A weedless cod and pollock soft plastic shad for under £2

I love light lure fishing in the summer up in the North East and Northumberland. A light lure rod, 15-20lb braid, a small baitcaster reel and a weedless lure is all I need to have a lot of fun amongst the deep kelp beds. I’ve had a lot of success and pulled out double figure cod and pollock with this method. My favourite lures to date are Black Fiiish minnows and the HTO Artic eels. The HTO Artic eels just have the edge for me personally but both have been excellent. In 20ft or under I use something in the region of 20-25g. I’ve also started using this set up over some of our wrecks off shore which has been very exciting. For this style I need something around the 50-70g weight range. Pulling up a double figure ling on a weedless savage gear sandeel was a great moment.

The only problem with this style of fishing is the cost. The black fiiish minnows are very expensive. The HTO Artic eels are better value but still set you back a fair amount. They don’t last forever as by their own success, they get hammered a lot. Also, even though weedless, you are going to lose a few. Pot ropes are my biggest issues. If I get one wrapped around those it is normally game over.

Over the last couple of nights I’ve been making my own weedless shads and lures using a mixture of components. The finished article look good and I cannot wait to test them out when the water clears a little.

I used the following components:

27g Lures:
– 1 x Spro bottom jig 18g (pack of 4 for £2.99 so 75p each)
– 1 x 10cm Fox Rage Zander Pro Shad (bought on sale for 55p)
– 1 x 3/0 wide gape weedless hook
– Couple of drops of superglue to stick the lure head to the lead
– Stanley knife to put a carefully placed slit into the belly of the shad to allow the hook to travel through.
Overall price: ~ £1.60

57g Lure:
– 1 x Devil Ear 50g jig head (I have bought a mould for these so very cheap once you have paid the initial investment)
– 2 x small split rings (pennies)
– 1 x 12cm Fox Rage Zander Pro Shad (bought on sale for 64p)
– 1 x 4/0 wide gape weedless hook
– Couple of drops of superglue to stick the lure head to the lead
– Stanley knife to put a carefully placed slit into the belly of the shad to allow the hook to travel through.
Overall price: ~ £1 (once you have the moulds)

Here are the finished results. I’m really looking forward to trying them out and will update here over the spring / summer with the results. If they work well it will save me quite a bit over a summer season. Fingers crossed!

DIY weedless lures cod pollock under £2

Selection of weedless lures made up. Each one costing less than £2. Weights vary from 27g to 54g.

Spro bottom jig 18g

Spro bottom jig – 18g size. Ideal for inshore jigging with weedless lures.

Spro bottom jig weedless

Spro bottom jig 18g showing the pin removed. This makes it very easy to rig up weedless hooks to the jig.

Spro Bottom Jig Fox Rage Zander Pro 4" lure

Weedless cod and pollock shad using an 18g Spro Bottom Jig and a Fog Rage Zander 4″ soft plastic lure. A cheap alternative to the likes of a Fiiish Minnow costing less than £2.

Devil Ear Jig Head Ball

Devil Ear jig head ball. These are very versatile and can be used to make a nice off shore weedless articulated lure.

Devil Ear Jig Head - Weedless cod lure

Devel Ear jig head weighting 50g. This will be great for slightly deeper waters offshore.

5 thoughts on “A weedless cod and pollock soft plastic shad for under £2

  1. I’ve just made some, James. Have you thought of putting the eye through the hook before you pour? It would work for the 50g. Mine so far are on 20g, 30g & 40g weights. The mould is different so can’t attach the hook before I pour. Split rings are a bit of a faff too, but I’ve enjoyed making them, just need the weather to try them out.

  2. Hi Patrick. Great. I probably won’t get to try them out up here until the Spring as the water remains pretty coloured until then. Let us know how you get on with them. The hook through the eye before you poor is well worth trying out. I’ll give it a go next time. Cheers, James

  3. Great way of keeping costs down, must definitely give it a go! Especially considering the cost of mainstream weed less lures. I must admit though, on faster drifts I find weedless lures are still susceptible to getting hung up but when fishing in and around kelp, help minimise snags and losses greatly. I’ve found for the pollack the cheapest method is just putting a bullet lead above the lure, as well as it being easy to interchange weights. Out of curiosity do you ever crimp the barb on the hook? Just I find with the weedless lures it can be quite hard to get a good angle on the hook to dislodge and considering cod and pollack have big mouths, shouldn’t affect hook up rates too much.
    Thanks, Oli.

    • Hi Oli,
      Thanks for the comment. How has the fishing been for you? I meant to ask, did you ever try out the butterfly / speed jigs last summer / autumn? In kelp the weedless rigs are a godsend. When fishing for pollock over this kind of terrain I’m rarely fishing in anything over 30ft and mostly 15-20ft. I love it when you get a big one. In such shallow water it really is a test of wills to see if you can get it to the surface before it finds cover and snags you. Deeper water is a pain in a fast drift. I have had a lot of fun with the method but only when the tide is slack or only slightly running. In a fast drift, I need something much heavier to get down and normally use something in line with a 6oz weight. My biggest issue with snags on quicker drifts has been pot buoy ropes. Around St Mary’s lighthouse they are everywhere. I haven’t tried de-barbing the hook. Keep us posted on how you get one with that. I’m all for a safe and healthy return.

  4. Hi James,
    I didn’t end up using any jigs in the end, as we spent the last few trips over on the Mull of Galloway so didn’t end up needing to use them, but shall definitely invest in some. Funnily enough, I found the Pollock were quite finicky over there at times and float fished rag worm out fished everything else by quite a distance. But nevertheless it was still fun, the weather was great and I did manage to catch Wrasse on lures a few times, as well as catching a bass on the very last morning off the rocks.
    As for pot ropes!!!!

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