Scroll Chuck

To strengthen any lure, drill all the way through and mount the hook on stainless steel wire. Install the lure in a scroll chuck and drill from the tailstock end, using a long bit and a Jacobs-type chuck.

drill bit

To strengthen any lure, drill all the way through and mount the hook on stainless steel wire. Install the lure in a scroll chuck and drill from the tailstock end, using a long bit and a Jacobs-type chuck.

Here's the lazy man's painting method—just hold the brush and let the lathe do all the work. Run the lathe very slowly and thin the paint so that it flows evenly onto the lure.

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Turn down the waste material at both ends, after the paint has dried. Then part off. This step shortens the time it takes to produce finished surfaces on the ends.

Flattening one side on a sanding disc transforms the turned body of the "Leapin' lacer" into a frog—especially from a largemouth's viewpoint. Adding hardware (and occasionally lead weights) ensures that the lure will orient correctly in the water.

Attach eyes, hooks, weights and other hardware to complete each lure. Outsmarting fish isn't always easy, so use both your experience and imagination. And don't hesitate to change hardware that doesn't seem to work.

I usually use a variation of the brush-painting method to apply paint while the lure is still on the lathe (Photos 8 and 9). Epoxy paints are the most durable, but they take a long time to dry, which makes applying multiple colors a lengthy process. I often use acrylic paints for the color coats, followed several days later by a coat of clear epoxy paint, for durability.

Another option is to carve or sand the turned body, before or after painting, to make the lure attract more piscean attention as it moves across the water. Carving the head end of a lure will make it wobble or dive, much like hollowing on the lathe. A bit of sanding can dramatically change a turned lure's appearance (Photo 10). Viewing historical examples is a great way to get ideas for additional shaping (see Sources).

Eyes really do make a difference— just ask anyone who casts a lure. Eyes can be painted on or dotted, or they can be small tacks or nails that are driven in and then painted. You can also buy eyes made of glass or plastic, adhesive backed or with stems for gluing into a hole—or even doll eyes with loose pupils, for that "come hither" look that may help you hook the big one.

Please the consumer

An almost endless array of options exists for mounting hooks and adding the final touches that make a piece of wood irresistible to fish (Photo 11). You can buy hardware (see Sources), strip it from an old lure, or make it yourself from metal or plastic. You can keep it simple or go for broke by installing hooks wrapped with fur or feathers, eyelets, diving lips, spinners, propellers, fins, collars, glass and metal beads, wire, spacers, cup washers, weights and split rings. The bottom line during the entire lure-making process is to think like a hungry fish, because ultimately, hungry fish will be your greatest critics.

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