I have little doubt that right now a number of you are preparing to get your kit off and go into your workshops for some naked lure making! If that’s the case then please don’t send me any photographs that you don’t want to see pasted on my facebook page!
A nude lure (also called a naked lure) is nothing more than a wooden lure that has been clear coated without painting it first, so instead of bright color, the natural beauty of the wood shines through instead.
What’s the point of a nude lure?
Well, there is no question that they catch fish. These days most serious lure men are well aware that color is only a small part of the lure fishing equation. If you’ve got the size, shape, diving depth and action of your lure right then nine times out of ten it will catch fish even without a paint job.
But most of the guys who I know that make nude lures don’t do so because they expect to get better catches. Usually there is an ulterior motive!
Personally, I’ve been a wood worker since I was a boy and just love the color and grain of natural timber. So for me a well made nude lure has an artistic quality and shows off the beauty of the raw materials and the craftsmanship that has gone into the lure. I’ve custom made nude lures as gifts for executives and have taken pieces of wood that have some sentimental significance to my client and turned them into items that they can treasure.
Every nude lure I’ve ever made has been 100% functional and fishable, but I’d say 90% of them never see water but end up on display on a wall or glass case……
What’s Different About Making Nude Lures?
I suppose the main difference between making a nude and making a painted lure is the extra care that goes into the manufacturing process. In experienced lure makers assume that nude lures take less time because you skip the whole painting step.
In reality, you must be much more precise with everything you do because when your are making a nude lure you can’t simply glue back a sliver of wood with super glue, fill a gap with epoxy or mask a mark or flaw with paint. Expect to spend a lot more time getting everything perfect, because (trust me), if you put a coat of clear over any kind of flaw you may as well paint it fluorescent pink because it will stand out from a mile away. That 1mm gap will look like the grand canyon!
To give an example, your through wire must exit the lure body cleanly, with the twists at the towpoint and rear hook hanger not showing and no gaping hole at the entry and exit points. I’ve modified my through wires design, as shown in the photograph. This maintains the strength of the wire but makes it easier to get a clean exit from the wooden body without filling any holes and painting over them.
The other main difference with nude lures is that you need to be prepared to sand, sand and then sand some more to remove every single tool mark, scratch or other flaw……. being careful not to change the shape of the lure in the process! And once you’re done sanding, pick up a piece of finer paper and start again. You’ll need to go to finer grades for nude lures than you do for painted ones.
At the end of the day, nude lures aren’t for everyone. But if you want to make something special, show off your skills or take advantage of a particularly beautiful piece of timber then nude lures are a great way to do it!