Being able to choose and install fishing lure screw eyes and twist eyelets properly is important. In fact, it should be one of the first lure making lessons for noobs. After all, a screw eye is more likely to pull out when you’re fighting a monster than a small fish…. So don’t let that happen!
That’s why in this article I’ll look at the various screw eyes and twist eyelets that can be used in wooden lure making. I’ll also look at how and when to use them in your lures and give you a bunch tips on how to use screw eyes.
What You Need To Know About Fishing Lure Screw Eyes
Types Of Fishing Lure Screw Eyes And Eyelets
I’ve lumped twisted eyelets and screw eyes together in this article, since they serve the same function. So what’s the difference?
Screw eyes are off-the-shelf hardware with a loop and one end and a woodscrew at the other. Twisted eyelets do the same thing, but are hand made from stainless steel wire
There’s nothing too fancy about either screw eyes or twisted eyelets. But there are a couple of things to know.
First, they should ideally be made from 316 grade stainless steel wire. You’ll also find screw eyes in nickel plated brass, but I prefer to avoid them. They’re weaker and more prone to corrosion.
Screw eyes come in open and closed eye styles. The latter are great for linking the body segments of jointed baits, or for attaching hooks without rings. You simply squeeze the eye shut with pliers once you’re done.
Off the shelf eyes are available in a range of sizes. For strength, I normally just go for the longest size I can fit into whatever lure I happen to be making.
When To Use A Screw Eye Or Twist Eyelet – And When To Through Wire
Basically, there are three options for attaching hardware to your wooden lures. Screw eyes, twisted eyelets or a full through wire. Which one you choose depends partly on personal preference and partly on where and how your wooden lures will be used.
Here are my best tips:
- I’ll always choose a through wire when I’m making lures or super tough customers like GT, amberjack, kingies and tuna. I also prefer a through wire when I make lures for toothy critters like mackerel, wahoo and the like, for obvious reasons.
- For me, a through wire is a must when I’m making balsa lures. I just don’t trust such a soft timber to hold a thread securely enough.
- The rest of the time it comes down to personal preference. Screw eyes and twisted eyelets were equal in strength during my testing, so choose which one you like best!
I’ll be honest and say that I’ve always preferred the security of a through wire, but that’s probably just me being a little over-conservative…..
Here’s The 7 Tips For How To Use Screw Eyes:
- Seal And Harden the entire lure body to make the wood tougher and better able to hold a thread. This also waterproofs the wood, which is necessary because screw eyes in fishing lures usually go into end grain. End grain doesn’t hold a thread well and is prone to letting water into the wood, ruining your lure.
- Get The Right Hardware! Fishing lure screw eyes should ideally be 316 (marine grade) stainless steel. Nickel plated brass screw eyes are OK if you mainly use your lures in fresh water. But they’re more prone to corrosion and are weaker than their stainless ones. The coarser the threads, the better because they give a stronger connection.
- Longer Is Better. Use the maximum length of screw eye that will fit into the lure without unbalancing the action. More thread equals means more strength.
- Drill A Pilot Hole For large screw eyes in lures made from very hard wood, a small pilot hole can prevent lots of problems with splitting timber or screw eyes breaking off.
- Countersink To Stop Twisting. A small countersink allows the epoxy and clear coat lock your fishing lure screw eyes in place, preventing twisting.
- Clean Your Screw Eyes. Take 2 seconds to give your screw eye threads a wipe with alcohol before installing them. This removes any oils or grease for a stronger glue bond.
- Use Slow Curing Epoxy. Use epoxy adhesive with your lure screw eyes. This strengthens the bond and further waterproofs the wood in the vicinity of the screw eye. Slow curing epoxy gives a stronger and much longer lasting result. Rapid setting epoxy cures too brittle, plus it breaks down in months, not years.
Conclusion…… Putting Screw Eyes To Work In Your Lures!
I’ll admit that for years – decades, actually – I shunned screw eyes in favor of a through wire. And while I still prefer a through wire most of the time, I have come around to screw eyes a little. Especially if they are installed as I’ve outlined above.
One reason for this semi- change of heart is the strength tests I did on screw eyes and through wires. These showed that screw eyes are amply strong enough not to pull from the wood, at least in small to medium sized lures.
The screw eye/through wire debate has been raging forever and doesn’t look like dying off anytime soon. So I hope this article answered some questions you might have had!
Related Products/Information (Click Images For More)