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Making Wooden Fishing Lures
By Rich Rousseau
Reviewed by Matt Kelley

Michigan resident Rich Rousseau is one of those lucky individuals that gets to combine two favorite pastimes: carving and fishing! Rousseau has been carving for some forty-nine years, and for the past twenty-six has concentrated on decoys and fishing lures. He has finally taken all that experience and knowledge and converted in into a quite useful volume.

This new FoxChapel publication, in a 6 x 9 softcover format, is 176 pages long.

Lure Gallery
Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 2: Lure Step-By-Step Projects
Lure 1: Surface Prop Bait
Lure 2: Surface Popper
Lure 3: Perch Crawler
Lure 4: Saltwater Flatfish
Lure 5: Floating-Diving Minnow
Lure 6: Pan Fish
Lure 7: Minnow Chaser
Lure 8: Floating-Diving Frog
Lure 9: Sinking Wiggler
Lure 10: Mallard Duckling
Lure 11: Weasel
Chapter 3
Jointed Lures
Wire-through Lures
Natural-Colored Dressed Treble Hooks
Colorful Dressed Treble Hooks
Alternate Ways To Utilize Hardware
Appendix: Bonus Patterns

After a brief introduction, Rousseau presents one of the delighters in this volume - a wonderful gallery of twenty-seven commercial and handmade lures, starting with some 1940's era models right up to new models right out of his tackle box.

Also in the Gallery you encounter the first of many little gray boxes containing fishing hints and asides, including "The absolute most important item in any fishing arsenal is a well- made beverage holder -- so important, in fact, that you should spare no expense in acquiring a good one." Now there is a man with his priorities straight!

Chapter 1: Getting Started begins with a description of lure types; surface, floating-diving, sinking, and keel-weighted lures. A chart to help size lures to the target fish species will be handy as you become experienced. Rousseau moves on to a discussion of wood, tools for woodworking, painting and hook-dressing, then finishes with a discussion of lure hardware.

Chapter 2 presents the eleven step-by-step projects, starting with a surface prop bait. In this section the author presents clear instructions that are well illustrated. He starts with a pattern, bill of materials/tools, and wood shaping instructions, then walks you through layout and dry-fitting of the hardware.

As color and finish are so important for attracting the attention of those finned critters, Rousseau devotes considerable time and space to that topic. Painting methods include hand brushing, spray cans and airbrush.

The author does a good job of starting you off with a fairly simple, hand-painted lure, then moves to more complex methods and lures as you advance through the projects. This book is well set-up to move you from your first lure to a competent lure builder. If you are interested in learning to carve lures, then this book is highly recommended.

Before wrapping up this review, we need to take a short side trip into the rich variety of dialect in this wonderful country of ours. Up here in the upper mid-central states, the name for those things we stick on the end of a fishing line is pronounced "LU-ER"', in two syllables, with equal emphasis on both. In startling contrast, some of my friends that live a bit further south pronounce that same word in one syllable, as "LURR". Hard telling how this word might be pronounced on the eastern seaboard, or down in the Delta regions, or in the great Southwest!

Regardless of how we pronounce the word, however, the reason for hanging one of those things on the end of your fishing line is to catch fish and have fun. If you can do that using a lure that you have created yourself, the pleasure in a successful catch is that much greater. Making Wooden Fishing Lures is a sure fire way to help you make your own successful lures!



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