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Tallbald

What Makes A Hard Bait A "muskie" Lure Please?

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I've been reading and studying the forum and other sites to learn as much as I can about lure terminology and construction. Often, I run across lures that are called "muskie" lures. We do have muskies here in southern Kentucky, and and for my part they look like vicious critters that would need heavy artillery type lures just to keep from being chomped in half at a strike. This is the reason for my post here. 

 

  Most of the muskie lures I've seen seem to be bigger than those for large mouth bass and the more common game fish. Is there a generalized size requirement?

 

  It appears that at least some of them have a through-drilled hole front to back to run wire the length of the lure and secure the trailing treble hook. Is this done on handmade lures by using split halves that are glued back together for finishing?

 

  Is there a certain gauge of hardware that should be used for muskie lures because of the strength of the species?

 

  What species of woods are muskie lures best made of? Given the appearance of muskie, I suppose solid hardened steel would be a good material choice (grin) but the lure action would I guess suffer.

 

Thanks for replies folks. Don

Edited by Tallbald

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Large is relative. Early in the year smaller lures are productive. I've gotten them on Mepps style spinners with a #3 blade which is pretty small. Joe Bucher had or has a TV fishing show and I remember him sight fishing around shallow structure early in the year with 1/8 oz jigs & plastics. That said in general the bigger the fish the bigger the baits they'll eat.

 

BTW, my biggest LM bass back in Wisconsin were on Muskie lures.

 

bill

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muskie lures are normally supersized other specie lures. some choose larger screws0.92 dia. .many including our baits we build wire thru. the reasoning behind is to have lures that withstand teeth and speed trolling up to 5mph.. wire thru will stand up longer over time. the main majority of lure failures is in the net when thrashing fish can have leverage in the bag.

as for woods the variables are endless. lighter woods impart faster action..as for wire diameters we use 0.63 304 stainless. some use 0.50. all are good. beacause muskies can exceed 60lbs.

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I agree with what Woodie says except for the fact that wire thru IMO is not necessary for all baits regardless of wood used except for perhaps for balsa (which you shouldn't be using in the first place for musky)  .092 screw eyes anchored properly will never fail.  I got some pretty good tips here on TU in fact.

 

I can see thru wire on jointed crankbaits where both halves connect though.  It's the only place where I would see it beneficial as screw eyes will loosen but again, not necessarily fail.  I personally don't do wire thru as I can't justify all that extra work especially when the screw eye method hasn't failed me yet.  Something else will fail before the screw eyes do. 

 

I am currently experimenting with a different hook hanger for cedar that should prove stronger than screw eyes and thru wire, gotta apease the nay sayers who really have no clue about lure buiding you know!

 

As for woods, maple, oaks, cedars, mahoganey are my favorites.

 

s56

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yes screws work very well. I built lures for decades with screws. never a failure..

the current model we build the georgie bait is wired but that's whats required along with ballast lead to achieve the action.

seeking56. ya gotta agree building larger baits is an addiction eh.

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I agree with what Woodie says except for the fact that wire thru IMO is not necessary for all baits regardless of wood used except for perhaps for balsa (which you shouldn't be using in the first place for musky)  .092 screw eyes anchored properly will never fail.  I got some pretty good tips here on TU in fact.

 

I can see thru wire on jointed crankbaits where both halves connect though.  It's the only place where I would see it beneficial as screw eyes will loosen but again, not necessarily fail.  I personally don't do wire thru as I can't justify all that extra work especially when the screw eye method hasn't failed me yet.  Something else will fail before the screw eyes do. 

 

I am currently experimenting with a different hook hanger for cedar that should prove stronger than screw eyes and thru wire, gotta apease the nay sayers who really have no clue about lure buiding you know!

 

As for woods, maple, oaks, cedars, mahoganey are my favorites.

 

s56

 

Have you tried a Spro swivel for a hook hanger in cedar, with a short sst wire through the buried eye as an anchor?

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problem with swivels versus static wire/screw hangars is hook rotation . hook rash is a pita.

to help rash we have put plastic tube on the hookshank. reduces rash. or the mustad double hook eliminates most hook rash also.

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Mark,

 

It's not what I'm experimenting with but I may just try that idea, thanks.

 

Woodie, although I " T " my hooks, I believe hook rash is synonymous with trolling, that's one of the reason my trolling baits are bait out of cedar or mahogany since they don't absorb water.  I'm convinced the sound the hooks emit attracts muskies.

 

And yes, building larger baits is adictive.  My most recent one was a 13'' straight Believer, probably my most challenging lure ever. 

 

I was out testing some new designs made with stainless lips on the 40 today. 

 

s56

Edited by Seeking 56

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I'm loving this thread!

 

I'd like to put together a musky (pike) lure together in a little bit.   as you know I've been working on my first few 4.5" walleye lures... 

 

the issue here is that while I have a long history and a lot of thoughts about what design makes for a good river walleye lure.  frankly I have next to none about a musky lure.

 

I don't even know what size of wood to start with? (a 2x4"? :) )

 

the only two generalized features I've ever been ever to understand both sound pretty tricky.  no bill (a glidebait?) and perhaps jointed. 

 

If you guys want to start dropping names of common (and easier to carve desings) I'd be much appreciative.  Just for kicks I am going to google "musky lures (crankbaits)"..

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and one name that I'm NOW intrigued with...

 

the "pikie".  been a staple of the musky dudes for a long time.

 

I thinking spherical lure, tapered at the butt with a cut out head and a metal bill. 6-8" long.

 

Any body here ever make one? 

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I agree with everything that has be already mentioned regarding the size, wood selections and the value of both screw eyes and thru-wire (including swivels) in "muskie" lure building.

I use a number of different wood types depending the style of lure being built, all have there pros/cons. I use mostly 0.92 screw eyes and if properly installed will not fail before the wood does. I use swivels thru-wired in cedar for mu J-bugs and hook rash is definitely part of the equation, but my goal is always to have to retire a bait because of teeth marks rather than hook rash (I'm always trying to increase the space needed for "retired baits"  :D . On proven baits when the hook rash gets bad, a little touch up epoxy thinned down will extend the lures life........musky lures are made to be fished and if we're lucky enough destroyed by some incredibly violent encounters with the "waterwolf"  :P

I've attached a couple pics to illustrate the swivel-thru-wire concept and a lure that may touch on the request from joliepa.

I'm super excited as yesterday was my first day in the building shop in over a year cutting some J-bug blanks for X-mas presents.

Best,

MS

DSCF2980.jpgDSCF3243.jpg

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joliepa, don't over think it, just supersize a walleye lure.  A 2x4 is perfect, use cedar.  The pikie has produced some big muskies over the years and supersizing one with a different lip has been in the back of my mind for a while.

 

MS, those are some beautiful baits!

 

Attached are pics of what happens when you use pine for toothy critters.  This is a friend's lure he made a few years ago.  The result of catching just 1 pike. Water penetrated and expanded.  

 

s56

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My hoochie baby wakebait  is one of my best bass catchers and I designed it for bass fishing.. yet to my suprize one of my customers from ebay starting sending me all these gaint musky pics and telling how great the bait was for it..  But I didn't design it for musky.  Go figure.  I think the bass think its a bluegill and the musky think its a baby duck.  Just my theory but it has caught trophy's on both fish. So who cares. Any bait you can catch a musky on is a musky lure.  I think any bait can catch just about any fish your trying to catch if you present it at the right place and right time.  Fish don't have mirrors underwater so how do they really know how big they are?  Big baits or small baits.. they eat them all. They are predators.  

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I agree with Tater Hog on this one.

 

My buddy caught a 11 pound 7 ounce calico bass on a 5" plastic swimbait.  Anything over 10 pounds is considered a real trophy and this fish would be considered a fish of a lifetime.  The crazy thing about this catch was that the big calico was still digesting a one and a half pound calico measuring approximately 14''.  The smaller fish still had it's tale sticking out of the bigger fishes mouth when it ate the bait.  The swimbait was probably a 20th the size of the fish already in it's throat.

 

I have never fished for muskies but I assume it is probably a pretty opportunistic feeder considering all the things it will eat. When I am trophy hunting I start with big baits but sometimes big baits just won't get bit so we have to downsize.

 

DaveB.

KelpKritter

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Tater Hog, KelpRitter, well said, there are no rules in fishing. 

 

But I would rather remove a 10'' bait out of a 50+ inch fish's mouth than perform surgery to remove an inhaled 2'' bait and risk killing it. 

 

s56

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Tater Hog, KelpRitter, well said, there are no rules in fishing. 

 

But I would rather remove a 10'' bait out of a 50+ inch fish's mouth than perform surgery to remove an inhaled 2'' bait and risk killing it. 

 

s56

 

 

Totally agree.  I love throwing bigger baits because most don't throw them.  I just wish they had musky in the lakes in my area.  I don't get up north much anymore to try some of my giant stuff on them. 

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and one name that I'm NOW intrigued with...

 

the "pikie".  been a staple of the musky dudes for a long time.

 

I thinking spherical lure, tapered at the butt with a cut out head and a metal bill. 6-8" long.

 

Any body here ever make one? 

I did a few of this style before :

 

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/index.php?/gallery/image/2846-a-version-of-the-old-pikie/

 

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/index.php?/gallery/image/4135-rubber-o-ring-pikies/

 

For our local pike glued in screweyes are OK , but for Muskie you might probably want to go thru-wired , ........quite easy to turn down on a lathe , a Dremel sanding drum takes care of the nose plane .

 

Making the lips of aluminium sheet 1,5mm , stainless steel would render those smaller versions too nose-heavy for good casting , I guess .

 

I've also read somewhere , that during the 1990's a genuine "Creek Chub Pikie" held the British record for pike .

 

Greetz , Dieter :yay:

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FrogAddict

I use .062 for my baits. If you have a welding supply store nearby ask them if they sell the SS welding rods separately. That way you won't have to invest in a whole roll and you can try out a few different gauges and types. You will need a good pair of round nose pliers to bend them.

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A musky lure is one that is attached to a musky leader. Size has nothing to do with the ability to fool a musky. A lot of early season muskies are caught by walleye fishermen. .041" will work for hook hangers, just use epoxy when you install them. I have caught 16 muskies on 1/4oz. spinner baits. I used that spinner bait because I could also catch bass at the same time. On a good day musky fishing is slow fishing and that kept me at it longer. I have caught five muskies on Bill Norman deep little N, most trolling.

 

If you want to look at a good source for true musky lures do a search for "musky shop" Their catalogue is approx. 1/4 as thick as the big Bass Pro Shop and it is nearly all lures. You just don't realize how big the musky market is up North. Wish North Carolina had a musky shop. This is just my $.02 worth. Musky Glenn

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as mentioned. smaller wire will work.

musky guys buying musky lures want and need durability.

the majority of lure damage is in the net. fish have leverage in the net twisting/flopping.

that's where things go wrong.

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