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New Builder Requesting Tips

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Hey all,

I just discovered this forum and am astounded by the wealth of information and the depth of the lure making culture here. I had no idea anything like this existed. I just recently got into making my own lures, and am very excited to dig through these forums for tips.

I partially just wanted to introduce myself, and let the old timers know there’s still some young ones taking up the mantle of building completely from scratch (I’m only 28). But I also wanted to ask if there’s any sort of general wisdom you all could impart that you wish you knew when you started building lures. Maybe some general tips on paints (I did not realize you could use nail polish!), or weighting, sealing, books I should read, websites to visit, etc etc. I’m also not sure if this is allowed here but if anyone can point me to someone who sells some well respected custom lures, I’d love to purchase some and get to see them in person! I’ve never actually seen/used a custom lure in real life. 

I’ll be out on my local pond tomorrow trying out my first two builds for the first time. I hand carved a shad-style crank and a lipless swimbait out of basswood, poly sealed them, painted them and then sealed once more. Here’s to hoping they aren’t complete garbage.

Apologies if I’ve broken any forum rules with this post - I couldn’t seem to find any sort of etiquette sticky around. I am browsing from my phone though so who knows.

 

Thanks for any pointers,

Cameron

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Hey there and welcome to the group! I’m new here as well and looking for some tips as I’m just getting started too. 

The one tip I can offer to you is to watch “Marling Baits” on YouTube! He has some really good content on his channel and I have learned a ton from watching his videos!

And there’s definitely some younger blood getting into this hobby as I’m only 20.

cheers!

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There is so many little tricks and things vary a lot from lure style and materials you choose to use 

One of my personal issues I had to over come is recreating my own lure designs. Keep notes on how you built your lure so you can make more in the future. Research methods on how to replicate your own designs. Personally I cannot replicate my designs with wood so I make molds and pour them out of resin 

There is truly a ton of information on this forum and knowledgeable builders from a variety of styles. The best tip I can give you is do a search of this forum and you will find a ton of information. After that ask ?s regarding one issue at a time and odds are members will offer good advice on addressing your issue. Personally find it hard to offer help without direct ?s

Welcome to the insanity of lure building you will now find lure designs you want to build running through your head 24/7. You will wake up swearing in the middle of the night dreaming about designs that are frustrating you. You will have a box of lures that did not go as planned. Overall your life will never be the same :lolhuh:

 

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Thanks for the replies! I actually got interested in building because of Marling Baits. I stumbled across him on YouTube one day - before that, I hadn’t even considered building baits as an option. It’s been extremely informative watching his videos to actually see the step-by-step process of building a hardbait.

Replicating baits does seem like a challenge. I try to make a lot of measurements and take notes while building, but I’ll keep in mind your advice and maybe be even more diligent. I’ll keep digging through the forum as well...there’s over 400 pages of threads here so I imagine I’ll be digging for a while still.

best

cameron

 

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I am a more technical builder. Of all the tools, the one I would never throw away is my gram scale (0.01g x 500g), but tech building is certainly not for everyone.

Good advice above; keep notes, get familiar with the search function, ask questions one at a time and in separate posts.

My advice; don't throw lures away that don't work as these are your main learning tools, you have to figure out why. Keep them in a box or hang them on your wall of shame.

Welcome :)

Dave

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What part of Canada are you living in?

What material do you work with?

style of hard baits you build?

species you target?

Let’s see if I can be more useful than just advising you to read  

a good one to read is the sticky “how do lips/bills work “. Personally I believe a lures action is by far the most important and paint being least important when it comes to catching fish. My focus is always on lure action first. Painting/finish is not my strong suit and I just keep my mouth closed on that subject letting the true artists on here speak 

On the subject of action weighing, buoyancy, and lip/bill are the main 3 most talk about and focus on. These are very important but don’t overlook the impact body shape has. Look at how the body cuts through the water or pushes against it. Look at the face of your design does it push water towards the bill/lip, does it cause the water to hit the lip/bill with uneven pressure, does it create a secondary working face or does it just cut through the water. The body shape can do a lot more than create a profile similar to different bait fish 

Hope this gives you something to think about 

 

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I think putting the design on computer was the biggest help to me in making lures. If you sketch it, scan the sketch to a file, copy/paste the design, so you have 2, flip one horizontally so you have a template for each side, a top view and bottom view template are also useful.  You can just reprint the file and have the body profile, lip shape, hardware attachment points, location of ballast on a piece of  paper you can cut into a template. You can put any notes in the file like amount of ballast, wire/screws used.

