So at first I was just going to post lure mods and lure making in the tackle subcategory for each fish species, but then I've come to the realization, I think lure making needs it's own section on this forum. So I opened up a new category just for these specifics and I think we're going to have a lot of fun in this section, on my YouTube channel and Instagram. I may start to sell some, however, I think what would be more feasible is just making them on my youtube channel and give some of them way for free, which I think would be really cool.
This was probably one of my most magnificent creations I've ever made, I've always been into the Johnson Beetle Spin for bass fishing, I thought it was be very innovative to take that lure and basically super size for musky. And what you know, I've caught 20+ pike and musky on this custom spinnerbait in the past couple of years, I didn't do much fishing in 2019 or even use it all, so the short track record I have with it is pretty impressive.
What makes the Beetle Spin so amazing is being able to interchange between different size jig heads to go from shallow to deeper water. And while that's not that big of bonus for largemouth bass fishing, I thought it would be a huge benefit for musky fishing. Because most standard musky spinnerbaits are only 2 ounces at the heaviest. And what's nice about this this custom musky spinnerbait is you don't have to count it down because it doesn't slowly flutter to the bottom slowly, it drops straight to the bottom, making it easier to reach deeper parts of the lake. Remind you the wire is collapsible, versus a standard spinnerbait setup which is stiff and stays in the same position at all times. Standard spinnerbaits keep the blade turned on, even when it hits the water and flutters to the bottom, this can be both a plus and minus, getting strikes on the drop is a plus, but takes a long time to get to deeper water where musky may be lurking. This year, I may try using some heavier saltwater jigs heads like 5-8 ounces to get to deeper parts of Lake St. Clair, this may even be effective for the St. Clair River or Detroit River.
Being able an interchange instantly is a huge bonus, you'll be able to cover more ground, you'll be able to adapt to different depths and drop off points, even fish semi-shallow and semi-deep water. I've used the 2 ounce, even the 3 ounce in different depths out on Lake St. Clair. I'd say a 2 ounce is good for 6-8 feet of water, while the 3 ounce is great for 8-10 feet of water, then the 4 ounce is great for 10-15 feet of water, even 15-20 feet if you count it down.
And what's very beneficial to making your own custom spinnerbait is using the heaviest duty wire and ball bearing swivel. I talked about in the previous spinnerbait post, where some of these companies go with cheap parts to maximize profits and mass produce these lures. Well I didn't go cheap, I went with the heaviest stainless steel wire I could find, .062 wire, and a very resilient ball bearing swivel that's smooth and fast for turning the giant gold #8 Hildebrandt willow blade. Because speed is key, I know a lot of musky fishermen talk of having the nosiest crane swivel so it gives off a louder grinding noise. But look, I think speed is better, and that's what I get from this #1 VMC ball bearing swivel, super smoothness and speed. The thumb and vibration is enough from the giant willow blade itself. And just so you're aware, not all willow blades or colorado blades are created equally. I noticed when I bought a #8 willow blade from LurePartsOnline.com, it basically looked like a replica to the the Hildebrandt blade for 1/4 of the price because I get 10 in the back versus 3. However, I noticed soon as I started reeling the spinnerbait it, the regal willow blade slowed down my custom spinnerbait tremendously. It also made the spinnerbait stay near the surface more... So this goes to show how important it is to pick out the right type of designed blade for as musky lure. Remember speed is key, sure not always, like in the fall when the musky get in a more lethargic state, but if you listen to what the pros say on Muskie.Outdoorsfirst.com, they emphasize on saying spead is key. Bottom line, it just triggers more strikes.
And getting to the trailer hook, I used just the standard glue from a hot glue gun near the eye hole of the Mustad O'Shaughnessy Hook to keep it in place on the main hook. It's very easy to form with my own hands when it's mildly hot/warm and it's super cheap to replace. A great fishermen by the name of Huntnfishnuts said Harbor Freight has heat shrink tubing for next to nothing so I may try that next, be sure to check that guys channel out, absolutely awesome! But I use a #8 O'Shaughnessy Hook by Mustad, they work pretty good, but they definitely dull out after catching a few musky, I need to find a good hook sharpener.
Anyways, there's a lot of parts that goes into this custom spinnerbait or I'd probably have it listed on eBay by now, I tried getting Suissex to pair up with me on making this lure, they really never came through, but it's definitely a very unique spinnerbait that you can't find on the market anywhere. I think it will give you some good ideas for making something like this for pike and musky fishing, whether you live here in Michigan, Canada or even from another country like Russia where esox fishing is big, along with France, Sweden or the UK.
There's a few companies that actually make an even bigger #10 willow blade that I may try this year, along with some heavier saltwater jigs in the 6-8 ounce range. But so far I got a lot on my plate right now, I plan to do a lot of underwater recording with the Geneinno T1, along with a lot of reviews on vintage lures and of course collaborations with Arcasting. But I still want a focus of mine to be making lures, modifying them, and even get into some fly tying down the road. I'm still itching to get out and do some carp fishing, maybe even sturgeon fishing. It amazes me the guys that just stick with a bobber and live bait, there's nothing wrong with that if you're into that of sort of thing, but I'm telling you can get a lot of enjoyment in making your own lures, it's really a whole another world entirely.
Anyways, I did get around to posting an Instagram photo of the bullet proof version of the Beetle Spin for bass fishing, because believe or not I've had the Beetle Spin wire break on me after catching a few big bass over in the marina at Lake St. Clair. The wire is kind of cheap, so is the crane swivel, I've had that come apart on me before as well. And the hooks and barbs are not that great either. But hey, one of the main benefits of the Beetle Spin is it's a very economial lure that any fishermen can afford, that's why I listed it as the best cheap bass fishing lure on the market in another forum post. I actually caught my PB largemouth bass over at Four Bears Park gravel pit pond with the modified Beetle Spin using a #4 gold hildebrandt willow blade, weighed around 7-8 pounds. Since two decades have came and went, I have yet to top that PB. Would be nice to go back to that pond and give it a try with my own new and improved version of this cult classic spinnerbait, I hear they got 40 inch pike in there too!