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Thread: Butterfly jigs and/or Needle fish jigs?

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default Butterfly jigs and/or Needle fish jigs?

    So I was looking at some new jig molds the other day.
    The mold maker I was looking at makes a nice mold that produces a version of the butterfly jig.
    I was wondering if anyone here uses Butterfly jigs? Also would others be interested in these jigs if they were made locally and reasonably priced?
    I have never use the real deal myself but wanted to guage the interest of Alaskan fishermen in this jig.
    The other one I was looking at is a Needle fish imitation. I know where I fish Halibut in Cook Inlet they are often puking up needle fish.
    Again would this interest the local Alaskan fishing community?
    All would be available in sizes from 1oz-24 oz. They would not be cheap molds so I don't want to put out $800 for a set of molds if people wouldn't buy them.
    Thanks in advance for your input.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    I used them when I was chartering and did very well with them. I liked to use them when fishing in the kelp. If you were getting bites and catching smaller fish, and the bite would just stop I would grab a jig and work it in back of the baits. Most of the time it would work for a bigger fish. The hook set up is not cheap.

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    I kinda move back and forth between them, but usually not based on effectiveness. What I'm saying is, the BF jigs are so much more expensive, I tend not to use them in "snaggy" situations. I certainly catch more fish on the needlefish because I use them more, and especially since there tend to be more fish among the snags. Put a butterfly out there at the same price as needlefish, and watch me use lots more butterflies.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    The hook set up is not cheap.
    Just curious about this statement?
    I don't find the assist setups all that expensive.
    I make my own assist setups using 200# or 300# Kevlar line Eagle claw american made hooks American made 2X strong split rings and some good quality solid rings.
    Though when I am buying hooks 3,000-5,000+ at a time and the other components in bulk as well my cost is not super expensive.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I kinda move back and forth between them, but usually not based on effectiveness. What I'm saying is, the BF jigs are so much more expensive, I tend not to use them in "snaggy" situations. I certainly catch more fish on the needlefish because I use them more, and especially since there tend to be more fish among the snags. Put a butterfly out there at the same price as needlefish, and watch me use lots more butterflies.
    Thanks for the input.
    If you don't mind what are you paying now for you Needlefish jigs and your Butterfly jigs and for what sizes?
    Also what sizes do you use the most of?
    Like I have a habit of doing if I decide to buy either one I will get all size ranges 1,2,3,4,6,8,10,12,16,20 and 24 oz.
    That ought to cover our needs here in Alaska. I am not sure of the exact mold prices yet but he has been preety good about getting me a quote in a reasonable timeframe.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Can't tell you exact prices at the moment. I'm traveling and not near my local store. Round numbers, the BFs are twice the price of the NF's, but there's a huge savings in being able to buy the NF's bare and add my own hooks and split rings. That easily cuts the NF price by more than half. I'm sure if BF's were not rigged and I could get them for less than half price to do my own rigging, I'd be all over them. BTW- I make my own "assist" hooks, so cost of doing my own rigging is minimal compared to buying commercial assists.

    As for sizes, we use three most of the time: 3 oz for shallow water (less than about 75'), 5-6 oz for water to 120' or so and mild currents, and 10-12 oz for deeper water or stronger currents. We never fish much deeper than about 160', or I'd probably go even heavier. I can see the need for the big guns over in the depths and currents common around the Inlet, but there's no need here. I use 24 oz rubber tails some of the time in our deepest water, but that's because they don't sink as fast as NF and tend to "float" more on a current. Round numbers I feel I need rubber tails about twice the weight of NF's.

    BTW- We do fish a whole lot deeper water with jigs when we find layers of bait and salmon suspended up in midwater. Killer, and you can smoke the fish onboard about 5 times faster than trolling. Find the fish, drop the jigs, and everyone is instantly hooked up. Do it again quick, and you can stay on top of the fish and tap out in less time than most boats can make a couple of trolling passes. For that we use the 5-6 oz almost exclusively. This is where the BFs really shine, too. Same weight class.

    Edit- I should add that I do keep a bunch of 1 oz NF jigs handy. When we find salmon (and even halibut) in shallows to 10' right up around the reefs and kelp beds feeding on schools of small needlefish, we put the 1 oz models on our light rods and cast them. Wickedly effective, and a real rodeo with big fish on light gear in such close quarters. Yeah, we lose a lot of fish, but don't care. There's another waiting as fast as you can tie on a replacement jig.

