mainbutter

Where to get started making my own wooden lures?

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I've decided to try my hand at making some of my own lures, partly because I just want to catch with with something I made myself, and partly because I just want to take up a new hobby.

I've spent the past month or so digging up as many resources on lure making as I can. These forums are incredible, but all the information out there is a little overwhelming for someone with no experience with anything like this.

I know that "lure making" is huge, with limitless possibilities, so I need to narrow down my approach to some specifics.

I've decided to put my time towards wooden lures.

My goal I'm setting for myself is to be able to make shallow lipped cranks, deep diving lipped cranks, and eventually slow sinking lipless jointed swimbaits. I'd like to learn to paint, and I figure I'll probably want to learn to airbrush since that seems to be very popular.

My issue is that I just don't know how to go about making any of the above from start to finish. I've never done woodworking before, I don't quite understand how you're supposed to attach hooks and hardware, how you're supposed to weight lures with lead, and most of all I'm absolutely 100% out of my realm of understanding when I read up on how you guys paint lures. I know absolutely NOTHING about paint, and when people start throwing terms like MinWax and epoxy and enamel around, I really don't have a good grasp of what any of that means.

If anyone can help me get started, just with some resources or some step-by-step hardbaint construction I can copy for a first attempt, I'd love it! Thanks!!

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Click on "How To" at the top of this page, then go down to Member Submitted Tutorials and click on "Hardbait How To". This will show a bunch of picture assisted tutorials from TU members. To get a complete list, drop down to the bottom of the page and change the time period from "last 30 days" to "From the Beginning". The tutorials include a couple on building crankbaits and at least one on swimbaits.

One easy build procedure: This uses Devcon 2 Ton epoxy for all the durable coating/gluing requirements, which works well and keeps it simple.

Trace a lure you like, transfer the trace to some clear plastic and cut out a template

Use the template to mark your blank on the wood (include the angle of the lip slot)

Cut out the lure blank and the lip slot; cut or sand the wood to final thickness if required.

Scribe a centerline on the bait top and bottom, and mark spots for the ballast, hook hangers, and line tie.

Round over the edges to the final shape and sand it smooth.

Install the ballast and hook hangers using epoxy.

Brush on an waterproofing undercoat of Devcon 2 Ton epoxy cut 25-50% with lacquer thinner or acetone, let it cure hard, then sand out any rough spots.

Spray a white color basecoat and then the final colors, dry with a hair dryer as you go.

Install the lip with Devcon 2 Ton at this point.

Brush on a topcoat of Devcon 2 Ton epoxy (best undiluted but you can add a few drops of lacquer thinner if necessary to improve flow-out.

Buy pre-cut lips from several suppliers like Janns Netcraft or can cut your own from polycarbonate sheet or G-10 circuit board (McMaster-Carr carries both). Likewise with hook hangers, using store bought screw eyes or hand twisted from stainless steel wire (.029"-.031" dia is good). It is always best to measure and mark every dimension, cut, round-over limit, and hardware placement to get a bait that is symmetrical and runs straight. Wood grain lines and the non-linear shape of a crankbait will fool your eye so if you eyeball stuff, you are going to be misled. IMO, for starting out, shallow diving baits are easiest to build and a hardwood like basswood, which works consistently and has virtually no grain effects is best. It shapes and sands more slowly than balsa so you can correct mistakes before the bait becomes a toothpick. Devcon 2 Ton epoxy cures to a no-sag-no-run state in about 45 mins, can be handled in 5-6 hrs and is hard cured in 24 hours. When used as a glue, the bond is permanent in about 2 hours (at 70 degrees temp).

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@ mainbutter

Welcome to the addiction;):yes::lol: , ......you've hit the right place to get started !

Basically , almost everything to answer your questions is written up in here , ....somewhere......., only problem is to find it:huh: !

Two things I can think of briefly is the download section of :-:-: Lure Making :-:-: The Official LureMaking.com Website | Tackle Components | Lure Components | Lure Making Information | Lure Making Supplies , download the file "The Canadian Guide To Luremaking" , starting at page 56 there is a brief , basic describtion on carving wooden baits , .....there are also some lure templates to be downloaded somewhere in there .

Also utilize the search function here at TU (top right bar) , type in " looks that simple the Finnish way" , ....it would lead you to a thread starting with a two part video on making balsa lures , later there is also a picture sequence displaying the evolution of a wooden swimbait .

..........talkin'bout videos , ........on YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. there are also a couple of videos dealing on homemade lures available , also utilize the search function there typing in some keywords .

