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Wire size(s)

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I am new to the lure building and was planning on making some wooden baits but am liking what I am reading about PVC. I fish mainly Lake Trout, salmon and walleye. I was wondering what gauge of stainless wire people recommend for salmon and lake trout lures? Or is it better to go with a specific size of screw in eyelets?



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Welcome to the site.

I mostly use .051" stainless safety wire (also called stainless lockwire) when there is a chance at fish over 10 lbs. I use wire from Malin or Wire & Cable Specialties (WCS). It's good for wire-through baits and making twist eyes. I sometimes upsize the wire to .062" on big baits 7 inches +, and 3+ ounces. I will downsize to .040 on smaller bass lures.

I sometimes use .092" screw eyes on medium size lures 1-2 oz. When I use screw eyes, I try to get the eye of the screw countersunk into the body of the lure a bit so my epoxy will reduce the chance of the eye opening up. I don't like going with the smaller screw eyelets. 

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Musky bait builders often use .051”  ss wire.  But if your baits are “bass sized”, not larger than 3-4 inches, .041” SOFT temper ss wire works great, and it’s much easier to form accurately with hand tools.  I use it for all the line ties and hook hangers on bass baits and it has never failed in 20 years.  I get Malin wire from McMaster-Carr online.

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I have built lots of lures for salmon and Lakers. I prefer 0.51 wire or .092 eye screws. Mid size Lakers are not really hard on lures but big chinook and Lakers over 15lbs can be. Most often the damage is done in the net not during the fight. Chinook are really bad for gator rolling in the net and breaking lures that is why you see a lot of salmon plugs with bead chain and large barrel swivels or line through designs 

I grew up on the west coast of BC and did lots of fishing for salmon 

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