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ARMYFISHERMAN

Jig Makin'

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ALCON (army shorthand for all concerned),

I recently purchased a Lee lead melter and a round jig mold. Let me say I am trying to duplicate the Eikens jig (5/16 and 7/16), due to the high prices and change in quantity to a pack.

My intent is to try and make the Eikens style jigs myself. After getting all the right equiment...I THINK...I am having a difficult time making a jig I can use. Either the trailer barb will not form or the lead will not melt evenly in the jig mold. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Additionally, what is the best way to paint a "chip free" jig that will hold up to the rigours of fishing chunk rock?

I have a million more question if anyone is interested.

Thanks for you time and look forward to getting the scoop on this jig making stuff!

Thanks,

MIKE

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MIKE,

First off, welcome to Tackleunderground. There is a lot learn here so hang on, you a in for one great ride. And as Mark incicated, you should post this in the Wire Bait forum so those with all the right answers for your problems will be aware of the post.

There are several reasons why you are not completely getting a full pour on your jigs. Those that come to mind are:

* Lead not hot enough

* Mold also not hot enough

* Lead flow set too slow

* Area of jig not filling needs venting (air getting trapped)

These are pretty much self explanatory, so tweek on them and see if it helps your problem, if it doesn't, let us know.

As for paint, there is only one answer, POWDER PAINT. Go to dayooper's website and watch the videos on how to do it, then order the colors you need. www.tjstackle.com

All this should get you started. Please give us a progress report in about a week. Good Luck.

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Turn the pot to high and let your led get so hot its glowing.... Then hold the mold as close to opening in the pot so that you can just see the lead hit the top and pour it. I had a hard time pouring small dartheads untill i did this and get a 90% success rate now. If you mess up just take your needle nose pliers and resumerge the lead in the pot and u can use the hook again too.

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George,

Awesome...I will try

I have been using powder paint for years on small tackle projects and I really like the stuff...do I need to put any hardner on there or clear coat?

Thanks for the reply

MIKE

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George,

Awesome...I will try

I have been using powder paint for years on small tackle projects and I really like the stuff...do I need to put any hardner on there or clear coat?

Thanks for the reply

MIKE

I started making my tackle for the same reason, cost and availability of Eakins jigs!

Powder paint when cured is as tough as you can get so there is no need to clear coat. Just go to Big Lots or Ollies and get a small cheap toaster oven to cure the heads after powderpainting them.

Here are a couple more tips for making those Eakins jigs. Pour with the base hole pins in not the weedguards. After curing the heads then glue in the weedguards afterwards with super glue GEL (very important to use GEL!). Eakins uses (or use to its been awhile since I bought any?) 3/0 hooks, I found these do not work as well as the 4/0 which seem stronger and lose less fish.

Allen

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I'm not a big fan of powder paint for jigs. Lighter ones, yes, but not for anything 5/8 and over. It's great for lighter jigs. Fast n Easy. I made jigs for years here on the Detroit River where we bounce 3/4-1oz jigs off rocks all spring while jigging for walleye and there isn't one single powder paint job that I've seen hold up for more than 10 minutes. And I've seen allot of different jigs around here. It's a pain, but the best combo I found was white or black vinyl as a primer base, vinyl colors, then epoxy clear coated.

It's a crappy picture, but try to get powder to withstand this hammer shot. The vinyl/epoxy system does.

http://www.downrivertackle.com/smash.jpg

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Mike,

Wecome to TU. There is a lot of good information here from a lot of good guys that know what they're talking about. There is a lot of info in the wirebait section, that will answer a lot of your questions. I personally use powder paint on all my jigs up to 1-1/2 oz. I make nothing bigger at this time. There are guys here that pour 3 and 4 ounce jigs and use powder paint with no problems. A lot of the powder paint characteristics are based on the mix of your lead. The harder the lead you use the harder it is to pour, but the paint will hold up better, because the lead is not soft enough to dent. That's it in a nutshell. Baking (Curing is must), clearcoting is an option, but it adds depth to your colored jigs and durability to the jig. Powder paint is not indestructable, but I found it to be the best choice for my application. I also have a multi-color powder painting tutorial, that I can e-mail you if you PM me you e-mail. Also if you have any other questions myself and the others in the wirebait forum will be more than happy to help you out.

Edited by cadman

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Mike,

The others have really answered your questions. No hardener necessary. When applied, powder paint is still subject to chipping very easily. Once baked for a good cure, it is then what they term as 'chip resistant'. There is a cure chart of times and temps to bake at, but anymore, I just bake at 400* for 12 minutes, shut the oven off and leave them in there for a while. The first 12 minutes is critical to link the powder components to achieve the hardness, the addititional time in the oven is just extra which does seem to add to the hardness.

As for clear coat, not necessary. I use a lot of clear, but only if I want glitter on the bait. The glitter is mixed in the clear and really stands out when finished. Don't mix it in the paint, it gets lost.

Good luck.

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George,

I tried some of the techniques yesturday...with no prevail. I am going to purchase another Lee Lead molder and try it. I have heated the mold, with a small propane torch. I have checked my current melting pot to ensure no dirt was mixed in with the lead.

