Tutorial: How to make your own trolling lures

I have all the materials listed in this tutorial available if you cannot find it.

I want to start by saying I am no John Williamson, but I have made a few lures in the past and some quite successful. I have also spent many hours using various lures and do consider how and why certain lures work in various conditions. My goal this season is to make my own lures and to avoid buying anything I don't need to. Trolling lures aka conas are probably the easiest lures to make. They require very little moulding preparation and all lures will work in various conditions. Work to cost ratio, they are also the most over priced lures available.

I am not going to discuss what lure shapes do what here. We can discuss this later on via questions and discussions but I will talk about weighting lures later on.


For now, lets just concentrate on the building process.

The first step is to make a plug. The plug is a dummy that we will use to make the mould. These are usually made from wood, sanded, painted, sanded, polished etc. etc. What I now do, is I cast plugs from F16 / F19 PU. I have made a silicone mould and when I have excess PU resin, I pour slugs in various diameters for use later on. The advantage of this is I can machine, sand and polish the plug in one go without and paint in between. Also, the PU is consistent and easy to machine and sand. Then as a bonus, you basically have a prototype to test before moulding for the final product.

Bear in mind though, this is only a guide. If you do not have facilities to machine your lure then copy your favourite lure. Maybe you have a lure that you really like the shape but would like to make it lighter or in different colours etc. Just skip to the moulding part.

Here is the slug I make.


  • DSC_0946.jpg
    40 KB · Views: 1,706
I machine the head general shape on a wood lathe with wood chisels and sand to s a smooth finish with 200 / 360 / 600 / 800 and finally 1000 grit paper. I machine the tail end first the then turn it around to do the head shape.

You also need to drill a 4mm hole through the head.


  • DSC_0947.jpg
    29.1 KB · Views: 1,704
This was going to be a slant head, so I then sanded the head at an angle on the belt sander.


  • DSC_0949.jpg
    21.3 KB · Views: 1,703
I have a 4mm rod that I press into the head to spin on my drill. I use this to spin the head and polish it.


  • DSC_0951.jpg
    26.2 KB · Views: 1,702
You want to get the head as smooth as possible. The more you do now, the less you need to do on each head later on.


  • DSC_0950.jpg
    13.2 KB · Views: 1,697
Making the mould.
We are going to need the following:

A piece of wood.
4mm X 2mm tubing
2mm rod
Mould max 30 silicone
A piece of PVC Pipe


  • DSC_0955.jpg
    33.3 KB · Views: 1,689
Drill a 4mm hole in the wood. This step may not be absolutely critical but it will help keep the lure in position and keep it centered.


  • DSC_0956.jpg
    40.1 KB · Views: 1,683
2mm rod in the tube to keep it straight and then through the head. The tube should stick out both ends. Press the back end into the wood and press down. The remove excess clay.


  • DSC_0959.jpg
    36.4 KB · Views: 1,679
Place the PVC pipe over the lure and seal around the bottom and over the slit with more clay.

The beer is there only for reference. ;)


  • DSC_0961.jpg
    34.7 KB · Views: 1,671
You need to rest the tube at an angle to fill. This is to prevent air from being trapped on the grooves when filling with the Silicone..


  • DSC_0963.jpg
    32 KB · Views: 1,664
As it fills, you can lift the pipe to fill.
It is important that you fill to at least 20mm above the head. The hole that the tube leaves in the center will hold the insert in position when pouring.

That's it for part 1.


  • DSC_0967.jpg
    27.8 KB · Views: 1,660


New member
Great post Bennie. Hope you are going to show us how to place the eyes inside the head.will be watching with big interest.
In part 2 we are actually going to make a lure. This one will be unweighted. It would be intended for the condition most of us fish. Calmer seas with Tuna Dorado and general game fish in mind so troll speed would be on the lower end at 5-7 knots. Mear in mind, it is resin not plastic, so it isn't necessary going to require lead. Many commercial lures look like they have lead inserts but aren't. Some are just resin and some are actually foam to make them even lighter. (we will be doing that later on). The Pakula sprocket, one of the best lures around the world has no lead in it. In fact it has a little foam in it.

Anyway, this lure shows the basics of inserts and it is a very successful concept. By the end of this section anyone with limited skills will be able to make their own lures.