I would like to dedlcatethl . book to R.aymond "Boots" Smith, He was a good [lHIIl to his family and his friends, and he was also my fishing partner, \X{hen Boots wasn't over his grandchihJr'cll and great-grandcluldren, 'W(.' spent main}, enjoyable hours in the .fishing 'boat . .I know he will save me a scat ~n his new boat; until then, 1 ""m .miss h:im very much.

It! .201(} by Rlc.h Rousseau and Fox Chapel Pubh~hlng Compar.y, Inc.

Imking Wovd,",n Fr!ihing LureJ isan o r.iglinClI work. first publj5h~ ill 2010 bV fax Chapel Publi~hlng Company,lnt. The patterns concained heran arc co'P¥,lghred by the author. Readers may make copies or ihsse pancln!l for ,personal use, lhe panc-rm themselves. h.owever, are MItO be- duplicated for IQsaleol di~trlbut'1on under any drcum~tanC:e5. Any such opying is a violation of copyrlght law.

ISBN 978-1-56523-446-8

Uorary of Congre-5s (il'taloging In Pub.liCilllonDaa Rousse- u,Rlch. wooden Clhing IWE!5/ by Hich R0L155E'liU

lneilldes, index.

ISBN: 978 1 56523 446-8

1. Fishing' lures. 2. Wood ·carving. I.lille. SH449,iRISB 2009



To le4rn more about (heather gre-ill books (rom Fax Chapel Publls.hing, orto find iii retailer near youcall ~oll free 8(J10-457-91 12 or visil U~ lINlyw,FDxCtiOpefPt.tbli~tlil'lg'(Qm,

Note to' Authou: We ,are always 100 king fOirmlemed authors [0 wril"le new books

In our area of VII'oo(h\lorKing. design, and related (rafts. Nease send a brief letter des.cnbing your idea to AtQuisrtioll Editor, 197() Broad Streel,E.ast Petersburg, PA 175. 11

PrinlM In China

First printingc FGbruary .2010

gOC.)u>e GJ' rig VI'OC:d ;J"1dO"iI'l~! r;J.JIf"IJh n"~I~m~! ndudes [I'r!! rI~k or In .. .J·~'.lNl damag:". ,hi! OClO~ C&H\1);,}fl~~ U'lnu,"J:llf1lj ~r.-~ I'IqJC'·m r tnrs 00(1 15 f.)t~ ir wcr,onc. ;'r It S'ICJSO'l. r- s book is sold ·Mt"'.::rUl \Wll'~r '~!:1~'O!" 91.JJI3~ ~("'i 0' ~ i"'tl. c:<pnm,ed or Irrpli~d . .7rl the pU;Jbm and lr.c ill.Jlhor Dildc·m urlltilbiir~ fc! tlrylnj.r.!!f,. bcrCi ct d.lm;rg;e--.~u~ in iny ~'lJf 0)1 tr~ cor-tern or l/).~ llcoi;:k Qf' I::: rl:::~a:I!!r ~ WI::! IJ~ tnc too\ needed lGi tl:llTIlllc!1:' ihe prcjctt-S p""~~1l:1:::" her 1:. T.,~ pull~~' ilrr.:llh! LrJ ...... mr rdF~!z,ill {dr-,ei ~ to thOlOJgh J I~\ lew~th m::jetl ~nd to nderstaod thease of ~Ilocb b~hrE:begl"lnII1Qa:'l)' JlrofeCl

~ f 114





Lure Gallery ,10

Chapter 1: Getting Sta:rted 18

Chapter 2: Lure Step by Step Project's , ,.36

Lure 1': Surfac::'e IProl __ Bait ... _II, ~I III ,~ ... _~ I I _ ~_ II!!! I~I ~ .. III, ~I I. ;I, ~ I. ~ ~ ~ II!! ~ ",;1 !!I ~ III III! ,I. ,~..I;. ,~ ,~. ~ II .. ~ ~ " ~ ,~ I II. ~ • .3·6,

S(:rap wood and a hand·painted finish make this aJn approachablenl'~t proj~ct

lure]:. Surfac:e IPopper _ _ .54

This [ure.yslng a purchased lure rO!.i!gh~ol!.!t with a spray-p:aint finis.h. wi,!! t:ea..:h you scme a~terna,tiiye rrrethods

Lure 3' Perch crawler 66

You'lliearn a!rbrl!ls,hingtechniquEl' O~ this dowel-rod lure

h,re 4' Saltwater Ratfislh . . .80

G~t out so me ~craE wood and your airbrush for this saltw:atl?'r Ibt:auty

Lure 5:Floating~OjYin,g M:innow ..... " ............•............ _ .... , . . . . . 90, P~cti,e shading with your on this 1 by 2. .:.crap wood IUlie

lJure6:PanFi'sb . ,


Tn.s se,ral? 'Wood lure will g,lveyou some ,elperienee with dressed hooks and maling spots with your ahrbrusln

L1Jre'.I:.'Mi'OOQ.wJ:ba' in": ' .. i." •. 'n' •. U •.• ' ... ' , , .••. i.'.U.'n'''' '. i ·nO.· U .... LL.' ' '.'J 'n' ,101'.

tearnhow to> make a, chasler on this airbrushed scrap woad minnow

~U1'e 8:Floating-Divin,g Frog , , _" _ , _ ' •..... 118

You'll use a purchased rough-.out and an airbrush to create thissportted Illre

Lure 9: SinkingWligg,ler ...•....... , ." ............•......... , .. " 124

Create a scrap weed I.uiew.ith an airbrushed firE tlger paint scheme

lure UlI: MaUard ·Ouckling ..... I •••••••• " ••••• '" ••••••• ,. , ••••• , •• , •••••• ' ••• , •••••• .131 Thiss,cra.p YIIood ducklingdemonsrlates'lneller!iarilily of a hand-brushed

acrylic paint job .. .. n...........

'Lure 11: Weasel., , , ' .• , " , " ,. .•. , , ...........•........ '. 146

Ga.thera IPurchaS'e,drou.g!h·out, your aitbrush, and some .sa.wdust to make this. furry lure

Chapter 3: Optiens .. , , , 158

W'r,e-lhrough Lures, •.•.....•...•...•• " ......•.....••.....•.•..•.•.•........ 161

Natural~Colored Dressed Treble Hooks , 163

c·olorfu~ Dressed 'freble Hooks, ' , , .. ,. , , 165

A.lternateWays to Utilize Hia'rdwaffi " '''''' , 167

Aplpendix:B'onU5 Patterns, ........•. , ' .168

Be.S·QUK,e15,. ; .0. •.. ' 'm' ' .. ' '.' .' .•• L ; ,.. '. ....•..• • ••• J ...•...•. '.' "'.; '.' •• ']2'4

.Im.dex , •.. 'L ·n·." •.. , •.••.•••.•.• "" .. 1.' .. ' Ie. 'n' '.' '.' 'n" '.' •. , "."'" .•.•..• 115

Northern Michigan, where I'm from, has always been a hot bed, of ,fishing lures. From Oscar Peterson to the Moon~ight Bait Company, fishing is a long and honored tradftion ill this part: of the countrj; I have always been fascinated with utilltarianobjeets that were alseeonsidered an art form, \Vhat is itJ,c-xactly, that made some of these objects classiestThe one thing in commonwith all of the classlc lures is their simplicity. TIle most desirable ones all seem tohave been reduced to their bare essentials, and executed wei],

That's where this book comes in. hapter 1 covers the basks: everything you need to know aboutweed, types ofhrres.and more is located there. ChapterLexplalns some extra options: you have , .. "hen creating your very own I ures=-yo» can make a Jointed lure, a super-strong wired lure, oreven dress your own hooks. The appendix houses 15 bonus lure patterns to help develop your skills even further. The gallery

of amtique and modern lures in the front of the book is there' to serve as inspiration. Fishy facts=fun and :intt.eresling .fishing tlps=are spread tbrougbeut the book on

the page bottoms. Keep you.r eyes open [or other entertaining stories and tidbits f1l!aturedin boxes here and theret However, the bulk of the boo k consist of the 11 step-by-step lure projects In Chapter 2. Each project includes a. detailed pattern 3.:nd pagesafstep-b>'-stcp photos to guide your construction ..

8 Making W'ooden .filshing; Lures

d ·

_ troductton

Northern Michigan, where I'm from. has always been a not bed, of fishin.g lures. Frolln Oscar Peterson to the Moon~ight Bait Company, fishing isa long and honored tradftion in this part: of the country. I have always been fascinated with utllirarianobjects thatwere also eonsidered au art form, \Vhat is it, exactly, that made some of these objects classics? 'The one thing incomrncnwithall of the classic lares is their simplicity. TIle most desirable ones all seem to 1"I,ave been reduced to their bare essentials. and executed welt

'That's where this book comes in. haptar 1 covers the basics: everything you need to know aboutwcod, types of Iures,and more is: located there. Chapter 3 explains some extra options; you have when creatlng }'our very olin IUlres-you can make a jointed lure, a super-strong wired lure, or even dress your own hooks. The appendix houses 15 bonus: hue patterns to help develop your skills even further. The gallery

of amtique and modern lu res in the front of the book is there' to serve as inspiration. Fishy facrs=-runsnd truer sting .fihing Hps-:arc spread throughout the book on

the page bottoms. Keep }Iour eyes open far other enterralning stories and tidbits featured in boxes he·r'l2 and there! Hcv .. rever, the bulk of the book consistsof the 1 t step-by-step lure projects in Chapter 2. Each project includes a detailed pattern 3.nd pages ofstep-by-step photos to gui:de your construction.

8 Making W'ooden filshing: Lures

Lure ... making: basics-It's easy, cheap, and fun!'

Makin:g a lure is ea y~ affordable, and fun.Th.e four steps yuu see below are the basics needed tems ke any lure, Plenll' of detail ]s shown in the step-by-step projects" burt as long as you hit these Four steps, you'll have a lure thatworks.

Shapethel'ure body~ You'IliSlarl. \vi:tha pLilchasem lur@ roug h,-€1 ut, a dllwel rod, (II S(liIneSCldp w()od ..

P,alnt the Ilure. There three ways, demcmstrated tn (his hoek to painlt your IUtf-acrylic:and brushes, spray palintrand airb tJish,

Orlll the pTlot holes. Every i'Ule has hardware

(a.k, a. hock5j. eye .5(reW~r (oullter weghts. ern,and hardwam Ireqluh~ pilot holes [0 keep the Iilue from spllf1ingln half.

Applly fintshl'ng touches. Put in the eyes, sign your name, put on the dear ,ooat, and attadt lhar hardware! That'salllt h'!kes,



Lure collecting-is a hnbby that will keep you thb1king fishing all year long, no matter what the weather is.

_ ne a.rea ofinterest is homemade or handcrafted: can them what )tOU want, but they are' usually one-of-a-kind lures. They arc the creation or someone who was drrc;aming 0 . a lure that would entice 'the" Big, One" and then made it, The color schemes, sizes, and shapes arc asdifferent as, the people who make them .. Some havegreat action in

the water and area -t,-;a.U-- made wlth usina

1.<11 __ 'L_L __ c , IL_Jy 'L __ u----1l:;I

them in mind.

