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SpoonMinnow

Hybrid soft plastic lures

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Not sure if this is what goes into this forum, but for years after I discovered that I could join the parts of two soft plastic lures together using a candle flame to melt the two ends, I've come up with hundreds of hybrid lures totally unique in shape and action. Using lures I poured right from the mold lost the excitement and challenge of catching fish mostly from designs others came up with. So, I started to see what makes lure's tick - or, in other worms, what part(s) of soft plastic lures produced various actions that provoke fish to attack. Even if I see a mold on Ebay that is of an interesting shape, at the same time I'm thinking of making a hybrid using a part of the lure poured using it.

The process is simple.

1. cut off the parts to be joined with a sharp razor edge. It can be scissors or a box cutter blade.

2. light a candle and hold the ends briefly over the flame until they catch fire or start to soften, If a flame is produced, flip the lure away and it goes out.

3. hold the part together for 4-5 seconds until they fuse

4. I have a battery powered soldering gun to smooth and strengthen the seam

Here are a few - most of which you have seen the parts from other lures:

gFbyd2z.jpg

Top lure is a Sweet Beaver body with a curl tail attached on its curve.

2nd lure down is a grub body attached to a Flip Worm tail

3rd down are the joining of two equal sized grub bodies

2 bottom sticks are from the parts of two plastic worms.

The two on the right are the tails of two GY Kut Tail Worms attached to thicker grub bodies (on of my best producing hybrid)

zB7hG2j.jpgmxjVOVC.jpg?22gmCC1l.jpg

I added the claws from bass crawdad lures to grub bodies and caught many species of fish:

ULSz7t8.jpgwoYMb9u.jpg9HTbKSq.jpg

.#4 caught fish first time it was cast (part of a Sweet Beaver added to a grub body)

JdI9SQr.jpgVzSSrAW.jpg

Two grub bodies fused together after the curl tails were cut off. Wacky rigged with a light jig head catches everything !

gFZ59We.jpgFKVx6HY.jpg

Also catches fish rigged from the end:

g8jauhM.jpg

As most of us have discovered, lure shape along with size dictates lure action and all three together are solely responsible for provoking fish to attack. Just as there are an infinite amount of the three in combination that do well, there are many lures sold that will never cut it by comparison. Every hybrid I show has proven itself by catching fish on many outings. One design has caught catfish from 2 - 7.5 lbs. If interested I could post more ideas you can try.

 

 

 

 

Edited by SpoonMinnow
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Closer look at the Kut Tail hybrid:

XKs2vGb.jpg?2

 

Here are a few more:

These I wacky rig. They were made from the parts of two lures: center is from the body of a finesse worm/ the tips the tails of a stick I injection pour:

EgVNrnh.jpg

All are wacky rigged using 1/32, 1/24, 1/16 oz unpainted ball head jigs.EGKFKt3.jpgtWE29cY.jpghGBdgrH.jpgVDhsgKS.jpg5obtoZx.jpg?1ViT6FQT.jpg?1

note: you can come up with hundreds of hybrid soft plastic ideas from plastic lures you own lures collecting dust, have different molds that produce different body/tail shapes or both. In either case, you never know what hybrid designs will blow other baits out of the water. Just a matter of making and testing them which as you've seen - I have ! In fact, 95 % of all the fish I catch are taken on hybrids.

Edited by SpoonMinnow
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Vodkaman - Dave wrote an interesting post about vortices when considering lure design and the imagination required to come up with new and innovative designs that catch fish. Many of the replies were superb and worth considering the content.

The above hybrid examples are new designs and many that are unique in their own way. I'm surprised that no one has commented on them or were tempted to make some for themselves considering the photographic proof they catch fish of ALL species.

