Fishing Show/DIY Day

12 02 2012

Yep, looks like a good day to stay inside.

15 degrees outside, wind chill around zero and 4 inches of new fallen snow on the ground.  Looks like a good day for some do-it-yourself fishing projects.  First things first though, need to go to the MI – OH Sport fishing Expo in Monroe Michigan.  This is the first of 5 shows in a row for me.  Next week is my friends Sporting Collectables (Gun/Fishing) show.  After that it is Outdoorama, then it’s The Michigan Quiet Water Symposium and then the Mid-West Fly Fishing Expo.  It’s going to be a busy month for me.  No time to think about that, I had to meet my friends for breakfast first and then off to Monroe.

This show is put on by the Huron Valley Sport Fishing Club.  This is a show that is geared towards fishing the Western Basin of Lake Erie.  That means 3 things, Walleye, Steelhead and Smallmouth Bass with a heavy emphasis on Walleye.  There are lots of vendors selling crawler harnesses, blades, spoons and crank baits.  If you fish Lake Erie a lot this is the kind of show you need to visit.  You could probably purchase everything thing you would need for the upcoming season at this one show.  The only thing I bought was a hook sharpener (made in Ohio).  I don’t have a boat to fish Erie so whenever I go it is because I was invited by someone who has a big enough boat.  Since I am a guest on that boat I am going to use his stuff and do everything he tells me too (something to remember people, a boat only needs one captain).  I do have a few blades , spoons and harnesses just in case but for the most part I am using someone else’s equipment.  It’s still a good way to spend the morning, talking fishing with people I know and making new friends while I am there.

After the show was done my friend Jerry and I set up shop in his heated garage to get started on weights and shanks for the upcoming walleye season.  Normally I wait until March and warmer weather to do this in my garage.  This winter has been very mild and if it continues we could be fishing in March.  I’ve already been out once this month so no sense waiting until the last minute.   I had already poured a few weights a couple of weeks ago but Jerry needed a few as well.  You can purchase weights for handlining but a few of us prefer to use a homemade weight of copper tubing filled with lead.  It bounces off the rocks and doesn’t get hung up as much as the soft lead weights.  Today we were making 1 ¼ pound weights from an 11 inch piece of ½ inch copper pipe.  Both Jerry and I have a lot of scrap lead lying around so we melted it down in my electric lead ladle and carefully poured it in the tube.  We stand the copper tube into a piece of 2×4 with a ½ in hole drilled to hold the tube.  It has to fit tight or the hot lead will leak out from the bottom.  The tube also has to be pre heated some to insure there are no air pockets during the pouring process.  It is really quite easy to do but you need the right tools and a steady hand.

After a short Canada Dry break it was on to the next phase, shank production.  I need about a dozen to make it through an entire a year.  I replace them every 2 or 3 weeks just because of the abuse they take.  If a shank is kept in good working order you won’t lose as many lures.  Again you can buy these but I have so much #60 stainless steel wire lying around it is easier for me to make my own.  I can also customize special ones for friends and family who don’t like to run 3 leaders like I do.   The main thing is to remain consistent.  An inch or two difference on where a clevice is no big deal but if the 1st one is off it compounds all the way to the last one.  Just remember this rule of thumb 1 inch equals 1 foot (measured from the top of the weight) .  This isn’t an exact science but it is a start.  Once you get a shank set up and working for you keep making or buying the same ones.  I was the only one making shanks today, Jerry spent his time organizing and sorting through stuff.  Like me he has so much stuff he forgets what he has and where he has it.  It’s all time well spent.

Weights and Shanks, ready to go.



2 responses

12 02 2012
steve schoonover

that half inch copper has to cost more than the lead!

12 02 2012

Well yea…..the lead was free. Actually, a 10 foot section was 10 bucks.

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