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  1. You impart all the action to a jig, so tipping it is not an issue. I would encourage you to tip jigs with bait to help you gain confidence in your presentations by encouraging more strikes. There is no "right" bait to tip a jig with. It could be anything you choose depending on what you are fishing for, but it should be similar to what the fish are feeding on. In Southern waters, shrimp, the fresher the better, is what everything eats. That would be my first choice.
  2. I offer $30 USPS MO. If someone offers paypal, I will defer.
  3. Yeah, I'll cast some lures for you, too. I'm sure others will be happy to oblige as well.
  4. Even loaded, a 5" Redfin doesn't cast very far. What it does do is work really hard to go nowhere. That long lip catches air and it catches water, and catching water is what it is supposed to do. I use a 1/0 VMC on the front and a #1 on the rear. Three trebles do not work for me because I use my plug as a handle to manage the fish at landing. Standard loads are 7g (ml) for the 5" and 10g (ml) for the seven. Because the 7" version has a larger body cavity, you have more room for variations, and most conversations about loading Redfins lump both sizes together.
  5. The two cheapest alternatives: 1) Have a buddy do it. 2) Hire a 14 year old.
  6. I back reel with both spinning and casting gear fairly often. This weekend, I did it with a popping cork down a current seam for sea trout. It's up to the fisherman to see his opportunities. I do back reel spooks. Cast out across current. For spinning, engage your reel and count a second or two with the rod relatively flat to the surface. Give a twitch, then raise your rod while reeling backward. Don't allow the line to get slack against the roller (wind knot cause), but keep the tension as light as possible. When you get the rod to 12 o'clock, twitch, drop the tip quickly. With casting gear, I never engage the reel and let the line slip under my thumb whenever I feel like it. The one place no one thinks of, but really puts your plug in the right place, is the surf line. In a moderate surf, the wash will try to suck your lure back into the slough. Let it! A couple of backwards turns of the reel and your lure is swimming forwards backwards right into the highest probability area of your cast.
  7. How deep does a lure have to run before it is no longer a surface swimmer?
  8. The only difference between a lo-pro and a round reel is the placement of the drive gear on the spool axle relative to the line direction. This has no impact on the strength of the reel. As long as everything is square, it doesn't matter where you put the drive gear on the arc of the pinion.
  9. It seems like you are looking in the right places. Are you doing down current retrieves? That will loosen the braid and cause wind knots. Another option is to raise your rod tip to about 60 degrees to add weight to the line as it returns to the spool, particularly as the lure comes into the surf line.. A lot of times, we fish the rod flat to get depth, and that causes the line to go loose as the lure works the wash.
  10. LOL. Someone has already put wood filler in those gashes in the second picture.
  11. I'd start by cleaning the rod with some alcohol on a rag. I am looking at that and thinking you have a coat of varnish over the cork, also not uncommon. The darker areas are where the varnish has yellowed to a brown color and the lighter sections are the natural cork without varnish on it. If that is the case, you might get a pretty good result by removing the original varnish and resealing the grip. It may turn out that the cork looks better once it returns to its natural color. This should be an easy job if it turns out that is what you needed.
  12. No, I have not. I do know it was done to improve poor quality rings years ago. As a step to finishing the grip, you would apply filler to the cork and sand it back. At that point, I was not building myself, I simply came across the information. A big rod building catalogue has a cork filler for sale for refurbishing cork handles. It is $5 and available at most hardware stores. A 5 minute Youtube tutorial and you should be good to go.
  13. You could build the diameter back up again with some wood filler and sandpaper.
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