Custom Search
  
 
Username: (I forgot it)

Password: (I forgot it)

New User? Join for Free!
 
 Member Pages
 How-To Guides
 Articles & Notes
 Supply Advice
 Charts & Graphs
 Manufacturer's Tips
 Tackle Autopsies
 Helpful Links

 

Cabela's Custom Rod Kits

"Best starter kit out there. For under $50, you'll get everything you need to make a high quality graphite fishing rod."


Where to Buy:
Cabela's Generic Logo
 
120 x 90 Fishing Banner


BoatersWorld.com
 
 
   
You are here: TackleMaking Encyclopedia > Articles > 100 Lure Making Tips
 
A Collection of 100 Lure Making Tips
 

(Disclaimer: We're not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained here. The tips are YOUR tips. I hope that they are of some use to you.)

WOOD

Just made my first Cobb's 6" shallow runner crankbait from beech wood. Didn't even need lead and it wobbles nicer than the original!

I guess cedar is kind of extra light pine I haven't used it for anything for years.

I generally use any kind of pine scraps when I make a buoyant lure. The poorer the quality of the wood often the more buoyant it is.

It all depends on the purpose of the lure. If it's a jerkbait or glider: probably a hardwood like maple or beech. If it's a crankbait, I like cedar.It all depends on what you want the lure to do.

I use a lot of maple and any kind of pine if I want a buoyant lure.

I use beech and meranti for jerkbaits (beech for the suspenders and sinkers). For crankbaits I use beech and for surface lures I use cedar and pine (though pine is not a good kind of wood for finish).

I use mostly hard balsa or jelutong. Both are good woods but the jelutong doesn't take water if punctured.

I use mostly white pine, cedar, and poplar for my plugs. It all depends on what type of plug I want to make.

Most of my lures are made from balsa or foam board (also called gator board and balsa foam). I like the buoyancy found in these materials. Pine, cedar and other softwoods that are easy to carve and sand work fine but I like lures that pop right back up to the surface. Balsa needs to be sealed with epoxy so air bubbles don't form in the paint after time. I haven't had that problem with foam board. I just seal it with a sandable sealer from Wal-Mart found in the craft paint area. I just dip the lures before painting.

Red cedar is great to work with just a bit harder to carve than say balsa.

I use poplar for cutting my crankbaits. Go to Lowe's and get their select hobby wood. It is precut to 2x2x1/2 and square. A 2 ft. piece will make about 8 to 10 crankbaits about the size of a Poe's RC3.

When my friends and I make "Believers" we usually use cedar. In fact we usually use cedar for most of our diving crankbaits.

I just finished a darter-like lure from a piece of 22mm thick beech wood.

WEIGHTING

Drill small holes of 6mm diameter in the belly in front and to the back of the belly lure-eye. Add lead for weighting, or use foil lead. Normally you should only have to change the weight ratio front/back and not the place when you make the same lure over and over again.

I have added weight towards the front of crankbaits, jointed and single bodied so that the head points down a bit and causes it to run deeper. Also it can have a stabilizing effect if the size of the diving vane and buoyancy are mis-matched. I made some big "Believer" copies recently out of pine that didn't work at all until I added weight to stabilize them.

I usually don't need to add lead to my crankbaits. I do advise you to get the lead exactly in the centerline of the belly or it will turn to one side. If you make twitchbaits, this may be worth considering though = more flash.

I always drill the lead hole a bit too deep so I can remove lead by drilling it out or using a chisel. It is always better to drill the holes too deep than too shallow. Then you'll have to drill it all out and drill the wood-hole deeper. If you add lead near the head, the crankbaits are more stabilized and run deeper. If you need a twitchbait, add weight to the tail end. It reduces the wobble of the lure when cranked but increases the flash and erratic movement of the lure when jerked and twitched.

If you're not sure how much lead your lure needs, drill a hole with a drill bit the same size as some dowel. Fill the hole with molten lead. If there is too much lead, drill some of it out with the drill bit and plug the space above the lead with the dowel. It's easy to sand flat and quicker than using filler.

I like the tip about adding the lead to the hooks first. I think that could give a reasonable estimate of the amount needed.

I always drill my holes a tad too deep. So, every time I have to remove some lead with a chisel. This creates an open hole that I fill with some epoxy. After it has hardened, I use a file to flatten the epoxy until it is at the same level as the lure's body.If you have added just enough lead, use a pin and smear some epoxy over the lead hole. This will fill any cavities and use a file afterwards to smooth the surface.

A suggestion for proper weighting would be along the bottom of the belly just behind the eye. At the base of the curve if that makes sense.

It is in fact a slow sinking glider. I place the lead holes like this: 4cm from the nose (of course at the belly side) and 3cm from the tail. I use 10mm diameter drill bits. Lead it so that it sinks horizontally. That one is to be fished slow. But of course for a fast fishable glider, add more lead to the front lead hole. For a surface bait that sinks, add more lead to the tail. Another way to lead them is to add only one lead hole about 6cm from the nose. A little experimenting and you'll find the right amount of lead and the perfect position.

Either you are not using a ballast weight in the belly of the lure or you are not using enough weight.

