Spinner Lures

The 7 Types Of Fishing Lures: Keep It Simple

Do you feel overwhelmed by the thousands of fishing lures out there? Or do you want to make your first fishing lure, but don’t know where to start? Have no fear! There are hundreds and thousands of fishing lures, each promising to be different from the next, but the truth is that most fishing lures fall within 7 categories. Let’s cut out the confusion and dive into the 7 types of fishing lures you can make and fish with today.

1. Soft Plastics: Craws, worms, and creatures – oh my!

Soft plastics are a big deal. There are literally hundreds of baits in this category alone. There are worms, craws, beavers, lizards, flukes, stick baits, and many other kinds of soft plastic baits. What is the common denominator? Each bait is a soft, chewy morsel for a fish to bite.

Group of soft plastic lures


I consider rigging versatility to be the king benefit of soft plastics. Indeed, rigging options are where soft plastics really shine. Texas rigs, Carolina rigs, split-shot rigs, drop shot rigs … the list goes on and on! No matter the soft plastic, there is guaranteed to be a presentation to meet your needs. My personal favorite – a weightless fluke or worm rigged weedless with an EWG hook, thrown into sparse grass and wood.

Easy to make

Soft plastics are also very easy to make. The easiest method involves plastisol, some colorant and glitter, an injection mold, and a soft plastic injector. Simply heat the plastic and then mix in your colorant and glitter to get your custom color. Then suck up the hot plastic with the injector, and slowly inject it in the injection mold. Once the plastic has cooled, pop open the mold and you have your very own soft plastic bait!

2. Jigs: The Bait, The Myth, The Legend

Jigs are my absolute favorite lure. They are my favorite to fish with, as well as my favorite to build. They are legendary for their ability to catch big fish year round. Not only that, there is a jig for virtually every fishing scenario. Whether you are fishing fast or slow, among rocks or among grass, there is a jig in the toolbox to rise to the occasion.

Custom Jig

Fun to make

Jigs are also a blast to build. You start with a lead mold. Put in the hook, close the mold, and then slowly pour in hot lead. Once it cools, paint the head using one of the 4 jig head painting methods. Tie on a skirt if desired. Now you have a basic jig, all ready to fish. More than possibly any other lure, jigs offer endless customization to the lure maker. I promise you, jig making is an experience that does not disappoint.

See Related: Bass Jigs – A Complete Guide To The Best Bass Lure

3. Wire Baits: Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits

Spinnerbaits and buzz baits are very similar to jigs. Both baits incorporate lead, molded around a single hook. However, the similarities end there. Spinnerbaits and buzz baits flash or clack in the water, creating a ruckus designed to get a fish’s attention. Furthermore, these wire baits are strictly moving baits – just cast out and wind them back in! This ease of use makes them extremely popular amongst amateur and professional anglers alike!

Spinnerbait lure

Advanced baits to build

Spinnerbaits and buzz baits are more advanced to make, relative to their jig cousins. However, the additional steps to build them add even more options for customization. With these baits, you get to choose what size wire to form them with, the blades to put on the wire, and the swivels that keep them running smoothly. A wire bender tool is required to make the appropriate twists and turns with this wire form. It’s more work, but the reward is worth it!

4. Hard Baits: Crankbaits and Topwater Plugs

Hard baits are another simple lure to fish with. As with wire baits, many hard baits can be fished simply by casting out and winding the lure back in. One fun difference, however, is that most hard baits are equipped with treble hooks, which provide much easier hookups on the fish that try to bite. Additionally, most hard baits have built-in action, meaning the lure dips, dives, or wobbles attractively simply by reeling it in.

Silver hard bait

Easy to fish, easy to make

Crankbaits and topwater plugs are also very easy to build. Some lure makers create the bodies out of balsa wood. This is the extreme in hard bait customization, and can allow you to make a plug shape never seen by fish before. For those not ready to take that plunge, many lurecraft shops sell hard bait bodies in popular shapes such as that of the squarebill crankbait. 

Regardless, once you have the hard bait body in hand, you can paint away. Create whatever color palette and pattern your heart desires. Then, put on some quality treble hooks, and you are ready to go!

5. Spoons: Mr. Old School

No fishing lure roundup is complete with mentioning the venerable spoon. These timeless baits have caught fish in the depths for decades, and are a staple in tackle boxes worldwide. From ice water jigging for panfish and trout to offshore trolling for deep water species, spoons flat out catch fish.

Spoon Lure

A piece of metal and a hook

Spoons are one of the oldest lures in history for a reason – they are conceptually straightforward, consisting of a split ring at the nose and a split ring and treble hook at the end. Many lure making shops sell these components separately, so you can pair whatever size and color spoon you want with the treble hook of your choice. Simply put the parts all together, tie it on your line, and go catch fish!

6. Spinners: As easy as it gets

What is the first lure that comes to mind when you think of trout fishing? The dry fly? Good guess! But not what I had in mind. 

The Trout Spinner!

Trout spinners are among the easiest lures to make. They are also one of the most popular lures amongst amateur anglers, and for good reason. They can be used in streams, rivers, and lakes. Additionally, they attract all manner of fish species – trout, bass, bluegill, crappie, muskie, you name it!

trout spinner

The simplest lure to make

To make a trout spinner, you obtain special brass or lead bodies from a lurecraft shop. Slip a treble hook onto a wire shaft and lock it in place using a wire bender tool. Then, slip one or two of the lure bodies onto the shaft, with whatever beads you may want on your lure. Then put on a spinner blade with its clevis, and tie off the end of the lure with the wire bender tool. Now you have a DIY trout spinner!

Check out this article to learn more about making inline spinnerss!

7. Flies: A lure steeped in heritage

Flies are another famous trout fishing lure. However, like the spinner, flies are deadly on many other fish species as well. These lures were one of the first to generate a huge following amongst lure makers. In fact, many Bass Pro Shops have a dedicated fly shop where hooks, vises, and materials can be obtained for making these lures.

box with fly lures

An advanced but rewarding craft

To make a fly, cinch a hook tightly into the vise. From there, the possibilities are endless. Using thread and a bobbin, tie on whatever materials your heart desires to make the shape of the fly. Chenille, hair, feathers … the sky’s the limit! After you’ve finished tying on materials, don’t forget to whip finish and apply thread cement (gotta keep those threads locked in!). Now you have a fully fishable fly for your next trip to the trout stream!

Conclusion: The 7 Types of Fishing Lures

There are oodles of baits out there, but the vast majority of them fall into these 7 types of fishing lures. To learn more about how to make these lures, hit the subscribe button below. This will send you articles hot off the press as I demonstrate how to make these lures in more detail. ‘Till next time!


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