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Thread: Anybody cast fishing jigs?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Elkins45's Avatar
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    Anybody cast fishing jigs?

    It's not about boolets but it is about casting and I can't think of a better group to ask. Does anybody cast fishing jigs? I'm having quite a bit of trouble getting them to fill out. Even with aggressive preheating, the time it takes to place the hooks leaves the mold open so long that it cools and doesn't get good fill out. That's especially true for the little barbed shank part that is supposed to hold the worm in place.

    Any advice besides just learn to go faster and practice placing the hooks quickly? I'm using regular WW from my Lee pot. I tried using a ladle but the bottom pour was actually better. I'm thinking I might want to break out my linotype stash and crank the pot up to max.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    talk to TexasGrunt

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Powder Burn's Avatar
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    I cast crappie jigs about 1/32-1/16 oz. I put the mold on a hot plate to preheat and use a dental tool to set the hooks in the mold faster. When things aren't perfect (mutant heads) the fish seem to prefer them over my perfectly form jigs. I usually run 3 or four pours without putting in hooks to heat things up. I finish up with powder coating for color.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]The meetings will continue until we find out why we can't get anything done around here. NRA Life Member, Illinois Rifle Assoc., Chillicothe Sportsmans Club.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Make sure your tool for setting the hooks in isn't magnetized as it will pull the hooks with it moving them. I used small hemostats with the lock removed. Grip the hook on the radios and set the eye inplace first then rotate into the rest of the mould. Run your lead hot .800* - 850* or a little more even. These moulds say pure lead but a little tin helps fillout. We cast from 1/16 ounce to 5/8 ounce every spring In several styles. Frosted helps the paint adhere. We also cast spinner heads and sinkers.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Running hot is a good idea, as said. I use a tooth pick to set the hooks in place. Keeping the mold clean & the hinges lubed good is always a help. I have always used sorted COWW.

    (A buddy of mine says it works for him, and I have never tried it yet, but he says take a decent sized speaker magnet and set the hot mold on the magnet & you can put the hooks in place faster & they stay in place til ya close the mold supposedly. Ya might try that out if ya like)

    That's all I can think of now at 4AM....A bit groggy.


    G'Luck!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I run them hot. They fill ok.I have the hook in them also .That way the hooks are at temp also.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I'm somewhat fascinated with the do-it mold advice of using pure lead for best results. The fill out problems could easily be just an alloy issue. On a fishing lure list serve I watch I hear this advice repeated quite a bit, for better mold fill out, use pure lead. Contrary to everything I have learned and experienced. Mold fill out problems? Make sure its clean, hot and the alloy is correct for the application. Pure lead might be great for sinkers but it will not produce the best results with a jig mold with details .

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonto View Post
    I'm somewhat fascinated with the do-it mold advice of using pure lead for best results. The fill out problems could easily be just an alloy issue. On a fishing lure list serve I watch I hear this advice repeated quite a bit, for better mold fill out, use pure lead. Contrary to everything I have learned and experienced. Mold fill out problems? Make sure its clean, hot and the alloy is correct for the application. Pure lead might be great for sinkers but it will not produce the best results with a jig mold with details .
    Yeah, I wondered the same thing. It seems like pure leaf would be the last choice of alloy. That's why I was thinking about dipping into my linotype stash.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    Which mold you having a problem with? I've got ~140 Do-It molds and have figured out most of them.

    Do-It tests ALL their designs with pure lead. They will all cast with pure lead if you do your part. I've only had one that I had to add .5% tin to get it to work. But that mold is a 1/16th ounce with a wire keeper in the hook shank.

    I use my fingers to set the hooks. You'll develop callouses and the burns won't bother you. I do use a pair of tweezers to put those wire keepers in place though. They're just too small for my fat fingers.

    To heat up your Do-It mold just pour lead into the cutout sides. Do this a couple of times on each side and it's plenty hot.

    If you're having hook shank fill out problems get your lead hotter. You can try a light coat of a graphite spray or Drop-out.

    Use plumbers putty to hold hooks in place.

    Small fine wire hooks like the EC 570 series will heat up as soon as you put them in the mold. I've used hooks up to 8/0 and never found the need to preheat the hooks.

    If ya got questions ask away. I've ran over a ton of lead through those Do-It molds and have pretty much got them figured out.
    Semper Fi!


    Currently casting for .223, .308, .30-06, .30-40 Krag, 9mm, .38/.357, 10mm, 44 Mag and 45 ACP.

    I like strange looking boolits!

    NRA Patriot Life Endowment member.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Maybe you're being too critical. I cast jigs with a multi-cavity aluminum mold, and use only a couple of cavities at a time, so the mold doesn't get anywhere near hot enough to turn out great looking jig heads. They come out rough looking compared to a well-cast bullet. It doesn't matter because all they are is weight-I don't normally even paint them. As long as the little barb thingey is good enough to hold the plastic on and the hook is sharp, I'm happy.

