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About Shane_O

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  1. Sure new plastic plugs and soft plastics are great, but there are specific conditions that are ideal for every type of bait. With that said, nothing new has come along that provides the big profile, wake, vibration from the wobble, and adjustability as a well-made Danny, Donny, etc. all in one package. Don’t get me wrong, I love sp minnows as search baits but there are times where larger bait is scattered amongst smaller stuff and something with great action and a larger profile means the difference between catching 20-30” fish all night and the potential 20-30+# fish. Wood plugs will always have their place and application where they are the best option.
  2. I was originally looking for information but there was none available. I was curious so put in the effort that you’re talking about to get the details on the construction and build because eBay is flooded with total garbage that looks good in photos. After finding those details^^^ I know very well that this plug is well worth the price even if its action turns out to be garbage. Now I’m just curious. Even if these plugs don’t perform well, some well thought out feedback might help the plug builder make these into absolute killers. So I’m going to throw them through the rings and report back this season.
  3. Couldn’t agree more, which is why I’m going to give these a good try and provide honest feedback. I’ll do my best getting footage of the action for each plug when they come in. A perfect pattern doesn’t mean **** if it doesn’t swim.
  4. Gotchya, subtlety isn't my specialty haha. But I hope that his work performs well too. We'll see how it pans out.
  5. I'm going to see how it swims in a safe location as soon as I get it and then go from there. But I agree, that would be its time to shine.
  6. That's a good point Dave, If his work turns out to swim and catch as well as it looks I might be kicking myself in the arse a year or two from now. But if someone's putting in the work to make great new plugs that work well, it'd be a disservice to the plug builder and the angling community not to share it. This is also jumping the gun since I haven't seen the plugs close up in person yet... much less fished them. Like I said, most of this isn't worth squat until we've looked at the plugs in person and thoroughly fished them. I don't care how pretty a plug is, if it doesn't have an action or presentation that is applicable to the species we fish for or the conditions that we fish in, it's not worth buying for anglers doing the type of fishing that we do. I just took a chance and am seeing where it goes. Definitely worth the 35$. To be honest, the hard part will be putting an old faithful back in the plug bag and snapping one of these on when I know that there are fish to catch. I'll call it a research project haha, someone's got to do it if we're going to find new quality plug builders. If they don't work, at worst it'll be a nice decoration and I'll give the most thorough possible feedback to the builder so that he might be able to improve or adjust the design for the type of fishing we do here if he's interested in selling plugs to the East Coast market.
  7. I asked about the through wiring and everything he makes is through wired with hardened stainless steel wire. The 8.5" plug above is through wired with 0.062" wire and uses a 2/0 Rosco belly swivel with a stainless grommet. I can see how some of the plugs seem like they may not be through wired since they don't have belly swivels and the tail loop isn't shown in some photos so you can't tell if there's winding. But I've seen a similar style with the through wire used to make a belly eye and tail eye like that in some of the nice handmade stuff coming out of Japan that's heavily used in Japan and Australia for GTs and other aggressive sport fish. Actually, the overall style reminds me of a lot of the work done by companies like FCL Labo. Although I haven't seen that style used on Pikie style plugs before, it's still a sturdy design. Yes, without a belly swivel a large fish could gain more leverage on a plug if hooked on just the belly hook but I've seen well regarded GT and Tuna plugs built like this so it must be effective if done correctly. Overall the plug builder (Wj Stine) has been incredibly responsive and helpful. He seems to be doing everything right when it comes to the quality of his builds, but I won't be able to speak honestly about the plugs' action and performance until I receive them, fish them, and abuse them a bit. I'll be passing one or two on to some guys who I know go out to block island frequently for cows and make a few tuna trips a year to see what they think as well. I'm excited to try these out but like I said, can't really promote them until I've used them. I'll be providing updates with more info/input as I receive and fish them. Overall the plug builder seems like a great guy and customer service has been top notch (he even said he'd throw in a couple extra plugs to try out when I told him the type of fishing we do). Sometimes Ebay is just the easiest and most effective venue to sell your work when you're just one guy making plugs, which is why I keep surfing the site for things like this. Needless to say we'll be putting them through their paces and reporting back to the builder and to the forum with feedback. More to come. -Shane O
  8. Unfortunately I only saw one custom plug maker advertised on their FB page (RB Plugworks I think). Nomad will be there which I’m excited about but other than that it seems a little mediocre in comparison to the big one in providence every year. Check out the Connecticut Outdoors Expo website and FB page for more info on who will be there showing and selling their stuff. I think tsunami and daiwa will be there. I’m hoping tsunami has a salt x to check out.
