A company similar to Point Jude, Charlie Graves Tins are really geared 100% for us plug collecting down and dirty beach rats. Charlie Graves covers everything Point Jude offers and they also take things to even more hard core levels with many options that you can spend a fishing career getting to know. I love Charlie Graves Tins. They would be in my first couple sentences if I were to talk about essential surf fishing lures. Unfortunately, they are perpetually out of stock and hard to get. So, like with custom lures of all sorts, it is a crap shoot. The more popular a small company gets, the harder it is to keep up with demand. Let's look at just a couple. These tins are worth searching and waiting for. Side by side with a Point Jude, the Charlie Graves Lures don't sink as fast, they swim better than any other metal lure we will talk about or see. Period. The list below is only a short list. If you really want to be awarded a metal skull & cross bones pin for your baseball hat, you will need to dig much further here. I can't reveal anything else, I'm already a tell all who could be shot or dragged from a jet ski by beach pirates. A. The Sand Flea. Terrific little in the surf spoon. Anything and everything will hit this little silver morsel. B. The Peanut Bunker. Very effective fluttering tin. C. The Butterfish. A nice, super light alternative to the competition. When Butterfish get blown onto the coast line, watch out. This tin will solve unsolvable, finicky fish situations like no other. Out in the race, up against the rocks, this is equally lethal. Just fling it at Little Gull Island and hang onto your rod. Mullet. Comes in super handy when the right shape and size is needed for the dreaded but appreciated Mullet blitzes of the Jersey Shore. 100% lethal fluttering tin. Herring. Herring have silver bellies. When you get the smaller Atlantic Herring blitzes along the coast, you have to first reach the fish, then have the right shape to imitate the smaller Herring that get pushed up into the top of the water column by the aggressive Blues. Let this spoon flutter on down to the bottom with a 20 or 30 count and you will also be lipping a few Stripers to add to the Blues you snookered. Sand Eel/Silver Sides Another excellent Tin that just catches fish all day freeking long. LOVE IT! (hahaha) You will absolutely need a spoon with this silhouette for both Sand Eels and Silversides as they are omni-present baits that Bass are on all season long, like CRACK! Jack! 3. Shimano Colt Sniper. Absolutely deadly when Silversides are around. Available in many sizes (sold by gram weight not ounces, so you have to translate it to know which weight you want. Can be used from shore. Fluttters as it drops, wich is VERY unusual for a heavy metal lure, this occurs because of the beveled edges. The Holographic finish is pretty chip resistant and ultra life like. The East Coast has realized this is a killer lure so good luck getting them as they will be out of stock forever. The Colt Sniper can swim. WHAAAAAT? Decent color assortment with Ahi Brown, Green Back and Pearl of course being fabulous choices and the 42g. and 60g. being good starting points. Crushes fish by boat or from shore. This is a cool, modern piece of metal that brings a real, baitfish imitation angle to the surf community. Catches anything that swims & is on the prowl and allows you to cast far AND drill Bass. I didn't want to like this lure. I wish it wasn't so baller. But it is. Dammit! Try them this season. It's like opening Pandora's Box. WHAM! 4. Point Wilson Darts. Killer choices for everything from Rain Bait to Atlantic Herring to Mackerel. I like the "Anchovy" Dart, it is a style, has a little longer body profile than their "Herring" darts. These are similar to the Colt Sniper in function, awesome from the boat. The light reflecting paint jobs are SERIOUS DUDE. Can also be used from shore. Sold in 1oz. right on up to very heavy 6oz. and even heavier options available. These baits are HUGE on the West Coast and all the way up into Canada. The East Coast wouldn't know a Point Wilson if it bit them in the A$$! If you ran around in a boat all season you could just fish with these and be perfectly good, wouldn't need a single other lure. I have crushed fish with them for years. One time in the Cape Cod Canal people were swearing at me. Until I shared my Macks of course, in exchange for beers. the bottom picture is secret weapon #1 for Albies. BAM 5. Sweedish Pimple. Comes in very large sizes & is deadly in saltwater with Pearl being a killer color. Very overlooked bait. Casts a mile and man does it catch Stripers. You have to order these on line, nobody seems to know they exist. Get 2oz. and 3oz. and huck these whenever you want to. They are sub surface slow and seductive, they are up top. WAY versatile. Deadly. Add a tail on stubby hook. Only issue, fitting a large split ring in either hole. VERY hard to freeking do. I will post a few of the monster pimples, the kind of which Stridex Pads turn and run from, shortly...in the meantime, here is a cheesy little ice fishing pimple. Puh-lease! 6. Diamond Jig with Orange Tube Tail. Great from a boat, comes in serious heavy sizes and will crush fish even in current. Many Captains say this is the #1 lure there is. Only ranked low because it's not typically a great reel it in lure, used more for jigging. Stripers eat this thing all day long. You could fish your entire life from a boat and use only these. They kill it. 7. Shimano Wax Wing. Odd? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Idiotic? Yes. Expensive? Check. An excellent bait when you have some water depth and the fish are in the middle to upper part of the water column. Reel it in and it just goes side to side on it's own. If you get onto some fish, the wax wing will kill fish. Should probably be ranked higher. 8. Crippled Herring. Time tested fall classic. Very Heavy. Casts terrific and has great action. Doesn't look like much. Looks can be deceiving. This little F&C4#% really swims kid! ^...failed to get the picture of the Hopkins Shorty up. See below for blackdogfish's correction. 10. Deadly Dick. Unbeatable slashing action (best in class), really THE Metal Lure for fall blitzes. You have to smoke this bait and keep it up and slashing. Best selling metal lure in New England. Maybe should have ranked this one higher. Restricted to surface only. TERRIFIC and slams fish during blitzes. I had to explain what this lure was to Cabela's brass. They don't have them in Nebraska. After they sold 10 thousand in a week they begrudgingly added it to the assortment. Just so you know, that is really not that good. Think of how many universal type lures, like for example of Blue Gill Jig, they sell in a week. 100 thousand? Dicks carries them, they must be good because their Fishing Departments are pretty dialed in. 11. Kast Master. Best Casting Metal out there dollars to doughnuts. REALLY heavy though. You have to burn it to keep it up on top. WILL BE in stock at your nearest gas station in New England. In fact, I may have seen these at Dunkin Doughnuts the other day. Not sure. Could have been ranked number one and if this was a magazine article, I would have probably put it there. 12. WHAAAAT??? Yes. Little Cleo Spoon. Nobody uses these in Salwater in their right mind right? Wrong. Try the Alewife when Peanuts are around & send me Turtles (the chocolates) or Scotch as a nice, classy thank you. Cleo's actually flutter better than most all tins and spoons. So years ago I said, WHY NOT? Then I went on a season long mission to catch a nice Striper with one. The mission ended during the first week of the season. I took a 32lb. Striper (granted, not huge) on a Chartrause Cleo. It was then that my love affair began. Since you can't marry the girl on the back, you have to settle for fishing with her. ...Cod Jig called a Vikey Jig has been removed from my list. Looks like we could use a few more options like Krocodile Spoons or the Hex Heads. I will leave those to you guys because I don't use either. If anybody likes them, please put up some pictures & let us know what is good about them.
  2. 15' long 8# to 12# leader tied directly to a bell-shaped Lure Clip (Catch-All) or an egg clip & a Charlie Graves Peanut Bunker or 1-W, use a steady, slower retrieve. AOK Tackle P-Nut jigs would be my #2 but only if I didn't have a Charlie Graves Tin handy. A 3/4 oz Crippled Herring will work consistently also. If you need a slower retrieve or are fearful of getting hung up, you can also use a Little Cleo (rig it with a 1/0 VMC In- Line Hook). Out front, with waves or a little water depth, Point Wilson Anchovy Darts or Iron Candy Bullets also work well, as do Hogy Peanut lures. Very small paddle tails are another option. Try chartreuse.
  3. No, haven't seen any Makos in LIS but out in the Race and in the Gut you can get anything really. Typically, Makos will be found off Block though.
  4. Indeed, they are probably Brown Sharks (called Sandbar Sharks sometimes) because they are super common this time of year along the coast of CT. They are commonly found during low light blitzes and they feed on larger Bunker and other bigger baits, even Skate. They can grow pretty big (6 to 8 ft.) and you can find them surprisingly close to shore in the muddy bottomed areas along the CT shore, especially around the mouths of rivers and near salt marsh outflows. Brown Sharks are harmless to people, though they get pretty big, they aren't a threat. People mistake Brown Sharks for Bull Sharks a lot and if you're in a Yak, they won't show much interest in you unless you either hook them or you are trailing a fish you've taken & are bleeding. Smooth Dogfish Sharks are also around in CT waters and are attracted to smaller baits and you can even get Spiny Dogfish Sharks here and there as well. You might also hook into a Sand Tiger this time of year, especially with big Bunker or Hickory Shad around as I've caught a few of them at the mouth of CT River & vicinity at night. They are incredibly tough fighters (like Brown Sharks but much bigger usually). You can also find Bull Sharks, though I've never caught one in CT waters, I had one swim right past my jet ski once, kind of shocking.
  5. One year during a captain's weekend, I remember having the fishing department doing Uncle Josh demos all day long. They had some incredible baits. Everybody loved the all black giant eel. Slap that thing on the right wobble head and watch out! Great night time bait. I have been fishing happily with Uncle Josh trailers ever since they went out of business but I'm glad that they're coming back, for the sake of the next generation! Red over white is an all-time classic. I always liked all white but to each their own. So glad to see them back.in business. Acme Tackle owns Uncle Josh. I don't see why I Rhode Island company couldn't resurrect this once proud brand and keep it going strong. My pop wasn't a fisherman but my grandfather was and he had all kinds of pork rind spoons with spinner blades..etc. I guess he was a lake fisherman. I grew up chucking bucktails with Uncle Josh so I still do it to this day and they still work just as well as they always did. Most of the bucktails I throw don't require a trailer but out on the boat they can be very good.
