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Charlie M

Hydro-orienting, revisited.

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The past year or so I started floating all the swimming plugs I make. Mainly cause Tagger got in my head, but a few things really opened my eyes in the past few weeks.

 

I was doing some plugs out of basswood, and it was really unpredictable. AYC and WRC were pretty consistent when I looked at the grain and how it floated in the past. A few didn't float with the grain but, about 75% did what I thought they would.

 

Now the basswood, it was all over the place. Parallel to the grain, perpendicular, completely off axis. All the plugs came from the same board, so I couldn't even blame that the wood was from different trees. Really glad I floated them.

 

Crazy. Perhaps there is more to hydro-orienting than meets the eye.

 

Any other species you noticed that were unpredictable?

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I never really found a reason not to... some plugs flip over like they have n ounce of lead in the belly.. others no so much...like i said.. no reason not to.. to me it's a no brainer... I can use less weight, or no weight and achieve a nice swimming plug by letting the wood works as it naturaly should...

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I have done it for a number of years now. I believe it does help, more so for swimmers with little or no belly weight. As quickly as it can be done, I see no reason for smaller builders not to hydro-orient. Mostly work in AYC and White Cedar. As Rockfish noted, some just barely roll over, others flip like you have a chunk of lead in the belly.

 

Jigman

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I have always hydro-oriented my plugs, neeedles, spooks, and poppers....why try fighting nature when you can use it to the advantage of your build...no rollout because of a topheavy piece of timber   I knock em around the sink a bit to make sure re orientation occurs...IMG_20120129_200232.jpg


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Do you all do it with the square ends on?? I leave them on drill out eyes, weights, and hook holes. I have put them in water with the square ends on and spin them some to see what happens.

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My needles get floated several times....that pic was after through drilling, belly gromet placement and eye placement. These have also been weighted...the reorientation did not change since they were blanks and were floated for the first time....



 



measure twice cut once...or some bs like that...i like to know nothing has changed along the way.IMG_20120129_200047.jpg


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Cool stuff!

 

So it does change the building process a bit if you're set up to do your drilling with square ends? You guys must have some cool jigs to move the lip/eye/weight/hook hanger positioning forward with a plug with no reference points (rounded off)?

 

MS

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I cut the square ends off before hydro orienting plugs. V-blocks and other jigs can be used to line them up square to drill belly and other holes. I do notice that when I throw the plugs into sealer after all of the holes are drilled, they'll still sit belly down just like they did in the hydro process. As noted, some blanks slowly rotate others act like they have a spring on them. Do you have to hydro orient to build a good plug? No. Does it make a difference? Yes, and I believe it is worth the effort. Only takes a few seconds to do it. If you really want to see what difference it makes, take a few blanks that flipped over quickly like they had a spring in them. Set up one using the top as you should, and orient others to one side or the top. Finish as usual and test them out. Which one swims best?

 

Jigman

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Do you all do it with the square ends on? I leave them on drill out eyes, weights, and hook holes. I have put them in water with the square ends on and spin them some to see what happens.

It won't work right with the square ends on Jamie, I've tried, once you cut off the square ends you'll get a different top. I do it sometimes and sometimes not, I do feel like a pug with no weight thats hydroed has a certain sexy swim that you can't imitate with a belly weight but I don't do it all the time. For me it does add a lot of effort because my plug holding Jigs could use some refining but the square ends line everything up every time. It's been noted by others in the past that the square ends are like training wheels, and I tend to agree, but for certain plugs like needles, poppers and stuff that I plan on adding a nice slug of lead, it shortens the process for me pretty significantly to just use the square ends for reference.

 

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I'm always worried that the first side of the plug that hits the water will soak up water, which will artificially make it the heavier side. So now I give them a quick dunk in my sealer, let it dry, and then HO the plug. I'm sure folks will say that there's absolutely no reason to do that, but I don't mind the extra step.

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I'm always worried that the first side of the plug that hits the water will soak up water, which will artificially make it the heavier side. So now I give them a quick dunk in my sealer, let it dry, and then HO the plug. I'm sure folks will say that there's absolutely no reason to do that, but I don't mind the extra step.

 

for one thing.. we are dealing with wood.. not sponges.. second.. if you spin them.. all side get wetted.. and it also lets the plug decide where it wants to stop...

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I'm always worried that the first side of the plug that hits the water will soak up water, which will artificially make it the heavier side. So now I give them a quick dunk in my sealer, let it dry, and then HO the plug. I'm sure folks will say that there's absolutely no reason to do that, but I don't mind the extra step.

 

 

...if you spin them.. all side get wetted...

 

I've HO'ed plugs with sealer and without(spun to wet all sides) and have not observed an appreciable difference between the two ways so far

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the only plugs i would even consider sealing prior to HO'ng ( which I dont) is birch...the stuff sniffs water and it splits...I've lost a few blanks ( birch) because they split almost on contact... i still dont seal them unti Im done drillin'.. just dont feel the time is worth the blank...

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