What better way to enter the water then with a Fishing Lure!!
Being an avid fishermen and living in Canada I experience fishing withdrawal in the early winter months when its too cold to open water fish and there isn't enough ice yet to ice fish. To help curb my need to fish I decided to make a lure and keep myself busy, while I wait for the ice to be thick enough to ice fish.
This instructable will demonstrate how to make your own Lip-less Crank-bait that can be made very easily and is actually a lot of fun,
- Small piece of wood
- Some type of knife that can carve wood I used a thin box cutter with new blade
- pencil and paper
- Sander ( Not essential but makes the process go a lot faster )
- Super Glue
- Small eyelets for hanging a picture (which I used) or go to a fishing store and buy the actual eyelets but mine work totally fine.
- Fishing drop shot weights. These are weights that's have a small metal clasp attached to them
- Some fishing line for testing
Step 1: Template Development
So whats a Lip-less Crank-bait?
Well a crank-bait is any lure that is cast out then reeled in or "cranked" in to the boat/shore at a consistent or variable speed. The shape of the lure will wiggle back and forth in the water as it is reeled creating the life like swimming motion. Most crank-baits have a "lip" on them which is a plastic tongue at the base of the head pointing downward at a specific angle which pushes the lure downward to a specific water depth. The main line attachment for these types of crank-baits is at the very front or nose of the lure. Because of this attachment point the lures motion is restricted so that only the body and tail will wiggle when reeled in but the head remains stationary.
A Lip-less Crank-Bait is a wider lure that looks like a fish and has its main line attachment to the back or top of the head apposed to the front. This allows not only the body and tail to wiggle back and forth but also the head because the pivot points is slightly more centered on the body of the lure.
If you are unfamiliar with what a lip-less crank-bait looks like I'd recommend doing a quick google image search to get an idea of what it looks like and also find a basic shape and design to follow.
Step 1 - lay out a white piece of paper and trace 1 side of the starting piece of wood then roll the wood over and trace the other side
Step 2 - now sketch out the general lure design and then using a PENCIL darken the outline of the finished design. To match the design exactly to the other side fold the piece of paper directly in half down the spine or midpoint between the two rectangles so that the pencil side is exactly lined up with the other box. Now re-draw the lure with pressure, transferring the design to the other side. Now unfold the paper and darken up the pencil transfer.
Step 3 - using scissors cut out the template making sire to leave the spine or middle section attached. Fold the cut out template over the piece of wood and secure with tape to make it easier to trace.
Step 4 - using this template trace the outline of the paper onto the wood which will give you your final design directly on the wood.
Step 2: Hand Caurving
Step 1 - With your block of wood mark the areas where the two sides will meet on the finished lure so you have some guide points to reference when carving. I marked the top sides and bottom so I know where to start and stop my carving. Don't rush this process slower is better to get the overall shape. Located the middle of the wood and draw a line to help with keeping the lure as symmetrical as possible.
Step 2 - Once you have the lures basic rough shape you can drill out the eye location while the lure is still flat. I did but after I sanded it I had to re-drill it because a lot of material came off. when you drill the eye hole use a smaller drill bit like a 3/16 and drill all the way through to the other side. That way regardless of how much you sand the eyes will still be visible.
Step 3: Sanding
Sanding is pretty easy, I used a belt sander upside down and just worked the rough wood block into what I thought was a good looking lure shape.
*** Focus on making sure the lure is exactly equal and perfectly symmetrical from right to left. If the lure is bigger on one side it will pull that way when in the water.*****
Step 1 - Sand lure with very light pressure taking off small amounts of material at a time and consistently check for symmetry and balance.
If you haven't yet now drill the eye locations
Step 4: Adding Eyelets
Get your hands on some eyelets, I just used the smallest ones I had from a wall hanging kit.
Step 1 - For this lure there are 3 eyelets needed, 1 at the top of the head where the line will attach, 1 at the lowest point on the bottom and 1 on the very end of the tail. Using a drill bit just smaller then the threads on your eyelet, BY HAND (just finger power) drill the holes in the wood.
Step 2 - Once your holes are drilled coat the threads in a water proof superglue and secure them in place making sure they tightened down good.
Step 5: Painting and Finishing
Now its time to Paint!!
Step 1 - Any paint will work but spray paint is quick, Spay your lure with a white paint then slowly add the colours you want to create a somewhat realistic fish design. Don't be to hard on yourself if it doesn't look exactly like a specific fish, I find that fish will bite almost anything, and that most "Pretty Lures" on the market today are more for the fishermen then the fish.
Step 2 - Once you have the general colours on you can now add the detail work like dots and extra lines to give the lure some appeal and style.
Step 3 - Add plastics eye, Yes I used a googly eyes and yes that was on purpose. The googly eyes works amazing on fishing lures not only can the pupil move it shakes in the case when reeling which makes a rattle sound attracting more fish.
Step 4 - Now that the fish is looking good coat the entire lure in super glue and let it dry, This will penetrate the paint and the wood and create a rock hard finished against very sharp fish teeth while also making sure everything stays put when cast.
Step 6: Weight It, Test It
At this point you have a nice looking lure that if dropped in water would just float like a stick. We need to now add some weights to the lure so it sits properly in the water when cast.
Step 1 - Get your hands on some drop shot weights and attach them to the lowest eyelet, add 1 at a time and place the lure in some water. The weight will make the lure sit in the water upright which is how we want it. Add weights until the lure sits just touching the waters surface. Because the hooks are not yet attached remember that the extra weight of the hooks will put lure a hair under the surface once attached which is exactly where it whould be
Step 2 - Once you have figured out how much weight is need use a drill and make a hole the exact same size as the weights at the widest part of the bottom portion of the lure. make sure the weights fit nicely and then using superglue secure them inside the belly of the lure. Add another layer of super glue to seal everything up.
Step 3 - Testing , because I live in Canada and I made this lure in February all water around me was completely frozen so I had to use my bath tub to make sure the action is perfect. Attach a fishing line to the top eyelet.
As you can see in this video the wiggle/ action of the lure is perfect the head, body and tail all move back and forth in a realistic like swimming motion. It was hard to mimic a fishing rod in a bath tub for the test but to ensure a decent test make sure you pull the line the same way the lure is facing and keep the line close to the water to mimic how a cast line would reel in the.
Step 7: Done !!
Now you can add your hooks and hit the water !!
I didn't add the hooks yet simply because I can use this lure until the ice melts on the water so for storage I have heft the hooks off until then.
If you want to add your hooks right away then go to a local fishing store and they will have the needed stuff to add the hooks.
I hope you liked this easy Home Made Lip-less Crank-bait instructable