  9. So, the maker Wj Stine got back to me pretty quickly with detailed answers and seems like a stand up guy. When I asked about the build quality and finish on the 4 oz 8” Mullet pattern swimmer he responded: “Hi Shane thanks for the questions its sealed twice with wood hardener then a thinned epoxy then its gets a coat of colored epoxy then primed then some 3D scales then painted then i finish off with 4 coats of flex seal epoxy. As for the style it's more like a googoo style lure but about the same as a danny and the swimming action is surface to a few inches and as far as the testing i used these's down on the Texas gulf coast and here below the dam has a good wobble in the current and it also comes with a 7/0 dressed hook to match the lure i think i answered everything hey if there anything else just let me know Thanks Wj Stine” Seems like he took the time to really seal the wood and protect that nice handywork well. At this time I had assumed it was through wired (belly grommet and swivel, twist in the tail loop). I decided to take a chance on his product and drop the 35$ on this bad boy. Like Heavy Hooksetter said, you never know till you try”! I’ll provide a review once it arrives and I can further inspect it and test the action. Unfortunately it’ll be a while before it’s truly tested here in RI.
  10. I tried kastking to cheaply spool up one of my backup reels with and hated it. The diameter was thicker than expected and I started getting wind knots which I never get with pp on the same setup. Maybe that was caused by the extra thickness and stiffness (not as bad as fireline but pretty bad). J braid is good on a budget but I use Piscifun which makes a really good budget braid, check out amazon. I think I got almost 600 yards of 40# for like 20$. Diameter is about the same as pp, maybe a little thicker.
  11. Now that I think of it, maybe try Berkeley original fire line 25 or 30# test. It’s much stronger than the test rating would suggest and is probably way more abrasion resistant than any equivalent diameter braid. It’s basically made from tons of heat treated “mono-like” fibers/threads that get fused together. It has no stretch like braid but the material feels like it should be much more abrasion resistant. The 30# diameter is similar to 65-80# braid depending on the manufacturer so keep that in mind when it comes to your casting distance. I only use it on my 706z which I don’t fish that often. I haven’t had a big fish get into the rocks yet so can’t say for sure.
  12. Hmm, the one I’m looking at is definitely through wired (belly swivel, twisted tail loop). However I do see other metal lips with no belly swivel and look like they could be screwed in. I’ll ask the seller about that too.
  13. So, every once in a while I take a look through Ebay to see if there are any good deals on custom plugs. I recently found a bunch of hand made/painted plugs from “WjS Custom Plugs” made by a guy in Arkansas. They all look like high quality work but I’m hesitant to drop beachmaster/rm Smith money on something from a plug builder that I can find virtually no information or reviews on, especially when it looks like they’re only sold on eBay. I’ve got one in mind that I really want to try but again... that’s 35$ that could be spent on a tried and proven plug. Has anybody tried these out before or know any info on the builder? I sent him a message on eBay for details and will update when I receive a response.
  14. After checking out the line up I’m a little disappointed at the relative lack of custom plug builders included on their Facebook feed. It looks like there’s just just one (RB Plugworks) listed. Their stuff looks great but don’t know how well they catch or hold up to heavy use. Odin will be there as well but they just make some poppers with a nifty built in scent dispersal system. Seems a little gimmicky but hey, they might work. I was hoping to see guys like Mike and Lemire listed but no such luck. Still going to check it out on Saturday.
  15. If you catch a sea robin while fluking, cut its tail into strips and use them on your bucktail like an Unkle josh. Fluke love them and the tough skin keeps them on the hook extremely well. This should save you on gulps and I have found it to work just as well if not better.