Some serious crankbait buildin
14 replies to this topic
Posted 26 December 2003 - 05:57 PM
Check out this link:
Posted 30 December 2003 - 10:33 AM
What about it dude. These guys are in it for the money. They have to have some serious ways to get the job done. Take a look at this one....
They use to have some serious pictures also. This family owned company is in Ga.
Posted 30 December 2003 - 11:19 AM
Never seen the stanfords,but have had a thundershad in my hand they look nice and are well made baits but to me they are not custom or handmade,kind of loses the allure to me(my .02),but if you just like looking at crankbaits(i do) here is another link http://www.tn-tuffy.com/ and http://munchbaits.com/
Posted 30 December 2003 - 11:35 AM
I just posted the link Skeeter as I thought others would enjoy seeing the "mass production" process as I did. I enjoyed the link you posted as well, thx.
Posted 30 December 2003 - 01:52 PM
As Skeeter stated these guys are in it for the $$$. The other links posted are also machined baits. There is no way that any one person can handcarve 2 baits exactly alike. I have taken apart at least one bait of every company that says they are hand carved or hand crafted and they all have chatter marks on the wood. Tennessee Tuffy and Munch baits, Ron-E-Bee, Zoom are all making machined baits. All of my baits are machined also that is the only way to manufacture any quantity, As for quality it all depends upon who is machining the bait and how much attention is put to detail during the assembly process. For me it is a matter of pride in workmanship. Each batch of baits that I make I throw about 15% of the batch away because it does not meet my standards. It is important if your selling your baits for top $ to assure that each and every bait is the best you can do if anyone is interested my baits are for sale at:
Posted 30 December 2003 - 05:28 PM
I think what Skeeter is refering to is a post I made some time back about "custom or handmade baits"....All these companies throw these phrases around freely.....I don't mind the use of tools in lure production...I use them all the time...but it is me controling them...NOT a computer.
I do appreciate the post...it's very interesting on how the "Big Boys" do it....Nathan
Posted 31 December 2003 - 09:38 AM
You got that right guys! I have been on a tour, showing my lures to shops and doing okay. The shop owners say that my lures look much better than those with the title " Hand Made Wooden Lure". Its hard to compete with the price though. Unless people see them one in one hand and one in the other.
I have seen alot of lures out there in the 17 - 20 dollar range that look like my 5 year old glued em and painted them with the help of a 10 year old.
Nice to see the production process of the mass produced, but their work does not impress me. Their lures dogleg and hook out of the packages too. Tuning is terrible.
I however, would like to be able to mass produce a certain line for "that customer crowd" and with higher quality standards as well as continue to hand carve for a customer group that want a "TRUE" hand crafted piece of wood. Painting the plastics in conjunction with the handcarved enables me to do the woodwork.
Posted 31 December 2003 - 11:11 AM
I think you hit it right on the head Chip...will guys pay the extra money or not? Most of my fishing is for salmon and steelhead and the lures I'm pulling most are hotlips, wiggle-warts, kwikfish (flatfish), hotshots, and tadpollies. I think any of these "mass-made" lures can be bought for about 5 or 6 dollars or less and to be honest with the exception of a couple wiggle warts I can't remember having trouble tuning any of them. Tadpollies and hotshots in particular generally run perfect every time.
I would be happy to pay more for a "custom plug" if it caught more fish but seriously doubt many of my "cheap" friends with leaky boats would, lol. I do, however, have "bass fanatic" co-workers that think nothing of dropping 15 or 20 dollars for a plug if it's the "one they want". These guys also have 35k dollar boats behind 40k trucks! When I look at a "custom" lure from someone who knows what they are doing though (not one of mine, lol) you can "see" and "feel" the quality and like many others have said before me, "you know you're fishing one of a kind". If I am going to pay 15 or 20 dollars for a bait, it must have something the "mass produced" group cannot offer, better finish, unusual paint, etc. There is a reason why most of the big companies have gone the "mass-produced" route, it's the only way to make money at it. Hughesy may have the best combination of all, he has managed to mix "mass production" with incredible "custom" painting and quality, a combination that is proving hard to beat.
Posted 31 December 2003 - 07:06 PM
I am just adding a reply to tell all of you guys: Carolina Chip, Black Jack, and Riverman I checked out your sites and all your guys lures look Incredible. GREAT JOB guys! Those are definatly worth what you are asking for them. Keep up all the good work.
Posted 31 December 2003 - 07:54 PM
Thanks Northbassman but I only pasted the link up there for another manufacturer.......this site is not mine! I have made a grand total of three wooden cranks in my life, lol. Carolina is a pro and so is BlackJack but I am but a student....with a learning disability, lol.
Happy New Year.
Posted 31 December 2003 - 08:02 PM
NOT TRUE RIVERMAN!!!!!
I saw the photo you sent me today! NICE WOODWORK on the cedar bait! Like I said, after the 5th, we will work on a few things together!!!
