Design and Materials

Traditional Salmon Plug Design

Traditional salmon plugs have largely either been attached to the leader by a screwed in eye or 'tow bar' style metal attachment points or by a pull through design utilizing bead chain swivels. While both designs are time tested and proven, there are inherent drawbacks to both. 

Solid mounts

Screwed in eyes provide an easily installed connection point for wood or plastic lures and allow for some adjustability by the angler, but are reliant on the material screwed into for strength. Hook locations on the bottom side are usually screwed in for this type of lure as well, which don't allow for much adjustment and can compromise the integrity of the wood if not sealed properly. Strength of the attachment point is also dependent on the integrity of the material which can become stressed over time from large fish and extended battles.

'Tow bar'

'Tow bar' designs alleviate the aforementioned issues by having the tie and hook attachment points be made of the same piece of metal. Far superior in strength, there are a couple of drawbacks to this otherwise proven design. There is only one option for hook position and rigging, which doesn't allow much variation apart from hook size. The tie on point for the leader is very strong, however when a tight knot is applied moves the pivot point of the lure farther from the face, where the action is derived from. With the static mounting point there is a lack of rigging options in regards to hook placement, most designs end up with the hook in roughly the center of the lure. While examining prototypes, favourite plugs, or caught fish, we've noticed through scratch marks and hooking locations that most strikes are either directed at the eye or tail of the plug. This means that the tow bar design splits the difference but doesn't fully cover either of these observed focus points. During a battle with a fish, both of these solid mount point designs can be prone to leverage and inertia which can result in the hook(s) being thrown or pulled out.

Bead chain

Bead chain designs negate some of the issues of hard mounting points but introduce other shortcomings. Notably the material integrity, inertia, and leverage issues are not present but the rigging restrictions remain. Bead chain swivels are reliant on siwash hooks which are clamped onto the eye of the swivel and are non-removable. This means that when the swivel itself corrodes, gets clogged, etc. it must either be thoroughly cleaned or replaced at the cost of the hook as well.

Disco Tackleworks design

Our design was always intended to have the leader line run through the head of the plug with a variety of considerations while doing so. From the angle and locations of the rigging tube, inner and outer diameter of the tube itself, to the sealing and finishing process, our plug was optimized for this design using existing materials and geometry while incorporating new techniques and modern coatings. The benefit of our design ranges from but not restricted to; multiple rigging options, easily replaceable terminal tackle, nearly non-existent action dampening, minimal inertia or leverage during the fight, no leader abrasion when rigged correctly, and a more subtle presentation to the fish.

Starting from the front, the face is cut and shaped to a specific geometry that optimizes action while promoting stability. The angle of the face is a complementary angle to the rigging tube, which means that the tube was designed with the motion of the plug in mind. When trolled the angle of the plug is dictated by the angle of the face and by making the tube as in line with the leader as possible, there is as minimal wear and action dampening as possible. The 'head' section is designed to give a natural profile while also providing the surface area required to impart action on the lure while minimizing hydrodynamic drag through the water. The middle and tail sections are also designed to be as drag free as possible and are also more slender than traditional designs. This means that side to side action is not inhibited by excess surface area while retaining that natural bait fish profile.

Material & Process

Cedar was a clear choice for it's natural water repellence, durability, consistency, weight, and beauty (and it makes the shop smell amazing!). Quintessentially West Coast, red cedar is the primary choice for line through trolled plug designs as the durability of yellow cedar is not required due to the coating process and the added weight of yellow imparts less action to the plug comparatively. 

Brass was chosen as the material for the rigging tube as it's relatively lightweight, cost efficient, easily workable, very corrosion resistant, and if any damage was to occur can be smoothed out fairly easily. Stainless steel was another obvious consideration however inconsistency with the alloy, weight, cost, and brittleness made it less ideal overall. Add in that there is no strain put on the rigging tube other than the drag created by the plug itself and the polyurethane sleeve takes any wear from the leader, brass was the clear winner.

Disco Tackleworks uses a variety of coatings in the sealant, paint, clear coat, and resin layers which all work together to maintain the finish for as long as possible. Our colours are proprietary mixes using commercially available airbrush paints and have UV properties added in during various steps.

Every lure we make is treated as an individual from start to finish. From hand turning on the lathe, cutting, drilling, assembling, and finishing, we take pride in each step to create the best plug possible. While not all perfectly identical, we strive to put soul and handcrafted quality into each one so you can be proud to own and fish yours.