How to Make Your Own Plastic Crankbait Fishing Lures

How to Make Your Own Plastic Crankbait Fishing Lures
Crankbaits are highly effective lures on a variety of game fish, including large and smallmouth bass and trout, and are manufactured from different materials including plastic. Tuned to dive to a set depth, crankbaits are commonly fished with spinning or baitcasting gear in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams. Although a wide variety of crankbaits are available from retailers, making your own effective and realistic crankbaits can be easily done at home.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Plastic crankbait body
  • Enamel paint
  • Hobby paint brush
  • Small eye screws
  • Split-ring pliers
  • Split rings
  • Treble hooks
  • Dressed treble hook
Step 1
Choose a paint scheme for the plastic crankbait bodies you have purchased (see Resources). Replicate the colors of a specific type of bait fish, including details like eyes. Consider using a paint scheme based on colors specific to a season. Bright orange, black and white colors can often be combined to produce an effective spring and early summer crankbait pattern for medium to shallow water.
Step 2
Paint the plastic lure with enamel model paint using a small hobby paint brush. Layer the paint to achieve a natural appearance allowing each coat of paint to individually dry before applying the next coat. Set the painted lure aside and allow it to thoroughly dry overnight before continuing with the assembly.
Step 3
Insert a small eye screw into the nose, belly and rear of the plastic crankbait. Thread the eye screw into the lure using a pair of pliers if necessary. Do not overtighten the screw as this can cause it to strip out the plastic.
Step 4
Attach a small split ring to each eye screw with split-ring pliers. Spread the split ring with the pliers and thread it onto the eye screw. Repeat the process for each eye screw.
Step 5
Attach a treble hook--proportionate in size to the crankbait lure you are constructing--to the eye screw on the belly of the lure. Spread the split ring with the split-ring pliers and thread it onto the eye. Attach a treble hook dressed with feathers or animal hairs to the split ring attached to the rear of the lure.

Tips & Warnings

Dressed treble hooks feature feathers or animal hairs attached to the shank of the hook with thread. Dressed hooks add another dimension to the lure when in the water.

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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