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    I was not making my own hook setups, and the jigs did not come with the hooks. By the time you tie and heat shrink the setups and add the rings the time and cost is not cheap.

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    I use quite a few from different manufacturers Chris. I will say I haven't had a lot of luck on very long and thin jigs...not sure why but just my experience. The Williamson Vortex has been a proven performer but has been replaced by some of yours in the same size range (6-8oz.). The price point is high on some butterflies and I think it is due to the paint schemes and holograph affects on them. IIRC, I have paid as much as $25 for a single jig that is already rigged with an assist.

    Sometimes small 1-2oz. Crippled Herring jigs do the job when other things are slow. I truly believe it has more to do with the size of the forage fish at the time. On one trip last year I experimented with a small version of the Kodiak Custom I had milled on the lathe in a 2.5oz. size with a normal 4" hoochie and we freaking killed it when all of the normal gear wasn't producing. At that time there were billions of dead baby Hooligan in the water and the Halibut were keyed into fish in the 5" range so the jig worked wonders.

    As a rule we fish one bait rig and all others are fishing a variety of jigs...there is always one of yours out, at least one of Tony's, and then a variety of others...you've seen the videos and there is always about 30-40 jigs on the table...mostly verticle types. Usually we figure it out pretty quick and adjust accordingly. BTW, quite a few of my friends are interested in getting some of your gear.

    Another note about assist hooks...On your 25oz. CI Candy jigs I really like running a 10/0 Big River hook snelled on 300# cord, not line, with full heat shrink all the way to the swivel...I use a Sampo in this configuration like the rigging for the Vortex...gets a good spin on things. I will get a picture up in a minute for you.


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    Here's the pic for you Chris...



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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    I was not making my own hook setups, and the jigs did not come with the hooks. By the time you tie and heat shrink the setups and add the rings the time and cost is not cheap.
    I hear you on that especially when you pay retail for 6 hooks at a time.
    Being I bought a few thousand hooks awhile back I got them significantly cheaper.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK2AZ View Post
    I use quite a few from different manufacturers Chris. I will say I haven't had a lot of luck on very long and thin jigs...not sure why but just my experience. The Williamson Vortex has been a proven performer but has been replaced by some of yours in the same size range (6-8oz.). The price point is high on some butterflies and I think it is due to the paint schemes and holograph affects on them. IIRC, I have paid as much as $25 for a single jig that is already rigged with an assist.

    Sometimes small 1-2oz. Crippled Herring jigs do the job when other things are slow. I truly believe it has more to do with the size of the forage fish at the time. On one trip last year I experimented with a small version of the Kodiak Custom I had milled on the lathe in a 2.5oz. size with a normal 4" hoochie and we freaking killed it when all of the normal gear wasn't producing. At that time there were billions of dead baby Hooligan in the water and the Halibut were keyed into fish in the 5" range so the jig worked wonders.

    As a rule we fish one bait rig and all others are fishing a variety of jigs...there is always one of yours out, at least one of Tony's, and then a variety of others...you've seen the videos and there is always about 30-40 jigs on the table...mostly verticle types. Usually we figure it out pretty quick and adjust accordingly. BTW, quite a few of my friends are interested in getting some of your gear.