When searching for lures, the homemade style is always 0111 my mind, Vi:/hen I find one) I ask what U

is-at times 1 nCru'/"Oh,. it'S just an oklhomemadc lure:' My next question is, J'\Vhat will youtakc for it?" I appreciate the [hue 'and effort it took to make tl,lot lure,

and l'm now sharing the fishing dream of i.ts maker, Like (said before" call themwhat you want, I call them folk art and 1 love them. So you keep on making; them and people like me will keep on seeklng them to hans all our den walls to share your dream.

Happy carving and coUecting! Butch Bartz

Heddon. Pumpkinseed .. circa 1940,

Heddon. Dowagiac 100 minnow. Early 19005:.

01'111' th« past 26 years; Butelr Bartz lUIs, amassed nwre tha» 5_ 000 tu resin his collection. _il feu, {JJ tile beuer-know» nsakers Ite has c,ollected include: commerciai makers

C"eek~Cfmb" Paw Paw, Heddons, Wlinneys; and Shakespeare: Unless otherwise

and .fndEII.tdua I carvers R'{)lland Dan Hosney Df LI)JoJ1ia.. noted, the lures

Mrich., Bud Stel~tU'ta.r Alpella" _A;(jelT., OSCtW Peterson of s lwwll in Ehis

K&dkaska. NIfch ..• lJnrt and Art lKftnuey of TraI tars e Cily~ gallery nro al'llrouj

Mtch.,and Carl Christiansen of Mtcl« 8utdl 'scottretto».

'Heddon. 210 Surfac,e, 194Gls.

Paw Faw.Pikle,. circa, 19405.

(reek Chub. Plikle.1940to 1950.


P.awPalw. ~\leedles.s Wow, 1940t

Paw hw.Wl.1ttar-Frog.1.94·. to 1960.

12 Making W60den; Lures

RDn Hos:neyrKallka~k:a., Mich. Bwwn MOlJse 8, flyrDd Il!ne:. pOSl-19aO.

UnknD\Vn Michlg:.3n makerr~lger Area~ Mich., IclrQ1po!.1~ 1.980,

Elman "UlJd" Stewart, Alprl1il, Mkh .•. area, oow deceased

Unknown ma', Presque Isle, Mldt,IUred. lor.pedo~!.1yle lure, P(l51·19.80,


Gerald Finch, Cheboygan~ Mien., area. Bea\! lun~. POS:t-'1980.

'G@raldFinch, (heboyganJ Mich., area. Rainbow musky [lure. P05t~ i980.

14 Making W'ooden ,; Lures

Unkrulwn maker, Alpena, Mich., area Flat !Ism 'lype .. (irca post ~ 19S0.

P.auIIHaarstad, Victorial Minn. 7" (178mm) m.wskyglider. 2009.

Hich ROlJ]seau .. In-shore sa.HwaJter, 6" (152mml !Water/diver, Oesigm:d (Of it friend il1 Horida, but used in Mi(higal1as annusky bait 2007. (Fram Rkhrs tacklebox.1

Tackle box addiiion Another ha'ndy little item to keep in your' tackl.e91 is one of thosernul'ti...f'ool ginnos .. They ilreworth t:h.eir wei.ght in gold for dealing with those unexpected problems-anything from repairing a Iree:l to cutting a hook out'of y10lur hand.

IRiChRiouss'eau. 601 '115 2mmJ sinking baby pi'ke Desi'gned for Nonhern pike and musky •. :ZOOO.(From Rich's la<kl.e oox.}

Ri.(h .Ro1Jl:Sseau. J~" (83I11m) bass lure, noat~/djlJer. 1998.

(From m(hls tackle bOI(.)

Rich ROUiSseau. 1 % I (44mm) brue~gm alidcrappie Iloater/diver. 11997. (flrom Rkh's tac~h: box.)

The: most important thing

The absolute most·impo.rtant it:emin any fis.hing arsenal is ilwe~l .. made IMveral8 ho'Lder--so impa.rtant, in fad~ that should spire :no expen:se in, Icqui.rinl IIG:ad D.M.

116 Making Wlooden; Lures

Ri(hRousseau. 2%" (57mm) blu~gUland cra,ppie' l1oater/diver. 1000. (~rom Ri~h's (acik~@' box.)

Ri(h Rous~eaLl. 3111J'6mnnll basslure, simkingand wliggling,expeFim ~,ffilal. 2OCMJ. ,Filom Rich~~ tat~I'eboa:.)

Rich RCllJS~eau,4 %" (1114mrn)1 bass baltsurfucie'lprop. 2009. (From Ri(h~ tatkle box.)





Making wooden lures Is easy-you don t need a shop full of tools. a barn fiuU of pai:nt, or a ph.D. in selence to create a. nne fishing lure. Heck, you don't even have to mortgage the house tor material purchases! This section win show you what you need tocreate the wooden lures in this book. Tools" hardware-e-it'sell here! You'll also leamabout the different types of lures and how they work.



Lure Types

Lures are categorlzed by theactlon

they perform \i\lhUc in the water and being retrieved (\~fh(':]l you reel them back in).lhcli'c are four genera. 1 typesof lures: sl,.I.rfacle,, sinking. and keel-weighted ... Let's take a look at precisely what these ]ures do and why.

Surface lures

A surface lure floats and continues to float as it is retrieved .. A popper has a cupped nat faceand splashes water :IS

it is retrieved in short. sharp Jerks, A jitta.rbug has an angled flat face that produces a rhythmic "plop-plop" as it is retrieved steadily, A surface prop bait ha propellersthat slap the water. And heck. there's even a lure that has arms sticking out on rhe sides that grab water and wiggle the lure backand forth-

t hars nerawler ..

A surface lure attracts fish by making noise and surface disturbance that fish sense from a lou'gdi.sta.flcc. Surface lures arc cffecti'vc rcgaJl'dlass ofwatct· depth andean beu ed hi both shallow areas as well as the middle ofthe lake.

20 Making Wlooden fitshing: Lures

Floating-diving lures

Floating-diYing lures float while at

rest and dive below the surface when retrieved; This type can have a diving

lip or a cUPPlld and an.gled face. The angle of the dlvtng plane: determines the depth to \vhich th_ lure willl clescend.lf the plane of the Up is nearly parallel to the lure. it ,YiU dive ,rery the Up approaches 90- to the body, it \Iioril] not dive as deeply. Keep in mind that the speed cf the retrieve will affect depth as well=the faster the retrieve 'the deeper [hie dive ... Nead)' an floatlng-dlvlng lures wiggle back-end-forth when retrieved because the flat face is unstable' when pulled through the water. The wiggle attracts fish by both creating 11. oundpulse or pressure wave and! making

the color pattern flash. If you crank

it back fast,. it willwiggle Jasti .if you retrleve it s[o'"!lly. il. will w1ggi' slowl)'. Normally theselures wiU run from about 2 feet (610mm) deep to about 20 feet (6,096mrn) deep ..

Sinking lures

As the name implies, sinking lures are h¢~wicr than water aITLd shnk.lhlstype

of lure includes some wooden lures, as well as, metal spinners and spoons. Just because they sink" don't think these lures can't wiggle, produce sound and nash, and include propellers spinner blades and the like.These luresare effedive ,.,hen the fish arc feeding at depth.

Most sinking lures have a sink-rateof about 1 foot (30Smru) per second and can, therefore. be counted down, \Vhen the lure hits the water, start counting, "thousand and one;' "thousandand

t\Yo,~' etc. and before you start your retrieve. youwill have a fair Idea of how deep the lure is running. You. can even let the lure sink to the. bottom before retrieving it. 'which is effecUve for any bottom-hugglng predator species, such as freshwater walleye,

Note that propellers: and spinner blades generate lift. This [actcan ,help you design certain featnrcs into the

lure. as well asallov you some creative retrieve patte'rns-Le"1 retrieve quiekI)~ (the lure rises). then low down o:r pause (the lore will sink).

Keel-weighted lures

If you wish to make a Iure that will resemble 0. teal bait fish, . realize that a

flat hoard will not float on its edge. You need to add weights inside the belly to make it float (or sink] belly dcwn, In the caseof acupped-Iace llontcr-divc'r, you may wish to keel weight the ':'(!fY front to ensure that the cupped face will dig into the water and start working immediately. \Xfh.crc )rou place the keel weights Is important bccaescthcy affect the action of the lute. Basically, if the keel weight

Is reward the rear of the lure, the action slows down. This means that if you

made a lure that wiggles way t,OO fast

you. can add a small keel weight toward the rearend, and the Jure's action will slow down, The l<.eel weIghts a150 affect the attitude of the Jurein the water, t.e ..• you can make a lure run head-down ,or head-up or neutral simply by where you place the weights. A secondary use for the keel ,,,eight is in a lure you wish to retrieve vcry quickly-c-the keel weight will HOlt ana-VI the lure to turn Over. In other words, it wi'IlI'enlab.l beU)' down

no matter hov fast YOIJ.I.I)rh1S it back.


Di.spose ofWD.sle pt'operly when fi.shin.s-t-kc itl hOMe "With,YOIJ. '

Modifying lures for species

There is no such thJttg as I.l fish-specific lure. Generally, you try to usea hue of a certain size, color. and action to entice the species you are trying. to catch, However, I have .;aug,ht blue-gills 01) bass baits. and large Northern pika on tiny trout baits. 1 have even had la.rge pike attack other fish I've already hooked.' pattern and sizeere what determines the species, not the lUI'C type. By selecting tho correct size, any type

of lure can be effective on. ail species. Nobody knows for sure what a fish wants On anygiven day-thnl~s why there are

so many types sizes, and colors of lu res. My advice is start \~jth a lure you think might he right and keep changing lures ullUl the fish tellyouwhat 'they want;

therwise, you may wind. up scratching. your head and imbiiNng .:1. wee bit too mud" of)'oQiur fa.vorite beverage,


As a general rule ofthumb, most anglers choose Lures for .snze,color" and other considerations based upon the size and disposition of the fish the)' wish to catch, As Y01.ti look over this information, reallze it DS a guideline IOnl)I, J want to give you a starting pointwben youchoos'e' to buHda lure fora specific type of fish. but aswith everything. there are always exceptio ns to anyse-catled rule.The chart at rIght

how you approximate measurements {or the lure body by species and extra

22 Making Wooden Lures

hardware. Forexample, if you want to make a plain-old smallmouth bass lure. you should create or select a lure body between I to:'l~ (25 to 76mm), If }!OU want a srnallrnouth bass lure with a chaser, keep the body between. land 2" (2., to 51mm),

A good way to judge your lure size selection is to observe how the fish

took the lure. Uill fish has swallowed

the enure lureand you are having a lot of trouble getting it out of his face. you maywant to get a bigger Lure or at the very least. bigger hooks. Likewise, if fish are hi.tting your lure but not becoming hooked, you may wish to reduce' the slzc of the lure or the hooks,

eo tor

Color pattcms arc mostly regional. \Vhilc there arc general guidcljnes. each re!;ian has pecullartttes unique to the area end wat·er, [ know th;l.ts:ou,nds like a cop out, but it is true.G.enerally,. colors suchas gold. silver; red, and orange are good! places to start. You will usually have to add some regional pattern-surp,risingly, "mindless" predators can be pretty picky. GeneraUy speakiag, colors should be relative Ito the bait in any s; i'v en body of water. Usc that. Elsa starting pojn~ and add bells and whistles frol1lthere.

