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Who here makes their own jig heads. How much money can you save? Is it worth it?

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  • Who here makes their own jig heads. How much money can you save? Is it worth it?

    Who here makes their own jig heads. How much money can you save? Is it worth it?

  • #2
    I do, mainly because i already had the casting equipment and i run a middle school age fishing club. The kids are constantly snapping off jigs for myself I don't loose as many.

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    • #3
      I save mad money with the kids and we have a good time creating the jigs. As far as my own use i save some money but not much.

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      • #4
        What all do you need to make them?

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        • #5
          If you have a source for free lead you can save some money.

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          • #6
            I have about 100 pounds of lead in the garage that i've picked up over time in various places. you need something to melt the lead, a dipper (if not a bottom pour hot pot), a mold and hooks.

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            • #7
              Some tire shops will gladly give you old wheel weights.
              NEVER melt lead indoors.
              NEVER allow moisture to drip into your melting pot. (One time was all it took for me! ...and I wasn't even there!)
              Wash hands well with soap and water before eating.

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              • #8
                You probably won't save money unless you use a ton (ok 10-15 pounds) of jigs a year. If you want to be as self sufficient as possible, give it a try. I make round balls for my flintlock, jig heads, etc. I suppose I've broken even over the years. I started casting with my grandfather and still use his equipment.

                FB has pointed out that safety is really important.

                You won't be boiling lead to cast jig heads so you don't have to worry about inhaling lead fumes. (That's not the safety concern). The issue is that you're going to be creating some residue and lead coated dust so stay outside and wash when you're done.

                A tiny drop of water or a damp mould will creating an explosion of moulton lead. Any moisture could hurt you really badly.

                Always wear safety glasses and leather gloves when casting lead.

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                • #9
                  We do it with our lead sinkers, don't use to many jig heads. My dad makes them for the whole family pretty much. We get free lead from tire shops, the lead counter-wieghts for tires and just uses a torch to melt them in a metal dipper and then pour it into the mold. We save money cause we fish rivers for catfish and lose a lot of sinkers fishing around snags and rocks and such.

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                  • #10
                    I get oddball jigs for walleyes from a local guy who makes them with some wild colors I just don't have the time or resources for molding myself so instead I tie up hair jigs to bulk jig heads I buy. They work better than most baits for big smallmouth and the walleye runs where I lose a lot of baits to the rocks. I also noticed that the northern (canadian) bass pros use a ton of them in the tournaments around here with lots of variation in tying so the possibilities become endless and the testing just down right fun.

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                    • #11
                      I have been making jig heads for most of my life. When I first started it was because of necessity. There just wasn't what I wanted on the shelves everywhere like it is today. At first, I made custom design bucktail jigs, feather dusters, and nylon skirt lead head jigs of all kinds. Then a friend of mine showed me how to mold the nylon strands right into the lead as I poured it instead of having to tie the nylon skirting on. That put me into the nylon skirt jig business making speck rigs. Then soft plastics came around and I started to designing my own jig heads for them. I started out with an old cast iron dutch oven for a lead pot and a burner out of the bottom of a propane hot water heater and a hand ladle. I used a 1/4" Dumore hand grinder and cut aluminum molds. I bought used lead cable sheathing from scrap yards because wheel balance weights had steel clips in them and were a mess to deal with. There used to be a supply company called Herters which had all the supplies necessary back then but today you can get everything including hooks, ready made molds, and electric lead pots off ebay. Just be careful with using lead. Nasty gases and severe burns can spoil all the fun. Also check to make sure that lead is legal in your area because at one time I was cracked down on in my area and had to change to zinc which cost more, melts at higher temps, and ate my molds up. I did not understand the reasoning at the time because zinc was just as harmful as lead so I just stopped making and selling jigs except for my own use. Then someone finally realized that lead was not that bad and the regulations were eased off on the use and sale of it here in my area. There is no real cost saving by making your own today because of the low price of imported products, but making your own still lets you design what you want. Today you can buy room temperature vulcanizing silastic rubber to make molds out of which will handle the temperature of hot lead. You can just take your favorite jig or one that you hand carved and suspend it in a paper cup on a paper clip. Then mix up the RTV rubber mold material and pour it over the jig in the cup. After the RTV sets up, you can split it with a razor blade, remove the jig and cut a sprue to pour the lead into. It helps to set the cup of RTV on something that vibrates to get all the trapped air bubbled out of the mold before it sets.

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                      • #12
                        Interesting. Thanks for the info guys but I have to say the severe burns and possible explosions kind turned me off. Especially if the savings are small if any.

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