I have been asked to go into the detail of how I make mounts for devon minnows so here is a short post on the subject. Devons used to be hugely popular. 2 – 4 inch ones for salmon and tiny 1 – 1.5 inch ones for the trout. They came in metal, wood or plastic, some were weighted and others were floaters. These days you can pick minnows up very cheaply secondhand and they still catch their fair share of fish. The usual problem is finding mounts to fit the devons and it is often the case you need to either buy mounts (expensive) or make your own. Let’s run through the process I use to fashion devon minnow mounts.
Tools and materials
You will need only a couple of basic tools.
- A small pair of fine nose pliers
- Small side cutters or similar tool to cut the wire
For materials you require:
- Wire. Use as strong, stiff wire. Anything too flexible will be very hard to work with. I use a thin stainless steel wire for my mounts. Avoid the supple multi-strand stuff used for making pike traces. Finding good wire is probably the hardest part of this job!
- Small barrel swivels. These need to be small enough to pass through the hole in the middle of the bait. Check the swivels are small enough before making the mount!
- Treble hooks. I use a size 4 treble for 3 inch devons and drop down in size for the small baits
- Either beads or tulips. You can buy tulips online very cheaply and they hold the hook in position well so I recommend using them. They come in different colours so you can play around with them a bit.
1. Gather all the tools and materials together as well as the minnows you are going to making the mounts for.
2. Start by cutting a length of wire this needs to be 4 to 5 times the length of the minnow.
3. Thread a swivel on to the wire then fold the wire in half with the swivel at the bend in the wire. Now twist the wire a few times to keep the swivel in position.
4. Take a tulip and slip it up the twisted wires. The thin end of the tulip goes towards the swivel. Push it up to the swivel for now to keep it out of the way.
5. Select a treble hook of the right size. Feed one end of the wire through the eye from one side then the second wire from the other side.
6. Now for the tricky part. Lay the minnow in front of you and measure the wires so the hook is in the right position. Remember to allow for the tulip. With practice you get really good at judging this but to start with you will find this hard. You want the finished mount to have the body of the swivel at the end of the minnow.
7. Bend both ‘legs’ of wire around the hook and wind them up the shank. Use the pliers for this job. Try to be as neat as you can.
8. With the shank covered in the wound wire snip off the excess ends of the wire and dispose of safely.
9. Slide the tulip into position over the eye of the treble. Now twist the mount by holding the hook in one hand and the swivel in the other.
10. Finished! If the mount is very slightly too long give it a few more twists to shorten it by a few millimetres.
That is how I make my minnow mounts but there are plenty of other ways of doing it so look around if you don’t fancy my method. Key points are: choice of wire is critical, too soft or springy will make this method next to impossible and you will need to use whipping thread to keep everything in place. Use only good quality hooks, there are some very poor quality cheap trebles out there, avoid them like the plague. Treble hooks are fine for fishing but don’t mix with pets and smallies. Make mounts somewhere secure where little paws/hands can’t get at them.
I hope that helps a bit. Now is the time of year for doing these sorts of jobs. There is great satisfaction to be had mending/repairing/fixing bits of tackle in the winter so you are ready for the new season. Stay safe out there!