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#12690440 - 03/26/18 07:24 PM Lure modification can make all the difference !!!
SenkoSam Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 148
Loc: New York

Don't shoot the author. These ideas have served me and others well for decades and though theoretical, put me into a mindset of lure design and presentations that get fish to strike more often.

There are many reasons to modify lures and since most lures can be modified, one may ask :
are they more successful at catching fish?

In my mind there are basic reasons fish react to lures that simulate life or in other words artificial life objects:
1. something about a lure that's seen and felt by the lateral line triggers a strike
2. fish try to kill objects moving a certain way and at a certain speed
3. fish, to conserve energy, usually suspend, watching the world go by until something provokes them

Even in semi-clear water, fish senses are uniquely capable of seeing and feeling real or artificial life. They have no way of knowing the difference between any moving objects except that they move and look differently. This is not to say that anglers that believe fish ID a lure as some particular prey species and strive to match it are wrong, but omitting that step and concentrating on the following gets to the nitty gritty why some lures work much better than others.

In fact lures that move and look different may still catch fish in the same area and in the same hour, though some maybe better than others. But what is it that separates the modified lures in the photos in the post that follows from each other, yet makes them all equally capable of catching most species of fish?: a combination of lure action, shape, size and sometimes color.

Lure body and body part actions matters:
The fine legs and tail quiver with the slightest lure movement, but so do the thicker, side flappers which add the most visual body part action and bigger profile. Time-in-place motion is extremely important at times when fish will not chase a lure and need that extra-subtle stimuli to provoke the killer to kill. The drop shot finesse technique uses a thin worm that stays horizontal to the line and quivers with the least forward motion of the sinker on bottom. A light jig does the same thing when rigged with soft plastic lure, feather or fur because it can be allowed to stay in the strike zone (once found using the lure), longer than say a floating crankbait.

Size matters (in this case - smaller):
Modification also includes shortening lure length. Even and extra 1/2" may be to large for a fish to consider the object easy pickings. A thicker 3.5" French Fry may do much better if shortened to 1.5" and then rigged on a 1/32 or 1/16 oz ball head jig.

Profile matters:
Adding a thin tail to a thicker grub body (top photo) gives the appearance of a more meatier target challenging a fish's space. To large a profile, same as length excess, may not provoke a suspended fish.

Color can matter:
Any of the above may do fine using certain colors - the range being quite large. But light does things to color as does water clarity and the only way fish see a color's real hue is in clear water and in bright sunlight. Other than that, color brightness (contrast) contributes to lure profile and varying degrees of contrast may matter depending on background to the side or against the bottom.

Plastic softness always matters:
Take note of the cone tail grub in the photos below. The design may seem lifeless, but the use of softer plastic that makes up the cone does wonders for the quiver that drives fish nuts! It definitely matter with most finesse or non-finesse worm designs: too little and the worms is nothing but a stick. Even Senko-like sticks must be of a certain softness to display tip quiver on the drop. Adding a soft part to a firm plastic part is fine as long as it's the tail that's soft.

Do yourself a favor and go through the hundreds of soft plastic baits you've owned and not used for decades. Get yourself a candle, (I also use a battery powered soldering gun to smooth the seam), chose parts of lures you think when combined will make something unique and fish provoking in action, melt the ends and hold together for 5 seconds. You never know when that combination will blow away most other lures you own.

Other than that, consider shortening a lure that has good action but fish are too finicky to attack or adding a bit of silicone skirt by using a wire loop to pull it through the plastic.


Edited by SenkoSam (03/27/18 10:12 AM)

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#12690523 - 03/26/18 08:08 PM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
cg203 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 40
No pics

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#12690585 - 03/26/18 08:36 PM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
SenkoSam Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 148
Loc: New York
All you need is a candle, some plastic lures and a bit of an imagination. Many of my stored plastics haven't done well since I bought them or worked only a few times of year. If a lure can't catch fish, it can't find fish.

