Friday, December 24, 2010

Steel, Feathers, Fur and Nail Polish - The Art of Tasteful lure building

     I suspect it was the simplicity and the 'don't really look like nothing-ness' of the Dardevle that drew me to steel as the pinnacle of lure composition. And the streamlined weight of the lure allowed it to be flung a long, long way especially when the knot slipped loose. On that occasion I gawked in amazement when my Five of Diamonds disappeared over the horizon then discovered that the only thing on the end of my line was the end of my line. Around that time I stopped fishing spoons and became an in-line spinner convert as much for its seductive flashiness as its ability to catch most everything in a lake.
     At first it was the Mepps. Who could say no to something that claimed to be both French and made in Wisconsin? With it my son and I caught brook trout, rainbow trout, walleyes, sauger, pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, crappies, perch, suckers, bullheads, clams, minnow buckets, other lures, stones, branches and, our personal Holy Grail, a two-inch shiner minnow hooked cleanly through the head ( we've got a photo to prove it). Fish it like a spinner, a jig, a buzzbait or troll it. Is there anything it can't do?
     One drawback. On a two week paddle in the boonies a few dozen of them will get chomped to death or wrapped around an overhanging birch branch. At four-and-a-half bucks a pop that gets pricey for a guy who used to punch a clock ( its amazing how much satisfaction is derived from a right cross upside the head of a Seth Thomas).
     So I learned to make them. The hundred dollars for a professional wire bender was hard to swallow but through the years it's paid for itself many times over. And you can make a more durable lure than Mepps, Blue Fox or Panther Martin. The treble hooks can be dressed with bucktail, squirrel tail or marabou feathers. Tie them as tightly as a hangman and glue the heck out of the wraps with Hard as Nails nail polish. I use plain blades and decorate them with any of a rainbow of finishes easily found in the cosmetics section of any reputable department or drug store. I've found that the discriminating pike quivers helplessly before a revolving spinner blade coated with Ruby Pumps by China Glaze. Don't knock it unless you've tried it.


  1. Nice! You should post some pictures of your process and finished product :)

  2. Fascinating. The prose is pure Mark Peters I knew from St Austin grade school. The subject matter is completely new to me. A side of you I never knew existed.
    However, I never will forget your demonstration of the infamous outlawed "screwpunch" I think that explains my lack of a rotator cuff and it still hurts.