First of all, my english is´nt the best, so please have that in mind when you read this interview. 😀
An interview with Joe is how I see it, a true honour. Ofcourse, Joe does alot of things, but the one thing I know him by is his amazing looking lures.
I personly don´t own a TrueGlide bait yet, but I will. Just look at his artwork baits and you´ll see why!? 🙂
So I´m glad to have the opportunity to present this interview to all of you all.
Dear readers, I give you, lurebuilder Joe Peterson aka TrueGlide. Enjoy!
TPF: -TrueGlide is the name of your baits. What´s the story behind the name TrueGlide?
-When I started Trueglide, there were only a handful of glidebait makers out there. One of the biggest reasons that I started to sell my lures was due to the fact that many of the glidebaits on the market didn’t work. Guys were not weighting them correctly. I still talk to guys that sell “Custom” gliders and they are shocked that hand balance every lure I make. They tell me that they “Can just tell by feeling it”. That’s a bunch of bull. If someone tells that to you and they are trying to sell you a glider –walk the other way 😉
Joe Peterson aka TrueGlide among a few of his creations.
TPF: -How did you start your fishing?
-I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan; literally our house was a half block away. I was lucky that my Dad loved to fish! I was fishing since I was old enough to hold a rod. I picked up Muskie fishing pretty muck in High school, but really got into it exclusively when I moved to Minnesota for college. I blame a guy named Jason Zeeman for that. He only wanted to fish Muskies, he pretty much gave me the bug.
Pretty sure this is a good sign that you are fishing a little close;) A really cool picture. Let us pretend it´s fishing at Lake Michigan. 🙂
TPF: -When did you begin to build your own lures?
-I’ve been tinkering with making my own lures since I was ten. I remember the first one I made. I caught a bunch of big walleyes and took then home to eat. When I filleted them, the largest one had two birds in its stomach! I figured it wasn’t an accident and I made a lure that looked like small bird. I took it down to the Dam a couple of days later and caught a bunch of fish on! I might have to do a remake some day 😉
Unique shape and look, not really a bird, but still, a really nice spinner. 🙂
A few early baits made of Joe, the top three are circa 2004, the bottom one is 2006.
TPF: -In what material do you most often build your lures. If several, please describe what sort of wood for different lures.
-For wood I only use western red clear cedar. There is just something about Cedar and glidebaots. All of the best gliders are made of cedar in my opinion. Most guys don’t want to use it as they think it is too buoyant. That is exactly why I want it! Unlike maple or other common lure building woods, Cedar is consistent. It is always going to be super buoyant! That buoyancy, when weighted correctly will always be playing against the weights. That is why cedar lures have that little extra shimmy to them. They look more “alive”. I also use Plastisol for my rubber baits and I have a couple models that I make from pressure cast resin. Mostly it’s Cedar though 🙂
Pretty blurry picture, but it´s wood you see. 🙂
TPF: -Where are you from and where do you live?
-I´m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I moved to Minneapolis,Minnesota for college about 23 years ago. I am never leaving! Minnesota has the best fishing in the country! For sure the best Muskie fishing in the country, probably the world !
54″ muskie. You had me at hallo.
TPF: -Your age?
-I am 43
One cigarr for each year. 🙂
TPF: -What kind/kinds of airbrusch do you use?
-I am a big Iwata fan. I have about a dozen of their models.
We can presume one of Joes Iwatas have been in action on this spinnerbait?!
TPF: -What kind of colours do you use? Maker and different caracters of colours.
-I use whatever I can force through my airbrushes. If I like the color, I will find a way to make it work. I mostly make my own colors with pigments. I usually use only pearl colors. Surprisingly ,I used to be the only one doing that back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. It was my signature style. Now everyone uses them. It was kind of dumb that no did it then . LOL
Aaaahhh… this is like porn. Bait porn. 🙂
TPF: -What kind of lure epoxy do you use for your baits?
-I am pretty lucky. When I first started Trueglide, there were noy many people using epoxy for lures. Pretty much just me, Jimmy Wilson (HughesRiver) and I believe Mark Smith ( Smuttly). I am surer there were some other basement builders, but not that many. So there was not much known about it. I had a customer tha t happened to work for the company that makes Envirotex , ETI. He was able to formulate a custom blend of an Etex like product. It has a higher UV stability and cures much faster among other things. He no longer works there, but I am still able to order it through the existing account. One of these days will probably cut me off. It can’t be that a margin maker for them since I order soo little compared to their other products and it has to be made by hand.
A lure waiting for epoxy.
TPF: -How many layers of epoxy do you apply on each bait?
