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MarkNY

How does it feel to lose a handmade bait?

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I haven't made enough lures or fished them enough to lose one yet but I imagine it will happen at some point.  It's gotta be a bad feeling huh? All that work to make it but at least you can make another one to replace it.  The couple trolling lures I made I found myself using 20lb flourocarbon leader. :-) You remember the first one you lost?.... Mark 

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Yeah, it sucks. I lost my first decent minnowbait a while back, and I was whacking fish good with it at the time. I have a real good plug-knocker, but sometimes for whatever reason you can't get them back. 


I pretty much hate to lose any wooden bait, weather I built it or not. Meaning old Poe's, Bagley's, Ralapala's, etc.  I guess I am superstitious about them, they seem to have voodoo in them. Plastic baits hurt a lot less, they seem to be more even in performance. I hate to bust off any bait that fish chew, but I would ever so much rather bust off a plastic plug than a wooden one. 

It is funny, but I don't hardly mind to bust off a Megabass or a Lucky Craft or whatever. They all seem very, very close in performance to each other, like clones. So even though it is expensive to bust them off, I feel confident I can get another one that will be extremely similar. 

 

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When you lose a floating lure, was it on a Big Bass (5-6 pounds and up) or on a medium sized bass (2-4 pounds)?

a. If Big Bass or unknown size, drop anchor, get comfortable and wait up to 90 minutes. She will throw or try to throw it or try to rub hooks out.  Maybe you can see her or hear her as she tries to dislodge hooks.  Wind chop blows floating lures up against lily pads, grass, weeds, etc. where it can be seen.   I get lucky about once every 4-5 losses.

b. If medium sized bass or smaller, drop anchor and wait about 30 minutes. These bass thrash and root around more loudly and more often than Big Bass but tire out quicker. They may tail-walk and splash 4-5 times trying to get the hooks loose. I'm usually lucky to get one of two lures back from medium sized bass but probably  lose all dink sized bass lures.

c. FYI My experiences are based upon single and trailer hook lures. This "Stop Look and Listen" approach may not work for lures rigged with single, double and/or triple treble hooks.

Instead of wishing someone "Tight Lines" maybe "Have Good Knots" is better.  LOL

John

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I once went out with a guide in New Zealand with some in-laws who were not that into/experienced with fishing. While the guide was helping my father-in-law get his braid tangle out of the propeller, my brother-in-law snagged his jig on the rope for the hydro-anchor.  While trying to get the lure off  the rope himself he managed to loosen the knot holding the anchor to the boat by accident and didn't notice.

As you can guess with the guide preoccupied and my BIL not noticing, the sea anchor quickly floated away and disappeared. After heading to the front of the boat and saying a few choice words under his breath the guide returned and simply stated, "That's fishing" and we moved on from it. I later learned it was a brand new and custom anchor worth close to $700 but the guide just got on with it.

I've since taken that attitude with my lures. If one goes, 'that's fishing' and move on. They are tools designed to catch fish and in fishing you lose tackle (and other stuff). That's my view now anyway.

Cheers,

Ces.

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I make lures for myself, and a few family and friends, and it is like giving my babies away.  LOL

Still, I tell everyone that if you are not snagging up once in a while, you ARE NOT FISHING.  I try to get them back, and work on makin them more snag resistant without loosing hooking ability, but......snagging up is a necessity once in a while.

I remember a few years fishing for Jumbo Brown Trout where I snagged my lure on a root in inches of water.  The monster took it off the root for me, and proceeded to spool me and my 10 lb line.  Ugg.

In short, it hurts to loose a hand made bait, but often they are so much better that it is really worth it.

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The first bait that I lost was a prototype for a shallow crank with a hinged bib to aid casting. I was getting something like 30% extra distance with it. I was going for the record when the reel bail-arm flipped and the line snapped. BUT, you should have seen that baby fly!

