Give your skirts a lift
  |  First Published: August 2011

The shredded rubber, vinyl and other material that makes up most of our trolling lure skirts is pretty flimsy and apt to get damaged, torn or simply chopped clean off by our finny friends. Happily, replacing them is not that difficult.

Many of our lure trolling techniques are based on Hawaiian developments and in the early days they made use of red inner tube rubber, oilcloth, shower curtain material and then cloth-backed vinyl (the latter available these days with a sexy metal flake through it) to skirt their lures.

Skirting a lure is a pretty simple process and it enables the angler to mix and match the colours to replicate the predominant bait species in an area.

Mind you, some highly successful colour combinations are pretty wild and look nothing like any fish species known to man. Re-skirting can even be done in the field if necessary, but most prefer to do it on the rigging bench at home.

It’s amazing how changing just one or both skirts can breathe life into an old or out-of-favour lure. All of a sudden, you become excited about its prospects once more.

Having confidence in a lure is a major part of its success — they don’t catch anything rotting away in the tackle drawer or in the pocket of a lure roll.

There are two ways to fit skirts — gluing or tying — with the latter being the more traditional method. Gluing is a more recent development, and both camps have their supporters.


First cut the top off the skirt, starting well up above the narrow neck. We’ll need to give ourselves some room to play with here, as the head section of the skirt will be doubled over later when it is tied on.


In this instance we’re skirting a Billmark Apollo with 24cm skirts. When the skirts are trimmed and fitted, it has an overall size of about 27cm and the brown and green over green and yellow colours make it a pretty good representation of a big yellowtail or yakka.

In the event of a lure skirt being damaged or maybe the colour combinations aren’t doing it for you, we want to be able to change it without too much trouble, and Tarzan’s Grip gives a secure bond without compromising strength. It won’t wash off, but it can be peeled away easily enough.

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