When it comes to any lure design, what matters most is lure action. If a lure can not exhibit subtle movements on the slowest of retrieves, I've found them to be limited in use. Some lures must move at a certain speed or the action part is dead in the water.

Here are some ideas to wet the imagination:


Note the combination of lure parts swapped between the lures shown:


Top photo is of two lures parts were taken from:

... lures made from those parts:


parts taken from a lizard:


The parts added were mostly from the hand poured molds they were poured from:


In the photo below, the lure on the left was the original design and never worked. I replaced the tail using flat and thin tail designs and immediately caught bass spring and then in summer.


I rarely use Mr Twister Grubs but now I do with this mod. into a straight tail which has made a big difference. (Spike-It dye used for a visual effect)


Candle or soft plastics glue can be used to fuse parts together, but certain plastics don't allow glue to work. I also use a battery powered soldering iron to fuse the seams that result thereby making the junction stronger.


There will always be a mystery why fish strike lures but not why they won't. Modifications that improve the success rate is the first step in understanding the effect they have on fish senses and is basic to choosing lures. Modifying lures is instructive and frees the mind of perconceptions regarding color, lure shape and action. Of course I could chose a few lures in a few colors and be confident 100% of the time they will catch fish, but lure variety reveals secrets of the strike that dispels limitations no matter what the authorities suggest.


Edited by SenkoSam (03/27/18 10:14 AM)

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#12690618 - 03/26/18 08:50 PM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
SenkoSam Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 148
Loc: New York
Some more:







Edited by SenkoSam (03/26/18 08:52 PM)

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#12690634 - 03/26/18 08:59 PM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
SenkoSam Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 148
Loc: New York


All of the above modifications have caught fish. I call them Frankenstein lures in that the parts are from different lures fused together for the best lure action. What's more is the education along the way about the many lure designed actions that catch most fish species.

For most of the above lures, I rig them on light ballhead jigs and can make long casts using braid with fluorocarbon leader and work water over 10' deep.

If you don't try it, you don't know what your missing! (plus all those bags of old lures you have used in years will continue to collect dust).

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#12690938 - 03/27/18 07:34 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
Dan_n_Texas Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 1524
Loc: Texas
Wow. Great combinations. I really like the look of the "dragonfly".
_________________________
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#12690941 - 03/27/18 07:37 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
TBassYates Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 6505
Loc: Scurry, Tx - S/E of Dallas
I still have a small tool that plugs in that at one time was made just for melting small plastics. I can't tell you how many times I have sit during the winter doing nothing but remelting and closing old holes on soft plastics so they could be used again. I also started liking how some of the colors would even change and give a weird look to some. I really felt like it made the bait look more natural. I once caught big bass in a club tournament by using a lizard that I had repaired 3 different times. It amazes me how people will sometimes throw away a perfectly good bait when it sometimes only takes a couple of seconds to repair.
I have also used a couple of lizard baits that I have put together using some old Sensation legs and have caught fish on them through the years.
Great info.
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#12691052 - 03/27/18 08:31 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
collincountytx Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 14579
Loc: Dallas, TX
Cool ideas.

One of my best producing lures is a Frankenstein.

Step 1. Choose a lure where you have the most confident in the body design

Step 2. Choose a lure where you have the most confidence in the appendage(s) design

Step 3. Combine the body of lure (1) with the appendages of lure (2)

Step 4. Make mold--Plaster of Paris (cheap and Walmart has it) makes good molds of soft bodied prototypes (but one side will be flat)
If you want to make a 3-D mold use tensile strength 30 RTV silicone (expensive Hobby Lobby and Michael's has it)

Step 5. Pour Frankenstein lures
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#12691117 - 03/27/18 09:02 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
bassmanrudy Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/30/15
Posts: 811
Loc: Bossier City, LA
That's some cool stuff!! And yes I like to modify lures too! Glue like you mentioned doesn't always work(the oils in certain lures??) but heat is usually the best bet. I still knock the "ned/turd" rig but with some slight mods to the do nothing half senko it seems to work well! And those claw arms I haven't tried that but will now!
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#12691251 - 03/27/18 10:04 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: collincountytx]
SenkoSam Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 148
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: collincountytx
Cool ideas.