Each design can be dissected  at to why they work as well as they do and each can be modified many ways - not to make them more effective at catching fish - but as starting points for an increased modification. As of now, I can only speculate why these do as well as they have on different waters. They include:

1. finesse action

When Gary Y created the Senko, he took into account drop rate and lure action combined that produces the lure's action and success. The both tip actions and body quiver was a slam dunk and he sold millions. All I did was utilize that same design principle of faster drop even though the plastic stick designs were more buoyant without using a jig head which allows the same action on the drop. Rod tip twitches and pauses increase finesse tip action which IMO provoke fish to attack. Basically stated, fish have an ultrasensitivity to hydrodynamic vibration which is key to their survival whether defensive or offensive. That which doesn't make them flee, makes them interested - the first factor needed in a good lure design.

2. Clear plastic is good 

Many like to believe that color matters. Maybe it does in the sense that fish see a color better in low light or in different water stains. But beneath the surface in algae green water, fish (theoretically) have sharp vision comparable to an eagle. If a plastic lure is made from clear plastic, it doesn't mean clear is what a fish sees because of the property of light reflected and speed change within the lure coupled with background colors passing through. That in of itself along with the fact that fish strike clear lures - hard or soft - attests to a color more finesse in nature than any other. That coupled with a the lure's action and vibration has been proven to my satisfaction, that color or colorless each matter but for different reasons.

3. Finesse is a term many use to try for in coming up with a design

Whether hair or feather bodies on flies or jigs or spike tails on grubs, fish sense subtle actions. When it comes to color, sometimes less is better. Something as little as adding a tiny bit of glitter to hot plastic or gluing a small bit to the surface increases a fish's interest visually by introducing a subtle flash that can be seen easily. Whether it adds to the object's vulnerability index is anyone's guess, but fish attack maybe regardless.

4. All sticks are not the same (IE Senko) depending on shape and size - even minor modifications are significant 

Example: By removing the curl tails from two grubs and welding the bodies together, shape, action and size differences account for the lure's success whether wacky rigged using a 1/16 oz  jig or rigged the usual way on a jig. You can do this yourself as with any of the hybrids shown in the post. Having caught fish with the lumpy stick taught me that fish don't need tapered tails. Granted, some will say, 'of course it catches fish - it looks like a caterpillar'. Cone tail grubs shown also have a unique action as they dart back and forth in the water at different depth.

But note: that doesn't mean they catch fish better than those that resemble nothing in nature by shape nor action, just that they do! Senkos were the ground floor for coming up with new designs shown above which proved more apt at catching more fish than Senkos could and for reasons only specific modifications can account for.

1 - 4 are a few examples of why lures possibly work better and for more than one fish species. Soft plastics are my field of expertise whether as lures or trailers to other lures. Discovering new designs is purely by accident especially when lures are lying next to one another and I see new part-combinations.Here's one where I drilled a hole in and injection mold to make in fill easier:

vJHHmaA.jpgwvvupPw.jpg

Could it be the prong (dyed using Spike-It) will make a significant difference? I'll get back to you in spring. Note also the no-tail grub. It catches fish even under a float.

 

Edited by SpoonMinnow

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Great posts.

Vortices are much harder to assess in the complexities of the softy world, but make no mistake, they are there, causing the curly tail to flop around, just like the flag on top of the town hall. The wacky rigged worm moves under the same rules, as does the falling Senko.

Dave

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Dave, as I read your reply an idea come into my head: lures have unique signature qualities. Some are in-your-face, some very subtle in action but either may be used at a slow or moderate speed. The last picture in the post shows different shapes and sizes resulting in their signature appearances and actions. All have caught fish even semi-clear in color.

Many handcrafted lures on tu show ingenuity and the unique qualities of each regardless the material made of. I'm sure many have caught fish of different species and sizes. There is no such thing as a crappie lure or bass lure or any lure specific  for a species. There are only lures that move the right way of which there are a million ! 

All of us members on TU strive to discover more and more especially when we can't go fishing in order to test our signature creations. Once found to be productive, we add them to our proud collection of lures no one produces while at the same time knowing others can catch fish on them - like all the photo examples given.

