Winch

Things that have found me.

61 posts in this topic

I'm hoping to use this thread all winter to see what we as a community can figure out. The story goes like this.

Through the years I have seen many different and unique designs of plugs. Too me how these plugs came to be by the thinks we as, first fishermen and then as plug builders of these plugs help us in explaining the what, and why we build like we do. I hang these plugs in my work shed and show them to others. It helps explain the history. My problem is on some of these crazy plugs I have never had a history on them. They came as gifts or as orphans with no story.

I want to know about these plugs and more important if any one of the old timers remember the people that built them. Some were commercial and some were Frankenstein step children. Things that were thought and tried and possibly failed, by guys back when there was no color pictures or souped up reels. 40's, 50's 60's or even earlier. So I figured I would share some of what are pretty one of a kind plugs and hope some one out there remembers them being used. I'd love to hear about the builders and if you knew him personally what you thought of them.

Don't really care what they are worth, but if I could get the story, I get to teach what I see in them. They hang with honor.

So here goes, plug 1. Roy C and Vineyardblues I hope you got your plug thinking hats on. ;)

 

[img=

 

p><p>  <a href=http://www.stripersonline.com/image/id/2825784/width/600/height/367' alt='367'>

 

The plug as you see by the hooks are very old school. Done in old school blue swirl. The wood is split into two pieces, and freely move. My first thought was some sort of darter monster. LOL that could turn into some sort of popper, but the more I looked at it it seems it is supposed to slide when popped. Possibly to make a slap clack sound.

If you guys need measurements I could get them for you but with this design if you have seen one.

Oh yeah the story as I know it. Can't be sure its all true and will expect some to disagree with the information I got. It came out of New York area. Good luck. I will post others as we progress.

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70 looks and not one of you has any clue? Come on someone out there has to have seen something familiar in all your years of collecting? It's wiring system and hook holder design shows some technical ability so I am sure its not just a shovel handle turned plug type of guy. I know its old but isn't that what you guys are looking for? I'm testing you guys, don't care about value just history. I'll give you a week to take a shot at it and then I'll post the second plug. I promise that one might be a little easier. ;)

 

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This one is pretty unique to my knowledge.

 

Whoever made it certainly had some skills and technical ability.

 

My guess is that it was made in the 50's. Not by any commercial builder, but by a guy who had an idea on how to build a better mouse trap.

 

I've never seen a plug with that design, and I've been collecting surf plugs for quite a few years (though I don't have as much expertise as some on this board).

 

I love to learn the history behind the old surf plugs, however, and would like to hear more about this one.

 

Do you know if this is an East Coast plug, or West Coast?

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This one is pretty unique to my knowledge.

Whoever made it certainly had some skills and technical ability.

My guess is that it was made in the 50's. Not by any commercial builder, but by a guy who had an idea on how to build a better mouse trap.

I've never seen a plug with that design, and I've been collecting surf plugs for quite a few years (though I don't have as much expertise as some on this board).

I love to learn the history behind the old surf plugs, however, and would like to hear more about this one.

Do you know if this is an East Coast plug, or West Coast?

 

Definite east coast, Came from a guy who fishes Montauk alot and knew how I liked odd plugs and liked to see such oddities. I just took a picture of the plugs underneath hardware because of how the guy set it up. The set up makes me think this guy was making plugs before as it definitely has some innovating thoughts. Most back yard builders of that time were really crude in their thought process. Didn't need to be so perfect in design in those days. I'll up load the picture now.

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[img=

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/image/id/2838225/width/448/height/600]

 

Yes that's right your seeing screws, At first glance you think weird, Till you understand that the plate is welded to the ends of the through wires and you go "Oh I get it"

That's not the rough work of a new builder thinking this will be easy. This guy had some success with other plugs he built just by the skill he attacked this. I'm guessing he was influenced by the sharped front poppers of the 50's.

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When you say Montauk, the name that comes to mind is Jack Frech.

 

I know he was quite an innovator in plug building in the early years (the Banana Plug, for example).

 

Possibly a prototype that he was tinkering with?????

 

The problem is that not many good records exist from the 40's and 50's, even with well known builders.

 

Here's a couple of early plugs that I've been trying to research for years, with no success.

 

[img=

 

and shown with an early wood Atom to show size.

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/image/id/2838567/width/600/height/450]

 

My thought on these was some guy who looked at the price of Atoms at $1.50, and said "I can do that and save a buck". Went to work in his shed, and produced his own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My thought on these was some guy who looked at the price of Atoms at $1.50, and said "I can do that and save a buck". Went to work in his shed, and produced his own.

 

LOL as a builder we see a lot of guys think the same thing today. Then we explain the cost of tools, working space, Components, Paints and a million other things we buy and upgrade each year. Unless you think of it as a hobby and expect to have lures that cost way more than they are worth it become a money pit for many.

