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Jim Rizzuto's Lure-Making 101/102

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Copyright 09-12-2010 (all rights reserved)

The Kona Fishing Chronicles 9/10
 is here for delivery and we are now taking orders.

kfc7/82008konacovertn.JPGcover KFC.9.10

Volume 9/10 includes the best Kona fishing stories and
fishing tips of 2009 and carries a 2010 copyright
(in case you wondered about the 9/10 designation).
Volume 9/10 sells for $19.95

This site is completely supported by the sale of books.
If you like what you find here, you'll like the books.
Buy some to help us keep posting these stories every week.

Email: for details on how to mail order.

LURE MAKING 101/102. Pacific fishermen have made their own lures since the days when the only lure materials available were shells, bones and boar bristles. Many generations ago, making your own lures made you a fisherman.  The “mana” (spirit) you created with your lure determined your fishing success. 
     For some, that same spirit endures. As modern products have replaced the natural materials of the stone-and-bone age, lure-making has become easier and more accessible to the back-yard craftsman. 
     I’ve written about lure-making for various publications since 1964.  I receive a lot of questions about the process so I have just published the book “Lure-Making 101/102.”
     This is a book of history and an homage to the artisans who brought big-game lure-making into the modern age. In showing you the path the great lure makers followed, the pages provide an array of ideas you can use to create and innovate.  Indeed, the book is interesting if only for the story of big-game lure-making throughout the last seventy years.
     The how-to section begins with simple lures you can make from readily available materials without needing molds of any kind.  Then it introduces how to cast lures from  “found” molds in the tradition of early lure makers who used bottles, tumblers, and tubes.
     After you have created some masters you want to duplicate, the book teaches you how to use RTV (room-temperature vulcanizing) liquid rubber to make sturdy and dependable molds. You can use these molds over and over to make your own lures in the spirit of centuries of master fishermen.
     The book is available only directly from me.  For information, please email me at

TIP OF THE WEEK (9/12/01) "Peeling" lures.

When a lure comes out of a Silastic mold, the surface is usually not cured completely.  Before you can polish the lure, you must remove the uncured surface to get down to the cured resin.  It is hard to do this with sandpaper because the soft resin clogs the grit.  If you polish your lures on a lathe, you can usually remove the surface with a chisel edge tool as you spin the lure on the lathe.

If you polish your lures by hand, you can scrape the soft surface away with the edge of a sharp knife.  In this picture we are using a utility knife and being very careful not to cut ourselves.  The uncured material is seen as the white powdery crumbs, which are gathered along the edge of the blade.  The frosted streak is the section that has been "peeled."  Work your way around the lure -- it may take a few minutes -- and then begin polishing the surface with 180-grit wet sand paper.

Come back next week for our next tip



BIG-FISH LISTBig-Fish List for 2011. The list recognizes the biggest fish caught on rod and reel (except opakapaka and onaga, for which we'll accept hand line catches) in West Hawaii waters for 2011 in each of 22 categories. They are listed by species, weight, angler, skipper, boat, and date. The list is updated every Sunday throughout the year (copyright 2011 by Jim Rizzuto). If we have overlooked you, give us a call (885-4208) or send an e-mail (

* Blue marlin, 1062, Garrett Handwork, Capt. Chip van Mols, Monkey Biz II, Mar. 13.
* Black marlin, 469, Phillip, Capt. Brian Wargo, Bite Me 2. June 24.

* Ahi, 229, Israel Rovinsky, Capt. Kevin Nakamaru, Northern Lights. July 7.

* Bigeye tuna, 160, Adam Heafner, Capt. Randy Llanes, Sundowner. May 13.

* Striped marlin, 212, Clark and Bickerstaff families, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II. Mar. 25.

* Spearfish, 61, Conor McDonough and Trevor Childs, Hot Rod. Feb. 27.
* Sailfish, 99.5, Andy Cho, kayak.

* Mahimahi, 48, Erik Perez, Beetlejuice, Jan. 8
* Ono, 83, Brian Balancio, Benda, Mar. 2.

* Kaku (barracuda), 26, Kai Rizzuto, Jim Rizzuto, Rizzuto Maru. Apr. 20.

* Kahala (amberjack), 75.5, Rob Nustad, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Feb. 4.

* Ulua (giant trevally), 95, Travis Hensley, Capt. Jeff Rogers, Renegade. July 26.

* Omilu (bluefin trevally), 22, Devin Hallingstad, Kayak. August 20.

* Sumotaru (skipjack tuna), 26.5, Tom Peck, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II. May 7.

* Broadbill swordfish, vacant.

* Ahipalaha (albacore), vacant.

* Kawakawa, 21, Devin Hallingstad, Kayak May 2 and
20.5, Weston and Aaron Uemura, Andi Elle. Mar. 2.

* Kamanu, 20, Chuck Kiahu, Pilialoha, April 4.

* Opakapaka (pink snapper), 14, Heather Masunaga, Capt. Kerwin Masunaga, Holly Ann. Feb. 16.

* Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), vacant.

* Uku (gray snapper), 23, Tamara Hudson. Kayak, Mar. 26.

*`O`io (bonefish), vacant.

If you catch a fish on rod and reel in West Hawaii waters bigger than one on the list, take it to the Fuel Dock to be weighed and recorded.



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Jim Rizzuto is the author of Fishing Hawaii Offshore, the Fishing Hawaii Style Series and The Kona Fishing Chronicles yearbooks. Look for his books at bookstores and tackle shops or visit