The only thing I can assess about certain lure designs are one of two strikes I want to provoke: reaction (instant) or tease. Trolling lures for example provokes reaction strikes; twitching a mini-stick or claw grub (shown) tease and irritate a fish into striking. Either may be territorial responses of aggression common among most vertebrates or feeding responses meant to test the object (lure) for nutritive value (IE plastic worms swallowed). Regardless, lures used a particular way designed for it via their unique actions is all important.

Theories why lures provoke strikes are educated guesses at most; the magic combination of shape, size and action that do - indisputable.

Frank

 

 

 

Frank

Edited by SpoonMinnow

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Frank - I agree with all you have written. Most fish could be caught on most lures if not all, given a consumable appropriate size of course. And, we have all caught fish on rediculous objects; wine corks, cigarette ends, even bare hooks. But, a true lure worked in the correct way (very important) will have some special appeal, some instinctive attraction to the predator.

My specialty over the last 13 years since I joined TU, practically from day-1 when I read an article on the subject; hunting. Lures with an erratic movement on top of the regular sinusoidal action. There is a very good reason for this; it is pretty much accepted that hunters catch more fish.

The sinusoidal waggle gets the attention of the fish, but it is the change of direction that gets the strike. This change of direction or change in pace, or stop-start is down to the skill of the angler and separates the winners from the 'also rans'.

There is a scientific explanation for why this is so, it is to do with the muscular biology that fish have evolved. They have two types of muscle; one for general life and one for attack and flee. The flee muscle burns its energy very quickly but takes time to replenish. If the larger predator attacks, the smaller prey invokes its flee muscle and escapes. Both have used their special muscle and so an immediate second attack is not possible and the prey escapes.

The predator has learned that if the prey can be bullied into fleeing, it spends its flee muscle and is then vulnerable to an attack. I hope this makes sense.

We have all witnessed predators following the lure back to the boat, and this is the explanation for this behavior.

My aim is to develop that has a violent change of direction built into the lure along with the regular waggle, all achieved on a steady retrieve. Hunting works to a certain extent, but generally it is not violent enough.

So, to sum up; it is changes in motion that elicit strikes, way more than paint or a sweet, regular action.

Of course, this is just my opinion, backed up by observation, some science and reasonable comparative results.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

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We're on the same page. The best lures in the world won't catch fish unless:

1. an inherent action-by-design is present enhanced by angler skill

2. visual enhancements to lures increase strikes

Color and color combinations IMO - ( my superstition) and confidence in certain colors for certain lures, may cause more interest to be generated thereby holding a fish's' attention longer. My belief that fish have amazing underwater vision capable of seeing the smallest of details - including color & color patterns - tells me it's there for a reason.

Whether fish bite certain colored lures more so than most others, I couldn't say. Maybe just coincidence, but it seems so regardless the season or water fished. There will never be proof that realistic colors do better considering the simple fact that florescent colors as well if not better or that fish target prey based on their color. If that were so, prey fish would camouflage themselves and crawfish would not turn bright orange.

Subtle motion is law in nature - at least until an attack. Prey move erratically - IE crawfish on bottom - but other than that barely move such as pectoral fins and gills. But no motion is lost on a predator. Superior lures that fall into the subtle lure category demonstrate superior action at the slowest speed and within a certain tight range of depth.

Lumbering lure action is outside the law of nature but provocative nonetheless. Predators simple can't tolerate blowhards that splash, rattle, flash brightly or dart back & forth disturbing the peace. (Who does? !) Less-than-subtle lures get fewer strikes in general and are time-of-day and/or season dependent. JMO

Finally, look again at the pictured lures that caught different species and size fish. Fish make hogs of themselves at times regardless their size or age and when they attack a lure as long as or longer than they are, that lure's design must be valued. 

Frank

 

 

Edited by SpoonMinnow
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