Lure Bibs: How To Debunk The Myths That Ruin Lures

Diving lips in wooden crankbaits

I reckon lure bibs (aka “diving lips”, “bills” or “beaks”) are one of the most misunderstood aspects of making wooden crankbaits. It’s understandable. Bib design one of the most complex lure making concepts to get your head around. But crankbaits are one of the most versatile and valuable assets in your tackle box, so it’s worth figuring out. The problem is, much of the info you’ll find about lure bibs is, to put it bluntly, wrong. A lot of BS gets passed from one lure maker to the next, sadly. So in this article I’ll make the selection and design of lure bibs as simple as … more

Home Made Lures: Will They Struggle To Survive?

handmade lures are a growing field!

Explaining that I make a living by teaching folks to make handmade lures can get an amusing response. Home made fishing lures? It sounds so last century! Like I’ve tunneled out of an Amish community and surfaced in the middle a tech conference! “You make them out of what? …… WOOD? …..  But why? Plastic ones are so cheap! ” Well, that’s half your answer right there! McDonalds hamburgers are cheap too, but I’ll drive past 10 of their “restaurants” to find a good, old fashioned burger. And then I’ll pay twice as much for it! Home made fishing lures are … more

Jointed Crankbaits: Three Tips For Making ‘Em!

A Double Hinged Jointed Crankbait

Jointed crankbaits (aka “broke-back crankbaits”) add a whole new dimension to lure fishing. If you take one of your favorite 1-piece crankbaits bodies, cut it in two and then rejoin it, you’ll be surprised at the difference. On the upside, adding a join somewhere in the lure body causes it to have a more sinuous, slithery action…… and it does so at much lower cranking speeds. This means you can keep it wiggling enticingly in “the zone” for much longer. They also tend to make a little more noise, which can be either advantageous or not, depending on your circumstances. … more

What Is A Crankbait?

What Is A Crankbait Infographic

 This is a quick post for anyone who has ever asked the question “What is a crankbait?” and failed to get a straight answer. It’s also for all of those who have tried to explain what a crankbait is and found themselves stumbling. On face value, it’s a simple enough question. Every experienced fisherman knows what a crankbait is. Yet, it’s surprisingly difficult to give a simple answer. And that’s because crankbaits are an incredibly diverse and complex group of lures. And there are always exceptions to the rules, just to confuse things further. Here’s my simplest response to the question “what … more

How To Make Lures That Dodge Snags: 5 Tips!

In this article we’ll look at how to make lures, especially crankbaits, that are resistant to hanging up in snags. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a kid starting out in lure fishing was “If you’re not getting snagged occasionally, you’re missing lots of fish”. Never have truer words been spoken. Many species of fish just love structure, and will often hole up in places you’d rather not toss lures. Actually, most crankbaits are more snag resistant than you might think from looking at the shiny trebles. But knowing how to make lures that have a little extra snag resistance can … more

How To Make Crankbaits That Behave Perfectly

How to make crankbaits track properly: Symmetry

Here’s a lure making tip for anyone wanting to know how to make crankbaits that track straight, have a strong, consistent action and work over a wide range of cranking or trolling speeds. Now, some of you are probably thinking “Don’t we want our baits to have an erratic, inconsistent action?”. And the answer is “Absolutely!” A lure that dodges, ducks and weaves erratically is the best imitation of a baitfish, which is our goal. And to some extent that result comes naturally when you are making wooden lures. It’s the unavoidable inconsistencies in handmade lures that give us the results! So why … more

Handmade Lures: How To Know What’s Really Important

Handmade Lures: Even Basic Paint Jobs Catch Fish.

