For serious anglers who love the excitement of explosive top-water strikes, it doesn’t take long to accumulate a vast collection of old, beat-up lures with rusty and dull hooks.
In my case, as a professional fishing guide working the inshore and nearshore waters of Florida’s east central coast, it’s extremely important for me to have top-quality lures with sharp hooks rigged and ready for my clients on every trip. Missing one good strike or losing the big one next to the boat because of weak hooks can make me go from hero to zero in a second. As a guide, my reputation rides on keeping top-quality equipment in the hands of my anglers.
My system is straightforward: Each season I go through my stash of old lures with rusty and dull hooks, clean them up, and rig them with brand-new hooks. Last year, while working the ICAST tackle trade show show in Orlando, I found some new products that have taken my annual top-water lure refurbishment project to the next level. With a minimal expense, I not only can replace my hooks with new ones, but also wrap my lures like I would a boat or car.
Remove Hooks and Split Rings
Clean Dirty Plugs
High-quality wooden plugs with epoxy paint will only need to be cleaned well before new hooks are installed. I’ve found that Reel Magic, 4 Reel Cleaner and Line and Lure conditioner all do a good job.
Put Skinz on Your Lures
You’ve seen anglers wrap their boats and their trucks; you can similarly shrink-wrap your lures with a product called JigSkinz.
That’s all there is to it, but it’s surprising that many anglers never get around to this. Take some time when it’s cold and windy to make your old lures new again.
About the Author
Capt. Tom Van Horn is a professional fishing guide, journalist and conservationist, who fishes primarily east central Florida’s Indian River lagoon system. For more information visit his web site, Mosquito Coast Charters.