Spark Plugs Make Great Fishing Lure Retrievers

Spark plugs make great (and cheap) fishing lure retrievers.

Going fishing? Well, if you’ve got a used spark plug sitting in your tool box, you may want to drop it in your tackle box on your way out the door. That’s because car spark plugs make great fishing lure retrievers.

Old-school fishermen have used this trick for decades, but the idea went mainstream with the onset of urban fishing holes, where young, hip city denizens gather to cast lines and compare catches. Photos of these events certainly are not the stuff of Field & Stream photo spreads. Fishing spots often are small bodies of water surrounded by chain link fencing with razor wire, rusting metal beams and concrete slabs jutting out of the surface. But the camaraderie of anglers everywhere is just as strong in urban areas as it is anywhere else.

“Fishing is so cool because it breaks down social barriers,” Ben Sargent, founder of New York’s Brooklyn Urban Anglers Association and Brooklyn Fishing Derby told reporters. “If you’re male or female doesn’t matter, race doesn’t matter. There’s definitely skill involved, but you can bring out a newbie who can catch a 40-inch fish.”

Many of those involved in these organizations, which encourage fishing in New York’s East River and surrounding waterways, use the spark plug lure retriever trick. Simply slip a snap swivel on the spark plug electrode and bed or tap the electrode downward, closing the gap. If your lure gets snagged (as often happens when fishing beneath bridges and dams), tighten your line, clip the swivel onto the line between the rod tip and your lure, and let the spark plug go. It’ll link down and knock your lure free. Spark plug lure retrievers work best on crankbaits and jigging spoons. They’re less effective with small lures such as jigs and worms. And if your lure doesn’t come free, you’ll have to break the line and leave behind both your lure and the spark plug retriever. You might miss your favorite lure, but at least your spark plug retriever is cheap and easily replaceable.

To help keep America’s fishing holes clean from toxins, be sure to boil your spark plugs in salt water before using them as lure retrievers. This will get rid of any oil or grease.

Have you used a spark plug as a fishing lure retriever or for some other odd-but-handy purpose? E3 Spark Plugs wants to know. Drop us a line on in our blog comment section or on our E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page. Don’t forget to post your pictures, too.


A close-up view of a brand-new nickel electrode spark plug for an automotive internal combustion engine.
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