How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

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Powelly
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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by Powelly » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:18 am

Roger, you are a legend. I knew there had to be others. Still got 10 fingers?

I've found some of the replies interesting, because the original intention of the post was simply to find out how many lure makers (those selling lures) still hand carved their lures. It was never about classifying 'hand made' as hand carved or linisher sanded. I just wanted to find out how many lure makers still hand carved their lures.

I first started carving lures, about 30 years ago, with a pocket knife - they looked awful and only some of them worked. When I started teaching at Dunedoo, in 1984, the Woodwork teacher showed me the virtues of the linisher sander (the belt sander with the sanding disc on the side), so my lures looked better and more of them worked. When I moved to Tenterfield, in 1989, Peter Newell taught me his method of hand carving lures, using a centre line and carving lines to make sure the lure was symmetrical and that the bib would be glued-in dead straight. I have continued using the method that Peter taught me. The lures looked great and they all worked!

I'm sure that Darren is probably right when he said that there aren't too many lure makers who still hand carve lures, but I'm sure that there are a fair few more to add to the list.

So, the question remains - How many lure makers still hand carve lures? ???

Cheers

Travers

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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by fishaholiclures » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:43 am

Travers,
I too started carving lures many years ago (??? 25), and they were all copies of small bream size Rapala's, Nilsies, Bagleys and Rebels.
They were all carved by hand from Balsa mainly, which was cheap, easy to work and pretty much duplicated the bouyancy of the originals.

However having just returned to making my own hardbodies as a result of this site, I have incorporated some power assisted methods using a drum sander and Dremel tool. This was brought about by using harder timbers and decreased digital dexterity brought on by medical conditions ( mild carpal tunnel and tendonitis). It's a bugger 'cos it also affects how long I can cast lures as well. I will still carve really soft woods with a scalpel blade but only a few at a time till the wrists get sore.

As you would have seen, I am attempting to make a duplicator, as time and ability doesn't allow me to produce the lures I want to make the 'dinosaur' way lol.

So I guess I could be considered a lure making 'Dinosaur' lol lol lol

??? that makes it 95..doesn't it?

Cheers Brad

Ohh and I will be passing that 2nd hand shop in the next couple of days, will have a look for those 99E stanley knives.
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Powelly
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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by Powelly » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:54 pm

G'day Brad

Great to hear that you did time on the knife and thanks for keeping an eye out for the ellusive 299E for me. Can't let an old bugger like me move on to new technologies, like linisher sanders or copy lathes.

I wonder how many of us actually started carving copies of Rapalas, Rebels and Tiger minnows? I too first started lure making by copying Rapalas, small Rebels and the Tiger minnow.

Cheers

Travers

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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by fishaholiclures » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:12 pm

Travers,
If the truth be known, for most of us, they were the first mass produced lures we came in contact with. I started making copies of the F & CD 3, 5 and 7cm Rapalas, as the were out most successful Bream and Flathead lures. In fact the first Bream I caught on a lure was on a CD3 Gold over Orange.

The F7 Rapala was our gun Flathead lure over the shallow banks and then we found the 5 & 7cm Invincibles which were even better lol Keep in mind this was over 25 years ago, and most were still throwing Pink rubber twin tails on Sroungers heads lol

When I was fishing the Bream tourneys back a few years, I used to reminice about those times to my co anglers, if they were under 25yo, they just used to look at ya with that sort of...yeah right grandpa...look as if Bream didn't start liking lures till the new millenium lol

anyway enough rambling blah

Cheers Brad

PS I just had a look in my old fishing Journal, 20th March 1982 Bream 24cm Woogoompah Channel (near Jacobs Well) CD3 G/O released


ahhh them was the days lol
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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by MXB » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:50 am

Travers . . .

I'm not sure what the attraction is but I know that I was heavily influenced by the story of James Heddon sitting observing the fish while hand carving his early designs by his favourite river. Some of your recollections of marking the blanks for perfect symmetry under the guidence of Peter is something I ignored for years, gathering an eye for getting very close by marking a few dots in certain places and then hand carving with a blade of some description. Sometimes it was that imperfection that created a special action, sometimes they didn't work at all. All the time my hands were slowly sanded away but I am lucky enough to keep all fingers!! lol

Brad . . .

It sounds like you are telling my story of the lures I used in the estuaries and rivers with the early days of soft plastics and the big pink Mister Twisters taking over from the diving minnows for flathead . . . . the bream being caught on small diving minnows like the CD3, CD5 Rapalas but my personal favourite were silver/black back Bill Normans, Rebels, Abu Killers which I presented as a mullet running scared, the F7 in the same pattern and the movement to using Nilsmaster lures which worked great too. . . . better sometimes. thumbsupsmilie thumbsupsmilie

Then I started making lures to mimic the actions of these lures from balsa, I'd shape by hand, cut a slot from head to toe, back fill with lead sheet I found on building sites, cut a slot for a bib etc and see if they worked . . . and they did. We were lucky because we had a subject at school called "Activities" which was just a bludge subject but we had the choice of doing "fishing" as a subject and later rod building and lure making from a teacher called Mr Homer or Mr Homo for the stupid as he was a man mountain with a big mustache. Well within a few months we had guys catching monster flathead on home made rods and hand made lures!! I used to fish everyday anyway to test my new creations with hand painted finishes . . . definite hack jobs . . . but they worked. I built a 9ft Uglystik and married it with an Abu 5500C that I saved up for throwing metal slugs for tailor and salmon.

