mainbutter

homemade lure success - catching any fish?

23 posts in this topic

I know people here building their own wooden lures put many, MANY hours into design, construction, tuning, painting etc.. But do you guys get a chance to actually get out on the water?

I've seen tons of absolutely beautiful swimbaits with crazy cool action, extraordinary detail on paintjobs on everything people post pictures of.

I know sometimes I've had lures that I thought looked great, and just don't catch fish.

I also have a couple lures that look plain ugly, don't necessarily have the neatest movement through the water, but I have caught TONS of BIG fish on.

Heck when it comes to catching fish this year, nothing has caught more fish or more big fish than 5'' watermelon colored senkos. In one week in canada, I had multiple 40+ fish days, I beat my personal best big pike 5 times, caught my first musky and proceeded to hook into 4 more on the trip.. and well over 3/4 of all the fish caught excluding lake trout in deep water were on wacky-rigged senkos. Heck 3 of the musky and 3 of the biggest pike on the trip were on senkos! I even did get one lake trout that was up shallow for some reason on one as well.

It doesn't get much more basic than jigging a stick of soft plastic hooked through the middle.

Now as I'm approaching the finish line for my first wooden lure, it got me thinking.. do the hours upon hours of making fancy lures pay off in catching fish? Frankly I don't care, because I've just had such a great time carving and sanding and painting and just working with my hands, it's very relaxing. But I wonder how much testing people do with their lure designs to see if they actually CATCH FISH!

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I think I speak for most, if not all, of us here when I say YES, we do catch fish on lures we make.

As for the fancy paint jobs and exotic finishes, "the action catches the fish, the paint job catches the fisherman".

But paint schemes that are different than what the local bass are used to seeing do help.

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You've touched an a few good subjects,

The catch 22 is that most people here trade their time on the water in exchange for shop time grinding out new creations, its not always the case, but the good thing is both are rewarding.

Once you actually catch a fish on one of your works, the world will finally make sense. I know you're questioning and possibly weighing the effort vs.reward..trust me, just keep fishing your works and report back your experience when you do land one.

Your FIRST lure should be tested carefully, if you catch one on it, retire it and make a copy. You will find your FIRST lure is priceless. I was one of the unfortunate ones who lost my first & wish I woulda kept it. looking back as your skills improve, you will admire that first lure for all its memories, imperfections & all.

When you finish that lure, post it in the gallery (not the forum) for us to see!

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redg8r is right.

And if you post pictures of you lures in the gallery as you make them, you'll have a photo album online. You can look back from time to time, and be amazed at how far you've come.

The first fish I caught on one of my swimbaits, a 6lb7oz largemouth, was in a tournament, with another boat nearby. That boater, a friend of mine, was almost as excited as I was. That lure has been refinished twice, and is now retired.

There is nothing quite like catching fish on something you created.

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@ mainbutter

I've caught my PB pike on a homemade crankbait , I sometimes manage to design a lure completely suiting the conditions at certain waters , that I fish , two good reasons for me to build lures !

And in our local heavily pressured waters a proven and maybe also unusual home design is superior to commercials , as many a fish can already read the brand name on them:lol::lol: .

greetz , diemai:yay:

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IMO, if they don't catch fish at least as well as commercial baits, it's a waste. So far, I'm happy. I try to build a crankbait that is significantly different from baits I can buy. Maybe a different action, maybe one that hunts on the retrieve, or one that's more durable, or comes through cover better, or one that mimics a discontinued classic bait, or even just one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Your custom made bait will be different. And many times, "different" gets bit just because the fish have never seen it.

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I re-wrote this about five times and I came to the conclusion that the pay off is sharing your baits with others and having them fish them with confidence as there go-to lure

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Why do I build my own lures?

Well thats all i fish now.... I have never caught a fish on a crank bait till i made my own and within 20 cast I caught a fish. Maybe it was the color or maybe the fish has never seen a lure like that before. Also it seems that I catch more fish with my own lures... lol my first lure looked horrible and had the worst action ever and the fish just seemed to love it.

So for the answer to your question YES we do catch fish with our creations... some spend endless hours in the shop brain storming a design while others just go out and make one in a night with no plan what so ever. Thats what so much fun about making your lures, its just whatever YOU want.

Goodluck, Jacob

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Yes I do catch fish on my own crankbaits and alot of other folks around the country are catching fish on them also.

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I absolutely catch fish on my baits. I have had a lot of fun with my prop baits and poppers, especially on lakes and rivers with grass lines. While topwater won't always catch fish, it is more often than not a keeper fish!

I don't make a lot of crankbaits because, well, I haven't been able to come up with a crank bait that I really like the action more AND catches more than commercially available baits that I have or have repainted. So while I make a few I'll be honest and tell you I only keep the best ones because they hunt or are unique actions. And because I like to fish shallow, balsa is so lively that when it is good, it is real good. Now if I spent more time on the water fishing my own, I'd probably make more and keep more I have made. LOL, with all of that said, well I finished up about 8 more crank baits recently and well this batch is quite good, so my attitude may change once I get them tournament tested.

I would highly recommend you make yourself a few topwater baits as I think you will have a good chance on making a successful bait and it is a hoot when your baits are working and your partner is looking at you with those, where do I get one eyes!

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Mainbutter,

I think you're missing something here.

Any crank or lure will catch fish at some point.

Even lures that roll, or swim funny.

There's always going to be fish that are curious, or hungry, and all they have to check out potential meals with is their mouths.