Looking forward to it.
Posted 31 December 2003 - 08:59 PM
The only reason I posted my lure pics is to show you all what can be accomplished with sharing of info. If it was not for this site and a few others(mainly this one) the art of lure making would be a forgotten thing. Just think of the guys like Lee Sisson, Jim Bagley, Perry Shockley, and Fred Young. If they had not shared and collaborated info we would all be throwing bobby pin spinners to catch fish. I recently had an extensive conversation with Lee Sisson. I wish I had recorded the conversation, very enlightening. He told me to this day he and several other bait manufacturers talk on a weekly basis and share info. Lee also told me he started out like all of us in our basements making a few baits for friends and it has led to a lifelong career. Keep up the great work guys and keep the pictures coming. Thanks Red, Hughesy and all the others that make this site what it is!! Happy New Year
Posted 05 January 2004 - 06:43 PM
This is my first post on this site, I have really enjoyed looking around on here since I found this place recently. This is one of my favorite sites on the net do to its subject matter- building fishing lures, a subject which really touches my heart. I have been around lure making my entire life and have family members that have started companies specializing in making crankbaits (Stanford Lures), spinnerbaits (Ledgebuster), dipping dyes (Spike-It), plastics, and have tinkered in everything from jigging spoons, hair jigs, to deer trail timers, cameras, scents, you name it. I grew up with my dad making lures for various situations rather than going to Wal-Mart to buy them. Partly because of just being poor, but mostly because of artistic reasons and the feeling that comes from fooling a fish with a creation of your own. Nothing tops that feeling. I found that out very early on as I was creating bream baits and later making crude bass poppers on the back porch with some whittling knives, sand paper, and every lure component I could find on baits in tackle boxes in a 5 mile radius... (I'm still only partially sorry about ruining those antique plugs by taking out the screw eyes and hooks and making some of the ugliest baits ever back in the early days- those things worked!)
Stanford Lures does cut their bodies with a cutting machine, but they do not have any type of computerized machine that regulates cutting size. That picture of the website of is of me several years ago making sure that all of the baits fell within a tolerance of a couple thousandths of inch. Then you have to consistently cut your lips at the proper angle and depth, place the lips in just the correct amount, place your belly weight precisely, etc., etc. The final thing that Stanford Lures does is hand-tune every bait in a swimming pool located near Lake Oliver in Columbus. They used to tune them in the metal tank in the picture five or six years ago, but tuning them in the pool gets them exact. This is not computerized mass labor. Some companies pay much more attention to these details than others. Some companies don't, but use hype to still sell them for premium prices. I know some companies baits are worth every penny they ask for them. I know other companies that pay mass lure builders $4 a lure for them to package them under their label, put on fancy hooks, and sell them for that magical $15 price...
Blackjack is right about Lee Sisson. He's a great guy in a business where they can be hard to find at times.
Its a tough, yet rewarding world out there in the big-time lure making industry. Tough due to extreme competition (ranging from the big corporations to friends and even family members that might see a promising idea and try to make it a little better), a weak US fishing retail market (unfortunately, many fishing retailers don't survive more than a few years and some will go out of business owing your company money), heavy capital investment on the front end that takes a while to recoup, working with hazardous materials (imagine inhaling cedar dust and paint fumes all day while handling lead), you get the picture. The rewarding parts are the friendships you make with customers, suppliers, and fellow luremakers, the ability to talk fishing all the time, and those letters you get from folks with pictures showing that big fish they caught last week.
For you custom bait fanatics, custom baits with specific actions, colors, and weightings sometimes don't survive in a world where retailers are trying to sell to the average fisherman. While I use stock baits 95% of the time, sometimes I use crankbaits that sink like a rock, have drastic actions, or have colors that nobody would ever touch. Some companies can only get by providing more mainstream offerings even though it might have a ton of different bait styles or collaberations with pros that never make it to the shelf until enough interest is shown.
Sorry to ramble, but this is my first post so take it easy on me. Nothing beats making your own baits and catching fish on them. Glad to find such a great site.
Posted 05 January 2004 - 07:23 PM
Thanks for the post and welcome to the site, sounds like you have alot of experience in a wide variety of things.Look forward to hearing from you again
Posted 02 September 2011 - 01:38 AM
I've owned Thundershads, Stanfords, and Tennessee Tuffies. If this Thundershad was the same bait originally touted by Rick Clunn (and it looks like it), I wasn't impressed. Mine had non-thru-wire construction, a fairly brittle finish, and fell apart pretty quickly. My disappointment in their durability was a big impetus for me to start building baits. I have a couple of late 90's Standford baits and they are still solid crankbaits, though I had to replace a cracked plastic lip on one. Of the three brands, the Tennessee Tuffy is the one I value the most for their performance, build quality, and durability. They just flat out catch bass. Now, I'm talking baits from 10-12 yrs ago. There's no telling how a small bait company may progress or decline over a decade, so like they say.... your mileage may vary.