Lure size chart

Species aluegilll5,5un:fi sh. perch. crappie, troutlesstli1an 12" 1(30Smml)

Smallmouth bass

Largemouth bass

WaUey,e', large-,siz.e bass

Northern pik~! less than .3011 1(161mm)

Northern pike, larger'than 30" 1(161mm}

Trout and salmon,,12~24" (305-610mmJ

Trout and salrnon, larger than 2411 (610mm)

Mu:skel.lunge, larger than 4(11 (102mm]

SiZI!? of lull'@ body

1-21' (2S-S1m.m)

1-3" (2S-16mm)

2-4rl (51-102mm)

2-5" {SI1-U7mmJ

2112-4" (64-102mm)

11h-6VzII (89- ',65mm)

2-4" (5l-102mm.'

3-5" (76-12imm)

S-lr (121-30Smm)

Size of IUN!to add dressed rear hook

1, - " 0/2"" (25-38nnm)

1-2" (2S-S1nnm)

2-3112" (S1-8,9I111iT1)

2-411 151-102mm)

2 Yl-] " (64-76mm)

3Yz-S" (89-U7mm)

2-JU (Sl-76mm)

3-4Vi!" (76~ 1 14m..m)

S-11IW~ (127-2.9.2mm)

Fly rod baits

The si zeof fly rod lures area matter of weight and air resistance. The lure must fallwlthtn certain welght restrtcnons if it Is going to actuaily be cast. Aswith Flegular flias, you may have to rely on sinking tips. 0 r the Ii ke, if you need the lure to ubmerge ... crrnally you \\,jU need to ktlcpa wooden fly rod lure to

3" (t6mm) maximurru 1 to 2" (,25 to 51mm) is best.

Size 'of lure to add front chaser

1" (25mmr)!

1-,2" (.25-51mm)

2.-:)'" (S1:-76mm)

2-3W" (51-,89mrm)

2Vt-3Y2" (U-iS9mm)

31)2-511 (89 ... 127mm)

2-.3%" (S1-,89mm)

3-4%" (76-108mm}

5-10>1 (U7-2S4mm)

Size oftur€ to add prop'eUer{s)

1:-2'· (2S-S1mm)

1.-3'~ (2S'

2.-4"· {5J-tB2mm)

2-5" (51-121mm)

2Y2-4" (64-102mm)

31h-6'/:z" (B9~'5Smm)

2-4'• (51- 'l~2mm)

3-5:~ ('6~127mm)

S-11V:z1lo n27-29lmm)

Saltwater lures

My experlencewith s altwaterfis hi n g had ,3 steep learning curve. There are

so man)' variables thai a hard and (ast rule does not exist. 1 would h.ighl)! recommend thatwhen you make a lure you should know the fa.vorlte sb;e of lure commonly used. by local anglers, The

sa me \\!OU lei appl y to (,:,01 or preferell1ces.

t~'i "Nothing make ... fish bigger th .... "I",o.t being e .. uSh,."



Thereare several types of wood that make betterlures tihan others due to their dellsity,workabHity. and a few other factors" My favorite types include SPF eonstructicu lumbcr, dowel reds, and pre-shaped lure' bodies. W'ood choice is simply a matter of practicality. A majority of saltwater game fish ha re cutUng Jaws 0,1; rc;aUy hard pomted teeth and other anatomical features that are very hard on lure bodios, Dense wood

is the best choice for saltwater lures because it resists damage better. For example,u spruce or poplar dowel is half the weight and about one-third to onehalf the density of a mahogany dowel.

Freshwater game fish and the appropriate fishing tackle is not nearly as nc;;,wy ItS salh!latcrfish and tackle, So use heavier weight woods for saltwoterand medium we' ''''0 ods for f'reshwQ,ter. For the purposes: 'of fishing lures, equate the w,eight of wood with its density. If

it is heavy, then itl also dense. Use the he~vy \'10 ad for the tough fish and the medium wood for freshwater fish (except Northern pike and muskies],

24 Making W'ooden; Lures

5PF lumber lsa cheap SDun:e of lure material.

SPF constructlon lumber

for most afmy ~uras, [ usc spruce,

pine. and fir (SPF) construction lumber; Those three woods arc medium density, meaning they are easUy workedand .finish(!d, accept paint well, and arc durable. The 'woods are not too heavy,

so they don't hurt the rod orwrist, They also arc not too .lightJ' so they cast into the wind and float consistently-well, and fish cant ehew them upilfl. just 3. few bites, Sl?P lumber can be found as :2 by 45 up to 2 by lOs or even 1 by 25. Youcan obtain this wood from construetion sites" roof truss plants. and large lumber stores.

AU three species are excellent for lures, but there are 1l1.1no.f'differences you should be aware of, You can easily differentiat.e spruce from pine and fir, because it is noticeably lighter in weight and usuaU}' lighter in color. The pine

will have less prominentgrain s.howin.g th:an will the fir, lImit this j not always the case. Forthe purposes of making lures, pine find fir are consldered the same,

Dvwels ar'ie iI great sour(e For lIue woad.

Dowel rods

Dowel rods arc a useful second option. for lurewoo d, because partof the shaping has already been. done (or you, You can purcbase them, quite cheaplYJ froman.ylarge chain store, craft store, lumberyard"of hardwa .. re store .. Most available dowels are poplar, which is fairly grainless, the right dcnsjty, and durable .. If you pick out the Ughtest dowel in the bunch, it \llill be' the easiest to wio.r,k into a lure suitilb~e for most game fish .. COlwers.ely. if you are making lures for saltwater speciLlsJortherlll pike. or muskellunge, you want denser, harder wood-simply pick out one of the heavier dowels .. A $3 dowel o.f36· (9l-il·mm) length will make eleven 3" (76mm) lures: that's about 28 cents per lure. v.rhich is not exacrlv expensive"

Pre-~hap'~ed lurebodies

The 'third source of weed is to buy rough-shaped wooden lure bodies from a, tackle supplier. These need only be sandec1,a.nd you're ready to go. 1hey cost from $,1.98 up to $3 .. 98 for the bigger sizes. This costs more than. getting your wood for free, but it is also lit lot less work. Since the whole idea is to have some fun making lures" 1 leave it to you which 'l1ay you would like to go. 1'11l:l going. to shaw you how to do it from scratch: however, it's always good to know your options.


A band saw Is very useful, but not mnn(la.tory. A band saw allows for precise cuts. cutting down large pieces into small lure bodies, and tapering cuts. You have the a,d vantage' of holding the wood with both hands and lettinG the tool do the work. TIllS does not mean 'p; band saw is the only \VOl}'to get the Job done-just the easiest. Gener-ally, a coping saw or scroll saw is too Ilght-duty tocut out lure bodies from medium density wood between JM;" and 2"'(19mm and 51mmJ Urick.

Since you \viU he cutting small pieces, even a . mall saw will be a great help. TITlC' size ota band saw is measured frorn the blade to the side of the upright support arm. A v.~" (356nlln) band saw is g.tcat, but so is a 6 to 8"' (152 to 203mm). The smaller sawsare inexpen ive becau ether are nt as

useful to furniture makers, and the like. A bel.t sanderwUI m.nJ1.(! In ba;ndy for.rotlgh~hapl!ng.

Nowthat '\;'~ have: thewood thing cnvered, let's move on to tools. ante

of the tools listed will make yourwotk easier, but are 'by lila means necessary, and I w.iIl tell you which Is which,

Keep In mind th.flt [ onlyhave the complete usc ofone hand so I have to do a lot of improvising. Please consider th,!lt fact as you read my use of tools and decide for yourself ifthat use is appropriate for YOIl.

Band, saw

26 Making W' Lures

A band sawisllery useful for lure making, but mDte'ss'entiall.

Belt sander

A boltsander isa useful, but not

mandatory, tool. This tool makes rough

shaping easier. as well as tapering dowel rods or making square stock into round stcck. It also makesit (!QS;Y to an:sJe the lureheads. if needed. Even G handheld

belt sander may be damped into a vise by its handle and used Inplsce of a bench model. Having said that, you may also whittle the body to roueh shape, band sand wltha sanding block you make yourself, and get equally good results.

Sanding blocks

You can purchase sanding blocks. but g!f.!nerally I prefer M maloe"elf. You can glu.e sandpaper to an}f shape

of wood (block. dowel, hall, etc.) and have a shaping. tool designed to do any Job yOU\'ifl::i.h. Apply the same idea. to a flat stationary sander made by gluing sandpaper Ito a flat. heavy piece' of she et steel scrap obtained from the local "elding shop ..

The onlye tception to the sanding block: rule is that 1 do buy emery boards because they cost less than raakmg them. I like the foam boards; th~se-como in all types ofe;li'it from fine to coarse and 'they arc cheap. You can get these at any of the big chain stores. Evengrocery stores carry them. 1 use the coarse grit for light shaping and the fine g:dt for sealer coats and between paint coats.


1 favor a utility knife for my carving blade because you can spend your time carving and not sharpeniag the Made. If you choose to use a. utility knffe, make sure .it is the typ,e that locks tbe blade down n:i:ghlly and not the type where

the blade slid'e.s in andout with a thumb latch. When the blade gets the least b~t dull, flip it over tiQ the ather end, When that edge gets dull, throw the blade a\\'ay and put Ina. new one. You arc carvingnot shm·pel)it,s.

These are-some examples otsanding blockslhatyou make yo-ulr.self ..

This is my utility kn~fe, an old model bought at a ya1'dsale for 7S tents,

Here 15 myseto1f d.edlcated lure-making scrE:wdrivell"S.

Most of the hardware used in .making hires is fairly small. [ use screwdrivers with small blades and relatively tOBg shanks. I bought mine fr'om yard sales for less than it dollar, and then shaped the bl ad es with a: .file Ito suit Ill)' need.


Punches and pin-pricks

Punchesand pin-pricks are 1 .... u'Idy and. simple to [make yourself. Has,icaUy,

you "lval1t it needle \vith ahand]e. You can make these by shortening an oldfashioned hat-pin 0[' reshaping a dental tool. 1 get my dental picks from dentists [O[ free because they often. have some thatare bent or broken. You can also get dental picks from discount tool supply catalogs.

To make a pmnch from scratch, find an old-fashioned hat-pin with a hig round head.shorton the pin to about 1'1 (25mm). and rneil sharp again. You. can also glue a large needle into a \'100 den handle; grab

a scrap piece of wood. some fiVe-rllinute epoxy, and you 1U'e' all set, These items arc especially good for making pilot holes for sma]l screws, llf~i,ns:. 3~Deycs, and a. lot of other smalljobs.

28 Making W'ooden; Lures

These are 5'Ome of the types ·o·f pin punches 'that I make.

Pliers and cutters

1 use specialized pliers for tackle making, First you will want a pairofsmall bent needle-nose pliers. You 'willJalso find

it handy to have th _ foll,owing types or pllers: regular n eedle-nose, round-end (wire~fo.rming).and split-ring pliers, YouwiB also find that a pair of side cutters .• also knownas dikes, is almost indispcnsab lc,

These tools 3Je available from tackle supply houses (see Resources), .croft shops and su ppU •. ars , or h.iS chain store-so Don't overlook that great American supply house-the yard sale-either.

