Punch63

Buying plugs from professional? Plug builders

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Professional builder ( has website, always self promoting on instagram/Facebook), what are your expectations when you spend $30+ dollars plus shipped on a plug. Would you expect epoxy Air bubbles/ fish eyes, rippled epoxy, gaps at rear of plug between wood and grommet. Should a builder deliver a top quality product, or should you just be happy waiting for 14 months to get a plug built by him 

Edited by Punch63

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When I buy a plug from a “professional” builder I would expect as clean of a looking, swimming, and fish catching plug the builder can make.  They would be considered a “professional” for a reason right?  I don’t mind fish eyes, rippling, as much as I do a bad sealer, primer, paint, and clear coating process.  Without a good process and products you know work well and are compatible with each other, your finished plug is only as strong as your weakest link.  A loose tail wrap is not acceptable in my book.  Generally that means the through wire can spin or the metal lip if not glued in can change its orientation.

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In my own building iv found two things to be true, firstly every step in the process effects subsequent steps...ensuring a clean finished product means achieving quality results for each step, ensuring the next step is properly executed.  Second and more important for someone buying a product, with the tools, products and equipment available to production lure builders any obvious blemishes or quality issues elude to possibly more serious unseen issues such as those mentioned above in the sealing process, sanding or proper application of clear coats which will effect the life and performance of the plug beyond its aesthetics.  

 

Imo lure prices are out of control, people are buying paint jobs and inflated names they see on the gram or fbook.  The reality is their tools and should be utilized for their purpose...which would ultimately drive the price down.  That's not to diminish the craftsmanship of the builder, the work that goes into a hand built lure of today's standards does deserve a respectful price on behalf of the builder and it's the  builder who perpetuates those standards.  Personally, fish-eyes, loose grommets, tail wraps or lips are unacceptable, with guys cranking out hundreds per batch off duplicators, sometimes the quality control suffers.  If you focus on small batch builders I'd bet the quality and consistency improve dramatically.

Edited by DeepBlue85

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Self-promotion and having a website is the sign of a business person and has little to do with quality. I've found those who yell the loudest usually have nothing to say.  

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Yeah, I have a glider I bought used, made by a well known builder. Nothing wrong with the finish, etc., but the tail hook hanger is way off the center line of the plug, and is canted at about a 45 degree angle. I know weird things can happen when building plugs, but how did something like this get finished and out the door?

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In my experience most builders do take pride in their work. Did you contact the builder to see if they would correct it? I had plugs from very well known builders with issues such as plugs rolling out etc. I contacted them and they were more than happy to make it right.

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Keep in mind there is also a lot in the plug that is out of the builders control.  Some wood may be denser in some areas as well as not allow paint/primer to adhere as well.  Some clear coats even though they look good on the finished plug may react differently once in the water or when the plug absorbs water.  Bunker_bill knows that I had a plug recently that had paint and clear coat create a big bubble.  Something that definitely isn’t the builders fault it’s just the nature of making plugs out of wood.

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For all I know somebody pulled it out of the builder's trash, but I can't imagine it's more than just a fluke...the guy has been at it a long time and his plugs are pretty expensive. 

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I guess it all depends what your planning on do with the plug. If your collecting then all the defects you mentioned would be a issue. Myself personally air bubbles fish eyes and what not doesn’t bother me. But For the most part I use what I buy. However I’ll will say I’d have a problem if the hardware didn’t line up (gaps and what not).

20 hours ago, Punch63 said:

Professional builder ( has website, always self promoting on instagram/Facebook), what are your expectations when you spend $30+ dollars plus shipped on a plug. Would you expect epoxy Air bubbles/ fish eyes, rippled epoxy, gaps at rear of plug between wood and grommet. Should a builder deliver a top quality product, or should you just be happy waiting for 14 months to get a plug built by him 

 

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11 hours ago, SC said:

Self-promotion and having a website is the sign of a business person and has little to do with quality. I've found those who yell the loudest usually have nothing to say.  

Haha.  Never heard of this builder or professional but I was thinking the same thing. 

Edited by Steel Pulse

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