  6. You salty Dog! We need to change your name to "sea-wolf." mml4 is dead to me.
  7. This thread is not about Conventional Reels for Surf Casting with heavy sinkers & chunks. It's about using Conventional Reels for Plugging with Tins/Metals, Bucktails/Rinds, Jigs/Soft Plastics, Live Lining Eels & of course Plugs/Lures. We will examine the situational benefits of Conventional Reels used for Plugging. Patrolling the beach with Conventional Reels originated back in the Pre & Post World War 2 days. Spinning reels showed up & largely replaced the use of Conventional Reels - for many good reasons, but a percentage of die hard "Tin-Heads" as I like to call us, still use Conventional Reels - either exclusively or as part of the mix of the trade. The truth is, there are many times & numerous situations when a Spinning Reel is the better choice. That said, the reverse is also true. Many younger anglers today really don't get exposed to using Conventional Reels for plugging - not a lot of guys are out there still doing it & sharing the knowledge so these young wippersnappers can pave the way forward for the sport. The real goal of this thread, for me, is to open some eyes. My hope is that this knowledgeable & awesome community full of great people who share a common love of Surf Casting can come together & create something I can't. Something great. Something informative. Something fun to read. I have no idea where we will go with this, but I'm really looking forward to the ride. We'll get into the history of how this type of fishing originated. We'll look at some of the key companies (in no particular order) that manufacture, or manufactured, some of the best reels on the beach. We will also look "under the hood" & review the reels of yesterday & the reels made today. I want to dedicate this thread to three very special people. The first is Ralph Votta, who has carried with making the legendary Charlie Graves Tins and in so doing - has acted as a link between the history of the past & the present. I visited Ralph's shop many a time as a younger fisherman & though he would only know me as a rather quiet customer, interacting with him was always a marvelous experience & one that I paid very careful attention to. The second person is Stewie, who is a member of the Ditch Trolls, an avid & truly passionate user of Conventional Reels & someone who struck me as a truly amazing person when I met him on Canal a number of years ago. His fishing knowledge aside, it was his honesty, his integrity & his happiness to share information that made me aware, even then, that I was in the presence of a truly special person. There isn't a better, humbler, more deadly Tin Head on the planet earth - even though he loves Darters. Lastly, I want to dedicate this thread to the Jamie from PMR Reels, who just oozes passion as he rips apart reels & teaches the world all sorts of cool things about Conventional reels. Jamie has has done more amazing things to fishing reels than anyone I've ever met. He also made me my personal favorite fishing reel - which I'm not going to share yet but I will do it as the thread evolves & the time is right. And now, with a tip of the cap to all Ditch Trolls & a warm thank you to the SOL Moderators for giving us this Fantastic Four-um, let's roll & as I like to say So grab some Porter, have a nice Chocolate Donut & fire up your favorite cigar and hang on...
  8. Another few thoughts(I try not to have too many in one day these days, so this is it for me today) - >>>>> Regarding Duo-Locks. Not all re created equal. Some have a lot more tension when locked, others have significant play and still others are just plain inferior. When people say Duo-Locks pop open or they work great & don't have problems - I've been trained in my long career in the fishing industry to yawn and tell them to go get a pack of jerkey & shut up. LOL (only kidding). Actually, I've been trained to ask a question. "What brand of Duo-Lock are you using?" Answers vary - (P-Line, VMC, Rapala, Duo-Lock, "Got 'em off Amazon" type, American Fishing Wire, Arnold, Goture, Sea Striker, Rosco, Brad's, Asari, FinStrike, Yongzhi - yawnnn) Yeah. Some aren't made that great compared to others. Rather than having our readers sitting around panting like a lizard on a hot rock waiting for some good advice on this topic, I generally just tell people to head over to the off-shore isle because that stuff is where it's at. Some guys aren't rich enough to be eatin' fried chicken all week long, so cost comes into play when you buy odds & ends, sure. But even really well made snaps are pretty inexpensive, so let me give you the bacon without the sizzle - I've been using Catch-All Snaps for a looooong time and not one has ever "popped open" on a fish. GT's, Tuna of all sorts, Tarpon, Roosters, Stripers, Blues, Cudas, Marlin, Sailfish, Billfish..etc. Are they the best clips out there? Dunno. But even if you're tighter than a clothesline and like to squeeze your nickels 'till the Buffalo's scream, you could probably find it in your black little hearts to spring for a 25 pack of these here bad-boys. What you're basically looking for is a nice, heavy, fairly low profile clip that allows a Tin to have a little bit of wiggle room. Kind of like expanded waist-line pants. Tin's need to be able to shake it when the fishing looks like it's about to be so good it's like you might be riding a gravy train with biscuit wheels! I know we've all had days and nights where the fishin' was so hot it was like the hens were layin' hard boiled eggs. You're looking for something with a bell shape to it. Now before you start thinking I have a hole in my screen door, hang on just a second and consider what's most important because I do know that if a duck had my brain it would NOT fly north for the winter like some of you are thinking. The whole purpose of fishing Tins IS to switch them. That's why we have the Rotation (see Tins thread for info on that). You move through your rotation, then YOU move! The idea is, you're throwing the most commonly found sized bait-fish from spot to spot. Bait hugs the shore. Stripers work the troughs as the waves crest. Bait gets sucked into the trough from the backwash of the previous wave. Bait schools up around your Tin as you retrieve it nice & smooth. Striper pounds into the bait, which scatters. It see's the feather kicker, which looks to be the exact size of the bait. It sees the glow of your Tin's belly, again, the exact size of the bait. the Striper then hits one or the other - IT DON'T MATTER WHICH! We could sit around & think about all this until our brains become colder than cast-iron commodes, or we could go out & try the right dang type of lure clip. What I do know that if you don't catch anything, then your supper's probably gonna be fried water! So try using a Catch-All Snap & try the Rotation. What do you have to lose???
  9. I'm down to 2 1/2 cases of 5' white Striper Strips so this is good news as I do plan on fishing for at least the rest of this season. Then we'll re-assess & think over whether fishing next year is a good idear.
  10. This is how a lot West Coast Metals are handled. In fact a good number of them come already ringed. "Too-Tight" of a split ring is just as bad as using a standard TA clip. They bind the Tin from moving. In this picture above, the opposite is true. The Tin is free to move. Nice post NCK.
