Fish Post

Product Review – MX Plugs

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MX Plugs are custom, wooden fishing lures made locally in Stem, NC, and each lure is individually handmade by James Counts, Jr. And while the company offers a variety of products, they are best known for their cedar poppers.

The MX Surface Plug, the largest of the products, creates a popping sound used to attract fish to the surface. The lure, with two treble hooks, is primarily used for striped bass, although the plug also works well for amberjack, tuna, and other large predator fish.

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Another model offered is the Pop and Swim, a smaller plug with a white tailed grub on the end. This lure is designed for fishing in shallow waters and back bays and can be fished several different ways. The pop and swim can be popped, just like a regular popper, or used in a “jerk and pause” retrieve method. If retrieved at a very slow speed, the action of the tail creates a large “V” wake behind the plug that is very successful in attracting fish.

The Pop and Swim can also be used as a still plug, where it is thrown into the marsh, popped once, and then left alone. As the lure sits in the water, the tail works in the current, mimicking the action of a fish pausing and the tail wigging in the moving water.

All of the MX Plugs line are made of Alaskan yellow cedar and western red cedar. The plugs are a wired-through design and impregnated with a wood sealer before being painted and epoxy coated. Triple X split rings and VMC hooks complete the lures.

There are a wide variety of colors offered, though the most popular are red/white, white/yellow, and black/purple.

Along with plugs, MX Plugs also offers metal lip swimmers, needlefish, and jerk baits, and for those who have an affinity for fishing, the company has novelties available, such as keychains that float, wine bottle openers, and corn cob holders.

For more information on MX Plugs, and a full listing of upcoming shows they will be attending in the North Carolina area, please visit their website at