A lot of lure fishermen turn to custom painted lures to improve their catch rates or catch a better class of fish. But can a custom paint job really make the difference between a great day on the water and a mediocre one?
If you start with a lure that couldn’t pull a turd from a sewage farm then the answer is obviously no! A pretty paint job won’t miraculously turn it into some kind of fish magnet. Expecting it to do so is like painting flames on your car and expecting it to go faster!
Custom paint is just the finishing touch, not the secret weapon. There has to be a quality lure under that coat of color.
Custom Painted Lures – Look Beneath The Surface!
You’re on this page, so the odds are you’re interested in lure making. And as a lure maker you have control over the quality of the lures you paint. Likewise, if you send commercial lures off to a pro for respraying, you know the quality of your starting product.
And yes, it may be that a custom paint job can give you an edge under those circumstances. If you send away a good quality lure it will come back a good quality lure, hopefully with a slick custom paint job.
But if the lure is to be provided by a “custom lure maker” you’ll need to do a bit more research. The odds are that the paint job will be awesome. But what’s underneath it? Will it fail you at a crucial moment?
Let me be clear that I’m not bad-mouthing custom lure painters here! But I’ve seen a lot of injection molded lures pouring out of overseas factories that are very poor quality. Bad seams, thin plastic, weak hook hangers and tow point, just generally cheap and nasty. But turn them into custom painted lures and they can look awesome!
Do the checks, and if you are buying online, ask the questions. Get your custom paint provider to give you an unpainted sample first. Check how long he’s been around and talk to some others who use his lures. Make sure your custom painter is using quality stock.
When Do Custom Painted Lures Make A Difference Really”?
Having something different to offer fish in hard fished waters is never a bad thing. And that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people go down the line of custom paint jobs.
But I’m less convinced, and my own experience suggests that they often don’t help that much, all other things being equal. Remember, fish hear and feel a lure long before they can see it. But simply respraying a popular lure only affects the appearance, it doesn’t change the sound or vibration created by the lure. You need to switch to a less common lure (eg homemade lures) or modify the sound and action of the commercial lure in some way.
Where I believe custom painted lures really shine is under the following circumstances:
- In clear water and good light, when fish can actually see the paint job. Custom paint doesn’t give any advantage whatsoever if the fish can’t see it!
- When fish are shying away from striking at the last second. I believe that this happens when the sound and vibration of a lure is right and fish are attracted to it. But they are put off at the last second when they actually see the lure and it isn’t the right color. A custom painted lure that’s a reasonable color match for local baitfish species seems to really make the difference when this is happening.
- When fish are feeding on a particular baitfish species and there is nothing commercially available. Then a lure that’s the right size, shape and vibration might be “tricked up” with a custom paint job to get more strikes.
Creating Your Own Custom Painted Lures? Easy!
Of course, this whole website is about lure making and painting. So my hope is that you’re interested in learning to custom paint your own lures, whether they be repaints, plastic blanks or (best of all) handmade wooden lures!
And if the idea of making your own custom painted lures appeals to you, then why not check out my 10 day lure making course here: