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What are homemade fishing lures?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Effective homemade fishing lures and fishing tackle are easy to make at home!

Effective homemade fishing lures and fishing tackle are easy to make at home!

Any dedicated fisherman knows the thrill and satisfaction of catching a fish on a home made lure.  Skilled and experienced fishermen swear by certain lakes, rivers, streams, and particular fishing holes.  In the same vein, these fishermen also swear by specific types of fishing lures, hooks and colors.

But the costs of fishing equipment can add up… and lures are particularly easy to loose.  They get caught in weeds or rocks, are easily damaged, and even carried off into the deep by those big fish that get away.  For this reason, it can be a savings for fishermen to learn how to make their own lures.

What are homemade fishing lures?  They are any variety of jigs, spinners, sinkers, spoons, hooks, bobbers, flies or plugs that can be created from basic and inexpensive supplies that can often be found around the home.

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What are homemade fishing lures made from?  Typically, homemade lures can be created from simple supplies such as wood, cork, melted plastic, metal spoons, thread, glue, hair, feathers, and even  decorative touches such as glitter, food coloring, paint and even nail polish.

What are homemade fishing lures resources for beginners?  Start by perusing outdoor life magazines such as Field and Stream, Fly, Rod and Reel Magazine, Outdoor Life, or Sport Fishing Magazine.  Many of these publications will list suppliers who sell components and tools for building homemade lures.  Perusing your local library is another great way to find tips, instructions and how-to resources with information about homemade lures.


Fishermen interested in perfecting the art are of lure-making may benefit from online resources and in depth books that offer more advanced tutorials.  

For centuries, fisherman have been catching fish with homemade tackle.  Some of the most common, and easy to make fishing lures, sinkers, spoons, bobbers and basic fly are listed below:

Effective Fishing Tackle is Easy to Make at Home!

Lead Sinker:

To make a simple lead sinker or spinner, fill a standard metal teaspoon with molten lead.  Lead such as buck shot can simply be melted over an open flame.  Dip the base of the teaspoon into a bowl of cold water to cool the molten lead.  Turn over and tap the teaspoon to dump the hardened chunk of lead.  Clean and dry the spoon, then repeat this process.  Once you have a collection of lead sinkers, drill a hole near the top edge of each sinker in order to affix it to a fishing line.

Corn Cob Bobber:

Using a serrated knife or small saw, cut a dried corn cob into round slices.  Drill a small hole through the center of these slices of corn cob.  They make effective bobbers!  Unless you coat or varnish them periodically, they eventually will become waterlogged and will need to be replaced.  Some fishermen prefer to fashion bobbers from corks.  


Spoons, also called spinners, move through the water with an erratic, fluttering or wobbling motion that imitates the darting, flashy movements of frightened minnows.  To make a homemade spoon/spinner, use an old, shiny  stainless steel or silver plated spoon.  Place the spoon in a vice to prevent it from slipping, then cut off the handle with a hack saw.  Use a metal file to smooth the rough edges.  Drill a small hole at each end of the spoon.  Affix the fishing line to the hole at the narrow end of the spoon.  Fix a treble hook at the wide end of the spoon to ensure proper balance.

Black Ant Fly:

Flies come in all different shapes, sizes and colors, and fly fishermen have a particular affinity for creating these delicate works of art.  One of the most simple flies to create is the black ant fly, which requires a size 10 hook. 

Wrap a medium-size nylon thread tightly around the length of the hook to form the body.  Using a fine paintbrush, or even just a tooth pick, paint several coats of black enamel onto the body.  Tie a black feather to the front of the hook.  Seal the design with clear nail polish.  The black ant fly lure is particularly effective for catching trout and pan fish.


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