Get some finesse weights. Get the 1/8 oz. size. They have a hole predrilled in them. This makes it perfect for running wire though to make your front hook hanger. I use .031 piano wire for this. Bend it around a nail to make the loop and shove the two ends through the hole. Bend the ends at the top and cut off the excess. These weights fit perfect in a -inch hole.

I needed a tiny bait about 1 1/2" long, heavy enough to cast on eight-pound line. The problem was, when I added weight to make it castable, it killed the action. Then, when I used a bigger lip to compensate, it wouldn't have the very fast, tight wiggle I wanted. It is a jointed lure. I made the tail section out of ultralight material, but made the nose half out of hardwood dowel, for a little extra weight. Instead of adding extra weights inside the lure, I made the lip out of heavier brass sheet. I made it thin with a slight concave shape. The action is fantastic! If it's heavy enough to cast now, I know it will be a definite confidence bait!

I don't generally start out with a specific weight / ballast in mind. I just set out to make something on a whim, shape the body how I want and then mount the hooks and put a trace on them, hang the lead on the hooks in a bucket of water to get the pitch/buoyancy I fancy. I melt the lead and add it the same way others have described.

A good tip for adding lead, if you're not sure how much it needs, is to drill the hole with a drill bit the same size as some dowel. Fill the hole with molten lead. If there is too much lead drill some of it out with the drill bit and plug the space above the lead with the dowel. It's easier to sand flat and quicker than using filler.

The only easy answer, "put the weight in the belly" doesn't help enough to solve the problem. I make the same baits and the best way I've found is to obtain a variety of known weight sizes (i.e. 1/2 oz. 3/4 oz sinkers) and attach them to your bait using a tight fitting rubber band. Position each weight and experiment (i.e. water test) until you get the action that works. Avoiding real water testing conditions in favor of a water tank will tell you if the bait sits properly in the water, but it will NOT tell you if the bait runs properly (i.e. true under speed).

When I weight my plugs, I use a lead pot and pour the lead weight into predrilled holes. I have the drill marked so I know how much weight is added to the plug. After it is poured, I let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then I put on some wood putty. After the putty hardens, I sand it and you would never know the difference. I have heard of guys using split shot and buckshot to add weight to their plugs.

After you pour the lead, and just as it set up press the lure against your worktable to press the lead into place, then sand off the excess lead. After painting you'll never see where the lead is.

Positioning weights is as much a matter of personal preference as it is science. The goals of adding weight are generally to make a lure "neutral buoyant", meaning that it will suspend at the desired depth, or to make it float vertically, tail under, or head under. In this case, it sounds like you are looking to make it float vertically. A few things to consider...
1) Always place the weight in the lower (belly) of the lure. This will prevent it from flopping over onto its side or back.
2) You want to place the weight at a point where it will make the lure equally balanced at the head and tail. Since you will likely have a hook and hook connector at the tail (adding weight) and another hook near the front of the bait, you will want to put the weight at a point where it counteracts the off-balanced weight of the hooks, usually slightly toward the front of the lure, but staying around the center.

No, that shape of the darter doesn't have to be exact. In general, the lower the back is, the better they glide but these darters can be made to suspend and this is what proved best for some friends and me. What you want to do is drill two lead holes about 4cm from the nose and 2.5cm from the tail. Add lead so it sinks slowly and fish it with short soft pulls or taps of the rod tip. They should glide about 60cm wide (left-right distance = 60cm). The weighting is crucial on these. Too little and they don't glide well at all. For fishing from a drifting boat, try adding a little more lead so they appear to sink to fast. This way they glide best for fishing from a drifting boat.

There are some (unwritten) rules for leading the gliders. You have a choice of three options. First, is the way with 2 lead holes as described above. Second, drill a hole about 5cm from the nose (if it's about 6" long) and add lead. It should sink slowly and when fished with pulls of 30cm it should swing left to right. Third, use azobe wood (which sinks from itself) and try changing the hooks' position.

I sent you the building plans for a darter of 15cm; well the lead holes are exactly like my plans. The wood is 22mm thick and they suspend and sink about 15cm per 2 seconds. I slowly crank them back. Due to the shape and the way I joined the two parts, it wiggles like a snake and has a belly wiggle like a crankbait too. When retrieved fast you can hear the two parts clicking from a distance! When you tap it gently, you can get it to swim left right in a glide path of 20cm but not more. I usually crank it back but no takes so far. Only tried it twice for a half hour so it never got a fair chance.

I just finished a darter-like lure from a piece of 22mm thick beech wood. I shape it and drill the lead holes. After that I saw the lure in two pieces and slightly round off the edges of the saw-cut. Then I add the two pairs of screw eyes and position them. I add the two hook screw eyes and the front eye. Then I pour lead into the lead holes and weight it so that it slowly sinks with all of the hardware attached. After that just paint the lure but paint the two parts separately, so they are only joined together after both parts have been painted and clear coated.

Poe's uses a long screw eye in their baits. About 1" to 1 1/4" should do. If you want to make your own hanger with a weight, here is what you can do. For that size bait take a 1/8 oz. worm weight and smash it in a vise until it looks like an aspirin. Then turn it the other way and press it until it is like a post. Drill a 1/32 hole through it from the top all of the way through. Take some .031 wire and bend it around a nail until it is U shaped. Run both ends of the wire through the hole and bend the ends over. Cut off the excess and drill a hole in the belly of the bait large enough for the weight. Glue it in with Devcon 2 ton epoxy. Believe me, it won't come out.

