How To Make Fishing Lures (In 7 Simple Steps)

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Cover Image of how to make fishing lures

Although many crankbaits are built of hard plastic, the original ones were constructed of wood. Many manufacturers still prefer crafting wooden fishing lures. As a substitute for purchasing luxurious baits, you can save a great deal of money by carving your own. But for this you should know how to make fishing lures.

All you need to do is choose a design, trace it on a piece of wood, and then cut it out. Further, you can install hooks and tint the lure to make it more appealing. Get ready to take your traps out on the water and chase your desired fish.

What Is A Fishing Lure?

Before you jump into how to make your own fishing lures, you should first get familiar with the fishing lure. It’s a type of simulated bait that is used to attract fish and appeal to them to bite.

By using diverse movements, different intensity of vibrations, and color contrasts, a bait can definitely grab the fish’s attention resulting in getting caught onto the hook from which the lure is secured to.

Typically, baits are used with a fishing rod and reel and are frequently made of various materials such as wood, rubber, plastic, tinsel, or plastic. Are you ready for a DIY fishing lure?

Steps To Make Fishing Lure

1 – Start Designing And Cutting The Fishing Baits

Before you begin with the design, you need to choose the type of material and here we will be opting for wood. Many anglers who create their lures primarily use pine or balsa. These softwoods are incredibly easy to work with and don’t require any heavy-duty materials to cut and shape them.

To get started, take out a pencil. Lookup for some graphic images as a point of reference. Making a trap right from the scratch can be challenging, therefore search online for lure templates. You will find several patterns of baits.

Minnow Chaser Fishing Lure Template

The next step is to cut your wood into a rectangular shape that should be at least 7 inches long and four inches wide. Now draw an outline of the lure on the wooden block that demonstrates the curves.

Once you have a design ready, it’s time to use a sharp knife and cut through the drawings. You might not have the exact product therefore focus more on the abstract version.

2 – Design A Lure Over 7.6 to 15.2 cm Long For Bigger Fish

Make sure the chosen lure size goes with the type of fish you are looking forward to catching. Typically, crankbait and standard plugs are less than 6 inches in length. Though the thickness varies. Plugs for bigger fish such as muskellunge can be even 10 inches long.

You can consider looking up at a sizing chart online particularly if you are not using any template. That way, you will get a better idea of the baits commonly used. The multiple lure sizes will help you a lot. You can make modifications according to your style and what you are expecting on the water.

3 – Diving Bait To Catch Fish In Deep Water

Diving baits commonly feature a lip that lets them sink when retrieved. Therefore, make sure to take more caution. Though carving the lip doesn’t need any sort of additional work. A lip is more of a duckbill bent downward at the end of the lure. These traps need to be both stronger and heavier and can be used in any kind of water.

Image of Deep Diving Crankbait
  • Plugs are solid and rounded attractions. Some varieties also feature an internal rattle to entice crankbait.
  • Thin minnows are long and narrow baits. They come with a small diving lip on the anterior to make an arrow around when retrieved.
  • Curved minnows don’t have any lip. Instead, they feature curved bodies with an even spot on the front.
  • Deep sinking lures have commonly long lips that allow them to sink when they aren’t being retrieved. They are frequently shaped like minnows but are used to catch deep water fish.

4 – Use A Scroll Saw Or Band Saw To Cut Along The Pattern Lines.

While using a carving knife at this point, the saw makes for a quick option. Band and scroll saws are frequently used for cutting small and irregular shapes such as a lure. Plan to keep the bait bigger than you want to have the end-product according to your requirements. This is an important technique to leave a margin for errors.

A Piece of wooden cut like fishing bait
  1. Leave an extra 1⁄8 in (0.32 cm) of wood around the design. In case something goes wrong, you will still have room for correcting it.
  2. If you are using a carving knife, slowly whittle away the wood around the sketch. Keep the blade away from your body so you don’t accidentally cut yourself or get hurt.

5 – Pick Up The Drill

Before you poke holes into the designed shape, remember to mark out those points on the wood. Some of the fundamental holes are eyelet screws, ballast weight, and the rattle, and then carefully drill it. You may prefer using a micro drill to work on the thin and fine piece of wood.

image of hole in a Lure
  • Carefully look at the template or the reference point while marking the pilot holes. This primarily depends on the type of lure you intend to make.
  • Most traps come with at least two hooks. Plan on putting one on the front while other on the back. If you are making a long lure, consider creating another hole 1/3 from the back end for an added hook.
  • If you want to add more weight to the lure, drill some additional holes as required. You can also fill the weight later in the already created hole.

6 – Practice Some Artistry

As soon as you are done with holes, you will want to prepare your artistic mind. It’s time to add some colors and create your very own fish lure. Remember painting a bait vary significantly from painting a home item.

