Types of Fishing Lures: Complete Guide

Dec 12, 2023
Joshua Fuld

CEO and Founder

Reading Time: 8 minutes


Fishing, an art as old as time, constantly evolves with technology and innovation, especially when it comes to fishing lures. These ingenious inventions are more than just tools; they’re the heart and soul of angling, determining not just the success of your catch but also defining the experience itself. At J&H Tackle, we understand the magic and science behind these lures, offering a wide array of options for both the seasoned angler and the enthusiastic beginner.

The world of fishing lures is incredibly diverse, mirroring the vast variety of fish that populate our waters. From the depths of the ocean to the serene stillness of a freshwater lake, each environment demands a specific type of lure. Jigs, for instance, are perfect for bottom fishing in deep waters, their weighted design allowing for precise control. Plugs, on the other hand, are ideal for trolling in the open ocean, mimicking the movement of fish to attract predators. Spoons, with their simple yet effective design, are excellent for casting in shallow waters, their reflective surface creating an irresistible appeal to fish. Soft plastics offer unparalleled versatility, adaptable to various conditions and techniques. Spinners, with their spinning action, are particularly effective in clear waters, attracting fish with their vibration and reflection.

Lure TypeIdeal forBest Used In
JigsBottom FishingDeep Waters
PlugsTrollingOpen Ocean
SpoonsCastingShallow Waters
Soft PlasticsVersatile UseVaried Conditions
SpinnersAttracting FishClear Waters
Different types of fishing lures table.

At J&H Tackle, we’re not just retailers; we’re passionate fishermen ourselves. We understand that the right lure can make all the difference, and that’s why we’ve curated a selection from top brands like Dark Matter, Yo-Zuri, and Super Strike. Whether you’re after the adrenaline rush of landing a giant tuna or the peace of catching trout in a mountain stream, our collection is designed to meet every angler’s needs.

Join us as we dive into the fascinating world of fishing lures. Let’s explore how these small but mighty tools have revolutionized fishing, turning it into an art form that continues to captivate and challenge anglers around the globe.

Understanding Fishing Lures: Basics and Benefits

What is a Fishing Lure?

A fishing lure is essentially a mimicry master, a crafted object designed to imitate the look, movement, and sometimes even the sound of prey to attract fish. Unlike live bait, lures are artificial, made from a variety of materials such as plastic, metal, wood, and even advanced composites. Their purpose is simple yet profound: to allure and provoke a fish into biting, making the catch possible.

The magic of a fishing lure lies in its ability to deceive. From simulating the erratic swim of an injured fish to replicating the subtle flutter of a bug on the water’s surface, lures engage the predatory instincts of fish. They come in countless shapes, sizes, and colors, each tailored to specific fishing conditions and target species.

Benefits of Using Lures

The debate between using live bait and artificial lures is as old as fishing itself. While live bait may seem like a natural choice, lures offer distinct advantages:

  1. Versatility: Lures can be used in a wide range of environments, from deep ocean waters to the tiniest creek. Their diversity in design allows anglers to target specific species with precision.
  2. Sustainability: Unlike live bait, lures reduce the impact on natural bait populations. This aspect is crucial in promoting responsible fishing practices.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: While the initial investment in lures can be higher, they are reusable, making them more economical in the long run.
  4. Challenge and Skill: Using lures often requires more skill and knowledge, making the fishing experience more engaging and rewarding.
  5. Safety and Convenience: Lures are easier to store and handle compared to live bait, which requires proper storage conditions to keep alive.

At J&H Tackle, we appreciate the art of lure fishing. Our selection, featuring brands like Dark Matter and Yo-Zuri, caters to anglers who value the effectiveness and the environmental consciousness that lures bring to the sport.

In the following sections, we will explore the different types of lures available, offering insights into how to select and use them effectively, enhancing your fishing experience regardless of where your adventures take you.

Types of Fishing Lures


Description: A jig is a weighted hook with a lead head opposite the sharp tip. They often come adorned with a soft body to provide a lifelike texture. Best Use Cases: Jigs are incredibly versatile and can be used in both fresh and saltwater. They are ideal for bottom fishing and work well when fishing in areas with heavy cover or structure.


Description: Plugs are hard-bodied lures that mimic the shape and movement of fish. They come in various shapes and sizes, with some designed to dive deep and others to skim the surface. Applications: Plugs are super versatile. Some are effective for trolling in open waters, others riding the surface or just under the surface from the beach or boat. They are great for targeting specific depths where fish are known to be active, making them a favorite for striped bass, and snook anglers.


Features: Spoons are simple yet effective, shaped like the bowl of a spoon. They wobble and reflect light to attract fish, mimicking the movement of a fleeing baitfish. Ideal Conditions for Use: Best used in clear, open waters, spoons are excellent for targeting predatory fish like pike, trout, and salmon. Large spoons are also great for jigging for big striped bass. This is something you have to try!

Soft Plastics

Variety and Effectiveness: Soft plastic lures come in an array of shapes and sizes, from worms and grubs to realistic fish profiles. They can be rigged in various ways to suit different fishing conditions. Use Cases: These lures are incredibly effective for bass fishing and can be adapted for almost any fishing scenario, making them a staple in any angler’s tackle box.


Design: Spinners feature a metal blade that spins around a wire axis, creating vibration and flash that attracts fish. Scenarios for Use: Ideal for clear water, spinners are effective in attracting attention in waters with high visibility. They are particularly successful in freshwater environments for species like trout and bass.