    Another note about assist hooks...On your 25oz. CI Candy jigs I really like running a 10/0 Big River hook snelled on 300# cord, not line, with full heat shrink all the way to the swivel...I use a Sampo in this configuration like the rigging for the Vortex...gets a good spin on things. I will get a picture up in a minute for you.
    The new molds I have coming are quite similiar to a crippled herring but they have some curve to the one side to give them some wobble on the upstroke.
    Any of the big 24 oz jigs get a bit spendy. But thay do contain a lot of lead and I know when I make them you can actually see the paint drop in the cups with each dip.
    I may have to try those bigriver hooks and rigging some with a swivel like that. I did just buy 400 of the 10/0 Eagle claws. Something about American made hooks makes me buy them and I do think they are a decent hook.
    I don't think I will be making any with full Heak shrink on them though. That stuff gets spendy and I don't see many customers wanting to pay what that would cost. A person can always make their own though.
    Hopefully there will be some new stuff in the mail for you soon. I know it will be awhile before it gets tested but that's OK .
    BTW I am still wanting to know how much spare room is in Carlee's new tackle box. I am sure I can fill it up soon enough.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Can't tell you exact prices at the moment. I'm traveling and not near my local store. Round numbers, the BFs are twice the price of the NF's, but there's a huge savings in being able to buy the NF's bare and add my own hooks and split rings. That easily cuts the NF price by more than half. I'm sure if BF's were not rigged and I could get them for less than half price to do my own rigging, I'd be all over them. BTW- I make my own "assist" hooks, so cost of doing my own rigging is minimal compared to buying commercial assists.
    Thanks for the info it really helps.
    As for unfinished jigs I have traded people in the past for things like that. I am sure if I do buy the molds I could trade you some blanks to paint and finish yourself. I am sure there is something we could work out. Really anything I make I would be willing to trade with people on so they could paint and finish them and have something semi-homemade.
    If a person has lead or other fishing/outdoorsy related stuff or.....
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    ...unfinished jigs....
    Our local sports shop just has them loose in an open bin for sale "by the each." That's the way I've always picked them up. Have to think about swaps.

    One idea occurs to me- I bet if you packaged a couple or three blanks together for the same or lower price than a single finished jig, you'd sell a bunch. Easy for guys to pick them up and stretch their dollar while not costing you a bunch in paint and labor costs. Idle thinking.

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    I have had very mixed results with butterfly jigs; at least in the places I fish they attract more sea trout, sculpins, pollock, and other non-target species than darts or lead heads. A friend did do well on lings last year with one that looked very much like a Pt Wilson Dart in the Sardine shape - fatter than the needlefish. I use Pt Wilson Darts for much of my shallow water (<100') jigging. I would like some magnum versions of them, something like 8" long and 12 oz, or even bigger, for deeper water and for matching the hatch.

    Big_E

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    So here are a couple of pics that show the two jigs I am thinking of ordering the molds for.
    needle fish.jpgbutterfly jig.jpg
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Big time winner x 2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    So here are a couple of pics that show the two jigs I am thinking of ordering the molds for.
    needle fish.jpgbutterfly jig.jpg
    Every year we come up to Elfin Cove, Alaska for a self guided fishing trip and always pack several butterfly jigs made by a bicycle component company. We absolutely hammer bottom fish until we snag and lose all our jigs. If you can offer similar jigs at a more affordable price, I think you will do very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torpedo View Post
    Every year we come up to Elfin Cove, Alaska for a self guided fishing trip and always pack several butterfly jigs made by a bicycle component company. We absolutely hammer bottom fish until we snag and lose all our jigs. If you can offer similar jigs at a more affordable price, I think you will do very well.
    If you search this forum you will see a few threads with pics of a lot of different styles and sizes of bottom fish jigs I make.
    A lot of people who see what I make want some for themselves.
    It has gotten to the point where I have to either set myself up to sell some or quit talking about them and not showing them to others.
    I really didn't want to sell stuff but people are really wanting to buy it so......
    It also seems the fish like my jigs as well and people have been catching fish with them and doing well.
    I generally do powder painted finishes with UV blast clear coats and many of them feature Super glow powder paints.
    I don't offer quite the fancy holographic finishes as some commercially made jigs but my jigs do look nice and the powder paints hold up real well to abuse.
    I just got my business license in the mail so now when I am off the slope again I will put in my IRS paperwork and get my EIN and my forms to pay my federal excise taxes and hopefuilly soon I can legally sell as many jigs as I want to.
    I know some jig makers only make one style of bottom fish jig but I like to have a lot of different options for people and of course all the sizes any Alaskan fisherman would need.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I just got my business license in the mail so now when I am off the slope again I will put in my IRS paperwork and get my EIN and my forms to pay my federal excise taxes and hopefuilly soon I can legally sell as many jigs as I want to.
    That's very good news. If you can ramp up production and get your jigs hanging on store racks around the state, you'll do very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    That's very good news. If you can ramp up production and get your jigs hanging on store racks around the state, you'll do very well.
    I am not really wanting to sell them Retail. As much as people would like to find them there for right now that is more work than I am really wanting to tackle(Pun intended).
    I would prefer to sell them myself and that way I can keep things small enough to where when I am not at work on the slope I still have some time for fishing etc. And I can keep up with orders without getting in over my head.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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