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About AClarke

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  • Birthday 04/29/1989

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  1. Agreed, maybe its just that 30 lb PP is strong in comparison to the majority of the fish I am catching. The average fish, even pulling it our of a hard current, cant be pulling more than 15-20 lbs. That being said when I do fish rips and drift plugs I do swap my spool out with 50 lb PP. To be honest thats really the only reason I continue to spool up with it. It has just worked in my experience. I have no experience with anything else and am hesitant to spend the money to try something that may be worse. I just purchased a new Avet and had a slammer replaced by Penn so will need to spool those up this spring. Maybe I will try the "Japanese" stuff.
  2. Not an expert on any whales by any means and really don't have a feel for what is the source of whale deaths but from an acoustic standpoint I understand it as follows: Sound levels are important but mean different things at different frequencies. A low frequency noise, say 500 Hz, will travel orders of magnitude further than the same sound level of a high frequency noise, say 10,000 Hz. So a 110 dB 500 Hz tone will stay louder the further away you get as compared to a HF frequency. Google says whales vocalize from 20 Hz to 24 kHz The wind farms themselves produce flow noise which transfers (albeit pretty inefficiently) to the water at about 2-10 Hz no idea about source level but its probably not all that loud as compared to other sources in water. Typical bottom profilers operate in the 1-40 kHz typically depending on application and are moderately loud sources usually but downward facing and at least for BI in relatively shallow water and at a higher frequency which means its just not travelling that far very loud. Driving piles and construction for platforms definitely makes noise and the low frequency sound would definitely travel. Ship traffic falls somewhere in the 10 Hz to 40 kHz range with varying levels of noise depending on frequency. Navy sonar spans the range of hundreds to tens of thousands of Hz and can be very loud. Again these are just all data points but every single source mentioned is in the band of whales vocalization. Any single one of them could arguably interfere or confuse a whale. I think there are just way to many variables to just point at wind farms and their construction. Sure there has been an uptick in surveying for wind farms but Universities, the Navy, and private oil companies have been doing acoustic survey for years And thats just the acoustic factors. The oceans have been on a record temperature, pollution, and acidification increase in the last decade and there are lots of comments on here regarding the seemingly drop in biomass of certain fish species as well. Clearly there have been more dead whales recently but pointing at a single variable because its “new” and also happens to be a political and personal hot button topic doesn’t necessarily mean causation. The science around any of these fish or mammal species is pretty hard to pin down, I don’t think the experts have a 100% clear picture never mind some of us armchair scientists.
  3. Good point. I am going to duplicate a few of the same shape and weight and do a low, mid, and high slot..
  4. Trying a few shapes and sizes. Sealed and curing maybe get out and do some test swimming next week.
  5. Just setting up to do a smaller run of metal lips and will be playing with a couple shapes and lips. Just was looking for a bit of a check from some of you more experienced guys to weigh in on what dictates a surface vs subsurface plug. My gut feeling is that there are about three major variables: weight/buoyuancy of the plug, weight placement, and plug shape. I would imagine a less buoyant plug with a chin weight and a sloped/pikie head would tend to dive a lot more than positively buoyant, mid to tail weighted plug of the same shape and metal lip. Am I thinking about this right or is there a variable I am not considering
  6. So I have been thinking about this kind of thing for a while, both from the consumer and as a new builder. As a consumer I have always seen the plug market as a bit daunting. The available plugs in the local tackle shops usually include super strikes and to a lesser extent Gibbs. I own more than a few of both and have caught plenty of fish on them. At a price point of ~$25 depending it’s mostly affordable and can be functionally justified. Super strikes at this point can hardly be called a custom plug however are a commercially available, tried and true, made to and ready to fish version of their wood relatives and come in all of their various shapes, colors and sizes. All of us probably have more than a few super strikes that live in our bags. The custom market is clearly, as this discussion is close to 13 years old, a whole different beast. Custom plugs cost anywhere from $35 to hundreds of dollars, with dozens of custom plug builders and plug availability being near impossible in certain cases, and after all that plug functionality can be a crap shoot and need to be “tuned”. As a relatively young (33) and newcomer to the surfcasting scene (5 years of applicable experience and dedication) it’s almost impossible to tell or justify buying a custom plug with little to no understanding of the maker or what makes these plugs worth shelling out $50 bucks for. How could I justify throwing my hard earned money, and a piece of art, into the ocean to be bitten off by a bluefish or lost to that unseen boulder, or shot into the stratosphere by that auto bail I forgot to remove. As you can see in some of these threads there are a few camps with many not fishing them and treating these plugs as the art they are, choosing to display them as collector’s items while many believe that a plug must be functional and must be fished. Even knowing all of this I walked out of the Narragansett Show with only a $5 plastic banana plug that seemed to fit a hole in my arsenal and give me something new to try. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the hard work and beauty of the hundreds of custom plugs, I spent close to 2 hours walking around. It was more that the whole experience was a bit overwhelming from a purchasing standpoint, (reference comments above). As a new builder I have about 10 plugs under my belt this winter with plans to set up and have batch out for testing in the next few weeks. I have been wholly inspired by a few things. This community as whole has made the learning curve extremely easy to navigate making the process not only fun but functional. The whole idea that I could spend my time to learn and manufacture something instead of shelling out $50 for a plug that I may sacrifice to the fishing gods feels more right. At the end of the day the money spent on materials and cost of my own time to develop, test, and build may far out stretch the $50 I would have spent but hey plug building is a hobby after all. How can I put a dollar value on the enjoyment I get out of spending carving a piece of wood into a useable tool that catches. The point is I am not making my own plugs for financial gain or to turn this into a business. I think there are more than a few members (successful plug builders at that) that can attest to the financial viability, or lack thereof, of their hobby. That being said it would be pretty cool if someone would eventually even consider paying me for something I built with my own hands and was proud of. That’s a goal down a long road of failures, mistakes, and lessons learned but at that point I would like to think I would like to go down the Arizona Iced Tea route and try to keep my plugs a reasonable price. It feels like the past few years surfcasting as a whole has gone a new direction with a lot more people having access to gear and for better or worse knowledge. Maybe I am a romantic, and definitely a bit of a cynic, but it feels like the grind the old guard had to go through to gain experience has been replaced with the need for instant gratification and the ability to just buy into the “way of life” surfcasting feels to a lot of people. How it has affected the custom plug industry is hard for me to make a call on but my gut says it’s going the same way Ticketmaster and AirBnB have cornered their markets with near monopolies, fees, and borderline hoarding.
  7. I started with the Sims waders and went through two pairs in two seasons with moderate wear. Not impressed for the ~400 bucks you pay. I have had two pairs of the Frogg Toggs that I have beat the crap out of and still run well. I only bought the second pair due to a slip and busted knee. I have been using the tiderunner belt for about 3 seasons. I have nothing to compare it to but its been functional even with some lax cleaning and maintenance. On it I have a loop to clip my lip grippers, two loops to clip and unclip my surf bag, and my pliers. If I am feeling like I need the "protection" or peace of mind I wear a dive knife on my claf. I saw the thread on suspenders and am definitely intrigued as some of my spots are a decent hike with a bigger bag which can feel a bit bulky.
  8. I imagine on a dark moonless night it would be similar to picture 1. At dusk in clearer water or with a full moon maybe the eye "silhouette" or insinuation helps. All fish have eyes so it probably cant hurt. Probably. My gut says it shouldn't matter but all the plugs I fish seem to be built with them. Many plastics are not. The plugs I have started to build have them but like kooky said they are probably there more for the fisherman than for the fish. I cant imagine many surface plugs actively benefit from eyes but like has been said many many times its about confidence in a lure. If you like it and think itll catch fish and work it it probably will. Until it doesnt.
  9. You know of any other places to purchase. Out of stock on the website and seems like its the only point of sale
  10. Do you mean a separate hole from where the hook is going? I definitely didnt have any issues with the screw lock, the bait threaded onto it like butter. I was just having issues "folding" the bait under the shank without ripping it
  11. Im at work but can take some pictures when I get home. The barb definitely will rip the bait when its bent and rounding under but re-watching the video I think I know the issue. Instead of rolling the body under shank with the sides of the bait together I may have been rolling it top to bottom if that makes sense. I will have to play with the geometries of it when I get home.
  12. I bought some of these to try out next year but had a real hard time rigging the 8 inch bait without ripping it on the barb when spinning it onto the screw lock. Anyone have any advice? I usually take the barbs off my hooks, trebles especially, but will sometimes leave them on single hooks on bigger baits. I was thinking of crushing the barb to help.
  13. A tennis ball tube. I set up a three inch PVC tube set in a mop bucket surrounded by stones because I had some spare lying around and a cover for electrical tape can cover fits over that.
  14. Three to show. Two I clearly got to excited with the color shift glitter and the epoxy wasn’t quite right but the third came out pretty nice and is a birthday gift to a friend if the epoxy will be cured by tomorrow afternoon.
  15. Not quite finished as far as a paint job goes but I turned out my first “functional” plug. Wanted to do a sort of fat surface swimmer for around the ct river when bunker are present. Going to give it a grey/green over white I think. FullSizeRender.MOV