How to Make Crankbaits

How to Make CrankbaitsCrankbaits are typically imitations of small fish that are used to attract larger fish. Made of a variety of materials, including wood and plastic, crankbaits are designed to dive to various depths to reach areas underwater where fish are located. Crankbaits can be expensive, but it is possible to make some good, cost-effective baits at home.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tracing paper
  • Wood glue
  • Balsa wood
  • Flexible fine-tooth saw
  • Small lead tube weight
  • Drill with bit (bit size depends on lead tube diameter)
  • Medium and fine sandpaper
  • Wood filler
  • Hobby knife
  • Crankbait lip
  • Small eye screws
  • Treble hooks with split rings
Step 1
Glue two small pieces of balsa wood together with wood glue. The wood is easier to work with as small blocks and should be at least 4 inches long, 2 to 3 inches high and 2 inches deep.
Step 2
Use tracing paper to lay out a simple pattern on the wood, using a pencil to outline the design. Retrace the design with a pencil after removing the paper to make the line easier to follow when cutting.
Step 3
Cut the basic outline with a fine-tooth and flexible saw. Trimming away as much of the excess wood as possible will reduce sanding time.
Step 4
Begin sanding with a medium-grit sandpaper, working the wood down to a basic shape. Complete the sanding job with a fine-grit paper.
Step 5
Drill a small hole in the center of the lure with a drill and bit. The bit should be slightly larger than the diameter of the lead tube. Drill the hole so that the tube fits in the lure to just beneath the surface of the wood. Fill the top of the hole with wood filler.
Step 6
Screw in an eye screw at the front of the lure just slightly above center for the line to be attached. Place another eye screw at center point in the bottom of the lure and one at the tail. These will hold the treble hooks.
Step 7
Cut a small slit at a downward angle at the lower-front of the lure. This will accommodate the lip of the lure, which makes the lure dive when retrieved. Secure the lip in place with wood glue.
Step 8
Attach the treble hooks by means of split rings to the center and rear eye screws.

Tips & Warnings

Paint the lure using a variety of paints and techniques to imitate a wide variety of bait fish.
Use caution when cutting, drilling, sanding, attaching hooks or painting. Wear proper safety equipment, including goggles and gloves.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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