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New member from New Jersey... anxious to get started!

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Long time fisherman from NJ, recently started watching some YouTube vids on soft plastic making and now I'm addicted!  Working on getting some space in my garage set up before I get my needed supplies, but I am stoked to get started!

I notice a lot of the vids are more geared toward freshwater baits.   I'm hoping to mostly make saltwater baits, like shads and larger grubs.  Any particular advice when it comes to that?  Any recs for FW baits and molds that might work well in SW bays and ocean?

Any other makers from NJ, or the northeast here?

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Welcome to the site.

I mostly fish freshwater and mostly make hard baits. A few times a year, I fish saltwater from piers, jetties, or just off shore in MA, NH, and ME.  I don’t have as much SW gear as FW so I bring several bags of FW plastics with me when fishing SW.

I use smaller 4” and 5” grubs and shads for down-sized bucktail jigs.  10” and 12” (and bigger if you can find them) ribbontail worms work as an eel imitator.  I have had luck with black and other dark colors. I have always thought a big white, pearl, or silver ribbontail or a laminate to resemble a sand eel would work great.  Most companies do not make big ribbontails in those colors. The eels with harnesses like the Savage Gear eel are pricey.  I have caught a few SW fish on Lake Fork ring fries and centipedes like the Arkie Crawlin Fry. I have even caught a couple of Tautog off a pier using a green pumpkin Yum Crawbug on a high – low rig. People were catching them on crabs and I didn’t have any. I think a lot of FW baits would work if they had the local SW baitfish and prey colors on them. So, if you can find a good deal on a FW mold it might be worth a shot.  I don’t know if a ring worm or centipede mold are worth it for SW if you can find a sandworm mold. I think Zoom super fluke type baits would work just about anywhere. I have caught stripers and blues on them.

In case you have not come across it yet in the videos, there are different plastisol formulas and some are designed for saltwater.  On smaller baits, you may want to try a blend of FW and SW plastisol.

When searching on this site, don’t just use the search at the top right on the screen. There is another search feature under the ‘Activity’ link.  I don’t know if it is just me, but sometimes I can’t find a post I am looking for unless I use that search button.

Most importantly, don’t forget safety.  I am no expert, so search this site and anywhere you can think of for safety tips. Good ventilation, respirator mask, safety glasses, long sleeve shirt (plastisol burns are painful), gloves, no flip lops, etc. The cumulative effects of fumes can be devastating. Have first aid and burn stuff on hand. Have some clean water on hand, in a small bucket, for burns. Make sure your cups and butter knives are dry. Water and plastisol do not mix and can cause explosive splattering. Use good clamps and cups. Do not use the microwave you use for plastics for cooking food.  Do not put a hot cup on a cold surface.  I am not trying to scare you off. It is a great hobby. I was very enthusiastic to start making lures. Safety was almost an afterthought. I really wish I had taken safety more seriously when I started.

And please send the stripers north earlier this year.

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