Has anyone had any luck making crankbaits, like "Rattletraps", out of wood? I've made a few, but have had difficulty getting them to wobble properly. Any suggestions? Put all the weight in the nose and the attachment point at least 1/3 of the way along the back. That should work fine. They do need to be made to positively sink, even the "Rattletrap" suspending versions are a bit unreliable and often don't start working easily.

FOIL

Has anyone tried foiling with any of the adhesive trim foils or heat shrinking (Monokote, I believe) foils available from hobby stores? Saw some the other day that looked useful. Have had some luck using the adhesive foil tape designed for insulating ductwork and A/C units.

I use a lacquer that can be used as topcoat. When I apply my foil I apply lacquer to one side of the lure. Cut the foil in the middle with a razorblade. Then apply lacquer to other side. Cover with the foil. Let dry. Then dip until you can't feel the cut in between the sides.

To add foil finishes to your lures, you can also use the inner foil linings of cigarette packs. Not the soft packs, but the "hard packs" or "boxes". The best brands are Winston Lights and the Maverick brand in the black box. The foil is not smooth. It has a scale-like texture that looks very similar to the foil used on "Rapala" brand lures. Remove it from the box, brush the entire underside with contact cement and let dry. Then cut out the pattern you need for each side of the lure. Brush cement on the lure, let dry, and then apply!

I use Kroger brand foil. It is just the right thickness. I put it on with contact cement and roll a hydraulic fitting over it to texture it (the ones with the checkering on the end) and this will give you a pro look. Then I coat it with epoxy for a smooth surface to paint.

I have used different kinds of gift wrap paper and the finish can be just fantastic.

Kroger brand foil is just the right thickness to apply to your lure. If you can find a regular aluminum foil at your local grocery just try it out. It is usually cheap and will cover a lot of baits. When you find a brand that will work, make a pattern a little larger than the bait and fold the foil over when you mark your pattern and you will make both sides at once.

Use anything that has a checking on it that you can roll over the foil. I use the kind of fitting that has a push/pull type connection. Be sure to put some contact cement under the lap at the top and bottom so it will not come a part.

The cheaper the foil the better because the thick stuff is hard to work with.

I am using the thinnest aluminum foil I could find at Albertson's grocery store. My lure is a balsa crankbait and I applied the foil with wood glue. It seemed to work okay. I realized that there needs to be slits in the foil so it can go around the round parts of the lure. I put these at the top and covered with glitter just across the seam line on the top. If there is a better way I would like to try it.

I use polishing lacquer as glue. It gives me time to work the foil, as I want it. If you don't want any slits in your foil use a round stick & press quite hard on the slits & they will disappear when dipped in coating.

I apply foil like this:
1) Coat the balsa body with some clear paint.
2) Put an aluminum foil tape on the body.
3) Rub the side of the body using a plastic round stick.
4) Rub the top and the bottom of the body using a plastic round stick. If there are any wrinkles on the body, rub tight and make the wrinkles smaller.
5) Coat the body with some clear paint.
6) Paint the top and the bottom of the body with some dark paint so that the wrinkles can't be seen.

You can use an aluminum foil and glue instead of an aluminum foil tape.

I'm using an aluminum foil tape. This is sold for repairing kitchen sink and is covered with very thin vinyl. When I dip the lure into urethane clear, there is no problem.

I have used aluminum foil (for wrapping foods) and cellulose cement (clear paint for dipping) before, also no problem.

Scratch the surface of an aluminum foil tape with a rough iron stick. This makes the surface of the foil rough with many scratches. The scratches may prevent the paint from coming of.

I just remembered someone gave me something called a survival blanket ... you know the kind of thing draped around a marathon runner after they've crossed the line, highly reflective and as thin as a butterfly's wing.

PAINT

I like to use vinyl paints for my wooden and metal baits. It's a great all around paint and easy to use with an airbrush or a plain old paintbrush. The consistency makes it a strong paint that rarely chips and is more difficult to scratch. I always apply a few white base coats and finish it off with an epoxy clear coat. The brands I use are "Pro-Tec" and "Pro-Flake".

One of the biggest challenges I had with airbrushing was paint "lift off" from taping over a painted section to avoid airbrushing it. It took me a little while to figure out the secret...using low tack drafting tape. The drafting tape is not as sticky as masking tape and barely touches the painted finish it is covering. So when you remove the tape, it does not pull off the paint it was protecting.

When I'm painting any kind of strips I make stencil from tin-plate, fix it about 1cm (0.5") above the lure and then spray paint. I get the soft edge strips, not like when using masking tape.

On the raw wood, you can first coat it with your 2-part epoxy. It makes a great sealer. Once you have it coated; you can use any kind of paint. Lacquers work the best but watch out for the fumes.