Try to find an easy way to get the same shape and weight ballast every time. Search Mark Poulson's posts about ballast. I don't like pouring lead. Finding a 1/4" diameter lead wire you can cut to a set length greatly speeds up making a bait.

I agree with ultimately trying to get to make lures from a resin or even PVC boards (see the pinned post). Wood can vary (grain, density, buoyancy, moisture content) from piece to piece and even within the same the same piece. I wish I had focused more of my early efforts in  body materials other than wood. Resins and PVC are less subject to water penetration and expanding/contracting in different temperatures. Expansion/contraction of wood can make the clear coat crack.  Making one master to make a mold is easier in the long run. Non-wood bodies are more durable.

I also think I focused too much on the paint job at first. Now, I make the lure, seal it, attached hardware, and test before I waste time on painting a dud. Supreglue makes a good quick sealer for testing. Some of my most effective lures are all white or all black

If you want to see a reputable handmade lure, look at Mike Shaw's MS Slammer. There are a few models that range on the larger side. I have several and really like them.

Last note, never underestimate the importance of safety (eye protection, a good mask, gloves, hearing protection, proper vetilation ). Most people, including myself, lose focus on safety over time. Imagine being in the ER with-  a piece of a Dremel disk in your eye, lungs full of sanding dust and paint particles, a missing finger from the saw, burns on your feet from pouring lead in sandals, etc. 

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Good morning,

I am new to the community here, and am also pretty new to lure making.  I started last fall and have been mostly turning them on a lathe or carving them from templates I found at various places online.  I use mostly scrap wood (cedar especially) and pieces of PVC deck board at this time.  The PVC is really easy to work, because it doesn't have a grain to it that could hang up a blade.  The main thing I've run into with PVC is making sure to work it slowly with power tools, as it can heat up and go mushy.

There's a guy, Greg Vinall (web search), who has an information loaded beginners class you can take online for free.  I got a lot of useful information from him, as well as some nice templates.  I've also really enjoyed the stuff posted by Diemai, here in TU.

Good luck, and happy fishing!  Though with winter coming, I suppose it's, "happy building" for now.

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Welcome here and welcome to lure building! its an awesome hobby.  Learn to search for answers on this forum, I just use google and add tackleunderground to the search.  If you have a question, I can almost guarantee it's been discussed here. 

Youtube is your best friend also.  Marling baits.  Solarfalls baits. Check out Engineered Angler! Great channel with lots of tips and tricks for the lure builder.  His channel is amazing. 

As for paints, there are a lot of cheap paints you can use, but as a beginner these paints (like dollar store stuff) are not great and can give you problems like clogging and stuff.  if you are airbrushing, invest in some createx or testors aztek paints that are ready to airbrush.  Get a proper thinner as well and practice practice practice.   You really don't need much to get started, just keep making stuff and testing out and honing your skills.  Post any more questions if you have them, conversation is kinda slow now, but it picks up in winter usually (that's when I do all my lure building).

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I started with a half inch dowel and two hooks and on the first cast I caught a bass, and now I am getting ready to start up a web site to hopefully get back some of the money I have spent over the years building and testing my lure. I love it, it can drive you crazy when you put a lot of work into a lure and on your first cast to test it your line breaks :wacko: I just went home and started another one and after that another one till I got it right, more goes into a lure than most people think, so when starting up on a new lure with your own little different type or style I say welcome to the nut house and good luck with your new hobby. Just one more thing KEEP IT SIMPLE TO START WITH! 

Tight Lines To You And Good Luck.

Wayne

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Lots of great suggestions already!

Take lots of notes on the lures during the build process. This will allow you to know what worked and what didn't when you go to test a new design.

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When it comes to making lips/bibs, has anyone ever used old CDs on smaller baits?  I'm trying to make lures on as tight a budget as possible, and have some old CDs lying around.

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CD's will work. I have not tried myself, but they are made of polycarbonate which is the perfect material used by many builders.

Dave

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44 minutes ago, Vodkaman said:

CD's will work. I have not tried myself, but they are made of polycarbonate which is the perfect material used by many builders.

Dave

Thanks Dave!

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