How to Clean Plastic Fish Lures

How to Clean Plastic Fish LuresPlastic lures come in all shapes and sizes and are used to catch a wide variety of fresh and saltwater game fish species. Bass, trout, flounder and striped sea bass can all be caught using plastic lures. The lures are an important part of your fishing equipment and a financial investment. Properly caring for plastic lures can help ensure their longevity and performance. Most plastic lures can easily be cleaned using only a few common items.


Difficulty: Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Rags
  • Tooth brush
  • 100 percent silicon spray
Step 1
Establish a habit of checking and cleaning your plastic fishing lures at the beginning of each season and after fishing trips. Sort through your plastic crank baits, soft plastics and other lures that feature plastic bodies or parts. Look for damage such as chips and cracks on hard plastic baits and tears or excessive wear with soft plastics. Severely damaged baits should be discarded.
Step 2
Mix a mild solution of soap and warm water in a medium container. Avoid using petroleum-based cleaners or degreasers, especially on soft plastics. Harsh cleaners and petroleum-based products might possibly break down and damage the plastics. In most instances, soapy water will remove the dirt, debris and pond scum associated with fishing.
Step 3
Place the plastic lures in the container with the soapy water, and allow to sit for several minutes. Rub the plastics between your fingers while in the solution to loosen stubborn debris. Remove the lures, rinse under running water and dry with a clean rag.
Step 4
Use an old tooth brush, if necessary, to remove any particularly heavy stains or debris. This might especially be necessary with hard plastic lures. Dip the tooth brush in the soapy water, and scrub the lure. Rinse the lure with running water when done.
Step 5
Clean the lures' hooks and other metal hardware. Often the hooks and other metal parts attached to hard plastic lures might corrode or develop a light coat of rust. Attempt to remove any corrosion with the toothbrush. Also try using a mild abrasive cleanser or pad. Rinse the lure thoroughly with running water. Apply a thin coating of 100 percent pure silicon spray to metal parts to help prevent corrosion after cleaning.

Tips & Warnings

Completely dry the lures after cleaning to help prevent metal eyes and hooks from rusting.
Clean all lures exposed to salt or brackish water immediately after use. The salt content in these waters will dramatically speed up the corrosion process on plastic and metal parts.
Use caution when handling hard plastics with hooks attached.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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