Making Fishing Lures: Basic Tools Required – Part 1
Lets start with the basics, you need a clean solid work surface such as a bench, table, or desk, you will need a vise which will hold the various lures for drilling, filing, bending, and other operations. Almost any bench vise of good size will serve the purpose. Unless you have a permanent workbench, this vise doesn’t have to be fastened to the table or desk until needed.
A small anvil is also useful if you plan to make many metal lures or parts for such lures. It is used for cutting, bending, punching, and riveting. However, if you get a big bench vise of the machinist’s or utility type you can use the anvil surface found on such vises. Or you can use a small block of iron with a smooth surface as a makeshift anvil.
A hammer, of course, is a basic tool for any kind of work, and for making fishing lures, about two or three hammers will suffice. If you already have a claw hammer, you can use it for many lure-making jobs. However, you should also get at least one ball peen or machinist’s hammer which can be used for shaping metal, driving punches, cold chisels, and other uses. A 12-ounce ball peen hammer is a good size for all-round work. Another type of hammer which is good to have is a soft-faced hammer. These are made of plastic or have rawhide, fiber or lead faces. The soft-faced hammer is used for bending and shaping metal and leaves no tool marks. A wooden mallet is also needed if you plan to shape your own metal spoons or spinners.
At least two saws will be needed. If you already have a hand saw, it can be used for working with wood. Since most lures are small, however, a back saw which has a thin blade and fine teeth is even better than a large hand saw with coarse teeth for accurate cutting. The other saw which is needed is a hacksaw that is used for cutting metal and other hard materials such as plastics. There are many types of hacksaws on the market, but the adjustable frame with a pistol grip is best. You will also need several kinds of blades to use with the hacksaw. These blades have from 14 to 32 teeth to the inch and come in all-hard or flexible tempers. Each type is best for a certain job, depending on the metal or material you are cutting. If you have one or two blades of each kind you’ll be prepared for any cutting job.
Some kind of drill is needed for drilling holes in wood and metal. If you have a home workshop with a drill press you can use it for most of the work to be done. It is especially useful when drilling holes in metal. A portable electric drill is also a big aid when drilling, metal, especially if you have to drill many holes. However, when making fishing lures most drilling is done in wood or softer metals such as brass and copper. Here an ordinary hand drill will serve the purpose. Such a hand drill will usually take drills up to ¼ in. in diameter. When buying a hand drill it’s a good idea to get the best you can get. A cheap hand drill may not work properly or will soon break or wear out.
You also need a set of twist drills to use with an electric or hand drill. For the drill press or electric drill you will need a set of high-speed drills. The high-speed drills can be used for fast drilling without losing their temper. For drilling wood or soft metals, carbon drills which are cheaper than high speed drills can be used. You should get a complete set of drills up to about ¼ in. in diameter. The smaller sizes are the ones you will use most often. It’s a good idea to buy two or three twist drills of the same size in the smaller sizes so that if you break one you’ll have a spare.