Handmade fishing lures - Super lightweight lure

I found myself testing some problem solving approaches, and came up with this as a way of making a hardbody fly, or ultralight lure.

We have an introduced pest species called Redfin Perch in Australia. It's not as bad as some introduced species, but it still displaces native fish from their natural habitat. Because of this it's illegal to return them to the water, which is fine by me because they are not bad to eat.

From looking at the contents of their stomachs, I've discovered that they tend to eat very small insects that either live under water, or land on the water from time to time. At least they do here. When you catch them in waterways like the Murray river, they tend to be full of small yabbies and glass shrimp. When fish are eating tiny things, they tend to get a bit spooked when you lob great big lures into their river. I figured what I needed was a tiny, lightweight hard body lure, with a tight swimming action to look like a downed flying insect that's now swimming.

One of the heaviest components of the lures I've been making, is the wire harness. All those wire eyelets for tow points and hook hang points end up weighing more than the rest of the lure. Lightweight means the harness had to go. Also the rear hooks had to go. In fact, there was no reason to have more than a single hook rather than a pair of trebles.

I started By stripping some very thin electronics wire out of it's insulation, leaving me with a very thin tube.

Next I make a tiny lure, and thread the thin insulation tube through a hole drilled first from the front, then from the underside until it meets the first hole.

Glue bib, lure body and tube in place with a drop of superglue.

I hold it all together with Blutak while I'm gluing.

Paint it (or not), then when it's dry, trim the tube flush with the lure at the belly, and as long as needs be to get a good towpoint at the front.

Then simply thread your line directly through the front, and attach a hook where it comes out underneath.

I use them un-painted and not waterproofed in any way. I tend to lose a few to overhanging trees, and would prefer they just rust away and rot rather than hanging around for too long.
I'm using these on the River Torrens where it's only 4 or 5 metres wide at the most, so there are no issues with casting. On a windless day, I'm only just making it to the far side of the bank with a relaxed cast on 1.8 kg line. And at least 2 of those 4 or 5 metres are covered by the length of my rod and my arm. There's no casting records about to be broken with these little lures, but in the right spot at the right time, they work a treat. The redfin only measure 20 cm or so but I've seen bigger fish eat smaller things so they might be worth trying on bigger fish if casting to them isn't an issue.

The one pictured here weighs a little over one gram, and only makes a tiny splash when it hits the water. I'm sight fishing to hiding redfin, and they can be very timid or crazy brave. When they are timid, using these lures I'm able to cast a lot more often at the same spot before they get spooked. With a normal hard body lure, I might only get 2 or 3 casts before they wise up, with a spinner, that might be only 1 or 2 casts.

It might also be interesting to try them on a fly line.

[edit from the future - This post on painting lures, "how to get the most out of your printer", might interest anyone who found this post useful ]


  1. Wow! I just came across your blog and am very impressed with the how-to make fishing lure guides. You have some excellent posts, I'm subbing! Thanks!

  2. They look amazing .How long are they?

    1. They vary a lot in size because I make the wooden bit out of sticks I find :)

      The wood bit is anything up to 15mm or so, but the smaller you make them, the more fish they seem to catch.

      Until they stop swimming. When you make really small ones, they don't swim very well, but they still catch fish if you make them move for a bit, then lay still.

      I think the best part about them is because I use them unpainted, they start as floaters, then become sinkers over an hour or so. It means you get to fish the different zones with the same lure :)


Popular Posts