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Author Topic: [Workshop]  'Frankenstein' soft plastic modification  (Read 272 times)

Offline SENKOSAM

[Workshop] 'Frankenstein' soft plastic modification
« on: March 31, 2018, 09:40:50 PM »
The following ideas have served me and others well for decades, and though theoretical, put me into a mindset of lure designs and presentations that get fish to strike more often.
There are many reasons to modify lures and since most lures can be modified, one may ask :
are they more successful at catching fish?

In my mind there are basic reasons fish react to lures that simulate life or in other words artificial life objects:
1. something about a lure that's seen and felt by the lateral line triggers a strike
2. fish try to kill objects moving a certain way and at a certain speed
3. fish, to conserve energy, usually suspend, watching the world go by until something provokes them

Even in semi-clear water, fish senses are uniquely capable of seeing and feeling real or artificial life. They have no way of knowing the difference between any moving objects except that they move and look differently. This is not to say that anglers that believe fish ID a lure as some particular prey species and strive to match it are wrong, but omitting that step and concentrating on the following gets to the nitty gritty why some lures work much better than others.

In fact lures that move and look different may still catch fish in the same area and in the same hour, though some maybe better than others. But what is it that separates the modified lures in the photos in the post that follows from each other, yet makes them all equally capable of catching most species of fish?: a combination of lure action, shape, size and sometimes color.

Lure body and body part actions matters:
The fine legs and tail quiver with the slightest lure movement, but so do the thicker, side flappers which add the most visual body part action and bigger profile. Time-in-place motion is extremely important at times when fish will not chase a lure and need that extra-subtle stimuli to provoke the killer to kill. The drop shot finesse technique uses a thin worm that stays horizontal to the line and quivers with the least forward motion of the sinker on bottom. A light jig does the same thing when rigged with soft plastic lure, feather or fur because it can be allowed to stay in the strike zone (once found using the lure), longer than say a floating crankbait.

Size matters (in this case - smaller):
Modification also includes shortening lure length. Even and extra 1/2" may be to large for a fish to consider the object easy pickings. A thicker 3.5" French Fry may do much better if shortened to 1.5" and then rigged on a 1/32 or 1/16 oz ball head jig.

Profile matters:
Adding a thin tail to a thicker grub body (top photo) gives the appearance of a more meatier target challenging a fish's space. To large a profile, same as length excess, may not provoke a suspended fish.

Color can matter:
Any of the above may do fine using certain colors - the range being quite large. But light does things to color as does water clarity and the only way fish see a color's real hue is in clear water and in bright sunlight. Other than that, color brightness (contrast) contributes to lure profile and varying degrees of contrast may matter depending on background to the side or against the bottom.

Plastic softness always matters:
Take note of the cone tail grub in the photos below. The design may seem lifeless, but the use of softer plastic that makes up the cone does wonders for the quiver that drives fish nuts! It definitely matter with most finesse or non-finesse worm designs: too little and the worms is nothing but a stick. Even Senko-like sticks must be of a certain softness to display tip quiver on the drop. Adding a soft part to a firm plastic part is fine as long as it's the tail that's soft.

Do yourself a favor and go through the hundreds of soft plastic baits you've owned and not used for decades. Get yourself a candle, (I also use a battery powered soldering gun to smooth the seam), chose parts of lures you think when combined will make something unique and fish-provoking in action, melt the ends and hold together for 4 seconds. You never know when that combination will blow away most other lures you own.

Other than that, consider shortening a lure that has good action but fish are too finicky to attack or adding a bit of silicone skirt by using a wire loop to pull it through the plastic.

Linkback: https://fishinpedia.com/bass-fishing-forums/tackle-crafting-and-modifying-fishinpedia/20/-frankenstein-soft-plastic-modification/2795/

Offline SENKOSAM

Part 2

Many of my stored plastics haven't done well since I bought them or worked only a few times of year. If a lure can't catch fish, it can't find fish. Sonar can find fish but not necessarily those that will strike.