Theseillfe: tihe and .slde rutters that Ii use.

Drill bits

You can use any t}'pe of drill bits for lure m.aki.lJig. but there are some jobs where

a couple of certain drill bits wil] mal e your jobeasierand the ovcrall!res.ult. better; \:Q'hen drilling €)'C holes. keelweight holes, or holes to set washers, you cannot beat brad-pointand Forstner bits. Th.esc bits driJ1prccisc holes with flat bottoms .. A counter-sink bit comes in

hand}ras well.

Scale netting

To paint scales on your lures, you can put:'chascp:rofessional nylon nlctUngor you can make your OWn. I usc the soft scrubbies found at the grocer)' store,

The typ1esold as pot scrubbers have finer weave than the ones sold as bathing aids .. Usc the pot scrubbers on thesmaller lures and the people scrubbers on the larger lures, Separate them in the middle byuntying or removin,g the staple,

and the)r'U fold out into 3: Jarge strip of netting, read}' to be cut to size,


You. wHifind it verr handy to have a supply of clothespins on hand. They are useful a smatl damps. Common

clo thespms are ln cxp ensi veandavailable almost everywhere. They need Ito be modified just sIightly~h.owever. I cut the Von the clamp-end off flat, and then sand it smooth. This modification allov .. -s for 3. very tigh.tlltting or the scale netting to the lure.

These are the col.luter·:sin!k-l brad-paint, and Forstner bits that: I use for lure: m;aklng. Ihe bit with the: masking tape. is not tapes-trves

3'). a "'depth~gaul~e'" by drawfl1g 3nlnk~UnE! around It.

I use two types 'of scrubbeFs to paint scale nelting-pol (left) aind pe:ople (dght),

Here Is the type:ofdotihes:pln:s: t.ha,t I use, NoUc,e thai the pin In the foreground shows t.he modifications W~ lalk@daboLit.

t$'1 Pi.h Ilk" to lurk nOAr object< in the w .. te........<l .. eklpiling., "",edl, etc,



A(ryll( pain~Sj :appl:ied wUh brushes,. are one w.ay to paInt yaur lures.

Painting tools

There arc basica,Hy three \,V'ays to paint your lures. First. you can paintthem \\r~th artist's brushes and acrylic (or the like). Second. you can paint your lures with co nun on spr,ay pai:nt-tllc kind

that comes in aerosol cans. tina_Dy, you can paint them with an airbrush and the paint of your choice, We win examine 011 three methods in our first three projects, but you can see in the three photographs the actual types of equipment I use to make m,' lures.

You can use no rma:i' spraly paint to decorate your lures.

3,0 Making W'ooden ,; Lures

Hook-dressing tools

A few othertoolsthat come' iln handy for dressing hooks include scissors, clear nail polish for sealing, the knot and a setup with a vise grip pliers and a screwdriver to hold the thread spool A damp to hold the hook while dressing makes the operation much safer.

The 'last word on too]s is to he really car,efuJ-notofusing the tools, but rather that these little buggers wills neak up on you.. You wIll be at 3. yard sale. minding your own business, anda llnle

,Sd:ssors,naU podlsht vise grip pller,s}a screwdriver,. and t.hread are aU necessary .fordt@s!ilng books.

voice 'ilfill speak up. "Take me home} take me homer' The next thing you know, yourtool bench is out of control. Be careful.cause lure tools are very sneaky.

No-snag lure drying

Ke~p a paperto.wel in ),Ol.u· fishing gear. YOlll can dry your lures bef()Jie' plI.ttin,g them away, and the hooks can't :mag the wIpe. Ift:h.ey do the paper willl.5implyt'ear ,away froml tbe hook.



The Httle: parts tha.t go lntoand onto fishing lures represent cnearea tliUlt can really get under your skin, 11lLc problem is there are liiteraUy thousands of different lure accoutrements, and ever}' one of them will look useful. to you, There arc eye screws, regular screws, and spli t rings. lots of washers, beads, propellers, blades. clevises, and enand on. The other problem is that the parts arc not vc:ry expcnsjve, so tho next thins you know you ",m have bins fun of small parts. and wou't remember ,,· .. hat the heck you got rhem fo r.

A goodway to approach hardwareis to decide what types of lures }'OU really like, check Olver the how-to photographs, aUClI decide what hardware you like the look or function of. Then, mook throuSh

a purtscatalogue (01' online store) to determme what sizes o{,and how' many parts, you actually need. After your initial few lures, }!OU will nSlre a sood! handle on what purchases to make. A good example is the stainless-steel wire I use in making IUI~es. You can buy various wires from the parts catalogue for very little money, and rhar is \\~hat I used to do myself, Now E. use stainless steel wire that the fenas at the welding shop give

to me for free, The lesson here is use whatavcryoulikc.

Propellers: Propellers are used to add nash and movement to a. lure as it is being retrieved, There are: lltany sizes and shapes o( propeller ..

Hooks: 'Treble hooks have throe barhs and come in a range of sizes .. The sizes

I mostcommonly use for fre::;·.h't, ater luresarc 8, 6, 4~ and 2 ... The bigger the number, the smaller the hook. n most lures, hooks can be found on the belly and in the rear. The rearhook ts usua_lly the same size as the belly hook or one

to two sizes larger, dopcnding upon tho desire of the maker. As .hug as they do not interfere with each other the hOlo·k size is irrelevant.

.split rings: Split rings are usedto attach a hook ott' other movable piece of hardware to an eye screw.

Bibs: Bibs arc attached to the front of surface lures to make them skip across thewater when being retrieved .. This skippi.ngaction willalso make a "plop, plop plop" noise that attracts some fish. There are three sizes (small, medium, large), Bib sizes are usually chosen to match die overall size of the lure. You can put small bibs on large Lures for subtle noise and action, but a large bib wlU make <l small lure sink ..

Hook hangers: Hoo k hangers arc used to secure 3; hook directly to the lure body. Hangers need hanger screws to attach the hardware to tho lure. The small hanger g<!lSI,ts" (6mm )-10 ng. screwsand tho medium hanger get %~ (lOmm).


Pish .safely: Go. with a buddY;:Uid wear' life vests.

Diving lips: Diving lips are attached to the front of a diving lure so that, when retrieved, it wi!] dive, Diving Ups arc availsble ina variety of sizes and shalpes-once again, choiceis up to the lure maker. See Pleating-diving lures. page 20.

Lure leyes,: Lure cycscomc ln a variety of colors and sizes. They can be twodimensional or three-dimensional,

Eye screws: Eye screws are used to attach other hardware or hooks to the lnrc and also to serveasa line-tie. pen eye screws have a small gap in the ring that allows the insertion of a s:plit ring: or hook. Closed eye screws do not have that gap .. Eye screws arc very similar and range from 112 to 2" (13mm to 51mm) in lengthand have three diameters; .050", .072,", and .092". BtllsicaJly., you pnck the sizcyolu\,vaut that will fiton the lure. Obviously, you cannot put 2'" (.S1Ium) screws in both ends of a ~~o (76mm) lure,

'''ashen: \Washers come in two types: nat and cupped, Cup, ashers are used a' bearings '0 Ithat propellers spiln freely, TIl.ey arc 311.50 used to limit hook swing, so the hook points will not damage tbe lure body or fouJ up another hook .. F]at washers are used ~\S ,a wear-guard ,vh .. en books swing on in eye screw, and are also used usa piece on highmend lures to improve aesthetics. Both washer types come j,n two sizes-1f.t" or~~'" (6mm or Smm]. Select washers based on the size of the hook and screw;

Hey. enough of this boring stuff, Let's eet to t he ere "(V~S and have- some fu- fi g- 1.----,P-oJ-c,,- -----------~-- ---.

Grub:a beverage and a comfychalr and lets housebreak this puppy.

Fish ,on film

Keep a dispo.sable camera in your tackle box for those ntrop'hies" that you want "to re~ease.Whenit'$ fu~n and been ;proceued, thl! memories are priceless.



Lure Step Proiects

Get ready for 11 lure projects you can make In a jiffy. No matter what type offish you're trying tocatch, you'll 'find a lure here to catch it .. iDive right in!

Lure 1: Suliface PlI'opBait .•....• , , . 38

Ilure 2: Surface [Popper " , , .. 54

Lure 3: Perch Crawler , , .. " ' " , 66

Lure4:Salhvater Flatfish " 80

Lure 5: floatili1g~Diving Minnow. " . , , , 90

lu:re 6.: Pan Fish , , , , , 100

LlJre7: Minnow Chaser " W7

lure 8:FIoating:-DivlngFrog " US

lure 10: MalLard Duckling " •........ , , , r •••••.• 131

Lure 11: Weasel 146


Our first project is going to bea pure classic bass lure: a surface prop bait. We are going to make this lure from scrap .2 by 4 and paint it by hand with brushes and acry~ic paint. Hand-painted lures have a look all their own, and you may be surprised at how nice the overall results are .. I hope you enjoy this project.

Surface Prop Bait Pattern

5,Y1~ (13ijmm~



"V' (upvlasher

C-;-~-~ -~~~~.. :::;"Propeller

-+ ~_* Q, [lIpvlasher

Hook hllng@l



Treble hJJOIk

't::1' [upv/as.her

I Closed .eyi!' screw

hill" I

22mm)-------t-- .

[Photocopy at 100%

Ma.terials and toots list

R.:ear assembly:

• Ope 11 eye ScrEW'

• Split ring ·2wpwa~hers " Propeller

• Treble hnek

.. Rag 31l1d acetone

,. Smal~scale !letOng [rom pot


.. Modrfied clothespins .. PapertQ1weis

.. Fi'llepoin t permanent IIlk pen '" Needle-nose pHil(S

.. SpUl-nB!lpliers

Matenau '. S(lap 2 by 4

'. 21t (Sl mm) eye: screw (handle) '" Lurie ,eyes

," Toothpick

'. B~'E'··minlJteepoX}'


.. Sand saw e r ,handsaw

• Heaivy nat sander ·Vtse

• pendl

• foam-core emery board ·Fle~ible ruler

• Hand~eld power dlr1l1 .. (ou!ltersink bit

• $115" (8mm) brad-paint bit .. Prick punch

• Vnn (lmmJ drIll' bit

Hardware .BofWm atJemb,y:

'. Hook hanger al'ld screws

'. frehle hook

Fronf astemhly: '. Ocsedeyem:ew

• 2 OJp wash en

'. PJopeller

~ainting supplies -Flat white spray paint.

.. ACi,lkpainl:;;: red, neon I!Jrange, ,leaf gr~n! melaUlcgold, b!ad:, and tan

• Balrdlyer ·Smali liirush

.. $ brush

• Sma.I~.lPOlnled brush

• Sire 0 SOJipt H ner brustl

• Clear spro.y finish

Shape the body

Usea band saw or ha ndsaw to cut you r.2 by 4 as '500IVI1, Note that there 4 cuts do nOlgo'all the VIOV ~hrou~h. Make sure the elliS are iOllgerlhan Ihe,ltrre_ou Wish to mak~. Cur (hel boardofft.o (he eenect lenglh andlyou Ihave your 8 I. me .body blanks •.

