In order to assure myself that I would have baits that I could no longer purchase, I went to Lake Elsinore’s Pat Keniry who said he could do it: produce  DB22’s in a “suggestive” (not natural) sunfish color from old lure bodies. (See April 16).

When he showed me today the first of the six baits I ordered, I was pretty pleased. They turned out even better than I expected, including new eyes plus a hard epoxy finish that wasn’t available on the original. But the other thing Pat also delivered was the confidence to throw these deep divers more often, because now I won’t be fishing scared having just one–I’ll be packing six back-ups ready for action.

But to get the product you want, the devil truly is in the details.

Looking at some of his other “creations” or makeovers, I learned that a given lure could take one to three hours of labor. One hour for a “plain one” like mine, but quite a bit longer, for those with the clear body, barred color schemes (note the picture) that are masked with pin-striping tape, or other markings. And those fin details? Each is inked on the body by his steady hand.

What was also impressive to me was he re-did my Normans with the most basic of tools, two grits of sandpaper, and either hobby or utility spray paint. Yes, Keniry does have the spray system and nozzles, but as he noted, “You need to do some mass production to make that worth it.”

For the less detailed work that my baits required, he’s charging me 12 bucks each. However, for the tour guys who demand the perfect natural detail, a given bait could cost up to 25 bucks, though he will also provide the bait and hardware.

In other words, it’s not swap meet stuff, but if having the models that you really want is the key to custom-painted lures.

Pat has the skill to do it.

Think about it.  Starting with an “extinct” original, I’m back to the future with baits that work for me. I was even able to get him to adjust the appearance of the sides. In my mind, the green is the least important color from a forage standpoint. Getting him to enhance those neutral side body colors, plus adding enough orange to show in dirty water, really hit the mark for me.

And I’m also pretty sure, the “other guy” doesn’t have one in his box.


4 Responses to “Pricey, but you can get what you want”

by Robert Schneider

Very nice. I want to see them catch fish though. LOL

Hi George,

Don’t know if you know this or not but Norman will custom paint any of their old colors with a minimum order of 12 pieces. All you have to do is contact Norman, tell them the color you want made and then have them tell you which tackle shop to get them from. They’ve been doing this for me for about 10 years for colors they discontinued 15 or 20 years ago. And, there’s no increased charge – the cost is the same as if you were buying a normal bait off the shelf.


by George Kramer

Thanks for the heads-up, Terry. Now if Bomber would make me a gross of wooden 500’s in Christmas Tree and yellow coachdog and I could find a time machine….

by Robert Schneider

How about some balsa pros while you’re at it.