September 16, 2020

Sometimes, you don’t want to rely on someone else to make your fishing lure. Store-bought fishing lures can be reliable, but there’s nothing better than using one that you’ve made yourself. As complicated as it may seem at first, making your own fishing lure is quite a straightforward process as long as you have the proper equipment and instruction.

If you have some downtime or are interested in experiencing a fishing trip that’s closer to home, we’ve got the supplies and easy steps for you to make your own fishing lure with ease. 

Types of Fishing Lures

How to make a fishing lure

Surface Lures

As the name implies, surface fishing lures are designed to stay atop the water, floating on the surface to attract fish. 

They’ll typically have different paint jobs on the top of the lure than they do on the bottom. Opposite of surface lures, you can also find sinking lures that drop directly into the water and attract fish near the bottom of the water. 

Plastic Lures

Plastic lures are, of course, made out of plastic material. Plastic makes for a lightweight lure that’s easy to cast and bobs around the water similar to fish just hanging out in the sea. These are going to come in all sorts of bright colors, and are fairly common in the fishing world. 

Spoon Lures

Spoon lures are harder metal lures that were originally just a regular ol’ spoon without a handle. Now, we’ve come a bit further, and these curved like lures are carefully crafted and designed to resemble bait. They move through the water differently than other lures, creating more natural “swimming” movements as it’s used. 

What You’ll Need

Fly Fishing Lures

In order to make a fishing lure, you are going to need quite a few different materials. When it comes to tools, you’re going to want:

  • Power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Coping saw
  • Knife
  • Multitool with knife for whittling 
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Coarse and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Pliers
  • Paintbrush
  • Waterproof superglue

Along with these various tools that you should have laying around your garage, you’re also going to need a few different materials to make the best possible fishing lure. You should have:

  • Wood (of any type)
  • Large popsicle stick
  • Paint
  • Fishing line
  • Polycrylic wood sealant 
  • Wood putty
  • Split rings
  • Treble hooks
  • Small eyelets

A few optional materials would be a large nail for added weight, googly eyes to decorate your lure with, and propellers. 

Now that you’ve got all of your tools and materials, it is time to start making your lure.

8 Easy Steps

Step 1.

First thing’s first: how big is your lure going to be? The first step is deciding. Take your woodblock and determine the size of your future lure. 

Standard lures are about 3 inches, but it is totally up to you how long you want it to be. Usually, bigger lures are able to reel in bigger fishes, but this isn’t always the case. Go for what feels comfortable.

If you have a lathe, this would be a great time to use it. Otherwise, take your whittling knife and start cutting down your lure into the shape you desire. Then, using your sandpaper, smooth out your wood until it’s the right surface for a nice even paint. 

Step 2. 

This next step is optional, but it’s a lot of fun and can add style to your lure that might draw in a few more fish. 

Here, drill two little holes at the top of your piece of wood where eyes on a fish would go. Make sure not to cut too deep, though. 

Then, in these holes, put a few drops of super glue and then place your chosen googly eyes into the holes. Press them tight to help secure them. 

Then, screw one of your eyelets, to the tip of the wood to make for easy holding. Now, it’s time to start painting.

Step 3. 

The paint colors you use on your lure are entirely up to you, though it might be helpful to paint the lure colors that would remind fish of their typical bait.

This is why many lures you see are dark green, similar to frogs, or even bright yellow colors to be easily seen in even the muddiest waters.  

Feel free to Google some popular lure painting patterns for you to follow if you’re not feeling creative. If you are, however, have some fun with your paint! 

Whatever most appeals to you is perfectly fine, as this is your homemade lure after all. After you’ve picked your pattern and are happy with the way your lure looks, you will then waterproof it. 

Step 4. 

Take a little bit of fishing line and tie about two feet of it to the eyelet that you added on the top of your lure. This will make dipping it into the polycrylic easy. 

Open the top of the polycrylic and stir it well, ensuring it is properly mixed. Then, take your lure, holding the fishing line, and dip it right into the mixture. Submerge it completely. 

After it has been dunked, take it out, let the excess drip off over the container, and then leave it hanging to dry for just a bit. Repeat this process thrice, ensuring it is completely dry in between each coat and after. 

Step 5. 

You’re going to have to let the polycrylic clear coat dry for a day. After 24 hours, it’s time to add all the little bits and pieces to your lure. 

Add another eyelet to the back end of your lure, as well as under the belly. The under the belly should be closer to the front end, but still slightly in the middle of the underside. 

Attach a split ring to the eyelet under the belly and on the back of the hook, then, using that split ring, attach a treble hook to each. Now, you have all the parts necessary to start fishing. 

Step 6. 

This step is another optional one. If you feel like adding a bit more pizazz to your lure, this is the time to do so. 

With your permanent marker, you can add designs like scales to the lure to make it look more realistic. You can also choose to add propellers to allow it to cut through the water even easier. 

As we mentioned at the start, you can also choose to add a large nail here to add some weight to your lure if it doesn’t feel heavy enough for your line. 

Truly, you make a myriad of modifications to your fishing lure if you want, and this is the step to do it. However, you want your fishing lure to look is your prerogative-- the fish aren’t going to judge! 

You’re Ready to Fish!

Believe it or not, now, you’re ready to fish! Making your own fishing lure may be a little bit of work, but it’s nothing that a few hours a day and some tools can’t handle. 

Now, every time you catch a fish, you know that your lure had something to do with that. But, if you don’t catch any fish with your lure, that’s okay, too! It’s all about having a good time. 

So, gather your fishing line, fishing pole, fishing lure, and everything else you need for your fishing trip, and start enjoying your hand-made experience. 



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