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Old 03-31-2011, 09:38 AM
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Roccus Roccus is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Reading, Mass/Rings Island
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Default Build a sand eel swimmer

This is a Pinkney inspired sand eel swimmer, although I have never seen one in person, a few years ago I came up with a need for a sand eel sized ( it also imitates spike mackerel) swimmer.. after a few design changes ( my drawing does not reflect these changes) i came up with a light, slim bodied swimmer that has been my best plug the last few seasons...

Wood: I used Western Red Cedar, I'm sure AYC would work but the buoyancy of the WRC IMHO makes a sexier swimming plug.. a 8 1/2" X 1 1/4" blank is about right...

in addition you will need a lefty #1 high slot, 2 #1 barrel swivels 2 .374 (optional) belly grommets 1- 9" length of pre formed wire, 1- 4 gram belly weight ( 00 buck will work) and a tail grommet... for hooks, I like VMC 2/0 for the two body hooks, the tail can be a 6/0 siwash or just a tail flag... I find the pearl body with a hint of pink along the lateral line to be the best color, but black and mackerel finishes have also produced...

Start by finding the center of the blank... then using a skew mark out the start and finish of your plug... the body will be 7" long..

Now, using a roughing gouge, turn a cylinder that will have a finished dimension of 1 1/16 ( when roughing leave enough room for sanding to the final dimension) ...

next lay out your body, the nose diameter is 11/16.. make a mark @ 3 3/8" and another at 3 3/4".. the tail diameter is 1/2".. the mid section between the 3 3/8" mark and 3 3/4" mark will be the fattest part @ 1 1/16"... using a skew, work the taper of the body to the head and tail, being sure to leave enough room for finishing...

once the body is shaped, sand with #80. #120 then #220 grit.. lay out your marks as follows...

Lip slot ( for lefty #1) 5/8" from nose...Mark #2, eye @ 1"..Mark #3 @1 1/2"..Mark #4 belly weight @ 2 7/8"..mark # 5 4 3/4" for rear belly hook..

Using a drill press, spot face ( counter sink) using a 3/8" forshner bit just enough for th allow the lip of the grommet to sit flush...when these are done, install a 5/16" forshner bit and drill into the body to about the mid plug area or roughly 1/2" deep... at this time drill the weight hole with the same bit....

once the belly holes are drilled, use a block of wood that is just above center and mark your eye holes, I use an awl to dre'drill the hole then using a 1/4" forshner bit, I free hand drill the holes just deep enough to recess the eye sockets...

Drilling the body : install a chuck into the lathe and 5/32 drill bit.. ( drilling on a drill press is covered in other tutorial here ) starting from the tail, drill to the front hook hole and STOP there, while drilling be sure to drill slowly and clear chips.. I find that a bright finish aircraft style bit works the best..

Now with t he square ends still attached, cut your lip slot.. I use a table top band saw, but a back or coping saw will do the job.. be sure to cut the lines straight..

fitting the lip... cut off the square ends, then fit a lefty #1 high slot into the plug, being sure to keep it centered, using an awl mark the location of the through wire... then using a hand drill and 1/8" bit, drill at an upwards angle so as to enter the front hook hanger hole at the top of the hole, bu doing this in this manner, it allows for the swivels to hang correctly in the holes, a minor detail that allows for a better looking plug...

Now seal your plug in your favorite sealer ( use a mixture of urethane, tung oil and mineral spirits) then finish as desired ( tail wrap is covered in my Danny how to tutotial)...

when you hang the hooks, I find that cutting the VMC 2/0 and keeping them close to the body ,makes a better swimming plug...

the spring run is on it;s way.. spin up a few of these slim profile plugs.. fish them slow and hang on...

tight lines
Roc..
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