My good mate Paul Kneller first began making lures professionally a quarter of a century ago, in the early 1990s, under the banner of Deception Lures. He quickly carved a loyal market niche for these beautiful, hand-crafted timber hard bodies. Deception Shrimps, in particular, became the “go-to” lure at places like Lake Windamere, in central western NSW, while his Nippers, Cherax, Yabbies, Palaemons and other models also developed a strong following amongst both fresh and saltwater anglers.

Aussie lure fishers and collectors are rapt to hear that Paul Kneller is back on the tools!

Aussie lure fishers and collectors are rapt to hear that Paul Kneller is back on the tools!

The Deception brand was eventually sold to the Brisbane-based Tacspo company around 2004, when Paul and his wife Cheryl opened a tackle shop in Maclean, in far northern NSW. Following this change-over, Paul’s original Deceptions quickly became collector’s items, attracting high prices on the boutique secondhand market.

I’m pleased to announce that after a long lay off from making and designing lures, Paul is back with renewed vigour and passion, keen to take his lures to the next level in terms of detail, action and quality. The models shown here are just an entree, with many more lures to be added to the line-up over the coming months and years. Best of all, every Kneller lure is crafted from wood, and Paul insists that this will never change!

Here’s a very quick rundown of some of the gems in Kneller’s new range. You can find out more by visiting his page on Facebook here, going directly to his on-line shop here, or emailing Paul at:



The Chernobyl Shad 55FD is a compact, deep-diving 55mm (5.5cm) plug ideally suited to bass, yellowbelly, trout, big bream, flathead, sooty grunter and the like. It will dive to a maximum depth of around 3 metres.

The Chernobyl Shad 55FD is a 55mm fat-bodied lure that could be best described as an all-rounder; suited to bass, bigger bream, flathead, estuary perch, trout, sooties and so on. The Chernobyl Shad will dive to around 3 metres on the troll or off a long cast, with great crash dive characteristics. Although only weighing in at 6 grams (just under 1/4 oz), these compact plugs cast surprisingly well, even off a baitcaster outfit.

Paul Gillespie with a cracking bass taken on one of Kneller's new Chernobyl Shads.

Paul Gillespie with a cracking bass taken on one of Kneller’s new Chernobyl Shad 55FDs.



Toxic Shock

The Toxic Shock 70F is an extremely innovative surface and barely sub-surface “wake bait” that can be slow-rolled or manipulated to “walk the dog”. It’s 70mm (7 cm) long and weighs 8 g or just over 1/4 oz.

The Toxic Shock 70F is a 70mm long “wake bait” lure. This increasingly popular lure category opens up a very different style of presentation that is fast becoming flavour of the month with switched-on anglers. The Toxic Shock blurs the lines between a shallow diving lure and surface presentation. With a subtle stabbing of the rod tip during the retrieve, you can make this lure “walk the dog” on or just below the surface (depending on retrieve speed). Pause and it will quickly bob back to the top like a sick baitfish. This style of retrieve allows you to keep your lure in the strike zone for extended periods. Conversely, you can simply slow roll the Toxic Shock, bringing its wide tail wag into play.

This is a really great lure where a more subtle presentation is required, especially in hard-fished areas. What fish will eat a Toxic Shock? Well, definitely bass, saratoga, sooty grunter, mangrove jacks, big bream… and just about any other fish that would be attracted to an injured minnow, prawn, insect or small terrestrial critter. Weighing in at 8 grams, the Toxic Shock 70F casts really well off either light baitcaster or spinning tackle.



The Popeye

The Popeye 105FD is a deep-diving barra-style lure that measures 105mm or 10.5cm in length.


The Popeye 105FS is a shallow-running barra-style lure or “twitch bait” sure to find favour with tropical anglers.


The Popeye Smashed 105F is a very interesting surface and barely sub-surface “wake bait”.

The Popeye 105FD, Popeye 105FS and Popeye Smashed 105F are each 105mm (10.5cm) long and are aimed squarely at our northern tropical species, especially barramundi, mangrove jacks, threadfin salmon and the like, although southern anglers are sure to catch plenty of big flathead, mulloway, kingies, tailor and even Murray cod on them.

The 105FD (deep version) will run at around 3 metres on the troll, or about 2.5 metres when cast-and-retrieved. Its narrower bib allows it to hang in well after you’ve cranked it to the depth you wish to fish.

The Popeye 105FS is a shallow, flats or run-off mouth style lure that runs at a maximum of around 1 metre on a cast-and-retrieve. The small, bib allows it to twitch seductively when worked with a good old-fashioned “Bomber-style” retrieve, with plenty of body roll and a minimum of sideways action or sway… just the way barra like it!

The Popeye Smashed 105F is another wake bait and the big brother to the Toxic Shock 70F. Cast it into a snag and twitch it out of the strike zone, or slow roll it across the flats for cruising fish. These three bigger lures basically share the same size and profile, but target three different levels in the water column. The poor old fish don’t stand a chance, really! Weighing 16 g apiece (just over 1/2 oz), all three also cast extremely well off both spinning and baitcaster tackle.

Watch for more models from the inventive brain and talented hands of Paul Kneller in coming months, or find out more by going to his Facebook page: Kneller Lures, email him at: or visit the dedicated on-line Kneller Lures store