I've been playing around making fishing lures using 550 paracord and I've actually used them to catch fish. I can now make lures that are inexpensive, effective, durable and even pretty (at least in my mind).
I started by watching the various YouTube tutorials. There are a bunch but mostly seem to focus on a similar method, which works to a degree. Thread paracord over a fish hook. Melt the top so it snugs down around the hook eye. Use a pin to peck at the other end of the cord, unraveling it so it flares out.
My concern with that method is the resulting lure is not very durable. If found the cord's inner strands pull out, and the entire think easily slides off the hook. Catch one fish and the lure is probably done.
Also, there a limited color combinations available using that method. The hook's “skirt” is made from the cord's inner strands, which are white.
I took a different approach and can make lures that are easy, inexpensive, very durable and quite effective.
1. Choose the appropriate hook. I like using jig heads since that produces a lure that can be cast easily and sinks down to the fish. One-sixteenth or one-eighth ounce jig heads work well. I've also used this method to tie paracord flies, which are very light and can be cast using a fly rod.
2. Cut a piece of paracord so it is about 3 times a long as your hook. I use 550 paracord because I can get it in a wide range of colors. I remove and discard the inner strands, just using the sheath. I could use 650 paracord, which does not have inner strands, but it does not come in as many colors.
3. Threat the hook down the middle of the paracord sheath and then poke the hook through, so the top of the sheath comes up around the jig head or hook eye. When finished, you want to cord to be as straight as possible.
4. Melt the top of the cord so it snugs down around the jig head or hook eye.
5. Select Nano paracord or some similar small cord in a contrasting color. Tie it to the top of the jig or hook and then wrap it around the body. Continue wrapping to create a “thorax” for your lure. Wrap it so to the length and thickness you want. Then tie it securely so all threads are tight.
6. Now use a pin or needle to pick out the paracord at the bottom of the lure, creating the skirt. Pick it up to the bend of the hook or the bottom of the wrapped section.
The Nano cord snugs down over the paracord and holds it tight. I've used one lure on multiple fishing trips, catching multiple fish, and it holds up well.
I caught the perch shown at Fish Lake, in Utah. I did tip the lure with a meal worm, making it more effective.
- Dave Webb
Cut paracordcord to length and pull out inner strands (or use coreless paracord).
Thread the cord over the hook.
Melt the cord at the top to snug it around the jig head or hook eye, then tie Nano Paracord over the cord.
Wind Nano Paracord to create body and then tie it securely.
Use a pin or needle to pick at the paracord, to unravel it creating a skirt. Trim and you are done.