have accumulated over the years, many  tools because I work on many projects using wire not just fishing, but at seventy-eight, I have indulged in electronics, jewelry, computers, huge computer installs, product improvements and updates, repairs, upgrades and exploring… I have more than fifty specific use pliers in small and large, like new, some customized  so I needed nothing to do as far as wire bending, without spending a dime.  I just bought the wire beads, trebles, clevises and blades and made twenty the first day.  I have over a hundred spinners in addition to many flies, spoons, jigs, etc.

By now you must think I am either very frugal, anti-establishment or simply nuts.  None of the above…  I like to amuse myself either reinventing the wheel and a lot of wheels today are corporately still square shaped.  I am simply not interested in BS and I have a set of rules and expressions which have worked for me: 

Making your own lures, these are very interchangeable, varied and I have a boxes full of double spinner blades with weights, fast snaps and place in front of the flies… These are about half to a third , it seems to grown everyday of my D-I-Y fly’s spinners and components…rigs can both used for spinning rods adding a weight and fly  rods… unconventional but sometimes it works.  

Basic Tools You Need — Or Already Have  —  Pliers

Pliers are the core of spinner bait production because every automated tool or gadget on the market does the same thing your pliers can do as to initial shapes and ends have to start somewhere and for some your hands won’t cut it. 

I’m old school and have been doing it with hand tools,  pliers and an awl, and my three dollar twister.

I tried several, of the cheaper gadget wire benders and had enough misfires that I’m glad I can do things manually and built myself a wire board that does everything, as usual stuff from the bins of junk and a couple accidental great little ideas were born.

My working boards are not just for fishing but all the other things I am involved with.

On the other hand during COVID -19, I managed to keep my sanity and two hundred “ Kures and Lures”  later… I call it… I kept my sanity avoiding TV listening to good music avoiding politics because I write about politics and making lures so I don’t go off the rails and shoot a few during the political hunting season.   Couple years back Dick Cheney actually shot a 200 pound lawyer during the season…

Get Wired ( All on Amazon)

This Is Not Rocket Science - Spinner Bait ( MeppsType) From Closed Loop Wire Shaft or Open Loop (R-loop) or Straight Shaft and these tools can put some love in your life.  All start with wire… and a pair of pliers…
Bonus:  It can be a family affair… Let wife use them as these are jewelry grade and Bead Smith sells all the supplies for both jewelry and I use some stuf to make lures from.  Just tell her you’ll make Jewelry for her including earrings and you will be a hero and recieve no flack, it works

Purchase ready made shafts to skip this step and all you will need are from list of suppliers on first page .
Open loops work from the Hook Up  
— Closed loops work from the eyelet down to the hook.

PLIERS  — Bench Sorter  — DIY Tool For Spinners

ROUND AND FLAT NOSE PLIERS With great choices at Amazon.COM.  I can reccomend Bead Smith is quality gear and inexpensive.  Great choice, three differnt styles shown here.  Biggest In The Jewelry Buisness… Another jewelry tool, the board I use to layout my lure with parts sections, round stuff rolls off tables. Their pliers run six to nine dollars, you only need three, I showed you three types of Round, you only need one.  That bead dish for eight dollars lets you lay out the patterns.  On a fishing site I saw one out of mahogany for fifty-eight dollars…must be for the 2% wealthy, this one cost seven dollars and change.   

The pliers make the initial loop, here are three choices including the Lopper auto model plus the flat nose is indispensable once you get into this.   Like I said most hobbyists have a good selection of these tools. If small mostly doing nothing


  • Good Nippers / Or Diagonal Cutters
  • A Small Flat File For Trimming Ends Of The Barrel Wrap If Cannot Twist Off
  • Needle Nose Pliers With Rough Grip Or Scored To Grip
  • Chinese Miniature Vice Grips  Knockoffs But Work Ok From Lowes
  • An Ordinary Awl…   Sometimes Not So Round Eyelets Need A Nudge To Round Like in the picture. Just make the barrel turns, three and the use the awl to round out the end, straighten with flat pliers.
  • The 3Mm Looper Plier Does  A Few Things More And Is The Most Expensive At 22.99 About The Price Of Three Mepps Fancies.  But Not Essential. I Do However Favor It For Open Loop Shafts And Some Tube Style Lures I Make.
  • Round Nose Essential — Needle Nose Does Not Make A Good Loop — Correct With The Awl — We Want A Circle Not The Letter “D” And An Awl Works Best Over A Mini-Vise.

—  I Made Hundreds Of These Spinner Baits - No Losses —


  • I only just stabbed myself a few hundred times with 38-48 lb wire. Good practice avoids this.
  • The Smaller Wire 4/5/6/  is the width of a hypodermic needle.
  • Working with wire in RC parts and JEWELRY, I learned how fast you can stab yourself with torsioned wire.
  • Never when using diagonal cutters ever leave the tag end facing you, it becomes a missle and will puncture you and do some damage.  The first time I cut some, they went flying and the wire made my wall look like a dart board.
  • I pre-cut some lengths over a pail thats mounted on the side of my primary bench, tag end or cut end down, since the smaller piece takes off like a rocket.

TYPE A:  Shaft With Open Or “R” Eye Loop  -  Working With Hook First From The Bottom

Step 1: Place hook eye in eye of open loop wire shaft
Step 2: Pinch the two ends of the wire shaft together and slip the desired brass spinner body or bodies down the shaft.
Step 3: Slide remaining body components and the desired spinner blade with properly sized stirrup clevise onto the shaft. Step 4: Using looper pliers grab the wire shaft about 5/16”— 8mm to11mm above the clevise and bend the wire three quarters (270°) around the nose of the pliers.. We can align later after we tie the tag end off.
Step 5: Now Wrap the tag end of the wire shaft tightly around the shaft. Wrap three complete turns.  That was easy…

TYPE B:  Shaft With Closed Eye Loop  —  Working From The Top of the Lure To The Hook 

Step 1: Place small bead below loop, brass spinner or glass bead 
Step 2: Slip the desired brass or nickel clevis and blade on the shaft bodies down the shaft.
Step 3: Use another brass bead on the botto of the clevis, you should have a clevis with brass beads acting as bushings.  Step 4: Now add beads, three or four, or brass, painted bodies, tubes. etc and finish with a bead.
Step 5: Use the round nose or looper pliers grab the wire shaft about 5/16”( 8mm) above the clevise and bend the wire three quarters (270°)around the nose of the pliers.. We can align later after we tie the tag end off.
Step 6:
Using the rough needle nose simply use the tag end to form three close turns around the end.
Step 7:  I use a number two-three or four split ring as it allows movement and  changing hook sizes to switch to a single hook with feathers etc. That was easy

— The Jacobs Tool —  Makes Beautiful Barrel Loops

Make sure the ball head on the X-acto #2 is just a one cut and not a cross with a hole in it, this is why we only use the number two from X-Acto, other sizes or brands won’t work.


Good Sources