  11. What Ralph has said to me numerous times is that a "double-hinge" makes the Tins swim wrong and actually negates the tight flutter, making the Tins "snake" when they swim. He advocates "not using" a split-ring because most guys will then use a lure clip on the split-ring. The lure clip doesn't grab the split ring securely, it allows it to have significant play & that's actually what the problem is. If you want to use a split ring or a solid ring, simply tie directly to that opposed to using clips altogether. If you do that, the Tin will swim exactly the same as it would if you used a bell shaped or egg shaped snap. I have tested this in my current tank in the shop and also to this day use both methods on the water & have been using both methods with equal results. I have also discussed these results with Ralph and he concurs. Think about it, a snap is half a circle. A ring is a full circle. They both allow the tin plenty of play. Its the connection point extra hinge that you don't want. Ralph also has had to deal with numerous upset people who try to pry a split ring onto the Tin and they wind up mangling the Tin as a result, so he will steer people away from using split rings for this reason also. Quite frankly, the easiest method is to use the proper type of clip and be done with it. The whole point of using Tins is to "rotate" from one to the next, then move & repeat. Clips allow for fast changes and no knots, which saves on leader material. Also, polishing is highly recommended by me, especially if you like to fish Tins deeper. I have noticed a huge difference in daytime catch rates with polished Tins vs unpolished. If you fish at night, paint it black as they say. Why polish anything in that case. Lastly, two more points. Charlie Graves does not make plated-lead Tins. Ralph pours them two ways - from Block Tin or from White Metal (scrap metal). Block Tin, when poured into the same mold with the exact same dimensions, will produce a decidedly lighter lure. Polished Tin is absolutely shiny and reflective. White Metal remains shiny way longer without the need to be polished. It is also comparatively heavier and therefore worse for most beach fishing because any lure over 2 oz tends to get hung up easily in many places. The reason most shops carry the White Metal Tins is because they are quite a bit less expensive. Tin is more expensive as a metal and that's why Ralph makes white metal Tins. Tackle shops want the least expensive lures because that's what fishermen want. Side by side on two pegs, white metal tins sell at a rate of 10:1 and the only people who would want a Tin lure are people who actually know what they're doing & who have some experience dating back several decades or more. Most other fishermen just wouldn't even think to ask why they should be using Tin instead of white metal and still others simply do everything based on whichever costs less.
  12. Glad to hear the positive vibes Rock. When you get the Point Wilson Darts, the Herring Dart is the only model they make the Glow in - reason being the Herring Dart has "girthier" shoulders than the slimmer Anchovy so it gets down deep quick and that's the advantage of the Glow. It knocks the socks off any other color at 15 to 20 feed down or more. That said, it's equally lethal from shore if you fish out front in surf. At only 1 oz, it gets under the waves and can be seen in rough water. On the Crippled Herring, yes, downsize in the fall. For now, roll with 2 oz all summer. PM me and I'll send you a link for the Iron Candy Bullets. I think it's taboo to share publicly, for whatever reasons that I'm sure are well thought out by our wonderful dudes like TimS. Probably SOL should remain neutral as far as telling people where to shop and all & that's a good stance really. Try the Colt Sniper in Ahi Brown if you can find it. Great lure.
  13. DIY ARTISTS, DEAD BOYS & THEIR FATHERS, & GENERAL FANS OF SPOOKS, SUB SURFACE GLIDERS & STICK BAITS.... You are all invited to begin the next super plug thread. Share your stories on these iconic plugs. Share your plug design ideas. Share your tactical advice. Share your pictures. But BEWARE. It is ALL-HALLOWS EVE my Surf Fishing friends..... A fitting time to start such a super thread. I'll begin with Chapter 1. I'm holding the other Chapters back in the hopes that many experts & fans get us started PROPERLY. And just to be clear: Yes. Spooks are among the deadliest plugs made & yes...ahhhahahaha. They work at night. They work in back estuaries. They work on the open beach. So these plugs are particularly coveted....so BEWARE. BE CAREFUL. Don't carry more than 1 at any time & especially not at night..... Booohaooohahaha & Happy Halloween my friends...Now let the fun begin. Who among you even knows what a SPOOK is??? HMMMM???
  14. To Mike: The G.Loomis G-MAX GLX was a lightning fast rod series that had a five weight with a fighting butt in its lineup and I bought one in 2014 and still use it today but I only use it in rivers fishing 130 grain and 200 rain Teeny lines mostly, set up with streamers. It also works really well with scientific anglers mastery series expert distance lines if you want to fish dry flies at a distance. There are many other 5-weights out there that have fighting butts. To the OP: I suppose a rod like this could be used for light saltwater fishing. The one caution I would throw out there is that when you are fishing, you're doing just that. You're fishing. What happens if a 48 lb striper comes up & engulfs your micro Clouser? For anyone who doesn't think that's possible I'll share a little story with you all. A friend of mine, who is a guide, was playing around with a 2-piece 10' Orvis T3 rod I had given to him because I replaced that rod with a 9-ft 6-in Loomis Stream Dance 4- piece. He was floating the day away on a salt pond in Rhode Island, fishing little tiny polar-fiber minnows and enjoying some school reaction when suddenly the rod buckled over after a huge Striper turned and swirled on his fly. He attempted to apply pressure but he didn't have enough backbone in the rod and he could do nothing to turn the Striper. The fish made its way out into the channel and swim literally right out to the open ocean, taking his carefully selected $100 fly line and all of his backing with it. The moral of the story is though you are fishing, fish are eating. You don't have any say as far as what they decide to do and if you get a fish of a lifetime or a fish of a season and you're standing there hanging onto a 5-weight or 6-weight rod, then you will be taught a lesson you deserve to learn. That's the sort of lesson that is taught only when deserved & least expected. Maybe some fly fisherman would say, "oh well I caught 24 sea Robbins, 18 Schoolies and 36 Snappers so far this week so, whatever!" "Who cares if I lost the biggest fish I'll ever catch in my life." "It's really fun to sit on a blow up giraffe pool toy and float around in the salt marsh with my 5- weight." "I'm even thinking of going to a spring and pawl reel." And on & on. Think of me merely as an onlooker who is giving you a spot of advice. Unless you are fishing in a pool of water that is for members only, meaning that large Stripers aren't allowed in it because they don't have the proper credentials when they swim in & are there for turned back out to sea, You may want to consider an 8wt at a minimum for saltwater fishing in the Northeast. Again, I'm only an onlooker here. "I saw a man pursuing the horizon" BY STEPHEN CRANE I saw a man pursuing the horizon; Round and round they sped. I was disturbed at this; I accosted the man. “It is futile,” I said, “You can never —” “You lie,” he cried, And ran on.
