Types of Fishing Lures

Posted by nick under Fishing Beginners Guide

 

Fishing with lures has many advantages:

 

 

  • Lures are less messy than bait.
  • Lures gut hook fewer fish (gut hooking is when the fish takes the hook deeply, or even completely swallows the hook).
  • Lures allow you to cover more water, even from shore or a pier.
  • You can target the species you are after more efficiently with lures.
  • Lures are easy to change out.

As far as disadvantages go, they are mostly related to cost:

  • Lures can be expensive compared to bait.
  • Lures can be snagged on underwater obstacles or in trees, and the price of them makes it especially painful to lose.

There are 7 main types of lures: jigs, spinners, spoons, soft plastic baits, plugs, spinerbaits, and flies. When you finish reading this, you will be able to recognize each of these lures on sight and have an idea of how to fish them (in fishing lingo this is called “Presentation.”)

Jigs

jig lure

Of all lures, I would say that jigs are the most versatile. A jig can catch about every game fish there is, and are inexpensive to boot. They have a weighted lead head and come in every size and color and can be “dressed” (think of it like a tail or skirt) in feathers, hair, a soft plastic grub, or with the bait of your choice.

Presentation

Jig fishing takes a lot of concentration, unlike spinners, all the “action” (how a lure moves in the water) comes from you. If you don’t do anything the jig just sinks. The classic way to fish a jig is to cast it out, wait until it hits the bottom (you will know it has hit bottom when your line goes slack), then retrieve it in a series of hops. You make it hop by lifting the rod tip, lowering it, and retrieving your line. Try different speeds, big lifts, little hops, twitching until you find what works. Pay attention, though. Detecting the strike is the hardest thing about jigging.

Spinners

spinner lure

Spinners are a great beginner lure because they are so easy to use. They are essentially a metal shaft with spinning blade. The hook can be bare or dressed. Dragging a spinner through water causes the blade to spin. The spinning motion of the blade creates sound and vibration that can be picked up by fish through their lateral line (you’ll learn more about this in the fish section.) This makes spinners an excellent choice for stained or murky water.

Presentation

Simple as can be. Cast and retrieve, that’s it. As long as the blade is spinning, its working. You can try speeding up or slowing down your retrieve for variety.

Spoons

fishing spoon lure

Spoons are curved metal lures. The first spoons were just that, spoons with the handle broken off. Today, spoons can be had (like all other lures) in any color and size. There is a spoon for every fishing situation. The shape of this lure gives it its distinctive action. Spoons move through water with a side-to-side wobble that simulates an injured baitfish, and game fish just love injured baitfish.

Presentation

Some spoons are made to be cast, others to be trolled, and some even to be jigged. As a beginner you will most likely be using the most common type; the casting spoon. Casting spoons are easy to use. Like spinners, just cast and retrieve. You can vary your speed as long as it’s wobbling. If the spoon begins to spin, slow down your retrieve. Add a split ring to the eye of the lure for better action.

Soft Plastic Baits

plastic worm bait

Soft plastic baits encompass a variety of different lures, mostly used for bass fishing. The classic soft plastic bait is the worm. These type of baits are created by pouring liquid plastic into a mould and adding dyes, metallic flakes, or even scent. They can resemble the natural forage of fish, like worms, crawfish, lizards or frogs, but some plastic baits don’t resemble anything you might find in or out of the water; these are referred to as creature baits or “critters.” The soft plastic bodies of these lures, encourage fish to hold on to them a little longer before they spit them out, giving the angler a better chance to set the hook.

