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Turning the body is half the fun.

When I picked up Silvio Calabi’s book Antique Fishing Tackle, my interests in fishing, antiques, and wood turning met head on: Now I’m hooked on making wooden fishing lures. I know this passion is somewhat irrational, because plastic lures are abundant and economical—and they catch fish. I make my own wooden lures because it’s fun. I love recreating old patterns as much as I love to explore my own theories on catching fish. I enjoy testing unusual shapes and unique finishes. And I can report first-hand that catching a fish with a lure I’ve made myself is a sheer delight. You should try it yourself.

I like to fish for bass, musky and pike, which are all known to feed at the surface, so most of the lures I that make are designed to skip across the water’s surface. These “top water” lures can be made from almost any wood that holds screws well. (There’s nothing worse that having a trophy fish escape because it was able to rip out the screw that anchored the hook to the lure!) I usually work with poplar and start with 1-1/2″ to 1-3/4″ square blocks.


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