Making the Reel Keel Lure
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In early 2012 I was commissioned by JJs Sportfishing, distributor of the Reel Keel lure, to make a large lure sculpture of the Reel Keel . It was to be the centerpiece for his booth at an upcoming trade show .

I took a few photos of the process of making the lure and though the photos are not comprehensive, I thought I would share a them with you .

Here are a quick look at how it's done.

Kiln dried cypress is glued into a block. All the wood is from the same board to ensure that the grain and moisture content are consistant . Care is taken to orient the grain so that the wood works together as humidity changes . This ensures that the glue lines will not telegraph through the paint as the lure ages.
The outline of the Reel Keel lure is drawn on the side of the block.
The profile of the lure is cut on a bandsaw and the top profile is drawn on the block.
Here is the block with all bandsawing done .
Because of the unusual shape of the lure , the best way to make it was simply to use a hand plane, a carpenter's square, and elbow grease . Sometimes a job is best done by hand.
Here is the mockup for determining the shape and to aid in fitting the aluminum keel . On the real lure the keel is one piece with the plastic lure molded around it . For the sculpture two pieces were used to allow for painting the lure and finishing the aluminum before assembly.
Here is the finished lure ready for the trade show booth. The paint is a pearlized acrylic latex with a spar varnish top coat . The aluminum keel has a matt finish and is lacquered to protect it from dirt and grease . The hook is a Mustad 20/0 (8"long) the largest treble hook made.
Customers inspect the new lure after a hard day at the show

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