Biodegradable Fishing Lures




About: I am a huge fan of anything I that makes things cheaper or greener (preferably both!)

So the big question is, why even do this?

Well it is rather simple: we all snag gear, tie a bad knot or simply put lose our lures at one point or another. While we can't always retrieve our broken gear it only makes sense to try to limit the impact of the lost equipment. Whether its a bird or a fish, the plastic most lures are made of cannot be digested and can kill or harm the animal that consumes them.

So here is my solution, make a recipe for a lure that anyone can make at home with ingredients anyone can pick up at a local store.

Lets begin!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Ingredients

So its a simple recipe:

-4 packets of gelatin

-3/4 cup of water

optional (but highly suggested)

-food coloring

-3 fish oil pills

Step 2: Making the Mix

Start by pouring 3/4 cup water into a small pot.

If you choose to use fish oil pills take a pin and insert it into one end. Remove it and squeeze the oil out of the capsule into the pot.

Mix in the 4 packets of gelatin.

Step 3: Mixing It All Together

Now put the pot on the burner and turn the heat to low. Mix the ingredients together while it is heated until it reaches a a consistency similar to water. At this point add in the dye.

The gelatin should only need to be on the burner for 2 minutes to get to this point.

Step 4: Pouring the Lures

Now it is time to pour the molds. There really isn't much to say here. Simply spoon the mixture into your mold, chill in the freezer for roughly 15 minutes and then taken out of the mold and repeat the process.

Step 5: Need a Mold? Make One

Don't have a mold? No problem. We can make you one really easy! Simply take a handful of straws and cut them in half. Rubber band them together and insert them vertically into a container. Pour in the solution and let them chill in the freezer.

The gelatin will take significantly longer to set since there is a higher volume.

Step 6: The Final Solution

After the gelatin has set the lures can be taken out of the molds. I like to wrap the lures in paper towel and chill in the fridge until I use them.

The final solutions can be as complicated or as simple as you want.

The 'straw mold' can make worms and grubs, while bought or made molds can make anything imagined.

Step 7: Final Assessment

I'm not going to claim that this is a perfect substitute for conventional rubber lures.


-Environmentally friendly

-Fairly inexpensive

-Scented so it can work as a bait or a lure

-Makes a large quantity per batch

-Bluegill seem to like it in my test lake


-Realistically only good for one cast per lure

-Hard to hook with out splitting the gelatin (though this can be fixed by setting the hooks in the mold when the solution is initially poured)

-The lure must be chilled until it is used or it will become too soft to be useful

-Require delicate handling

-If a fish hits the end of the lure it can rip off the back of the lure (this can be minimized by rigging the worms with a hook in the front and hook in the back)

Final Assessment

While this recipe does have its issues, it is a good start to eco-friendly lures being a possibility for anyone. I will be the first to admit that this recipe does have plenty of room for improvement in durability. But the concept still stands, a lure that is made from biodegradable ingredients that can be made by anybody with access to a kitchen and has the capability to catch fish.

Green Design Contest

Runner Up in the
Green Design Contest

Great Outdoors Contest

Participated in the
Great Outdoors Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest
  • Cardboard Speed Challenge

    Cardboard Speed Challenge
  • Multi-Discipline Contest

    Multi-Discipline Contest

23 Discussions


Tip 1 year ago on Step 5

I do a lot of sea fishing and have made my own soft plastic lures which are great but have little or no scent coming from them using this gelatin mix I can add some attractives like crab paste or other type of fishing worm juices to attract more fish to the lure


3 years ago

make a mold out of clay...that solves that..let the clay harden..pour the mixture in,,stick in fridge..all done


4 years ago on Introduction

the fish in my local lakes dont seem to like soft lures, but ima try this anyway.


4 years ago

Efiicient, but I'd tamper with it a bit if I did it myself. Like others said, and some starch to make it less erodable.


4 years ago

What do you mean by solution when making a mold


4 years ago on Step 7

very good idea and i have suggestion - why not using something fiber to make it more standing!like some string or something else ...


4 years ago on Introduction

I don't see what a handful of straws will get to. If I fill them, I'll end up with a handful of worms; otherwise, I get a large gel lump with a hole in it. Can you explain what the mold is? TIA


5 years ago

Nice, please check out my guide on bass fishing.


5 years ago on Introduction

This is truly inspiring! I want to make some! Thanks for posting!


5 years ago

Good job! I'm going to make a few for when I go fishing!


5 years ago

really like this idea, and keen to see how things go with an improvement in the recipe. Will have a play myself when I get time


5 years ago on Introduction

Essentially you are making fishy gummy worms. Try increasing gelatin quantity on the gelatin-water ratio. As with gummy bears and such, they don't "melt" unless quite hot. You can also add a bit of corn starch into the mix for a more solid lure, but will need some thinkering on amounts. Check some gummy bears ibles around, to get some more accurate gelatin-water ratios. I hope this fix it!


5 years ago

Would adding long, thin paper strips or some sort of string maybe help in the durability department? I'm thinking sort of in the same way iron rods strengthen concrete.

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

Very cool idea, kind of like a generic gummy worm. I've seen people use those as well. Have you tried tapering the shape or adding a ribbon tail?

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I haven't yet, I will without a doubt give that a shot once I improve the recipe

Thanks for the interest


5 years ago

Very cool idea. Never seen anything like it and seems like it needs to be brought to people's attention. What did you make your mold out of?

1 reply

I made the mold out of a two part silicon mix. Since the silicon is very flexible it is easy to remove the lure from the mold, but it does tend to be a little bit more expensive. I have pretty good results using plaster of paris to make molds as long as what ever you are pouring hardens with in a reasonable amount of time