Surf Fishing Plugs
Large Surface Plugs Are
Best For Surf Fishing
In surf fishing the deadliest type of plug is usually a surface model. The easiest plug of this type to make for surf fishing is the simple popper shown below.
This plug can be about 6 1/2 in. long and have a diameter of 1 1/8 in. The head can be straight cut at a 45-degree angle. The plug is equipped with three 5/0 extra-strong treble hooks.
The quickest way to attach these hooks to the body is by means of screw eyes, which should be fairly large and of heavy wire with long, deep threads. The best screw eyes are made of brass since they don't rust in salt water.
However, you can use galvanized iron screws if they are heavy and strong. If this popper is made from a heavy wood it will cast far without additional weight.
But if you use light wood or want as heavy a plug as possible, add some lead to the tail end of the plug as shown below. You drill a hole and plug it up with a round chunk of lead. If you make a tight fit you can tap in the lead after putting some cement in the hole.
Heavy screw eyes will usually prove satisfactory as hook holders and for attaching the line to the surf fishing plugs described here. For stronger plugs, however, attach the hooks by using hook hangers similar to the one used for
For surf fishing plugs, such a hook hanger must be heavier than that used for freshwater fishing plugs. You can make such hook hangers by using a brass piece 1 1/2 in. long by 1/4 in. wide and 1/32 in. thick.
File the brass in a bench vise. Then bend it with round-nosed and flat-nosed pliers. To make the surf fishing plugs still stronger, use the "through-wire" construction method shown below.
Here you drill a hole through the center of the plug body from the nose to the tail. Then drill larger-diameter holes in the belly of the plug which meet the smaller hole through the middle of the body.
Next, make some hook hangers from brass or stainless steel wire. See the illustration, of such a hook hanger below. Then get about a 10 in. length of brass wire or stainless steel wire, form an eye on one end, and insert the other end of the wire in the nose of the plug.
Attach a treble hook to one of the hook hangers and insert this into the hole at the belly of the plug. At the same time, push the wire rod through the plug to catch this hook hanger through the double loop.
You can easily test to see that the hanger is caught on the wire by pulling on the treble hook. After the first treble is caught, insert the second hanger and hook and catch that with the wire and then push the wire out through the rear of the plug.
To finish it, form an eye at the tail, but before closing the eye slide on another treble hook.
Instead of making a wire hook hanger, you can use barrel swivels for hook hangers, as shown above. They have two eyes; the eye inside the body of the plug is caught by the wire and the eye outside the plug holds the hook.
To attach the hooks you must either obtain treble hooks which can be opened at the eye or cut the eye with strong cutting pliers or hacksaw.
You can also attach the hook to the barrel swivel eye by first forcing on a split ring, then attaching the hook to this ring. If you use brass split rings you can solder them so that they can't open.
Another strong way to attach a treble hook to a wooden surf fishing plug is to drill holes in the belly and tail of the plug to take hook hangers. Then drill smaller-diameter holes from one side of the plug body to the other.
Care must be taken here to meet the larger hole. Then insert the hook hanger, or barrel swivel with treble hook, into the big hole. Finally, drive a brass or copper pin through the small hole to catch the hook hanger or barrel swivel eye.
Another large popper for surf fishing which you can make is shown below. This has a tapered body about 7 in. long and a diameter of 1 1/4 in. at the head. The head is cupped or gouged out to create a commotion and splash in the water when the plug is jerked.
This plug can have three 5/0 or 6/0 treble hooks, two at the belly and one at the tail. They can be attached by any of the methods described above. The plug can be loaded at the belly or tail with lead, if you want.
A somewhat smaller popper is the bomber type shown below. This one is narrow at the head and thicker in diameter at the tail. Because of this shape, it casts like a bullet even into a stiff wind.
The plug shown here is heavy enough to use with a conventional surf rod or with a surf spinning outfit. It measures about 5 in. long and has a diameter of 1 1/4 in. at the tail and 7/8 in. at the head.
The head is cut at a slant of 45 degrees. Two 5/0 treble hooks are attached, one at the belly near the head and the other at the tail.
Large darter plugs for surf fishing or for use with heavy saltwater tackle follow the dimensions shown below. The body can be 6 1/2 in. long and an inch in diameter. The tail tapers to about 5/8 in.
The top of the plug slopes downward toward the nose, where there is a triangular cut. A screw eye is screwed in this cut to hold the fishing line. Three treble hooks in size 5/0 are attached, two at the belly and one at the tail.
Finally, a large wobbler plug suitable for surf fishing is shown below. It can have a body 7 in. long with a diameter of 1 1/8 in. at the head and tapering to about 5/8 in. at the tail.
The head is cut at a slant of 45 degrees. This plug also carries three 5/0 treble hooks, two at the belly and one at the tail. A large screw eye at the head holds the fishing line.
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