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Do Custom Lures Make a Difference in Your Tackle Box?

Gills 'n Thrills

More fishermen are adding custom built lures to their tackle box, will custom lures put more fish in your boat?

Anglers of all types are turning to custom lures for heavily fished water. In many cases, the fish have endured boat loads of fisherman throwing anything they can tie on a line. but veteran fishermen will go to their custom lures. They understand that the wariest of fish notice something new in the water and can be enticed to bite. Tournament anglers realize that fish caught late in the competition can tip the scales in the favor of those willing to try something different. That “something different” is often produced by custom lure builders.

While trying to find that “something different” and get an edge on the competition, tournament fisherman will contact local custom lure shops where they will next compete. They believe that the store will know the local water and what lures will catch fish there. This rule holds true for custom shops like Gills ‘n Thrills in Antrim County, Michigan.

Kayla Moore is the owner of Gills ‘n Thrills and is passionate about fishing and lure building. Custom builders like her not only fish daily but are in constant contact with other anglers across the lake. She is trying to keep up with the lure types and color combinations that are hot this week. Having the hottest lure combination not only helps her catch fish but is also something her customers have come to depend on. Tournament fishermen know this and will often check in with custom lure shops to see what is hot.

Often custom builders will “re-paint” mass produced lures to better suit local fishing needs.

Gills ‘n Thrills

Often builders will specialize in “re-paints.” Re-paints are the same mass produced lures we all have used, but are repainted to suit the palate of local fish better. The hottest color combination air-brushed on an ordinary lure can make it irresistible to the finickiest of fish. Depending on the lure, other tweaks are often made such as; blade type, hook position, and skirt choice.

In some cases, the stock treble hooks are removed and replaced with a higher quality hook choice. Re-paints can be more expensive than “knock-offs” as there is little room for markup after buying the lure from a retail shop, so make sure you ask about the price of your purchase. With that said, they are very popular and often bought in bulk.

“Knock-offs” are lures bought in bulk and then totally customized to catch a variety fish.
Gills ‘n Thrills

Knock-offs can be bought in bulk too, but are cheaper than a re-paints. Like many custom lure shops, Gills ‘n Thrills inspects the quality of each lure, makes tweaks if needed, and lastly, will airbrush custom colors on the lure. Many tournament fishermen appreciate this attention to detail and claim that the quality of custom-made lures is consistently better than those mass produced. Some fishermen prefer their own color, skirt, or hook combinations and will order custom lures that are of their own design. These anglers have come to rely on the expertise and craftsmanship the custom lure shops provide but they still have their own preferences.

As the summer heats up and the fishing cools down, tie on a custom lure and experiment. Maybe you will come across a color combination that will put you in the money come tournament time. It’s fun to try something different and it can put distance between you and other competitors still throwing mass produced lures. You may prefer to tweak or build your own lure, or you can reach out to custom lure builders like Kayla to see what combination is catching fish this week. You can check Gills ‘n Thrills out at

Like what you see here? You can read more articles by Todd Davis here. You can find out more about Todd at, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.



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Do Custom Lures Make a Difference in Your Tackle Box?