Super Plug Wraps by Chuck Closterman
As every salmon angler knows, Chinook salmon are scent junkies, sensing as little as five parts per billion.
When fishing for salmon, sardines make great wraps for Kwik Fish and Mag Lip plugs. Salmon will jump a plug with a sardine wrap like a hungry dog on a pork chop. And back bouncing eggs or using a diver and eggs can elicit a take down that will rip a rod right out of your hand.
But, there are problems with both techniques, especially for us weekend warriors and beginners who still have to find time to work. Getting good quality, firm, fresh sardines can be a problem. Even when we can get good sardines not all of us know how to cut a clean efficient fillet.
Filleting sardines can be time consuming, messy and smelly and then you've got to deal with the waste.
I once made the mistake of filleting sardines inside my house. Note the operative word here, according to my wife, is “once”.
Assuming we get a good fillet we then have toughen it up with sea salt and add more scent. Then we have to wrap the fillet onto our plug and hope it's balanced.
Sardine wraps due to their softness and uneven shape can break down and can cause plugs to run poorly. Balancing a sardine wrap on a plug can be difficult. Even after you get your wrap just right and are fishing the right way the wraps will need to be replaced about every 20 minutes...but, Super Wraps will last two or three times as long as traditional sardine wraps leaving a nice scent trail behind your plug the entire time!
If you choose to fish with eggs your options are buying a large jar (egg fishing for salmon uses a lot of roe) or curing your own eggs. Although using eggs works great you do need to have a lot of eggs to begin with and then the time and ability to cure them or drop $20.00 for a large enough jar to fish all day. And then instead of full-time fishing you'll probably spend about half your time feeding smolts and pike minnows.
Super Wraps combine the best of both techniques, avoids the problems inherent in using sardines or eggs, aren't expensive, are very effective and most important anyone can do it. It also has the curve ball effect of being something salmon have not seen before.
All with no messy cures or smelly sardines!
To make a Super Wrap you need to start with a package of PRO-CURES vacuum packed salmon roe. Since PRO-CURES vacuum packed salmon roe is cured in Wizard Egg Cure it is a very effective attractant. PRO-CURE salmon roe might seem a little pricey to start with but it goes a long, long way when making Super Wraps.
A full package of PRO-CURE's roe will make enough Super Wraps to cover three or four days of salmon fishing.
In addition to the PRO-CURE vacuum packed roe you will need; a sharp knife, Spawn Net, scissors, Miracle Thread and a cutting board.
Remove roe from the package, place it on cutting board and square it up by the trimming and tapered edges. Be sure to save trimmings for spawn sacks and trout fishing.
PRO-CURE's roe thickness right out of the package at about 1 “ is the perfect size for the width of a Super Wrap. Put the squared up roe onto your cutting board and cut strips that are 2 ¼ “ long by ¼ “ wide and trim up the tapered end so the wrap is symmetrical on both sides.
The consistency of PRO-CURE'S vacuum packed roe will vary slightly depending on how long it's been on the shelf. It can be firm or moderately soft, but this will not change it's effectiveness. Be sure to follow PRO-CURE'S storage directions for unused portions.
I keep my unused PRO-CURE roe and extra Super Wraps in the freezer. When making new Super Wraps I use the roe right out of the freezer and cut it for wraps without thawing.
At this point you can add Slam Ola to what will be the top-side of the Super Wrap.
I use only dry powder scents like Slam Ola and/or Krill powder when I make the wraps. If you want to add a wet scent it can be added when you're ready to fish. Place the Slam Ola side of the roe down onto a 3” long piece Spawn Net.
Next fold in the top, bottom and sides of the Spawn Net and press lightly, the Spawn Net will stick to the roe. Now use your scissors to cut a 1 “ slit into the top or untrimmed end of the Super Wrap.
The final step is to put the Super Wrap onto your plug.
Slide the slit you cut onto the plug along the base of the belly hook from the rear making sure the sides of the Spawn Wrap that were folded in face the belly of the plug. Begin wrapping the Super Wrap, using Miracle Thread, from the front to the rear and finish with two half hitches. It's very important to center the Super Wrap and make several strong wraps with Miracle Thread on the front end of the wrap.
Miracle Thread is elastic and can be pulled much tighter on a Super Wrap than on a traditional sardine wrap. It will not cut through the Spawn Net and will continue to hold the wrap tight as it gets smaller and continues to release a great scent trail.
Super Wraps can be tied up and put on your plugs the night before fishing with absolutely no loss of effectiveness. I usually tie up four plugs the night before I fish and have another six to eight wraps ready to use during the day.
Unlike sardines, at the end of the day, you can put any left over Super Wraps into the freezer in an air-tight baggie and they will be ready to use the next time you fish without any loss of effectiveness!
Super Wraps will give off a great scent trail for 45 minutes or more. This is an image of a Kwik Fish run for one hour, note the amount of roe still left on the plug.
As a final comment I can tell you that using a smaller version of a salmon size Super Wrap works great on steelhead plugs like the K-11's and Mag Lip 3.5's.
Just make the Super Wraps narrower and shorter.
Then wrap your steelhead plugs the same way you wrap salmon plugs.
Experiment and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
- written by Chuck Closterman