ROD W

APPEARANCE OVER INNOVATION

28 posts in this topic

I sometimes wonder if we the members of the group who make our lures from a solid block of wood and not purchased blanks are doing ourselves and maybe the tackle industry a disservice. Hear me out here, we have the ability to create  the next great lure. Maybe if we would look more towards the innovation aspect instead of trying to create a flawless realistic paint job someone from this group might create the next big thing. 

The tackle industry in generations past had many lure innovations brought to the market. Some good some bad (real bad). The thing is they were trying. With the tackle industry being dominated by bigger companies buying out the smaller guys all the time, innovation has been replaced by more lure colors and slight variations of the same lures.

So maybe next time we get out the scroll saw to shape a lure, stop and think. What if................................

 

 

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I think that Bob is on track there.  I love to tinker, to develop the next lure, but not for acclaim, profit, sell, etc., but to fill a specific need I have if I want to catch more fish.

Personally, I feel all my lures are a failure, but my fishing partners, friends, and family don't agree.  My wife sold some of my lures for $50 a piece recently, and I have never ever even tried to sell a lure before.  Not only was it an eye opener, but each one of them gave me anxiety attacks thinking that maybe there was something wrong.  My parents love to talk about my first successful lures from 50 years ago.

I MAKE LURE TO DO WHAT I CANNOT BUY.  LOL

Still, Rod has a point.  But I think that there are a lot of people still experimenting with the next great lure.  I suspect more want to make the next big money maker, not invent for the sake of inventing, and that is not a bad thing.  I just wish they would test them first and not sell "Helicopter Lures or Flying Lures".  Capitalism is a good thing, but it has downsides also.  LOL

In the case of my lures, if they add to the "body of knowledge" as Larry Dahlberg puts it, it will be family and friends that give my lures after I am dead.  I won't have the will to take a chance and submit them myself.  uggggg

 

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I do sell my lures. The profit thing maybe not so much. Most of my "Pro Staff" is made up of 10 year old kids who come up to my table at sport shows and talk fishing. They get a lot of free lures to be field testers for me. The others are sold for $5 ( one ABE = 1 lure)

But on to my point. There is nothing wrong with art but what if the thought process was out there to create something unique and innovative.  Not just a shot term money making gimmick, but something with legs.  Beings we are making lures from scratch anything is possible.

This post was not made to make light of any ones vision of this hobby. It was made to create a thought.

 

 

 

Edited by ROD W
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Great subject, I started with a 1/2" dowel put a hook on it and on the very first catch I caught a Smallmouth bass that was the  start of a box full of lures that did not work, experimenting is every lure that we make more so out of wood. The plastic KOs are good some not so good, but the work is in the wooden ones, small or big like musky lures or a small popper. I really think the experimenting is in the color and I think we have  painted every color that is made just different styles. Yes the lure is pretty much the same from one lure to another over the years and they are just there to mimic another fish. So where do we go now?

Wayne

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I think that many lure innovators here are hesitant to post their own ideas, because there are big lure companies have trolls who are constantly monitoring sites like this for new ideas they can steal.

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Myself I am OCD about creating an action over pretty so guess I am an inavator lol

I work long hrs stuck in trucks or equipment so my mind is non stop thinking about how to create new lures

Probably have about 20 designs in my head I need to build and tinker with 

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This is something that I have thought about from the beginning, about 10-12 years old. Either the TU members that have been here or the ones that have read a post that I have made, knows that I paint to mimic a forage bait 90% of the time. I mainly design my own shapes. However we are limited to a top water, stick or swim as far as hardbaits.

I believe that action (includes depth) is the primary strike factor (this includes swim baits), paint scheme is the second (this includes eyes). I have several distinctive designs. One of these I am going to design it a little smaller. This one is productive and unusual.

I understand what you are saying, but to me if one catches fish I don't care if it is a work of art. My grand won first place in the National Art Competition (local), 12 and under with a bait that was shaped by her hands and painted by a 8 year old. Her and I have caught fish with it before the competition. I had to put an clear coat on it. :D The bait is an unique design that she helped me with.

On the other hand I have made a multi jointed newt baits that looks great in the water but catches only the air. Sooo...I only concentrate on the dozen shapes that produce. My thinking is, "heck how many can I work with anyways"? Its still something I just like doing.

Dale

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5 hours ago, mark poulson said:

I think that many lure innovators here are hesitant to post their own ideas, because there are big lure companies have trolls who are constantly monitoring sites like this for new ideas they can steal.

