Rough

New vs. used lures

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During the season, it often happens that an old, beaten up bucktail or tin is more effective than a new shiny one of exactly the same type and size. I am sure this happens to many. My question is about the start of the season. My impression is that used lures from the previous year are less effective. Is that because of some residual rust? Or smell? If you cast them long enough they "may" regain their 'touch.'  Am I wrong altogether? What experiences/ideas do folks have on this?

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I myself wouldn't even consider casting a new untested lure at the start of the season. Why add an additional uncertainty in an already uncertain situation?

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Good question.  I know when I’m into a good bite my plugs/jigs take on the “aroma” of striped bass and seem even more effective often right into the next night.  Eels the same.  It’s funny but I can smell “Striper” when I open my plug bag.  Not sure if it’s just me. 

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2 hours ago, Rough said:

During the season, it often happens that an old, beaten up bucktail or tin is more effective than a new shiny one of exactly the same type and size. I am sure this happens to many. My question is about the start of the season. My impression is that used lures from the previous year are less effective. Is that because of some residual rust? Or smell? If you cast them long enough they "may" regain their 'touch.'  Am I wrong altogether? What experiences/ideas do folks have on this?

I would not say that at all.

actually I'd tell anyone they were wrong if they said this.

the same lures are productive every season and will be the next season.

some of my old builds are still as catchy as they have ever been.

HH

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Agree with other responses. If a lure is effective at the close of the season it should be effective under the same conditions the following season.  All other things being equal, I'm more confident in a plug that been in the rotation than a new one off the shelf.

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I think we are all a bit superstitious about plugs and their mojo.

I always reach for a well worn plug before I’ll grab a new one but eventually the old one is lost or damaged beyond repair and a new one has to take its place.

Its a very rare occurrence that the new replacement doesn’t perform as well as the old one.

I see performance differences more in wood than in plastic and I attribute that to natural variations in the wood itself.

You want repeatability? Fish plastic and metal. 

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I agree with Valentine. Yes superstition is a huge factor. I always reach for the tried and tested plugs that are all beat up. I have however experienced situations where a new version of a swimming style lure like an SP minnow out fished the exact same tried and tested lure in my bag. This is almost the exact opposite when it comes to my wood plugs. The more beat up they get the more they produce.

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I don't think beat up stuff works better, but the lures that work better will get used more and get more beat up than less productive stuff.

 

Can you pick my favorite plug out of the lineup?  

 

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Like everyone else, I stuff my plug bag with so many plugs my shoulder hurts and I can’t get them out because they’re all hooked together and then I fish the same 4 lures every outing due to perceived results, superstition or whatever and they look used and beat up. I have unused lures that will catch fish just fine if I actually used them lol. 
 

just for fun, I once packed my bag with lures I don’t use and went fishing. They work!

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Old plugs, specially wood ones, are not created equally. Two seemingly identical plugs can swim differently. They’re like old guitars; The really good ones are cherished and are still being used. The mediocre ones fall along the wayside. This creates an illusion that the old ones are are better when, in reality, only the good ones have survived.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I’ve had older plugs change there action over time and be less productive. Some you have to constantly tweak so it depends how they hold up. Not a bad thing to grab a new plug here and there.

Edited by sandbars

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Not only wood lures differ. Mass produced plastic plugs such as Redfins, Bombers and Hellcats differ from each other greatly in several ways and react and respond differently both during the cast and during the retrieve

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A plug is a plug. If the fish sees it and want it, you’ll hook up....unless you have to really match the hatch to get hits. I think variation in action is more noticeable when it comes to wood plugs than plastic...not that it’s that noticeable and different anyways

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3 hours ago, SC said:

Not only wood lures differ. Mass produced plastic plugs such as Redfins, Bombers and Hellcats differ from each other greatly in several ways and react and respond differently both during the cast and during the retrieve

I’ve found this to be true. Plastic is more consistent than wood, on average, but I’ve seen enough difference that I always grab my previously productive lures when I’m looking for bigger fish and usu the new ones, instead, if there may be bluefish around or there’s a high possibility of losing the plug in the rocks.

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