The Silent but Deadly Spinnerbait!
8:46 AM | Author: Tech Tactical

Spinnerbait Basics

If your new to the sport of bass fishing and you asked 50 accomplished anglers what their choice of bait they would have on their arsenal of lures , you would get varying answers, but I would guess that at least 60% would choose a spinnerbait, with myself being among those that chose this bait, a lure that some Pro's have so appropriately nicknamed, the "wheel".

A spinnerbait is undoubtly the easiest of all bass fishing lures for a beginner to fish and produces numerous limits of bass for anglers in tournaments across the nation. The innovation of thespinnerbait has progressed into some spinnerbaits that even have gone as far as to using adjustable weights with high tech titanium wires for greater strengthand increased feel of the blades vibration.

If you were to query the vast amount information offered to anglers nowadays on the internet searching for seasonal type lures to use for bass fishing, spinnerbaits will generally fall into the top two or three for most seasons. This statement holds more true especially in the spring and fall seasons.

With crankbaits and jigs being in that list as well, but that is mostly user preference.
The blades used have progressed as well from their original designs from blades that had to be changed often from oxidation resulting in rusting to now available stainless super high gloss gold plated blades with 3D eyes attached to immitate a more natural looking baitfish as it swims through the water.


Bass are very aggressive feeders and easily chase down and catch most of their favorite foods, with baitfish being one of their favorites. I've heard the statement many times that an angler claimed he was reeling too fast but let tell you, any bass can catch your lure anytime it wants. It was probably more that the bass just wanted a slightly different look or small variation in color at that particular time. They are also territorial and at times strike anything that ventures into their domain. If it moves and they can get it into their large mouth, bass will attempt to eat it.

One angler I fish with fishes a spinnerbait with the ideals that you can not reel to fast and always fishes them on top of the waters surface with a 6:3 to 1:00 ratio reel and turns the reel handle as fast as he can . I will have to admit, I can count on one hand the number of times I have matched his catch ratio when fishing against him using only spinnerbaits.

If you stop to consider the hundreds of lures out on the market today a spinnerbait is one of the most versitile baits offered to anglers . It can be swam through the water like most anglers do and used as a jig or even used as a topwater bait when fish are in a feeding frenzy. One of my personal tricks I use when fishing open waters with a clean smooth bottom is to attach a piece of foam or cork to a light (1/4 oz. or less) spinnerbait and attach it behind a carolina rig. The strikes you get with this rig set-up can almost pull the rod from your hands if not ready when a bass hits your lure. A slight twitch of the rod tip will make the blades vibrate to entice a strike from bass.

What I do is shave the lead away from the head to where it feels almost bouyant with a piece of cork or foam attached and attach it to the leader as I would any other bait. Now, you do have to fish it a bit faster than you normally would to keep from hanging up from the bait falling to the bottom when stopped. This presentation offer bass a totally different look that they probably haven't seen before. I have had a few days when every bass I caught on this rig set-up was over five pounds. It also lets you fish heavily pressured fish that will pull off of structure from various conditions.

Whether you are fishing deep, or just below the surface. Whether you are working weeds, grass, brush, standing timber, stumps, rock piles, boat docks, rip-rap or any other particular type of cover or structure, a spinnerbait is tough to beat. It works in the spring , summer , fall and winter and whether it is clear, muddy, cold or hot.

Now , that being said , every angler knows that there is no "magic" bait that will catch fish all the time, but the fact being that spinnerbaits have produced more full livewells than any other lure. For versatility, flexibility, and capability to be properly presented under every imaginable fishing condition and scenario, the spinnerbait shines above all other lures.

Spinnerbaits offer unlimited combinations of flash, vibration, color, and profiles. Additionally they are quiet, non-threatening baits which act naturally. Properly match the above characteristics to the existing conditions and bass find them quite irresistible.

