Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Ghost

I have read and heard of many old cedar-getters (who often relied on bass for food) and early recreational anglers fashioning crude 'perch' or bass lures from bits of Australian Red Cedar (Toona ciliata). These early lures were whittled from timber that grew tall in the valleys of the eastern flowing water shed where bass live. Despite their crudeness they would have accounted for some of the largest bass ever caught, albeit in the days before habitat destruction and other pressures sadly reduced our bass fishery to what it is today. I reckon no other lure fishing style more uniquely represents east coast fishing. I look at the hard and soft plastic lures that fill my tackle boxes to overflow and it inspires nothing of that great era and the almost lost 'do it yourself' mentality, this makes me sad. In sympathy of such lost tradition I felt the urge to start making a few cedar lures of my own. Here's what I hope will be the first of many, a small cedar popper I call The Ghost.

I dip coat them with 2 coats of marine varnish (thinned down). It is a crude but effective wood coating, the thirsty old cedar soaks it up, seals well and floats nice and high. I have made them out of Huon pine also (they look really wild) but the darker colour of the cedar seems to 'profile' better against the dark banks of the creeks I fish (read as - I get more fish on the dark colour).

At the moment I really just make them for myself as a bit of fun but I am thinking of doing a range of surface lures this winter when I have more time to play. I am getting some better stainless hardware, barbless hooks etc, I hope to be selling some by next spring.

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