How Long Do Fishing Lures Last? (Explained!)

Did you find a couple of fishing lures stored for a long time in the basement,  and you are wondering if there are still useful? Or do you just want to know how long fishing lures can last generally and how to maintain them to last longer? Then this article is for you.

This Is How Long Fishing Lures Last:

Fishing lures can last anywhere from a few weeks to decades, depending on the type, storage conditions, and level of maintenance. Fishing lures can last for a very long time if maintained and kept under the right conditions.

What Are Fishing Lures?

Fishing lures are small artificial baits that attract predatory fish to your fishing line. They are made from different materials such as rubber, metal, plastic, or even a combination of 2 or more materials.

These lures entice fish to bite them through their vibration, flashy colors, and movement.

What Are The Different Types Of Fishing Lures And How Long Do They Last?

A wide range of fishing lures is available in the market, ranging from soft plastic lures to fly lures. They come at different sizes, shapes, designs, colors, and prices.

With different types of fishing lures available all around, it may be challenging to know how long they can potentially last. How long your fishing lure would last is generally determined by;

  • The material it is made from
  • The quality of the lure
  • The number of times it has been used
  • The condition, temperature, and humidity of the place of storage
  • The general maintenance of the lure

 The types of fishing lures and how long they last are discussed below.

Soft Plastic Lure

It consists of any range of fishing lures with plastic-based material. It has a soft and flexible texture.

It is widely available in different colors, shapes, and sizes.

How Long Do Soft Plastic Lures Last?

Soft plastic doesn’t degrade or decompose, so you can be sure yours can last for a pretty long time.

However, you should avoid keeping it in a hard plastic tackle box because it can cause it to melt.

Do Soft Plastic Lures Break Down?

People frequently ask if a soft plastic lure can break down. Well, this largely depends on the type of plastic used. The three commonly used plastics for soft plastic lures are;

1. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

PVC is known to be durable and non-biodegradable. This means that it does not break down.

A soft plastic lure made from PVC won’t readily break down.

2. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH)

Some claim that this type of plastic is biodegradable, while others claim it doesn’t biodegrade but merely dissolves into non-harmful small molecules. Although the small molecules can eventually biodegrade, it is unclear exactly how long it will take to do so.

3. ElaZtech

ElaZtech is hybrid material also used to make soft plastic lures. It contains no PVC and is therefore eco-friendly. It also breaks down easily.


Plugs, also called cankerbaits, are fishing lures made from hard plastic. They are usually made in colors and shapes that look like baitfish.

You will find that they have a sheet of plastic or metal attached to the front. This sheet is called the lip.

The lips are usually adjustable to lure prey fish in different ways.

How Long Do Plug Lures Last?

There is no specific duration for a plug lure to last. It can last for years when stored correctly in the right condition with the proper temperature and humidity.

First, you should know that the more you use a plug lure, the shorter its life span.

Plug lures are commonly used in freshwater. Also, since they are usually made from corrosion-resistant material, they can last long even when frequently used in saltwater.

Jig Lure

Jig lures are known for their simplicity. They only have jigheads, hooks, and bodies made from plastic or other materials.

They are among the most popular fishing lines with weighted heads that make them easier to sink to the bottom. They also have feather-like skirts.

How Long Do Jig Lures Last?

How long jig lures last also depend on the quality of material used. They are commonly made from silicone or rubber.

Jig lures made from silicon can last for a very long time when properly stored.

This is because silicon is highly resistant to various kinds of conditions like extreme temperatures, prolonged submergence, dry or humid weather.

Those made from rubber material can also last long and resist water. However, keeping them away from extreme heat and UV radiation is crucial.

Fly Lure

The fly lure is a fishing lure in the shape of aquatic insects. It attracts target species of fish that are eaters of those insects.

It is made from furs, threads, or feathers to imitate the appearance of insects or other prey.

How Long Do Fly Lures Last?

A fly lure can endure for decades when it is not used and preserved in a dry, low-humidity environment.

However, it is best to store it in an airtight container to prevent insects infestation.


A spinnerbait is similar to a jig lure since both have feather-like skirts. Spinnerbaits come readily available in different colors. They have blades that allow them to spin when in motion under the water, which also lures fish.

The most commonly used spinnerbaits are in-line spinners and safety pin spinners.

How Long Do Spinnerbaits Last?

They last pretty long, particularly when used in freshwater.

The blades are usually made from metals, and saltwater can cause corrosion of the blade overtime.

After using a spinnerbait in saltwater, you should always wash it and adequately dry it to make it last longer.

Spoon Lure

Just as the name implies, a spoon lure is also a type of lure shaped like a spoon’s bowl. It is made from metal or shell. It attracts fish by reflecting light, and it is popularly used for larger species of fish like muskies and salmon.

How Long Do Spoon Lures Last?

How long a spoon lure will last depends on the quality of material used and how well it is maintained.

It is best to get one that comes in stainless steel. Stainless steel does not rust easily because it contains 10.5% chromium.

Chromium is a chemical element that reacts when exposed to oxygen by forming a thin line of Chromium oxide on the steel, which reduces the chances of corrosion.

How To Maintain Your Lures?

It is essential to maintain your fishing lures well if you want them to last long. The steps to take to maintain them are pretty straightforward. They are as follows;

  1. After fishing, wash your fishing lure in a bucket of water to remove salt and prevent rust.
  2. Ensure you keep it dry after washing by using a towel to remove excess water and leaving it under the sun to dry. Do not store it when wet. Otherwise, it would cause its metal to rust quicker and last less.
  3. Store your fishing lures in a durable tackle box.
  4. Keep your lures with feathers in an airtight container to prevent them from being infested by insects.
  5. Store your lures in a place at room temperature. Too high or too low temperature can damage them.
  6. Try to store new and unused lures in their original bags as much as possible.
  7. Examine your lures regularly to determine if the hooks or feathers need replacement. A fishing lure can last long, but it would be less effective and almost useless when the hook becomes blunt or the feathers are damaged.

When Should Fishing Lures Be Replaced?

There is no specific time to replace fishing lures. They are always suitable for use for as long as they last and are kept in good condition.

However, once they start to degrade, rust, or become damaged in any other way, it is a good idea to replace them.


While the exact number of months or years fishing lures can last is unknown, they can last for a long time when used less frequently and properly stored.

It all depends on the storage, how well it is maintained, and the quality of the material used in making it.