Dave

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Losing a lure depends upon its value and that value is pretty much in the mind of the angler. Some people use el cheapo junk and are unconcerned if they lose something. Other people use high quality pricey stuff but they are unconcerned if they lose anything.  I guess people could be in between but I don't value lures or any tackle either way.  I value lures and all tackle by "Time over Big Bass."

On page 32 of my book, Big Bass Fly Fishing on Topwater, I tell about this guy, my barber,  that bought an old fiberglass rod at a yard sale and bragged that he never paid more that $15 for ANY rod he bought.  Sometime later I asked how that yard sale fiber glass rod worked for him and he said the first day he took it fishing the tip broke off.  Obviously his approach cost him in "Time over Big Bass."

Whether I'm fishing "For Record" or fishing "For Experimental" I try to maximize "Time over Big Bass." Losing a lure and having to use the "Stop, Look and Listen" approach is time consuming. So is getting hung up - front trees, back brush or underwater and having to stop and retrieve my lure.

For the record, whether test or production, experimental or contemporary I shoot for 5 year minimum lure life with 1/64" +/- 1/128" tolerances and if testing, only vary one variable at a time.  Nearly all of my lures are proportionally sized which out on the water lets me change size up or size down in a known, controlled manner. With hundreds of my lures up to 50-60 years old still used fishing and testing,  I really, really, really hate to lose one.

John

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Part of fishing and agree with the above belief that if you aren't losing a lure here and there I question if you are really fishing.    I don't remember the first homemade lure I lost to be honest and don't really lose to many lures as most can be retrieved with my plug knocker.  I always fished to catch fish and the lures are disposable tools to do so.  Many guys frankly are into making baits to admire and don't really fish.  I have "fished" with guys that will have boxes of lures in the boat that will never use those and always will pull out some cheap soft plastics or generic cranks so they don't lose their collection .  No big deal we all have different goals. 

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When I'm using a new handmade lure and trying to figure out if it fishes like I want it too I use lighter split rings and braided line.  The split rings I mention are rated to 12 lbs. (if I remember correctly) so 20 lb. braid is more than strong enough to pull the split ring apart if I get hung up so badly that a lure retriever won't get it loose.  I'd rather lose a hook than my prototype lure.  Guess this idea could also apply to any handmade lure you really don't want to lose.  I'm casting for largemouth, not the big toothy critters some of my friends up north fish for so I'm not nearly as likely to lose a 12 + lb. fish doing this...but it could happen :(.

Edited by Lurenerd
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I got over losing homemade lures years ago,  when my first two sons practically emptied my tackle box of homemade trout spoons.  They were fishing off the rocks at a lake in the Sierras when DFG stocked right next to them, and they had two hours of non-stop hookups.  They only paused when they had to retie, because they were losing spoons to the rocks.  They each caught at least 50 trout, which they released.  

I really didn't mind losing the spoons, but I did have one regret.  After that, they expected to catch like that all the time!

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the last lure I stuck was just before Christmas at a public pond. About 34 degrees out. I was kinda fishing to fish so to speak. That being said when I stuck my only crawfish wiggle wart on a Lilly pad in 3 feet of water, I wanted it back.. I took my pants off so they would stay dry. The looks you get wading in at a public park at mid day. I got it back though! In all honesty I try to fish in the nasty crap and occasionally do get stuck, but that's where the fish are! A plug knocker is a good tool to have in the boat. 

 

   Taking a dip in lower 40 degree water is cold BTW. 

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I agree with the plug knocker!  I saw that they came back out with the old Fritts one, which works pretty good. You would think with all the creative folks here that pour some lead someone should come out with the "Ultimate TU Lure Knocker" (hint, hint)

 

I believe that sadness over losing a bait you made is inversely proportional to the amount of records you kept making it!

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Plastic blanks......not to hard. The first hand shaped bait, ugh... hurt kinda bad on the first one. Gets better as things goes along so far. I have one that I got hung up in some rocks, that I'm fond of. I thought I was in wood. When it released off the rocks...whew, big relief. Then I thought, I can make another one,  well hopefully. :lolhuh:

Dale

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