Bring Your Crankbaits To Life With Prominent Eyes
Eyes are a very important feature of your custom made wooden crankbaits. They not only make the lures look attractive to fishermen, they also make them more likely to be attacked by a predatory fish, which is our aim, after all.
It’s pretty well accepted by experienced lures fishermen that lures with visible and prominent (even oversized) eyes usually get more strikes than those with less visible eyes. And you only have to watch underwater footage of schooling baitfish to see why…. usually there is a flurry of movement and color and the only things that really stand out are the eyes. That stands for both fresh and salt water.
The simplest and most time-honored way to add eyes to your crankbaits is to simply dab on a couple of dots of paint in the appropriate location using a nail head, dowel or, my favorite, the blunt end of a drill bit. It takes a bit of practice, but it works a treat once you have it down pat.
I know some people who find the whole process of putting eyes on crankbaits to be the most stressful part of making lures. It can be tricky and take a bit of practice to get them in the right place and the same size and shape on both sides of the head.
So here’s an insiders secret that will make it a lot easier and less frustrating to paint eyes on your crankbaits: When you have painted your entire lure, clear coat it before you go ahead and paint eyes. That way, if you’re not happy with the result you can wipe off the eyes using a paper towel moistened with a little alcohol and you won’t have to repaint the whole lure. Once you’re happy with the eyes just put another coat of clear over the top.
But I’d like to show you another option that’s even easier and looks ten times better! Today we’re going to make our own 3D crankbait eyes!
What You’ll Need To Make Your Own 3D Lure Eyes
The tools and materials for making these eyes are very simple. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Thin black card for the pupil of the eye
- Light card, holographic paper or other reflective material for the iris
- Envirotex Lite resin, mixing cup and mixing stick
- A scrap of wood with some tech screws partly screwed in
- A little craft glue
- A gas lighter
- Some paper punches of various sizes, available cheaply from craft shops or Ebay
How To Make 3D Lure Eyes
The process is very simple! Start by using a paper punch to make a pile of small discs from the thin black card, then use a larger sized paper punch to make a pile of discs from your light colored card or holographic paper. You’ll find sources of suitable material everywhere – wrapping paper, gift bags, packaging and all kinds of other materials provide a good source.
Next glue the black discs on top of the lighter colored discs using your craft glue. Don’t be afraid to deliberately off-center the pupils for some great looking effects.
For the next step you’ll need to be in a warm, dust free and draft free place. You’re going to balance the little discs of card on top of the heads of the screws in the scrap wood, ready to add a dome of epoxy. Envirotex Lite is self leveling and will go right to the edges of the discs, so it’s important to use screws that are slightly smaller than the discs or it may run over the edges and glue the discs to the screws.
Now mix a small batch of Envirotex Lite. I find this is a great way to use the dregs of Etex that are left after I clear coat a batch of lures. Just use something small like a match stick to place a drop or two of resin onto each of the discs. Keep adding resin until it covers the full surface of the disc and the dome is the required height.
Usually during the mixing of the resin or its transfer to the eyes you’ll get some small bubbles of gas formed. To remove these gently touch the surface of the resin with a gas flame for a split second. Don’t overdo it and burn the resin!
Now leave the eyes in a warm, draft free place for 24 hours to fully cure and they will be ready for action. 3D eyes can be glued to your crankbaits using epoxy adhesive and will give your lures a very professional touch.
This Tutorial Is A Tiny Sample Of What’s
Available In My Crankbait Masterclass!
If you enjoyed this tutorial and found it useful then you’ll love the information in the Crankbait Masterclass! Every week I reveal more and more secrets of making truly professional looking and performing crankbaits of all kinds! Check it out today!