How to Tune Your Fishing Lures

Lures often take a beating through catching fish, casting and general abuse, so it is not unusual for your favorite baits to become out of tune. This can lead to performance problems in the way a lure runs in the water.

If a lure is not running the way it should in the water, it could result in fish ignoring your bait. This is why it is important to regularly check your baits and give them a quick tune up to make sure they are running correctly.

Tuning your lures is a simple process, but it is one of those details that some anglers do not pay attention to. Here is how you can get your lures in tune with a few simple steps.

Left or right?

The most common sign that your lure is out of tune is that it will be pulling to the left or right. This indicates that the loop that you connect your line to is bent to one side or the other.

You want your lure to run straight, so you will need to take a pliers and carefully bend the loop to tune it. If your lure is pulling to the right, you will want to bend the loop to the left. If it is pulling to the left, bend it towards the right.

This process can take some trial and error, but after a few tries, your lure should be running straight.


Crankbaits can be out of tune if they are not diving straight down. In some cases, brand new crankbaits will be out of tune.

Test your crankbaits to make sure they are diving straight down. The best way to test them is by using a fast retrieve. This is most likely to reveal  any problems in the lure’s movement. If a lure is listing to either side then it needs to be tuned with the same technique used above.

Hook hangers

Especially when fighting larger fish, it is not uncommon for hook hangers to become bent. This can alter the way your lure runs in the water.

Make sure your hooks are hanging straight and that the hangers are not bent. If they are bent, use a pliers to bend them back into their proper position.

Custom tuning

In some cases, you may want to change the movement of your lure to get it to run differently in the water. In these situations you can use some custom tuning techniques that could result in more fishin in the boat.

If you have a crankbait with a metal lip, you can bend the lip up or down to change the diving depth or the wobble of the bait. On crankbaits with plastic lips, you can bend the tie-on forward or backward to achieve similar results. If the line-tie is the screw-in type, you can try removing it and screwing it in either closer or further away from the body to alter the lure’s movement in the water.

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