Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Monday, 24 February 2014 00:00

The “Lure Makers” – Plastics, Anyone?

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Fishermen have used artificial fishing lures for ages. The ability to attract fish with an artificial bait using movement, vibration, flash, and color has been the mainstay of many people who yearn to catch fish. Behind the scenes there are the “lure makers” - the guys and gals who design new and intriguing imitations that will entice fish to strike. This series is dedicated to people who make plastic, feathers, fur, metal, and wood come to life in our aquatic world.

My first interview was with Allen Hackert, a plastics expert from Kentucky. He runs a business called KLK Baits. This guy is passionate about plastics, and is constantly improving his lot through trial and testing efforts. Here is the first of this series of interviews with the “lure makers”!

What first drew you to creating and molding lures from plastic?

It looked simple to do, and looked like a great way to custom-make a lure to my specifications to suit my needs on the water. After I started, a few friends started picking up on what I was doing. It was then that I started custom producing their baits for various uses.

Do you remember the first plastic lure you made?

The first lure I make was a beaver-style bait. And after seeing how nice they came out, the addiction started. I started looking at other molds, more designs and colors.

Do you mold lures for a living or pleasure?

A little of both. I enjoy making lures. It's also a way to keep my costs for fishing down. I was twenty when I started making baits, and it was just a simple way for me to connect with others.

We noticed you have a variety of plastic lures. How are these used, and what type of equipment do you recommend?

My baits can be used for drop shotting, flippin’, punching mats, shakey heads, swim baits, and many more applications. For drop shotting, I like a Dobyns “SS703 SF” rod paired with a Lew's “Speed spin” reel, spooled up with braid & a 10lb fluorocarbon leader. For everything else, I throw a Dobyns “735C” paired with a Lew's “Tournament Pro” & 15lb fluorocarbon line.

Fighting Shad

KLK Baits Fighting Shad

Have you ever fished from a kayak?

I haven’t fished out of a kayak, but I’ve been thinking about it some.

Where is your favorite place to fish?

I grew up fishing Kentucky lakes, and I still fish them today. My favorite way to fish is deep water and offshore ledges.

Where are you located?

I'm in Clarksville, TN. I’m close to both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

How many years have you been molding plastic lures?

This February will be my third year.

Tell us about the best plastic you ever created?

The best one I have made would probably be where I took three colors and put them all into one bait, similar to how crank baits are patterned.

Do you see fishing from kayaks growing as a sport?

I do. Kayak anglers have the same love for the sport & tournaments. They need baits for their style of fishing, as well.

Did someone teach you or did you learn to mold on your own?

I had a friend that told me some, but not too much. There was a lot I had to figure out on my own by trial and error.


KLK Baits 5" D-Shot

Do you get quite a few kayak fishermen who purchase products from you?

I've had a few. I see it growing as time goes on.

Where would your “dream fishing trip” take place?

I'd have to say either somewhere in Texas or Florida. It'd be interesting seeing what I can do with my baits on water that I’ve never fished.

We look forward to Allen’s future developments in the world of plastic lures. He is very good at creating custom baits, and his service is fast and friendly! You can contact Allen by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Facebook: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Monday, 24 February 2014 05:56

Kayakjak’s passion for fishing started as a youngster fishing small freshwater ponds in Southern California and combing the area beaches with a surf rod. Growing up as a military child often put him in new environments with unique fishing challenges. He has lived in Nebraska since 1976 and graduated from college with a teaching degree of which he has put to use educating youth the last 31 years there. He also holds a Master Degree in Educational Administration. Marty is very active helping the youth of his community with various programs including a before school program called, “Early Birds” and other various activities including a State Championship Archery team, youth football, basketball, and fishing in schools program. As Nebraska’s only kayak fishing guide Kayakjak will work hard to provide his clients with a “unique” fishing and learning experience.

Marty Hughes (Kayakjak) is a highly respected and very experienced guide with over 42 years of angling experience. He has fished from a kayak for the past 15 years in Southwest Nebraska lakes and ponds. He has been Featured in NebraskaLand Magazine April 2003 and the Omaha World Herald in June of 2005. Kayakjak’s objectives include events for wounded veterans, environmental improvements, and promoting the interest of kayak fishing in the Midwest. He has organized many kayak fishing tournaments throughout Nebraska. Kayakjak's Outfitters offers professional kayak fishing instruction for any experience level. He can tailor guided trips to meet the needs of a complete novice or more advanced kayak anglers. Guided trips include Emotion Kayaks and all the equipment a person would need for a fun, adventure filled trip! Our goal is to provide for advanced kayak fishing instruction and an excellent outdoor experience for our clients. We are very blessed to offer these services in some of Nebraska's most scenic backwaters. "A Unique Experience, Everytime!"

What others have said:

Spring time in Benkleman has its challenges when it comes to fishing. kJ, Marty or KayakJak, take your pick, he'll answer to any of these names. I'm partial to KayakJak. This is a guy who's passion for the world of kayaking and especially kayak fishing is unsurpassed!
I've had the honor and privilege to have spent 2 days kayaking and fishing with KayakJak. As noted above, spring time fishing has its challenges. I've never met KayakJac live and in person. Talked to him a couple of times on the phone and pestered him for information by email and watched several videos of him on Utube. From the first minute of meeting him, I had the feeling that we had been friends for a lifetime. That's what type of guy he is. No hype and no air about him. KayakJak is the real deal, the Indiana Jones of kayak fishing.
Being new to the sport of kayak fishing, KayakJak's approach to the "newbie" was terrific. He's very professional without the stuffyness that sometimes follows a professional guide or instructor.
Talk about going out of his way to make your trip into a lifetime memory, I swear this guy planted some fish so I could experience what it's like to catch a fish from a kayak. While giving me space to practice some of the tips he had for me, KayakJak scouted ahead and found the hiding places of the ever elusive LMB.
Geez- I've just read thru the above, kinda sounds a little hokie and like he paid me to say the things above, no I paid him! And not near enough for what I got!

Jim B.




+1 # Aggroman 2014-02-24 17:12
Great article!
# Medic911 2014-02-24 22:07
Great article on KLK Plastics and Allen Hackert :lol:
# Irish Fly 2014-02-25 22:47
Great write up Marty! Plastics are the bomb-diggity & this is a great piece on them!

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