Make an Unbeatable Bass Lure for Next to Nothing

A lure for hard times

homemade lure
A great lure to catch everything from for panfish to bass, pike, and even muskies.Travis Rathbone

During the Great Depression, hard-up anglers crafted lures out of scrap wood and metal. Given the sluggish state of the economy now, the homemade lure seems ripe for revisitation. This Copper Tube bait, which once filled tackle boxes across the nation, can be built on the cheap in different sizes to catch everything from panfish to bass, pike, and even muskies. And for saltwater species, just substitute PVC pipe.

[1] For bass, place a 2¾-inch section of 1⁄2-inch-diameter copper plumbing pipe in a vise. Cut the front end at a 45-degree angle.

[2] Sand each end to remove burrs that could nick fishing line.

[3] Drill two 1⁄8-inch holes (top front and bottom rear), and again remove burrs.

[4] At this point, the lure will sit in surface film. If you want it to sink, seal the back with caulk, let dry, drop in three No. 5 split shot, and caulk the front. Now it'll rattle, too.

[5] Remove excess caulk and clean the lure, then mask the lower half of the body, and spray black paint across the top.

[6] Superglue an eye (available at hobby shops) on each side of the front. Once set, spray the lure with lacquer.

[7] Add a split ring to the front and a sharp treble hook to the rear.