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Sorry Winch - I have no idea - I sent pictures around to others and we have come up blank. Neat bait but no idea who made it. Roy

 

I'm figuring many of the ones I'm going to show are going to fall into this category and that is fine. Part of history. Getting into the nuts and bolts of the plug I was curious if it actual swam or could be popped on the surface. I have not swum it as the paint is well like most super old plugs not secure. So this may have been someone who made a small batch for testing and it failed. Never to be seen by the public because it failed his testing. Just hoped that maybe someone could see signature design of a known builder from the past.

With today's builders we can see indicators that can pretty much tell no matter the design who built it. Mike Fixters plug have a look, Ryan Smith's have a look, Jiggy have a look and yes even mine have a certain look that an experienced builder can see in each others plugs. I'm guessing that is true of the guys back in the 50's and 60's.

I am sure many of you collectors have a keen eye for detail as well, that is why I'm showing these to you guys. I'm going to give this plug the rest of the week and throw up the next one. I promise it will be easier as I know it was a commercially produced plug, that swam great but failed because of a design flaw. Just don't have any info on it.

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Stripersurfster,

I love those plugs. They have the crudeness in the design that as you say comes with someone diving into plug building. If those are the original hooks I would date as seventies. The lips look to be Aluminum they are hand bent not machine punched. Can't see a good shot of the lips but they look to be pretty much the same pattern. If they are, the same guy made them. The bottom one looks to be repainted. Notice the paint on lip and tail. Since the eye paints look the same they were touched by the same two hands.

The best part for me is if you look at the chin you can see the wood rings, that could be signs of crude sanding by the builder or that the plug was found floating around and rewired and repainted. You can also notice the belly weight, Crudeness at its best! . That is typical of early produced plugs as it is not hidden. Back in those days not too many were worried about showing weight position. That's the kind of stuff as a builder I like to see. Some guy had an idea or saw a plug that he figured he could copy for what he thought was cheap.

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To tell you the truth I think it is a salmon plug [ circa 40's ] that found it's way east and is now back on the west coast where it belongs..........

Another thought; it is an early Aage Bjerring proto if you are insistant about it being from the east coast; especially Long Island..........

Well, anyway it is a neat plug.......

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To tell you the truth I think it is a salmon plug [ circa 40's ] that found it's way east and is now back on the west coast where it belongs..........

Another thought; it is an early Aage Bjerring proto if you are insistant about it being from the east coast; especially Long Island..........

Well, anyway it is a neat plug.......

 

Thanks surfster, I'll do some research with some guys I know that have knowledge of salmon lures but I myself have never seen anything like it.

Okay lets dig into Plug #2

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Plug two should be a bit easier. The name of the plug was given to me but like a stooge that part of my memory tape is damaged and I can't remember.

The story behind the plug is again Long island. Supposedly a commercial plug that had a disastrous ending to its life because of a building flaw that brought the wrath of the fishermen that bought it and made the builder "retire"

 

[img=

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/image/id/2903517/width/569/height/600]

 

The plug came in a round tube and sealed with a cap. Not sure if it was original package or just something that it was stuffed in. The front end is machined cut and when I first saw the sharpness of the curve top I figured this may have been the design flaw. You see paint and epoxy on sharp edges is thin and will wear off much faster than a slightly rounded edge. The plug was mint when I got it. The Gentleman that gave me the plug wondered if I could make something like it. He said it swam awesome and fish loved it.

Curious I had to see it swim. I made three short cast in fresh water and worked the plug back to me. It is some what a Nike and darter design and swims that way. No wonder fish liked it!

I hung it to dry and later when I went to take it down and put away I found what had cause the death of the company. The top split! Not just the epoxy, and paint but the wood itself.

I had found what the design flaw was. Water absorption.

Evidently this guy had a great idea and rushed it into production without fully field testing it. We see it happen today in the plug building world. Guy makes a plug, Fishermen love it and push him into building for the market. He pours everything into it, makes a boat load of money and once the plug hits water and fails. Guys want refunds. He has no money to refund, he doesn't have the knowledge where he went wrong and simply closes shop.

As collectors many of you know of companies that built beautiful lures and because of a technical problem the line is doomed. I have heard that Master Lures had cracking and paint loss problems and is a reason they are so rare.

Anyway looking at the plug I'm guessing by materials its a 70's or 80's plug. Hooks may not be original but if are I would lean to a 90's plug. Wire is thinner than the 308 or 316 Stainless we use today.

For some reason the name Narter comes to my head but that might just be my head playing with me.;)

I would love to know the real name of the plug, origin, who the builder was, and if any of you guys ever bought one and got cracked! LOL

Good luck

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Winch.... I talked to two of the biggest salmon lure collectors on the west coast and both said they had never seen a lure like that one. But both expressed interest in buying it. Still I am insistant it is a salmon lure; my mind isn't that bad yet; I remember seeing a field find with a lure that was similar to that one found with other salmon lures.

 

The lure is a "predator" copy I am having a brain fart with the lure makers name. There have been a few people making this style lure in NJ & NY including Lefty Carr.

 

288

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