Three Kinds Of Lure Retrievers
- Chain and Weight
One of the easiest to use is one that clips on your line and slides down to knock the plug loose. The problem with this style is you may lose the plug knocker and the plug. A popular commercial lure retriever of this kind is the "Hound Dog.” (compare prices) I made my own by getting a big split ring, adding half a dozen six inch pieces of light chain like key chain and a heavy three ounce sinker. This is tied to a strong cord so I can let it slide down the line and hang the plug, then pull both loose and back to me. You can also buy one similar to this. These will work to any depth the cord will reach. You can use a variety of kinds of chains, even a dog leash!
A variation of this is a hook and line to retrieve lures from trees. (compare prices) You throw it up, hook the limb and pull it down to you can get your lure or fly back.
- Pole Retriever
For lures hung in shallow water - 15 feet or so deep - a pole retriever (compare prices) works well. These are poles, often telescoping, that have a loop of wire or a hook on the end. You clip the end of your pole retriever to the line and slide the loop down and hook the plug. The pole allows you to pull it loose and get it back.
A little more difficult to store in the boat and to use, they work and I keep one in my boat. It will also pull lures out of trees. Of course none of us would ever cast up into a tree, but it works that way too! The one I have has more than paid for itself. They would be somewhat difficult to make.
- Weight and Clip
If you slide a heavy weight down your line you can usually jiggle your hung plug loose. You can make one of these by attaching a big paper clip to a heavy two to three ounce sinker. Some people mold a big paper clip into a chunk of lead that is two to three ounces heavy. Leave enough of the paper clip above the lead to clip it on your line. You can make a simple mold that works for several retrievers by drilling a half-inch hole and inch or two into a board, then pour molten lead into it, inserting the end of the paper clip before it hardens.
Lure retrievers are great - I won't leave home without one. With plugs costing $5 to $10 and even more, they are well worth the effort to make or buy and carry with you.