    They don't have to fit a cylinder throat or a barrel groove diameter. All they have to do is sink and any piece of lead does that well.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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Size:  23.4 KBI've got a couple hundred jig-spinner-lure molds. Doits, Hilts, Herters, Cast Customs and custom
    machined. Jig heads from 1/100th oz. to 8oz. The bigger the cavity the easier they pour. The key
    is pure lead. The better molds like the Do its sell same mold with different pouring throats and
    vents. The molds have color coded handles, the black is the hardest one to pour but leaves the
    smallest "wound" at sprew break off point. The blue series for same jig is easier to pour but leaves
    a bigger sprew. The 1/8th oz and under can be a pain if you don't have fairly pure lead. I never
    smoke the molds or use release agents. If mold is properly preheated, lead is the proper temp
    and fairly pure you will have no trouble, if you do it is a malfunction of one of these 3 things. Junk
    lead can drive you crazy in the smaller molds.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Drm50-That's one impressive stack of molds.
    I use up all my "mystery lead" to cast jigs and sinkers, so far I've been lucky and haven't had any major fillout problems

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    Name:  image.jpeg
Views: 186
Size:  23.4 KBI've got a couple hundred jig-spinner-lure molds. Doits, Hilts, Herters, Cast Customs and custom
    machined. Jig heads from 1/100th oz. to 8oz. The bigger the cavity the easier they pour. The key
    is pure lead. The better molds like the Do its sell same mold with different pouring throats and
    vents. The molds have color coded handles, the black is the hardest one to pour but leaves the
    smallest "wound" at sprew break off point. The blue series for same jig is easier to pour but leaves
    a bigger sprew. The 1/8th oz and under can be a pain if you don't have fairly pure lead. I never
    smoke the molds or use release agents. If mold is properly preheated, lead is the proper temp
    and fairly pure you will have no trouble, if you do it is a malfunction of one of these 3 things. Junk
    lead can drive you crazy in the smaller molds.
    All Do-It molds come with black handles now. The black handles used to be the Pro series. Smaller sprue, multi-cavity of the same item.
    Semper Fi!


    Currently casting for .223, .308, .30-06, .30-40 Krag, 9mm, .38/.357, 10mm, 44 Mag and 45 ACP.

    I like strange looking boolits!

    NRA Patriot Life Endowment member.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGrunt View Post
    All Do-It molds come with black handles now. The black handles used to be the Pro series. Smaller sprue, multi-cavity of the same item.
    I didn't know they are all black handles now. I haven't bought a new mold for 10yrs. I still have a
    couple dozen new in bag. I use to turn over the heavy used molds every couple years. I have many molds for old favorites that are no longer made.Molds cast out of Alumilum in sand box.
    I made lures out of epoxy putty and used them for forms in plaster of Paris to make the dummy
    to cast in sand. I tried bullet molds this way but couldn't get the accuracy/ uniformity in cavities
    good enough to suit me.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    I try and pick up some of the discontinued stuff on eBay. Not that I really need them.
    Semper Fi!


    Currently casting for .223, .308, .30-06, .30-40 Krag, 9mm, .38/.357, 10mm, 44 Mag and 45 ACP.

    I like strange looking boolits!

    NRA Patriot Life Endowment member.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have only a few fishing molds so my experience with them is limited. Whenever I have poor fill-out I try to heat the mold by dipping it into the pure lead in the furnace. When even that does not work I keep a small propane torch handy. I apply the heat from the torch to the mold and the poor fill-out problems disappear. The torch is especially handy for the 8 ounce egg sinker mold we use to make sand anchors for shark fishing at Daytona. These sinkers fill out so well several of the "regulars" on the pier have asked if I would make sinkers for them. Yes, I will help a friend. No, I will not go commercial.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Markopolo's Avatar
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    I cast halibut jigs.. 10 oz.. I don't cast a lot of them but when I need a few, and have extra lead, I do some...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Marko
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    All I cast is jigs under 1/2oz currently, some down to 1/64oz in various styles. Only use pure lead.(want them heavy as possible) Never smoke molds or anything, just put some oil on the hinge. I usually just use an old 4lb Hot Pot I bought years ago and pour from that. Usually I just put the mold on top of the Hot Pot to warm it up. I have Lee bottom pours but I don't feel like dumping out the bullet lead when I need to cast jig heads. If your getting wrinkling and poor fillout likely the lead and/or mold needs to be hotter. I used my bottom pour already but the heat has to be up pretty good for good fillout.

    I use my fingers to set the hooks. Yeah you burn some fingertips and little but my skin is pretty thick. Trying to place small hooks with gloves on can drive you mad. Favorite hooks are the Mustand Ultra Point Blk Nickel (non 2X) which or course Mustad decided to discontinue several sizes I use.

    Years ago when my grandfather died I had about a dozen corroded 30cal bullets that I decided to salvage the lead out of. Didn't cast bullets at the time but decided to throw them in with the pure lead and pour jigheads with it. Bad idea, fillout suffered quite a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    I cast halibut jigs.. 10 oz.. I don't cast a lot of them but when I need a few, and have extra lead, I do some...
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3771.jpg 
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ID:	199452

    Marko
    That will drain a pot quick. Always wanted to fish for Halibut.
    Last edited by dkf; 07-10-2017 at 06:07 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I also pour crappie jigs in 1/32 & 1/16 oz using pure lead only. I use a hot plate to heat the mold and lay my hooks out in rows of 4 or 5 depending on mold and I sometimes keep a torch burning nearby so when I close the mold on cool hooks, I pass it over the torch to get it all hot. I too place the hooks by hand and do it so quickly I don't feel the heat. I keep the fingertips lightly on the hook to slide it in the groove, shut the mold and under the Lee 10lb pot and pour it from the closest hole to the furthest from me and speed is the cue to good fillouts. I am 72 yrs old and not in the best of health so I put off pouring until I feel good & rested and quit before I wear out. I have developed some unique paint schemes that often get bit without a bait on it. But it is tedious work.
    Good luck, glad to hear of so many baitmakers on here.
    You boys gonna draw them pistols or whistle Dixie

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  20. #20
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    The best thing to lube the hinge pins on Cast alumilum molds is a wax candle. Those little birthday
    cake candles are perfect. Just touch them to hinge pins while mold is hot. Stays with it better than
    Oils.

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