Newport Striper

Love-Hate Relationship with Stetzko Lures

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First off, want to say I have way more love for Stetzko lures than hate. Their needlefish led to my first 30lb striper from the surf and plenty of good fish since. That said, they have no been very durable in my experience.

 

The aforementioned 30lb fish actually ripped the through wiring out of the plug, splitting the wood in half. At the time, I pegged this to a mixture of locked down drag and rough conditions. I recently bought several new Stetzko needlefish and "Mr. Wiggly" lures to use in boulder fields and experienced further issues. During a hot bite, the through wiring on the back of the needlefish became compromised, twisting against the wood and cutting into it (though fell short of ripping through the wood this time) and the belly swivel also started ripping into the wood. Just a few nights later, the lip on a brand new Mr. Wiggly cracked right off on the 2nd fish it had ever seen (picture below). 

 

These lures are true catchers, and while they're priced quite reasonably, it's hard to justify spending the $ when they continue to break and require upgraded hardware just to fish them. Has anyone else experienced similar issues? 

 

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Sourced plugs

I have a  bunch of wiggles, prototype and the lips blow up, better off using stainless and making your own

 

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They were designed for Cape sand fishing.  Use them in boulder fields and rocky cliffs of Southern Rhode Island and the lips of the Wiggleys will snap on occasion.  We had the same issue with Rebels.  From what I remember they were built in Asia.  Unfortunately they do not hold up well.  

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The wood should be strong as it's Philippine mahogany.  I personally  never had one split and Tony never mentioned this in all the time I spent and fished with him. Also,  none of his plugs have belly swivels.  The thru wire may not be as thick/strong as some of the modern builders today, which is why you may have witnessed some issues???  The lips on the wiggly's are a known issue.  I am fortunate to have one with a metal lip.  If I were you I would go this route.  It's such a cool and unique  plug.

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16 hours ago, 27conch said:

The wood should be strong as it's Philippine mahogany.  I personally  never had one split and Tony never mentioned this in all the time I spent and fished with him. Also,  none of his plugs have belly swivels.  The thru wire may not be as thick/strong as some of the modern builders today, which is why you may have witnessed some issues???  The lips on the wiggly's are a known issue.  I am fortunate to have one with a metal lip.  If I were you I would go this route.  It's such a cool and unique  plug.

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Ah you are correct on all accounts. I thought that they had belly swivels, but it turns out that was due to a lack of observation. The through-wiring on the belly of the needle popped out and I didn't realize it (pic below)IMG_5772.jpg.7b4e5490488e41c61d3d9166bbe2e0a3.jpg

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pretty much what I have seen as well, not the most durable but they do catch, and catch well. I always have the mid-sized needle in my bag at night. 

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3 hours ago, Newport Striper said:

Ah you are correct on all accounts. I thought that they had belly swivels, but it turns out that was due to a lack of observation. The through-wiring on the belly of the needle popped out and I didn't realize it (pic below)IMG_5772.jpg.7b4e5490488e41c61d3d9166bbe2e0a3.jpg

If it’s any consolation, Tony schooled me one night using  his pink needle.  But I’m one of many who was schooled by Tony.  Miss him. 

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What sets his needles apart and most don't see this, is they have a super seductive roll during the retrieve.  I know this because I have a big built in pool and swam some one day.  I was like OMG, no wonder these work so well.  Was actually going to have some turned down here in NJ to keep the line in play.

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Those look oval in crosssection? Maybe that shape has some roll but maybe he put weight in there such that it has some roll from that?

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I have a bunch, including one completely stripped down.  They are round, tail weighed so they sit nose up.  I believe the roll is caused by the nose design?  I will try and make a video since its pool season..:)

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Why put up complaints on a guy who passed lures? You know he is dead eh? They still selling these in stores?

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59 mins ago, Reed422 said:

Why put up complaints on a guy who passed lures? You know he is dead eh? They still selling these in stores?

I didn't know that and intended no disrespect, just an honest inquiry into an observation. Some people gave great advice as a result (replacing plastic lip with a metal one). Twin Maples Bait & Tackle on Block normally stocks Stetzko Lures. 

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I didn't view this as disrespect , Reed442, and I spent a good deal of time with Tony back in the day.  Every trip was an adventure and he was a really good person. I miss him a lot..

 You can still purchase Stetzko's in a number of stores and well as the auction site.

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On 8/2/2022 at 3:22 PM, bassmaster said:

Sourced plugs

I have a  bunch of wiggles, prototype and the lips blow up, better off using stainless and making your own

 

Yup, this

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