-On average I apply about 6 to 8 coats. I [aint between coats for depth. I also apply my epoxy with a special machine that I created. It pressure cures the epoxy. This gets rid of almost all of the bubbles and compresses the topcoat so that it is super dense, but thin.
An almost finished bait. A beautiful pike.
TPF: -How many lures can your “wheel contraption” take.
-I can get about 60 lures on the current set up. I have made set ups that could handle a hundred when I was really making a lot of lures in the early 2000’s.
A few new handmade baits from TrueGlide. The eyes, finish, shape, look. Amazing!
TPF: -Do you have any own ”idols” within the lurebuilding world?
-I tend to look up to lure “Designers” more than builders. What I mean by that is there are guys that can carve up a great looking bait and put an amazing finish on it. I like that just fine. What I really appreciate though are the guys that are always thinking outside of the box. The guys looking for a new way of doing it. Those are also the guys that I think fish the most. They are on the water and are much more in tune with the fish or the specific conditions they are trying to catch fish in. That is what I aspire to.
For specific people: Early on I was a really big fan of Yuki Ito. I still am, but his company has gotten HUGE (Megabass). He is not really making his own baits anymore. I also really like the guys that owned Vagabond lures in the early days. The new stuff is not what it used to be IMO. I think they have also gotten too big or have sold the company.
My friend Larry Dahlberg is like a mad scientist. He thinks about things completely differently than me. We did a seminar together last year and he started talking about some scientific formulas, axis and contuse angles, etc….. I think I was able to make a dozen modelling clay forms before he was even done explaining how the universe was formed 😉 I like to give him grief, but he really is the best designer I know J He is the Carl Sagan of lure design .
I have a group of guys here in Minnesota.to watch out for. I formed a building coop last year. It is called “ MN Built”. I let them use the shop that I share with my Buddy Duff from “Supernatural Bigbaits” and my buddy Scott of Woodsport. These guys are making some stuff that would blow your mind! You will be hearing about Jeremy Knutson soon. He is one of the guys that is getting really good !
Larry Dahlberg in the green shirt at the Metro Muskies inc meeting.
TPF: -How many baits do you do during a year.
-It really depends on how busy I am at my “real” job. Usually I will make about 300 to 500 on the high side. I make over 20 different models so that means there are usually less than 20 lures of a style made every year. Sometimes I will make a limited run of a lure that I designed for a specific situation that I was faced with while fishing. I will only sell 10 or so and the rest are just for me. 🙂
Two custom lures.
A bait to put on this years wishlist for x-mas!? 🙂
Prototype, the new 12″”Rumor” dive and rise bait . Easily dives to 10+ feet with great wiggle.
Slalom glider swimbait,10″ made out of Cedar.
Joes friend Todd is a happy man, since he is the owner of this custom glider.
TPF: –Please describe how a lure is built from raw sketch to a ready bait.
-I keep a sketchpad in my boat. Most of my ideas come while I am fishing. I will quickly draw a sketch of what I am thinking. Then I will sit on the idea for a week and revisit it. If I still think it is a good idea I will proceed with it. I usually will modify it at that point. Then it is off to my workshop. There I will make a template or two and just start carving and sanding the form. I let the wood tell me how the final shape will play out ( within reason of the design). I am kind f a dork the way I do the testing. I will completely finish a bait with paint and epoxy, etc before I even test it to see if the design actually works. If it works the way I intended, great! Usually though I have to go bvack and make another mock up with some design tweaks to it. That is part of the fun for me.
Sketches and prototype for led mold.
Done with the molding. Spinnerweight/body finished.
-Hello there little spinnerbait!
TPF: -What kind of machines do you use for the luremaking?
-I have a 6000 square foot workshop that I share with two professional furniture designers. We have every tool you could image! I have used just about everything you could image. If I had to pick only two machines though, it would be a band saw and a fence sander. Those two make about 90% of my lures.
Joes workshop. Typical american, Go big or go home. 😀 In sweden we are lucky if we have a saw for lurebuilding. In america everything is BIG. 😉
A few different stages of lure building and som wood, prepared and sawed for lures.
TPF: -Do you accept an order from ”whomever”?
-These days I only really sell at the spring Muskie shows here in the states. I do occasionally make a batch that I will offer up to my client list and facebook friends. In Europe I do sell lures to Attitude Sports in Orebro,Sweden. The crazy Dane, Stephan is a good friend of mine.
“Dansken” or Stephan Nielsen which is his actual name, Joe and Chris Thury.
TPF: -Do you ship your masterpieces worldwide?
Who would like to get theese two in their mail box?! 🙂
TPF: -How do people order lures from you?
