How to make home made lures out of household items

There may become a time when you will be required to try your hand at fishing to gather food for your survival. Fish are a great source of protein and usually if there is a stream, lake or ocean you will be able to catch the local marine life. But without access to fishing gear, you will be required to make your own lures out of everyday items.

The first step is to work out what sort of fish are in the area and what they may eat. Many bottom-feeding fish like snapper, carp, catfish, and Sturgeons tend to stay down deep and rarely come to the surface so you will have to use bait or jigs to target fish that live down deep.

Trout, Bream, and Bass, on the other hand, are happy to come to the surface to eat insects that fall into the lake or river. This is why it is important to make your lures look like a fly or insect. Fly-fishing is an art in its self but with the correct looking fly lure you can catch trout with just a light fishing line.

How to Make your own Lures.

I love making my own lures. As a young boy growing up near the coast we would often make some surface popping lures out of small pieces of dowel or broom handles. We would drill out the center of the round piece of wood and insert a twisted up piece of wire. From here, we would attach hooks and fill the center hole back up with 5-minute Araldite glue.

Painting them was half the fun but I found white and red colors would work best with red for the head and a white body. You have to experiment with the size of the lure according to the size of the fish you are targeting.

Spinning Lures

These I like to make out of silver spoons or pieces of metal. If you are using an eating spoon, then cut off the handle and drill a small hole at each end of the curved spoon. This is where you will attach the treble hooks and the swivel for the line.

how to make fishing lures out of spoons
Spinning lure made out of handle of a spoon.

You can use both parts of the spoon as well as the handle. It gives you more options on the type of fish to target. One tip is to drill the hole for the line as high up on the metal as possible. This will keep the spool lure swimming true and straight.

You can experiment with different sized spoons as well as hammering out the curved portions to make the lure swim differently. It will not look pretty but trust me the fish will love them.

Coins also work well. But you will have to drill a hole in each end. You can experiment with different colors like copper, gold, and silver depending on the denominations you have.

How to make fishing lures out of beer caps?

how to make fishing lures out of beer caps

Beer caps and bottle caps are a dime a dozen. They can be found in beaches, national parks, and roads all across the country. They are often colored on one side and silver or gold on the other. This makes them perfect for attracting fish as a flashing object.

All that you need to do to make fishing lures out of beer caps is to fold them over the top hook line connection point. Many people like to attach them to treble hooks to increase their hook success rate. You can join two swivel points together to make a longer lure and add an extra folded over beer cap.

How to Make Fishing Lures out of Household Items
Bottle cap lure.

For a more professional looking fishing lure, you can drill a hole into each end of the folded over beer or soda cap to connect the treble hook. If you don’t have access to a drill you can use a nail and a hammer to punch through a hole for the hook to connect on to.

To make a beer cap rattler just insert a small pebble or a lead sinker into the middle of the folded over bottle cap. These lures also make great personalized Christmas presents for someone that likes beer and fishing.

Flies and Jigs

Flies are good for surface fish such as trout whereas jigs are great for bottom feeders. To make a fly lure get a small hook and wrap some nylon thread or a piece of cloth around the hook that looks something like the local flies and insects. It’s best if they float on the surface but if they sink slowly that won’t be a problem. Just keep reeling in the fly and throwing it out repeatedly.

Jigs, on the other hand, need to be made with a larger hook and some lead to keep them weighted. I like to make my jigs out of feathers, strips of cloth and even fur from animals. The brighter the jig the better it will perform. If you have some small split shot lead, you can then wrap them around the hook.

  • Rope
  • Frayed material
  • Para cord
  • Plastic cut into strip
  • Grass reeds
  • Rubber cut into strips

Melting lead will also provide good results if you use a sinker mold. Just try to keep the lead as close to the hook eye as possible.

To make the jig work its best to drip the lure to the bottom of the ocean or lake and quickly jig it up at the same time to reel it in. moving the rod in a full motion up and down will pulse the jig in the water. This simulates a baitfish in distress.

Making Lures out of Rubbish

I have seen lures made out of cigarette butts, pieces of tin foil, bake been can lids, pieces of white plastic, bottle tops, and even green grass. The secret is to keep the lure looking streamlined like a fish and keep it moving fast in the water.

Melting down plastic and pouring it into a mold made out of sand will give you the basic shape of a fish. Attaching hooks and a swivel will make a very cheap lure.

Beer and soda cans work great as you can use the pull-tab as a lure. You will also be able to cut the can into aluminum strips that can be threaded onto a hook. Bottle tops can also be folded over and used as a fishing lure. You just have to think outside the box.

Survival fishing with lures vs bait

In a survival situation unless you have already prepared a survival fishing tackle set you will most likely have to make your own lures. You may also like to find some fresh bait. Thinking outside the box and thinking logically will really help you work out if you are going to use lures or bait.

Sometimes you just won’t have the resources to either gather up some fresh bait or to make your own lures. This article will show you how you can find some excellent bait, and how to make fishing lures out of household items in the harshest of conditions.

It will be up to you to work out which technique will be best to catch those hard to find fish. At the end of the day, it’s all about survival. So if we can have some fun on the way and increase our knowledge of the land and ocean life will be good.

How to Find Local Bait

The best bait is those that occur naturally that the fish like to eat. If you are near the ocean look for mussels, oysters, pippies, smaller baitfish, beach worms, and crabs. These, when broken up into smaller pieces make excellent fishing bait. However, they will quickly be picked off by smaller fish to check your bait often.

If you are near a fresh-water river look for local insects like grasshoppers, frogs, worms, insects and smaller fish. Usually, you can place these on completely, either alive or dead. Frogs make excellent bait and will often catch largemouth bass.

Don’t forget to check out our article on how to make a hook out of wood these are called gorge hooks and have been used for thousands of years. They are perfect for us survivalists.

What to Pack in a Survival Fishing Kit

If you were making a mini survival fishing kit I would pack the following items

  • Collapsible rod and reel
  • Spare fishing line 100m worth
  • Hooks and sinkers of various sizes
  • Lures of various sizes
  • Long nose pliers
  • Floats or balloons
  • Filleting knife
  • Aluminum foil and matches to cook fish.
  • Various materials to make some lures like bottle caps, lambswool, felt, rubber and plastic strips.
  • Homemade fishing rod holder for bank fishing so you don’t have to hold your fishing rod all day long.

This will be enough to catch dinner and prepare it. Fish needs to be eaten very soon after it has been caught or it needs to be kept cool in a vacuum-sealed bag. Otherwise, you can fillet your fish and then dry it out using salt and the sun. Be sure to keep the flies away.


Being stuck somewhere remote and needing food can be a real task. If you are close to water, the odds are in your favor. All you need is some line and a hook the rest is up to your imagination. The benefit if you are in a remote location, there should be plenty of fish about.

Take your time and look for a good spot that you think fish will be hiding around. Fallen trees and deep-water drop-offs are perfect places for fish to rest and are ready to strike at anything swimming past.

Be aware that rocks, coral and fallen trees also can cause you to be snagged up on. This may cause you to lose your line, hooks, and lures.

I like to make my own lures at home out of household items because I like to save money. It is not a big deal if I lose the lure on a snag or a big fish. I have seen the strangest of objects catch the best fish of the day. Let me know in the comments below what you like to make lures out of.

Previous articleLeather Work Boot Care and why its Important to use a Quality Wax
Next article7 Survival Tactical Knives that you will need to Combat the Wild.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments