What are the different types of Artificial Lures?

What are the different types of Artificial Lures?

The use of artificial lures have become very popular in today’s world of fishing. Besides catching fish, there are many advantages to using this type of bait. Artificial lures can help save money in the long-term on fishing tackle. Buying one lure is a cheaper option then purchasing live bait each time that you decide to go fishing. Another benefit is that it does not cause the same type of mess that live bait would: no guts, no blood and mostly importantly, no smell. Additionally, artificial bait and lures are also available in many different shapes, sizes and physical weights. With so many fishermen using this type of bait and experiencing great success, it is important to understand the different types of artificial baits and lures.

A common question that is typically proposed in regards to this type of fishing tackle is who discovered that artificial bait would even work for fishing? According to numerous historians, ancient fishermen experimented catching fish with pieces of shell or bits of bone. After noting that fish responded well these fragments, they proceeded with adding a line to the fragment in order to actually catch the fish. As fishermen gained more knowledge on the tendencies of fish, they further customized lures to mimic a fish’s natural food. However, not all lures replicate some type of food, in fact many successful lures appear to look like nothing that a fish has ever seen before. 

Trying to fish with artificial lure isn’t as easy as just dropping in the water and wait for a nibble or bite. Actually, it requires a good amount of knowledge and skill. It certainly requires more effort than most natural baits. Usually, artificial must be maneuvered in a way that it replicates the natural swimming movement of baitfish. Common movements that a fisherman can do would be trolling, jigging or slowly reeling in the line. Essentially, any movement that can replicant a bait fish swimming will probably work. The reason that this method can often be referred to as a skill is that it has proven to work best as the fishermen gains more experience. With many lures that vary in their shape and design, you can certainly find one that works for you.

Artificial lures tend to be a combination of these 5 main categories:
  • Spoons
  • Spinners
  • Plugs
  • Jigs
  • Imitations 


Spoons, also referred to as Wobblers, are a popular method for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Spoons tend to work best when the angler is either trolling or continuously casting. They are typically shaped round or oval in either metal or plastic. These lures are available in all different sizes for all types of fish. It is recommended to apply a small chunk of natural bait on the hook for better results. When hooking a fish, the Spoon does not revolve. It actually presses its metal/plastic guard out and correctly hooks the fish. These lures are great for waters filled with different obstructions such as seaweed, rocks, coral or wrecks.


Spinners are known to be flashy and colorful in order to attract fish. They consist of a blade that moves on a swivel (above the hook) and fastened with a click. The shine of the blade makes it quite successful for when the spinner is fished. Given the flashiness, Spinners work really well in murky or cloudy waters when other lures can’t be seen by the fish. While adding a small piece of natural bait doesn’t hurt, it isn’t needed to receive great results.


Plugs usually consist of several hooks hanging off of the lure. They can be equipped with metal lips, spinners or just about any other object that promotes commotion. These lures are typically used by casting out into the water and slowly retrieving to resemble a swimming fish. Plugs are available as both surface and sinking lures. When using sinking Plugs for deeper water, allow the lure to slowly sink to your desired depth. Once it reaches that location, begin to slowly reel in the line. The lure makes a “gurgle” like noise as it is being retrieved. 


Jigs are very popular for large fish for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. These lures consist of a hook that features a “tail”. The tail could be equipped with feathers, a bucktail, metal or plastic. They can be used in many types of fishing situations such as spinning, bait casting or trolling. Jigs can be a successful lure for bottom fishing. The lure’s weight helps it sink to the bottom where the fisherman is then advised to lightly “jig” the lure up and down off the bottom. These lures resemble the movement of many natural baitfish that live on the bottom of the water. 


These lures are made to artificially imitate a popular natural bait. For example, imitations exist for minnows, eels, squid, frogs, worms, crayfish, crabs, anchovy and many others. These lures depend a lot on the quality, as some lures really look like the real creature. It is common to spray these lures with smells of the bait to help attract fish to bite. Imitations of insects have been very reliable lures for fly fishing. Typically, imitation lures are an easier transition for a fisherman who is familiar with using natural bait.


Understanding the basic definitions of these lures is essential when you trying to find out which lure will work best for you. Experience using these lures generally leads to understanding the best types of artificial baits. You would be surprised how many lures actually incorporate many different categories at once. Lures have been know to work successfully for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. At the end of the day, anglers will choose to use the lure that ultimately works. If you can incorporate more artificial lures into your fishing strategy, you will be better prepared to catch more fish.

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