Hook hangers, screws n epoxy--brought to you by Pflueger Mustang

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TBT, it's brought to you by the impacts of that plug on my fevered mind.


I just started a thread in the Main, looking for first-hand impressions of the Mustang from those who've fished it.  My opening post is pretty short, but here are a few of the salient points:



I LOVE the paint (colors and and scaling) on the mullet pattern, and the baroque style of the upper and lower metal plates is quite unusual, which I why I'm considering fishing the one I have.


Those belly hook hangers, despite having a very cool retro look (IMO), don't inspire much (OK, OK, any) confidence that those four little screws will survive many fish before they get pulled out, so they'd need be addressed.  The nose screws might warrant work as well.  I know that I could through wire it, allowing another 1/4" or so of exposed through wire shaft for that revolving-tail hook hanger, but I'd like to explore other options.


I'm not concerned about the tail hook, because I'd remove it before fishing it.  Has anyone put a blade on it to have a flaptail?  I'm thinking swivel on the hook hanger ==> v small split ring ==> small willow blade.  (I don't want to delve into the intricacies of designing flaptail plugs, and the years it takes to get them right, because I'm basically just rat-rodding a plug.)



Look here to see what others post in response:  


What do you builders think of the flaptail idea?


Now, onto those hook hangers.  In addition to Mustang-specific content, I'm adding the general questions that came to my mind as I explored potential options.



1.  Let's constrain this to stripers to keep it on track.  Approaches for everything from tuna to trout might be interesting, but they're only valuable here if they bear relevance to our topics, OK?

2.  Although I've changed to mostly 2H configurations, I plan to retain the original 3H config of the Mustang, primarily because I don't want to deal with the time and effort required determine the proper location of a single belly hook.  I'll end up with an effective 2H by replacing the rear belly hook with either a weight (per Anderson & Audet's "The One Hook Solution") or (more likely) a lollipopped rear treble.


EPOXY?--How long are the belly and nose screws?  Are they long enough that one could remove them, clean them if needed, then use 30-min epoxy to secure them into the body, and have confidence that they won't get pulled out right away?  If they're too short, what length would be required?  (Looks like the body could easily accommodate 5/8" belly screws, or longer if they're inserted at an angle.  The lower nose screws look like they could be as long as 3/4" if they were angled down just a bit more.  The top nose screw length isn't limited by anything other than the 5" body length. 


General--Screws n Glues:

--Are you most concerned with screws being pulled out, unscrewed, or that the eyes will open?

--In general, how do you determine required holding power (other than poring over detailed tables and descriptions found on engineering and some woodworking/carpentry sites) for your screws? 

--Is there a plug body size limit below which you'd immediately dismiss the idea of using screws?  (I would not worry at all about it if I had 3/4" long size 8 (or 10!) screw eyes screwed in perpendicular to the grain of a 1 1/4" diameter plug.  We all know that lots of old plug designs used this approach to land many cows.)

--Do you look at the length, the diameter, or both? 

If we only need to double the holding power of each screw, simply doubling the length will double the contact surface area.  Do we need 4x?  If so, we'd either just double the diameter to get 4x surface area, or increase both the diameter and the length to get (within the dimensional limits of the plug body) the required increase.  

The same math applies to changing the holding power of epoxied screws if one started with an epoxied screw.

--Do you use adhesive on every screw?  If so, what do you use?


HORIZONTAL HOOK HANGERS?--For each belly hook, drill a hole vertically some 5/16 or 3/8" from the belly, directly above the locations of the current hooks.  This would require drilling through the metal belly plate only for the rear hook.  The hole diameter is a function the swivel size you plan to use and the grommet size, if you use a grommet.  Then drill one at a right angle to the length of the plug, perhaps 1/4" above the belly and either 1/16" or 3/32" diameter, into which one inserts a length of .062 wire, through the top loop of the swivel and through to the far side of the plug body.  This appears to me to provide the same strength as the through wired approach, with less work.


C-SHAPED HOOK HANGER (singular)?--Drill vertically above the current hooks through the top of the plug, run .062 up through one hole, then bend it 90* to run it along the top of the top metal plate, bend again and run it down into the other hole.  Counterbore the belly holes to allow for small loops in the wire ends, each attached to a swivel. 

Problem w/swivels (I think):  Although one could wrap a loop for the first hole prior to inserting it, how would one create the second loop for swivel2?  One could just skip the second swivel, in which case one would simply wrap the second loop below the belly of the plug.  This could be OK for me, given that the rear hanger won't carry a hook.


General--Center of Gravity (COG)

Could the destabilizing effect of the elevated COG be a positive outcome, in that it would make the plug more erratic?


MODIFIED COTTER PIN/VERTICAL HOOK HANGER?--Drill a vertical hole for each hook, counterbored on the belly end to allow for a loop to hold the swivel.  The only examples of this I've seen were quite ugly (real cotter pins that were bent back over the top of the plug).  I don't know enough about bending wire to know how to create a terminal stop, although I expect that such a "knot" exists.  If that's correct, then one could just barrel wrap a loop with a swivel in it, run the up the hole and create a stop atop the back of the plug., which would be less work than the horizontal hook hanger (driill one hole, not two).


General--Wire Stops

Do you know how to create a flat stop that lies directly against the stock that the wire just came through?  


BOOSTING THE 'STANG--How would you strengthen the 'Stang?

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