The one thing I cannot figure out is the air pockets...where are they and how do I get rid of them?

I plan on making another batch tonight.

Next question: what is the best/cheapest medthod for putting skirts in the "skirt holder" and does anybody carry the Eikens style skirts already pre-made?

Thanks again,

MIKE

MIKE,

First off, welcome to Tackleunderground. There is a lot learn here so hang on, you a in for one great ride. And as Mark incicated, you should post this in the Wire Bait forum so those with all the right answers for your problems will be aware of the post.

There are several reasons why you are not completely getting a full pour on your jigs. Those that come to mind are:

* Lead not hot enough

* Mold also not hot enough

* Lead flow set too slow

* Area of jig not filling needs venting (air getting trapped)

These are pretty much self explanatory, so tweek on them and see if it helps your problem, if it doesn't, let us know.

As for paint, there is only one answer, POWDER PAINT. Go to dayooper's website and watch the videos on how to do it, then order the colors you need. www.tjstackle.com

All this should get you started. Please give us a progress report in about a week. Good Luck.

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Awesome Intell,

One other quick question if I could?

I have noticed that the Do-It mold is a little different then the Eikens jig. I am sure there is a patent on thier particular jigs, but was curious if there was an excact mold or someone knew how to modify the Do-It mold to mold jigs like the Jewel (Eikens) jig?

MIKE

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Mike,

To pre-heat your mold, when you turn on your lead pot, just lay the mold across the top of it and when the lead is ready, so is the mold. Another method is to make several pours without inserts (hooks) and this will bring the mold up to temp after about 4 pours.

Now, if I understand you correctly, your main problem is incomplete pours, I believe you mentioned the barb is not coming out. Air is being forced to this part of the mold as lead enters the cavity, and it is trapped with no place to escape so lead can fill in behind it. You need to give the air a place to go. Using the edge of a fine file (the smaller, the better), scribe a line in the surface of the mold from the highest point in the area of the cavity not filling with lead to the exterior of the mold. Go slow, not much of a channel is needed, and you don't want to slip and damage your mold. You only need to do this on one half of the mold, not both halves. Put your hooks in and pour a part. Hopefully this solved the problem. If it didn't, you may need to file the channel just a slight bit deeper. Keep doing this until you have results. You will also get a little lead in this channel which can be easily snipped off the finished part.

To answer your question on a cheap skirt tool, do a search using the words 'skirt tool'. There are several threads in the wire baits forum on how to make one out of a Bic pen and you won't get any cheaper than that.

As for where to buy a pre-made Eakins skirt, I can't help you there. I make all my own, and I think if you want to duplicate the colors, go to www.fishingskirts.com and pick the ones you want, Charles has the whole rainbow at a very reasonable price, as well as an inexpensive skirt tool.

Let us know how the next pour goes, I am interested to see if it solved your problem. Oh, one other thing to try before you vent the mold is to tilt it slightly as you pour into it. Look at the mold sprue area, most of Do-it's are at an angle to the cavity and tilting helps the lead get to where you want it.

Good luck.

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George,

Thanks again for the information.

I plan on trying to make some jigs tonight.

I did purchase a new Lee molder (10lb pot) The borrowed one I was using had some issues. My fishing partner drilled a hole in the drain spout and now the plunger will not hold the lead inside the pot without dripping...it was his pot. So I think with the new pot and a better understanding on what I am doing, this might work out a litte better for me. I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT.

A couple

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Good information.

I just purchase another Lee 10 lb pot vs. an older hammy down pot. The owner of the first one drilled a hole in the drain spout to clear the debris and now the plunger will not hold the lead inside the pot...this might be part of the problem.

I am going to give it a trial run with the new one tonight.

I do have a few more questions if I could;

What is the best material (copper wire or string) to tie the jig skirts to the jig.

I would like to use metal wire, but do not know what to look for.

Additionally, I am wondering which technique/tool is best for putting the rubber skirt collars on skirts?

MIKE (the man with a 1000 questions)

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Mike,

I'm no expert, but, if I'm retieing a skirt whose rubber band has broken, or is threatening to, I use 50lb braid off one of my reels, and coat it with brush-on crazy glue.

I lose the jig before the skirt comes off.

For production, a fine wire would probably be the way to go, but I've never tried that.

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ALCON,

Purchased a new Lee melting pot, made some corrections to my process, and made about 40 "perfect jigs" last night.

Thanks for the all the advice.

I did learn some tricks that seemed to help. I filed a small groove in the mold to let the air pass and burned a candle under the jig mold untill the mold was black. Not sure which one of the two made it work, but I was pleased with the process and feel a little better about my new, off season, hobby.

Thanks again,

MIKE

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Mike,

Just getting caught up on posts after being off for a couple of days. Really glad to hear you are now up and running and producing jigs instead of pulling your hair out. :yeah:

Hope you have started a list, because your next mold will no doubt present a whole new batch of problems. Seems like they all have a personality of their own.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Mike,

The rubber skirt bands are fast and easy, copper wire seems popular and holds up okay, but, small zip ties work well and install quick - they work great for quick skirt replacements on the boat for musky and pike lures.

Welcome to Tackleunderground.com

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