Presentation

Presentation for soft plastic baits depends on the type of bait. For the classic worm, the most popular technique is the Texas Rig. To rig your worm this way, you use a bullet weight (read the section on sinkers in the terminal tackle post if you don’t know what a bullet weight is). Thread the bullet weight on the the line above your hook, and then insert the hook through the top of the worm’s head, then bury the barb into the body of the worm to make it “weedless” (meaning it will not get hung up on underwater foliage.) Now cast it into a likely fish holding area and let it fall to the bottom. Twitch your rod tip a few times. If you still don’t have a bite, hop it back to you in short twitchy hops.

worm texas rigged

Plugs

fishing plug lure

Plugs are constructed from hollow plastic or wood to resemble baitfish, frogs or other prey. They usually sport two or three treble hooks. These hard bodied lures can be fished at almost any depth, as some are made to float or dive or both. Depending on the design, a plug will wobble, rattle or gurgle. They come in all sizes, and most of them have some sort of plastic lip that allows them to dive when you pull them through the water. Different kind of plugs include: crankbaits, jerkbaits, surface plugs, floating/diving plugs, and poppers,

Presentation

One of the most effective (and one of the first plugs you should add to your tackle box) is the long, narrow minnow imitation in three to four inch length, the original is made by Rapala. It floats when its not moving and dives shallowly when it’s retrieved. Add a split ring to the eye if it doesn’t have one. Cast it out and wait until the rings on the surface of the water dissipate, then retrieve it slowly or fast, stopping suddenly and maybe throwing in an occasional twitch.

 

 

minnow plug
[photo by Chrys Omori]

Spinnerbaits/Buzzbaits

spinnerbait lure

Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are awkward looking looking lures, consisting of a safety-pin like wire attached to a lead head body. The body usually is dressed with a rubber skirt and the arm with one or two metallic blades like those seen on spinners.

Presentation

The most common way to fish a spinnerbait is what is called “Chuck-N-Wind,” simply cast it out and retrieve it at a moderate speed, keeping the lure at a depth between the surface and five feet. It is a popular technique because it is effective.

Flies

fishing dry flies

Flies are traditionally used with fly fishing equipment, but with the addition of a clear bubble float, spinning gear will cast flies too. Flies are very light lures that imitate insects in various stages of their life cycle, or other natural prey such as baitfish, leeches, hoppers or even mice and frogs. They are usually constructed of fur and and feathers, though some patterns make use of new materials like foam and rubber.

Presentation

Dry flies are intended to float on the surface of the water, to this end they are dressed with some kind of floatant to aid in their buoyancy. Wet flies, like nymphs and streamers are designed to be fished below the surface of the water. Fly fishing is a difficult but rewarding area of the fishing universe.

 

Now that you know the basic lures and how they are used, you should have an easier time starting your own collection. Buy only a few at a time, and take the time to learn to fish them. If you know anyone that fishes the same water you do, ask them what kind of lures they like to use and what they recommend.

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37 Responses to “Types of Fishing Lures”

  1. carlos Says:

    Gracias!

    You made things easier for a beginer!

    Carlos Sosa
    Cancun, Mexico

  2. Collapsible Fishing Rod Says:

    Great content. does anyone know anything about a Collapsible Fishing Rod?

  3. dayna Says:

    this is dum information

  4. dayna Says:

    sorry i meant ths is good info

  5. Greg Mathers Says:

    Nice site, but flawed. When I first came to the site and started reading the display was bright. Then after a while it became dark and almost unreadable. As I scrolled down I noticed occasionally a form to fill out, but it would be there only a split second. I had no chance of actually reading it. I suspect the form was set below the normal viewable screen. When I left the site and returned I was able to view and read the site normally. You may be losing a lot of potential first time readers.

  6. nick Says:

    Hi Greg,

    Sorry about that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Should be taken care off now.

  7. Steve Tiltman Says:

    I recently caught my first fish on a lure, it was a 37cm Snook. I was trolling at the time and the strike was fantastic. Now I’m completely hooked on lures (sorry about the pun). I can’t wait to try out some of the others I have collected over time but never used.

    Steve

  8. Robert Says:

    So there is no need to bait a lure?

  9. nick Says:

    No. There’s no real need to bait a lure. It may even interfere with the action of the lure. When you work a lure in the water by twitching it, letting it drop, etc., fish bite it because they think it is a smaller injured fish – prey. If you bait the lure it won’t move through the water the way it was deseigned to do, so I may not be as effective.

