How To Be Creative With Your Lures

By: Jimmy Cox

The spoon is one of the best lures the angler can use in fresh- or salt-water fishing. It is compact and heavy enough to cast well especially in the smaller sizes. It can be used when casting or trolling, and attracts all kinds of fish because of its brilliant "flash" and lively, swaying action.
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To make a fresh-water spoon from scratch you have to obtain brass or copper sheet metal in various thicknesses. The smaller-size spoons which run only from I/2 to 2 1/2 in. in length use thinner-gauge metal than the larger spoons which measure from 3 to 5 in. in length.

This metal must be cut out and filed out to the size desired, then bent and hammered into the proper concave shape. This is a lot of work if done with hand tools, and takes time even with the aid of power tools. Then the holes to take the hooks and line have to be drilled. If the hook is soldered to the spoon that's another operation. Next, you have the spoons plated in nickel, chrome, gold, or silver. Or, if you want to use the brass or copper of the original metal, you must polish or buff it.

Frankly, when one figures the time, energy, and money spent in making fresh-water spoons from the raw material it really doesn't pay - not unless one is willing to go to the expense of having a die made to stamp out the spoons on a punch press. With such a die one can stamp out enough spoons to last a lifetime. Such a die runs into quite a bit of money and unless you need hundreds or thousands of spoons it isn't worth it.

Fortunately, you don't have to go to the trouble of shaping your own fresh-water spoons or spend money for expensive dies. Some of the mailorder houses carry spoons in various sizes, shapes, and weights. They are all complete with shiny gold, silver, brass, copper, chrome, or painted finishes and can be bought cheaply, especially in larger quantities. You can buy a dozen of the spoons and the other parts, such as split rings and hooks, and then assemble the spoons.

Split rings come in various sizes; the smaller ones are used for small spoons while the larger ones are needed for the bigger spoons. They are usually made from spring steel or solid brass. The steel split rings are plated and are suitable for fresh-water spoons, but for salt-water the solid brass rings are much better.

Use a knife blade to spread a split ring apart so that it can be forced into the hole on the spoon. Once you have the split ring started, just keep turning it until it snaps on completely. You can put two split rings on most spoons, one in front for the fishing line and the other in the back, to which a treble hook is attached. The treble hook can be plain or it can be wound with bucktail hair.

Although spoons with metal finishes are the most popular you can paint them in various colors - such as all white, all yellow, or red and white stripes - if you want to do so. Usually only the convex side is painted, the concave side retaining the metal silver or nickel finish. You can also paint or spray the convex side with a natural fish-scale finish. For painting by hand with a brush, enamels are best. For spraying, use the quicker drying lacquers. Clear lacquer or varnish can also be sprayed on a metal finish to keep it from tarnishing.

Many fishermen have great success in using spoons, and you can too. Good fishing!

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