Just curious Mark, can you name any lures that have been stolen off of this site and what is your source that these big companies have trolls.

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1 hour ago, Hughesy said:

Just curious Mark, can you name any lures that have been stolen off of this site and what is your source that these big companies have trolls.

 

I think this idea is nothing more than wishing  for some.   I have no evidence of it occurring that I can think of since I joined in 2004.   There are claims at times someone stole this or that but I think that is sort of living in a vacuum and not realizing how much is really being done by guys.   Often one might find out what is "new" today wasn't new to some guy 15 or 20 years ago.    I have come across it a few times over the years.

I think we have to be very clear on innovation.   Some guy in his garage whittling out some strange bait isn't necessarily innovation.  Too many guys that make lures think that odd and different makes them cutting edge (soft plastic guys about the worst). 

The true test is the bait in hands of many, fishing different locations, conditions, etc...  These baits are the ones that historically have driven the industry.   For the small builder they grow a local following and spread out and  are sought after.    

Any one familiar with bass fishing can see that individual lure makers,  painters, customizers, etc.. have heavily influenced (heck lets be clear essentially created)  much of what we see.     Deep diving cranks...shallow cranks...flat sided.... they all have had significant gains from small guys.     Hard to find any "history of crank baits" and not see small time guys named mentioned and several have had huge influence on crank design/build  and many of the "big" companies weren't exactly big when they started and very much small guys pushing a dream.      Big companies just have the resources and abilities to quickly take things mainstream to the public where the guys tucked away in TN, NC, and several other little hot beds made baits as quick as they could and had trouble meeting demand from those in the now.

Most hobby builders have little chance of creating something innovative as simply they don't fish enough or understand what they are doing.  No harm in that and they may luck out and stumble on something but simply they don't have the time on the water and ability to know  what/how the changes they make are influencing the end product.    A lot of self claimed experts that fizzle out quickly if we start to compare to others.  

Innovation is alive and well.  Many guys on the site simply don't/can't share what they are doing .   Sure we all can learn from each other but honestly  (real world not PC) one reaches a point that the average guy  isn't much use in regards to forwarding the process of learning.  The most and best learning occurs from guys that are similarly skilled and driven.   For several there is little to gain (lure making wise) from others they just simply share to help pass along information and I have enjoyed what they share.

As far as cranks I like to build them because I enjoy it.   I do think that fit/finish is just as important for me as I see it a reflection of my ability.   If I spend the time to learn and build a crank I find it unacceptable to slap some half attempt at paint/finish.   Some of the first cranks I made were some of the crappiest paint jobs I have ever seen, they caught fish, but I knew I was capable of doing better.  If not I would have moved on to something else.   

Edited by Travis
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9 minutes ago, Travis said:

 

I think this idea is nothing more than wishing  for some.   I have no evidence of it occurring that I can think of since I joined in 2004.   There are claims at times someone stole this or that but I think that is sort of living in a vacuum and not realizing how much is really being done by guys.   Often one might find out what is "new" today wasn't new to some guy 15 or 20 years ago.    I have come across it a few times over the years.

I think we have to be very clear on innovation.   Some guy in his garage whittling out some strange bait isn't necessarily innovation.  Too many guys that make lures think that odd and different makes them cutting edge (soft plastic guys about the worst). 

The true test is the bait in hands of many, fishing different locations, conditions, etc...  These baits are the ones that historically have driven the industry.   For the small builder they grow a local following and spread out and  are sought after.    

Any one familiar with bass fishing can see that individual lure makers,  painters, customizers, etc.. have heavily influenced (heck lets be clear essentially created)  much of what we see.     Deep diving cranks...shallow cranks...flat sided.... they all have had significant gains from small guys.     Hard to find any "history of crank baits" and not see small time guys named mentioned and several have had huge influence on crank design/build  and many of the "big" companies weren't exactly big when they started and very much small guys pushing a dream.      Big companies just have the resources and abilities to quickly take things mainstream to the public where the guys tucked away in TN, NC, and several other little hot beds made baits as quick as they could and had trouble meeting demand from those in the now.

Most hobby builders have little chance of creating something innovative as simply they don't fish enough or understand what they are doing.  No harm in that and they may luck out and stumble on something but simply they don't have the time on the water and ability to know  what/how the changes they make are influencing the end product.    A lot of self claimed experts that fizzle out quickly if we start to compare to others.  

Innovation is alive and well.  Many guys on the site simply don't/can't share what they are doing .   Sure we all can learn from each other but honestly  (real world not PC) one reaches a point that the average guy  isn't much use in regards to forwarding the process of learning.  The most and best learning occurs from guys that are similarly skilled and driven.   For several there is little to gain (lure making wise) from others they just simply share to help pass along information and I have enjoyed what they share.

Very, very well said Travis. Thanks for sharing.

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In the end the only way to know you have made a great bait is let the fish be the judge 

Like stated above I too have created lures that look amazing action wise and paint wise to myself but the fish think otherwise 

 

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17 hours ago, Hughesy said:

Just curious Mark, can you name any lures that have been stolen off of this site and what is your source that these big companies have trolls.

I can't.

I guess it's just my perception of things.

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Mark, it is hard not to have that perception.  We live in a tough world.

I use to think, as a kid, that I had created this wonderful fly or that wonderful popper, just to see it "stolen" by some big company.  It was hard to accept that I was wrong, even when I would see it in a book that was printed before I was born.  It seemed like every available option has been tried..............but it has not.

I think that innovation right now is in materials and methods, not as much in shape, actions, or colors.  We all try to make our lures look like food, and prey species are the obvious ones to target.  But, in the last 20 years we have slowly developed photo transfer methods verses airbrush only.  We have advanced paints, clear coats, etc., so much, but we have a ways to go (see Chrome).  In the last 20 years, we have advanced hard swimbait technology as well, and again, I think that there is more to do.

I think the biggest mistake is to assume that the next advance must be earth shattering, when in reality advancement is usually a slow, incremental thing.  Sure, there has in the past been breakthroughs that, looking back, look like they were fast, but they were not.  Lauri Rapala did not invent the shape, even though he popularized it.  He actually my not have invented the materials (depends on which company story is being told over the years, and I think I have heard/read two or three).  But, he did combine existing materials, shape, and finish that already existed into something that became an industry giant.

20 hours ago, Travis said:

Most hobby builders have little chance of creating something innovative as simply they don't fish enough or understand what they are doing.  No harm in that and they may luck out and stumble on something but simply they don't have the time on the water and ability to know  what/how the changes they make are influencing the end product. 

 When I first read Travis' work, I was taken aback.  I consider Vodkaman, and myself, as hobby builders.  I sure don't think that anyone here would consider Vodkaman as not understanding what he was doing just because he is a hobby builder, and an automotive engineer, instead of a "professional lure maker".  I believe that "most" hobby builders get into this activity because they do put a lot of time on the water, do have at least an idea of what makes a lure do what it does.  That does not mean that some are not as talented or experienced, but I would need some supporting evidence to believe that the word "most" is accurate.

Nevertheless, I do actually understand what Travis is saying.  I have been frustrated by the new posters that seem to want shortcuts to expertise.  I have been a little less than charitable on at least one occasion.  Now I try to at least point them to the search feature.  I wonder if in fact Travis is experiencing the same 

4 hours ago, mark poulson said:

perception of things

as Mark was, just in a different area.  A lot of innovation comes from those that are not experts in a specific field, but have the experience and skill set from other areas that lead them in the right direction.  My wife once said you should not allow an engineer to fish, let alone make fishing lure, it is an unfair advantage to the fisherman.  LOL

Perhaps I am wrong, and I often am, but ..... but .....

1) I see this website as advancing the incremental changes, not the breakthroughs.  

2) I see the friendship and willingness to help others as the biggest advancement in lure making that has happened in a long time.

3) I see this website as a repository of knowledge, a library, for the use of the lure "scholars" of the future, as well as today.

4) I see it amazing that we are discussing this topic.  Perhaps it was good that ROD W gave us a kick on the backside.  It won't make me do anything different, but it will make be think differently when I am doing it.

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I got into it to give myself options, and produce a better quality bait, whether it be spinnerbaits that weren't exactly as I wanted them, discontinued stuff, color options that aren't hanging on ever shelf, maybe swim jigs with larger hooks than normal with keepers prior to them being available...wooden topwaters that actually had tournament style hooks and finishes that don't fall off after the 3 rd bass...tournament fishing drives a lot of the innovation, but again at this point I  can almost produce anything I  need as I  need it and  I LIKE THAT!, cranks are starting to take up my early mornings, rather than spend every last nickel I  will figure out what I like and don't at my own pace....nothing like local flavor imo.