You should also check the tutorial section in here , you'd surely find something in there as well to figure out more about lurecarving .

Being a beginner in lurecarving take one advice from me :

Get started simple , .......maybe just a cigar-shaped topwater , a simple "GrandMa" style crankbait or a flat sided sinking glider , ......this way you could file your skills and gain first experiences ,........and ........paramount .......keep on browsing the threads in here !

PS : Also have a look at Lurebuilding 101 , it is a Dutch site , but an English version is available ,.... also some instructions and describtions to be found there !

good luck , diemai:yay:

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thank you so much guys!! One more quick question: What tools should I be picking up immediately for hand-carving?

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@ mainbutter

Basically a carving knife and some different grit sandpaper is enough:huh:;):lol: !

Alright ,.......for faster and more convinient processing you'd need some kinda woodsaw to pre-cut your blanks from your wood boards or dowels , a scrollsaw works ,.... the pro's go for bandsaws .

A "Dremel" Multitool comes in very handy , as it grinds , cuts slots and grooves and drills small holes .

I also use my sandpaper file quite often(a plastic file , on which a stripe of sandpaper can be fixed onto , available for RC modell making) ,...... equipped with 40 grit paper coarse sanding softer woods comes like a breeze .

But many years ago I had started out with a handsaw , a carpet knife with interchangeable blades and sandpaper as well , used a simple cheap electric drill for furnishing the screw eyes pilot holes , ........and that was it !

But by the time it is most natural to gear up more and more , ..........Rome was't built in one day as well , you see;) ?

good luck , diemai:yay:

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I use a scroll saw and a Dremel with various shaping/sanding/drill bits. Can't live without my Dremel! Burn through one per year but they have excellent warranty and service. I also recommend a small band saw vs a scroll saw if you have a choice. Of course, if you REALLY mean hand tools, you can use a hand scroll saw, a pocket knife, and sand paper. It's just harder to cut straight with a hand held saw, in my experience. BTW, I recommend Norton 3X sandpaper, it lasts and lasts (available at Home Depot).

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Before you go spending big money on tools and such, why not just buy a few pre-made lure kits for $5-$6ea. Basically the same thing as building your own w/o all the shapping and sanding. It comes with all the hardware you need. If you decide it isn't for you then no big loss.

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Before you go spending big money on tools and such, why not just buy a few pre-made lure kits for $5-$6ea. Basically the same thing as building your own w/o all the shapping and sanding. It comes with all the hardware you need. If you decide it isn't for you then no big loss.

now what fun is that!? :lol:

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I see you live in the Twin Cities........I'm 100 miles west of you. I'm a little farther advanced in the process of making wood lures but not much. I'm a PC Tech and never took woodworking classes in high school just PC classes, so I know how you feel. I bought a belt/disc sander and working on getting a small band saw. I have starting making a couple of crankbaits with the belt sander but a bandsaw would be better for the outline of the crankbait. The best info is right here and STUDY STUDY STUDY. Don't know ask or write a list of stuff and got to Menards, Lowes, and Home Depot and find it there. You have a better selection than I do living in the cities. Also, Epoxy DevCon that you hear about I found it at Hardware Hank. Looks like people have given you advice so have fun and if it frustrates you take a break and go after it again.

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Thanks again everybody for all the replies! Keep 'em coming if you have more to add, nothing is a better resource than a community like this!

A couple of questions.. Does anyone know if fishing/outdoors stores carry precut lips for cranks? To anyone near minneapolis, do you know if Thorne Bros. carries lips? I know they carry supplies for making wire lures and fly tying but don't know what other lure making supplies they have.

On devcon epoxy, and epoxy in general: what's the difference between all the different kinds of "epoxy" I see in hardware stores? I'm probably going to pick up the devcon 2 ton because that's what was recommended, but does anyone use another brand/type?

On paint thinner: what's the difference between "paint thinner" and acetone? Is paint thinner primarily acetone? I've got a bottle of 100% acetone lying around so I'll probably raid that for thinning the epoxy.

Brushing on first coat of thinned epoxy: what do you mix the acetone and epoxy in? I obviously want to do this in something other than a cut that I care about, so something throw-away might be nice, but I worry that plastic cups will be eaten away by the acetone.

thanks again!!

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Brushing on first coat of thinned epoxy: what do you mix the acetone and epoxy in? I obviously want to do this in something other than a cut that I care about, so something throw-away might be nice, but I worry that plastic cups will be eaten away by the acetone.

bottom of a soda can!

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