Qualities Of The Best Wood For Making Fishing Lures
It’s fair to say there is no such thing as the “perfect wood” for lure making. In fact, the timber you choose to carve some lures from will depend on what you are trying to make. What works for one lure (or lure maker) may not work for another.
Just like anything in life, it’s not a “one size fits all” situation. For example, you probably wouldn’t turn up at a trout stream with a surf rod, right? And you you wouldn’t chase marlin from a kayak….. (well, some might). So in lure making, you wouldn’t make a tuna lure from balsa wood. And you’re probably not going to make a bass popper from abachi. Both of those timbers are great for some lures, just not for all lures.
I use just a couple of timbers on a regular basis, but I use a much wider range of timbers on a less frequent basis. I have different preferences when I’m making poppers than I’d have for crankbaits and different ones again for lipless cranks. It’s really a case of matching the wood to the end product I want to create.
One of the important steps in wooden lure making that often gets overlooked is to harden the timber before painting it. Painting and clear coating creates a barrier thin barrier around the outside of the wood, which only gives limited protection. But hardening is a process of treating with a product like epoxy that gets deep into the wood and then sets to make the wood itself harder. Obviously, this tends to increase the density of the wood slightly. But it does allow us to work with soft, easily worked timbers and then toughen them up for longer lasting lures.