You’ve been out on the water fishing for a couple of hours and the action is fantastic. That lure you chose was just perfect for this morning.
Half an hour goes by and… nothing. You examine your lure and lo and behold, it doesn’t look right in the water. To make matters worse, you don’t have a spare. When your top-performing lure becomes damaged in the heat of battle, you want to get it back in the water ASAP.
Here are some critical items you can pack for your lure repair kit.
Skirts are the tantalizing accent to a wide variety of lures including spinnerbaits, buzz baits, jigs, and various topwater lures. Because they are made from soft materials like silicone or rubber, they are particularly prone to damage from repeated strikes or rough cover.
Without a skirt, lures like spinnerbaits and jigs are basically bare hooks and won’t get you as much as a sideways glance from a fish. Pack yourself a variety of different skirt patterns to get any one of these lures up and running in no time.
Have you ever lost a fish and realized a hook was missing from your lure? Oh, yeah, me neither… Split rings are one of the most simple pieces of tackle you can have in your box, but they have one of the most important jobs: they attach your hooks to the body of your lure.
Over time, split rings can rust or lose their strength and fail at the worst of times. Having these in your lure first aid kit is a cheap and quick way to get your lure back to its full catching potential. For most standard lures, keep size #2 and #3 rings in stock. Another tip: be proactive about changing these out on your most-used lures each year.
One of the biggest largemouths I ever caught almost didn’t make it to the boat. The fish hit an older Shad Rap off a suspended weed line. As I brought it closer to the boat, I could see that I hooked it on a single tine of one treble hook and it had bent, straining to keep the fish on the line. If I had lost that fish because I never replaced these treble hooks I would have been sick about it.
Treble hooks are the key component to nearly all swimming lures, like crankbaits, as well as a large number of topwater lures. Trebles will get blunter over time as you bump cover and catch fish (or lodge it in a big underwater stump). The individual tines of these hooks can also lose their strength and you can lose big fish like I almost did.
Keep an eye on your most-used treble hook lures for any signs of rust or bending and replace them if you have any doubt they can get the job done. For most inland fishing in the U.S., standard shank trebles with sizes between #1/0 and 6 should cover the majority of your needs.
Ball Bearing Swivels
Are your spinnerbait blades looking a little wobbly or inconsistent? Chances are, replacing the ball-bearing swivel will do the trick.
Ball-bearing swivels attach blades to the main body of your lure and allow them to spin freely. If the ball bearing mechanism becomes rusted or damaged, your lure will lose its attractive flashiness and you’ll have problems getting fish in the boat.
Pack these in your lure first aid kit to keep all of your bladed baits in peak condition.
Many lures have a flashy or holographic finish that helps attract fish. When these lures become well-seasoned, however, the finish often chips. You are then left with a dull hunk of plastic and metal with far less potential for strikes.
Lure tape is a simple adhesive tape with an attractive flashy surface that can quickly patch up a damaged finish. Pack yourself some lure tape to easily bring your favorite lure back to life.
Do you pack a lure first aid kit? Leave a comment below and let us know how you stay prepared.