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I also came here to TU too create a bait that looked like a gizard shad and would dive to about 30' depths. I couldn't find them in a fishing shop. I have one now and can make one after another and really don't have to test if I didn't want. This is because of the way that I produce them. If thats not innovation, I don't know what is.

A lot of how I produce them is my way. The way to create the baits, many on this thread help me to understand how to. Thats not innovative, but it is appreciated and a thank you. Well quite a few thank you.

I've have been around for a long time and has seen most that have been out there. Unless it was made by Egyptian, I've seen them or used them.  :D  A lot of shapes and designs just come back thru like clothing fashion.  My original point was that there so many shapes you can do and still have the engine that Vman helped me to understand. Only so many you can make in a day, so many you can paint, etc. I have a few shapes that I haven't seen before. There are a few that paint original jobs for the big boys here at TU

Have fun with this hobby, make a few bucks back so you can make more.

Dale

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Love this subject matter of this thread.    I wish I could do some of the "innovation" part.   However,   I don't have the strength or endurance in my dominate  arm any longer and hand tools, and such just aggravates things.     So I paint to keep my retired butt occupied and am always trying to learn and strive for the appearance.

I do think it's was comical that AnglinArcher mentioned the Flying Lure.    30 years ago, I considered this lure the next best thing.  Back then I did not know how to skip with baitcaster and with the flying lure on light spinning gear  (on slack line) I could easily get under docks and over hangs  and they caught me a bunch of fish.     Over the years I learned how to skip pretty decent (not like Gerald Swindle though).   30 years later, I can't skip a baitcaster any longer and have seriously considered bringing the flying lure back into my arsenal just for dock fishing. 

Painters keep painting and striving for that perfect color or scheme.  This is were I think the next innovation will come from.    Case in point the color Green Pumpkin.    I do not remember this color 30 years ago and I still have plastics that are that old.  Someone will come up with a new color that will one day become a staple in peoples tackle boxes.   Fish see colors.  We know that and they see certain colors better than others.   I'm of the frame of mind that the next color  or color combination to become a staple in tackle boxes whether plastics or hard baits will be one that fish can't see as well, making it difficult for the fish to necessarily distinguish the shape of lure.   Then like a toddler they pick up (or in this case enthings

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Interesting input.I've read this complete topic a couple times and how many times has the word" fun" been used?(I'll give you a hint-none) A lot of us just do it for fun.I don't have a problem with doing it for all the reasons mentioned previously but for me it's fun to do and being successful (catching fish) on a lure I made or repainted makes it all worth while.I don't know if the next great lure will come from someone on this site-lord knows that there has been a lot of discussions about physics and dynamics etc.What I will tell you is that information shared here has made it a lot easier for lure hacks like me to be able to be successful.So there is innovation within the process.Someone didn't wake up one day and invent the space shuttle it was a step by step evolution.How many times have we heard the story of two guys trolling with the same lure;same a amount of line out ;same line test,and one guy catches all the fish and the other guy doesn't catch a thing.Why?Was  one a magic lure?Maybe that's the driving force for all of us-finding the magic.Good luck to all!

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This post was geared to the guys who start from scratch to design a lure. I want to look at a block of wood and say, " What if maybe" I put a small spinner blade where the front hook goes or what if I give the lure a hump back. Maybe it works maybe it goes down in flames.

Yes this hobby is fun but building a lure from scratch and catching a nice fish on that lure is an absolute HOOT.

Boys keep on building those lures.

Thanks

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Great topic, and without looking too deep it seems all the ''old heads'' are still coming up with the ideas.

Great to see your post Vince, long time no hear :D--I have to agree with most of what is above and all of Vince's post--From the outside looking in, it seems to me nothing much has changed since I joined in 2007 EXCEPT,  "Swim-baits", what a marvelous thing, once mastered, which took me many months, it was like a whole new field in lure making--

BUT over here and elsewhere (Italy, even Russia, Brazil, Japan etc) there seems to be a real renascence in colors, shapes, finishes and ACTIONS in some of the newer lures--

I think we probably owe a lot to you guys for some of the lacquers, epoxies and finishes that seem to have come out of the U.S, but wood is still wood and has to be shaped, plastic has to be printed or molded into a pre-planned shapes,  this is I think is where a lot of the innovation occurs, "because it works'',  just isn't good enough anymore, otherwise we would still be using wommera's or shooting cross bows.

