Making custom freshwater baits - NC Angler Fishing Articles

Article: Making custom freshwater baits

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    Post Making custom freshwater baits

    As my handle (Luremaker) goes, I make custom freshwater spinner baits, buzz baits, bass jigs, and have my own store line of soft plastics and crankbaits.

    The make up of a spinner bait consists of basically three parts:
    1. the body or head
    2. the blade or blades
    3. skirt

    Now here is where the fun comes (as I call it) or the confusion, the matching of blades to the heads. There is the Colorado, Willow, Indiana, Tomahawk and the Deep Cup Colorado. The Colorado and the Willow are the most popular of them. Though the Deep Cup Colorado is gaining in popularity.

    - The Colorado blade is the most popular style of blade and the extra width makes for easier starting and spinning.

    - The Willow leaf is designed to move through the water with very little resistance. It spins close to the shaft making it almost weedless.

    - The Indiana blade is like a cross between the willow and Colorado as they are easy to start and spin close to the shaft like the Willow. Note they are basically used to give a bait a different look.
    - The Deep Cup Colorado is basically the same as the Colorado but will start easier and will continue to spin on a slower retrieve.

    - The Hatchet or Tomahawk blade is a un-symmetrical blade that produces a very different vibration on retrieve.

    - The shape of the blade will determine how fast and far from the shaft, how easy it will turn and how easy it will start to spin.
    - The size of the blade will determine how deep or shallow a bait will come through the water. A larger blade affects a larger surface to 'liven' the lure with and will run shallower than a smaller blade.

    - The finish of the blade determines how much light is reflected. A smooth finish will not reflect as much light as a hammered or embossed finish will, like the diamond pattern for instance.
    - The color of the blade should be determined by water clarity, weather conditions, and water temperature, which will all determine what lure/bait a fish will hit.

    - The head style or shape and weight are your next decision to make in the creating a custom bait.

    The bullet style head is the oldest, and to some, the hardest to get to run true or straight. This is due to the fact that it has a small surface to balance on as it is pulled through the water.

    - The Pro or guppy type head has a wider base and therefore will be harder to turn over in the water.

    A new head on the market no called the Keel head, has a keel on the base and is almost impossible to roll over.
    - Heads come in weights from 1/16 ounce to an ounce, which some mackerel fishermen are trying.

    There are three type of swivels that are used to make spinner baits. The ball bearing (the smoothest and most costly), the roller swivel (less expensive and almost as good) and the Crane, which is used most often.

    Now for the skirt, and you want to talk about causing a headache, this part can do it. The biggest problem is the material that is used. Vinyl used to be the norm but had a tendency to melt, tangle and rot quickly. And the colors were not that bright. Then came the rubber skirts. These had more vibrant colors, but the color was dulled, as talc was used to keep them from sticking together. Then came the silicone coated rubber skirt, which enabled more vivid colors along with the addition of accents such as scale, glitter, flake and patterns, to make the possible combinations endless. Hydrosilk has also been used and the skirts seem to have good action but are costly.

    It should also be noted that the first spinner baits used bucktail for the skirts. I hope this was helpful to you.
    "Lew" Lew's Rod & Reel

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Replies to Article: Making custom freshwater baits
  1. Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Bald Head Island

    Default Re: Making custom freshwater baits

    Your creativity is evident in your lures and compositions.

  2. Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: Making custom freshwater baits

    Very nice article. I'm sorry that I hadn't read it before now. Thank you for the great information.

  3. Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Re: Making custom freshwater baits

    Lew, I am still refering back to this article... I don't know whether its because it is so informative or I've got CRS. Anyway thanks for taking the time and sharing so much of the good stuff with us.

  4. Join Date
    Aug 2006
    "The Original" Washington

    Default Re: Making custom freshwater baits

    Very informative. I love this site!!!
    * Be responsible to the resource, not just obedient to the laws *
    RED X ANGLER* * MEMBER OF THE JON BOAT BASS CLUB OF NC * ARDENT REELS PROSTAFF REEL IT IN BAITS PRO STAFF 1st Tournament win 2/20/16 at Hyco lake 13lb 14.8oz 5 fish.

  5. Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Thumbs up Re: Making custom freshwater baits

    Many thanks to NC Angler Sponsor member Luremaker for sharing this information with our membership. I hope we'll be offering some of his custom baits in the eStore in the near future and we'll add some photos to this article soon too to give folks an idea of the pieces referred to in the article.