One of my best producing lures is a Frankenstein.

Step 1. Choose a lure where you have the most confident in the body design

Step 2. Choose a lure where you have the most confidence in the appendage(s) design

Step 3. Combine the body of lure (1) with the appendages of lure (2)



That's the very process I use to evaluate the use of parts from different lures!!! What's more is catching fish on different Frankenstein mods sold no where at any time in the past or present. The originality of the lure and the shear luck that fashioned it borders on the unnatural !

As far as looking or acting natural, I've learned by catching fish on all those pictured that fish in general are unable to care less what the object looks like that provokes them to strike. That little quiver of a lure or lure part is a prime lure feature and that which a strive to create in every lure.

Fortunately I have a pond in my backyard that I can watch a lure in action before I fish it. If it lacks quiver, I destroy it.

The more you create that catch fish, the more you realize how many designs work well - especially originals you create yourself and in colors you never would have thought wouldn't deter a strike (IE bright pink, fluorescent chartreuse). But I have to admit that I am partial to certain color combinations for certain lures such as a pearl cone-tail added to a grub body:

(Kind a looks like a mini-Ned rig which always catches fish.)

Other than adding parts to a lure, just shortening it and rigging it on say a very light jig head can make all the difference! It's something I do when fishing shallow water in spring or early morning in summer.
A shortened Slider Worm caught this 7 lb catfish:


Also, making a lure longer is fine as long as it doesn't compromise its action:


I added the hand poured paddle tail for more action with a twitch & fall retrieve.

(I use a candle 99% of the time.)


Edited by SenkoSam (03/27/18 05:38 PM)

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#12694442 - 03/29/18 08:41 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
bassmanrudy Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/30/15
Posts: 811
Loc: Bossier City, LA
Pit boss that I fused all the legs together on. looks cool but the bream like to eat the legs lol!! then 2 bodies fused together but that feels like mush in the water.
and a frog that I tried gluing a grub tail too but either the frog plastic or the grub plastic the glue didn't stick well and heat wouldn't work either.







Edited by bassmanrudy (03/29/18 08:41 AM)
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"I'd Rather Be Fishing" smile
Rudy

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#12694465 - 03/29/18 08:56 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
James Biggs Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 2908
Loc: DFW area
Years ago we would take the bodies of 2 stud frys & the tail off a 10” power worm. It caught some big fish on Lake Fork for us.
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#12694580 - 03/29/18 10:06 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
bogey♂ Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 15583
Loc: plano
I save my bass lures and make crappie lures out to them. I seem to catch some big bass while crappie fishing. It is kinda fun to sit and watch a football game and make Frankenstein lures with my 11 y/o. He has some crazy combos that I cant wait to try every year.
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#12695714 - 03/30/18 05:19 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
SenkoSam Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 148
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: bassmanrudy
Pit boss that I fused all the legs together on. looks cool but the bream like to eat the legs lol!! then 2 bodies fused together but that feels like mush in the water.
and a frog that I tried gluing a grub tail too but either the frog plastic or the grub plastic the glue didn't stick well and heat wouldn't work either.


Soft plastics can be welded to other soft plastics but not frog plastic. Nice try.
If you get some plastisol and bottle of dye, this frog was made by pouring hot plastic into a table spoon:


You could use the skirt material for your frog and the strands can be attached with super glue.

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#12696125 - 03/30/18 11:50 AM Re: Lure modification can make all the difference !!! [Re: SenkoSam]
Thad Rains Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/09/01
Posts: 2961
Loc: Lubbock, Texas.
I modify nearly ALL of the CBs I throw. Adding Doodads, putting pain on it, or even adding rattles or taking them out, repainting and catching a LOT of fish on them. Just something to increase your odds, so the fish see something new and not old standards. I modify SBs, too, adding bigger or smaller blades, stinger hooks, paint, double skirts, 1/2 skirts changing the type of blades that are on it. It is AMAZING what these little changes can make to the fish. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains
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Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

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