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Old 09-27-12, 10:53 PM   #1
b.a.s.17
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Default Who makes their own jigs?

My wife and I are getting ready to start building our new house and I'm finally gonna have a nice garage to do things in. So I was thinking it might be a good time to start making my own jigs. Looking for any advice and wondering where a I can buy good materials to get this process started. Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-28-12, 08:26 PM   #2
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It's great fun, but addicting. You can go as simple as you'd like, or make them way more complicated than they probably need to be.

Anyways, there will be a lot of trial an error, but there are a few of us here that will try to answer any specific questions you have once you get started. Make sure you have good ventilation. Take a candle or a wood splinter and coat the insides of your molds with soot. It'll help you get clean pours and your jigs to release easier. Heat up your mold before pouring; I usually use a blow torch. When I'm pouring more than one type of jig at a time, I'll let the next mold I'm using sit on top of the lead pot while I pour my first jigs.

Getting the powder paint down is probably the hardest part of the whole thing. I use a homemade fluid bed (you'll want to research them before painting). I heat my jigs with a blow torch, paint, and drop them right onto the toaster oven rack. Once it's full (or I've done them all), I cure at 300* for about 15 minutes. Let em cool a bit and cure again (the double cure isn't a much, but I think it improves toughness a bit).

Nothing too hard about making the skirts. Mix some colors that look good, and put a band on em. The pencil like tools work fine for making a few skirts at a time, but get to be a pain with any more. The Skirt Expander is probably the best tool I've used yet for doing quite a few skirts in one sitting. I know C-Rig-01 will agree with that as he turned me on to it.

Some places to look at getting stuff are lurepartsonline.com, jannsnetcraft.com, barlowstackle.com, and even Tackle Warehouse (tough to beat their prices on the few molds they have when they're running a site-wide sale).

I actually get most of my skirt material from Net Craft's physical store here in Toledo as I know what colors I like, and don't always need enough to make an online order worth the shipping.

Here's an example of some of my own jigs. As you can see, you can do so much more to them over a basic jig. These feature Owner's Cutting Point hooks, two-tone heads, and copper wire hand-tied skirts.



Enjoy making your own jigs, it's fun and rewarding. Just don't be disappointed at first when they don't look too good, lol! After practice and figuring out what works for you, they'll look great (although they probably work fine either way)!

BB
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Old 09-28-12, 11:20 PM   #3
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BB those are some amazing looking jigs if I could make anything 1/2 that nice I'd be happy!

Last edited by b.a.s.17; 09-29-12 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:40 PM   #4
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Not to hijack the thread here; where you do you get the lead from? Maybe I haven't looked in the right place...
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Old 09-29-12, 06:17 AM   #5
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http://www.basspro.com/Lead-Ingots/product/51479/
http://www.rotometals.com/Lead-Products-s/20.htm
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Old 09-29-12, 08:38 AM   #6
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BB those hooks look like the deep throat wide gap hooks which molds did you use for your football heads and brush heads, and how much did you have to modify the mold?
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Old 09-29-12, 09:34 AM   #7
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BB got you off to a pretty good start. There is a ton of good information on the internet so do a few searches and you should get a good feel for what you want to do. Just be patient with the painting process, like BB said it's the trickiest part but once you get it figured out you won't have any trouble.

A few things I would tell you:

Skirts Unlimited is the best place to order skirt material.........period. You can buy the skirt material in stores but Skirts Unlimited is the company that makes it, so you are better off buying from them rather than paying more markup on it from another company.

The Naked Bait Co. Skirt Expander is without a doubt the best jig making tool out there. You can get other skirt tools but you will fight with them and get frustrated and will eventually but the Skirt Expander because you will be begging for an easier way, then you will wish you bought one from the start.

When you go to paint the jigheads, 99% of the problems are usually from getting too much powder coat on the heads. The answer to this is almost always either a lower temperature or cutting down on the amount of time the jighead is in the powder coat.

Wearing long sleeves and pants is a good idea when pouring lead.

Use the cleanest lead you can find. You can buy lead ingots online and they will work the best, but are also expensive for what they are. You can also come up with lead in a lot of other places. Metal scrapping facilities sometimes have old lead window weights that work pretty good, and tire shops always have lead wheel weights laying around. But this lead can contain more than just lead or can be really dirty which can cause you issues. Just put a drop of candle wax in your hot melting pot full of lead and when it flames up it will draw all the bad stuff to the top and you can skim it off with an old spoon or something.
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Old 09-29-12, 10:07 AM   #8
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Thanks Kory I wasn't finding what I wanted as far as skirts go until I went to Skirts Unlimited website fishingskirts.com
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Old 09-29-12, 10:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b.a.s.17 View Post
BB those hooks look like the deep throat wide gap hooks which molds did you use for your football heads and brush heads, and how much did you have to modify the mold?
I use the Do-It FBB-4H-AFM FB jig mold. It takes both regular and flat eye 60* bend hooks. No modding required for my most used hooks (flat eye 60* Mustads and the Owner Cutting Point DT hooks). Before I stopped selling my jigs, I had acquired a swim jig mold that takes 30* hooks. Wanting to use the Owner's, I take a pair of pliers and bend each hook a bit so it sits nicely in the mold.

The Owners cost over twice what a Mustad hook does, but I absolutely love them and use them on almost all my own jigs.

The brush heads are the only brush head molds Do-it has. The only thing I had to go was take a small round diamond bit in a Dremel and increase the size of the cut out for the eye of the hook to accept a bit thicker wire. And this was due to the thick guage Mustad hooks; the Owners fit fine. The trick is going slow, and test the hooks often.

As far as lead, I've got a decent supply in old lead sinkers, etc. Clean lead will work the best through. It's expensive from places like Net Craft, and even worse from BPS and Cabelas. $3+ per pound. Check out ebay for soft lead. You can pick it up at reasonable prices, even with shipping (gotta love flat rate boxes). Also, the Maumee river that runs through Toledo is a great place for me to pick up hundreds and hundreds of snagged walleye jig heads when the river's down in the summer. But not many people have access to something like this.

BB
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Old 09-29-12, 11:03 AM   #10
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A couple more things I thought about:

Like Kory said about cleaning (or fluxing) the lead. This is important and helps you get better pours. But DO THIS OUTSIDE!!! It WILL smoke, and smoke a lot. I use an old spoon (and welding gloves) to scrape the junk off the top. I usually take my melter outside, put in my new lead (often very dirty), flux it, then pour it into clean ingots. I'll do 8-10lbs at a time and will then have clean lead ready to add to the pot later.

Also, you NEVER want to completely empty your lead pot. It may seem like a good idea to clean it out or whatever, but resist the urge. If you drain it down, the garbage and impurities that float on top of the lead will get into the pour spout and clog it up. It won't close right, will probably drip hot lead, and it's a big PITA. So refill it when it gets about 2/3 empty, or whenever you like.

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Old 09-30-12, 11:26 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the help BB I guess those hooks would work with all the weedless football jig molds?
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Old 09-30-12, 08:11 PM   #12
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No problem man.

Some of the weedless FB molds take 90* hooks. They won't work with those without bending the hooks. But any mold that says it accepts Mustad 32786 should fit the Owner DT Cutting Points.

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