Greg "Doc Lures" Vinall
Podcast Host, Lure Maker, Scientist, Educator
Greg has hosted the Australian Lure Fishing Podcast since it started in January 2019. When he’s not playing podcast host, he’s a qualified environmental scientist, lure making educator and tragic lure fisher.
9 Lure Fishing Hacks Greg Recommends
- Large stainless steel snaps as used in offshore game fishing or commercial fishing gear are great for organising treble hooks. Have one clip for each size of treble hook and simply slide them onto the snap or clip, then put the entire clip into a waterproof container. Place some of the silica gel sachets you’ll find when you purchase electronic gear or some foodstuffs into the you store hooks to remove moisture and keep your hooks from rusting. The sachets can be placed in an oven at 40-50C from time to time to dry the crystals and renew their effectiveness. Scattering grains of rice through your lure trays is another good option.
- Put rings on your treble hooks while you’re watching tv or whatever – if you need to replace the hooks on a lure whilst you’re fishing it can save you hunting for both hooks and rings. Remove the old rings and if they’re still good you can recycle them later, saving you time on the water. When you’re doing a periodic cull of treble hooks and going through your box replacing anything that is rusty, only replace the hooks on lures you know you’ll use a lot. Replacing hook on lures you only use occasionally exposes hooks to moisture and damage, plus it makes it more likely you’ll end up with a tangled mass of lures in your box. If you have your hooks organised with rings, as per tip 1, then you only need to bring a small number of hooks fishing with you. If you need one of those less used lures it only takes a couple of minutes to put hooks on it – and you know they’ll be shar and rust free. Having a couple of pairs of quality split ting pliers is critical.
- Adding an extra split ring between the hook and the lure gives the hook extra mobility and reduces the opportunity for the hook to be twisted out as a fish jumps and levers the lure against the hook. If you find the front and rear trebles tend to get fouled, or the lure fouls the line often during casting, switch to short shanked hooks. Using small rubber bands to link the front and rear trebles on a hard body while it’s in a tackle tray can reduce the risk of your lures becoming a tangled mess.
- Double hooks are an often overlooked and undervalued piece of terminal gear. They are super strong and don’t need split rings, which reduces the weight and the noise of the terminals. When fitted to point downwards, double hooks don’t have an unnecessary third point to interfere with the lure action but still give two points to pin a fish. Fitting the hooks to point upwards makes for a much more snag resistant lure, but as with all weedless lures, the hookup rate can be affected.
- Create a “Day Pack” the night before a fishing trip by segregating out all the gear you’ll almost certainly need from the bits and pieces you’ll might only need occasionally. Put the essentials in one bag or box in an easy to reach location so you don’t have to rummage through all your gear to find the critical items. Include superglue in your day pack – I use this for extra insurance on FG knots and for a range of other uses, including repairing soft plastic lures or for keeping them from slipping down the hook during fishing.
- I hate plastic, but I tolerate it in the case of leader management. I place each spool of leader into an individual ziplock bag. This keeps the leaders from getting tangled and keeps the labels from getting wet or damaged so I always know what leader I’m using.
- Until recently, I’ve never been a fan of lure clips. After numerous ALF guests talked up the Mustad Fastach lure clips I’ve re-evaluated and now use clips on a regular basis when I’m fishing with larger, more robust lure styles. Apart from making lure changes easier, I don’t lose a piece of the leader at every lure change, so retying leaders is required as often these days. I’ve not had any horror incidents of clips failing, though I hear the occasional story.
- Permanent marker pens are great for adding bars, lines, spots and so on to soft plastic lures. Some people like them for adding colour and detail too, I’m less fussed about that. But I do find at times that adding some contrast to lures can increase their effectiveness.
- Taking braid off your reels halfway through the season and reversing it so the line that’s been buried deep on the spool is brought to the top will give you fresh, new line and get the maximum value from your investment in braided line.