As mentioned, when it comes to any lure design, what matters most is lure action. If a lure can not exhibit subtle movements on the slowest of retrieves, I've found them to be limited in use. Some lures must move at a certain speed or the action part is dead in the water and though fish will bite them, not when the lure is almost stationary.
All you need is a candle, some plastic lures and a bit of an imagination. Many of my stored plastics haven't done well since I bought them or worked only a few times of year. If a lure can't catch fish, it can't find fish.

When it comes to any lure design, what matters most is lure action. If a lure can not exhibit subtle movements on the slowest of retrieves, I've found them to be limited in use. Some lures must move at a certain speed or the action part is dead in the water.

Here are some ideas to wet the imagination:
 
 The lures below were assembled using parts from each other or from other lures:
Note the combination of lure parts swapped between the lures shown:
 

Top photo is of two lures parts were taken from:
 
... lures made from those parts:
 

parts taken from a lizard:
 

The parts added were mostly from the hand poured molds they were poured from:
 
 
In the photo below, the lure on the left was the original design and never worked. I replaced the tail using flat and thin tail designs and immediately caught bass spring and then in summer.
 

I rarely use Mr Twister Grubs but now I do with this mod. into a straight tail which has made a big difference. (Spike-It dye used for a visual effect)
 

Candle or soft plastics glue can be used to fuse parts together, but certain plastics don't allow glue to work. I also use a battery powered soldering iron to fuse the seams that result thereby making the junction stronger.
 

There will always be a mystery why fish strike lures but not why they won't. Modifications that improve the success rate is the first step in understanding the effect they have on fish senses and is basic to choosing lures. Modifying lures is instructive and frees the mind of perconceptions regarding color, lure shape and action. Of course I could chose a few lures in a few colors and be confident 100% of the time they will catch fish, but lure variety reveals secrets of the strike that dispels limitations no matter what the authorities suggest.

Offline SENKOSAM

Here are some others:
Some more:
 
 
 

Offline SENKOSAM

Originally Posted By: collincountytx

Quote
"Cool ideas!

One of my best producing lures is a Frankenstein.

Step 1. Choose a lure where you have the most confident in the body design

Step 2. Choose a lure where you have the most confidence in the appendage(s) design

Step 3. Combine the body of lure (1) with the appendages of lure
"




That's the very process I use to evaluate the use of parts from different lures!!! What's more is catching fish on different Frankenstein mods sold no where at any time in the past or present. The originality of the lure and the shear luck that fashioned it borders on the unnatural !

As far as looking or acting natural, I've learned by catching fish on all those pictured that fish in general are unable to care less what the object looks like that provokes them to strike. That little quiver of a lure or lure part is a prime lure feature and that which a strive to create in every lure.

Fortunately I have a pond in my backyard that I can watch a lure in action before I fish it. If it lacks quiver, I destroy it.

The more you create that catch fish, the more you realize how many designs work well - especially originals you create yourself and in colors you never would have thought wouldn't deter a strike (IE bright pink, fluorescent chartreuse). But I have to admit that I am partial to certain color combinations for certain lures such as a pearl cone-tail added to a grub body:

(Kind a looks like a mini-Ned rig which always catches fish.)

Other than adding parts to a lure, just shortening it and rigging it on say a very light jig head can make all the difference! It's something I do when fishing shallow water in spring or early morning in summer.
A shortened Slider Worm caught this 7 lb catfish:


Also, making a lure longer is fine as long as it doesn't compromise its action:


I added the hand poured paddle tail for more action with a twitch & fall retrieve.

Offline SENKOSAM

In conclusion, the whole reason for using finesse lures or lures that can be used at the slowest speed is this:
Quiver !
Look closely at the above modified lures and note the part or parts that quiver.  Quiver is the one of the greatest fish provoking actions of any lure made. Other than quiver, any subtle action of a lure gets and holds a fish's attention and if it stares at the lure long enough, is often provoked to attack it - almost as if the object is trespassing in its zone of reverie where it is suspending. I  believe that fish spends most of its life suspended, rarely going berserk attaching a school minnows.