If I am going to paint the lure, I don't seal the wood at all. I almost always use a base coat of artist's acrylic paint (in the tube, not in the bottle because acrylic paint is water based and will raise the grain of the wood. The paint straight from the tube is thicker, and shouldn't raise the grain as bad). Then I add whatever my color scheme is. I use everything from model spray paint to fingernail polish; it just depends on what I need. If I need a well-blended smooth paint, I use spray paint. If I need wild colors in small areas, I use fingernail polish. Sometimes I use acrylic paint with a paintbrush.

I just seal it with a sandable sealer from Wal-Mart found in the craft paint area. I just dip the lures before painting. I use cheap acrylics and an airbrush. A friend uses automotive spray paints that look great. I seal the finished painted lure with an automotive acrylic lacquer clear coat and start fishing.

I have been using material similar to the stuff used on fishnet stockings that I got at a fabric store. I place the material in an embroidery hoop. It seems to help if you spay a bunch of clear coats through the mesh and let dry before you try spraying scales. As far as masking off areas that don't get scales, you can, but you will probably be happier with free hand results that get a faded in scale pattern. It takes some practice, but it's a piece of cake after a few times. Most of the details I do are with masks that I have custom cut out of thin clear plastic. I do very little freehand unless I am fading in a solid back. You can really get some neat effects with the masks if you experiment around.

I use water based acrylic paints such as Delta Ceramcoat or FolkArt. Cost at craft stores may run up to $1.79 for 2 fluid ounces. The same paints can be found at discount stores like Wal-Mart for $.89. The cost and the variety of colors surpass any other source I have found. I thin the paint with water to about the consistency of milk. Dries in about 30 minutes. You can spray multiple colors, e.g., back one color, side another, and belly another in one session (IF you are careful) by just switching color jars or vessels. If the airbrush is cleaned immediately after spraying, you can use running water to wash it out.

There are many ways to paint your lures, from cans of enamel spray paint, to using brushes. You can even mix your own custom colors and use an airbrush.

You need to use the style of finishing the lure that will give you the most confidence in the finished product. Me, I never paint my lures silver or gold. I use metallic foil finishes for more flash in clear water. I only paint the lure bodies when I need a fluorescent finish, such as chartreuse.

In clear water, I try to expose as much reflective foil as possible, with only thin areas of dark and light colors on the back and belly of the lures, just to break up the outline and mimic natural forage. I do sometimes paint red areas that look like gills, but it may appear to fish that these areas look like blood, and thus, wounded prey. I almost never paint fins on my lures unless I want a highly detailed look to the lure, which I think holds more attraction for fisherman than for fish. But you may want this look on a lure that will be retrieved very slowly, or in very clear water, where you want the most natural appearance possible. If it gives you more confidence in the lure, by all means make your lures as detailed as you wish. If you have a lot of confidence in a lure, you will fish better with it.

When painting jigs or other hard baits use at least four thin coats of paint to achieve a professional finish. I use two coats of primer, two of color and an epoxy clear coat.

Your best bet is to scan the bait you have. Get the top, side, and bottom views. Create stencils based on your scans. Using the stencils, draw at least the side and top views on a block of wood. Using a bandsaw cut out the first shape. Keep the scraps and tape them back onto the original block. Now cut out the other view. You'll need to do the final shaping at this point.

First of all you probably tend to spray too much paint on it. So did I in the beginning. Use quick sprays that move along the body fast so a fine layer of paint is added. If one layer isn't enough, do it again after a pause of a minute or two.

For the walleye pattern that I did on the "DIVANI 2", I went about it like this:
1. Paint the lure white.
2. Cover the lure's body with mesh that is about a little longer than the lure's length and about 3.5 times the height of the jerkbait. I fold it around the back and fasten the two loose ends at the belly using laundry clippers (for hanging laundry to dry outside). I use as many as I can, so about 15 for the "DIVANI 2". Make sure the mesh is very tight to the body otherwise you don't have scales but a mix of scales and spots.
3. I then use a metallic gold spray-can and spray lightly over the flanks and I do this twice.
4. Next I spray the orange throat using a quick shot of paint. Really quick so it doesn't become a thick layer, just one spray or two. It's best to spray a speckled throat first and go over it again than spraying one thick layer because then you get drops and a very ugly finish.
5. Spray the back brown and hold the lure really straight with the back towards you. This way you reduce the chance of brown paint ending up on the flanks.
6. Use a stencil to spray the brown perch bars. I use a cardboard from which I cut lanes of 1.5cm thick and 2cm apart. I also add toothpicks under each bar so this gives an airbrush effect. For fire tiger stripes it's much nicer to have solid stripes.

Generally you have to learn how to use quick spray shots and very fast covering of the flanks. It should take about 1 second to spray from the tail to the front. Otherwise you spray too much paint on it and then of course you have the chance of getting drips or speckles on parts of the lure where they don't belong.

If you go to Dixieart.com, they will set you up. I have a Paasche VL (double action) and I use the Createx paints that Dixieart has. When spraying these I use the medium tip and to date I have not had a problem with clogging or anything. Hope this helps!

I use the same setup. Createx paints in a Paasche VL with #3 tip and needle. 20-35# air pressure depending on what I am doing. I like the Createx Auto Air better than the standard stuff, but both work fine. No odor at all and cleans up easy.

EYES

When I paint eyes I have used nail heads and wooden dowel rods.

