Its been a long cold winter. Cabin fever claimed some of my time, but not all of it. My most productive time was spent modifying bass lures. Think about it--when you can alter a lure and catch more bass on it, what could be more satisfying?
Like most of you, I spent a lot of time in front of the tube this winter. But, I learned to use this time to modify and alter some good Bass'n lures. Adding weight, custom painting, and re-shaping diving lips, are all good starting points.
Adding weight can accomplish several things. It can cause a lure to suspend or sink, increase casting distance, and add sound to a hollow plug. I use a bucket of water and steel BB's, or lead shot, to tune lures for the desired effect. At first, I tape the weight to the lure to determine the right amount. Then I drill a hole in the lure to add the weight. My favorite way to fill the hole is hot-glue, followed by super-glue to seal any small holes. Very small adjustments can be made by using different sized hooks and split-rings. Don't forget about Storm Lures suspend dots and strips. They can also cover a drilled hole, without re-painting the lure.
Custom painting lures is another good option. Your favorite lure isn't available in the best color pattern? No problem!
I went to my local department store's model-car section, and picked-up an airbrush kit. This type of kit can be found for less than $30. Mine included a can of air, or propellant, and 3 small paint bottles. As for paint, I use regular model-car enamel. While in the dept. store, be sure to get some sandpaper, spray enamel, and measuring spoons. Spray enamel and sandpaper allow you to make mass-produced lures smoother and better. The measuring spoons will help you create and duplicate good colors. For example, my chartreuse color is 6 parts yellow to one part green. And, your wife will be happy that you didn't swipe HER measuring spoons, another bonus!
With a little practice, you can create some very original color patterns. Diving lips are the business end of any crankbait. Longer lips cause the lure to dive deep, and shorter lips run shallow. Also, thinner lips dive deeper, due to less water resistance. My favorite trick is to "sharpen" a diving lip. A knife-blade edge on a diving lure, can increase diving depth. This works very well on metal-bladed crankbaits. But, on plastic-lipped lures, the depth increase may be short-lived, as the lip may wear-down, due to contacting cover. This is still OK, as all depths are productive, at some time or place.
All of these tips can help you catch more fish, of any species. Just experiment with your lures, to achieve a certain goal. If it's weight, depth, or color, Just use these tips and your own experiences, to create the perfect lure. Don't be afraid to try something new. It may be better than anything that is available.