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Plug Building - Got Wood? Got Plug?

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Old 03-11-2017, 12:39 PM   #1
chefchris401
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What's commercial?

So this topic keeps coming up on FB and in discussions.

What's considered a commercial builder nowadays?

I see guys posting and selling a couple 100 plugs a season that say they're not commercial builders.

Where does the line get drawn?

Hobby builders who sell a few plugs here and there to offset costs I don't consider commercial

But if you take that hobby builder and he's building 200-300 plugs a season a selling 90-95% of them then he's no longer a hobby builder right?

I guess you can look at it many ways but wanted some feedback/insights on how you guys see it.

as there use to be a lot more guys here posting that now sell full time and build more and sell more.

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Old 03-11-2017, 09:43 PM   #2
ProfessorM
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I have no problem with guys selling a few plugs here and there, probably cause I do it , but 100 or 200 or more is commercial in my opinion cause it takes a lot of time and work to build that much so you have to be searious about it. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:27 AM   #3
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I haven't seen these discussions but I would say any builder, hobbyist or legitimate business who advertises for sale (even once), sells the majority of what they make is a commercial builder, or takes orders and turns them for profit is a commercial builder. There is no requirement to make a profit for a business to be "in business". I'd say it falls into the same category as a "recromercial" bass fisherman, where you get a comm. lic shore or boat to offset costs of your fishing... you are still a commercial fishermen.
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:36 AM   #4
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I've come to the opinion.....and it is open to change......that there isn't much difference between building recreationally or commercially. They are just different ways of reinforcing self-esteem by using plug building.

If I build a plug that looks rough but catches fish for me and my friends (or teach someone else to do the same) I derive enjoyment from the process as well as get an self-esteem reward.

If someone else takes greater pains to build a more attractive plug that other's value enough to buy they also derive enjoyment from the process (of both building and selling) and get a self-esteem reward.

The problem arises, I think, when either of the rewards of plug building.....the enjoyment of building (and/or selling) and/or the self-esteem gain by doing so.......diminishes.

I think recreational builders burn out because of the latter. Once you've built a lot of plugs and caught a lot of fish on them you don't really need more plugs, you start to realize what you build is not that special or necessary for fishing. The self-esteem bit diminishes. Making them begins to feel like work so that enjoyment fades as well and people move on. Some quit building, others change focus and begin selling.

I suspect a lot of commercial builders go through something similar. The self-esteem reward from earning money and having your stuff in high demand brings with it pressure.....pressure to keep production up, to pursue perfection, and to innovate.....pressure to meet your customer's changing and growing expectations and demands. For many, chasing this reward probably begins to kill the pleasure achieved by the process of building, it becomes work, and they move on.

The guys who continue to build long term are the guys who find a balance that works to keep the building process fun and self-esteem benefits at a modest maintainable level. For some this involves selling, for others not......but no big difference.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorM View Post
I have no problem with guys selling a few plugs here and there, probably cause I do it , but 100 or 200 or more is commercial in my opinion cause it takes a lot of time and work to build that much so you have to be searious about it. Just my 2 cents.
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I agree Paul. I make probably 150 plugs a year. I sell maybe 20 and either give the rest away or fish them myself. I definitely give away the majority of the plugs I make.

It's gonna be a goooood year
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:52 AM   #6
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Spot on George. When a hobby turns into a job, the fun subsides. I also find changing up different style of plugs keeps variety and interest in building. I like doing this during the winter months to occupy my idle time . No yard work, no fishing or outside projects. Great time to do plug building , keeping sanity it the home too. Many time the wife says, go down to the dungeon and chill!

Billy D.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:18 AM   #7
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What's the rub from those claiming they aren't comm if they seem to be? I have not skin in the game, just curious.

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Old 03-12-2017, 09:23 AM   #8
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It's not a cheap hobby and I certainly don't mind guys selling. We've got a pretty good group of builders here that are very generous with their knowledge. Maybe the comm guys don't post as much, but once you turn that corner competition from other comm builders and $$$ comes into play.

I've never sold any plugs. Not that I have a problem with other guys selling, but the whole process to me is just so much work that if it was something where I felt like I had to do to get X plugs done by date Y, I'd give it up as a hobby pretty damn quick. I've been building for maybe a dozen years, and I still don't own duplicator. I can get the stuff close enough by hand and I know as soon as I had a duplicator Id start doing big runs of things and just turn it into work I wouldn't enjoy. Doing it by hand I rarely make more than 6-12 of anything.

I agree with a lot of what George said. I really just like making stuff to fish, and I really like tweaking the stuff I build for the specific areas I fish to try and come up with something that fishes better. Kind of a better mouse trap thing.
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:47 PM   #9
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George makes some great observations as well as Dave above.
Motivation is a factor and also other interests take precedent as time allotment changes with age as to where your focus is. Plug building is extremely time consuming, at first you tend to be obsessed with it and marvel at your accomplishments as they catch fish or learn from mistakes.

I think those who sell 100 plugs a year and claiming it is not a commercial business are trying to justify not following all the rules and responsibilities that commercial builders are supposed to.
Kind of like having a yard sale and not paying sales tax.
That doesn't bother me at all, they are just lying to themselves.
I have no problem with guys selling a few plugs

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Old 03-12-2017, 06:52 PM   #10
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It often comes down to the root of the issue; money.... A choice has to be made, whether well thought out or not. Long term effect vs short term effect. Not unlike the choice to write off a part of your house on your tax return. (You end up paying the piper down the road.) If your lures are available at the local B&T, through the local club, or you get a table at a local event or booth at a big show, you are commercial. If you do any of those, (according to my interpretation of the laws) you should be reporting and paying taxes, etc. If you choose to skirt the law on those requirements, you no doubt will draw the ire of a couple full time builders who are competing for that same buyer, yet has regulatory costs that you choose to ignore.
And if you are posting and selling any you have made on the internet, and then claiming you are not commercial, that's just some special stoopid in my book. (If only because you are documenting everything for anyone who wants to stick it to you...)
I'm not judging. Too old to care. My reality is not necessarily yours. I have never sold, but have seen one I gave away listed for sale once.

Last edited by nightfighter; 03-12-2017 at 07:41 PM..

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Old 03-12-2017, 07:22 PM   #11
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I will say this for me once it gets like work I drop it till next year. I am just about there now. Most commercial guys are building all year long as they need to.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:32 PM   #12
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I agree Paul. I make probably 150 plugs a year. I sell maybe 20 and either give the rest away or fish them myself. I definitely give away the majority of the plugs I make.
can i have one

60 % of the time, it works every time.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:37 AM   #13
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can i have one
Sure. When I run into you, I promise I'll give you a plug of your choice that I made and have in my bag.

It's gonna be a goooood year
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