I think there’s something extra special about catching a fish on a hand-made lure. I also enjoy making my own lures. Flip on my favorite tunes in my “man cave” get out the spoon blanks or trolling fly materials and before I realize it, a couple hours have slipped away and I’m restocked with proven favorites or perhaps I have some new color schemes or patterns to test on the fish, next time out.

I’ve also saved a few bucks – as long as I don’t punch a time clock my lure creation time. Time wise, even at minimum wage, I’d be better off buying lures from the tackle shop. As a hobby, however, I can probably make a dozen or more trolling flies for the price of one at a store.

There are plenty of places to buy the materials for making trolling flies. Heck, last year I made some killers from Christmas tinsel I bought at Hobby Lobby.

Regardless of where the materials are bought, the durability of the finished product is often only as good as the workmanship used to assemble them. I’ve seen demos and videos of fly tyers who rely strictly on Super Glue to hold things together. I’ve not had much luck with glue alone, so I first use thread to lash my flies to the hook or fly head, then add a touch of super glue.

That’s better, like wearing a belt and suspenders, but not full proof. I don’t know what the difference is, but lake trout can still disassemble a fly about 12 times faster than a salmon – even with a “belt and suspender” tied fly.

Now, however, I’ve switched to using Bullet heads are what form the head and the neck just below the bullet is where the banded mylar tinsel is wrapped, lashed and glued. Still, if the glue fails and a trout gets it’s teeth on the thread wraps, the fly material can just slide off the neck of the fly.

Not so with CME’s “flanged” bullet heads I tried for making my cave-crafted flies. The flange adds a slip-proof lip at the base of the neck to keep the lashed-on mylar in place. Even with lake trout, I’ve never had one fail. Now the trout just eat the mylar strands until the fly gets too sparse to use.

The flange-neck bullet heads are available in a wide choice of colors including glow and UV.  New for 2021 are eyed fly heads. Available online at

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