Most of the tools involved with making wire baits are designed to produce specific types of wire bend. These tools range in price from $4 to $5000, depending on the complexity of the bend and the required production times. The commercial versions typically offer services beyond simple bending such as stringing split-rings, adding hooks, etc. Because most of those machines are beyond the budgets of the average tacklemaker, will will focus on tools for the casual lure maker, hobbyist or small business.
Round Nosed Pliers
Round nosed pliers are a must have for any serious wire bait maker (2 pairs are optimal!). This tool consists of a normal plier handle separated from two round arms by a hinge. Typically, the arms are closed against the wire to hold it in place while the wire is wrapped around one or both of the arms. Because the arms are completely round, the wire can be wrapped to form a perfectly rounded eye or bend.
Handheld Wire Forming Tool
Handheld bending tools are small inexpensive tools that are generally capable of producing one or two specific types of bends (see image above). The wire is generally fed into a small hole in the tool’s shaft and the shaft is then rotated to bend the wire.
Table Mounted Wire Forming Machine
A table mounted wire forming machine is by far the most versatile and efficient piece of equipment that a wire bait maker can own. These usually consist of a heavy base, a moving shaft, a head, an eye pin, and a king pin. The head, eye pins, and king pins are typically available in multiple sizes to accomodate many different wire dimensions. The tool works by holding the wire and then running it into rounded barriers when the shaft is turned. The barriers produce the bends in the wire. We use and endorse the Bogg’s Professional TackleMaker (seen to the right). It’s the best product we’ve found for wire bending.