It’s quite common to see seasoned fishing enthusiasts having their own “unique” lure to use when they fish. This is due to the fact that it’s not that hard as you might think and it can reap greater rewards especially if you want to catch a bigger fish. The beauty of making your own fishing lures is that there are tons of possibilities you can think of.
While making your own fishing lure is not really a five-minute job, you may find it worth your while especially when you get to catch. Besides, if you find ice fishing to be a pain, you can always make lures during winter so you’ll be armed and good to go once the season changes. Don’t worry, it may seem boring as well, but you’ll get hooked… get it?
Essential Tools and Materials
If you think you’ll be needing a lot of different tools as well as materials for this project, this might turn out as a surprise for you. Most tools that you will need for making fishing lures are commonly found in your household tool kit… assuming that you have one. Here is a quick cheat sheet to check if you have all the necessary tools and materials for making traditional lures:
- Power Drill and Assorted Drill Bits
- Whittling and Roofing Knife
- Coping Saw
- Pliers and Vice Grips
- Tape Measure
- Waterproof Glue
- Wood Sealant and Wood Putty
- Large Nails
- Small Eyelets and Google-y Eyes
- Treble Hooks
- Split Rings
Making Your Lure
Now that we have all the materials we need for making your fishing lure, it’s now time to put it all together. Before we actually get started, let’s discuss some of the basics for making a successful bait. First off, it is generally believed that the bigger the lure, the bigger the fish. If your rod can handle big game fish, it doesn’t hurt to make a big lure. Secondly, detail is important. If you put a lot of effort into making your lure look life-like, you will have a higher chance of catching some. Lastly, make sure that the materials you are using are non-toxic for the ecosystem. You don’t want to be that person who’s responsible for screwing up nature, right?
Step 1 – Lure Size
What type of fish are you thinking about catching? Assuming that you already have an idea as to how long your lure would be, it’s now time to cut and shape the piece of wood you’ll use. Most lures have an average size of three inches so if you want to play it safe, go ahead with three inches. Now, prepare your whittling knife as you’ll be shaping the wood to look like a fish’s body.
Types of Lures
- Stick Baits
- Propeller Baits
- Thin Minnows
- Curved Minnows
- Alphabet plugs
Step 2 – Polishing
Remember the sandpaper listed above? Yep, it’s time to use it. It’s quite simple actually, just keep polishing until every part of your wooden lure is as smooth as your significant other’s face. Using a coarse sandpaper is highly recommended as you can be precise at almost any angle.
Step 3 – Attaching Split Rings, Eyelet and Fins
Attaching the split rings, eyelet and the fins are not really that hard assuming that you have all the tools you need. Depending on the type of lure you are going to make, the split rings may be on the top of the lure or at the bottom part of the head. As for the eyelet, it is usually on the nose of the lure. Regardless of your choice, it will still provide good effect when fishing.
Step 4 – Attaching Eyes
For this step, we will need your power drill to make small holes that are deep enough, but not too deep. The important part here is that you must accurately place each eye socket as well as the google-y eyes. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most challenging steps provided here. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it in the long run.
Step 5 – Painting your Lure
Before proceeding to this step, it is very important that you polished the lure perfectly to avoid rugged parts when painting as it may look fake. Depending on the type of lure you’re going to use, you can use different paints to suit your tastes. Adding details such as spots and distinctive marks common to the fish you are imitating will definitely provide a life-like replica once it’s submerged in water.
Step 6 – The Finer Details
Using a marker or a Sharpie, it’s highly recommended to draw the scales as authentic as possible to give a better illusion that it is the real deal. Sure, it may take a lot of time but the reward will be truly worth it once you see your lure in action. If you find yourself in need of propellers, get them by all means as propellers really give a life-like swimming effect. As for the weight, you can use a nail to make your lure heavier.
Step 7 – Waterproofing
Waterproofing your lure is very important especially if you’re thinking of using it more than once. Applying a good amount of coating with wood sealant will do the job. The easiest way to coat the lure is by using a string and attaching it via the eyelet so you can just dip the lure in wood sealant about two to three times. Make sure to let the lure drip out the excess coating.
Step 8 – Go Fishing
Once that your lure is all dry and ready, you might want to put your hard work to the test. For first time makers, it’s more of a trial and error no matter how good your comprehension is when it comes to reading instructions. Making lures is a fun and engaging experience. Once you get it right, you’ll never go back to commercially-made fishing lures again.