Metre plus barramundi on a handcrafted timber lure

Making timber lures that work

It’s one thing making timber lures, quite another to make ones that catch big fish.

No-one knows this better than master lure craftsman Dave Killalea – now operating under the name Old Dog Lures.

I have caught over 2000 massive metre plus barra in my time, many on a Dave Killalea lure.

When making a timber lure Dave pretty much starts with a request from an angler.

For example in the case of the Mutt, I asked Dave to design me a lure that needed to run in less than one metre to catch big fish in shallow water applications.

He now has three versions of this versatile little lure.

Timber lures like the MUTT are tried and proven to catch big fish

Timber lures like the MUTT are tried and proven with big fish when used in the right application.

The rewards of a good artificial lure. Big trophy fish.

The rewards of a good artificial lure. Big trophy fish.

Using artificial lures to catch big fish takes the enjoyment to another level

Using artificial lures to catch big fish takes the enjoyment to another level

Design faults.

The difficulty catching big fish on a timber lure is that some lures on the market today are made of balsa wood. This is fine for catching Pike in Europe, but can just rip apart when faced with a brute like our Aussie barra.

Aussie lure manufacturers have had to use more durable timbers and heavier hardware (hooks and split rings), and even change the way lures are made.

One of the major issues is the internal wire.

A full-length wire is necessary however to get a one piece wire into a timber lure you need to cut the lure in half. Otherwise the wire can rip out under heavy pressure.

This makes it very hard to cut it exactly right to ensure the lure swims correctly when stuck back together.

To add weight you also must drill a hole exactly right or the lure will be off balance.

A new technique for making timber lures.

Taking a leaf from the plastic manufacturers, Dave has developed a way to make the lures in two pieces. This ensures they are perfectly symmetrical.

He can also add weight where ever he wants during the process.

Making timber lures in two halves.

New technique for making timber lures in two halves.

Today we talk to Dave about how he designs a new lure and a new technique for making timber lures to stand up to the rigours of catching big fish!




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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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1 Comment

  • Brian Bochow

    Reply Reply July 11, 2019

    Ryan thanks for showing me some new tricks Dave Killalea uses in making timber lures…However I would like to draw your attention to my Custom designed and manufactured bladed lures…I make a spinnerbait that gets used for fingermark in your area with great results… a guide by the name of Graham knight uses my lures in your district for Barra and fingermark…Maybe you might be interested in trying my lures out as well mate…I have had another Townsville guide use my spinnerbaits on catching metre plus saltwater Barra… I also have designed and make a bucktail jig with underspin blade that slays fish in both salt and freshwater environments…So if your interested in expanding your knowledge with new lures drop me a line via my email…Best Regards B.J.Bochow…p.s. Tell Dave I said G’day mate….

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