I use nail heads for painting eyes on small lures or small stick-on eyes. For big lures I use 8mm or 12mm diameter stick-on eyes. They exist in plain white with a black dot and yellow or red with a black dot. These are available at Moore's Lures.

I use stick on eyes, both 3D and flat. I have recently found a person who makes beads. I asked her to make glass eyes. She did and they are cool. I have not put them on a lure yet.

For my crankbaits I use a 3D stick on eye that I buy from Stamina Inc. I have been real happy with them. I have found it best not to trust the adhesive that comes with the eyes, and to epoxy them down instead.

I cut a plastic bead about 1/4 inch across the whole and them pin it in place with a cut down panel pin and a spot of super glue, file and smooth the pin head and usually paint a fluorescent color. It makes my lures look like cartoon characters but it it's quick and easy to do and you sure can't miss'em.

I use plastic doll eyes (wish they were glass) from Lewiscraft.

I use plastic teddy bear eyes from Wal-Mart.

I currently use nails for painting the eyes on my lures and have used some of the "peel & stick" holographic eyes. I do like the look of the plastic or glass eyes that some of you use though.

Try pencils with erasers on the end might help. I use mostly foil eyes or 3-D eyes. When using foil I cut out in 2 sizes so I make the eye center in a different color.

CLEAR COAT

I use Envirotex Lite. I guess it would be similar to Devcon in that it gives a hard durable finish. I brush it on and use a propane torch to get rid of any bubbles.

I use a tough clear boat-lacquer.

Go to Wal-Mart and by Devcon 2-ton epoxy. It works the best. Let it get a little thick before you brush it on and it won't run on you. Rotate it several times while its wet.

I seal the finished painted lure with an automotive acrylic lacquer clear coat and start fishing.

I use the 2-ton epoxy by Devcon. I use the brushes that are made by Testors that are sold in the area where they have the model cars. The brush is about a $1.00. Apply the epoxy on thick and then rotate the bait slowly between your fingers for about 15-20 minutes. This will even out the epoxy and the finish will look smooth. Hang the bait tail down after that to finish drying. If you hang it by the tail then if some of the epoxy runs it will make the head of the bait look too thick. Most folks have a drying motor that rotates the bait once they put the clear coat on.

Use Devcon 2-ton epoxy from Wal-Mart. It is about $2.00 a syringe. Put it on with one of the white handled Testors model paintbrushes. The brushes are $1.00 apiece. You will have about 10-15 minutes to get this stuff on your bait. They hotter the temperature you are working in, the faster it sets. Mix your epoxy up and spread it on thick. Rotate the bait for about 15 to 20 minutes between your fingers. This will smooth out the epoxy and make it even. Then hang the bait and let it dry for 8-12 hrs. Do not get the 5-min. stuff. You don't have enough work time and it eventually yellows. Clean up with acetone. I use this on my crankbaits that I make. This stuff is HARD. It will protect your baits far better that automotive lacquer clear coat.

Clear Coat: Simple. Use 2-ton epoxy by Devcon. Get it at Wal-Mart for about $2.00. I use it for everything that gets glue. This stuff is just plain tuff. Get the long drying stuff not the 5-min. The 5-min. epoxy will yellow. The other won't. Use a Testors model paintbrush that they sell at Wal-Mart for a $1.00. This brush works well. Use acetone to clean it with. Paint the stuff on thick. If you don't have anything to rotate the bait on while it dries, then rotate the bait between your fingers for about 15 to 20 min. and then hang the bait up and let it dry for 12 to 24 hours.

I presently dip the finished lure in clear automotive lacquer to give it a tough, waterproof finish that won't yellow. I understand that there is another good final finish and that is Fabulon used to finish wood floors. I haven't found a local source yet to try it out. I understand Creative Lure also has a good finish.

I spoke to the Canadian rep for ETI and he said most people (fishing industry) use EX-88. It's another coating made by ETI.

Some Envirotex tips:
1. "That looks like 50:50" won't work. It must be exactly 50:50 ratio of each part. Get some disposable measuring cups!
2. "I stirred it for 30 seconds just like I do with 5 minute epoxy" won't work either. You must stir for at least 3 minutes. I go 5 minutes.
3. If your Envirotex is working properly, but the coat is uneven, get an old BBQ rotisserie motor or other similar SLOW rotating motor. Attach to it a wooden disc @30 cm in diameter. Attach hooks to the rim of the disc to which you will attach your lures. Try to fasten the motor to a board or whatever so that the disc is on an angle (@45 degrees). Hang your lures, turn on the motor and let them spin.

I seem to remember when I've used polyurethane like finishes in the past they yellow after a while and a pike's sharp teeth soon penetrate the varnish.

I use, at the moment, a product called "Devcon" which I think is a kind of two-part resin glue. What I like about it is that it sets very hard and it takes a while before the pike bite through it. It sticks well enough to most paint finishes except metallic paint and some fluorescents but it's the best I've used yet though it doesn't stick for long to foil. I did cut a crisscross pattern in an attempt to allow a certain amount of soak through to occur.

