Custom Plugs Part One


Custom Plugs Part One

(Editors note…last night we moved SJ site to another server but in process we lost the Custom Lures part I blog. Our apologies for this inconvenience  )

I am having a hard time understanding what is going on in the plug world. Actually I do understand it perfectly but only because I am not all there, because normal person would say wtf..but lets start from the start

Yesterday a store owner emailed me, asking me for advice which wooden lure builder he should contact to sell lures in his shop. He said he contacted Super Strike but they are not adding dealers (that story coming up) at this time.

I said why do you think any lure builder worth his salt would want to sell his lures in your store?

1. Lure builders are mostly small operations, with guys building on the side and only in off season. They are fisherman first.

2. Once they figured out they can sell their stuff on FB without fees AND keep the whole amount, they pulled their stuff out of the stores and told them “they cant make enough” to justify being in the store.

3. The stores really did not treat plug builders well even when their stuff was hot. When they sold like hot cakes (ask BM, late JHabs family or even RM Smith) they wanted more, more and they kept raising the prices. But when lure builder asked for more than $10 per plugs that were selling in stores for $20 and secondary market for $40 they told them “You are lucky I carry your plugs”. Guess what, the stores are left with almost no wooden plugs on shelfs.

Custom plugs are really a supply and demand story in  every sense. The builders keep raising prices but they make limited quantities and the demand is still higher than supply and they are managing it pretty darn good. From what I see, they are getting compensated well, the buyers and flippers are not bitching too much either. Right now, kind of a funky equilibrium exists in the custom plug world. I really do not have some great insight of why, how and when someone’s plugs will be hot. 

My bag is 99% plastic with few swimmers at night and some Guppy Pencils in daytime. Hell, even the ubiquitous SP Minnow (in my opinion the most overhyped plug in history of fishing) rarely gets into my bag. But I get why custom plugs are getting premium. Have you seen some of the recent work?15672676_714223322086064_1839231941038311426_n

Forget for a minute that you want to argue that fancy colors and patterns do not catch fish. They are not designed to catch a fish but a fisherman instead and they are doing a hell of a job. Some of the stuff is an art masterpieces that I would only hang on a wall. And then, when you get a guy who NEVER paints a plug the same way twice and he does it well, of course his prices are going to be though the roof. Some of you have no problems paying thousands of dollars for someone to paint your kids room or spending a small fortune on a fine wood cabinet your wife has had an eye on. But you hate on people who wants to treat themselves to a piece of fishing art. Don’t. Respect the craft and move on. Although the artist will swear he painted it to catch a fish, at $75 there are probably better and more affordable option to do that. But to hang it on a wall, I tell you want, I am starting to dig it and the only collection i have is shit load of old Danny’s and few Musso’s in my basement. …btw I LOVE fishing my Musso’s Torpedo’s but i cringe every time i get a hit..does that make me weird 🙂16299520_10210386612077429_3350948660380010832_n

I do feel that some builders are not getting the love they deserve. No one will ever accuse Beachmaster of making the plugs for collectors only. Yes, they made few oddball colors by request over the years but on the end of the day they crank out quality at very reasonable price. Considering the sheer number of plugs they produced over the years and styles, and never really made a dud (because of Bobby’s relentless testing before selling anything, no doubt) they should be held in higher regard. And i think they will be back in vogue before long.

No one puts that kind of a quality on consistent basis and does not get rewarded. But currently, yes, they are getting overshadowed by some really, really cool paint jobs. Hey, we are all humans, we like to look at pretty stuff too…thats why there is a screen shot of Kate Upton on my Mac….. when my wife is not home.

So don’t be a hater. If  fancy plugs are not your thing, just get some Super Strike Lures

Oh shit !!!

Did you see the recent prices on second hand Super Strike plugs ?

more on SS and another level of craziness in part IIIMG_1554

11 comments on “Custom Plugs Part One

  1. BigJim

    I agree with you I hear a lot of guys whining about guys paying to much driving up the price. well guess what being a collector of old GIBBS plugs and Stan did a lot of different colors and styles sometimes I find myself outbidding anyone to get that special plug but that’s collecting. I never blink if a guy wants 30,40,50 or more for his plug and I enjoy nothing more than giving some love to a plug builder by hanging fish on it These guys work hard and long on their craft and if they sell privately to keep the middle man out that’s ok by me great job with Striper Day and the mag keep up the great work guys

  2. jimmy z

    There are a handful of guys I buy from to use. That’s it. Many of those plugs out there today are works of art, not to be used, just collected.
    BTW, congrats to the winner of the plug giveaway. Didn’t even know there was a giveaway.

  3. FishinSam

    I’m so grateful for guys like Salty’s Plugs. When I can get a well made plug, complete with through-wire and eyes, and focus my attention on a good paint job for realism or shock, then I’m in heaven.


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