Porcelain Lure FAQ
I am a potter by trade. I have a gallery and studio in Grayslake, IL where I teach classes and produce wheel-thrown porcelain pottery. I also love to fish. As a craftsman I have always been turned off by the mass produced plastic lures from China, so I decided to make my own lures using porcelain. In the old days fishermen would make their own lures, and I want to continue that tradition.
My first lures were replacements for lead jig heads. As we all know, we shouldn't be using lead in our lakes and streams, and porcelain seemed like a great way to go since it is dense and heavy. The first pieces were simple round clay beads with a large eye painted on, to which I attached a hook to hold soft plastics like skirted tubes and curl tails. These worked great and caught a lot of fish, but weren't the most elegant forms to look at. As an artist, it is important to me that my work is as beautiful as it is functional.
The forms I am making now are modeled after old school hand made wooden plugs. They are simple, elegant, and have wonderful wiggle movement in the water. I also make minnow shaped bodies that mimic the movements of injured fish.
Clay is very dense and heavy. Don't the lures just sink to the bottom?
No. While the clay is heavy, it is not as dense as you might think. It is slightly buoyant- lighter in water than on land. The greatest benefit of this is that the lures cast really far, but don't sink too quickly.
Are the porcelain lures fragile?
Yes and no. Under normal use, they should last as long as any other lure. However, they may break if you cast them into a rock or concrete pylon. But plastic lures can break under those conditions, too. The bucktails will have to be replaced over time, since they are made of real hair and will eventually get torn up by the fish.
What kind of fish can porcelain lures catch?
To date, my lures have caught largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye, catfish, perch and northern pike. I haven't tried them on anything else, but I don't see why they wouldn't work just as well on trout or saltwater fish. Send me a photo if you catch something new!
Do your lures have realistic movement in the water like plastic lures?
You bet! Because the body and bucktail are jointed, they make a nice wiggle motion as they go through the water whether you are reeling fast or slow.
Why is the plug style shaped like a popper?
The angled front on the plug makes it slightly heavier on one side, keeping it from spinning as it goes through the water.
How deep or shallow can I fish with porcelain lures?
That's up to you. If you let it sink before you retrieve, you can fish as deep as you want. If you want to stay up near the surface, start retrieving as soon as the lure hits the water, and keep your rod tip up.
Can I jig with porcelain lures?
Absolutely. Because of the joint between the body and bucktail, the rise and fall action will make it look like a wounded fish. The minnow style body is especially good at this, as it will tend to lay on its side. The ultralight model is excellent for vertical jigging for panfish and walleye. Try it ice fishing!
Can I use a different material for the tail?
Yes. A big part of having a successful day fishing is trying a lot of different lures to figure out what the fish are biting that day. The great thing about my lures is that they work equally well with soft plastic baits, like worms, curl tails, and skirted jigs. Just remove the bucktail, put an empty hook on the split ring, and add your favorite plastic bait. You can even add a plastic tail right onto the bucktail hook! A lure kit with a bucktail and an assortment of plastics is available on the ordering page.
Do I need to do anything special to store porcelain lures?
The wires I use are all stainless steel, so they won't rust, and the porcelain is waterproof. Hooks are a different story, though. Like most hooks, mine will rust if left wet for too long. I recommend letting the bucktails dry out before closing them up in your tackle box.