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October 26, 2001

Plastic Surgery

I've found that wiggly "limbs" on an otherwise plain plastic tail add to the appeal of a deep bait

Dropping a big plastic lure to depths of 300 feet or more places it in a world of shadows where furtive movements from creepy, crawly things catch the eye of predators such as halibut or lingcod in the North Pacific. Why not turn your bait into something just as creepy and crawly?
I've found that wiggly "limbs" on an otherwise plain plastic tail add to the appeal of a bait competing with crabs, octopi and the like. Try this plastic surgery, then diagnose the bait's action by moving it through the water - you'll become a believer in a hurry.
The customization is easy and fun. Start with fairly large plastic tails (at least 6 inches). Pick out smaller tails of various colors, typically and logically dark or light to contrast with the tail to which you're attaching them. Use them as is or cut them shorter.
With a candle, heat the forward end and quickly push onto the body of the larger lure. Hold for a few moments while it cools. With large, soft-bodied lures, that's all it takes. With hard lures you may need to simultaneously heat both the smaller tail and a spot on the larger tail where you'll join the two.
Let your imagination guide you when deciding on the number and placement of additional arms. While the lure shown in this photo has only two such new appendages, I've made others with a whole line of them along each side.
Doug Olander
Winter Park, Florida