Those of us that have punched jigs through heavy cover and caught bass know what I mean. There's not a whole lot or room for bass to attack a bunch of prey and therefore is hanging out until something comes by to awaken its aggressive nature.  How many times have you caught bass in shallow water an watched the wake of a charging bass torpedo towards your surface lure? That bass was hanging out IMO.

The great thing about suspending crankbaits it the subtle action you can apply with a simple rod twitch. Granted the action is a slight waddle & suspend, but that's all it takes sometimes for a bass to hit the lures as soon as it moves forward. The same floating lure does the same except creates subtle rings on the surface easily detected (tickling) the lateral line.

Take everything above with a grain of salt based on your experience or lack of, but provoking fish to strike is as easy as a simple twitch of the rod tip transmitted to a lure that irritates fish to strike by design. The great majority of lures I own are limited by these features:

1 time in the zone is to short because a faster retrieve speed is needed to get lure action
2 at times not subtle enough
3  the wrong shape (profile), size or action
4 the plastic is too firm (as in the case of Senko-type sticks and finesse worms (forget tip quiver on the drop)
5  at times too much flash (blade too large)
6  a color that may be too dark to display #3
Do yourself a favor and start making few Frankenstein lures. You may be pleasantly surprised what a little imagination can create, reducing the need to buy more lures every year that might not work half as well.

Offline Jig Man

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Re: 'Frankenstein' soft plastic modification
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 05:03:03 PM »
Some guy called gottafish from Tennessee just posted about half of this on Bass Resource saying it was his stuff.
If you're too busy to go fishin' you're too busy.

Offline iamski

Re: 'Frankenstein' soft plastic modification
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 09:08:06 AM »
if click on the Don Iovino to the left. Then checkout wormizer and tool. It fuses the plastics together, without no mess. I got one when I attended a bass fishing seminar where Don Iovino was at.
Everyone has to believe in something. I believe I'll go Fishin.

Offline Stealthfisher

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Re: 'Frankenstein' soft plastic modification
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 10:08:30 PM »
Great Post SenkoSam (y)

I'm gonna try some combinations and see what happens
The Charm of Fishing is that it is the Pursuit of what is Elusive, but Attainable. A Constant series of Occasions for Hope !

Offline SENKOSAM

Re: 'Frankenstein' soft plastic modification
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 07:08:54 PM »
Some guy called gottafish from Tennessee just posted about half of this on Bass Resource saying it was his stuff.

Nice pick up!

That's me. The only way I could get back into the forum was register with a new user name. I was banned because I got tired of a few of Glen's buddies attacking my ideas/theories why lures work and refuting what a fish thinks a lure is. The more I fashion different designs, the more I want to know what it is about those designs that may be superior and for what reasons and with which presentations.

Unfortunately for lure manufactures, part of what sells lures is base on the traditional hype of which lures represent what prey animal to a fish, which is something I can never count on when choosing lures. I've caught bass on every kind of lure and finally came to the conclusion that fish senses and involuntary responses are my meat & potatoes of getting strikes. 

I forgot my password for gottafish so can't add more posts or answer replies.

If anyone doubts the origin of the post, I can show you different fishing forums where I posted the same information in March such as:

https://sdfish.com/forums/t/mods-can-make-a-difference.167064/

Lure modification can make all the difference !!! | Bass Fishing | Texas Fishing Forum

Offline SENKOSAM

Re: 'Frankenstein' soft plastic modification
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2018, 07:13:41 PM »
Great Post SenkoSam (y)

I'm gonna try some combinations and see what happens
I'd be glad to send you a few cone-tail grubs just for confirmation that another angler can report the same findings. Funny though, to this day I have no clue how on earth the grub in the perch's mouth ended up in my tackle box which then caught a bunch of pan fish and a few bass the first time I tried it. I made the the thing! Must be getting old. Wait a minute- I am old! (Turning 70 next year.)

This was the very fish caught using  it:

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