Painting a Fishing Lure

Since you will use the lure in lake water which means you wouldn’t want the paint to remove from the bait, especially in the mid of your fishing trip. Apply a clear sealer to the fishing lure and prepare it for painting. Preferably choose a clear product such as an epoxy sealer which can be used as a base coat.

Now spread it over the entire lure in a thin and consistent layer. The easiest technique is to dip the complete trap in the sealer and then hang it. Wait till it gets dry. In this way, the sealer prepares the wood for paint. Also, it will protect it from any water damage.

  • Put a nail into one of the pilot holes you drilled so you can easily dip the lure and droop it to dry.
  • If you are unable to dip the lure, you can paint it by hand. Though make sure to wait till it gets dry and avoid flipping it over and again.
  • The sealing layer is not similar to the one you add after painting the lure. We recommend you apply both of them to protect the layer against any damage.

7 – Connect Hooks To The Screw Using Split Rings

Thread a triple hook onto every end of the split ring. Next, thread the split rings onto the hindmost and bottom screw eyes. You can utilize split-ting pliers to wrench open the split rings which secure them to the hooks and screws.

Split rings are essentially open coils that are frequently used for keyrings. For instance, your house keys work similarly. You can secure the hooks without even using split rings by simply open their eyelets with a couple of pliers.

Connecting Hooks to Fishing Lure

You need to be very careful while doing this to avoid puncturing your fingers. Though these trebles are primarily used on crankbaits and plugs, you can also opt for double hooks. They are mostly designed to slide onto the screw eyes without the use of split rings.

If you can do this correction, you are more likely to have your very own DIY custom-made fishing lure. You would love to take this on your venture and catch the tempting bass, trout, or any other fish you desire.

Types Of Lures

With the availability of several types of fishing lures, choosing one might be very confusing. Remember your choice primarily depends on the fishing style and conditions of the water and weather. Below we have listed the four common types:

Surface Lures: This popular type of lure is exclusively designed to remain afloat and can be pulled along the water surface.

Image of a Surface Lure

Sinking Lures: This specific type of lure sinks into the water. Though there are no hard and fast rules, you can catch most fish if you target them close to the bottom instead of enticing them to the surface.

Image of a Sinking Lure

Soft Plastic Lures: The bait is made of soft plastic material and is frequently available in a variety of colors. When drawn along the water, it looks similar to a fish’s natural prey swimming such as worms and squid.

Image of a Soft Plastic Lure

Floating Lures: This is primarily a diverse category including different types of baits that give you better control over their movement. Also, they let you go through various water conditions and underwater hurdles along with the locations where fish mostly hide.

Image of a Floating Lure

Pros Of Fishing Lures

When speaking of fishing lures, it is something that fish are not aware of. Many fishermen opt for expensive lures that use advanced technology. If you are like most of other people and don’t have enough money for a costly investment, you can still enjoy this luxury.

With simply a few supplies and a little bit of craftsmanship, you can make an imaginative fishing lure without breaking the bank. You can design it according to your fishing style. Most handmade lures are simple and cost-effective solutions. Best of all, it will give you real satisfaction.

Cons Of Fishing Lures

There are certain slight drawbacks when you are making a fishing lure on your own. It’s a learning curve and you are more likely to make errors. You need to have an upfront investment. Most simple lures have inexpensive supplies but for complicated lures, you need to buy special parts. If you are not very skilled at DIY projects, you can find lure-making kits that include almost everything.

How To Make Your Fishing Lure Last?

Below I have discussed some basic tips, but they are surely worth your consideration.

  • One effective way is to keep your tackle separately. Instead of having large boxes, go for a small modular size. A small box comes in handy for most baits and is better manageable. It will minimize a lot of mess.
  • If you are fishing in the rain or extreme weather conditions, it’s a good practice to first take out your gear on a paper towel. Let the air out and dry it. It would be much better if you choose boxes with rust inhibitors.
  • We strongly discourage throwing the wet baits off right in the dry tackle box. Instead, leave the bait out for some time in the air before putting it back in the box.
  • You can get a cavity tackle box to throw your baits after the fishing expedition. Then dry and restore them to their original boxes.

Final Verdict:

From proficient anglers to fishing hobbyists, it’s important to understand how to carry out your favorite activity on a budget as soon as you learn the best techniques for catching those huge enticing fish. Fishing gear has gone through various phases of development and innovation.

Among boat maintenance expenses, clothing, fishing tackles, and other gear, fishing can be an expensive activity. Though few things can surely cut your cost and its more likely to be a fishing lure. If you have read this article, you are now aware of how to make your own fishing lures. What are you waiting for? Just get started!

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  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.

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