  15. Who dares dig this thread back up from the abyss??!!!! Mine is a Yozuri Hydro-Pencil with Owner In-Line Hooks - in terms of commercially made Spooks. They are easy to find and they work. If you're swapping out Trebles, keep in mind that the VMC's are too brittle & they don't hold up to Bluefish well compared to the Owners. The points break off pretty easily. I've had 50+ fish days where VMC Trebles also eventually stop working because there hook's become inoperable. I carry split ring pliers so emergency surgery quickly fixes that problem. Owner In-Line hooks are baller & you'll have zero issues with them. They penetrate toothy, bony fish jaws and hold up to millions of Bluefish chomps. There is little debate that the Hydro-Pencil is the deadliest of all commercially made Spooks, though there is one challenger to that lofty Spook title - more on that in just a moment. I fish the Hydro-Pencils all sorts of different ways. I fish them at night, slowly, slithering them along shadow lines in & around lights and structure. I throw them into bird-squalls. I skip them near rocks, in & around current. I search the water with them. They just flat out produce and I think it's because of their size because over the course of the season, they match jr. sized bait so perfectly. The Hydro Pencil swims with more versatility than any Spook on the planet, with the exception of the Spook we're going to mention next. The one drawback to Hydro Pencils and really, all commercially made, plastic Spooks with the exception of the larger 9", heavy weights like Docs, is that they really aren't designed for super choppy water or big surf. If you fish out front a lot, with Surf rods & from shore, the sturdier, heavier wood Spooks come into play and suddenly, they move to the super-star tube in your plug-bag. iwantmypie raised a question that opens Pandora's Box >>>>>Which Spook is best overall from a Boat? Because we fish much more diverse types of water by boat than we do by land, the Hydro Pencil is king. It's what's under the hood that combines with the perfect hydro-dynamic body shape. The Hydro Pencil is perfectly weighted for long distance casting and it features a durable ABS Resin body that can't be killed. Hydro-Pencils also feature single cadence rattles that call fish in from long distances and this is what sets a Hydro Pencil apart from any other plug in your bag. But there is another reason it is the best single Spook from a boat. Once bait reaches Jr. size, which is typically 3 to 5 inches, they school up & become inhabitants of the open water so when you're out running around with your binoculars, you'll often encounter situations where all you need is a Hydro Pencil. The best fisherman I know (and that's saying something) is Captain Dan Wood out of Niantic, CT. There is a reason he keeps a boat rod rigged up throughout the season with a Hydro Pencil. It works everywhere, all season long. He has to be savvy about price and durability and he'll actually buy in bulk when they go on sale. Captain Dan also loves Heddon Spooks and he'll use those similarly and without hesitation & he loves it when he finds them on sale. The Heddon Spook XT's, which are absolutely the model you want because they're the toughest, most-durable Spook Heddon makes. Spook XT's are designed to take on toothy inshore species with a saltwater grade hooks and hardware, equipped with two 3X strong, super-sharp hooks and heavy-duty, saltwater grade hook hangers and split rings. You get the same classic walk-the-dog action & they handle large Stripers reliably. Typically the Spook XT's go for $10. I love the way the Spook XT swims & I have spent my fishing career just shaking my head and laughing because Heddon Spooks are unreal on Stripers. I classify the Spook XT as a must carry lure & I actually keep one rigged up all year long, just like Captain Dan does. Where the Heddon Spook XT shines is during Blitzes, when fish are already aggressively pinning bait against the surface and smashing it with reckless-abandon. The Spook XT, at 1 ounce, is light but is able to load lighter action rods with ease and in the water, it's rounded nose and rounded belly rolls side to side more than any other Spook - which enhances the Spook XT's ability to slash back & forth with minimal effort. This makes the Spook XT the Spook to grab in a blitz. Walking the dog is tiring. In order to get a Hydro-Pencil to walk, you have to expend considerably more energy. Sure, it will walk very nicely, but the Heddon Spook will go berserk when you twitch your rod tip just right, because that's what it was designed to do. Shimano also makes a really nice Spook - the Orca. It is great for swimming and it deserves serious respect from the boat fishing crowd for it's abilty to deal with extra large predators. Here's a look at an Orca Jr. from my plug bag, compared to a Hydro-Pencil. They're very close in size, with the Orca Jr being every so slightly bigger. Of course, you can bump up the larger size Orca and now you've got yourself a whale of Spook that dances all over the place and swims great. When you want to imitate larger bait-fish, the Orca is one of the best Spooks you can buy. The Orca is designed for pelagic s so you get heavy duty hook hangers & thru-wire construction all the way. The finish on the Orcas looks very pretty and does stand up fairly well. The question asked by iwantmypie (jesus) also has another layer. What do you do when the water is rough but the fish are on top? Spooks have evolved. In choppy or rough conditions, a Spook with a more rounded nose is far worse than other alternatives. Because of the surface area at the front of most Typical Spooks, they can struggle in choppy water (but excel in the wash of a receding wave or in calmer conditions) especially if they're made of lighter plastic opposed to wood. Therefore, how do you handle chop? With an Ice Cream Cone from Iron Candy Lures! This devilish variant of a Spook is a top-water plug that digs right in & takes advantage of the chop, which is pushing down on the front of