Friday, 9 November 2012

Starting At The End

Having in one way reached the end of the construction part of this set of videos I find myself at the beginning with a lure, a rod and a lake. I have been taking bits of wood shaping, painting them and throwing them in the water for over five years and I still get excited every time one of my fishing lures springs to life at the end of a line, but when it stops dead in the water and the rod arcs as something grabs hold that’s when it all kind of makes sense.  

I would not of been able to make these videos without the help, inspiration or encouragement of other lure fanatics, those people who share to the ‘how to’ either as bloggers, video makers, writers, professional lure makers or the people who take time to answer question on forums so thanks and thanks to my family for dealing with my lure obsession with compassion, understanding and only occasionally singing or shouting in background while I was filming.

Special thanks to

Solarfall Baits, Genie Lures, Hansom Lures, Maki Lures, Pondbuster Lures, Lure Passion Italy, Manart Craft Baits, Mac Tackle, 61diemai, Japanese Handmade Lure Blog, Salty Water Rusty Memories, Dawn Patrol, Brain Pope and Tails From The River Bank for the encouragement and Lauri Rapala.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Dirty Little Things

Image Above: Home Made Jig Head Pike Flies, size 1 hook brass and polyurethane heads

There is something unnatural about grown men stroking feathers especially feathers attached to 
hooks; with that said, last night I found myself with a pack of cock hackles and some flashabou happily stroking away as I tied a mess of fibres to a hook.  I had decided to revisit my jig heads and make some adjustments to the position of the hooks so the eye was a little nearer the front of the weighted head. I cast the heads in polyurethane resin in mould I took from a piece of polymer clay I had sculpted; the mould also holds a hook weighted with brass. Essentially what I am making is a variation on a buck tail lure, something a little more popular in America than over here. Rather than use buck fur or attach a soft plastic tail I wanted to try some feathers and shiny fuzz of which I have a selection from tying mackerel feathers. The idea was to have a cross between a jig and a pike fly and take advantage of what both have to offer. It is not that I am against fly fishing for pike it is just that at the local lake they have only just accepted the fact that I don’t fish for carp, if I was to turn up with my fly rod it is fair to say they would  ask me to leave or attach a bite alarm to it.

Despite the almost religious fervour with which lure anglers seem to be turning to soft plastics I have never really been able to catch fish with them , this could just be because I am a crap angler after all I have never had much success with spinners. The other possibility is when I build my own lures I design them for the conditions, places and the way I like to fish. If I was to buy fishing lures instead of making them I would have to spend a lot of money finding out which lures were suited to my style of fishing and predictably which were not.

Feathers have a lot offer as any fly fisherman knows, apart from colour and they have a flexibility that once soaked in water translates into incredibly life like movement. Long cock hackles flow and with light tugs ripple in a way that makes me want jump in the water and have a bite myself. Fluffier feathers like marabou and their synthetic cousins add pulse and delicate motions that seem to capture a vitality that I find missing in plastic no matter how supple. And despite all that action and life they are completely insubstantial so when a pike strikes at a fly its jaws will easily find the point of the hook rather than a thick piece of rubber.

In the hands of an expert with a tying vice and some simple tools, feathers can be transformed in the most amazing creations, lifelike or otherwise. Unfortunately I am not an expert and do not own a vice nor the requisite tools or skill; let’s just say I tied something to a hook, to call it a fly would be an exaggeration maybe a tail would be closer to the mark.

At the lake my jig made a soft landing and sank to the bottom, I teased it into the shallows letting it kick up a trail in the mud as its long tail flickered. Three casts and a pike found it and I was happy, god I was happy, shit I was giggling a little. I let the pike off while it was still in the water it looked to be in the five pound range, I picked the jig up and wet as it was I stroked some fluff.

If you are interest in some proper pike flies try