Bass Fishing Lures: From Wooden to Plastic

Since the earliest days of bass fishing, anglers have been using lures to try and catch the biggest fish. But what started as crude wooden lures has now evolved into modern plastic versions with better performance and more realistic appearances. In this article, we look back at the history of bass fishing lures – from wooden to plastic – and how they've helped anglers become more successful over time.

wooden lures

Wooden Bass Lure Evolution

The earliest bass fishing lures were made of wood and other natural materials. These lures were often hand-carved and painted to resemble the baitfish that bass feed on. Early wooden bass lures were often very simple in design, with a single hook attached to a wooden body.

As bass fishing became more popular, tackle companies began mass-producing wooden lures. These mass-produced lures were usually more realistic in appearance and often had multiple hooks. Some popular early mass-produced wooden bass lures include the Heddon Dowagiac Minnow and the Creek Chub Bait Co. Pikie Minnow.

As plastic became increasingly popular in the 1950s and 1960s, many tackle companies began producing plastic bass fishing lures. Plastic lures are cheaper to produce than wooden ones and can be moulded into any shape or size. Plastic also has the advantage of being less likely to break than wood. Today, almost all bass fishing lures are made of plastic.

plastic lures

Plastic Bass Lure Introduction

The first plastic bass fishing lures were made in the early 1950s. The material was originally used for making model aeroplanes. It wasn't until 1952 that somebody had the idea to use this new material to make fishing lures. The first plastic lure was made by a man named George Perry. He used a moulding process to create his lure, which he called the Spinnerbait.

Perry's Spinnerbait quickly became popular among bass anglers. It was an effective lure for catching fish and didn't cost much to produce. Other companies soon began making their plastic lures, and the popularity of these new "artificial baits" began to grow.

Today, hundreds of different types of plastic bass fishing lures are available on the market. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and there is sure to be a plastic lure out there that will suit your needs and help you catch fish.

Wooden vs Plastic Bass Lure Comparison

The first bass fishing lures were made of wood, and many anglers still preferred wooden lures for their bass fishing. Wooden lures are often hand-carved and very detailed, making them more attractive to fish. They are also generally less expensive than plastic lures. However, wooden lures can be less durable than plastic lures and are more likely to break if they hit a rock or other hard object.

Plastic bass fishing lures became popular in the 1950s and had many advantages over wooden lures. Plastic lures are often more durable and less likely to break when they hit something hard. They are also usually less expensive than wooden lures. Plastic lures come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colours, which gives anglers more options when choosing a lure. However, some anglers feel plastic lures are not as natural as wooden ones and are not as effective at attracting fish.

Technology's Impact on Bass Lure Development

The modern bass fishing lure is a product of years of innovation and evolution. The first recorded use of an artificial lure for bass fishing was in 1822 when Hiram Smith spent $5 on a handmade wooden plug from a carpentry shop in Pennsylvania. It wasn't until the 1870s that mass-produced lures became available, made possible by woodworking and machine manufacturing advances. The early lures were often crude and ineffective, but they paved the way for the sophisticated lures of today.

The most significant advancement in lure technology came with plastic lures in the 1950s. Plastic allowed manufacturers to create much more realistic baitfish imitations with lifelike swimming actions. This quickly revolutionized the sport of bass fishing, as anglers now had access to lures that were far more effective than anything that had come before. Today, hundreds of different types and styles of bass fishing lures are available, each designed for specific conditions and techniques. With so many options, it's no wonder that bass fishing is one of North America's most popular freshwater fisheries.

bass fishing lures

Notable Bass Lure Inventors and Innovators

George Perry is credited with catching the first bass on a lure, a metal spoon, in June of 1898. The record bass at the time, and still the world record bass, was a 22-pound, 4-ounce largemouth caught by Perry in Montgomery Lake, Georgia. Lures were not commonly used for bass fishing until around 1920, when Ivy Mitchell is said to have started using lures regularly to catch bass on Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee. Around this time, many bait companies began mass-producing lures specifically designed for bass fishing, including the Heddon Dowagiac Minnow and Creek Chub Bait Company's Pikie.

Bass fishing lures have come a long way since their early beginnings in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today, hundreds of companies manufacture thousands of different types of bass fishing lures. Many of these lures are designed to mimic the appearance and/or action of common bass prey such as minnows, frogs, and crayfish. Some popular bass fishing lures include plastic worms, spinnerbaits, topwater baits, and crankbaits.

soft plastic worms

Future of Bass Lure: Material and Design Advancements

Bass fishing lures have come a long way since their early days of being made from wood. Today, bass lures are made from various materials, including plastic, metal, and rubber. And as technology has advanced, so too have the designs of bass fishing lures.

One of the biggest advancements in bass fishing lures has been the switch from wooden to plastic construction. Plastic lures are more durable than wooden ones and can also be moulded into a wider variety of shapes and sizes. This gives anglers a greater ability to target specific types of fish with their lure selection.

In addition to material advancements, the design of bass fishing lures has become more sophisticated. For example, many modern lures now feature multiple moving parts that create lifelike swimming actions. These types of lures are often deadly and effective at fooling even the savviest bass.

Looking ahead, it's safe to say that the future of bass fishing lures is bright. As materials and designs evolve, anglers will have an ever-increasing arsenal of tools for catching these elusive fish.