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Thread: Dart Alternatives

  1. #1

    Default Dart Alternatives

    The price of dart jigs chaps my hinie when I'm sitting on over a ton of lead.

    Anyone tried the Flutter Lure molds from Do-It? Closest molds I've seen.

    Just ordered some, but covering my bets. Do you know of any better alternatives for molds?

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've looked high and low for good molds that will produce a dart or butterfly style jig. The only option I've found is the do-it flutter molds. There was an Australian place that had some nicer molds, but they have been out of stock for awhile.

    Now if you don't want to cast, you might want to check out fish in comfort on e-bay item 300453559552

    I've gotten jigs from him in the past and they are good jigs. You can also request he put together a selection for you of paticular colors and sizes. I'd go with just the blue silver and green silver jigs.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  3. #3

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    Good to know about him for backup. I'm still sitting on that ton of lead, though. I looked into having my own version of a dart mold made from a couple of custom shops, and I may still go that route if the flutters don't prove out this season. Never a complaint about Do-It other than their limited selection from the Alaskan perspective.

    BTW- We do a lot of shallow water trolling with weights rather than downriggers, and I'm tired of buying crescent sinkers. Do-It has molds for those, but in too limited a size range. I've ordered these in half a dozen sizes just to see what's what with them.

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    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Okay BrownBear here's another option: What kind of lead are you sitting on? Sell it for a good price, buy the commercially-made jigs that you like already and then sit back and watch others goof around, wasting their time on pouring molten lead into a mold.

    BTW, I'm one of those guys always on the prowl for a good price on lead...

    IceKing02

  5. #5

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    Try Shawn Collins. He makes really solid heavy duty aluminum fishing molds. If he doesn't already have what you are looking for, he will custom make what you like. I got a mold from him that makes 24/28/32 oz. bullet head jigs and love it. A bit pricey, but great molds.

    www.shawncollinscustoms.net

  6. #6

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    I did use a guy in Michigan to make my molds. Just send him a sample of what you want and he will build you a mold. I'm not sure if he still does it, but I can find out if you are interested.
    Fish fear me, My wife don't.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Good to know about him for backup. I'm still sitting on that ton of lead, though. I looked into having my own version of a dart mold made from a couple of custom shops, and I may still go that route if the flutters don't prove out this season. Never a complaint about Do-It other than their limited selection from the Alaskan perspective.

    BTW- We do a lot of shallow water trolling with weights rather than downriggers, and I'm tired of buying crescent sinkers. Do-It has molds for those, but in too limited a size range. I've ordered these in half a dozen sizes just to see what's what with them.
    Hilts molds are much better than do-it's, I scored a banana sinker mold off of e-bay 1-2 years ago, it drops 1, 1-1/2, 2, 2-1/2 and 3 oz banana sinkers, I should have also gotten the larger banana sinker mold but missed that auction. I got the bead swivels from B&J, and make the wire clip out of ss safety wire, I think it works out to about $.30 per sinker when discounting the cost of lead. I'm down to about 150#'s of wheelweights and prefer to use them for bullets.

    http://www.hiltsmolds.com/
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  8. #8
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    My favorite place to buy molds and supplies is from Barlows http://www.barlowstackle.com
    I also sometimes use Janns Netcraft for lure parts http://jannsnetcraft.com
    I have also bought some on EBAY.
    Might have to have Collins coustoms make me a mold or two.
    "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"

  9. #9
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Here's an ultra cheap alternative to $pendy dart jigs. After reading this I ran right out and bought 15 for a couple bucks. Well worth the reading and effort for the savings.

    http://humboldttuna.com/smf/index.php?topic=546.0

    After looking at this some of the guys on that forum ran out and found their supply stores were all bought out! LOL! I made half a dozen Saturday in no time just to see where my skills level is. They turned out OK and will accompany to the Icy Strait waters in about 45 days.

    Another idea not mentioned in the link that may be a factor for some... the weight of these "knife" jigs my be on the light side - 4-6 ounces when you want/need 7-10 or more. Solution: take two of them and lay them blade on blade and either drill and rivet them together or weld them to increase their weight and length.

    Us that 'ton of lead' you're sitting on for halibut rig weights or shoot a lot of BPCR or MLs like I do and your lead will go away in no time.

  10. #10

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    Inspired idea, and I could see them working well in the shallows even if it looks like a fair bit of work to make them. Thanks for the idea!

    To get the weight I need for deeper water, I'm always on the watch for chromed tubing intended for indoor plumbing. Cut it to length with 45 degree cuts, drill a hole in the long side of the cut, plug one end and fill with lead from the other. Works great, but it shares with your knife jigs, I bet: Paint won't stick worth poot. White generally works better than silver or chrome for me. Even powder coat and the dips really turn loose after the first chip.

  11. #11
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    For years the knives on United Airlines were popular because they were a perfect minnow shape and were covered with "scales". Years ago I looked for a diamond jig mold with no success. I gave up and made a plaster mold from a purchased jig. The heat from the molten lead gradually breaks down the plaster, but I could usually get 20 or 30 jigs from a mold before it was too ratty to use. I usually painted the jigs white or copper, but I carried colored duct tape in my tackle box for the days when the fish wanted a different color than what I had.

    Big_E

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaaler View Post
    but I carried colored duct tape in my tackle box for the days when the fish wanted a different color than what I had.
    Now that's a very good idea. Thanks!

  13. #13
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Mine are pictured below. Extra quicky-made. Thrift store butter Knife, ground to shape with a Makita angle grinder, split rings, GamaKatsu 8/0 circle hook, holo-tape, eye stickers and covered for clear nail polish. They only need to last a day for me as the annual limits for a non-res is so low that I could lose ten of them to Davey Jones Locker, get my limits (maybe) and still come out cheaper than one or two store bought Chinese made.

  14. #14
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Carolinaboy thanks for that Humboldt tuna forum on making Knife jigs. I have been wanting to do this and after reading it all I have gone right out to our local Sallys store and picked up some great looking old knifes that I look forward to turning them into fishing gear.
    That guy drilled a hole on both ends, But your photos look like you only drilled one end. So I'm thinking you are making them more like the butterfly jig with the hooks on top rather than the bottom? Good idea to only have to drill one hole

  15. #15
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Yes, only one hole for half the labor time. As you already know tempered stainless is tough stuff. Annealing it helps a LOT. One tip in the link said to grind off the harder outer layer before drilling. That does work. I also used the circle hooks to avoid snagging as much as possible as well as not using the bottom hook for the same reason. It may take some more jigging per hook up but with the limits for non-res anglers at only a few non-pelagic species, I'm hoping to mostly target halibut, cod, black bass and maybe catch and release lings. Tipping a jig with a piece of squid or cod may up the odds with the halibut.

    It was funny that one guy on there read the posts - ran out to his local Goodwill store and the knives were all bought up! I don't have that problem here and saw several hundred yesterday at a thrift store for .29 each. Hope you come up with some great fish killers.

  16. #16
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Use a cobalt drill bit, or better yet if you have a drill press use a carbide bit. Carbide is brittle so they are easy to break, hence the advice a drill press and vice.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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