How to Take Care of Fishing Lures

How to Take Care of Fishing LuresTaking care of your fishing lures will help you get more out of the sport while protecting a substantial investment in equipment. A tacklebox stocked with an assortment of plugs, crankbaits, spoons and spinners is a critical part of any angler's arsenal. It's also worth hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars. Caring for fishing lures is a pleasant way to spend the winter months waiting for fishing season to resume. Some maintenance after every trip will ensure that your lures are ready and reliable when you need them.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tacklebox
  • Hook sharpener
  • Paper towels or clean cloth
  • Lure hardware (available at tackleshops)
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Superglue
  • Sandpaper
  • Enamel paint in assorted colors
  • Modeling paint brush
  • Spray shellac or lacquer
  • Resealable plastic food-storage bags
Step 1
Sharpen all hooks on every lure at least once a year and more often depending on how frequently you use your favorite lures. Rub the barb of the hook so the point moves away from the sharpening stone with each stroke.
Step 2
Keep flies, streamers and feathered lures in an airtight plastic container out of the sunlight to keep insects away and prevent delicate colored threads from fading.
Step 3
Store such soft plastic baits as rubber worms and lizards in a plastic-safe snap-top box, placing scented baits in individual, resealable plastic bags. Snack-size bags work well for this.
Step 4
Place wooden and plastic plugs, crankbaits, spinners and spoons into individual compartments in your tacklebox. Expanding fold out trays will help you organize the lures by type. All crankbaits can be stored in one tray, all spoons and spinners go in another tray and so forth. This also keeps your lures from becoming entangled in their hooks, which is no fun when you are trying to grab a lure for a promising fishing spot and instead find several lures are snarled with the only one you want.
Step 5
Replace worn or broken eyelets, treble hooks and metal hardware, such as the metal lip on the head of a crankbait. Remove the worn or damaged parts with a screwdriver or unscrew by grasping with needlenose pliers and replacing with new hardware. Add a drop of superglue to the screw hole if the new hardware does not fit as securely due to wear in the body of the lure.
Step 6
Touch up chipped lures by smoothing the surface with sandpaper and apply matching paint color with a modeling brush. Spray a light coat of shellac on the lure to seal the paint.
Step 7
Rinse lures in freshwater after a day of fishing to remove dirt, scum and minerals that can cause rusting and ruin the appearance of your lures. This is especially important after saltwater fishing.
Step 8
Air dry lures on paper towels or a clean cloth, then store them in individual compartments in your tacklebox.

Tips & Warnings

Keep individual hooks organized by size with a flat piece of cork or cardboard. Snelled hooks can be stored by cutting a piece of cardboard the length of the snell, with notches on both ends to hold the hook and the loop of fishing line on the opposite side.
Watch out for rusted hooks. One good snag and you might be looking at a nasty infection or, worse, a tetanus shot.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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