And they're programmed to hit a moving object.

So almost every lure we make will work at one time or another.

Especially if they are different from what the fish have been conditioned to seeing, like DD22s and DT16s.

Plus, there's a great feeling when you think of something you wish you had, and then go out to the shop or garage and make it, and take it fishing.

We post our pictures here to share, because we're proud of what we've accomplished, and are always looking for help to improve. Not necessarily to make a better lure, although that is good, but, at least for me, to find easier, smarter, and better ways to make lures. That's why we gab so much about different materials, paints, and top coats, and the methods we use.

And it's fun! :yay:

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@ mark poulson

Very well stated , Mark :yes::yes:!

greetz:yay: , Dieter

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I haven't fished a commercially sold bait for about 5 years now. I fish only my own baits and I enjoy changing the variables that I can control because I build my own lures. I also enjoy experimenting with the physics with which we are presented when dragging a piece of carved and painted wood through the water.

Do they work? You bet they do8O8O:oooh::D:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a21/vc1111/Insurancepics011-1.jpg

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theres something that makes guys create there own. . we are curious creatures. i started down the bait road a few decades ago. its enjoying to catch fish on your own. its also extremely enjoyable to help out the young guns.just last week we boated a 53by 25 musky 40lbs released by a 13 year old. his dad and him will enjoy that memory for life. now that turns my crank, no pun intended.

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Mainbutter- I had a mate I worked with come over to my house for a Bar-B-Q in 78 -79 (thats 1978-79) and he told me he had been Bass fishing (that's Australian Bass!!) and had caught a couple, would I interested in getting the canoe out and going down the river (100 miles away) and try and catch some??. Being married at the time with the regulation two kids each, and not having a secret stash of cash between us for lures we decided (knowing nothing about it) we had better make a few. Well off we went a week or so later with probably six home madey's between us, and low and behold we caught Bass, and lots of them. What we call Bass here, are different to there (U.S) in that I don't think ours are really Bass (Perch), they are rare (endangered), aggressive, live in fresh and breed in salt water in the most South East coastal rivers, and rarely get any bigger then about three pounds.

Australian Bass

Ever since then I have made lures, both commercially and now for my and a few friends entertainment. Commercially I made a new '2” frog pattern' (about1986) which I caught a 32 lb Murray Cod on while in my canoe fishing our local lake for Trout (on 6lb line), this made it to the local fishing mags and before you know it I was a slave to the “2” Frog Pattern”, as fast as I could make them the Cod fishers walked them out the door. I think this is where I get my disdain of endorsements of lure colours/brands, ('one fish does not make a school'), I think I caught one more cod on this pattern (2lb), but I still catch Trout on them, and this is the rub, I still make this lure in lots of colours but the 'Frog' is my 'go to' colour for Brown Trout here, in fact I have eight blanks in the shed I made yesterday (I have just about run out of “The Frog”)

Since 1978-79 I have been hooked, I only have about three different profiles and am more into painting than shapes/hydraulics, I treat them as a canvas and love mucking around with the paint, but as 'Fatfingers' is saying, put your b***'s behind your product and you will clean up, although I have to admit to using an occasional 'Rapala' and 'Tassie Devil' when things get slow !! And as all are saying, you can't beat the buzz of catching ANYTHING on your own lures, it will keep you entertained for at least the next thirty years. pete

Edited by hazmail

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I have always tested my lures. Only thing is I dont have a whole lot of places to fish them. Or even catch anything with them on. However, I was testing my swimbait on the ohio river and I caught this. It is a sauger, and he must have been hungry cause the swim bait was about 1/4 its size lol.

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@ atrophius

Not familiar to that fish naturally , but it's slender body really seems to indicate , that it was on low forage !

But our local pike are able to eat(and sometimes do) prey up to almost 70% of their own body length , and when local smallie perch are in a feeding frenzy , they sometimes also go for larger pike crankbaits of almost their own body size !

Nice picture :yes:, .........greetz:yay: , diemai

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I disagree kind of. A fancy finish on a bait might be to catch fisherman but a realistic paint job on a realistic bait is made to catch big old smart fish. Notice I didnt say just a realistic paint job. Cause you can have the most beautiful realistic finish on a crank bait and its still just a crankbait. It dosnt look realistic and it doesnt swim realistic. It might catch fish(they all do) but it is mainly to attract fisherman. Now take a bait that looks like a real fish, swims like a real fish and has the correct finish of the real fish its supossed to be and now you have a bait that catches smart big old fish.

here are a few fish I caught on my baits

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/Mattlures/wolf11.jpg?t=1249895223

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/Mattlures/DSC00799.jpg?t=1249895296

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/Mattlures/Copy2ofDSC00822.jpg?t=1249895355

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I haven't fished a commercially sold bait for about 5 years now. I fish only my own baits and I enjoy changing the variables that I can control because I build my own lures. I also enjoy experimenting with the physics with which we are presented when dragging a piece of carved and painted wood through the water.

Do they work? You bet they do8O8O:oooh::D:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a21/vc1111/Insurancepics011-1.jpg

Yes, fats, outside of some commercially made plastics and spoons, it's handmade, or re-made all the way for me, if not by me, then someone I know!

Dean

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Good to hear from you, Dean.

I'd really like to get involved in making some plastics someday. I have a couple of ideas I'd like to try, but it seems like once you get going with the wood and the paint, its hard to turn away.

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