Make Fishing Lures: Using Homemade Fishing Lures to Catch a Monster

November 16, 2022 8 min read

effective fishing lures

 

Have you ever wondered how to make fishing lures? Or why making fishing lures is such a great hobby? Well, let us help you get some answers.


A hobby, such as making homemade fishing lures, is an excellent way to fill your free time or unwind after a long day of work. Spending time on an activity you enjoy can help improve your well-being and mental health and help you become more self-reliant. 


When the stress of all the things wrong with the world around us gets to be too much, make sure that you have a healthy outlet that helps you decompress. And, if the hobby helps you to improve your preparedness, all the better!

Keep reading to learn more about how making fishing lures can be your new hobby. 

 

Types of Homemade Fishing Lures

There are many different types of fishing lures you can make. The fishing lure you decide to create will depend on various considerations:
 

  1. The target fish you want to catch
  2. The turbidity of the water
  3. The depth of the water
  4. The local forecast, i.e., sunny or overcast

Plastic Fishing Lures

 

how to make fishing lures

 

Some fishing lures are made with soft plastics. Plastic fishing lures are rubbery and flexible baits that are designed to imitate minnows, crawfish, worms, smaller fish, and even lizards or frogs. There are some cool kits that can get you started, but once you’ve got the basics, the sky’s the limit!


Plastic lures are frequently used in bass fishing. To properly fish with a plastic lure, selecting the right size and color of bait is vital.  

 

Plug Lures

Plug lures, also known as crankbaits, are hard wooden or plastic fishing lures. They are constructed from a solid or hollow piece of material with a thin plastic or metal sheet attached to the front, called the lip


Plug lures rely on specific colors and patterns to resemble certain types of prey fish. The lip of the lure makes the plug wobble as it glides through the water, imitating the movements of fish. These are great starter lures that you can learn to whittle out of wood.


Plug lures can have two or even three treble hooks, and depending on the shape and design, they can sink, float, dive, or hover. 

 

Jigging Lures

Jigs are one of the most popular fishing lures—and for good reason. They are easy to make at home and are effective fishing lures. Jigs can even be tied similarly to fly fishing lures.


Jigs have a simple design. On one side, there is a weighted head. On the other side is a hook that is skirted or concealed with a plastic grub. With the weight, the jig sinks to the bottom, making it ideal when fishing for bottom feeders. 

 

Spinnerbait

Spinnerbaits come in a variety of colors and shapes. Each color combination is designed to attract a particular type of fish. Typically, spinnerbait lures have a hook and skirt on one side, and a small metal blade or petal attached on the other side. 


As a homemade spinnerbait moves through the water, the colors of the lures, along with the spinning blade, attract fish like perch, bass, and pike. 

 

Spoons

Spoon lures are concave and curved metal lures that resemble the shape of a spoon. Spoon lures receive their name because, historically, they were created with spoons from the kitchen, so they have a long DIY lure-making tradition! 


The shape of spoon lures helps them wobble and spin as they glide through the water. The movement of the spoon lure mimics an injured baitfish and attracts larger fish to take a bite. 

 

Flies

Flies are the traditional lure used in fly fishing. Fly lures consist of a single hook and a skirt. Flies utilize feathers, furs, plastics, and threads to mimic the appearance of insects and other prey that fish like to eat. Of all the options, learning how to make DIY flies is probably the most common homemade lure hobby out there.


Characteristics of Effective DIY Fishing Lures

 

 

Picking a lure with the correct color, pattern, size, shape, and action will help you get a bite. 

Make Your Lure the Right Color 

The coloration of homemade fishing lures is essential for catching the attention of the target fish. The color of your lure should match the environment you are fishing in. For example, bright colors are better for shallower waters, while darker blues and greens are better for deeper water. 


The colors of your lure will also depend on the eyesight of the fish you are targeting. Some fish (for example, catfish) have terrible vision. On the other hand, a tarpon has great vision.   

Shape and Size of Your Homemade Lure

Creating the correct shape and size of the lure is also important. Throwing a lure that’s too large can discourage fish from biting. Sometimes, fish do not want to risk going after larger bait.


When in doubt, it’s often recommended to size down. However, if the lure is too small, it won’t disturb enough water to attract your target fish.  

Crafting Your DIY Lure’s Movement

The movement of the lure, also known as the lure's action, is another vital characteristic of effective fishing lures. The action of a lure is defined by the wobble, roll, and flutter that imitate baitfish movements. 


The action of your lure creates vibrations that alert your target fish, but your target fish doesn’t even need to see the lure to think there is a fish nearby that it wants to eat. The action of some lures will even create noise. This is helpful for drawing fish in from a greater distance, especially in water with limited visibility.

 

Tools & Materials List for Homemade Fishing Lures

materials used in making fishing lures

 

Making fishing lures is a fun and creative hobby. One of the most exciting parts is collecting the tools and materials you need. If you’re like us, then you enjoy the process of working with new materials. 


The following table is not an exhaustive list—you may decide that you don’t need a certain item based on the specific fishing lure you want to make. Or you might notice we missed something. Nonetheless, our table of tools and materials will help you get started brainstorming. 



Personal Protective Equipment 

Tools

Materials

  • Mask
  • Power drills
  • Wood blocks
  • Safety goggles
  • Drill bits
  • Paint 
  • Gloves
  • Tape measure
  • Wood sealant 
  • Proper clothing
  • Whittling knife
  • Eyelets 
  • Sandpaper
  • Propellers
  • Coping saw
  • Split rings
  • Plastic molds
  • Injectable plastic
  • Paintbrush
  • Treble hooks

 

 

Our recommendation would be to start by picking a style of lure that you like to fish with and creating your own version. By combining some aspects of store-bought lures with some specifics that are unique to your own location, you can make fishing lures that outperform anything else you can buy in a store.

Safety Considerations for Making Fishing Lures

The table above highlights a few critical pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), which is important because you can injure yourself when making fishing lures.


The most obvious safety consideration is that you will work with sharp objects, such as fishing hooks and whittling knives. Wearing gloves can protect your fingers and hands from cuts. 

This goes for working with power tools as well. Proper usage of gloves and goggles while using drills, saws, and other power tools can prevent unexpected injuries. 


Lastly, if you plan to make plastic fishing lures, then you assume the risk of working with hot temperatures and liquid-hot plastics as you pour your molds. Burning yourself is a risk you have to take, but one that can be mitigated by wearing the proper clothing and PPE.   

   

Advantages of Making Your Own Fishing Lures

Fishermen love making their own lures for various reasons. Below we’ve listed our favorite five benefits of making fishing lures.  

Cost Effective

After you invest in the initial tools and materials you need to make your fishing lures, the hobby begins to pay for itself. If you’re a fisherman, you know the cost of new lures and the pain you feel in the wallet when one gets snagged on an underwater branch!


As your skills improve and you dial in your creative process, you will be able to make fishing lures for free, or almost free, and not have to spend money on expensive, store-bought lures.  

Creative Artistic Process

Making fishing lures is not only a helpful hobby that sustains your love for fishing; it’s also a creative process that helps you express your artistic intuitions. There are multiple studies that demonstrate that creative hobbies improve brain process, plasticity and memory.

Fine Motor Skills

As you can imagine, making fishing lures involves a lot of small and precise movements. Things like painting, carving, and drilling all help to improve the dexterity of your fingers and hands. 

Hand-Eye Skills

When making fishing lures, you must work on a tiny canvas. Working in such a small space helps refine your hand-eye coordination and vision. 


However, if you ever cannot see the finer details of your lure, you can always work with a magnifying glass

Self-Reliance

Typically, we fish and make lures for recreation. However, if there were ever a time when you had to fish for food to survive, you would have a considerable advantage. The skills of fishing and making your fishing lures can be critical for boosting your self-reliance in following the survival rule of three—plus, they’d make a great barter item!

 

Drawbacks of Making Your Own Fishing Lures

As with most hobbies, there are drawbacks to making your own fishing lures. However, we like to think the pros significantly outweigh the cons. 

Time-Consuming

Making your own fishing lures is a time-consuming hobby, so if you are already a busy person, adding another hobby to your limited free time may sound like a big ask. However, that’s true of taking on any hobby. Much of the joy we get from hobbies is that we’re using time to do things we enjoy instead of tasks someone else says you have to accomplish.   

Trial and Error

Any creative and artistic process is going to require some trial and error. It’s part of the process. However, we understand that making mistakes can be frustrating and demotivating. Nevertheless, we think you’ll feel proud once you push through the tribulations that come with making fishing lures.


Your first lure may not catch anything, but fishing with a buddy and outfishing them cast after cast is a feeling that can’t be beat…especially when they ask what lure you’re using to land all those lunkers and you can toss out a casual, “It’s just a little something I whipped up at home.”

 

Final Thoughts on Making Your Own Fishing Lures

Having a hobby, like making your own fishing lures, is a cost-effective, creative, and practical activity with various benefits. Making fishing lures allows you to remain self-reliant and improve your hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Plus, it’s fun! 

A fishing hobby is fantastic for catching fresh food for your family and friends. However, look no further if you ever need food that lasts 25 years. The freeze-dried fruits and freeze-dried vegetables we have in stock are ideal for long-term storage. 

For more helpful articles like this one, visit our Practical Prepper Blog. We have articles that can help you decide whether to bug out vs. bug in and guide you on the minimum calories you need to survive an emergency.