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Old 05-26-2010   #1
RAK
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Default How to Make Your Own Lead-Head Fishing Jigs

Making your own Jigs can be lots of fun and also turn into a potential money saver. Most of us don’t realize just how much money we throw away on jigs and sinkers. Here is my tutorial on making your own Lead Headed Jigs.

Materials:
Caution: When making things with lead have a well ventilated area!!

First, you need to buy a mold for the Jigs or sinkers you want and a Melting + ladle. All my molds are from DO-IT and they come in various sizes. The kit costs about $45 and includes the following items- Mold, Pouring ladle, Melting pot, DVD, Octopus 90 degree Hooks, and paint. However, I do not recommend buying the kit. It will be much cheaper to by the ladle and molds separately from eBay. The mold I use in this tutorial is a 5/8 oz for round head jigs.



After you’ve purchased the mold and ladle, you now need to buy your Octupus 90-degree hooks. These hooks can be found on eBay for a couple of dollars, and can be purchased in any quantity you desire. Make sure to get the correct size to fit your mold.

Pouring led, requires lead. An easy way to identify lead is by squeezing it. If its 1/16-1/8” thick and you can bend it with your hands then chances are its lead (a very soft metal). Lead can be found fairly cheap at junk yards and other stores. You can also obtain lead from older houses that have their roof remodeled (older houses have lead outlets on their roof). Craigslist might also be a good place to start. Note: Hard lead will not work.



Now you need a good heat source. I prefer to use a propane stove because it’s portable and easy to use. You can also use other sources of heat that you feel are suitable.

Procedure:
1. Now that you have all your materials, you can start by putting your melting pot on your heat source and putting some lead in. The lead should take 10-15 minutes to melt. Melting times can vary on how much lead you put in. Less lead will melt much faster.





2. While your lead is melting, you can go ahead and place your hooks inside your mold. Close it tightly.



3. When the lead has turned into liquid, prepare your ladle. Using gloves take the ladle and scoop up a nice amount of molten lead. The brown substance on the surface of your lead will not affect your molds.





4. Pour the lead into the mold until it bleeds a blot of lead over each hole. Make sure to fill each hole all the way.





5. Wait a couple of minutes and then open the mold. The jigs should all come out shiny and clean. Cut the extra lead off.





6. Congrats! You made your very first jigs!

(If you messed up on a jig simply cut off the lead with some cuting pliers. Do not melt the lead off the hook because you will mess the hook up)

Painting:
Now you need to paint your newly made jigs. Buying all the special paints is expensive and time wasting. I find the common paints chip very easily when they hit rocks or other jagged things found in the water. The best, cheapest, and fastest solution for painting jigs by far is to use permanent markers. Permanent marker does not flake off and as a result gives off a metallic color. It’s much faster and takes only about 30 seconds to color one jig.







There are many other molds that you can use. I have other jig head molds and sinker molds.





Go out there and try your jigs!
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Old 05-27-2010   #2
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Default Re: How to Make Your Own Lead-Head Fishing Jigs

Great walkthrough! Very clear and easy to read. Pictures are also great.
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Old 05-28-2010   #3
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Default Re: How to Make Your Own Lead-Head Fishing Jigs

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeW View Post
That is a terrific, informative post! And great idea, using markers to color jig heads! Great pics, too. I was talking to an old timer one time when out fishing and he told me he went around tire shop in the area once a week and asked if he could pick up the used lead tire weights as sinkers! He had the boys save them for him. He just drilled a hole in them and fished them "as is", but wouldn't they melt down for making jigs? He would also ask for burned out spark plugs and said he would pinch down the little metal wire on the bottom of them and use them for his "heavier sinkers". While I was talking with him, he reeled in and sure enough, there was a Champion on the end of his line! And it was Steelhead time! So much for finesse, as he caught many of them! I enjoy seeing all these posts! Best---- JoeW
The lead from tires is hard lead . Hard lead is not recommended for making jigs and sinkers. Hard lead has other metals in it. That means when you melt hard lead, it will take a long time to melt it. Also when you try to pour hard lead into your mold it might freeze when pouring, if not quick enough. Hard lead freezes way faster than soft lead. However if you are quick enough you can use hard lead.

The spark plugs sound like a good idea!

I had an older friend who knew everything about walleye. When I say everything, I mean it. Every time I went fishing with him he got a limit before my eyes.

Thanks everyone for the comments.
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Old 06-15-2010   #4
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Default Re: How to Make Your Own Lead-Head Fishing Jigs

Looks like great fun... Epoxy lasts longer when you cover the jig... it will keep the color on longer. Except Epoxy is not cheap nowadays.

I use these type of jigs for walleye all the time ;D
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Old 09-15-2010   #5
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Great idea to use permanent markers to color the jig heads!

I've been pouring my own jigs for several years now, and the best investment I've ever made was a Lee bottom-pour lead pot. If your going to pour a lot of jigs, it's worth its weight in gold.

Tom
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Old 09-18-2010   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tholmes View Post
Great idea to use permanent markers to color the jig heads!

I've been pouring my own jigs for several years now, and the best investment I've ever made was a Lee bottom-pour lead pot. If your going to pour a lot of jigs, it's worth its weight in gold.

Tom
If you can get some pics or even a video of your setup then that would be great!

A quick look on Google shows that these pots aren't too expensive. Jann's Netcraft has them for $57. http://www.jannsnetcraft.com/lead-me...307900090.aspx

I'm more interested in knowing how fast it takes you to melt your lead though.
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Old 09-22-2010   #7
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Here's a pic of my (well-used) lead pot:



And a few finished jigs. THe larger ones are 1 oz. arrowhead jigs , tied with bucktail and the smaller ones are 3/8 oz. ballhead also tied with bucktail



The pot melts the lead pretty quickly, depending on how much lead is in it. And you can pre-heat your mold by just sitting it on top of the pot while it's heating up.

I'll repeat what RAK said in his original post: BE SURE that you have adequate ventilation!! I always have the door and window open in my shed and place a box fan in the doorway, blowing out. It's also imperative to have a fire extinguisher within easy reach, safety glasses, and welder's gloves. Molten lead is VERY hot, about 650 degrees, and WILL burn you badly.

Tom

Last edited by tholmes; 09-22-2010 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 09-23-2010   #8
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Looking good tholmes!

I see you got a whole workshop back there! Let's see what else you can show us back there!

Any projects your working on?
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Old 04-29-2011   #9
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Someone asked how many you can pour . Well having finished an order this week using a do-it mold and a Lee lead pot I poured and removed the gate lead on 1000 1 3/4 0z spear heads . took breaks for coffee and stuff while I reloaded the pot with lead and waited for it to melt . I'd say 5 hrs or so . But then I have an advantage A shut built to the edge of the table that allows me to drag the heads of and they slide into a gallon metal bucket. When I'm done I sit the bucket beside me cut gates while I watch t.v.
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Old 02-01-2017   #10
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Great info
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