the plug as you retrieve it. The Ice Cream Cone will naturally run side to side, in a tight, slashing action that mimics a panic stricken bait-fish. It will also roll or "wobble" as it slashes. The Ice Cream Cone comes to life in the water and looks exactly like a fleeing bait-fish and it would be at the head of the class when the water is choppy. Also, often times, guys are throwing Spooks that are just too big. Pay attention and look at what the fish are puking up when you catch them. Very often they're on Junior sized bait, or even smaller bait. The answer is to match the hatch by selecting the proper imitation. Ice Cream Cones come in 3/4 oz to 4 oz weights so this is "the Choppy Water Spook" that covers 90% of all situations. In the open water, you can also encounter specific species of bait-fish at different times of year. One particular challenge in the Northeast can be Bunker. Weather doesn't always cooperate and conditions can vary. Ocean lures makes some really neat top-water lures that all fall into the Spook category. When you're encountering junior sized Bunker from a boat, which are a little bigger than inshore Peanut Bunker, you need a lure designed with enough weight to hold in any conditions & one that can handle a bit of chop. As you can see, this hybrid Spook features a flattened nose similar to the Ice Cream Cone. This allows the Ocean Lures Peanut Bunker as it's named, to fish phenomenally well in the open water & swells that you encounter on a daily basis. It will work during even the finickiest of bites and it handles any conditions. If the Bunker are a little bigger than Junior size, you simply move up to match them. Now you've got the perfect surface Spook with ultra realistic, light bouncing ability and you can swim & zig-zag as you retrieve. The plug will push water and roll naturally, wobbling along. You can also stop and start and even pop a little water. Notice the angled nose of this Junior Bunker. Also notice the pot-belly silhouette and amazing contrast between the dorsal area and the sides. The pearlescent sides & belly are among the most realistic looking I've seen yet and all I know is that Ocean Lures catch fish consistently. It is not uncommon to encounter Sand-eels in the open water and this can happen all season long. They too can get pinned against the surface and when that happens, you'll need to match the hatch. Ocean Lures covers that base as well with their stub nosed Sand-eel. There are times when the bait is larger. In the Northeast, you could encounter bigger Herring, Mackerel, Bunker and even Shad or Mullet - though generally if you run into Mullet you encounter smaller "finger-mullet." When you do hit larger bait, you need something appropriate that mimics the size of the adult bait. One of the best performing XL Spooks on the market is the Charter Grade Slider from Hogy Lures, which is in my opinion the best 7" open water bomb you can throw. The light bouncing properties smoke all others and this is a big advantage in top-water fishing. These Hogy Charter Grade Sliders come in either 4 oz or 7 oz weights and for most applications, the 4 oz model is the one you want. They sink so you can work them in a variety of ways and you can also deal with chop and easily get slightly under it. I love to fish this plug at or near the surface and It's been a game changer, both from the boat and from shore by the way. Charter Grade Sliders cast really well and they rattle as well so they can't be beat as searching Spooks. These plugs are extremely well made. To get an idea of the scale of this game changing hybrid Spook, here's a look at the girthy Charter Grade Slider compared to the Hydro Pencil & a few other Herring patterns I use a lot from the boat. The Hogy Charter Grade plugs are pretty much must-carries in your Boat-bag. I also use them a lot from shore in the smaller sizes. In fact, because they sink, rattle, swim and slash, you can do all sorts of different things with these plugs. The finishes are bullet proof and they are ultra realistic. Below is a Bunker pattern that is the single best Bunker lure in my bag. I use this plug in all sizes and love it from the Boat just as much as from shore. Choppy conditions don't effect this plug in the least, it will run perfect & hold wherever you want it to be. Coincidentally, they also make a lure that has all but made the Still-Water Smack-It popper obsolete. Meet the Charter Grade Popper! What makes Charter Grade Sliders so impressive is that you can cover various sizes with lures that you can make sink, float, slash and slither. They do it all. Sliders are more hydrodynamic than floating Spooks, but they are closely related. Here are two Charter Grade lures in smaller sizes, compared to the vaunted Parrot Hydro-Pencil There are times when we want to fish from shore in the wash, or toss from a boat into the real deal conditions we face. With big fish around, you need to go heavy-duty and that doesn't mean "big sized." Like I said, most often, the Bass are not feeding on XL bait. But at times, XL bait will call up big fish, so you kind of have to use common sense with your approach regarding size. Weight of the plug is also a really big deal because if you're going to go over 3 ounces, you might need a whole different rod - and you should be open adding a set up that handles big stuff because big stuff is absolutely necessary at times and if you cant throw it because you didn't diversify your tools of the trade, then you miss out. Weight, not plug length, is really the issue. 