How to Make Your Own Fishing Lure Out of Wood

How to Make Your Own Fishing Lure Out of Wood
Have you ever surveyed the assortment of Rapalas, crank-baits and topwater lures in your tackle box and suddenly realized none of them were exactly what you needed? In this situation you have two options. You can either buy a fancy new lure, or if you're resourceful you can create one of your own. While making an effective lure takes time and practice, it costs a fraction of what you would pay for buying a lure in the store and the sense of satisfaction it will bring is priceless.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wood (balsa, cedar or pine)
  • Wood-carving knife
  • Band, jig or coping saw
  • Drill
  • Small drill bit
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Treble hooks
  • Small eye screws
  • Split rings
 
Step 1
Sketch the outline of your lure pattern on a piece of soft wood like balsa, pine or cedar. Most lures are either torpedo-shaped or tapered with a broad head that narrows to a point at the opposite end. Depending on the type of fish being pursued, lures are usually between 1 1/2 to 6 inches in length.
Step 2
Using a band, jig or coping saw to cut out your lure pattern following the outline that you drew. This gives you the rough shape of your lure that can be carved to fit your final design.
Step 3
With a pocket knife, exacto knife or dremel tool, refine the shape of your lure. Most often this involves rounding and smoothing the lure's edges. If you want to make a popper-style lure, use a dremel tool or knife to round out a cupped depression at the front of the lure's tapered body. Remember to take your time on this step and be careful, because these knives are sharp.
Step 4
When you are finished carving, sand the lure smooth with fine-grade sandpaper. Then paint it with oil-based paint or spray paint. Choose a pattern that imitates common fish food sources like baitfish, frogs or lizards, and is colorful enough to induce a strike.
Step 5
Once the paint has dried, drill a hole at the mouth of the lure and insert an eye screw that will be used to attach the lure to the line. Do the same on the underside and back of the lure and attach treble hooks to the eye screws using split-rings. Depend on a lure's length, it should have two or three hooks on its underside and one trailing from behind.
Step 6
Test your lure out on the water or in your bathtub to make sure it has the desired action, which is affected by hook placement, wood type and shape. Remember, no two homemade lures move exactly alike.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Experiment with different designs, shapes and colors. Don't be afraid to get creative. Sometimes a lure with a jerky, erratic action is more effective than one that moves smoothly through the water, because it mimics the motion of a wounded fish. Make sure your knives are sharp. You are more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one.
 
Experiment with different designs, shapes and colors. Don't be afraid to get creative.
 
Sometimes a lure with a jerky, erratic action is more effective than one that moves smoothly through the water, because it mimics the motion of a wounded fish.
 
Make sure your knives are sharp. You are more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one.
 
Take your time when carving with sharp knives. Not only will it decrease your chances of getting a nasty gash, but your lure will also end up looking better in the long run.

Article Written By Richard Hansen

Richard Hansen grew up and currently resides in Minnesota. He graduated from Dartmouth College and has traveled extensively in Africa and South America, including the Amazon jungle. He has worked as a wilderness guide in Yellowstone and northern Minnesota, and written for Fur-Fish-Game, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and RascalHansen.com.

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