These lures are made to be fished,” says Alan Depalma, the entrepreneur behind Alan’s Custom Lures, who proudly notes that each lure is “completely handmade and rigorously tested” in his Bristol shop. Depalma, a former boat builder, spent many years making lures for himself and his buddies. “I saw there was a need in the market,” he explains, and in 2016 took the leap from hobby to full-time career.
Depalma’s fishing lures, or plugs (hard-bodied), are designed to be completely customizable, with over a dozen different models and over 100 colors to choose from. “It started with two lures, then one thing led to another,” Depalma says with a warm chuckle.
Alluring appeal aside, everything matters – from weight distribution to the coloring of the lure. “The most important aspect is the time I put into designing each style,” Depalma explains. To perfect each new model, he typically keeps his lures in the testing stage for a year and a half. Each new lure begins with an idea, which is then formed into a wooden master. The master is then shifted to a two-part resin mold that is tested in the water. “That’s when I have to adjust the weighting and the balances. I go through about 20 or 30 lures before I get one that I really like,” Depalma says.
Alan’s Custom Lures offer customers a unique experience through the involvement they have in developing their lure. Customers can choose the type and color for customization, and even add a foil. Depalma shares that folks tend to get creative when it comes to this step, and there have been lures with the Del’s Lemonade logo, the Joker, various flags, and more. “You name it, I’ve done it,” Depalma says.
Depalma’s personal favorite is known as The Combat, a smaller, wider lure employed mostly for striped bass and bluefish. “It’s very user-friendly, and one of those lures that can just catch fish,” he says. He works diligently to ensure all lures are not only inviting to the eye, but also do their job in the water. “All lures come with hooks all rigged up with the best components and three coats of epoxy that make them really strong,” Depalma says. “Plugs made by a serious fisherman for serious fishermen.”
Find lures at AlansCustomLures.com and Ocean State Tackle, Providence; follow along on Instagram at @alans_custom_lures
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