By Nick Simosnon
In the first part of this tutorial, we tied up a gray and white 5/0 bucktail treble hook as part of a project to develop a customizable option for pike and muskie fishing. In this second installment, we’ll assemble the lure which will provide enough flash and vibration to trigger the wariest members of the Esox family and bring together the handiwork on the hook with the attraction and casting weight of the spinner.
LURE MATERIALS (Figure 1)
Shaft: Looped End .051” Shaft
Hook: Dressed 5/0 Mustad 3551 on 4H Split Ring
Body: Four 1/4” .052” Hole Beads & 1-inch Brass Body with .052” Hole
Blade: Size 7 Fluted Indiana on #6 Stirrup Clevis
The assembly portion of our project starts with a twelve-inch long, .051-inch diameter inline spinner shaft. Pre-looped shafts and all of the components needed for this project are available from component dealers such as lurepartsonline.com. These shafts allow for a perfectly-formed connection point where the body components can stack up as we add them and cut the wire-bending part of the project in half.
Start by selecting several large nickel-plated brass beads and a nickel-plated brass body with at least .052-inch diameter holes in them. These components are bright, heavy, and flashy. They also fit in perfectly with our fleeing baitfish color scheme. Most bead and body components will have a slightly flared hole on the bottom and a thinner hole on the top. Thread two beads on the wire shaft and add the larger lure body on top of the beads. As a spacer, add two more nickel beads above the lure body (2).
To create turbulence which will not only cause the bucktail hairs on the business end of the lure to pulsate but also send a vibration to the lateral lines of pike and muskies lurking in the water, add the spinner blade. For this moderate-sized lure, we’ll use a matching blade, such as the #7 fluted Indiana blade and a size 6 stirrup clevis. Place the bottom hole of the clevis on the spinner shaft, thread the blade onto the clevis with the cup of the blade facing the shaft, and thread the top hole of the clevis onto the shaft (3).
In order to craft a secure tie-in point where a leader can easily be clipped for casting, you will need a pair of needle-nose or round-nose pliers and some muscle. Grasp the spinner shaft with the pliers approximately one inch above the top bead. With your other hand, grab the portion of the spinner shaft extending above the pliers and bend it 270 degrees around the nose of the pliers (4). Do not bend the shaft of the spinner below the pliers as this will damage the lure and prevent it from rotating correctly.
Applying a little more elbow grease, begin to wrap the tag end of the wire around the shaft below the pliers. Make three wraps around the shaft, forming a secure tie-in point that will not be bent straight by a big fish. Using a heavy-duty side cutter or tin-snips, clip the tag end of the wire shaft of, leaving a secure connection point (5).
To connect the bucktail treble to the spinner, open a heavy-duty split ring with a pair of split ring pliers (6). Thread the eye of the hook into the opening, and secure split ring on the hook, so that it closes completely (7). Open the split ring again with the split-ring pliers and thread the looped bottom of the wire shaft into the opening. Secure the loop inside the split ring. Your lure is now complete (8).
These compact bucktails shine for early-season muskies and can be cast or trolled for pike, which take to them relentlessly. For the fish in your waters, the lures can be customized in color, length and blade size, and additionally bucktail coils and hooks can be added above the dressed treble to create additional bulk. Once the basics are firmly within your grasp, multi-bladed options and other tricks of the trade for crafting pike and muskie lures are an easy jump up the learning curve. A long winter of practice and perfection can produce an array of lures to keep you on all sorts of big fish next spring and summer.
Featured Photo: These moderate bucktails shine for pike anytime and for muskies when covering water and early on in the season. Simonson Photo.