Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Frank Mihalic

Weighting a Needlefish

Rate this topic

11 posts in this topic

After alot of reading on here about how to build a plug, I am going to give some needles a try, along with some help from my buddies. Going to buy some blanks that look like slim wadds and Gibbs style that finish to 2oz. I would like them to cast well, but not sink like a rock. For deep water I will use my loaded SS needles...so I was hoping to make some of these near the top(Gibbs style), and some slow sink intermediate needles(Wadds).

I have 1/4 oz tail weights and smaller, but realize that cutting these 1/4 oz in half might serve me best.

I also have 4 gram and 6 gram belly weights.

I was wondering where I should drill the belly hook hole?

Also if anyone is familiar, what size weight did you put where?

 

When they arrive, I will hang a hook and wire and try some different weights tied with rubber bands. just wondering where I should begin...

 

Thanks very much...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without trying to sound like a jerk. You start by making something. Then you make another that is better than the first. This is how my process generally works.

 

1. Make a shape and profile that you like and think will be effective.

2. Depending on the length of the plug, I like the front belly hook to be between within 1/4 to 1/3 of the length of the plug. About the same proportion from the rear of the plug if there are 2 belly hooks.

3. Belly weight. I think most needlefish should sit pretty horizontal. So I would use the 6 gram weight and put it in front of the front hook.

4. Rear weight. drill out the back of the plug. Hard to say how much. I can usually tell by holding the plug if it feels balanced right.

 

I would wire up the plugs and test its balance in your kitchen sink or a bucket of water. Make sure you have hooks on your plug so you know exactly how it balances in the water. If you don't want to drill the belly holes for weight, you can do the rubber band method or duct tape. You aren't casting it so anything that keeps it in place for a few minutes.

 

Adjust your weights or locations, or both as you think is necessary and then drill your weights and wire it up for the real test drive. Give it a real cast and see if its doing what you want. I usually start in dead calm water, then test in a little bit of current and then in a good strong current.

 

You will probably go through quite a few blanks tweaking the shape, weight locations, hook locations, etc before you get what you are looking for. Making a well balanced needlefish isn't as easy as it might look.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Charlie's summation. The best catching needles for me have been the ones that sit horizontally in the water. Tail weighting will make them cast better but they don't come in at the same angle. The amount of weight you use will depend on the amount of buoyancy your plug has initially and this will vary with different woods. Be prepared to do some R&D, I don't think there is a one size fits all answer for your question. Also consider tuning your needles to the conditions, I have needles that are great at low tide and small wave conditions but are useless when the ocean starts getting rough. The "stick with hooks" can be more complex than it looks. Lots of needles are shown on this forum with lots of ideas on how they should be done. Good luck with the testing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff! I hear ya completely....Thanks for views..they are most helpful...

...and that's what these are for...calmer conditions..sweeping current..when fish are feeding near the surface.

I found that when fishing heavy surf, my loaded SS needles are great..but when its calmer, with a light or west wind, a more buoyant lure should fish better in some spots I fish.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree whole heartedly with all the info that's been posted here. Just be prepared to make a lot of firewood before you get it right. The needlefish lure "looks" like it would be the easiest to make. It's right up there with darters. Take notes and pictures of your progress. Good luck with yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only thing that I can add is try a search here under needles and username "bassmaster". He provides some excellent info in several threads.

Jigman

 

 

OH MY GOD!!! Glad I read about the weighted needles that sit nose up in the water! He is a tallented guy for sure! Sad to read some of the names in those long ago threads.

 

I agree whole heartedly with all the info that's been posted here. Just be prepared to make a lot of firewood before you get it right. The needlefish lure "looks" like it would be the easiest to make. It's right up there with darters. Take notes and pictures of your progress. Good luck with yours.

I hear ya..I'm starting with commercially made blanks. I thank you all for the help in getting my mind wrapped around where to begin...

I have an expereinced buddy going to seal, paint, and etex them for me...so I have alot of help!

Im looking forward to experimenting with weights and placement.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an old fish tank in the shop I use to help balance and check sink rates of plugs especially needles. I add enough salt to copy the salinity of saltwater. Sounds like a PITA but its pretty helpful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of different "salts" in salt water as well as other dissolved substances. Although NaCl will add salinity it's not quite like the briny deep. But I suppose it's better than nothing. There are lots of other factors that will have an impact on how any plug floats/sinks. Beside weight there is the type of wood sealing and painting...through wire or screw eyes...The surf conditions flat calm/3+ foot breakers...how about retrieval speed... just to name a few...don't forget time of day when color selecting. I know that some guys go to the extreme and hydro-orient their plugs. As far as I'm concerned, a well placed weight will more than satisfy the need to hydro-orient. I just can't imagine the big plug companies hydro-orienting anything...and their plugs still account for a lot of fish. I hope I didn't urinate anyone off by suggesting hydro is a waste of time...I just feel it's over kill. Like I don't over kill...soaking plugs in sealer from 12 - 24 hours... :kook::huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points with the salt...

Pardon the lack of what the hell goes on here bu, what is hydro orienting??

 

These needles are specific for calmer surf, west wind days. I am making some Gibbs style weighted to sink slowly with nose just up. Also small skinny wadd needles weighted a bit more in the tail and center. No rocking swell and maybe a sweep to the side.. Most of my other needles are heavier. Sinking a bait faster than the gibbs, still nose a bit up but weighted more for slightley heavier surf and a bit of a better casting needle than the gibbs...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.