Hi, my name is Gregg. I'm in Colorado and have been doing this for a couple years, fly tying for 15, and rod building for about a year and a half. I guess anything tackle, except soft baits like worms etc., has an interest for me. I am an engineer by trade, so I definitely need something to drive the numbers and projects from my mind in the evenings, and on those weekends when fishing isn't the best choice due to weather or other commitments. Now that my kids are grown and off to, or graduated from, college I find I actually have some pocket money. Who'd a thunked those kids consumed so much of my hard earned wages. I've been woodworking for many years and have an adequate shop to make my own jigs and tools. Having a midi lathe and a pen lathe have been a big plus for plugs and swim baits.
I'm fairly self taught, avoiding classes and local groups. I get enough egos and chit chat at work, I kind of like the solitude and peace of lure making. I learn from books (have dozens now) and on-line videos. I use specific epoxies for rods, but for lures I've experimented - after all they get pretty beat up anyway and I've found two-part crystal clear 20 or 30 minute epoxies make great undercoats and topcoats, protecting the lure quite well. I invested in an airbrush and have found it invaluable, almost as invaluable as a Twistech wire former.
I make and sell spinning and fly rods, more spinning rods than fly, and most people seem to want their rod customized with team colors, or targeted to certain species or fishing methods. While I have plenty of repeat and referral business from the rods, they're really not my passion. They provide the funds for the real fun stuff - hand carved wooden crank baits and swim baits, materials for fly tying and hardware for spinners! I sell plenty of these, but only after I've fished the design and know they catch. This is where lure making has expanded my fishing arena. Before I started tackle crafting I targeted trout, pike, tiger muskie and salmon. As I started lure crafting I was getting asked if my lures worked on warm water species? I decided I should find out what works best.... and began fishing for small and large mouth bass, perch and crappie. I had no idea I was missing out on some really fun fishing. I even learned some good recipes for warm water fish, and now enjoy a much broader range of fishing, with low altitude lakes and ponds in the winter and high altitude streams and lakes in the warmer months.
I've been blessed with a frugal wife that supports my hobbies - which seem to be turning into a retirement fund generator. She just asked what I wanted for my birthday and I replied I was thinking about stuff at Woodcraft, namely a new carving knife and some supplies. She said "Let's go!" While I was shopping knives and Dremel sanding drums she walked up with an armful of basswood and a nice set of cobalt lathe tools, saying she also found me some birthday stuff! What a great gal. Note to self... remember to pick up the tanzanite earrings she was ogling last week in the jewelry store, I mean after all.... how did I luck out to get a woman to put up with me drawing two or three tubs of water per week just to run lure designs, the ongoing stink of epoxy drying, the whir of machines and tools, and encourage the hobby?