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

Ever asked yourself the question: “Exactly what is a crankbait”? I’ve been making wooden crankbaits for decades. And over the years I’ve written plenty about crankbait fishing, too. Yet it’s still difficult to define precisely what a crankbait is in just a few words. That’s because the lines between crankbaits and other types of fishing lures get pretty hazy. For example, you’ll often hear heated debates about whether a jerkbait is a type of crankbait, or a completely different lure. I believe that jerkbaits have the same basic design features as all crankbaits, but are tweaked to be fished a particular way. So … 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 lure fishing tips I 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 make fishing … 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 “For lure fishing, 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 … more

Handmade Lures: Why Are They So Deadly?

Handmade Lures: Even Basic Paint Jobs Catch Fish.

Most custom lure makers (myself included) set out to make perfect handmade lures. We strive for faultless design, great balance, flawless paint job, incredible action. And those are great things to aim for, right? But the truth is, it’s the imperfections of our hand crafted lures that make them so……well, perfect! Ironic, I know. But it should be encouraging, especially for those new to lure making. Every handmade wooden lure is different, no matter how hard you might try to make perfect copies. Sometimes those differences aren’t visible, but they show in the results. Every batch of “identical” handmade lures I … 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 with lures 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 … more

Reaction Lures: Surprise Fish Into Striking!

Do you know the difference between “hunger lures” and “reaction lures”? I suppose I’d call this one of the lure fishing basics…. yet lots of guys don’t have a clue. 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 … 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

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