Field & Stream Tip: How to Tie a Bucktail Plug

EVEN PLUG FISHERMEN can use vises, bobbins, thread, and feathers to build a better lure. Here's how to dress up your plugs.

[1] If your treble is rusted or sharpened beyond recognition, buy a new one of the same size, and put it in the vise.

[2] Select a shade of bucktail to match your plug. White is standard, though you may want to use black or perhaps a black-and-purple blend for night fishing or dark lures. A mix of chartreuse and yellow works great for similarly colored plugs for flats fishing, and olive-browns are ideal for those greenish-brown-backed plugs that you use to fish over kelp. Think of the bait you're trying to imitate and choose accordingly.

[3] Cut the hair from the bucktail, pull out the small guard hairs near the base, and spread the bucktail evenly in the treble.

[4] Wrap with thread, tie off with three half hitches or a whip finish, and coat with head cement.

[5] When you've mastered working with bucktail, add some saddle hackles or some flash to make the lures irresistible. Long, thin hackles are best: They move easily in the water and don't impede your casting.