Crash Course on Lure Making

Jake Haddock
Crash Course on Lure Making
Huge jack that fell for one of the author’s homemade lures.

If you have been following along with me, in my very first article for TSFMag I wrote briefly that making my own lures is one of my hobbies. There is a certain joy in catching fish on lures and/or flies that you have made yourself. Hardly any of us gets to fish as often as we would like and related hobbies keep us occupied while anticipating the next trip to the salt. I have to credit most of my knowledge about making lures to episodes of Larry Dahlberg's television show, Hunt for Big Fish.

If you have ever wondered how a lure company comes up with a new lure design, they first make clay master molds, then RTV molds, and finally the hand pouring of the lure. Once they get everything just right, then they make computer generated aluminum two piece injection molds. Actually, they're more like huge sheets of molds that can spit out twenty lures or so at a time. The general process of creating a homemade lure is just as simple.

First, you have to make something called a master mold. For this you can use an old lure that you want to make some changes to, or create a totally new lure by using a product called Sculpty Clay. All you need to do is form the clay to the desired shape and put it in the oven to harden.

The next step of the process is to make a mold box. The easiest thing to use is thin plywood, plastic or even balsa wood. The box needs to be about a half of an inch around all dimensions of the master mold to give room for the RTV rubber to settle in. One decision you have to make is whether or not you want a one or two piece mold. I have always stuck to a simple one piece mold. However, the next time I have a need to create a lure, I think I'm going to go with a two piece because it will give me a more precise pouring of the actual lure. For a two piece mold, you need a stiffer RTV such as Alumilite's 3110. For a one piece mold, you would use a more flexible RTV such as the High Strength 3. Once you get the mold box set and master mold created, you can pour your mold. The RTV is a two part mixture, which has to be stirred together, and then poured into the mold box to form the mold.

Now, you can start pouring your lures. With this process, you have the ability to make hard or soft plastic lures. Making soft plastic lures is a lot easier than making hard bodies. All you have to do is heat up the liquid in a microwave until it turns clear, dye it your desired color, pour it into your mold and let it sit. Wait about ten minutes, and then it's ready to hit the water. What I like to use to pour soft plastics is Alumisol. When you're making hard plastic lures like a topwater or a stick bait, it takes a little more time. You have to weigh out the proper two part mixture to pour your lure. To make it float, you can add a product called Micro Beads. I've also carved a balsa wood insert to make a topwater. This works really well too.

The main lure I like to make is just a plain baitfish shaped lure about seven inches long for casting at jackfish and other large species. It's a subsurface soft plastic that "walks the dog." I also make a smaller model for bass fishing in ponds around my house. This type of lure doesn't look that realistic but its action is. I think this is why they work so well.

All of the products I have listed can be bought from a company called Alumilite over the internet.
It's not expensive to start out, but if you really want to reach perfection it could be costly. If you have always wanted to have your hand at making lures like I always did, but don't have a clue where to start, check out This website has tons of information to help you get started like videos, volume calculators, and even a link to Alumilite's website. Everything you need to know to get started is just a few mouse clicks away, so check it out!