U:seYOUI heavy nat sander {or your fiiat hand .$Brnder ]Q{ked in a 1.0 sand ,.he square body into Ihe .sJlape (If an Clrragon.

40 Making W60den filshing: Lures

lh is Is wnat 10:Ufo,tagon .5noul'd look IIk'e aftenhis stage. The octagon does II1DI mave to ,beexa~, j.u~td.o5e to having the sideseven

When you aresaU5~ed with your 851d]e~,repea[ th~ p:ro(ess~v.flh the new «mers :SClI that YOtl '~rodu{e ,i! l&.s:ided' stkk, YOll ransee that theorig,ina I sqll'are is OOW' almost reu nd ..

Noltcethe tlvopEndl'llnes In Ihls sbot. fhere Is one neal the head a,nd one near the tail. The5€ lines are guides f~r fDIJ.nding off the' head snd tap~rjng the- tail.

Taper the tail so it is sanded and ne:ady r!lund.

Your rough lure body is rreallyfor ,fine sanding.

I use a roam-core emery board to sand out aU of the hea'17 tool matk,.s., You do notllClve 10 ha,vea:

ITIIjrror~smootb finish; juneHmlmare ,any .nbvlous {utst :scratches] dents, and (he llke,

It is III ow time togetsomecentedi!ile5olllhis guy. Start by dfawing a NorthlSQuth Iineon the nose and an East)West [line (9or III the first line) to form a CW'5S, The ends of theie Unes ~hGuld gOI back onto the sides of the lure about 1fl(J"' (2mm). L",ok at the lure nose-on andit will be easy 10 see 'K'you have even quadrants.,

Pkk one of the lines to become the CEnter of the bad, ~l1d mI, itdoesrrt matter which one. Grabyo'Ur 'small flexibl€ ruler and drcn la line down the m Iddie of the back. Mate ase1:ondcros!.ioI'l the tall end of the lure and draw tn your '-'Nlttal ~orDeny) centerline as well.

42 Making W'ooden; Lures

rChecking symmetry

By looking at the nose and taU end of the lure altemately, It will be readily apparent if your two, centerlines do. not lineup symmetrically.

The two sides oft~e(l'i05S; Ulatire not c€nlerHnes wW help you find v,aur

eye lines, Dlawil,ong your Hr.xible ruler to about IV2" (38mm) from the nose. FInd wherever y()U want

to have thecfllterofyo:ur Ime eyesaud make a mark that cresses the ere Illne. X Illlarks [he spot, asit were.

Mer dra~ringon all of your lines, look over thelur,e <arefully. Look.a~ tneifront arnd ba(k~ top (ll1d bottom. ~nd aUaround,.chec.king for symmetry. Make cmy ne(e~salyccrredi'on~! II is nrJw time 1(I~~rlla~il1gout your hardware.

Avoid embossing AI,ways use a soft le ad pencil and a very light touch when drawing centerlines: that way you will not emboss a groove In the- wood'.

Since our lure will have a fuook hanger ani the beHy,.lets start with that. Take Hteadual hanger and pla(eiton the belly (Imterlinle in ~ hetom!( t lr)calijJln. Mark center a,( the (Wet su;elV holes: onto the ('enterlline.

M05't f.ish move towat"d the sli1or-e When water 1'1 CI.



Drill pilot holes

Your next step is use a (Ountersilnk ibit to cup at th@ nose and tail, right in the Cl'!lnt~r of your crosses. The reason for nhte chamferilng is that thepilot hole drill bit is so srna I I (about 1h::t (lmm]), the wood grain w.iill make it wander off center very easily If you do not,

(hal1lge toa 5116" f8mm). br:a.d~lloint bltand drill the ey'eholes ..

Load up your 'm" (1 mm) drill bit and dri U yo lJIr nose and Itail pilot holes. The~h·amfers that you cut with the countersink bit will make this easier and mOlr~eaccurate ..

44 Making WOCJden~ishing: Lures

:Roll tihe lure over to ilts belly side and useyQur p~(k punch tOI make your two tlOo:k hanger screw holes, These screws are too small to use a pi:,lot hole bit-besides. this is more accu rate an d faster to boot.

Crooked pilot holes?

If any of your pilot holes ore drilled off-center or in the wrong place. it's

an easy fix. Dip a wooden toothpick In some glue and drive it into the hole. Either cut or break it off and sand it smooth. It will he good as new and like they say, 4No harm, no foul:'


Dry~fit ha.rdware

We are ,1'I()wgclng to dry

18 fit aU of me hardwarE. It

is not ne<es;sary till run aU

th e s rre:vrs doV!.rn tlg Ill.

)l,Ist run them ii n and stop

a Utile short of SNltiM.g them .. This step prevmls dalmagjlng your ~nlstted lure~there wlilinot be allY stll bb 0 m S£:I'@'M to (a IJ se' a screwd,!1ver s,lip orsurh,

Install a handle SDYI)U won'! have to touch Ihelure I»dy djfl:!rll~ whUe painting, Use an eye mewab[)ut 2" (51mm) Icmgand the same diilrtne~eras yc.ur finim@d s(rew. S.pray [h2lure body with flat whlitepalnl (see tips" ri.ght).

,R'emtllveaIlo'f the hardware

".9 andset it aside (al sandwich balggv works \\l'ellro~ this, p~(lt-edurel. Be(all~ M

alii ofthe handling and sand!ng1you will want to degrease the' lure body ... Pampen a rag with acetone and tlwro:ughIJwi~e il down. DDnit SllIilk the ~g-just dampen it

Spray painting

When spray painting, spray from 12ft {30Smm} away and use: at least two or tbree light coats. These light coats wHi dry faster and rnoreccmpletely han will one heavy COM. Hangthe lure and let It dry 12 to 18 hours. If you do not let the basecoar dry thoroughly, the scale netting wil! j],ctuaHy emboss into the uncuredpaint or 11ft it right off the lure.


We are mWI ready to paint thi~ bad boy,. ~ogalher your painting supplies. Don'l forg:et ytJur bair dl'1}e,rJ Mi) serne gold paint mth water to a rnilrly 'thin consistency and bru:sh it al'l over the lure ex<ept fora ~ .. (13mm) SHipe- down the center of the belly.

lhorOl.Jghly dij' ~his coat lvitb the nair drye,[ You (an. tell when jl(ryllc paim: is dry' by [(lu(hing it When it i<sdry.l it wlH reel warm to Inelouch;lfit feels cool. Illlaln lrfs n.Ol dry. Always diyeadJ and every I' (lifacryllc:-····· lfY(l1u do not, tile ,5€cond will wash off the pf!vioUS one.

Apply a second coat of the gold mixture-. Please note thateven~vith twoooalt.s" the paint Is 511111 nan$par61t. That is why we thinned lhe gold with water tQ a mnln,~ mrlsis.ten:cy .. Don't wonry UyOLJ get the mix toa thlnjust do a few rnorecoat~ untill h resembles th e pIl.oto.

,Dry ~.hE 'Iufll~ again .. Remember lhatwe donGt"'1ranUo emboss lhesurfate ell" 11ft IOffthe palmI. (ut: the net~nlg so fha'lit will \v,rap aroundthe h.ll re with jl.l'st a nUle ~lIer1ap. Wr.ap' tihe net1ing around the lure starting at the Mad and .5ecurewith modified dolhespil]~ ..

,Mix red paIn I wlith walerlOal c-fJns!stency that vi'illc:nme Clfftfle brush E'a:sil~.l\fbH loading a .stippllng brushl wipe itllgmtl~ ana paper ttl\!lfl and stab ·through the neMing. Uex~ pilnt one blUsh width I Gwerdovm the sides up to the eyehole. ,Make afirtal palo'S ,about a hall brush rower down tlie'side •. Repeallhe prOtf;5SDri tneQlh~1 side.

46 Making W'ooden; Lures

Mix some (If tihe neon arangecolor to the sam E"mnsls.ten(y CIs-the red. Load the sUppling b.ruslhand st,ab iltllglhtly Illto thm paper tOlwal [or@mov~~ceScs palnl. Stdrt,at Ih.eeyehDIL'! and nab toward the' mU andtuJd:, ~Vl!n wIth ttJ~ ooltmnof the: eyehole. ObviolJsly. you will want to r~p@atlhes@ SliJ'P'5 on tl'!" sid!!.. Or)1lhe paiirU Witl1Y(JUF ha ir dryer. We ~id mit do this between the red and orange betause we wante4 th.em to blendsll gMly.

( Working with netting Notice that this particular netting (pot scrubber vanery] is double woven and extra thick, We are not paroting scales but rather, smaU random dots and specks, When brush pajntmg with scale nettlngof any kind, choose an o!d .. worn-out. short-bustled brush. Use iii light touch and stab straight down to the surface,

If tile paintco1lerage IOJo~ks similar from side to side, remove the netting. Mix some' Gflhe green to the same I(ons~tenqr as. the rooandoriOllge;. Wipe off the .eX(e5S patnt" and start stl ppli ng oown~he ba<k and dowrIi [ihe 'sides to \~hem lh@ cmmgt1' spew stop ..

R'epE1Jl thlslo blend t.he ,green so that the back is darkm than the sides. In (J!~N \~'O.tds:, the fol(lf rades, oul as )IilU gofrom back to hen~, As you paint the' greerJ. make sure recover the head and end of the nose. When the ,green looks good to you, dlq the entire I.ure 1IIery weU. R'emember, 'the pal,nt should feel warm all over.

Mi~. someblad: a litHe thicker 'than the red Stipple a li,ne dOWlllthE.'! center lof1he backft:om nose to tail. Nlo'te that thelirll~ will be made of many lit~espots.lftold the lure by placirng.yourthlllmb and forefinlger inlhe Eyeholes-:it win be easy to laeane the center of .he back .. GlYe the en the lure a thorough dr~ng ..

Load a small punted DrIIIsh wi tn th'e black mi~ ture and sHipe tfue sldesimd head. These sltrlpes ,ale made with H9htpre~sule,aril S movement, and a Iltde Hick asy~u pick up t~.E!! brush. PleasE! notet~a t the head .strlpes a Ire . smalfer than! tho:se Oni the ood~.

l~e nexlSI€ipisla mix up S€lme of the tan <olorand load up' the sllppllng bmshJNipe off the excess .and ~M'b a IIn,e dO.\'/n the cen,[er t'llf th~ VMlr311 (1le1M sUI)~ from the 'oose to just behind '.he hook hanger screW' holes. Again, ma'kf: St!Ite 'Ii dry this Icolor completely .

48 Making W'ooden; Lures

Us.lng (l stze·O :script -liner bill sh, load 1fJ p some of the suaighl ted calor .and p.aint in lheglll lnes, Jhese do not hav,e to be perfectly'symmeHical but you de wanllhem (lose to 1 he same.

