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JDS Customs

Blog by: Evan McMullen 12/12/2017

            James, the owner, and artist of JDS customs made me a custom slow sink Green Sunfish painted to local sunfish colors.  The artistry displayed in this single lure is mind-boggling.  His attention to detail in the paint scheme is fantastic!  As soon as I took it out of the package I could tell he took his time in painting it to look the way I wanted it to.  James will take the time to talk with you and take your input; whether it be a picture from the internet, an idea, or a picture you have of a previous catch to design a lure around your request.  He is truly a custom bait shop.  It's like a taxidermy mount that you can fish with!  We haven't gotten to how life like the action is yet...


Shown is the lure he crafted for me.


Iíve caught right around a half dozen largemouth on this lure, and while the numbers haven't been astronomical for how much I've thrown it, typical for any large swimbait.  The size of the catch is impressive.  I have yet to break into the double digits but I have caught a more in the 7lb class than I ever have before.  Large lures, in general, will weed out the dinks, it takes a real monster to get into the ring with these guys!


This bait swims like a real fish.  In fact, I've had more than one person on the dock ask me if I've hooked a greenie!  It so real looking in fact that a local Florida apex predator decided to try and relieve me of my greenie just a few weeks, luckily, I was able to get it back safely!  Ladies and gentlemen this isn't just a Bass candy lure, Pike and Musky are going to come running to this dinner bell, the fish of 10,000 cast may be closer now than ever!


Also, these aren't just for fresh water.  Here in the near future, I plan on throwing a pinfish version in the salt to try and entice some Florida snook to come out and play!

He offers swimbaits in both the sunfish shape I have here as well as the very popular trout shape.  To browse his work and to place an order for your own custom swimmer please visit


I want to bring to your attention to more than just the lure itself, I want to highlight the man behind the creations.  A retired USMC veteran, James has gone into business for himself crafting what I would consider to be some of the most realistic swimbaits on the market.  I interviewed James over the phone and would like to share a bit about the man pouring his heart into crafting your custom swimmer.


Interview with James of JDS Customs


Mac: What made you go into business for yourself?  Was there a Push that made you do it?


James: I think I have always wanted to do something in fishing as a profession.  When I started I was not all "Gun Ho", I just said to myself if I can help my wife with a car payment and go on a nice vacation every year Iíll be happy.


Mac: How did you get your start?  Has your business evolved over time?


James: I want to say 2006 or so I just sat down and started to whittle on some wood determined to make a trout swimbait that could catch some giant bass.


Mac: Back before you started, did you ever think you would get this far?


James: When I first started I was just trying to make my own lures so I didn't have to pay the high dollars that lure makers were charging.  After about 6 years of making baits in my garage, I started to catch some really big bass on my baits and even had one day that produced a 5-bass limit that went to 49 3/4 lbs.  I had two bass over 10 lbs. two over 9 1/2 lbs. and my smallest one right at 8 lbs.  That day was really amazing and it just re-enforced my dream to make baits for a living and make a little money.


Mac: Were there times when you wanted to throw in the towel?


James: Sometimes, yes it really bugs me when I can't make a bait run or look the way I want it.  It's a lot of trial and error.


Mac: If you could do it all over again would you do anything differently?


James: Sometimes when I look back on things I wonder if I had done things differently where would I be.  I think the man upstairs had a plan for me at the time of my initial swimbait making stages and back in 2006 to 2008 I was in Iraq as a Marine Infantryman completing many patrols and primarily just trying to get my section and myself back in one piece.  When I got back from my second deployment I started lure building again with a vengeance.


Green Sunfish by JDS Customs
Blog content © Evan McMullen
Blog Comments
hawghawler, FL   12/18/2017 2:40:05 PM
Looks great, does he make them in different sizes?