IT'S all there to copy and stimulate new ideas if you want, it has always been the case, BUT  it seems the U.S is always looking inward for new ideas and invariably sometimes misses out on what the rest of the planet offers- It seems to me this has been the case since 1946 when the whole world was looking inward ( at the U.S) , times have changed, most of the planet is doing their own thing now, pinched your ideas and have moved on, now we are all looking at one another and not necessarily the U.S-  Have a (real) look at China and keep an eye on India, there is no comparison to where we have been and where they are going- no matter what our leaders tell us.

Get on Google (or uTube) and check out some of the other lure forums around the world, it will keep you reading late into the night, I love Russian innovation, literally something out of nothing, and thank god for ''Translate''.

There is really nothing new out there, but there will be something different---AND as for paint and color, I and many others still drool at some of your creations Vince.

Pete

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Great to hear from you, Pete. I hope you're well. It's time for you to come back to Ohio so we can go fishing together again!

i was going to mention the Russians in my post! I follow and friended a number of them on Facebook and their work is outstanding to say the least. 

I look back now and I agree with you that the Americans usually look inward and essentially don't pay much attention to the influences of other countries.  It's been an eye opener for me to see some the stuff from Asia, parts of Europe, and Russia.

 

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 I check out a lot of the Australian stuff every so often, and its hard not to check out the latest Asian stuff esp. the hooks, always makes me wonder why everyone goes to so much trouble and then use cheap hooks...oh well, Something that's truly apparent at least in my small mind is how some of the best looking stuff comes from climates that are harsh, cold, frozen seems to lead to lots of time building and really dialing stuff in, I  will need to see that Russian stuff, I  have gotten a lot of ideas on the saltwater stuff from guys building for the musky and pike in regards to durability and that type of thing.

 

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On 12/2/2017 at 11:42 AM, fatfingers said:

Great to hear from you, Pete. I hope you're well. It's time for you to come back to Ohio so we can go fishing together again!

i was going to mention the Russians in my post! I follow and friended a number of them on Facebook and their work is outstanding to say the least. 

I look back now and I agree with you that the Americans usually look inward and essentially don't pay much attention to the influences of other countries.  It's been an eye opener for me to see some the stuff from Asia, parts of Europe, and Russia.

 

All good here Vince,  I'm thinking it would be a bit cool up where you are --Its Summer here but you wouldn't know it, has been raining for the past week.

I have been looking/reading about Detroit rising from the ashes, seems to be some real innovation there, so maybe I might come across and have a look next spring (your spring:D), so if I do I will certainly make it a point to drop by mate.

When talking about Russian innovation, I was talking more about anything they need to make, not necessarily lures--Like I said it amazes me how they (Russians) can make something out of nothing,, maybe because they have had to for so long !!

''Sonoman'' don't look too closely at us, we seem to have the same problem here, ''Murray Cod'' lures haven't changed in 30 years, some say because they work.

Although I don't fish for them much, I say we should be trying something like BIG ''Musky'' lures on them--It took 15 -20 years for them to get onto using spinner baits here, which have been very successful, so maybe in another 20 years we might try some whopping ''Musky'' style divers:o:o:o   Maybe I should TRY and make some :lol:.

Heaven Forbid.

Pete

 

 

 

 

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I got into lure making when I had a lot more time to invest in it.  I spent a lot of time on the water as well.  Ah, to be a carefree teenager again!  Even then, though, I was a bit of a dinosaur and preferred wood lures to plastic.  Making my own lures was a way to get wood versions of some of the plastic lures I liked.  And there's NOTHING like the feeling you get when you catch a fish on a lure that was just a branch on a cedar tree before you took a knife and paintbrush to it!

 

Now, after many years away from the hobby, I'm getting back into it because I enjoy it.  I love tinkering and doing things with my hands.  Am I out to create the next "big thing"?  Not really.   I'm still a dinosaur, just a little older with better tools and resources at hand.  I like recreating classic lures with fairly simple paint schemes, but with a few modern touches thrown in.  Better hooks, realistic eyes, etc.  I do intend to sell a few lures.  Mostly in hopes of helping to fund the effort.  If I do make a little extra money out of it, that's great.  But in the end it's a way for me to connect with fishermen and craftsmen of days gone by when one couldn't just walk into a store or pull out their smartphones and have literally anything they wanted at their fingertips.   

 

That, and the feeling I still get when a fish slams a lure that I made from scratch.  Nah, I'll never get tired of that!

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