I use Devcon 2-ton epoxy. Use the stuff that takes 8 hours or so to completely dry. The 15-minute stuff yellows and has a strength of 1500 lbs. The regular 2-ton has a strength of 2500 lbs. It is definitely tougher. I spread it on thick with a Testors model paintbrush. You can get it at Wal-Mart for $1.00. It has a white handle to it. Spread it on even and then spin the bait between your fingers for about 15 - 20 min. Then you can hang the bait to dry. Hang it by the nose if you can. Let it dry for 24 hrs. It is a bit of a hassle to spin the bait if you don't have a drying station, but it is worth it. The regular 2-ton epoxy won't yellow either. Clean your brush with acetone. I pour a little into a baby food jar and just let it sit in there for about 30 min. Then just take the brush out and let it dry. You will be able to reuse the brush often doing this.

I use the Devcon 2-ton for a finish and most of the time I'm perfectly satisfied with it, sometimes it comes off, easily and I don't know why. I smear it on with small flat stick and then blow dry it with a hair drier for a few minutes to warm it up this causes it run a bit more freely and smooth out, then I hang it up and allow the excess drip off.

I use Devcon 30-minute epoxy. I brush it on with a cheap 'kiddie' paintbrush that I get at the dollar store. One use and you throw it away. After I brush the epoxy on, I hang it up and after about 3 - 4 hours its dry.

LIPS

I make my own lips out of Lexan. I purchase 1/8" and cut into strips 3" wide then take 3M Super 77 spray glue and stack them 6 deep. On the top I glue copy paper so you can mark around your patterns. Then I lay my pattern on there and trace and cut out with a bandsaw.

I use 2mm aluminum and 3mm Lexan for the crankbait lips. Aluminum is very good for bigger lures or small sinkers, the Lexan for about any lure, except when adding attachment-eyes to the lip itself. And I use 1.5mm stainless steel wire for bending lure eyes on big lures and 1mm on smaller lures, which I attach in the lip (no through-wire). Just drill two holes in the lip, in the centerline, about 5mm apart. Bend the wire in a U-shape and stick that through the holes. Leave about 5mm above the lip and cut the wire-arms about 1cm below the lip. Grip that 5mm sticking out at the top and turn the lip on its back. You see 2 wire pieces of 1cm sticking out. Bend them 180 opposite of each other on the lip's surface. Use a hammer to hammer them flat on the lip and apply epoxy-glue. This will never come unglued again!

I make most of my lips from either 1/16" Lexan (which I'm running out of and need to find more) or thin aluminum. I finish sanding down the lure and put the raw lip material in and cut out a form with a bandsaw or aviation tin snips. I also make my line ties and hook hangers from 20-gauge wire (Wal-Mart or Lowe's.) I drill two small holes in the lip bend the wire over a nail, thread the wire through the holes and bend back to insert into the lure body with the lip. This helps hold the lip in place. Make sure the cut for the lip is perfectly perpendicular to the body. It takes some practice to find the right spot for the line tie but that comes with experience, mistakes and practice. Generally the longer the lip the farther out on the lip the line tie should go. On minnow style lures and short lips the line tie can go straight into the body over the lip.

I make crankbaits and I know how frustrating it can be to put all of that work into a bait and not have it work. There are 3 reasons that I can think of that will make a crankbait spin.
1. Either you are not using a ballast weight in the belly of the lure or you are not using enough weight.
2. The line tie in the lip is too close to the nose of the lure.
3. The lip is either too large or too small.

Another thing that could be wrong is the other angle of your dive lip. By this, I don't mean the angle you see when you look at the lure in profile (from the side), rather the angle that the lip makes from the nose or front of the lure. If you make the slot for the lip when the wood is still a rectangle, the distance from the lip slot to the end of the wood block will be the same on each side. What this means is that the distance from the lip to the nose (on the finished lure) will be the same on each SIDE of the lure.

I use 1/16 Plexiglas for cutting my lips. It is plenty tough enough. I have a plug that has seen over 30 hours on the bottom of High Rock Lake and the lip is still perfect. I use a power scroll saw to cut them. You can use thicker stuff. But if you go to 1/8 thick then it has a tendency to melt behind itself as you cut it. You have to cut the same line several times. This is just a pain. Maybe an adjustable speed saw may work. You could maybe slow it down to make your cuts. But I don't have one. Make a small notch at the bottom of the lip on each side so when you place your lip in the crankbait you can fill in along the sides and it will lock the lip in place.

I use .031 thick piano wire. Drill a 1/32-inch in hole in the lip where you want the tie to be. Bend your wire around a small nail. Put both ends of the wire through the hole and then bend it back towards the back of the lip. Be slow and be easy when doing this. Get in a rush and you could crack you lip. Some bait makers drill two holes. I don't like this, because if the little piece between the two holes breaks, then the tie becomes sloppy and loose. Once you have tuned the crankbait then put epoxy along the wire and put a drop in the hole that the wire comes through. This locks everything in place for good.

For your line tie, take the wire and bend it around the nail to make a U shape. Mark on your lip where you want the tie to go. Heat the ends of the wire and push them through the lip. Make sure the top of the tie is kind of close to the lip. If you leave it too high then you may have to tune the lure too often. If you get it close then they stay in tune real well. Bend the ends of the wire back toward the end of the lip and cut off the excess. Drill 2 small holes on the back corners of the lip and get your epoxy down in those holes when you glue them. This acts as a glue point and will really lock that lip into place.