  10. Martin Says:

    Hi,

    what do you call the types of lure that have the line running through the lure and tied directly to the hook?

    Also I have wondered what those multiple hook lines mounted in front of a lure for herring and mackerel fishing are called.

    Can you help?

  11. Cobe Says:

    amazing

  12. David Says:

    And what about blades? They’re very effective. I recently caught a 36 cm Whiting on them.

  13. Michelle Says:

    I have “googled” my fair share of websites for fishing information for beginners. I have read & read many sites, magazines and books.

    I have been fishing for about 4yrs, however over the last 12mths I have really, really taken to it and am trying to learn all I can. I enjoy casting a line, almost anywhere!

    Your site has provided everything I have been looking for in one place & the simplicity of what you have here is easily understood. Thank you.

  14. BigCat Says:

    im writing a paper and this is a googd site

  15. BigCat Says:

    awesome site

  16. luke Says:

    simplified everything, now i understand cheers!

  17. Lou Berman Says:

    This is great. Caught my first Walleye with info from this website.

  18. Robert Says:

    Hello everyone,

    Wanted it drop in and say hello. We will be launching a new free weekly newspaper starting 5-15-13.

    http://www.fishinglurenews.com

    We will talk everything fishing lures from novice to pros.

    If you have any suggestions for the new publication please feel free to drop us an e mail
    fishinglurenews@gmail.com

    Here are a few things the paper will have

    1- Antique lure collecting column
    2- contests
    3- forum
    4- new lure review column
    5- and much more..

    If you have any ideas-suggestions-comments please send us an e mail to the gmail address above..

  19. Trysta Says:

    Thank you for the basic information… it is hard to learn from step one! : )

  20. Brian Says:

    Great summary.

  21. Chase Says:

    Three questions. 1. What do trolling spoons look like? 2. What’s the difference between a crankbait and a jerkbait? 3. Which other fish do you use soft plastic lures for?

  22. nick Says:

    You can see some pictures of trolling spoons by checking google images:
    trolling spoon images

    There is a great discussion on crankbaits vs jerkbaits
    here. The main idea being that the movement of the baits are activated by different things; crankbaits by turning the reel and jerkbaits by jerking the rod.

    There are soft baits available for nearly every species of fish, for example; bass, trout, muskie, panfish and saltwater fish.

  23. Chase Says:

    Thanks for the help.

  24. a Says:

    This website is great f0c59c2832428f2fd6036d333d6ee405

  25. j Says:

    good info

  26. Anonymous Says:

    This was a very interesting and helpful website. Thanks

  27. Steven Hayes Says:

    Really helpful site. I had a few questions about the different types of lures but everything was answered great. Good Job

  28. Anonymous Says:

    intresting but very inforitive

  29. LeAnne Says:

    Hey, I am enjoying reading over your website. I have not been fishing since I was 10 or 11 years old. I am now 30. My brothers did most of the hard work for me, all I had to do was cast. I was wondering if you could tell me what I need to get for my first trip fishing. As far as what I should store in the tackle box? I bought the rod and reel but I have no clue as to what I need to go with it. Thanks

  30. Gerry Tolosa Says:

    Thanks for the info… Best regards and happy fishing…

  31. megan Says:

    Your site is great. Keep it up. I’ve been bass fishing for years and it’s never too late to learn a few things. Thankyou

  32. Mbilari Badawi Mshelia Says:

    Your presentation is ok

  33. Fishing Basics for the Complete Novice (Part One) / BePrepared Says:

    [...] it spins. A spinner is a small piece of metal that may have different colors on it. According to fishingnoob.com, “The spinning motion of the blade creates sound and vibration that can be picked up by fish [...]

  34. Laura Says:

    Awesome, easy info!!

  35. Sarah Says:

    This was great especially for the beginning fisherman (me!). You took all the mystery out of lures!

  36. Reggie Says:

    Thank You for the Fantastic Tutorial.
    There is everything i need to know & i need to thank you for the selfless job.
    Regards. Reg.

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