Inside the Plant “Teardrops”

December 16th, 2016 · 2 Comments

                                                                                                             

JB Lures: Inside the Plant

“Teardrops and The Hand-Soldering Process”

Last week we gave you the inside scoop on Gem-n-Eyes, the original flutter jig, be sure to check out that article if you haven’t already. This week we focus in on one of the Gem-n-Eye’s smaller cousins, the Teardrops. These little panfish killers have been putting fish on the ice for many years, here’s a little behind the scenes.

Teardrops

              The Four Teardrop Series Available                            (Spin-Drop, Candy-Cane, Squiggie, Rain-Glo)  

The Process

I refer to the teardrops as the Gem-n-Eyes smaller cousins because they are both part of the hand soldered family. Teardrops, Gem-n-Eyes, Weasels, Jig-Eyes, Peepers, Eye-Drops, and Spiders are all hand soldered.

Soldering

What does hand soldering really mean? We touched on soldering when we discussed Gem-n-Eyes last week, but here I hope to really fill the gaps and give you a better understanding of what goes into these products.

Soldering has been done by many different people in many different places over the years.  Tom Langhoff’s wife, Sandy, soldered hundreds of thousands of ice jigs over many years. While soldering there is a smokey fume put off by the solder so you need to have good ventilation. Sandy would solder on a picnic table or in the porch of a cabin on a lake they stayed at when she wasn’t working in their basement set-up. Most of the time soldering was done as piece work at the workers home, they were responsible for having a suitable workplace for soldering.

The soldering now is done by a small tackle manufacturing company, Triple A Tackle MFG.,  located just outside of Winthrop. JB Lures is proud to keep this huge step of manufacturing our ice jigs local and supporting small town people.

Soldering is a very precise and important step to making these ice jigs. On average, each of our items is touched by 8 different peoples hands, soldering alone is 3-4 of those hands.  It all starts with a hook and a blade, whether it’s the Teardrops or Gem-n-Eyes.

raw-tears

             A Pile of Teardrops Before Paint

You start by laying the blades on a specially designed board, you then line up the hook on the blade and clip it in. Depending on the lure there are different boards used to set up. Teardrops hold 40 on a board while Gem-n-Eyes hold 25. One or two people are usually setting up boards while one is soldering. The solderer sits at a counter with a strong-suction vent above it that sucks out any fumes put off by the sticks of solder being melted with the soldering iron. There are also multiple different sizes of soldering irons that can be used depending on the jig. The solderer patiently melts the right amount of solder into the blade to fill it perfectly.

When the solderer is finished with a board the jigs then need to be scraped off the boards and stored in containers. One of the two people setting up are usually in charge of scraping boards off so they never run out of boards to set up. Before the lures are done in the soldering building and ready for paint they need to go through a special acid washing process to take off all of the rosin, which is left over residue which is used to help the solder flow correctly. Now the Teardrops are ready for paint.

Paint

racked-squiggies

#8 Squiggies Waiting to be Epoxied in the                                  Paint Room

Painting starts with someone racking each individual jig in a foam stick, once racked they are ready to be painted. Teardrops along with the rest of JB Lures products are air brushed with a primer, paint, and a super tough epoxy finish. A few Teardrop series involve some hand brushing like the Squiggie and Candy-Cane.  The Spin-Drop receives a prism eye and propeller to finish it off.

Items like Squiggies and Candy-Canes are hand painted by a worker at home. They then come back to the paint room at JB Lures and get the final epoxy finish. Thousands of items are painted each day at JB’s.

Teardrops and the rest of the JB Lures Ice Fishing Products are made to the highest of standards right here in Minnesota. There are many intricate steps to make tackle like ours but that’s what it takes and that is why JB Lures is so proud of everything we sell.

Catching Fish with Teardrops!

The teardrop style is a tried and true lure, and a must have in your tackle box. Four series, three sizes, and six colors, that’s 72 possible options to try out! The #8 and #10 is going to be your go to sizes for crappies, bluegill, and perch. When larger profile jigs and minnows aren’t doing the trick on lethargic fish, downsizing to a #8 or #10 teardrop can put the odds back in your favor.

Teardrops work great tipped with a waxworm, euro larvae, or plastics. The #6 teardrop can be superb when hooking a crappie minnow or fathead under the dorsal fin. For ice fishing the teardrop works great under a bobber or jigging with a spring bobber. During the open water season the teardrop is a good option to fish under a bobber for light biting panfish .

These jigs are extremely versatile, pick up a few and give them a try! They are available on our online store and in most sporting goods stores.

minnow-cc

#6 Candy Cane Dorsal Hooked in a Minnow

tearswax

  Waxworms Presented on a            Spin-drop and Squiggie      

 

Tags: "Inside the Plant" · Ice Fishing ·


 

2 responses to “Inside the Plant “Teardrops””

  1. Jim cynor says:

    I would like to know on how to oder jigs

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