Minimalist Fishing Series: Homemade Fishing Lures!

Source: carlfstout on Flickr

Homemade fishing lures – the cheap and easy way. I’m going for quality as well, but I don’t have time to spend hours on one lure, just to lose it the next time I get a snag. And I don’t want to lose 5 bucks every time I lose a lure, so the materials need to be inexpensive. In this series I want to explore the options we have to make high quality homemade fishing lures in the cheapest and most efficient way possible.

UPDATE: Here’s the first homemade fishing lures of the series:

The Jigging Spoon: Make a Jigging Spoon out of a Nail!

10-Minute Homemade Fishing Lure: Jerkbait Out of a Stick

Homemade Fishing Lures: The Spoon

Fishing: The Minimalist Hobby

In my quest for a simple and minimalist lifestyle, I’ve started fishing more often – it’s only as expensive as you want it to be, it’s relaxing, and when I hook a big one, it’s a rush! I haven’t made time to fish much since I was kid and my dad would take take me to the creek to catch Rock Bass and Bluegill, but now that I’m back at it, I’m loving it.

But I haven’t caught many fish. I found a spot that shows signs of life, and even caught a few little ones, but I realized that I needed to do some investigation to figure out how to catch fish consistently.

In the fishing hole (a cove on a lake near my house) I’ve noticed that there’s more shad here than most lakes, probably because  throw nets are illegal, and so I came to the conclusion that the predatory fish here are probably used to hunting and eating small shad. Sure enough, when I started spoons and spinners (that look like little shad), I started catching the early season trout and bass.

So I was pretty excited – not only was I pursuing a hobby that I’ve loved since my childhood, but it was an inexpensive, fun, and rewarding way to achieve minimalist living.

So there I was balancing on a couple small rocks just off the shoreline of the cove, casting my spinner as far as I could and retrieving it like the old Asian guy that had just hooked two nice Rainbows. I was enjoying the serenity of the calm evening lake, and grinning like an idiot as the sun danced on the surface of the lake.

And then, as I reeled in (peripherally observing the old gentleman who kept catching the fish I couldn’t), I got a snag.

Fishing Gets Expensive!

Frustrating. 5 minutes later, I got another snag.

By the time I had left, I’d lost 2 of my best spinners and 1 little Cleo spoon. That adds up to roughly $12 by the way.

As I wandered through the Bass Pro Shop the next day, I began to realize that this hobby may not be as inexpensive as I thought. Those spinners cost up to $10! And sure, I could buy the cheap ones for $3-$4, but if I lose just 1 or 2 lures a trip, I’ve started to rack up some serious expenses!

Now do I think it’s outrageous to spend tons of money on a hobby you love? Not necessarily. But in my case, I’d already spent $40 something on fishing license and local permits, not to mention the cash I shelled out on my ancient equipment in the first place.

The problem is clear: Fishing can be expensive.

But I realize it can also be very inexpensive – I just needed to do some research.

The Solution: Minimalist Fishing 

Minimalist Fishing – this isn’t exactly what I’m going for, but we’re getting close – how much do you think this guy spends on fishing equipment? 

Here’s my personal solution: Homemade fishing lures.

Thanks to Google and resourceful anglers all over the internet, I realized that I can make my own lures for a fraction of the cost, and often for free! And not only that, I’m finding all sorts of ways to make my own fishing gear across the board: slip bobbers, jigs, spoons, spinners, rods – pretty much anything and everything you need for the optimal fishing experience.

So in this Minimalist Fishing series, I plan on figuring out how to make the most effective, high quality fishing lures I can, out of cheap and free materials.

This is my first attempt, which actually turned out a little bit better than I expected. It’s basically a modified jigging spoon made out of nail and a paper clip. The paint is finger nail polish, which happens to be surprisingly hardy and water proof.


Here’s a better view of the lure.

Photo on 2013-04-12 at 14.47

This is the first of many homemade fishing lures that will only improve in time!

I hope this series helps us keep our expenses down as we enjoy the sport and hobby of Angling. Fishing… Do people say angling anymore?

Anyway, I hope this Homemade Fishing Lure series helps – good luck fishing!

UPDATE: Here’s the first homemade fishing lures of the series:

The Jigging Spoon: Make a Jigging Spoon out of a Nail!

10-Minute Homemade Fishing Lure: Jerkbait Out of a Stick

Homemade Fishing Lures: The Spoon



  1. Harry S. April 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Very interested, i like the first two!



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    […] fish is great. There’s tons of great DIY information about making your own fishing lures (Read my Minimalist Fishing Lures Series to learn how to make ridiculously cheap fishing lures), and you may be surprised to see how much […]

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