HARDWARE

I make my line ties and hook hangers from 20-gauge wire (Wal-Mart or Lowe's.) I drill two small holes in the lip bend the wire over a nail, thread the wire through the holes and bend back to insert into the lure body with the lip. This helps hold the lip in place. Make sure the cut for the lip is perfectly perpendicular to the body. It takes some practice to find the right spot for the line tie but that comes with experience, mistakes and practice. Generally the longer the lip the farther out on the lip the line tie should go. On minnow style lures and short lips the line tie can go straight into the body over the lip.

The screws that are used are about half inch in length, which means about 3/8 of an inch should be into the wood. I have yet to lose a fish using this method.

Make sure that you have one screw and hook on the tail of the lure and one screw inn the center. Your lure should never turn upside down unless something is wrong with the angle of the lip or the screws are not centered.

Line Ties: I use .031 thick piano wire. Drill a 1/32-inch in hole in the lip where you want the tie to be. Bend your wire around a small nail. Put both ends of the wire through the hole and then bend it back towards the back of the lip. Be slow and be easy when doing this. Get in a rush and you could crack you lip. Some bait makers drill two holes. I don't like this, because if the little piece between the two holes breaks, then the tie becomes sloppy and loose. Once you have tuned the crankbait then put epoxy along the wire and put a drop in the hole that the wire comes through. This locks everything in place for good.

I put a touch of epoxy on the back screw eye. It will never pull out.

A jointed lure but each part is a bait on itself. Like a bigger crankbait as the front-part with a crankbait lip and a smaller bait as a tail but without the crankbait-lip. The Mann's "Follow Me" is rather famous here. I also made one like that but with two jointed crankbaits from "Rapala": a jointed 13cm + a jointed 11cm. I removed the crankbait-lip from the 11cm jointed and this has an eel-like action. Also remove the rear treble on the 13cm one and add one more split ring so it runs normal. I mean, remove the rear treble on the jointed 13. Leave the split ring on it. If you were to attach the jointed 11 (without the lip) right now to the split ring of the j-13 tail, the 11cm would run on its side. Therefore you need to add one extra split ring to the tail of the j-13 so it runs straight. To remove the lip, just use a pair of wire cutters and cut it away around the lure but leave a few millimeters sticking out. Then remove those few millimeters with a file. Smear some epoxy over the place where the lip used to be and you're done.

Pre-drill all holes for screw eyes. Dip screw eyes in epoxy before screwing into the bait.

By tandem plug I assume you mean a jointed plug, in other words a 2-piece plug. These are very simple to accomplish. Basically there are 3 ways (that I know of) to create the joint.
Option #1. Screw a single OPEN screw eye in each of the two pieces to be joined. Be sure to put each eye in the center of the bait. The eye on the front half of the bait should be vertical, while the rear eye should be horizontal. Join the two pieces and close the eyes with a pair of pliers.
Option #2. Cut a rectangular shaped piece from some metal sheet or plate stock. Round the ends. Cut matching horizontal slots in each of the 2 pieces to be joined. Insert the plate and drill through the body and the plate. This option is more hit and miss. I would suggest that you stick with option #1.
Option #3. To create a rotating tail section drill a small (2-3mm) hole through the entire lure body on its EXACT centerline. Insert a stainless steel wire (make sure there's an eye loop at the nose end of the bait) through the bait. Epoxy the wire in the front half of the bait. Put a small bead onto the wire and slide the tail section on. Add another bead and then bend an eye for the rear hook.

Generally, the joint will be a 2/3, 1/3 relationship. That is the front of the bait will be 2/3's of the overall bait length and the tail will be 1/3. You can go 50:50, but I've found it harder to get the action right.

I always use screw eyes of 26mm long, even on cedar lures. Never had one pull out when I glued it in with epoxy-glue. Only use that wood for floaters though.

Poe's uses a long screw eye in their baits. About 1" to 1 1/4" should do. If you want to make your own hanger with a weight, here is what you can do. For that size bait take a 1/8 oz. worm weight and smash it in a vise until it looks like an aspirin. Then turn it the other way and press it until it is like a post. Drill a 1/32 hole through it from the top all of the way through. Take some .031 wire and bend it around a nail until it is U shaped. Run both ends of the wire through the hole and bend the ends over. Cut off the excess and drill a hole in the belly of the bait large enough for the weight. Glue it in with Devcon 2 ton epoxy. Believe me, it won't come out.

I am using the wire as a hook hanger. If you want to run a screw eye through it, I would still drill the hole. It makes it much easier. Sometimes when you twist these screw eyes into the baits, you can break them. I get my screw eyes for the rear hook hanger from Jann's. They are 1 1/4" long. They are made of brass and then nickel coated. When twisting these things into real hard wood, they sometimes break. It can get messy trying to drill them out. I think just twisting them into the lead may cause the same problem.

For your line tie, take the wire and bend it around the nail to make a U shape. Mark on your lip where you want the tie to go. Heat the ends of the wire and push them through the lip. Make sure the top of the tie is kind of close to the lip. If you leave it too high then you may have to tune the lure too often. If you get it close then they stay in tune real well. Bend the ends of the wire back toward the end of the lip and cut off the excess. Drill 2 small holes on the back corners of the lip and get your epoxy down in those holes when you glue them. This acts as a glue point and will really lock that lip into place.

