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I am cleaning up the tackle draws and have some older tandem rigs. The hair is faded and the heads have paint chipped off. I can put new shads on. I was wondering what the consensus was regarding fresh looking lures versus using ones that look a little beat up. Does stained, faded hair make a big difference? what about the condition of the head?

I do have new primary lures but debated about whether it is even worth keeping these older ones as back ups.
 

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I am cleaning up the tackle draws and have some older tandem rigs. The hair is faded and the heads have paint chipped off. I can put new shads on. I was wondering what the consensus was regarding fresh looking lures versus using ones that look a little beat up. Does stained, faded hair make a big difference? what about the condition of the head?

I do have new primary lures but debated about whether it is even worth keeping these older ones as back ups.
I have found that some of the most beat up heads with one eye catches the most fish. As for the hair, just comb it out. Fancy shiney lures catch fishermen, not fish......... Gary
 

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I make a lot of my own bucktails & other lures, and agree with Gary. I like painting them & making them look nice, but after awhile they get beat up, and still keep catching. Unless the hair (bucktail) is falling out, meaning it's had bugs in it or gotten old & brittle, or has a lot of rust stains on it, I would keep using them. Rust stains will often mean the hooks are damaged, so that's a consideration.

When they get to the point I won't continue using them, I strip them down, recycle the lead into new ones, and dispose of the remaining material.

If the hair is synthetic, and gets so tangled it won't brush out, I'll recycle them too. Otherwise, I may touch up the paint & keep fishing them.

Of course, the fish don't care about painted heads either. I've caught plenty of fish on bare lead heads too. Besides making them look nice, paint will help slow down the oxidation of the lead.

If your bucktails are just dirty, they can be washed in a little dish detergent to clean them up. Just be sure to dry them completely. Also a little hair conditioner can help get tangles out of natural & some synthetic hairs. :yes:
 

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I drag some BBR's ( battered beyond recognition ) lures - only a speck of head paint , no eyes and faded hair - often my best catching lures.

That said - if water is clean and it's sunny - I do notice the newer lures and / or the sparkle shads will do slightly better.

The BBR's do great in stained water , low light or fished deep.

We used to be very careful not to get chartreuse color on white shads ( thought was the stains spooked fish ) but now guys us different color on the tails on purpose. They call it dipped or hot rodded.
 

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I am not a troller, but the guys that I have fished with that catch fish consistently while trolling use tandems, and always comb out the "hair",....newness of the lure itself does not seem to be a determinant. I have caught a lot of fish with these guys. In fact, I caught a 40 inch striper on a hand line with the same guys. Very memorable.
 
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