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Home / Fishing / Articles



Selecting the Proper Spinnerbait

  by Jeremiah T. Bagwell

Arguably, one of the most productive search baits on the market is the Spinnerbait. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro angler, these lures will give you the ability to dissect a large area of water in a short period of time.

Although, Spinnerbaits are viewed as an easy to use or almost "fool proof" lure, there are certain factors that will affect their level of productivity.

As with any other bait selection, size and color are important factors. However, they represent only a small piece of the equation when choosing a Spinnerbait.

When selecting the size of the lure you must take into consideration the time of year and also water clarity. In the spring or in

clear water it is very possible to catch a large bass on a bait as small as 1/8 ounce. Just the opposite occurs in the fall and also in muddy water, where larger profile baits as big as 1 ounce are the ideal choice. The 3/8 ounce size is viewed by many anglers as the all purpose size.

The color selection process can be broken down into two different segments, skirt color, and blade color. I have a tendency to keep this aspect very simple. When choosing the skirt color, I have a general rule that I follow. For clear water or sunny days, I will typically use a white bait. On cloudy days or in dirty water I lean more towards darker colored baits such as black and blue. This simple guideline is also, what I follow when selecting blade colors. On sunny days or in clear water, I will most often use silver blades. Silver has a greater reflection level than that of copper blades. Copper and also painted blades are effective choices for dirty water or cloudy skies.

In my opinion, the single most important factor of the bait selection process is the blade configuration. Blades play a huge role in the performance of these lures. They provide vibration, flash, lift and also affect retrieval speeds.

There are several different blade styles on the market. However, there are three styles that seem to dominate in popularity. These styles are the Willow Leaf blade, the Colorado blade, and the Indiana blade. Each variation has its own unique function.

The Colorado blade provides the highest level of lift for the bait. This is because of its round design that maximizes the amount of water being pushed. As a result, the lure will run shallower than baits with other blade styles. These blades also produce a great deal of vibration as they rotate in the water. The vibrations are sensed by the bass using their lateral lines. Because of the amount of water being displaced, these baits are excellent for muddy water when bass have limited visibility.

Indiana blades are more oblong than the Colorado blade. The design causes less water to be moved by the blade during rotation. As a result of its narrower shape, these blades will cause the lure to run a little deeper. They also produce a longer silhouette in the water, which increases the level of flash. These are good multipurpose blades.

The Willow Leaf blade is very narrow in comparison to the Colorado blade. This design gives off a lot of flash and very little vibration. Willow blades produce an even longer silhouette in the water because of their narrow shape and tight rotation. Spinnerbaits that have Willow Leaf blades can be ran a lot deeper than the previously mentioned blades. It is possible for you to run these baits shallow but in order to do so you would have to retrieve the lure very quickly. This blade is extremely effective in clear water, where bass tend to use sight as their primary sense.

Some innovative Spinnerbait developers are coming out with new and unique lure designs. B and D Custom Lures from Brandenburg, KY ( is the manufacturer of an awesome looking and extraordinarily designed bait called the Evilution "V". This Spinnerbait has dual thin wire arms for phenomenal flash and vibration. Every, bait is equipped with high quality, super sharp hooks and blades made from excellent grade materials. The Evilution "V" is multifunctional and can be affectively ripped just below the surface or slow rolled to catch monster bass.

Combining the different blade styles on your lures is a great way to maximize the baits performance. For example, you can have an ample supply of flash and vibration by using a bait that is equipped with both Willow Leaf and Colorado blades.

By experimenting with different styles and configurations, you are able to develop a lure that will meet your needs. As with every other type of lure, the most important aspect is your pure confidence. This can be obtained by frequently using and understanding how each variation works.

Proper line selection is another area that I feel is very important. Most anglers have their own opinion on what line is best. As I have said many times before, "I respect everyone's opinion". My personal preference for Spinnerbait fishing is 15-20 pound test PowerPro line. ( PowerPro is a micro filament line that has virtually no stretch. The significance of this is that you have the power, even on long casts, to get enough force to drive the big Spinnerbait hook into the jaw of the bass. In most cases, Spinnerbaits are equipped with heavy gauge hooks that range in size from 2/0 to 5/0. With some monofilaments, the line stretch can be as much as 25% when wet. That represents a significant amount of power loss when setting the hook. In turn, it could result in several lost fish and lost earnings for tournament anglers. That logic is the basis for my preference to use PowerPro line.

By taking into consideration the multiple aspects of each fishing situation and analyzing each individually, an angler can more effectively choose the proper Spinnerbait. Develop a simple checklist for choosing the appropriate bait. Determine such factors as depth, water clarity, retrieval speed, etc and determine which configuration and size bets suites your needs. By doing so, you will greatly increase the number of bass you catch on Spinnerbaits.

I would like to thank Bill Boyer from B and D Custom Lures for providing the photographs for this article.

Read about Jeremiah T. Bagwell and other writers in our Outdoor Writers section.


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