Hand made lures all the way since then with a sprinkling of the trusty favourites for sentimentality

Unfortunately don't make alot of lures anymore due to time restrictions but always have a few in progress . . . maybe make 20 lures a year and they are the lures I use when fishing

Roger

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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by Slim » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:34 am

Hi Travers,

I found the little Bellbrook wobblers were a great success for catching Yellowbelly and the smaller Murray Cod during the late 1950s and 1960s. However, they were not, to a large extent, good for landing the larger Murray cod which frequented the rivers of yesteryear. Eventually, we came up with the brilliant idea of building his own version of the Bellbrook’s using the charateristics based upon targeting the larger Murray cod.

The procedure I followed when making one of home made lures was:

Before attempting any type of lure design, one would normally make a sketch out to full scale, so that you can visualise what it will look like when you look at it from the side, top and front. The next was to cut off about12 to 15cm of hickory from the broken axe handle.
Using his small tomahawk, I would patientley chop out the rough design of the intended shape of his lure. (be it, Bellbrook, Flopy or Mudbug shape.
Once achieving intended shape, I would futher continue shaping the lure by using a large course rasp to rough out the face section, then the nose section, followed finally by the body/tail sections.
The next stage was the smoothing and shaping of the lure by using a medium, then a fine rasp and sandpaper to smooth the lure down to its final shape.
Using the aluminium from an old cooking pot I would cut the bib to size and carfully file it into the desired shape before drilling two small holes to facilitate the securing of the bib to the lure. The bib size and angle had everything to do with depth and action the lure would achieve.
I would then guestimate and mark the positions for the screw-in rings and the bib.
Using a very fine hand drill I would carefully drill the intended holes for the hooks, bib and pull rings.
Working carefully, I then screwed the bib, the screw-in rings and fixed the hooks to the belly and the tail screws-in rings and place on the hooks.
Now, it was off to the river to carryout the testing.
Final adjustments and testing could take a number of test runs and alterations until the lure functioned in the intended manner. (Be it the angle of the bib, or the size of the bib, or the hydrodynamic pressures on the body of the lure, requiring more shaping or hole being drilled into the body of the lure)
Once the testing was finialised and the lure displaying the intended action and behaviour, the lure was allowed to dry out for a few days. (Due to the water soaking into the hickory it would swell and become “fluffy/feathered”)
I would then remove the bib, hooks and the screw-in rings, then sand the dried out lure until it was once again smooth.
The next stage was the painting stage and the lure would have a number of coats of red paint for the face and silverfrost applied to the body and tail sections or until the desired effect was obtained. I would apply a couple of coats of each colour before painting in the eyes.
Once the paint had dried, the bib and the screw-in rings were once again affixed to the new lure went .

These days I still make home made lures by hand but I now use a Stanley knife, white beech, a template, centre lines, carving lines and sandpaper. I have never sold a lure, keeping some, giving them to family and close friends.

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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by MXB » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:49 am

@Slim . . .

Thanks for posting and welcome to L&M . . . . A great read and I remember using rasp files at times too

clapclap clapclap

MXB

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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by diemai » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:50 am

@ Slim

Welcome in here to another fellow lure carver thumbsupsmilie !

Prior to testing/weighting my homemade blanks , I'd apply two layers of acrylic clear or white primer , just to overcome the water sepage problem .

I'd just buff these coats afterwards for final painting and topcoating .

greetz , diemai howdy
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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by SkyeWarrior » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:41 pm

Awesome Slim. Be reading your post in more detail later.

Time for a laugh (just for you Travers howdy ) - was sitting in the shed yesterday morning starting to carve up a tail section of two piece minnow I'm gunna have a crack at. Was looking at my thumb, and the cross hatching of cuts on my thumb not big enough to draw blood and feeling very pleased with myself with my two week safety record. Get back to the piece of timber, and decide the end isn't square enough, so go to straighten it up by using the knife like a block plane, and with one twist and my thumb in the way, blood everywhere. Oh well. There goes the safety record -duh
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Re: How many lure makers still hand carve lures?

Post by puglee62 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:05 am

SkyeWarrior wrote:Awesome Slim. Be reading your post in more detail later.

Time for a laugh (just for you Travers howdy ) - was sitting in the shed yesterday morning starting to carve up a tail section of two piece minnow I'm gunna have a crack at. Was looking at my thumb, and the cross hatching of cuts on my thumb not big enough to draw blood and feeling very pleased with myself with my two week safety record. Get back to the piece of timber, and decide the end isn't square enough, so go to straighten it up by using the knife like a block plane, and with one twist and my thumb in the way, blood everywhere. Oh well. There goes the safety record -duh
g'day there, sounds like your lure has your own personal catch scent! .Ive got a similar problem no sense of feeling in my left pointing
finger (due to an accident at work) means that many a time when i'm sanding lures on my linisher i get this burnt skin smell........
uh oh not again! -duh

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