4 oz plugs are no joke. Fishing them & making them come to life requires heavier action rods and these types of rods are a blast to fish with. Break out the big guns when duty calls! Getting back to the concept of wood being good, there is a lot to love about a well crafted wood Spook and because they're so strudy and they float like a cork, they are the ultimate Spooks from both shore and the boat - when good sized Stripers or Blues are around. Custom wood Spooks are basically indestructible and because of their heavy duty construction, they'll hold up to a big fish. I love the After-Hours Spooks. They swim low, but on top and the over-sized heads are designed to make a v-wake. The v-wake is probably the single most effective attribute a Spook can give you. Certainly, you can walk the Dog with these plugs very easily, but they really shine when you slither them back, slowly. Become one with the plug - pretend it's an oblivious Bunker just swimming along. Make it look a little bit wounded or vulnerable. Be creative. Try different approaches because they all work sometimes. Also, don't be afraid to modify your plugs. Below is a Mini Dookster Bunker that I installed a flag tail on. This plug covers Jr. sized bait. After Hours Spooks are as good as it gets and obviously I recommend them all the time. The craftsmanship is top notch, the hardware they come with is great. I've never had one fail - ever. They take a pounding and they just keep looking superbly realistic. Here's the Mini-Dookster which would be my all time favorite Spook - responsible for my personal best Striper (58 lbs). From the boat, I often find Neon Green to be lethal and I've had so many great days on the water with this Mini Dookster that I could probably write a book about what a ridiculously effective plug the Mini-Dookster is. What's really cool about After Hours Spooks is the size range that's available. If you're looking for a real whomper, you've got options. Speaking of wompers, next up are two of the best. The Senior Dookster, a 6" 2.5 oz monster that is as fishable as it is productive - from After Hours, and the largr Daddy Mack "Robbie Rice" Series Real-Deal Bomb. The Senior Dookster can be thrown with typical rods, though it pushes them towards the upper ends of their ratings, it can be fished. In the water its a load. It pushes a ton of water as it quietly swims home. Not only is the Senior Dookster perfect for the wash out front, but you can lob it from a boat till the cows come home. Due to that big head, the Dookster is best at swimming slowly. Now, if you want to call fish up, rattle your arse off and do damage on big fish, the Daddy Mack Bomb is quite the specimen. It comes in at a smart 3.6 oz so it's going to be at the upper end of most plugging rods that you'd use from a boat or from the beach. This is a rattling, searching Spook for when plus sized bait is around. It actually swims really nicely and it walks with ease due to its design. Unfortunately, the craftsmanship on this plug is not that great. I epoxied over the eyes on a couple of mine after replacing them because they fell off. For $20 I'd like better quality here but it is what it is and the plug does work like a charm. Now for the secret weapon. The After Hours Mega Dookster - a 9" 4.5 oz leviathan. If you're looking for a sizable Spook, this would be one of the two best. The other would be from Mikes Custom Plugs by the way. This plug is astounding when you need to cover big bait on the surface. It walks and it swims. It's massive and it's awesome. Unfortunately, I lost my After Hours Megga Dookster in the Cornfield Point Teacher's Appreciation Day Bluefish blitz of 2002, over a two decades ago so I can only provide you with the image above. Moving along to pinnacle of Mount Spook, Mike's Classic Custom Plug's 9" 4.2 oz Max Spook is another of the best swimming, best made large Spooks you're going to find in our solar system. As you can see, not all Spooks are the same, there are many variations in size and body design. The more you get into Spooks, you'll begin to understand body profiles. it can be frustrating if you're trying to walk the dog with a spook that's actually designed to swim. And vice versa, Spooks designed to walk don't really swim that great. Some rare Spooks do both and in order to do that, they have to be designed perfectly. Custom Wood is where its at and I'd put a flawlessly designed custom wood Spook at the top of any Spook list.
  16. Ain't that the truth!
  17. I'll also need a prison jump suit for the fall right?
  18. Suffix 832 Braid, 30LB, all day long - every day.
  19. Excellent Idear Rock. I'm going to get a full body tattoo now. What colors would you recommend? Also need to paint my jet ski, my skiff and my yaks.
  20. Um, Harkers - but you need to hit it right = grand slams.
  21. Soft plastics are sold in zip-lock bags for a reason - keeps them from developing a set and keeps them lubricated & prevents the cross-color contamination caused by contact with other different colored plastics. I store my soft-plastics in my plug bag, in the soft plastics pouch. I use a Hunter-Elite over-sized bag & there is a baller soft-plastics pouch built into the inside of the plug-bag's flap. It's secured with heavy duty velcro and has been bulletproof for over 15 years for me. Here is the pouch, which in the photo is upside down. I set the bag wherever I'm perched & I have more lures & plugs than anybody I've seen, all with me & easily accessed. But I don't walk for miles & carry this bag. It goes on short jaunts only! This over-sized bag which is the best laid out plug bag I've ever seen and which I truly love, comes with me on the fishing dolly with the balloon tires if I'm walking & covering ground. The dolly glides along the sand and actually extends my fishing time by about 12 hours per soak. I also mount the dolly on the truck & use my quick detach set up for when I stop and hit fish. Always nice to have your full arsenal with you! If I'm traveling light, then I transfer the contents of my soft plastics pouch to my fat tire bike's frame bag. The frame bag is in the photo below. I also have my metal's box stuffed in there & I ride MILES & don't notice I'm carrying so much gear. Very easy. Keep things simple & easy. The plastics never warp or develop a set if you store them in rectangular heavy gauge bags. To the OP, why dedicate a tube to soft-plastics???? Tubes are for plugs & you might need plugs. Soft plastics fit anywhere. Find a way to carry a few rectangular zip lock bags and just re-use the bags over & over.
