Lure tuning and hacks cover the basics. Have you lost a favorite lure and replaced it with another one. It, however, is not catching fish. This is when you wonder what is wrong. The chances are it is out of tune. Lures are designed to act in a specific way.
If it is out of tune it will not act correctly, likely spooking fish instead of enticing a strike. Tuning fishing lures is easy, although, cheap lures are the exception. A good lure is only a few dollars more than the cheap knock offs and will work better.
Testing and Tuning a Lure
If a lure goes to the left or right on retrieve or rolls over during the retrieve it is out of tune. You can check a lure in clear calm water to see the action. If it does not retrieve straight towards the rod tip it is out of tune.
The knot is a common problem. Therefore, use a loop knot to prevent the problem. A knot tied tight to the lure tie eye can cause a lure to run incorrectly. Consequently, this is the first thing to check and eliminate as a problem.
A snap or split ring will solve the problem, however, they cause problems sometimes. Split rings are for attaching hooks to the lure. A few lures do use split rings on the line tie. If they are factory installed it is fine. Try to avoid adding items to correct the problem.
Lure Tuning Line Tie Method
The knot is okay, so either the line tie or bill is out of alignment. This is the easiest tuning problem to fix if it is the line tie. Bend the line tie to the correct position. For example, if the lure is going left bend the line tie very slightly to the right. Also, a little change in a line tie will make a big difference, do not over bend the line tie. Consequently, if the lure is tracking to the right. Bend the line tie to the left. Do not twist the line tie, as a result, this will damage the lure.
Lure Tuning the Lip
The line tie is not the problem after you try to adjust it. This implies a problem with the diving lip or bill. This is less common but does happen on lures especially cheaper made lures. The lips made out of metal are bendable. Use the line tie method to adjust. The exception is the bending direction. Bend to the right to correct the right running lure. Also, the metal lips can be bent up or down.
The result will be a change in the action and depth There are lures like Suicks and Jitterbugs anglers modify the metal lip for a different action, however, this will take a little experience through trial and error. Do not attempt to change the action unless it is a for sure thing you want to do to the lure. The chances are it will not go back to the original position easily.
A lure with a plastic lip that runs out is a bigger problem. The plastic does not bend with just pressure applied. Consequently, you have to heat the lip. It will soften allowing bending. This is why you should avoid cheap jerk baits and crankbaits. You can attempt to correct the problem but it is often not worth the headache.
It will require a few times of heating and bending to get it right. One other problem with crankbaits running out could be the weighting of the lure. This is a balance issue, however, there are stick-on weight products that may fix the problem if it is not severe.
Tuning Lure Balance
An out of balance lure may or not be a problem. Lures that tend to roll over lack the proper weight where needed. The stick-on weights can correct small balance issues, but the correct placement of weight is the key. On a crankbait, this is usually near the front or by the front hook. Additionally, a weight too far back will greatly reduce the action. Use only enough weight to keep the lure under control if you try to correct a lure with this method.
Balancing a Jerkbait
A jerk bait can also be out of balance. When you pause the lure the front or rear of the lure hangs lower. A small weight placed on the high end will correct this problem, allowing the bait to look natural to a fish. You can check and modify a jerk bait in a sink or large bowl at home.
Place the lure in the water and see how it floats. Then add weights if needed to correct the lures floating action. There is an important thing to know before doing this adjustment. The water temperature affects buoyancy, therefore, use the correct temperature of the water. A lure with neutral buoyancy may sink in colder water or float in warmer water.
The primary use of stick-on weights is to make a suspending lure or adjust it based on water temperature. A suspending lure should stay static and not rise or fall when paused or do so very slowly. Anglers will use the weight on a jerk bait to achieve the static floating effect.
You place weight on the front and rear of the lure until it will stay static at a depth. This method is effective in colder water presentations. In a few instances changing hooks to a larger size may achieve a suspending lure. The hook size will affect the action. Use caution changing hook size.
If you have a spinnerbait that leans on retrieve it is not working correctly. Spinnerbaits should remain vertical to catch fish. The usual problem with an unbalanced spinnerbait is quality. That said, cheap lures use inferior clevises and swivels.
As a result, these do not spin freely causing the lure to lean. The only way to correct this problem is to buy a better lure or replace the defective parts. Good spinnerbait costs between 5 and 10 dollars but, If you spent 1-3 dollars, you got what you paid for in quality.
These are a few general tips on correcting problems with fishing lures. In the vast majority of cases, these tips should fix the problem. There are times it may be too fast of a retrieve, or weeds on the lure. Also, the older lures have hook hangers if bent will cause problems. A quick check of the lure’s hardware can help you decide where to start correcting many problems.
Always check the simple things first and go from there. Inspect the lures hooks, split rings, and attachment eyes for damage. Repair or replace as the need arises.
Keeping fishing simple for tight lines and bragging rights.