Apply flnishing touches

U'seafine .point pelmanent ink pen t.o sign Y'f.HJf name to the' lure. I r€(omfil1et1d YOllsign all of your wOlk.1ihe p.ai1ntirng 'is now complete but do not reach [or ,the clear (mar quite :yet

<iathe,r up your lureeyf5, five-minu.le epoxy, pllick pJjn(h~, allria toothpick.. MFX lip a 5.maU ·amoU'ntof epoK)' with the[ooth~i(k ana .pula IH:He dab illln'e (leAi1er otearh eyehole.

USE' the prick punch to 35 lift an eye flam the Gmt iPa Uially insert the ef,e, pUI you,r finger on it,. then slide !the prick :pund'l out. lhe eye will QGrightinj mkeand dean. These eyes are 5€!J-a.dnes.ivel but ihe ep~xy will help halo tinem in ~I'ace and sea I the wood 3Qlainst water.

'io'Ur!iignatUll'e has had tim e 36 tiD d.ry .. Spritl a ,light coat of rhe dear finish trlverit.. Le~

this set up for at least an hour. If you do not do thls, the clear coat wm make] the ink run 'like a chkken from a we~s]el, Thal~ wight-it won't be pretty!.

Ap,pl,V the ~Jst full dearteat, Let this, ccatset up fora feast 30 .mirnutfS .. An hom would be bettel. No\\! 9i ve· thel'uu~ a second dear (oat. If the :shine iis to 'your liki ng after about a hallf-hour., hang it up overmlght to cure' h.a!ro. You could also applJ a third (oat I~irty ,mlnutes ,after the seeend.

50 Making W'ooden filshing: Lures

Let it Cure If you don't let the dear coat

CLJ re hard before you assemble

It, you Wilt leave llngerprint5 aU over tit, and even cause the finish to slide around 011 the lure body. Then you get

to start alii over again,

You willl10w want '10 galher YOlJrharrdwalle. I sDg]et the ba9 you pu t your parts in and ~(lUlr

. prid< punch, 5aewdrl~r and e]po);y:

Notiicre that IliIeey~5(lelV going on the taU end lsan open eye. Because we are going to anadllhe. rear hOil,k with a ~plitrin9, put that on beforeYrlJu close

the eye. Us'e a p,aIr of your needle-nose pHers to dose the screw ey,e.

Assemble the hardware.ltls verye'a5Y to tum propeU'ers ba€kward orassemille tile CUPI washers backward. Asse<-mblelherear and fronr uniB anrllay tnem down whNe tneywHlgo.

fut epo'X}/ Imo me nose pUOI ho'fel·as w~lJ asthe ({I tlntef S1JJ Akco.n.e.

Use you r PJ.i(k~lIn(h ttl lighte-h lneasS@rnoly. ~d out the scre1N Ulntd the pt()pe:lier tcms freely, oot Is not sloppy.

Ma~Q su~ the' eyescr@w is. oriented NorthlS'outh and

not S<I:rf1e odd angl'I!.l:iIiHhe end of the IPropeHer to make 'sure that [I spins. :FoIIo~v up 11, btowing straIght onta the prop-II: s:hould tumwinh the force ofyQur breath.

Immedratel~ moye Lo Ihe I:ailend and e-P(1KY [hat hale afldcone the same as .heJront prop .. Makesllre the prop spins freel'y and that IhesCifE!we.~e isalign.ed •.

Hereislhe lure witlllbo1hp.fcpeller assemblies illstalled, and looking pretty good. We still need to get 8ifter that ben~ hook, however.

-- -

Install hooks

52 Making W60den; Lures

Mix a small amount ofepo.xy and use (he brJothplli. tostJl.lff a little bit into th.e front ha.nglu S((ewhole..lnstaH ~he fj;·onl hal1gt.iSJ:TiI!W most of ~he wa~ but not complEtEly. Vou will wantto be able

to m()ve t~ehangerout 1.0 one side.

5Ude.a sIze:.2 beblc hook ontothe ha nger .. M.ak.e su I'I~ that. the hook is orlen"el!l wlthtwolmlls nmnlllg along thE lure ,and the ~_.i<ft..."'I' other one fating away· from

the lu re 'bl:ldy.

H'old the hook by the Ihi rt! barb and ,align 'he bao~er with its rear screw hole. Use the toothpick topula little b.aJiI of epotK}' IMO, the' rear'roew hOlle. Start the 'mew by hand.

Drive tll1e t~r screw in. G D bact to the front screw and drive it tn. TnelpheIDShow) the properlnstallmen.t The hook,odent~ticm vJiHavoi'd llflne(e~sary wear on the lure: body, SiC be sure yours is correct.

Use the iplit·~~ng pllen

to nan t.he rear l100k uno the split ring. The h(l(!K Gri.cntation does net matter for this type Dfhorik~lIp. HDld the sp'litring with your small meedle nose pliers and s[idethe hook around the ring until it Isall [he wayan.

1'OIU are nowthe proud GiVne'r ora veryfIm! and classic flshing lure .. He,re

Is (lur flnlsmed, ih~nd~ painted lure-a long w~y fromthescrapl)( 4 that we



For our second project, we are going to do another equ.atly classic bass lure: the surface popper. We will use a purchased body rough .. out and paint it with common cans of spray paiirnt. Spray painting produces good lures that also have a. unique [look to them. By the way. poppers are named for the distinctive noise they make while being retrieved in a stop-and-go manner;

Surface Popper Pattern

''=!:1 (up washer

2W! 03mm'



Topsecret technique

Ifyc)u a,resedou:s about gettilitgreaUy big fish, hire is how to do it. Put ,our .hat onsidewaysrand then ,tllte' fish thilnkyo.u Ire looking somewhere el," and wiU'!$neak~attar:l('t your

lure.Worb every' time. I ,. I~~·.c 7.<

l~YI" (41mm)

Pbotocopyall 100%

Ma,terials and tools list

• Pnckpunch

• (Iolliandacdone

• Stale netting

• Modified clothesplns .. Flnepolnt permanent

black marker


'. R(Jugh~out I,me body, 6- (11.52mm)m,usky stickor3'l (76m1l11 papper

'. :&I-oullce nen-lead sIl'lrl-:Shot (counter weigllU

" LUf1ee;oes


0" 6andSiw

• P.encil ·FI,Exible rllller

·8eltsander (lrsamdlng dowel

• Try square

• Handheld power d[~11

• arad~poii1lt drill bit: to matdl

@}Ie5 ~elng used

• ~(>I' [2mm)i t\!i.iSt drll bit

• (ounterslnk bit

• Screwdriv-e,r OF knife

• j·minuteepoxy .. Taathplck

• !HairoryEr

.. (oalrseflngemall board

,Raillting supplies .. Flat: whi~e spray paint

• Dlspos3blegloves

• Gmld spray paInt

• Green spray paint

• SIIWlI m~t311Ic~pray paint (optlollaH

• (Iearsprav finis~

Hardware Fron.t assembly: '. Closed eye screw

• Cup washef

ReQ,.a~Jembry: '. Open~e 5Uel,!1

'. Spllrrino

,j Orlu,~ed treble hook (see p~ge 163,)

Ihls p.~ojoct startswiLh a purchased rough-GLlt bQdy that is allreaa,y mClsU~ 's~aped. Cut this body in h.1lf,atalliangle 'of (j;Dout60' ,producing two popper bodies. SehKt one to (Ontilllle with. D.ra,wa, centerline from ihe u n cut tip tu the furtnes.tcut poilit.

56 Making W'ooden; Lures

We need to salld the (ace of lhepop,per, and beGIkfi'e It also needsto ha~e a cupped face, "veTI do bath .H II~e same time by sanding with a curredsalilder.]r~the drum lendofa ,belt sandet as pict!Ured.

Ifyot! do not haVE abeUsamlle'.r, than make oil ~omemade 'Sanding stick with;) dOlweland Sil:ndpaper. flea~ notice,.hatltry to sandal 90· to the cenu;rline lof the lure, You may also damp the i1 ick into a vise and Ilse both hali1ds l4lcontlol the lure bo-dy .•

Here is the fa(e profi1e we want to achievE. Make su.f"e tOr-!!H)I1Mct your (enterline ifr(Jm back to belly through the cellt~r of the fil(e~

I like to meek that t~elule f~ce is square~o the lengtlll lof the IUIIE!' oody using a carperater'slirysquare,

Coat youl" fish with oil b·efore you gri;111 t·o k.cepfthe jllioe~lrn'. 57 I

A'lh1f all' tbe sanding/lUke to refre'£h the (iellterlinfl~, Look at tfue lur:e·c.elltedlnesfrom atl ,around to visually (ned< that they a.recorrect It's. a lot easlertc erasea pen<illineo ti1(ln toinstaili. your hartlwareallcrooked a,nd have to thro'~1 i'lawayallds;lart over.

locate IlheeyehiOleson the paUeJn (page SS) ~nd ·Iransfer themtotbe body. VISually cherk to SE!ethat they afe' symmetri'c:al. both fore and aft and up and down. Whem ilt all looks good,.drill the holes us[nga bra~-~<lintdrill bit Select ablt to match the sizeQf~e u&OO.

Here YrliU seelhe~es are symmelrical .all around. It VIii! S'('IIj'() ~(!Il we'll to get into the habit of 'IlilIUing the lure'" ~YefY tinneyou do a la,yollt This. means !ookiRgat I' from aUangles.llf anythln9ls amlss it will ·qui.ckly become obvi(llJs.

Here· ii) tb-e hale for the counter wel!}M. Thecoul1ter weight frm.mes, the lurewiH noart in the .Iight attitudeeveOla5 !tis ferk-retrieved. The ho:le is dtilledwH hthe ~rad-p(jint bit on the belly €enterlitle,arnd about as far back fmm [he fa[e as the eyes are,

5,8 Making W'ooden; Lures

Th.e next step Is tD drill in ~he pllo'l Mile for the fronteye5crewlthe llne tie}. Lo~alte 11115 hole alon91he c:enl:erHne of the face and one-tnird elthe way up from the belly .. USE a. ~G" (2mm) t\'iist bit.

Move til lhctaHal1d drilll'n the pilot hole' (or ~be rear hook scr@w e~f!~lIlth the same twl~t Mt.

Use a counlersi!nk bit lDchamfertllefroli1t .pilot hole. '111J5 makes airiest for the' cup washerlhat will he Ins.alled 'ontheffinished lute.

Install counter weights


Lead j,s dangerous to your health and also will be Hlega.~ in the

futu re .especa Uy on fede,ratly controlled waters. Be' sure to use non-lead 5cpHt-shot.

60 Making W60den filshing: Lures

lnstall the (Ount(lrweighlt (,a %~Cllm",e lI1on-l~adsplitsI10[) InlC the weight iiDre,

making sure it Is be-low 'the

• b~lfy~5 5udace."

When you have thespUlshotln~rt~d,.ope.1Jl the sp'litw.itha screwdf IVer or knife blade.

Mb: some S-m,lnute: epoxy 14 and fill the hole rightoVeof the counter weight Iuse

a cemrnen t~olhpick. to dlC this, because I. (an work the g'lue intoai!l the nDoKs and cranrnies.

