Blade baits have been around a long time. I remember my dad giving me my first one when I was still riding my bike down to the river. I used that blade all summer, catching all kinds of fish before eventually losing it to a pike. I had repainted it several times that summer trying to match the shad and minnows swimming in the shallow creek mouths. Since then I’ve always had blade baits in my tackle box.
Blade baits are so versatile and can be used in so many ways, from vertical jigging, to casting, and even trolling. Not to mention how deadly they are through the ice. Lately professional anglers have been winning a lot of money using these incredible little vibrating lures. If there was ever a bait you should be making yourself its blade baits.
I like the shad blade for pitching up shallow. I let it hit the bottom and then use real subtle lifts, just enough to feel the vibration and drop it back down while swimming it back to the boat.
The style ZV is my go to vertical jigging blade. I like that it has a fish shaped profile. Connecting your line to the center hole will allow it to hang horizontal at rest. I’ll very my cadence and the height of the jigging stroke according to the water clarity.
Last but not least is the ultra minnow blade. By now most anglers have seen or heard about casting for walleyes on the great lakes. Trust me there are days where the fish don’t want rattles that come with lipless crankbaits, or a free falling glide bait. The ultra-minnow with a larger profile and heavier weight will get their attention. It will also get you to the other side of the structure in a hurry.
The shad blade
and the style ZV
use the same blank and come in a couple of different combinations. (brass
) The ultra-minnow has its own blank. (brass
) All three have built in eye sockets and multiple attachment points to change up the balance. Hook options are limitless you can use your favorite treble and a split ring
or Do-It offers the Mustad clip-in treble hook
(order code7790X). These hooks have one unsoldered leg and they pop right on.
Color options are endless. Do-It has pre-cut decals
in four of the most popular bait fish imitating colors. I have had good success lately with just painting the lead and leaving the brass or nickel blanks alone, (but keep that quiet). Blade baits are also perfect for trying your hand at airbrushing. Do-It has everything you need to dress up your blades. After adding eyes
to my blades I’ll give them a quick dip in a clear seal coat
A couple of tips I like to pass along. Make sure you’re using clean lead
, even if you have to run it through the pot a few times and spooning off the impurities. Clean hot lead is essential. Also when I pour blades as with all my molds I’ll do some dry runs first to make sure the cavities are filling completely, this not only makes sure your lead is pouring smoothly before adding hooks or inserts, but also puts some heat into the molds which is always good.
I hope I’ve covered all the basics on pouring your own blade baits. Making my own is a must because I fish them close to structure and I lose a lot of them. Making your own is pretty simple and going down to the work bench to whip out a dozen or more is easier on the wallet too. To review products online go to https://store.do-itmolds.com
and also make sure to check out https://custombaits.com
and interact with the best tackle crafters around, to get great tips and even better advice.
Good luck and we’ll see you on the water.