How to you make a swim bait

12 posts in this topic

IamSpartacus    10

I'll jump in on this even though I'm probably one of the few people on here who don't know how to make a swim bait. One thing that definitely will help you though is to use the search feature on the top of the page (you should see the tab). Try typing in words like swimbait, swimbait joints, segment size, weighting, etc. There is a ton of stuff on this site about it already and if you have any more specific questions there are always people who know how to help. Another useful tab on tap would be the How To tab, where you can find member submitted tutorials on several topics that might be helpful.

Hope this helps,


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jrhopkins    147
Im new at this but i want to try and make a swimbait how is it done please help they lokk so cool but cost like 25 bucks

trial and error mostly:cry:

do some searches on materials, carving, hinges, paint, topcoat, etc.

there is a lot of information here but you need to do some looking.

I bought a Strike King Shad 2 years ago and was not impressed with the look or the action and thats what got me started down the road to insomnia:yawn:.

btw, if you can get one for $25, thats cheap.

good luck and let us know how you do.


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CL Rods    10


I can see and hear Tater Hog and some of the better craftsman rolling over and laughing.

Sorry, but if you think 25$ is too much then stop and go no further unless you already have the carving tools, saws, drills, sand paper, paint, epoxy, glue, and on and on.

If not you will soon have a $500 dollar swim bait and will have spent $2000 in man hours figuring out how to do it.

Now if that doesn't scare you off, welcome to the madness :eek:. Try tackling a non jointed bait first if you haven't already. Heck the sanding and sealing process alone is a PITA when there aren't any joints.

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matt duarte    10

lol no there talkin about the cost of a store bought bait... example: tripple trout=75$.....BBZ=40$...lunker plunker=50$

and loosing them sux even more! ive lost over 250$ in swimbaits ay DVL in one weekend!

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A-Mac    51

Wish I could even consider selling a bait for only $25. Especially after you go through the hoops on just tryin to get one to work! Each bait design seems to have its own riddle to figure out. Plus, as soon as you make one good, you get another idea... all of a sudden your obsessed w/ making the perfect bait! then before too long, your in 5 times more money than what your first bait was... ITS MADNESS! AND IT NEVER STOPS!:D

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I only clicked on this thread to read Rookies response. What a disappointment. Hope everythings OK Rookie.:yay: I wont be tackling this project anytime soon. I am just happy with finding out my nonjointed plugs dont work.:whistle:

Edited by MTfishingrods

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Sorry for the let down MT!!! I havent painted much lately so no solvents effecting what little brain cells I have left, if I ever had any....When I first started painting baits I thought 8 bucks was too much to pay a guy for custom work..boy I had alot to learn!.. so times are is tight and Truck might really need 25 dollars.. you could do alot with 25 bucks..

I could buy 11 monster engery drinks..Keep me painting for 3 days!

Or 5 cans of Skoal

6.25 #1's at McDonalds just couldnt supersize it!

10 T-shirts at the Good Will Store..that paint is hard to get out in the washer!

A Lady of the night in De Moines! 8O CHECK OUT HER PICTURE!

c458a8246fc90e20 NOT BAD FOR 25 bucks dont you think!!!!! :teef:

Heck now I can buy quarter tank of gas,take my below avg escort out to McDonalds, Buy both of us 1 can of skoal and 2 Monster and we will have a party in my bait shop!!! Maybe I will show her how to become a great Master of Baits!!! :D


The Rookie...

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Thats the Rookie we are all used to. And I agree with everything you said. But after reading my post I also would hate to discourage anyone from trying anything they feel they are up to. I have been doing this as long as some here and am nowhere near as talented as they are. So every one progresses differently. Just be aware of what you are in for. Good Luck and above all else have fun!

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mark poulson    1,700

I make wood and composite jointed swimbaits, carved by hand, not poured.

It takes me about 2 hours, start to finish, to make and paint a bait, if I have all the hardware already fabricated, and if I don't do any gill or mouth carving. Kind of like the Triple Trout, but with slightly more elaborate paint schemes. And that's if I do a batch of six or so. Singles take longer, because there's no economy of scale.

My raw materials cost roughly $15/lure, including Owner hooks and stainless steel hardware.

If I charge $75 for one, which is slightly less than what a four piece Triple Trout costs, I'm making roughly $30/hr., not counting the time and trouble to sell them.

It's not the road to riches, unless you can mass produce them, market them, and keep the cost reasonable, like the BBZ1 from Spro. At $40, it's a steal.

Otherwise, you are a boutique maker, and have to hope that word of mouth gets you sales.

I'm fortunate. I fish with a lot of the West Coast swimbait fishermen, so I can use them to advertise.

But you'd better be prepared to service what you sell, or word of any problems will get around quick and kill your sales.

So $25 for a swimbait doesn't seem exorbitant to me. I just bought a 6" ghost Huddleston swimbait Saturday, and caught a fish with it Sunday morning. Cost more that $25, but it was money well spent.

And I bought some of the 4" Spro shad swimbaits, because I don't have the patience, eyesight, or back to make three piece baits that small.

So it really depends on you point of view. If you think you don't have big fish where you fish, and are happy with the fish you're catching, don't spend the money.

But, if you want to spend the time to throw a big bait, sometimes for days without a hit, on the real chance of catching the biggest fish in your waters, then spend the money. The big fish are there, and they got big by eating smaller fish, not worms.

And there's no rush like having a big fish eat your lure, especially one you've made yourself.

Edited by mark poulson

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