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google eyes or craft eyes as they are often called are okay (and as mentioned, rattle a bit), and a lot of the bigger striper flies have them. glass eyes (made from glass or plastic) and similar for decoys etc. are a much nicer product but also more expensive and time consuming to fit (epoxy putty works best) but will also take much more abuse. sequins, foils and stick on eyes also work to varying degrees.

other than the "glass" eyes, make sure you cover them in clear coat or sealer of some kind. you can recess the "glass" eyes by drilling a cone shaped hole for the eye socket if you don't like the bulging effect.

for foils a pair of hole punch pliers works great, although you have little control of the size. i have also punched the hole out, then cut a circle around the hole, so the empty hole is the pupil - works well.

test your sealer/clear coat before using it on you lure - some will eat the paint right off, others can change the color a bit, yet other will "crocadile" the paint, which is okay sometimes, a disaster other times.

one way to get a scale pattern is to place mesh, like from an onion bag, tightly across the lure, then spray lightly. i would wait in most cases until it's dry to remove the mesh but that can cause ridges...unless that what your looking for - a deeper scale impression. another way to get scales is to use a woodburner to draw/etch them onto the lure before painting. another method for scales is again using a nail (handy aren't they!!)with the paint still a bit wet, just thinking about tacky, you can scratch in the scale pattern. it takes a little practice to get the timing right - to soon and the paint just flows and fills in the scratches, to late and either nothing works or it ruins the paint job. so think a little area at a time to begin with. you can also just carve them...if you have the time....

a wire-through design for hook/ring attachment is best for heavy action like muskies and stripers, rather than screw eyes for hook conections. drilling the whole length works, but you can also either: cut a slot along the belly, letting you wire up easily and then cover with epoxy; angle drill from each end towards the belly & then either slot it to hide the wire or just epoxy and paint over to give more of a v-belly like mackeral have.

don't skimp on the rings and hooks, it will end up costing you later, when it counts with a big fish.
 

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nice paint jobs jay. how do you like those sabre hooks, like shown on the top lure? i have very little confidence in them, they seem to be easier to throw the bait from the fishes point of view. anybody else had trouble with them? maybe i had a bad batch? they also corroded bad, i had to replace all of them that i used last year.
 

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the sabre hooks are strong, but i found brookies and stripers threw the hooks like they were barbless. i tried two different sizes, but from the same supplier, so i still might have gotten a bad batch. hurry up and land a monster so we can see if they work for you! lol! go get`em Jay!
 
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