A few a the basics of spinnerbait fishing that need discussing are the variations of blades offered. Undoubtedly the willow leaf blade is probably the most used because of it's flash . It is the best blade choice for fishing clear water or even stained water. It has the most appealing vibration and flash without spooking a fish. It can also be fished in heavy cover and fished as fast or slow as you want.

Single spinnerbaits (one blade) are the most common and versatile. They can be fished deep, shallow, and with a variety of retrieves (stop-and-go, straight, helicoptered, fluttered, Yo-Yo). Their clean design allows them to be fished in cover with minimum snags or hang-ups. They also produce more vibration than tandem blades (two blades). One drawback to single blades is their tendency to roll to the side when retrieved at a high speed.

Tandem spinnerbaits offer more flash and lift than do single spins. They are excellent choices when a lot of flash or more lift is desired. More importantly they can be worked at higher speeds through shallow cover when the bass are in an active mood and cruising. Tandems are the perfect choice for "buzzing" or "burning" your bait just under the surface to create a bulge or wake. When the bass are active and shallow, tandem blades are hard to beat. On the other hand, they are not a good choice for deep water, slow rolling, or vertical drop presentations.

Remember to stop and think that just like yourself, a bass' metabolism slows down in cold water so when fishing in cold water conditions, generally a slower presentation will work best, no matter the depth you are fishing. When fishing in cold water conditions I will tie on a colorado leaf blade spinnerbait because it produces more vibration and noise than a willow leaf blade. And with rattles attached , a colorado style blade will make rattles louder.

Last but not least is the Indiana Blade type. It is a mix of the willow leaf and colorado leafed blades. They are my choice when fishing warm stained or warm muddy water when the bass are active.

There is also another type of spinnerbait not often mentioned but just as versatile and effective as all the above mentioned and that is the Inline type spinnerbait, but I will discuss them at at later date. When choosing blade sizes you must consider what will happen when a particular sized blade will do to the operation and effectiveness of the spinnerbait. A blade too small and generally won't produce enough vibration. ( although this can work in certain situations when fishing heavily pressured fish to mimic smaller baitfish and not alarm bass in their homes).

I prefer to start with smaller blades in the spring (#2 or #3) and move to larger blades as the season progresses. If the bass are feeding on shad I try to match my blade size to the size of their body. As with all baits, don't be afraid to experiment until the bass tell you what they want. Different conditions call for different sizes, colors, and presentations. One combination I use on large heavily pressured lake near me in the hot weather conditions is 3/4 oz. spinnerbait with a single number 13 Indiana blade attached, I fish it similar to how I fish a jig or other large bait around very heavy cover and in brush piles. By the way, I always use a trailer and trailer hook but I will discuss that later as well.


BLADE COLOR: Blade finishes can be painted, flat metallic, or hammered. Silver, gold, and copper are the most common colors. However, don't overlook the whole new family of painted blades which has invaded the market. Water clarity and light conditions dictate my blade color choice. In clear water I prefer silver. On tandem spins I often use a silver/gold combination. Blades with the new metalflake finishes are also big favorites. Even though they don't emit the same amount of brilliance metallic blades do; they produce a lot of flash which is broken up into numerous tiny flashes - just like a school of baitfish flitting through the water. Try them, they work!

SKIRT COLOR: Once again there are more colors available than you can imagine. As you may have guessed, water clarity, light conditions, and available forage dictate my choice. When the water is clear I prefer skirts in a clear silverflake, clear green, or clear pepper color. I also like to add a few strands of red, blue, or gold to the above. Solid white is also a good choice. In stained water chartreuse and white or chartreuse and blue are solid picks. Muddy water calls for pure chartreuse or a firetiger pattern. Of course, at night or on dark, heavily overcast days colors like black or purple work well.

TRAILERS: I believe in them and I use them. Why? They add color, wiggle and provide bulk. Under most conditions white or pearl-white are my favorite. Chartreuse adds often needed visibility. A good rule of thumb for trailer colors is to complement your skirt color. Try to avoid dramatically contrasting skirt/trailer combinations.

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Another Great article on Spinnerbaits at Indiana Game and Fish

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