It's certainly no secret that fishing is one of the most expensive hobbies out there. Between rods, reels, fishing line, boat upkeep, clothing, and tackle, the costs can certainly add up. Many anglers would say that lures are well worth the cost, and they certainly aren’t wrong.
However, for anglers looking to save a little bit of money in their fishing budget, it might be time to learn how to make your own fishing lures.
Although lures tend to be the cheapest fishing expense, they are also the easiest expense to avoid. By using a few household items, craftsmanship, and a little bit of patience, fishing lures can easily be made right at home. In fact, homemade fishing lures are quickly gaining in popularity amongst anglers, both as a hobby and as an easy way to save a few bucks.
The satisfaction of making your own fishing equipment is certainly not to be underestimated. Making homemade lures is a great way to hone your skills and enhance your fishing knowledge. This process even allows for unique lures in different sizes, shapes, and finishes that store-bought lures may not offer. If you find that you have a knack for making lures, they can even be given as gifts.
No matter what materials you use, or what type of lure you make, there is no doubt that making homemade lures can be an easy way to set money aside to splurge on more expensive fishing equipment. Additionally, the process can be incredibly fun and fulfilling, making homemade lures a great endeavor for any angler to try.
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Aside from using everyday household items, there are additional ways to make your own lures at home. Kits and molds are available for anglers to melt their own plastic and create unique lures from the comfort of their garage or workspace. These can come fully equipped with a wide range of options, including dyes, paints, finishes, phosphorescent powders, and even additives to adjust the buoyancy of your lures.
The downside, of course, is that purchasing a lure making kit is another expense. It may be a fun experience for those who get satisfaction from working with their hands, but it certainly is not a cost-efficient option.
Another option is to purchase parts from a warehouse or supply store to make your own lures. These typically include stainless steel or brass lure bodies, hooks, split rings, swivels, and wires. While the metal components are certainly durable—perhaps even more so than store-bought lures—the downfall is that they don't allow for many variations.
Again, the downside is that purchasing all the parts for these homemade lures is an added expense. If you’re looking to experiment with different ways to make lures, then purchasing fishing parts from a warehouse is a good option to try.
Ultimately, if your goal is to save a little bit of money, then focusing on lures made from items you already have is the best option. Not only can you cut back on fishing expenses, but you still get the benefit of experimenting and learning something new.
As it turns out, there are plenty of things that you have right in your house that can be used to make perfectly good homemade lures. While there are endless options—you may even come up with a few new ones yourself—there are a few items that tend to show up time and time again as ideal materials to make homemade fishing lures.
If you have any of these at home, you’re already well on your way to making your own homemade lures:
• Old spoons
• Bottle caps
•Wine bottle corks
• Sticks or small pieces of wood
• Tin cans
• Broken jewelry (the more sparkle, the better)
Of course, there are other things that you will need to facilitate the process of making homemade fishing lures. It goes without saying that scissors, knives, string, and a few hooks are necessary tools when making homemade fishing lures. For the best effects, paint can also be a useful part of making lures.
It’s worth pointing out that these common household items have all been used to make effective and productive fishing lures—even if they aren’t quite as attractive as the ones in the store.
There are multitudes of different ways to turn everyday items into fishing lures. For those who are just beginning to consider making their own homemade lures, there are a few simple and effective lures that can be made right at home. The four most common homemade lures are:
Stainless steel spoons are fantastic pieces to use for making your own lure. Not only are they shiny enough to reflect light and attract fish, but they are also incredibly durable. The result will be an efficient, sturdy lure that can handle tons of pressure and weight—for a much lower cost.
Before starting, you’ll need a few metalworking tools, a fishhook, some thread, and a few feathers to make your very own spoon lure.
• Cut off the spoon handle.
• Sand the cut edges until they are smooth.
• Drill one hole into the tip of the spoon, and another into the base.
• Use glue or string to attach a few feathers to the hook.
• Clip the hook to the base of the spoon to finish your homemade spoon lure.
This is an incredibly simple lure to make and is just as effective as a store-bought jerk bait. Of course, unless you are particularly adept at cutting sticks and painting, it probably won't look as polished or ornate, but the fish won't care about that.
Before starting, you’ll need a sturdy stick, a drill, paint, clear nail polish, a paperclip, and a fishhook.
• Break the stick and carve (if needed) to about the size of a minnow.
• Drill a hole through the center of the stick lengthwise, as if you are creating a tube.
• Unravel the paperclip, and stick it through this center hole. Each end can be looped to make room to attach the line and the hook.
• Paint can be used to add color and vibrancy to the jerk bait.
• After drying, add a layer of clear nail polish to create a waterproof layer for the lure
If you happen to drink wine, then you already have plenty of materials to get you started on your homemade plugs. Instead of throwing out your corks, save them to make cork lures.
The great thing about cork is that it is incredibly easy to work with, and doesn’t need any assistance to float. In fact, these lures can be made with virtually no tools at all. The only equipment you’ll need are the basics: a couple of screweyes and a few fishhooks.
• Insert or screw in a few screweyes to create loops for the fishhooks.
• Attach fishhooks where desired.
• Depending upon preference, paint can be added to attract fish
This is a great homemade lure for anglers who also like to do a little woodworking. In comparison, this type of lure takes a little extra effort, but the benefit is a perfectly functional lure, using only a bit of wood, paint, and a little creativity.
Depending upon the size of wood that you are starting with, you may need to saw, cut, or carve, so make sure you have the proper tools. The general idea is to fashion your woodblock lure after small baitfish. Each baitfish will be different sizes and shapes, so keep that in mind.
Of course, the outline of the woodblock lure won’t be half as intricate or detailed as your old store-bought lures, but that’s perfectly fine. Again, the fish won’t mind.
The only extra tools you'll need are a few screweyes, fishhooks, some paint, sandpaper, and cutting or sawing tools (depending upon how big your starting woodblock is).
• Get an idea of the type of baitfish you want to model your woodblock lure after. Look through old lures and pinpoint one that worked best.
• Using the weight, look, and thickness of the desired baitfish as a basis, cut your woodblock to the desired shape.
• Sand the lure to make sure that rough edges won’t get caught in the water.
• Depending upon your skill level, you can carve in details like scales, fins, or eyes.
• Add some colorful paint to create the best representation of the baitfish that you can. Don’t worry about precision—as long as it’s a close representation, you’ll be fine.
• Put a few screweyes in and attach the hooks to create a colorful, homemade baitfish.
Without a doubt, fishing equipment is some of the most expensive sporting equipment out there. With so much money put towards best-quality reels, rods, and gear, it makes sense to cut a few costs here and there by making homemade lures.
Though they certainly take a little patience, homemade lures can be just as effective as store-bought lures. With a little practice, dedication, and attention to household items, any angler can find themselves making their own lures within no time.
Nick is the youngest member of the team and he’s very passionate about angling. He is the member that spends most of the time fishing at different locations around the world. His main focus is to simplify the techniques as much as possible and break them down so young anglers can catch up quickly. Nick loves the great outdoors and he’s a proud owner of a vast collection of customized fishing equipment.