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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently just got back into bass fishing as a good friend recently bought a piece of land with an eight acre pond. Several of us fished it for the first time last Labor Day and the results were outstanding-I lost count of my personal in the net at twenty-six bass ranging from 12" to 16+" and the big fish (not mine) was 21".
So now jazzed up after coming home (six hours or so road trip) went to a local big box sporting goods store to stock up on the latest and greatest bass surface lures-wow five to seven bucks+ a piece only to be possibly snagged and lost on each cast!
Decided to (first attempt) build my own surface plugs now working on #48.
I was then invited to a pre 2019 Christmas gathering at the ranch and of course brought my by then dozen or so hand made plugs and was told that the fish were on the bottom in warmer water-OK but I'm still going to drown what I brought-it rained the whole two days I was there but with a small daylight respite of about an hour-bank casted during that time and netted three 14" to 16" bass all on my hand made surface poppers, what a thrill to hook a fish on a lure of my creation!
 

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Of course, there are fly fishermen (and women) that tie their own flies. But making your own lures? Hey - why not? They look great and you're catching fish. Sounds like a great hobby!
 

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Please excuse my innocent ignorance, I had to look up Mr. Arbogast and it turns out I have several of his products and caught trout with them in one of my old tackle boxes.
Thank you for the association.
Glad I could introduce you to a legend. Keep up the good work. Fred started with with an idea working in his basement and the rest is history.
 

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Please excuse my innocent ignorance, I had to look up Mr. Arbogast and it turns out I have several of his products and caught trout with them in one of my old tackle boxes.
Thank you for the association.
Arbogast was in Akron, Ohio and use to be a big fishing tackle town as well as tires. Trademark is owned by some big Corp now. Most of the old lure companies went the same way. Like guns serious fishermen like the original lures. When big corps bought rights they sometimes change the lure for production purposes.
 

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Arbogast invented some interesting plugs like the jitterbug. Remember some of the older plugs from other companies. The Bass-Oreno and Pike Minnow come to mind. Heddon had a few. Actually $7 is a midrange price for lures. Some of the newer ones are really getting spendy in double digit prices. I had an old Bass-oreno red head that had holes in it from Northern Pike. When Rapalas came out and I was kid at Dad's resort, I remember they were going for $4-5 a rack. Every year a fad would start up where someone would catch a walleye on a given lure and the prices would sky rocket. Back then $5 was a stiff price for a plug. Northern would tear the balsa wood they were made of apart. I mentioned that we caught walleyes one year on a flat fish with worms draped across the gangs and my son's friend asked me "what's a flat fish?" I still see them listed in Bass Pro's site but they are not as popular as they used to be. Then there was the copy called the Lazy Ike. They would be a challenge for you to copy.

DEP
 

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I still use Helin Flatfsh, new ones aren't same as Helins. Last I herd Luhr Jensen had rights and lures are not the same. I watch for them at yard sales/ flea markets. If you have used flatfish you can pick a real one out easy. Helin was one of last small companies to sell out.
They sold under their own label up into 1980s. I got a couple hundred from F series for fly rod to M2 musky size. Some of the old classics do not lend themselves to run and gun tournament fishing. Flatfish is one, you reel to fast and it turns over and flops.
 

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Bass-oreno was a classic, I still have a Jitterbug and a Hula Popper, nothing like the thrill of a top water hit. The Rapala broken back minnow is a good one and for Ozark streams I like the Rebel crawfish or a beetle spin. Mepps are good also.

Lots and lots of great lures out there but as the OP mentioned they are pricey now days and if there is a way to get snagged I'll find it.
 

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When I was a kid most plugs were a buck. A buck was a tidy sum to have in your jeans and hard to let go for a fishing lure. Me and a couple buddie's started a plug farming operation. We had 3 decent small mouth creeks in bicycle range. The big holes along the road were our farms. We sunk all kinds of snaggy junk on deep sides of these holes. The weekend dudes would hit these holes and hang up.
Most wouldn't go in 5'-6' of water to retrieve their plug, just break off. Me and buddie's would pull out the piece of carpet or whatever we had sunk and do the harvest.

I have a nice small mouth stream on both sides of me now. There are several places that people can fish just by pulling off the road.
The creeks are pretty well bordered by overhanging trees. If you look closely at the opposite side of the pull off areas you will see plugs and bobbers in trees. Grandkids thought it great fun to wade out under the trees and we would shoot the plugs out with a 22 rifle. The trick is not to hit the plug.
 

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When I salmon fished in Alaska some of the snags in the rivers were huge some with 50 or more rigs in it all tangled up. Most you couldn't get to due to the fast current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Added a few frogs to the tackle box most with articulating legs.
Tried a different technique on the paint application-while still wet, used a hair dryer on high heat to bubble up the paint for a more realistic frog skin look.
Oh, the whale? Years ago a had an all black whale lure that I think was made by Heddon. So weird looking and incongruent with my other bass lures I had to have it! Actually caught several bass with it but lost it on a snag. This one took quite some time to carve so when it came time to paint I made it an Orca "killer Whale".
 

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