  22. Hunter Elite is bombproof & perfect for Bucktais or Tins. It's a belt bag. I wear usually one Hunter Elite tube which I fitted with vinyl downspout due to its rectangular shape being able to maximize the t rectangular bazooka tube. Infinitely customizable in terms of you can take one off and carry two Bucktails pouches or you can carry multiple Bazooka tubes. Sometimes I'll run 2 or 3 Bazooka tubes & 1 Bucktails pouch. When Storing Tins & Metals You want to try to preserve the feather so if you fold the feather against the body of the lure and then put it in the opposite way you'd be tempted to if you were dangling it by the hook you can use plastic cutable twist ties to store your lure properly, that way when it comes out of the bag nothing's mangled and if you put it away wet everything's facing the proper direction so the feather stays nice and straight. A super easy way to keep bucktail fibers or feathers Straight is to fit the center of the bag two pieces of stubby downspout about 3 1/2 high. Then glue a divider into the middle of it and then cut 1/2-in notches in the divider and all along the outside of the downspout. This way the face of the bucktail will touch the bottom of the bag or come close and It will be dangling by the hook but there will be enough clearance so as not to bend the fibers and warp them as they dry.
  23. Hi Phil, It takes a while (about a half hour) for the CRB bottle warmer to reach 95° from room temperature. In order to speed it up you can just add hot tap water rather than cold tap water. Also, you should consider the temperature of the epoxy. If you store your epoxy in an area of your house where the temperature is generally 70° you'll get optimal results. Also when you're applying the epoxy you want to be in a room that's around 70°. Room temperature in that range of 70° is optimal for applying the epoxy. A big problem with epoxy is that it is often stored in a garage or a basement workshop and in the winter time, it's rarely kept that regulated temperatures. If you're heating cold epoxy it can take quite a bit longer to gradually bring it to the temperature you need to get it to. If that's the case just take your time and come back in a half hour. Bottle warmers will do a very good job maintaining temperature for several hours and you can drop a thermometer in it just to make sure if you have any concerns. Coincidentally, almost any baby bottle warmer will work perfectly as they heat to about 98.4° which is pretty close to where you want to be. The reason I recommend the CRB industrial bottle warmer is because it has an adjustable temperature control knob which goes all the way up to 200° which for lower building you would never want any epoxy that hot. However you can dial down under a 100° the temperature will stay right where you want it. They also sell LED hot plates for industrial use and they are excellent because you can heat water to an exact temperature and just leave it there for as long as you want and then just drop your epoxy bottles into the bath. I ordered one two years ago and it's still in the closet in its box because I've just been using the CRB. A good LED hot plate can be expensive where the CRB is $35 so keep that in mind also. Miscellaneous notes: Heating over 100° is not good and if you get near 115°, you are at the maximum range for most 30-minute epoxies. Many 20-minute epoxies like 95°, and when you get into 5-minute epoxies you can drop down to between 88° and 90°. Water bath warmers heat gently and slowly. Microwaves heat quickly & there's no way to maintain temperature once the epoxy is heated. Sometimes on manufacturer websites they will publish optimal warming ranges. They'll talk about heating the substrate as an option also. For our purposes with lower building we want the epoxy warmed not the substrate. Also, never use a hair dryer because it'll warm the epoxy way over 100 really quick and you can't regulate it so more than likely you will cook the epoxy and then you'll have yellowing issues.
  24. Light & Heavy both mean squat. A Heavy rod is not necessarily any more durable than a light one folks. What is relevant is balance & overall feel, plus your application. If you just bought the lightest & greatest rod & then stuck a heavy, oversized reel on it, then obviously there is no perceived value. It seems like thousands of people do this & they'll tell you their VS 250 isn't a heavy reel. Ohhhkay then!? All things being equal, lighter is easily better. But it takes a lot of attention to detail to properly balance a lighter set up& if you're going to beat the snot out of a super light rod ON FISH then guess what? Light might just surprise you. Just because some rods are light doesn't mean they are better either!!. A solid, heavier or older rod can perform flawlessly if properly balanced& used for the intended application. Where we really see the benefits of lighter rods is when casting with longer rods, 11' and up - opposed to what may have been available decades or more ago & now feel, comparatively, like tree branches. Lastly & to state the obvious, if you stick a relatively heavy reel on a fancy, relatively light rod, yes ---- it will feel wrong from the get go. Many "heavier" rods are made with lower modulus graphite. This DOES NOT make them more durable. Particle encapsulation technology, combined with modulus positioning & ferrule fortification allows for lighter, faster, higher modulus graphites & graphenes to be stronger than aged, lower modulus graphite rods made with inferior resins. (more lifting power). All things being equal, taper, length & rod rating, lighter is absolutely better....unless you are subjecting a rod to constant impact...banging it off boat gunwales & pickup truck beds, throwing it around with little care....etc. -- if you're doing that, then you need a blank with plenty of fiberglass in it to offset impact. Heavy vs Light is meaningless without context.
  25. Downsville is a special place. Nowadays they have the Roscoe Beer Co there but the whole area is just downright gorgeous If not economically depressed. The Pepactin reservoir is amazing.