Hawaiian Lure Makers – Past & Present

Hawaiian Lure Makers – Old Hawaiian Lures – New Hawaiian Lures
Hawaiian Lures pair of old Hawaiian Lures (left) – pair of modern Hawaiian Lures (right)

Hawaiian Lures are hand made in Hawaii by local Hawaiian lure makers. These Hawaiian lure makers are renown for their lures in fisheries around the world because their lures are not only successful, they are beautiful as well. Most importantly, Hawaiian lures consistently catch big game fish.

The most well-known classic Hawaiian lure makers are Henry Chee and Joe Yee. However, we still compare the lures of today’s Hawaiian lure makers with these masters from by-gone days. As a result, Henry Chee lures and Joe Yee lures are now collector’s items. Collectable lure value can increase yearly like fine red wine.


The history of Hawaiian Lures and Hawaii Lure Makers goes back hundreds of years. Furthermore, it is the stuff of Hawaiian myths and legends. For example, even the august Captain James Cook commented on the superior craftsmanship of handmade Hawaiian fishing gear. “Considering the materials of which these hooks are made … we found them upon trial, much superior to our own.”

But long before Cook’s last stand in Kealakekua Bay, legend says that Puniaiki and Nihooleki fashioned pearl shell lures for their fishing adventures. In addition, oral traditions says that these mother-of-pearl lures tempted fish by the canoe load according to Dennis Kawaharada.

Samuel Kamakua, a Hawaiian historian and scholar, states that lures made of cowrie shells were so powerful that squids came climbing into the fisherman’s boat just from seeing their reflection in the water. In times of old, fisherman handed Hawaiian lures down from generation to generation. Furthermore, they named their lures for relatives and family members. In addition, Hawaiian anglers of old selected lures based on time of day, the lure’s color, ocean conditions and the sea floor.


Today’s Hawaii lure makers use modern materials like synthetic resins and acrylic in their pours. However, each lure still is hand poured and polished just like Henry Chee and Joe Yee’s lures of old. The beauty and sparkle of every lure depends on the lure maker’s skill and creativity.


Eric “Koya” Koyanagi is fast becoming the most well known master of Hawaiian Lure Makers. What started in Kona as a hobby more than a decade ago is now the well established business, Koya Lures. Perhaps Eric’s most famous lure is his marlin magnet “Poi Dog” lure. In addition, he makes regular and jetted bullets, hard heads, tubes, straight runners, plungers and the ever popular 861, 614. The 861 and 614 got their names from the weight of the marlins caught on their virgin plunge into the water along the Kona coast.


Take a great Kona charter captain and pair him with a master artist. That is how you create Marlin Magic Lures. Capt. Parker and artist, Gary Eoff, created one of the most fish catching lure collections on the planet. To begin with, the Parker family has generations of lure making experience. Capt. George Parker caught a grander on one of his own lures in 1954. Secondly, his son, Marlin, inherited his knack with multiple grander catches. And then, add Gary Eoff’s hand-crafted artistry to this vast Big Game Fish catching experience, and you can’t go wrong with a Marlin Magic Lure.

Furthermore, the collection has something tailored to every big game fish and every baitfish situation. If you need Ruckus, you got it. If you need a Plunger, no worries. Looking for something special, like an Ahi Pussy, look no further. In conclusion, Marlin Magic Lures are just what the ocean ordered.


Ruckus, Ahi Pussy, HSAP (High Speed Ahi Pussey), Explosivo, Bullet, Large Pear. Papa Joe, Flyer, Plunger, Rad Dog, Lava Tube, Firecracker Jet, Digga.


Aloha Lures are hand crafted and designed by Erik “Merlin” Rusnak and his brother, Tait Rusnak. Merlin and Tait weigh and shape each Aloha Big Game Lure to reproduce swimming patterns of the most delicious baitfish and squid.

Aloha Lures clear resin heads are nearly indestructible. In addition, Aloha Lures flashing mirrors drive pelagic fish into frenzy. Aloha Lures come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are medium and large pear shapes with beveled heads. However, the V shaped cut in the head of the Super Ninja lure creates an irresistible wiggle. On the other hand, the bubble generating cupped head of the Mongo Kona lure makes it perfect for rough water. In 2017 Marlin Magazine included Aloha Lure’s 16 inch long Smash Bait tube lure with a beveled head among the top 5 marlin lures on the market.


Mongo Kona, Large Mongo, Medium Mongo, Disco, Disco Ball. Foxy Disco, Lolo, Micro Lolo, Beauty, Micro Beauty, Large Beauty, Medium Beauty, EX Nut, Flash Bait, Gully Boy, Pac Man, Machine, Gob Stopper, Smoking Loon, Super Ninja, Smash Bait


Steve Coggin makes Coggin Lures the old fashioned way, by hand – one at a time. Each Coggin Big Game Fishing Lure is hand turned, hand cut, and hand polished. In addition, Steve chooses each decorative insert and arranges it for maximum alluring sparkle. Coggin Lure’s inserts feature reflective shell or dichroic glass. Steve uses multiple colored resin pours and hand crafted resin eyes.

Steve grew up in Hawaii. He learned his lure making craft from the local masters. He took his knowledge with him to Southern California. Since then, he transformed his big game lure making skills into an art in his Bakersfield, CA workshop.


Lures: Copycat Plunger, Extreme Copycat Plunger, Tado, Jetted Tado, Copa Teardrop, Blue Hawaii, big Slant. Da Bomb Bullet, Peanut, Peanut Slant, Peanut Stick, Tube, Stick Bullet.

More News at Big Game Fishing – Big Game Lure Makers Section


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