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Custom Handmade Wooden Cedar Lures by Stanford Lures


Author: Brad Wiegmann

As anglers, our lives have been changed by technology. We embrace many of the changes, but astute anglers reject the transformation of lures from wooden handmade cedar to plastic injected molded lures. Only a handful of wooden lure companies exist today and Stanford Lures is one of them. Every Stanford Lure is built from the highest grade Northwest cedar resulting in a unique wobble and natural buoyancy that produces more successful days of catching fish for anglers.

Truly the one element that makes Stanford Lures cedar crankbaits and topwater lures unique is the craftsmanship that goes into designing and building a custom built cedar lure. It’s that craftsmanship which results in how the lure performs and in the end catches fish. Every Stanford Lure is designed by, built, hand painted, clear coated and tuned by Dieter Stanford. Stanford began developing his skills as an expert wooden crankbait craftsman early in his mid-20s. Many of the skills and manufacturing techniques he learned on his own by trial and error; in addition to networking with Lee Sisson of Bagley’s Baits and other skilled craftsmen. 

Why does anyone want to fish with a cedar wood lure? It could be to fish like anglers in the past when wooden lures were all the rage, however, it could be because they have a unique action when retrieved, popped or twitched. Professional anglers use them because they catch more fish with them.

Northwest Cedar wood has its own positive, distinctive properties not found in other materials used to make fishing lures. “We use only the center cut, it’s the most expensive cut and also knot free making it perfect for producing our high quality cedar lures,” said Stanford.  Custom, handmade, wooden lures are commonly made from either cedar or balsa wood. Stanford prefers cedar over balsa wood because of the inherent traits of cedar. “Before the mid-60s, the majority of wooden lure builders were using cedar, but then they switched and started importing balsa. They found it easier to cut than cedar; in fact, they were making three times the number of lures. That’s good for making more balsa lures quicker, but balsa lures are also more delicate than wooden lures made from cedar,” explained Stanford. Stanford went on to explain that cedar is a heavier wood than balsa. “Because cedar is heavy, we don’t have to add as much weight to our lures. We also use zinc inserts for weights with our lures; although some of our lures don’t require adding any additional weight at all to them,” said Stanford.


Why custom, handmade wooden cedar lures catch more fish than other lures comes down to their inherent action. Often this is referred to as a hunting action. Wooden lures that are built and tuned correctly will exhibit this action. “I like to define hunting action as the lure trying to find its true center and with wooden lures not everything is balanced exactly; although each one of our wooden lures is built within a five-thousand of an inch of each other. That’s the same width as two hairs glued together,” said Stanford. Stanford also pointed out that their wooden lures will not rollover like some wood lures do. “I can use a 6:3.1 and burn it back without the lure rolling over at any speed. Truth is that you can even troll our wooden crankbaits and it will not roll over, but because of its action will induce fish to strike it,” said Stanford.

The process of making a custom, handmade, wooden cedar lure requires up to 30 steps. One of the steps includes clear coating the wooden cedar lure. Stanford Lures uses the clear coat made in Florida that was originally used in the past on Bagley’s or Poe’s wooden lures. This shinny, high gloss clear coat gives each Stanford Lure a durable finish that increases its life span.


Turbo Shad-Topwater Lure
Turbo Shad is a topwater twitch lure with two blades that spray water when pulled or twitched. The Turbo Shad was designed to sit slightly on the back tail section to increase hook sets and make the profile of the wounded bream or shad larger.



Patriot Shad
The Patriot Shad is a shallow diving crankbait that can be reeled at fast speeds without rolling over. This little crankbait was designed to dive up to 3-feet deep when retrieved.



Shallow Razor Shad
The Shallow Razor Shad is a flat sided, unique coffin billed crankbait designed to dive up to 4-feet. It has a tight wiggle action that gets tighter the faster you reel it in.



Medium Razor Shad
The Medium Razor Shad was designed to dive up to 7-feet without rolling over. It’s perfect size and subtle action makes this cedar lure one for lakes that have lots of angling pressure.



Big Deep Cedar
The Big Deep Cedar lure was designed to be the deepest diving wooden crankbait available by Stanford lures. Its near neutral buoyancy allows this wooden crankbait to dive up to 12-feet and can stay there easier than other crankbaits.


As anglers all our lives have been changed by technology. Everything from our engines, trolling motors and sonar units have changed for the better over the years, however, one thing that successful anglers refuse to change is fishing with custom, handmade wooden cedar lures like the ones built one at a time by Stanford Lures.

Custom Handmade Wooden Cedar Lures by Stanford Lures article provided by Brad Wiegmann Outdoors for www.bradwiegmann.com.