Spotlight On Lure Maker: Bill Couch – Couch’s Cedar Works

Local Luremaker: Bill Couch – Couch’s Cedar Works
Bill made plugs for a whole year before cutting his first lip slot. Bending the front line-tie up restricts the head of the plug making it much more stable in current and causing the plug to dive. The CCW Jetty Swimmer is a relatively slender bait that is un-weighted with some shoulders—making it a wood version of a Bomber type bait. In quiet waters, the bait will swim on top with slow, steady crank. The CCW Classic Danny is a Lupo-style Danny plug that Bill has designed to swim in an S-pattern similar to the older three-hook plugs. The CCW Canal Swimmer is a stout-bodied swimmer with a small lip that loves moderate current and surf. Bill designed this plug while building pencil poppers for his annual pilgrimage to the Cape Cod Canal. “When there is not much current, if you hold the rod tip low and crank the plug down, then use a four cranks-pause-four cranks-pause retrieve, it will surprise you how effective it is.” Of these plugs, Bill says the Jetty Swimmer is his favorite. The Jetty Swimmer is a very versatile plug that has produced for me in all of the 6 states where I have fished for stripers. The money he makes from selling plugs goes back into the plug-building business almost exclusively.

In the fall of 2007 Bill Couch of Alloway, New Jersey attended the Rhode Island Plug Bash, an annual event hosted by the community of plug builders from StripersOnline.com. He had been tying flies and teasers commercially online as well as being a contracted tier for Spirit River, but after seeing the custom wooden plugs at the Plug Bash, he saw plug building as a new challenge.When Bill was building plugs to swap and for fun, he made many styles like pikies, pencil poppers, needles, small swimmers, large swimmer, surfsters, A40’s, bottles, and handcarves. When he began building commercially under the name Couch’s Cedar Works, he narrowed his selection down to the baits that had been his go-to’s over a wide range of locations and conditions. Bill said that every model he offers has caught numerous stripers larger than 30 pounds.

The CCW Small Danny started out as a light, un-weighted freshwater bait that morphed into a weighted round-nose stable plug. This is his smallest saltwater plug and can be fished several ways. Bending the front line-tie up restricts the head of the plug making it much more stable in current and causing the plug to dive. This also makes the plug swim more natural at slower speeds by letting the tail kick instead of the head swing from side to side. Bending the front loop down allows the head of the plug to swing which keeps it at the surface, as sometimes a small profile on top is just right.

The CCW Jetty Swimmer is a relatively slender bait that is un-weighted with some shoulders—making it a wood version of a Bomber type bait. Bill uses this bait with several different retrieves depending on the conditions. In quiet waters, the bait will swim on top with slow, steady crank. With the line-tie tuned up, the plug will dive under. “I retrieve the plug by reeling fast enough to get it under, then slow down to keep it swimming as slowly as possible while keeping it down. This gives…

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