How To Make Fishing Lure Holders

Easy-to-Make Lure Holding Clamps

Although a thoroughly enjoyable hobby there is no doubt that making your own fishing lures can be a very messy business. Getting your fingers burnt, covered in paint or even epoxy coated are some of the most common problems that lure makers everywhere have to deal with. These all too common problems are usually the result of an ineffective or poorly thought out method of holding the lure being worked on for the job at hand. 

I know this myself from experience. I have managed to burn my fingers whilst using a cigarette lighter to pop the air bubbles from my epoxy clear coats. I have painted my fingers (nearly my whole hand on one occasion) whilst spray painting patterns on some lures. I have had to deal with the terrible mess of getting epoxy all over my hand, when, on one occasion whilst clear coating a lure I clumsily dropped it on the floor and without thinking quickly grabbed it up off the floor again with my bare hand!

The good news is . . . . .

. . . . . . . (well good news for my lure holding hand anyway) that all these lure making problems are easily solved. A very simple-to-make homemade lure holder will give you total control over your lure as you work on it yet keep your hand far enough away to avoid all the potential mess.

Easy-to-Make Homemade Lure Holder

The Idea is to Keep Your Hand Away From the Lure 
The lure holders that I eventually built to make my lure making life a little easier are by no means an original design or idea. I simply did an internet search for things like 'lure holders' and 'lure racks' and found that quite a few lure makers use the same type of lure holding 'clamps' that I then made for myself and have detailed in the pictures below. The idea however of using metal to line the 'jaws' of the clamps is an idea I came up with myself and have not seen anywhere else. This metal lining of the jaws of the clamps prevents paint and epoxy from soaking into the otherwise bare wood and hence should prolong the life of the lure holder.

Step 1

Get some suitable wood and cut it to size.
It is important to use hardwood for these holders as softwood just wont stand up to the regular opening and closing of the jaws of the clamps. I used white oak to make my holders and would say that oak is probably the best material to use for these. Maple, beech and possibly mahogany would also be suitable.

I got my length of oak and cut it down so that I had four pieces of wood measuring 15mm by 15mm by 100mm (5/8 inch by 5/8 inch by 4 inches).
The Oak Pieces Cut to Size

Step 2

Cut out centre slots.
Holding the oak pieces in a vice I marked out and cut a slot down the centre of  each one using a handsaw. The slot was cut to half the overall length of each of the pieces. I took care to cut as accurately to the centreline as possible which would ensure that the finished clamps would close equally from either side.
Oak Pieces With Centre Slots Cut Out
When done properly you should just be able to squeeze the end of the slots together using strong finger pressure as shown in the photo below.
Demonstrating The Desired Clamping  Action

Step 3

Cut and make metal liners for the jaws of the clamps.
Using a tin snips I cut some lengths of metal from some clean empty food cans. The metal strips were cut so that their width was just less than that of the main body of the lure holders (the oak pieces).

Cutting Up Food Cans to Make Metal Liners For the 'Jaws' of the Clamps
The metal strips were folded in half and inserted into the slots in the oak pieces - see picture below. The ends were then folded neatly and squarely over the ends of the oak pieces and back down along the outsides as shown to fully line the clamping part of the lure holders.
Making and Fitting the Metal Liners to the Lure Holders

Step 4

Drill hole for bolt and wing nut.
This step was just a little tricky as it was necessary to drill a hole through the metal and oak at the same time. The centre of the hole was marked out at 15mm (5/8 inch) from the end of the holder. This was just far enough away from the end of the lure holder so that the 'wings' of the wing nut that was to be used would not catch on the body of any lure that would eventually be held in the holder. I drilled a 6mm (1/4 inch) diameter hole (using a HSS drill bit) to accept a 20mm (3/4 inch) long M5 bolt.
Lure Holder with Hole Drilled Out For 'Clamping' Bolt
Lure Holder Taken Apart for Illustration Purposes

Step 5

Fit bolt and wing nut and test the clamp.
The only step that remains is to fit the small bolt and wing nut and test the clamping action of the holders with some lures. Testing the clamps on a few different lures of different sizes proved that they would do the job of holding lures while painting, clear coating, etc very well. This simple project took me no more than 20 minutes to complete and totally solved one of my lure making problems.

Pictures of One of the Lure Holders Tightly Holding a Homemade Lure

My Lure Holders In Use

At the moment I use these lure holders for two main purposes:

  1. Holding my lures while spray painting. I don't have a compressor and air brush (yet) for painting my lures and do all of my painting with aerosol spray cans. The problem with painting your lures in this way is that there can be quite a bit of 'overspray' of the paint which means anything very close to the lures gets paint on it. Holding my lures with these lure holders allows me to hold a lure in one hand (my hand being nearly 4 inches away from the lure) and spray can in the other moving both at the same time while spraying to get a nice even coating without getting paint all over my hands.

  2. Holding my lures while epoxy clear coating. These lure holders are very handy when clear coating lures allowing me to rotate the lure I'm working on and easily get at all sides of it.  I hold a lure (on a holder) in one hand and use a brush to 'paint' on the epoxy with the other hand. When I'm done I offer the lure up to a light source of some sort again rotating the lure to see if I've missed any spots. The lure then gets transferred to an 's' shaped wire hanger and hung on my homemade lure drying rack.

Lures on Holders Ready For Epoxy Clear Coating
Well that just about brings this blog post to a close. Hardly the most exciting post on a lure making blog ever but someone somewhere might just find this information useful. As always if anyone has any questions or comments or ideas they'd like to share feel free to post in the comments section below. If you'd like to contact me directly or send me a picture of you lure making creations you can do so via my contact page. More lure making stuff coming soon . . . . . 


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Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

you should right a book on fishing and your experiances.

Joe said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

@AnonymousWriting a fishing book certainly is a nice idea. I'd need to do a lot more fishing and catch a lot more fish before I would be qualified to write a book that would be worth reading. Thanks for your comment.


Bill Gould said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Joe when it comes to writing a book about fishing just lie like the rest of us fisherman.

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