How to Fish with Lures

Fishing with lures is incredibly fun and incredibly frustrating. There is something extremely satisfying and fulfilling that comes from outsmarting a fish with lures. Knowing that you have thoroughly outsmarted these predators is a hard feeling to top. The ease with which lures are created ensure an ever evolving and growing market. Lures of every shape, size, color, type, texture, and action are created 5 times over every year in an attempt to rise above the rest.

Fish with lures to bring in aggressive trophy sized bass

Despite the large market and ever widening selection of lures, some anglers refuse to fish with lures, taking advantage of new fishing lure technology. Instead of fishing with the best technology available, they only choose live or cut bait.

Are Lures better than live bait?

Short Answer: Sometimes.

Live bait is hard to beat somedays. Lures offer a number of benefits not possible when fishing with live bait though. Lures allow you to fish more water. Lures can be casted and retrieved quickly while most live bait requires slow retrieves. This limits the area a fisherman can effectively cover.

When fish are biting, you can catch more fish quicker with lures. Live bait requires a significant amount of time to rig and recast while lures don’t require such a time investment.

Live bait is illegal in some areas. Local municipal or city lakes restrict the type of bait allowed to be used. In these circumstances, you’re required to fish with lures or artificial bait. Lures can be your key to success in these lakes and streams.

The best part about lures is you don’t have to stop at the bait shop! Spending 30 minutes at the bait shop can mean the difference between getting to your favorite honey hole before another fisherman or just narrowly missing an active bite.

Does Rod and Reel Matter for Fishing Lures?

The Short Answer: Yes

            Its important to know just what kind of action each piece of your fishing gear will create. Contrary to popular belief, fish are intelligent predators. While intelligence varies based on brain structure, brain size, instincts, or age. Often novice anglers have a view of fish as blind eating machines who will snap at the closest morsel that looks consumable. Nothing could be farther from the truth. With that in mind, you must be sure your fishing gear is allowing your lures to jump, jive, wobble, and crank as they were designed to.

Tackle Reports has put together a list of the most common lures and how you should be fishing them. We’ll cover everything from spinners, poppers, to plugs. Before we get into any of that, we have to ask, are you sure you’re using the right equipment?

The rod and reel you select to fish lures with are extremely important. The wrong choice of rod could reduce casting accuracy, casting distance, or your ability to detect fish bites.

Pay attention to your rod manufacturing specs because more manufacturers will specify the rod’s lure weight limits. It’s extremely common for anglers to carry multiple poles specifically designed to cast certain lures at one time. Rods and Reels matter on their own but they also matter together. If a rod feels heavy in the front tip, then your reel is too light for your rod. If your rod feels heavy in the butt, then you have a reel that is too heavy for your rod.

Do Rods Matter When Fishing With Lures?

Short Answer: Yes

Rod Action is extremely important as well. While two rods may be designed to cast lures of the same weight, they may be designed to function differently. A one ounce spoon used for trolling salmon may require a rod with flexibility and bend required to bend into the setting position. The same lure when targeting Muskie, requires a short strong rod used to cast and a set the hook in a muskies boney mouth.

Rod Length is important as well. Long rods have a greater tip speed than short rods, which allows for greater casting distance. A short rods casts with a flat trajectory. A long rod casts with an arcing trajectory. Short rods are great for fishing around obstacles like bridges and trees.

 

Do Reels Matter When Fishing With Lures?

Short Answer: Yes

Reels make a huge difference depending on the lure you’re trying to fish with. When using spinning reels, its important to judge the diameter of the spool suits the size line you are going to use. The heavier the line, the larger the spool diameter. Heavy mono on a small diameter spool will result in line springing off the spool and a great big mess on your hands.

Spinning and bait-casting reels have a variety of different ratios. The Gear ratios is the number of times the spool spins with a complete rotation of the reel handle. (Read more about Reel bearings and ratios here on Tackle Reports.)

Does line matter when fishing with lures?

Short Answer: Yes

An extremely common mistake in fishing with lures is using line that is too heavy. You should always use the lightest line possible for the conditions and terrain you’re fishing in. Heavy line is not only more visible to fish but also can reduce lure action and movement.

Fishermen who use spinning and bait caster to cast lures almost always use monofilament line. IN most situations, monofilament has the lowst diameter for its strength. That causes it to cast farther and better than line of similar diameter and strength.

Monofilament is not suggested for hooking big Muskie or pike. That honor should be left to a single strand of wire leader. Muskie and Pike are the only freshwater fish in North America that anglers should be concerned with biting through their lines.

Do Fishing Knots Affect Lure Action?

Short Answer: Yes

The type of knot you decide to tie on your lure can affect your lures sink or action. Correctly utilized knots for lures will certainly increase your success of fishing with different lures. Some of the strongest knots you can use are the double clinch and the Palomar knot.

Its important to remember that knots tied directly to the eye of the lure is rarely the best approach. An extremely tight knot my restrict wobble on lures that rely on a side to side wiggle. The Duncan Knot is a great solution to this problem, as the Duncan knot leaves a sizable gap between eye and knot, allowing for proper lure action.

Snaps, Swivels, Connectors, and Leaders

A leader, swivel, or connector can make your lives easy and save your lures from the sharp teeth of a Muskie, or it could so inhibit the action of your lures as to scare off potential catches. Even if it doesn’t scare off potential catches, it will greatly reduce overall strikes you receive.

Whether or not you need to use any of these connectors depends on a number of variables. Line type is one. Monofilament can normally be tied directly to fishing lures. Other lines have a tendency to be too stiff or clinch down too tightly on your lures, preventing lure action. Next time, try to use the lightest leader possible based on the type of fishing you’re attempting to catch. If you’re trying to catch perch, you don’t need to use 40-pound leader you bought when fishing in the surf three months ago at the beach.

A lot of anglers will use wire leader regardless of the type of fish they’re catching but as we talked about above, they are often visible and could affect lure action depending on weight. Most wire leaders are unnecessary and undesirable for most freshwater fishing.

 

Most artificial lures do not require a swivel. A swivel can make lures appear larger and may alter balance.  It could also affect how water hits the lure, changing appearance and wobble. It sometimes causes tangling in cast as well. Unfortunately many lures can tangle your line without a swivel. So whether or not you use a swivel should depend on your lure.

Types of lures like spoons or blades do best when you attach them using a snap or directly to a spit ring. If you tie your lines directly to the lure or the split ring, it may hurt the lure action and reduce bit chances. Tying your line directly to the split may also result in a cut line or the line slipping out of the split ring mid cast. Anglers already spend enough money a year on replacement lures, we don’t need to spend anymore.

Round nosed snaps are also useful. V nosed snaps are useful but can slow or throw off lure action. Round-nosed snaps allow for that free swing that makes lures shine. They’re also generally stronger than V-shaped snaps. Still remember to select the smallest snap possible for your situation.

Required Reading

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out TackleReport’s articles on fishing with specific kinds of lures. We cover everything from spinner-type lures to crankbaits. We also have also picked out a great list of lures that we use here at TackleReports for a variety of fish. Why don’t you start by checking out our best lures for Largemouth Bass by clicking Here.