U'se a hair dr~e,~o heat u~the epcuy. This C'].llSIl'S It 10 be(om'€ more Ilquidy' and fill the hole Uotice I have placedenollgh epoxy to form a dome above the belly sUlfate"

Thellexl sle'P ,i~ to sasd off [he epoxy dame Uushi w.itfu the lure's surfa(e'.l usea ·CClarse fingerll1lU boaKltCl do It bFKause- rt r~. not aggres,sive'tl 1he wottd,. yet readiily (cmoves tiueexcess epoxy.

Dry-fit hardware

H'ere is the~lli5hedcolJntef wei9hl'.

Now 15 the time W' dry~ftt 'the hardware. I find it I;onvenient to use lmy pri('k punch handle to spi'n .in the eye S!rews. When dry fittillg hardware, ,al~vay.5 run your :SClew~ irl ne'arly .snug'. Notice how the front cup washt!r :sits nicely in ltsnest, Nowlennove alloftnehardwa:re.

Si.J.rface lures 'Wo·rk well oVer 15 to 25 foot (So 8fMetct') .d.r:'bP-Om. 61

Use your gofd 5'pray paint to (olcrlbe upper naif ,or the lure body. 8y spra.ylng straIght onto the backl Gnly tll.f upper haltor th@'lure will catch the pailtilt.

GIve the IUle a fjl1illsal'ldin~ and wilPe with a damp

. doth. I dampen a datil

with acetane·w remCJve' all W'5tiges of sanding dust. Now, paint the el1ltlre lure wllh nat -whilte primerl base ccalt, and let. It dry ov:emight

Wear gloves'

Before we start to paint, I' weuld like tosuggest that )Iou get In the habit of wearing disposable g,loves Wlilil be safer for you andsave having to wash your hands in hinner. I never got in this habit .. so I don't do it. but please do ft for your benefit.

Here ~ou can see hlli'\''ithe gold goes just to tihe center ol theltne sid.ea'nd fades tDward 'me belly. Thissbading ·occurs by ruel! whe-;n yOlJsp:ray rfl!lm (lInt'! dHecti~n.

6,2 Making W'ooden; Lures

5~my the upper haIr of the laceYlith the g(lld •. As y.OU lotlk M lne'lure~ fac~, aim (he pili'nt ~bove (he lure and let th@edg:e(lf [he s,p:ray r~n do the- worik.

Paint scales

Spjaygreell pa~:nll Clver Ihe.gordrromstml\l1ht above. ,in a 'series of shoJI p\! ffs--hillh e~uttol1 and immedialely reolea,sl! it.1lo lhts from 18" (4S7mm) away ..

Allnwthe p~lnt teD dry 23~or ahcmt iln heur, Wrap

ihe lure \vilh some scale melting and SE,cu~e with your modified dothesp.ins. Ulltil we remm,re the melling,. the doU"espins willi make a n'ce handle.

Layering spray pain icolors

Step 25 clearly shows the color changing abiUtiesof the color-overcolor method. The top of the lure is the' same color as. the sides, but as the 'light rnovss over the curves, the color actuaUy changes. This method wilt workno mar-r@r what base and overcolors you use. Blue over silver. red over gold etc .. etc.

As, soon .as:youare dena

2S \vilth the puffpalinllngl femove the netting. Do It calefully soy:ou don'lsmear the ffesh paililt. lhe reasen ifor gettlng the 5cal'e net ting tff n{) wisYGU do eot wan t to glue It to the Jure as the ,palinl dnes,


Apply finishing touches

If'y,ou have dar~ paint too dose to the while beHy centelline, YOIJ cancorreft this bY' puff painting the beU~ wi th more white. Make sure' to be perpendi.(~ lsr to the belly sllrfa~e and llse a few pu1ls,only.

If you wlsh to add oiln le)(traeFfect, you Gin p,ur ff the back, ~enYI or both wllh sitMer metallirpatElt.IJyou wish to dothls, make sure you are' at leasl24" (61 Cmm} away and give: only one. qu.ick pUlff. Think "less is, mar,e:"

Let the Ilure dl)' (iii atlea~t an hOllt .. Thepa;inl w1Ube dry to the leuch but stHl "g reen" (mean:ing no t fully ru re:~L so handh? with care. Mi:.:s'ome five-minute epDxyancl pli!ce a drapl1l1ea(h eyehole. Use yom prick punch to lift lWo eyes and p!lace one Into eachl:yehale ..

IhlW ~ign your lure with a black ~rma'nel11 m:arker.

64 Making W'ooden; Lures

Give the sigillature hw light 3 a pt:lffs ofdll'larfin ish,obout 10 minulesapalfl.Wiilil

10 minutes. Appl.y light <.oats(from a:t [ll"ast.18" [45JmmjawaY)1 to thelUfe 11'1. Z(}minule intervals until Itfs as shiny as :yeu wiifl. Hang the lure t!) dry and <ure for at least 24 [holJrs. Itynu do nat, you~'iU have fingetl)rints il1ilb~dded ----------.....:::!:~~ foreverinloyour I[ure,

Install harchvare

Always lay your haldwal,eout tCClie<K th1eprGper order of in,s,1alllali(lua1lldsav:eyoufself :some .rDuble. WhellJ you are satisfied everythi!llg is (orre<:l.lnstall the hardware.

Glue the SCrews

AnytIme you put 81 screw into 8. lure, rna ke sure to put a llttle glue Into

the hole first with i3I toothpick, This Is not to holdfn the screw. Adding glue lubncates the screw as it curs Into the wood aind helps to seat out water.

Here is our fir1ished lura 32 lfs as nice as any andyou mad tl1eple.asu(~ .of maKIng

I~ ~()urselr. Th is partl(~lar lore 15 re'aU~effec'iverJO laFg,em(tutth bass, and in tile sp.ring. Northern pike win attack it withou.t mer'Cy~

Trybhu~ 6ti.d s:reen' 1utes for bau.



For our thlrd prcject, we'llmake a perch craw~e.r. This is a surface bait used mostly for bass, but lsequally deadly for spring pike-and mosky A crawler has a bib at the front that makes a "plop, plop, plop" noise when retrieved. We will be making the lure fro:m a dowel rod and painting it wiith an airbrush.


~" t22mm)


Perch Crawler Pattern


&- __ ...... ~~ rncT~,..eb_.le .. hD.Q5:k=--

(up 'washer S lit rin

3W' p .. 9


] ¥I" (44mmJ

Open eye·mew

Take a kid fishing

Take a kid flshin,g, because i.t's more fun than 'c.atchins fis.h yourself. This experienceiJ one of ~he 1rueio)'s in tife.

Photocopy at 100%

.Mate,ia:ls and tools list

Tools ·Beltsand«~ knIfe,

or sanding block

• Bandsa.w

• Pencil

.. flexlbh! plastIc ml@1

• Handheld powEr drill,

• (ounlersif1k bit .M6"(2mm) twitt biE -Srad-polnt bit

• Pflck pundl

• .Parntingnandle (eye screw) - 5wmrnuleepoxy

• il'oo'l.hpJ(k

•. Flne point bla,ck permanent marker

Painting supplies • F!at-vthrre !ipra~paint


• 600-grit sandpapelr ,,·Rag

• Acetone

.' lacquer airbrush p:aln~s: glimm€f gold" tlampareflt light gr~, bla(k 1.!!mberl perch OfiHilge

• White poster board orcard!board

• Scale netUng

• Modified c!othespi,n5

• Clear sprG!J 'finish


• %'1 (19mmJ

-diameter IPoplar dowel

• J.~D,I'ure eyes

Hardware Front tti1emb~: • Bib and Str~WS

Belly ,assembly:

• OpeneJe' screVJ

• SpHtt'in.g

• Trebl'e hook


• OpenE!~e' s<rew

Cup "",ashel

• Trebl'e hook

Shape the body

'Grab a. pl@(@ofdoWt!1 '0 llart Inl) lu~@.I.n. th~ (as~ I ·chosea 3;.';" (il9'mm)·,dlamelerpoplal dow·~II,

Ta~rone ,@ndof th@ d~w@l.l~m usllng abelr ~nd@r h~r~J ltlUf YOI.l(aJit do It.jl.lst .ase;.sllywHil aknlfe~ (If Even a hDmernadl.Handlng black, as we did In trhe firrst project The 'end we taper \viU be the' tClU,

68 Making W'ooden; Lures

Sand the face flat tlilis is ,ape~fect Itime to make(hanges to the ang'le ifyolJ wanllto. Again, I'm !Jsingtbe belt 'sand'er, but the heavy sanding blod:\vorks just great P$. wen .. After 5and.lng , check to see tIlat the face.~ square to the lure (i.e., at9{f tn tbe long axts).

We are' ,1'1 i)W go 1 ngto

cui theface offwith the balr.ds:a\l/. Be<auSf we're making a uawler,wecl!It at an angl eo:f 6(1-10· t.o acwm mod,·ate the hi b~. The exact .Q1ngle makes 'small dlrferences ,In the way the crawle:r acts, so check YlJur p3lttem to be sure.

Record the angle

If you make a crawler that performs to your exact desires, make a note of rhe angle and wl"ite it on your pattern sheet

so you can duplicate the sweet action.

Use the fI(!xible pl(Jstic ruler tG mark ina.n 'ofYlJur cE!'tlterUnes. Make §tire to look 'Gve'~he entire ture 1:0 make sure everythlng,llnes up well ami looks, good.


A.1t!er (cm:sultlng th@ pattern; m easule back frQ m Ihe fa.c!!! alc.l1g ti1ertye,lille 10 l€J:Cute the e:yeho.les ..

Using the bIb, llne up the SCf"EW holes with U1e fa(e (ente~lne. Make sure the'lint-~e' hole Is !lot ODstluctefJ by th!!'body. Mark th@strew hllle:s on the cEnterline.tljote 1hal the lure Is )hown here belly·up (the :bib is upside d(lwn)- the line- lleholegn.eso.n mpof the '

Herearelhe mew lo{alions.1ltelure is still be:Uy up"

Use the ctlulltersink bit to chamfer the belly hook screw loca~IDn. Tillis does, two lhingsat 'once. RrSl, it helps center the :smaU plio' hO:I@ dnlll bit. Second, 'l't ma'kesa nest for the cup was he r we win be usillg.

70 Making W'ooden; Lures

()rlH ln ihe belly hnm'k pi.lar hole wUh a 1-\r;n i2m.m) ~wIst bit. ThecolJnlerslnk hole wUI he!.p Iklfflp (he pilot hlt flom walking off center: wnUe we are at il.t let3 drill in the pilothole fo:rthe rear' hook mounBcrew as WE'lL

NDW it~5 time to dril.llln Ih€ eyeholes •. Use a brad-peint bill hall11at(heslheeye sf ze, On surfa(.e luresJ .llf~e to have the eyes slightly bug·e,Ed. $(I drilUI the ,ey~holesa lIwe shallow.

'TIlesnew'S f~r mDuntlng tile bibare faj~IY5man.,.5O dom't use' the drlill ror the pilot holes I nSlead, use your prick punch and stab tile holes in. As, with drtllnga hele, maki?su:retostabin perpefldiwlar to the surfac.e ,andparallelluthe IOll1g (enterUne~

Try filhing .Ueep in the winte,l".


