Hard Body Lure Fishing Hacks

by Greg "Doc Lures" Vinall | Australian Lure Fishing

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Hard Body Lure Hacks With Greg Vinall

Tweaking your lures can make a big difference to how they perform and can give you an edge. The tips and tricks we’ll discuss this episode is a combination of hacks I use myself and tips I’ve been given by tournament anglers, guides and pro journalists.

Diving Lure Depth

  • Be careful not to go too deep, if a lure runs beneath a school of suspending fish it usually gets a poor response compared with a lure at the same depth of above the fish.
  • For greater diving depth, use the thinnest line and leader you can get away with. Lines and leaders cause drag that pulls lures head upwards. Using thinner line reduces this and gives a little more depth
  • Troll your lures with the current for greater depth. This also reduces the drag of the line and leader, but may require faster trolling speeds to get the lure working.
  • Add a little bit of weight just beneath the chin of the lure, around where the diving lip joins the lure body. Suspendots or similar small adhesive weights are great for this. Alternatively, use a dab of hot glue and a small piece of lead or brass to add weight to the lure. This helps stabilise diving lures so they are less prone to rolling onto their side and “blowing out”.
  • Don’t forget to tune your lures properly. Perfectly tuned lures that swim straight and true will get greater diving depth than lures that are slightly out of tune. Check that the hook hangers are straight and centred, and that hooks aren’t bent out of shape to create unbalanced drag.

Hard Body Lure Sound

  • Fish can often hear lures long before they ever see them, so the sound your lure makes can either attract or repel fish from a long way off. If it’s a new sound or one they associate with a feed, then it may attract them. If it’s a sound they associate with being caught and released they may be very wary.
  • Rattles in hollow plastic lure bodies can sometimes be silenced by drilling a small hole and trickling in some Super glue or epoxy to glue the rattles in place, then plugging the hole with epoxy. Sometimes lure bodies have multiple chambers and you’ll need to drill multiple holes.
  • Hook and ring noise may or may not be audible to fish (refer to episode 38). However, adding an extra split ring at each of the hooks may help increase the sound a lure makes.

Suspending Lures

  • These lures stop moving and just “hang” when you stop retrieving them. Deadly on fish that follow closely but hesitate to strike a moving target.
  • To suspend, the lure, hooks and rings together must weigh the same as an equal volume of water.
  • Warm water and fresh water are less dense than cold water or salt water. So finely balanced lures that suspend in cold or saline water may become slow sinkers in freshwater or warmer water.
  • Balance the weight of suspending lures using suspendots or make fine adjustments by adding heavier split rings and/or hooks.
  • Usually suspending lures work best if they stay reasonably horizontal at rest.

Cosmetic Surgery

  • Usually Greg feels that lure colour or the presence of fine, lifelike detail doesn’t help attract extra bites.
  • Eyes on lures can be important for attracting strikes. It’s not a bad ploy sometimes to use self adhesive eyes to increase the size, reflectiveness and contrast of the eyes of your lures.
  • Using a sharpie to add contrast by drawing bars, spots, stripes or other contrasty features on your lures can help attract strikes.
  • Adding self adhesive, prismatic or holographic material to the sides of a lure can increase the visibility dramatically. Fish are super sensitive to flashes of light and tend to associate them with schools of bait fish. Seal the edges of the tape with nail polish to keep water from getting beneath (test the tape and lure first, to ensure the nail polish won’t attack them).

Hook Upgrades

  • Be thankful if the hooks on your high-quality lures are garbage. It keeps the price of lures down while allowing you to switch over to hooks that suit your own fishing style.
  • When you’re getting bites but not hooking up it can help to switch to round bend hooks. These do a better job of finding a place to bite home, but are slightly easier for fish to dislodge.
  • Switching to inward facing points, particularly on extra wide gape (EWG) styles makes it harder to get a hook to bite home, but once they’re set these hooks are very difficult to dislodge.
  • Experiment with double hooks. They’re stronger than treble hooks, harder for fish to dislodge and don’t require split rings, so lighter for better lure action. By using them with the points facing up you can make your lures more snag proof. For species that take lures on the pause the hook set rates are great, allowing you to work the lures through serious cover and still get good hook sets.
  • In-line single hooks can be great because they are extremely hard for fish to dislodge, don’t get caught up in nets, carpets or human beings as much. They also don’t damage large, feisty fish as much as trebles, making for better releases.
  • Assist hooks can be useful, especially if the fish are biting a little short, they can be a bit like a stinger hook in some ways but you need to avoid striking and weight for the rod to just load up.