Tackle, Kokanee, Sockeye

Creating a Custom Red Racer Dodger

Creating a Custom Red Racer Dodger


The Red Racer color pattern is very popular for saltwater salmon lures.  In Puget Sound some people call it “high percentage” gear because it tends to do quite well in a variety of conditions.    I’ve caught many coho and chinook on Red Racer flashers and spoons.

I’ve always wanted to try that pattern for kokanee and other land locked salmon, but for some reason no one seems to make a dodger in that color pattern.

The pattern is very simple.  It consists of a fluorescent green and silver body with a fluorescent red stripe on it.

So I’ve decided to make my own.

What You’ll Need

You will need a few things to create your custom dodger.

  • A dodger “blank”
    • With associated hardware, such as swivels, snaps and split rings
  • Red, green and silver lure tape
  • Transfer tape

If you plan to create just one or two dodgers, when the easiest thing to do is to buy an already made dodger at the store, such as this plain chrome one.  However, if you plan to make more, then it is best to buy parts from someplace that sells tackle components and build your own.  I get mine from Hagen’s.  If going that route then I highly suggest also getting a pair of split ring pliers.

For the lure tape in this setup we are going to use a strip of each color.  I got my tape from Pen Tac, but it looks like this tape would be a better alternative.

For the silver tape I used some left over Mad River tape which I got from eBay.

Transfer tape is a clear sticky tape you can use to pick up your cut sticker off its backing, and then place it where you want it to go.  It is essential for complicated patterns, and even helps with simple patterns.  For these application 6” tape works great.

Building the Pattern

Now it’s time to start building the pattern.  I didn’t want to put it directly on the dodger as I’m building the pattern, since any mistakes would mean pulling up the tape potentially losing the stickiness and ruining the tape.

So I used a piece of transfer tape to build the pattern face down with the backing still on my lure tape.

After I had the colors side by side, I then cut the tape into the size and shape I wanted.  Then I pulled off the tape backing and positioned it on the dodger.  When done I pulled off the lure tape.

I repeated this on both sides of the dodger.

Finishing The Dodger

Now that the dodger has the pattern on it, I added the hardware.  The result is ready to fish.

When I put the dodger under a UV light it is easy to see why fish like this pattern.  The colors show up nice and bright with good contrast.

I put the finished dodgers in my dodger folder for storage.


Building your own custom dodger with stickers and a computer cutter is easy and fun.  It can also save you money, and let you create fishing tackle that is exactly how you want.

Do you make your own tackle?  Please share what you like to make.

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