I've used long screw eyes on a small muskie crankbait for the last few years. I have caught up to 47" muskies and never had a problem with them pulling out. I pre-drill the holes and put epoxy on the threads before screwing them in.

OTHER TIPS

Test your lures in a lake or pond after gluing up and sealing and before you paint them to make sure the run straight. If the lure pulls to one side or the other bend the line tie slightly in the opposite direction to straighten out the action.

Be willing to experiment but study classic lures for design characteristics.

I make crankbaits and I know how frustrating it can be to put all of that work into a bait and not have it work. There are 3 reasons that I can think of that will make a crankbait spin.
1. Either you are not using a ballast weight in the belly of the lure or you are not using enough weight.
2. The line tie in the lip is too close to the nose of the lure.
3. The lip is either too large or too small.

What I use to dry lures ... Especially ones that have a topcoat that tends to run or drip is ... An old electric rotisserie motor. I made a 12" diameter wheel or disc out of 1/4" plywood and attached it on an approximate 45-degree angle to the shaft of the motor. Then I cut some strips from an old innertube and stapled around the perimeter of the disc with the staples about 1" apart. What this does is not allow the cover coat to drip or sag ... As the motor turns slowly and the disc being at an angle to the motor shaft will make the baits move in all directions while the cover coat sets. It works great.

I usually hang the bait vertically and allow it to drip onto a piece of cardboard below. If you time it right you can catch the final drips with a brush. Using a blowtorch held a distance away (as explained in instructions) will take all the air bubbles out. Takes some experimenting, but you can really get a nice finish with a super deep shine with this stuff. The rotary idea sounds like it would work great, especially if you wanted an extra thick coat. I have been experimenting around with no-melt, solid plastic body, musky lures that are poured into a silicone mold. They should really stand up to teeth.

I spoke to the Canadian rep for ETI and he said most people (fishing industry) use EX-88. It's another coating made by ETI. He also said that the pros use a rotary tool to keep the lure moving as it dries. He said they use motors similar to those used in the manufacture of fishing rods.

By tandem plug I assume you mean a jointed plug, in other words a 2-piece plug. These are very simple to accomplish. Basically there are 3 ways (that I know of) to create the joint.
1. Screw a single open screw eye in each of the two pieces to be joined. Be sure to put each eye in the center of the bait. The eye on the front half of the bait should be vertical, while the rear eye should be horizontal. Join the two pieces and close the eyes with a pair of pliers.
2. Cut a rectangular shaped piece from some metal sheet or plate stock. Round the ends. Cut matching horizontal slots in each of the 2 pieces to be joined. Insert the plate and drill through the body and the plate. This system is more hit and miss, stick with system 1.
3. To create a rotating tail section drill a small (2-3mm) hole through the entire lure body on its exact centerline. Insert a stainless steel wire (make sure there's an eye loop at he nose end of the bait) through the bait. Epoxy the wire in the front half of the bait. Put a small bead onto the wire and slide the tail section on. Add another bead and then bend an eye for the rear hook.

A jointed lure but each part is a bait on itself. Like a bigger crankbait as the front-part with a crankbait lip and a smaller bait as a tail but without the crankbait-lip. The Mann's "Follow Me" is rather famous here. I also made one like that but with two jointed crankbaits from "Rapala": a jointed 13cm + a jointed 11cm. I removed the crankbait-lip from the 11cm jointed and this has an eel-like action. Also remove the rear treble on the 13cm one and add one more split ring so it runs normal. I mean, remove the rear treble on the jointed 13. Leave the split ring on it. If you were to attach the jointed 11 (without the lip) right now to the split ring of the j-13 tail, the 11cm would run on its side. Therefore you need to add one extra split ring to the tail of the j-13 so it runs straight. To remove the lip, just use a pair of wire cutters and cut it away around the lure but leave a few millimeters sticking out. Then remove those few millimeters with a file. Smear some epoxy over the place where the lip used to be and you're done.

Has anyone had any luck making crankbaits, like "Rattletraps", out of wood? I've made a few, but have had difficulty getting them to wobble properly. Any suggestions?

Put all the weight in the nose and the attachment point at least 1/3 of the way along the back. That should work fine. They do need to be made to positively sink, even the "Rat-l-trap" suspending versions are a bit unreliable and often don't start working easily.

Check out the TR "Twitchers" as well. These are chopbaits but I don't remember by whom they are made. They wiggle and vibrate like a "Rattletrap" when you pull them back. The best bet is to put the nose screw eye not too far forward.

I put a lot of home made rattles in mine.

I've found the easy way to add rattles is to lay your lure on its side (flat) after you first cut it to shape. Use a 1/4 in. bit and drill through both sides of the lure. Now get a 1/4 in. hardwood dowel and cut two pieces approx. 1/8 in. Take one of these and plug one side of your lure then place one or two (depends on thickness of lure) BBs (air rifle BBs) or similar in the other hole then plug that side. Apply wood filler and sand smooth and your done.


 
Related Sponsored Content




 
   
 
Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions