Making custom freshwater baits - NC Angler Fishing Articles

Article: Making custom freshwater baits

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    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
    Apr 2005

    Default Re: Making custom freshwater baits

    Wow - great information! Thanks Luremaker.

  2. Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: Making custom freshwater baits

    Luremaker--- Great article and thanks for sharing.