BoatUS ANGLER: Bait and Tackle
Care And Repair Of Fishing Lures
courtesy of Make Your Own Fishing Lures
It is important to take care of and maintain your fishing lures so that they are always in good condition after they are made. This requires some effort and time but is usually easy for the angler who makes his own lures.
Since he made them and put them together, he also knows how to take them apart and repair them. He also has the hand tools and fishing lure parts necessary for such work.
Fishing lures in general do not require much care when storing them in a home or shop. The best idea is to put them into cabinet drawers or individual boxes so that they can be found easily and can be kept dry.
In humid climates or near the seashore it is important not to expose the metal parts to the air; otherwise, hooks will rust and other metals will corrode. Fishing lures which have feathers or hair should be kept in air-tight containers so that moths and other insects or small animals will not get to them. This also applies to new fishing lures which haven't yet been used.
Lures which have been used require considerable care if you want to get the maximum use from them. Freshwater fishing lures usually require less care and repair than saltwater ones. But any plug which is chipped, cracked, or battered can quickly be made to look almost new.
Plugs which are slightly chipped can be merely touched up with a small brush, using enamels or lacquers. But if a wooden plug is badly cracked or battered, it should be given a complete paint job, using a brush and enamel or a spray gun and lacquer.
If you use a brush and enamel you do not have to remove the hooks unless they are to be replaced too. First sandpaper the plug, then paint it with white enamel. Two or three coats may be necessary to cover it completely.
Then add the other colors. If you use a spray gun and lacquer, remove the hooks for best results. Sandpaper the old paint if the plug is not too badly cracked. If it is badly chipped and cracked you can do a better job if you dip the plug in paint remover and then scrape off the old paint or lacquer.
After this, you can proceed to spray the wooden plug body the same way as if it were a new plug just being made. When the paint job is finished, replace the old hooks or add new ones.
The hooks on a plug, especially if it is a saltwater type, should be examined closely. If they are only slightly rusted they can be cleaned with steel wool or emery cloth, then wiped with an oily rag.
You can also varnish or paint the hooks with black enamel or lacquer to protect them for longer periods. If the hooks are badly rusted, however, they should be replaced with new ones.
When doing this it is important to use the same size and weight as the old ones in order that the action of the plug is not changed in any way. It's always a good idea to check the points and barbs of old or new hooks to make sure they are sharp and not bent or broken.
A few minutes spent with a small file or carborundum sharpening stone will pay dividends later on when a fish with a tough mouth strikes and is hooked.
Wood or cork spin bugs should be checked to see if the hair or feathers are in good shape and are not thinned out or chewed up too much. If this is the case the best idea is to remove the old hair and add new material. After the hair or feathers have been tied or glued on, the bug can be repainted with enamel or lacquer using a small brush.
Fishing Spoons And Spinners
Fishing spoons and spinners should be wiped dry after using to prevent them from tarnishing or corroding. If they were used in salt water, it's a good idea to rinse them in fresh water, then wipe them dry before storing them away.
You can also wipe the spoon, hooks, and connections with an oily rag to keep them in good condition. If the spoons or spinners are tarnished they can usually be polished if you rub them with a metal polish.
After spoons and spinners become badly chipped or corroded they can be replated by saving several of them and taking them to a firm which does nickel plating or chrome plating.
The chrome plating is best for spoons used in salt water. If you have only one or two spoons or spinners which are badly chipped or corroded you can still use them if you paint them silver, white, or yellow.
On fishing jigs you have to watch the hook and the hair, feather, or nylon skirts. If the hook is badly rusted and weakened the best procedure is to discard that particular jig and put it aside for melting when you pour new ones.
If, however, the hook is in good condition but the hair is thinned out or shredded you can remove it and tie on new hair, feathers, or nylon. If the jig is painted it can be rubbed with steel wool or sandpaper and then repainted.
Metal squids should also be examined to see if they require work. Usually all you need do is to take some steel wool or metal polish and rub the squid to bring out the shine.
If the feathers have been thinned out or if they are chewed up and broken, remove them and tie on new ones. A metal squid need not be recast unless the point or barb of the hook is broken or it is badly rusted and weak.
Then you can melt it and pour new squids. Such squids usually contain some lead so do not add any more of this metal. You can, however, add some new block tin if you want to.
The tin can be used over and over as often as required. That's another advantage in making your own metal squids: you don't have to use such lures if the hooks become badly rusted. Merely save them and then pour new metal squids.
When it comes to making fishing leaders and connections it is very important to use only the strongest. If you suspect any weakness it's a good idea to discard that leader and tie a new one. Nylon leader material is inexpensive and if any of your leaders are frayed or cut they should be thrown away. Single-strand wire leaders tend to kink, and if they have too many sharp bends which cannot be straightened out they also should be thrown away.
You should also check the eyes or loops on wire leaders to make sure they haven't slipped or closed. An eye which is closed too much on a wire leader can kill the action of a lure.
In general, when examining any fishing lure you have made the repair of fishing lures should always take priority. It's a wise policy to repair them if you are the least bit doubtful about their condition.
If a lure cannot be repaired, throw it away after salvaging any usable parts. It doesn't pay to take chances with a fishing lure which is weak in any way. You may hook a record fish and lose it if the lure is not dependable.
Many anglers who buy their fishing lures in tackle stores often use them until they fall apart, before buying new ones. But if you make your own fishing lures you can afford to use only those which are in good condition.