View Full Version : Bob Hahn Plugs

12-27-2014, 01:53 AM
This past spring I lost a Gary2 slim repro made by Billy D. In my search for another Gary2, I was looking over Andrew Nichols' plugs in his shop and failed at buying a few that were close to Gary Hull's slim design but not quite up to the task.

Andrew said hold on a second, and came back with a Bob Hahn surfster and offered it to me. At a glance, and while holding it, it struck me that it was much closer to the action of the G2 yet quite fatter in profile than Gary's slim. I knew Bob had passed as well as Gary, but I know personally as a plug builder regardless of who uses your plugs you want them to be fished and catch fish, so I said to Andrew, I am going to fish this plug. Andrew knew what I was after and why, and I bought the plug for a lean ten bucks.

I placed the plug on my passenger seat and at each stop light on the way home looked at the plug. I noticed it's yellow stained belly, which I thought might be white. The dull blue sides, dark back and silver glitter that almost seemed to be placed as opposed to sprinkled on. Somehow the eyes on this plug struck me the most. Glass, yellow and black and set in a perfectly recessed sphere cut into the wood plug.

That same night, I put it in my plug bag. Bob's plug would bring me luck tonight, I was convinced of it. It was spring in the river and I had a good night, the night before. On my first cast I had a blow up but missed the fish. It was a striped bass no doubt. On the same retrieve, over a mud flat I had two fish strike the plug but no luck still, as it neared a fallen shrub I managed another strike with full commitment to the hooks. I landed a 4lb largemouth bass on my 9' lami, way overkill for the bass but it was all about the plug.

I sent the plug out again to the same spot. No love from the stripers. I took that as a singular fish had hit on the cast before, but I had a retrieve to go. I could make out the plug on this moon lit night by its wake, chuggin' along. Then another wake began to intercept the plug's and boom! Fish on, again another fresh water fish came in, this time a pickeral... A little 15" hammer handle.

I fished this spot with a few more casts with no more takers before moving. I moved about 100 yards upstream to the next available casting area, and laid a cast just beyond and upstream of a deep hole / current edge. The Hahn surfster chugged its way into the hole, and was just about to the back edge when it was hit. I felt the weight and set the hook on what was a small striper, I didn't measure the fish but sent it on its way, maybe 30" a keeper size fish anyways.

In the ensuing weeks, I continued to fish that same plug with little success. I noticed it took on water from being in the water and swam just under the surface. The experience I took away from using the plug was that 1. The plug accomplished catching fish and 2. I was happy to see Bob Hahn in action

12-27-2014, 01:59 AM
I'm curious if anyone else has pictures of Bob's designs, the rest of what he had made. I'd like to see them.

12-27-2014, 05:31 AM
Bob Hahn's plugs catch. Period. They never seamed to fetch high dollars for the lack of fancy paint and their tendancy to absorb water. But.

Let's just say I have someone making some reproductions of his large Danny's for a reason. And I am specifically requesting a lousy sealing method on those as well.

In my experience the more water that plug absorbed the more productive it got. I also change up the hook arrangement on them.
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12-27-2014, 01:28 PM
He was a real nice guy. Emailed back and forth with him on a few things years ago. Bought a brandie new Badger 360 from him short money, he bought ten from Badger and got a great price and did the same favor to me. I think he had subtle, but very important impact to out community.
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12-28-2014, 11:22 AM
Hi tom. Do you think a more dense wood could be used to "engineer" the success of the Hahn Danny? Or maybe use tungsten powder in epoxy coat?

Hi Frank, I love hearing stories like that. It's my impression that both Hahn and Gary hull were very generous with their time and fishing information.
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12-28-2014, 02:36 PM
I understand what your asking and about wanting it to last and getting the same action new as you would loaded. Honestly nothing stands up to the hook rash from a plug used a lot and who knows if the more dense wood will react the same to any water absorption over time or not.

Either way I look at things differently as time goes on. As I am sure some of these plug building forefathers have. If it works and gets better with age keep using it.

If you plan to make a few then make them the same, use them a while and understand the plug. Then attempt to remake it and fix things you don't like and keep the things you like.
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12-28-2014, 02:57 PM
I have a fair amount of Hahn stuff from the early 80's in my basement.
I found it disappointing. It fished well enough, but was poorly constructed, unsealed, and crudely built. The plugs I used all peeled. He sold different style plugs (pikies, dannys, atoms) that all used the same lip made from a bent spinner blade......and hence worked more like a surfster than the shape they copied. Some of them even used un-galvanized steel through wires.

I've enclosed a photo of some. I have (or maybe had) others including some in packages and some bigger stuff like a large light needle and giant jointed pikie that I might be able to find if you are truly interested.

He did build a medium sized "danny" with the spinner blade lip in a brown back, silver side, yellow belly that some guys loved for plugging along the elizabeths. I pulled the black one apart to copy it but lost interest eventually.

12-28-2014, 03:24 PM
Here is the rest of what I could find.

The black jointed was a later plug (it actually had grommets!). You can see it was unweighted and I had to weight it to get it to work. I cut it to take a skin (before I learned that jointed plugs paradoxically made dull skin plugs).

The brown and yellow was the "hot" Elizabeths plug.......only mine lacked the silver sides.

The needle is cool but very light.

The little swimmer I've saved all these years has a neat color that the photo dilutes.

If somebody wants to copy this stuff you are welcome to borrow it.

12-31-2014, 01:55 PM
Wow George, thank you for digging up all those plugs!

I'd like to borrow a few of those to copy, I'll PM you over the weekend

12-31-2014, 04:14 PM
I also have a ton of Bob's lures if needed,
I had talked with Bob over the years and got him to sign his name to a plug after me moved tp FLA
I cant remember any details of the plug making ,paint etc
Now I wish i had the tape recorder on ...Who would have guessed that death was just down the road.
His paint did chip off / pop off his lures. He did make some early lures in NJ and then maybe the FLA lures ?
I remember a huge 2 nd run of lures that may have been improved .
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12-31-2014, 04:39 PM

12-31-2014, 10:06 PM
Nice collection Peter. That blue one on the right is the one I used this past spring. Within my second or third night it no longer remained on the surface. I tuned the line tie, but it still preferred swimming under water.

Happy New Years
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01-01-2015, 02:18 PM
I am a needle guy ............
He made a few sizes in needles
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01-02-2015, 09:56 AM

a steal :musc:

01-02-2015, 09:58 AM

01-02-2015, 10:22 AM
Here are a few Hahn plugs that I've had sitting around for awhile. Bought them with the intention of trying them out but they never made it into the plug bag.