Re: to the muskie fisherman
It is inevitable that when targeting toothy fish, especially apex predators like Musky, no matter what you do, plugs will get lost.
Short wire leaders in the 50 lb range will help. In my experience, it's the run to structure that most often causes the snap off.
Plugs in natural food source patterns always work best. For Pike and Musky, Yellow perch, white Perch, and Sucker schemes will produce. Red fin shiner imitators are also a good choice. I remember an old timer that used to travel all the sportsman's shows in the winter, went by the name Musky Man, he made a huge wooden plug, jointed with a rubber tail fin. All you did was hammer jerk the rod tip and the plug would dive and cause the tail to slap the surface with a huge splash. He made them in 2 colors, Yellow Perch, and Sucker.
I wish I had bought a few back then, I'd love to try them out on Stripers in a pogy paint scheme.