-If you can’t make it to a show here in the States, you will have to Facebook friend me. I will have batches available to my “friends” .
Burbot looking softbait.
TPF: -Favourite model among your own baits?
-UGHHH. That is a hard one! I love to fish “Tremors”. They are really unique and fish love them!
A Tremor. This one went to a proud owner in Sweden.
TPF: -Do you own a boat, if so, what kind?
-I own a custom Ranger.
Joes boat. Perhaps you think the picture looks suspicious with a pike lure on it?
-How has that pike lure got there?
Ok, one of Joes daughters where on the photo, and since I´m some sort of genious with “Paint” on the computer I did some magic. 🙂 (fyi Irony!)
TPF: -Do you have any swedish favourite lurebuilders?
-I have a ton and I am lucky to say that many are my friends! I actually just fished with Claes of Svartzonker. I love his baits and he is a great guy! MangeBoy and I have been friends for a while now. He makes great stuff! I don’t know Wolfcreek personally, but I love his lures. I like Stampe, Andres,JW, etc… Lots of good stuff coming out of Sweden!
I found this picture among Joes pictures. That dude seems kind of familiar, mr Clabster Clabsson aka Svartzonker. 🙂
TPF: -Do you have any good advices for new beginners where to come across good wood, lead, and other materials for lurebuilding.
-This will probably be the worst advice , but don’t try to do it cheap. If you have already decided that you are going to make lures you should be trying to make them to the best of your ability. Trying to do it with cheap materials will get you cheap results.
Especially cheap lead. If you find a great source for cheap and readily available lead- you should probably stay away from it, after you give me the phone number. I’ll take care of it for you 😉
(Ok kids, this man Joe is trying to fool you here. Keep the lead dealer for yourself.) Haha.. 🙂
A lead dealer? 🙂
TPF: -Which tools is a “must have” when starting up your own lurebuilding.
-I started with a bandsaw, a wood rasp and sandpaper and I know guys that think the bandsaw is overkill.
If your goal is to mold softbaits, you´ll probably manage without above mensioned tools aswell.
A sharp knife is at sometimes the only thing you need. (?)
TPF: -What fishing rod is your own personal favourite?
-I don’t spend money on lures, so that is how I justify owning all custom Thorne Brothers rods. They make the best rods right now.
Just give me a TB-rod aswell. 🙂
TPF: -What reel is your own personal favourite?
-I have a few Shimano Tranx reels. I love those reels, both the PG and HS. I am a Shimano junkie.
The reel is avaliable in Sweden, cost around 4000-5000 SEK. (Or do you say, costs around….? Aaahh,, you know what I mean?) 🙂
TPF: -Do you only fish with your own baits? If not, favourite lure?
-I only fish with my baits or with baits that are made by friends. I don’t really use any commercially made lures for Muskies.
What Joe perhaps ment, was that he really likes ThePikeFathers creations. (?) 🙂
TPF: -Pricerange, estimate of a lure handbuilt by TrueGlide?
-The average price for one of my hardbaits is $70 U.S.
Don´t know about the $70 here, but this is a foiled 10″ havoc “rt” .
TPF: -Please tell the the readers something we might not know about you.
-Hmmm, I have a past in Skateboarding and paintball. Both I did/do competitively. Skateboarding is still how I define who I am. Just like fishing it is not just something you “Do” it is who you are. I skated for a number of different companies over the years. I am lucky that I was able to have great sponsors and do a lot of different things over the years. Paintball, I owned and played for a team that competed/competes in the National Professional Paintball league. The team is called Ignition. The funny thing is there is also a Pro team from Sweden with the same name. When they used to travel to the U.S, for the world cup we would hang out together. Great guys!! I have a great family that puts up with me. I am the only male in the house, so the definitely help to keep me grounded J My daughters both help make lures occasionally. My Youngest even has customers that will only buy stuff she paints and she is only 10!! My oldest does most of the foil work, she is an amazing artist, but does not have too much interest in painting lures.
Skate or die!
Joe at young age.
Skateboarders party alot.
TPF: -Do you have a webpage, more than the http://trueglide.blogspot.se/ ?
-I had a full website a while back, but it was never current. I am always tweaking what I make, so a blog made more sense. I may make a website again one of these days though, but for now check out the blog and friend me on facebook, I put a lot of stuff up on my personal page, because it is soo easy.
That´s all folks!
I hope you´ve enjoyed this interview, and hopefully found a new lurebuilder or leared a little more about lurebuilding and Joe.
To you Joe, thanks alot for taking time to answer all my questions. You did a great work with that!
All the best!