  We all like to strive for perfection in our handmade lures. Perfect design, great balance, flawless paint job, great action and so on. The perfect lure gives us confidence to tie it on and lob it at a fish. But like any worthwhile pursuit, lure making skills take time to develop. You can’t expect to turn out a perfect lure on the first attempt. Actually, those imperfections we try so hard to overcome in our handmade lures can often turn out to be irrelevant. On more than one occasion they’ve turned out to be the “secret sauce” that has made one of my lures especially successful. … more

Balsa Lures: 5 Tips For Designing And Fishing Irresistible Baits

Balsa Lures: preformed bodies

Balsa lures will always hold a very special place in lure fishing. It’s such a superb material – light, strong, water resistant and super buoyant. The result? Lures with a super crisp action that can’t be matched by other timbers….. even less so with plastic! For me, balsa is the perfect example of why plastic will never completely replace wood in the world of lure making. Seriously, no tackle box should be without a decent selection of balsa lures. It’s as simple as that! Tips For Designing, Making & Fishing Balsa Lures 1. Use The Buoyancy To Your Advantage One of the things I love about balsa … more

Hard Baits: Correct Weight Placement In Deep Divers

Hard Baits: Effect Of Weight Placement

One of the tricks to making deep diving hard baits is knowing how much weight to use internally. And just as important is where you place the weight. It’s one of the little secrets of lure making! The natural assumption is that weighting deep divers helps overcome the buoyancy of the wood. But that’s actually not what it does! In fact, just moving the weight forward or backward inside the lure body can make a huge difference! It affects both the action and diving depth, even though the amount of weight hasn’t changed! Hard Baits And Weight Placement: Resolving The Mystery! If it … more

Shore Fishing And Custom Crankbait Design

Shore Fishing: Intelligent Crankbait Design Helps!

If shore fishing is your thing, then you can design your custom crankbaits to suit the particular demands of tossing lures from the waters edge. After all, the power of custom lure making is that you can get exactly what you need, even when it’s not commercially available! Fishing from a boat allows you to position yourself better to improve your chances of a strike. But shore fishing is a little more limiting in that respect. You can move along a bank or shore a little to the left or right, but it often doesn’t help much. So why not think … more

Reaction Lures: Surprise Fish Into Striking!

Do you know the difference between “hunger lures” and “reaction lures”? Hunger lures are great for catching fish that are actively feeding. They imitate whatever food items the fish might be taking on the day. Fish assume they’re food and take them out of hunger. But reaction lures can get strikes even when fish are not hungry. They do this by surprising the fish into action and causing an instinctive aggressive or defensive response. Of course, hungry fish will often take reaction lures and vice versa, but the above is a good general rule. Reaction Lures Work When The Fish Aren’t Playing It’s easy to underestimate the … more

Deep Diving Crankbaits: Design Tips

example of a deep dicing crankbait

Deep diving crankbaits are a special type of fishing lure, both in terms of their design and how they are fished. And for some reason they seem to be an area of particular difficulty when it comes to lure making. So in this article we’ll cover some tips for designing your handmade wooden lures to dive deep. For those wanting some tips on how to fish deep diving crankbaits (and other crankbait styles) effectively, I have an eBook available on Kindle, iTunes and (of course) on this website – you’ll find it here. Design Tip For Deep Diving Crankbaits Tip #1: Don’t Buy Into The … more

Flat Sides? Or Round?

We all know that the size and shape you choose for a diving lip dramatically changes the action and diving depth of your crankbaits. It’s the first thing that most guys think about when they are striving for a particular diving depth or action. But like everything in wooden lure making, it’s far from the only important factor. The location of the tow point, the internal weighting, size and position of hooks, body shape, buoyancy and other factors all play their part. In fact, if you don’t get these right then they will fight against the good work of the … more

Lipless Crankbait Techniques: Designing Lures For “Ripping”

As you’d probably expect, the most productive lipless crankbait techniques reflect the design, action, and more importantly the vibration of this style of lure. Lipless crankbaits create massive vibration by their side to side rocking, unlike lipped lures that have a side to side wobble. I’ve mentioned this before on this blog, but to illustrate the difference, shake your head as if to say “no”. That’s like the side to side wobble of a lipped bait. Now tilt your head from side to side as though you are trying to touch your each of your ears in turn to your shoulder. … more

New Jerkbait Prototype Shows Promise

Well, I’ve been kept out of the workshop by business pressures and a constant stream of visitors, but finally I’m back at the workbench and making and testing some new designs. This lure is a new prototype I’ve been playing with – it’s a 3 1/2″ (80mm) 1/4 oz (7g) floating jerkbait. It has a nice action and tracks straight over a wide range of cranking speeds, so there is certainly plenty of potential and I’ll continue to improve and refine this one over the coming weeks. Outwardly this lure may not look to be anything startling, but it’s what’s … more