Poppers and Surface Lures

Characteristics: Poppers and surface lures are designed to float and create a disturbance on the water’s surface, mimicking injured prey. Top Scenarios: These lures are perfect for topwater fishing, especially during early morning or late evening when fish are more likely to feed on the surface.

Artificial Flies

Use in Both Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing: Designed to mimic insects and small aquatic creatures, artificial flies are lightweight and used with a specific type of fishing called fly fishing. Diverse Applications: Effective in both freshwater streams and saltwater flats, flies are a go-to for species like trout, salmon, and even bonefish.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into how to choose and use these lures effectively. Remember, J&H Tackle offers a wide variety of lures for every type of fishing adventure, including quality selections from Yo-zuri, Super Strike, and Dark Matter.

Choosing the Right Lure

Factors to Consider

When selecting a fishing lure, several key factors come into play to ensure a successful outing:

Water Conditions: The clarity and depth of the water are crucial. Clear waters often require lures that mimic the local prey closely, while murkier waters may need brighter or more vibrating lures to get noticed.

Fish Species: Each species has its preferences. For instance, bass may be attracted to jigs and soft plastics, whereas trout might respond better to spinners and flies.

Time of Day: Light conditions can significantly affect lure choice. Bright and reflective lures are typically more effective during the day, while in low light conditions, glow-in-the-dark or brightly colored lures can be more productive.

Lure Size and Color

The rule of thumb for size and color is to “match the hatch.”

Size: The lure size should correspond to the size of the natural prey in the fishing area. This approach increases the likelihood of attracting the target fish.

Color: Lure color should complement the environment and the prevalent light conditions. Natural colors work well in clear water and bright conditions, while vibrant colors are more effective in murky waters or overcast days.

Brand Spotlight: Yo-zuri, Super Strike, Dark Matter

At J&H Tackle, we offer an extensive range of lures from trusted brands, each with its unique features and benefits:

Yo-Zuri (Yo-zuri Lures): Known for their innovative designs and lifelike appearances, Yo-Zuri lures are a top choice for anglers aiming for precision and realism in their fishing expeditions. They coninue to create lures that catch a wide variety of fish.

Super Strike (Super Strike Lures): These lures are celebrated for their durability and effectiveness, especially in tough saltwater conditions, making them ideal for targeting larger predatory fish. This is the go-to brand for surfcasters and stripedbass anglers around the world!

Dark Matter (Dark Matter Lures): Offering a blend of traditional and modern designs, Dark Matter lures are both versatile and highly effective, suitable for various fishing environments. The vast majority of their lures are extremely easy to use and even beginner anglers can get them to move effectively though the water with little practice.

Choosing the right lure can be a delightful challenge, but with the right knowledge and the wide selection available at J&H Tackle, you’re well on your way to a great catch.

Tips for Using Fishing Lures

Rigging and Casting Techniques

To maximize the potential of your lures, it’s essential to understand the rigging and casting techniques specific to each type:

Rigging: Proper rigging ensures the lure performs as intended. For example, jigs require a vertical presentation, while plugs might need a specific depth setting to swim correctly. Learning the correct way to rig each lure type can significantly increase your success rate.

Casting Techniques: Different lures require different casting techniques. For instance, surface lures like poppers are more effective with a stop-and-go retrieve, while spoons need a steady retrieve to mimic a swimming baitfish. Experimenting with various techniques can help you discover what works best in your fishing environment.

Maintenance and Care

Lure maintenance is key to their longevity and effectiveness:

  1. Cleaning: After each use, clean your lures with fresh water, especially if you’ve been saltwater fishing, to prevent corrosion.
  2. Storage: Store lures in a dry, organized tackle box to avoid tangles and damage.
  3. Inspection: Regularly check for dull hooks and wear. Sharp hooks are critical for successful hooksets.

Personal Stories and Experiences

Every angler has a story about that one lure that made a fishing trip unforgettable. Whether it’s the Dark Matter Popper that landed a PB bass or the Yo-Zuri plug that outperformed all others during a tournament, these stories aren’t just tales; they’re testaments to the effectiveness of quality lures.

We at J&H Tackle invite you to explore our extensive range of baits and lures. From the beginner testing the waters to the seasoned pro seeking the next big catch, our collection is sure to have something that will make your next fishing story one to remember.


In the vast and vibrant world of fishing, the lure is more than just a tool; it’s the bridge between the angler and the elusive catch. This guide has traversed the fascinating landscape of fishing lures, from the versatile jigs to the surface-skimming poppers. We’ve explored the importance of selecting the right lure based on factors like water conditions, fish species, and time of day, and delved into the art of rigging and casting techniques to maximize their potential.

The journey through the diverse types of lures – each with its unique features and applications – underlines a fundamental truth in fishing: the right lure can dramatically enhance your fishing experience. Whether it’s the precise mimicry of a Yo-zuri, the durability of a Super Strike, or the innovative design of a Dark Matter, the choice of lure can be the difference between a good day and a great day on the water.

Remember, maintaining and caring for your lures is as crucial as choosing them. A well-maintained lure not only lasts longer but also performs better. And, as our shared personal stories reveal, sometimes the right lure, coupled with skill and a bit of luck, can lead to unforgettable fishing adventures.

At J&H Tackle, we’re more than just a tackle store; we’re a community of passionate anglers, eager to share our knowledge and experiences. We invite you to explore our extensive collection of lures, where you’ll find the perfect match for your next fishing excursion, whether you’re casting in a serene lake or battling the waves of the ocean.

So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just dipping your toes into the vast ocean of fishing, remember – the right lure is out there, waiting to transform your fishing experience. Happy fishing!

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