How Do I Remove Rust From Fishing Lures?

How Do I Remove Rust From Fishing Lures?The hooks, rings and other metal parts of a fishing lure are prone to getting rusty over time. This is especially true for lures fished in salt water. Rinsing lures off with fresh water after every use delays rust formation, but only for a short while.

Eventually, even the best-maintained lures can develop rusty metal parts. Various cleaning methods can remove rust, turning the metal lure parts shiny again. When metal deteriorates too badly, however, replacing the parts is more efficient than trying to clean them.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Towel
  • Gloves
  • WD-40
  • Cloths
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Sandpaper
  • Fingernail file
  • Fine sanding bit
  • Dremel tool
  • Toothbrush
  • Powdered cleanser
  • Steel wool soap pads
Step 1
Set up a work area located on a flat surface such as a table and place a towel down to absorb water and other debris from cleaning the fishing lures. Wear gloves when working with chemicals or abrasives to protect your skin.
Step 2
Spray lures that are not too rusty with a small amount of WD-40, allowing the spray to sit on the fishing lure for approximately five minutes. Rub the rusty area with a cloth until you remove the rust. Repeat spraying the area and rubbing as needed, to remove all the rust from the lure.
Step 3
Use a piece of fine-grit sandpaper to remove a lure's rust. Gently rub the rusted area with sandpaper, working the paper in all directions. Continue sanding until the rust is gone and wipe the lure off with a clean cloth to remove any sanding dust.
Step 4
Rub the fine and coarse sides of a paper fingernail file across the rusty areas of the fishing lure. Gently rub the file over the rust, continuing until it is gone. Wipe the lure off with a clean cloth when finished, removing any dust or other debris.
Step 5
Attach a fine sanding bit to a dremel-like tool and carefully work the bit over the rusted lure parts. Be careful not to push too hard on the part while sanding, or you can damage the lure. Wipe the lure off with a clean cloth when finished.
Step 6
Moisten an old toothbrush with water and dip into an abrasive powdered cleanser. Rub the toothbrush over the rusty areas of the lure, adding more water and cleanser to the toothbrush as needed. Continue scrubbing to remove all the rust and wash off with clean water to remove soap residue.
Step 7
Wet a soapy, steel wool scrubbing pad with water. Gently scrub the rusted areas of the fishing lure with the pad, removing any rust. Continue moistening the pad and scrubbing the lure until it is rust-free. Rinse it off with clean water to remove the soap.

Tips & Warnings

Store lures in an airtight, dry container to reduce rust.
Rinse lures after every fishing trip to cut down on rust developing.
Wash the lure in warm, soapy water after using chemical products. This removes chemical residues remaining on the lure that can affect your fishing results.
Use caution applying rust removers to fishing lures, as the products are corrosive and can damage the lure.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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