"'lIn!l!!!'I!!1IJ~~Y-------------;?:' [)ry-tit ymln haKlwarleand rnekesure rh-ere are no problems. RllIn all Dfthe

• sue\\I'S In about. 90%, but

i not tight Here you can sell' haw thF! line-tie hole'lI'lke~ dears thelure~s body.

Remove the hardware and sc,ew in a palm!llilg handle. Spray enone (t) thre ect}ats of nat-\! .. ~i1e prlmcf'T.ILet th e primer drry oyemlgnl.

A note on airbrushing

Seeause we aee going to airbrush this lure, make' sure the primer and pains a~e ccrnpenble, For example, don't put an enamel coat underneath lacquer paint, It is equally important to Iighti.y sand the primer with fine sandpaper {600 grit) and wipe off the dust with a rag dampened in the correc thinner. In this case. that would be acetone,

72 Making W60den; Lures

To start our perrhpalnt job,. we will use gl:lmmer gold as our color base {oat Fill one-thlrd (lfthe alrb:rush':s {!Up wilni gold paint. abSClrbenl !rag,o,cover t~e tlp of[~e al brlJsil .• and under the cup. 'Press the trigger" 1ihis~aUlSeS the ,air to backnlJsh th.rough Illierupilf1d mix the pafrtlaooaOOl()ne.

Spra:y the U~Pff[Wo·lhirds Mthe body wlth gold pailnt-le.a,ve- rhe beUv white for IntlW. '!founnay need more III an one coaL Thin is b@tt@.lhan tao thMk.

FiU the rem;ainderfl.lf the '16 (UP with pure ao!etcme to Ihln the paint.

Blending colors

By mixing our paint really thln, weare, in effect. blending calms right on the lure. Yo'u can always add a couple of thin layers; butene that is too thick means you get to wipe everything off and start over again. So j have what I call the standard mix: one part pamt to two parts hinner;

PaInt scales

'Th.esecond (olor is trclilspareint lightgrefn.. Add the palM and ate~on:e-(J·ne part ·p,a·int tDtowa pans ,acr!tone~an.d IJse ~ne 'It bac~ ~n!lsh to'e'l)'a[nt.


AJwa~!i kee~ .1' phu:e of white poste,r board lor (ardboard~lnnOOllllp In your p~llil[ area. 'This lis, hand~ for 'checklng your airbrush adJusrrmmts and (clor Int1ensil}l. If the ooaFd Is I(orlvenl!ently ,praced. you willi actll!aU¥ use 1ft Testll1e -green coler until, you a rei pleased with it.

Wrap the hm~ wilha piece o.f scale neiUn:g and ~e{ure ~'11th modified dothesplns, Spray oVer the gaM with Ibe transparent green. Yau will see ag.reenlsh·gcld (ohol start 1'0 dew:ell)p.,The Exact :shadeaf this color is up to your personal taste-you 'control.he' shadel net the paint

(jilvl:'!' tl'le ba rka few more ceats of the gre,(>n. to estabIlsh ij. co lor diffffenCt between rneba(k ilnd the ~a,l1,k5 (sldes). ,~Jole that even though the bib js golog "0 cover the entire front oHhel urel f paInt l.ha1 area also,simply 1m help protect the viond.

74 Making W'ooden; Lures

We are now going to darken the backl so load up 5I1:Ime black umber I(a Vi.urn [omwnish black). This time~ how,ever, mil( rna, little mere (l·ce'tolile. 'lJseone part paint to three Ipalls thinner~ Use the back .. flush mfxfn9h~(hniq!Ue.

JI:djlLStyour s~ray t'o a lime line and shaDt some p;linl on the C3i rdbo a rd. VI)U ean sneot rllght lover YOlJr transparent green test strip'IO g,et a fuel f(lt how the two ItoloF.s wlll [look on the lure. that I first adJust the lille' \wdth(top lines) and then check. for wlor (lower pant)..

S~ray a na~row dark line down the midd'~e af the back. It shCluld be a little narrower than th'eg,reen (cmtrast line.

lise the same bl·a(k ,umber to lay aut your side stripes. Perch usually hali'! S'e1{8lil~tripei, but re.aUy"fish can't count anywa.y,sojust ma~eas many asyou think IDo~s good. all tihi)si 12.:1 ure, I make I~otj(e how [light t~e fin t (oat is; this: ils goodl

,Glyeyour strIpes a Si~ond(of Ihlrd] mat Since It'S nli.'a~y impossible to foHow the first marks exact IV. the stripes turn out rnicely shaded and leallooking.lhat is why \ve pain.t them in layers instead of a singh~ dark stripe •. WheHfI YOli complete bothsidesj !1emove the'scale netting by teasill19 It awa~slowly ami carefully.

H'&le Is lhe'lure the nertiingremowed. Hey, I really didtne other slde, reel Om nextclOlol is U~hter them black umber, 56 we' need to dean thepaint (UP thorough 1, ... DLump any excessandHU [he 'CllP with .acetone. Ba~k-ji]ush II good and them s.pray atl of Ihe ,a.cetone out l~r4lu'gh the (lip.

Paint the belly

We: are l1ow~ady Iii) mix: some' perch orangeC(J,lor. Use the standard 1:2 raUo, mi>:.erlln the cup-we,ll, nedk~ Yliluknow theroutirn.e ..

AdJu~1 {Il£-spra.y fan, to a nne nne and ~esrlr Ion the cardboard.

76 Making W'ooden; Lures

App~y finishing touches

DraTIi tbeel<:E$Sorangelnto the bottle .. Loadan.d rob: seme bla(k umber Hk~ we always dCl. TII~ umber issc dru'k.any.msldual o:ran:ge Will not both~rthe mix, Set JOin SPlay fan tOI a medilUmwl:dtn and test it.

We wiUpaint a thi.lioral'1ge stripe along :the bnnem Ifl.he gDld-greenl. Make sure to leavE a thln 'limIte b.eUy stripa-pajnting wlhile back ove.r the ora!nge isa seal pain. 'Be. patl:ent Mllh th ese two st!rlpes and caferuUy gi va them 1'\'10 00 three ooatsuntU )fOU ha'Vea liIk:e illtense(oIor value.

Saving paint

Analrbrush cup only holds about YUrth ofan ounce .. so when leftover paint is returned to the bottle. it will not dilute the paint much. Keep In mind that acetone evaporates into the air very rapidly, and so the or.igina\ paint stays socloss to Its crtginalccnsistency that any worries about diluting the palnt become moot. I have done it this way for more han 2'0 years and never had any paint ,go bad.l,originaUy did It this way to conserve paint.


Ughtly spray down the crmt~r of the back..1iJi is, \lJln do t:wn th1ng,s. Ftr.stit wlll tone doWIl and {over tfue s(ales. on the top of the bark,

• andseoond. it wUI b!@nd the strl~es Into the' backc~lo ~ This. photo dearly shows, where the ba(kscalesare Olr.rered.Let the lure dry for abomanhour.

Mix $(]rl1e fiv~·minule ep@xywith a.1.oolrnpiCk and pla.ce a small drop In th e center of the'eyehole. Though we have let the lure dr¥ for an hour, th,e pain tis noil cured, .5(] handle the JllIrl! \ll'ith care ..

U'S!? yOU(p.rl(~. pUf1ch 10 I ift a 3·D eye from~he caird and in.S'lalll!t Into the eyehole. directl.Y on top or the E.poXy dr[l~ .

ur~eil permanent marker 36~n autograph YOUIF 11IIre •.

I Please rem€mlier to seal [he sig,nalure 'by puff·

I co.atiI'l9' some dear~pray : over it and letting II dl¥ aboul 20 mlnU1f~,

78 Making W'ooden; Lures

Instal'! hardware

Now dear-coat the @ntln~ IUlie. Use two to three IigM coalS spacf(! 2U mlrn utes apart Remember~ lig h t (oats dry Ifas.teJ and buil!dshIm! raster lihan heavy (oats dtJ, Let the paint Job ctJreby drying It for 24 hours.

Lay au. your hardware 38e)wttly hOVl it will be Illstalled en the lure.

HotllCi@ Ihe bel:ly' book l5 (lua ched w.i I:h a. spIll ring and the tall hook will mount directly '0 ihe screw e~re.

Here is cur fini~hed dowel 39~od. .. Heck, if I was, a bas!), I'd bite It!

Try filhing ,dleep Wa.ter along tnebefid' In ariiver,

79 ]




A flatfish isa lure that is ovoid in section and has a pronounced upward hump In the back.lmagine an oval stick of Iclay you've pushed upward iin the middle, They usually have a sloped andcupped face tomake them wiggle. This lureisln the family of floater-dlvers.Tve created this lure

from scrap wood and painted it wiith an airbrush. This lure can be cast on Inshore watersorfished deep by down-rIgging or wire-lining. Whille this lure ismade for saltwater, rr is also effective ~f1I the Great Lakes when fished fur king salmon. I guess they don't know they aren't in the ocean anjrnorel

%1"x%" (lOmm x lOmm) .

Hgle for .

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Treble ho:o~ ....... io-!-.

1%" (41mml

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61411 OS6mm)


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Materials and tools list Quembty.: ··Dressed treble hook (see pag,e 163)


• Band saw

• Pencil

• Masklllg tape

• Fle)(ible ruler

• Sanding block

• Hack saw

• 5-mlnure epoxy

• (oars~ finglemalil board

• Handheld power drill

• Y4 II (6mrn) -dtameter twist drill bit

• lAG" (2mmJ

~dlarnete.rtwist drii!l bit

• Bit to match diameter of eyes

• 600- to 800- g' it san dpaper .5-minuteepoxy

Pain.ting suppUes • Flat whIte spray paint

•. Airbrush

• Lacquer paints for arbrusb: silver metallic, nanspsrenr marlin blue, bllark umber, cover white

• Acetone ·Cardboard

• Ch~arsprayfinish

Materials ·2by 4~crap

• 3-D lure eye5

• '1,4 !I! (611111i1) steel. rod [(counter weights)

• Toothpick

• Prick punch

o permanent marker

Hardware Pront: 4uembly: -Clesed eye SUiew'

Belly assembly: . Opene~e' mew

• Cup washer

• Tr,t!ble hook

la~ out yourpaUerrl, both tepand stde 'Views, en a piece of 2 by 4 scrap wood. Start by cuttlnq the proper

. ~

width for the top view. Discard the unused perten.

Make your fir.5t lure cut by going up the face .. Do not cut through the block, (ut the pattern line and stop.

82 Making WOCJden~ishing: Lures


Now, start at the' tall I and ctltalong the top otthe back until you reach the fa.ce rut, You want theentre top of the block teceme off in one piece. Set th is piece aside and salle it.

R'eplace the top and bottom plecesln their orl'glnal position and secure them with masking tape. Notice Y(JU can see the pattern right through the tape. Yiou can also safely saw ri.ght. through it. See where this is going?

Cut th,e belly and rem ave the entire bottom of the block in one' singlepilrw,: .. Save this ,piece as well.

Cut out the top view while the tape holds it together for you. The reason forthe taping is the compl:icated rurv!s of this lure. AU of the surfaces are curved; ta:ping the block back together ensures you: will stertout with a lure 'shape that h as a seuare top, bottom .an d sides,


Stay away f'ro·th murky waters iF ni.ghtf'ishing ftll:" bia.srr.


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