Spinner Bait Primer
by Jay Lundgreen

The spinner bait is one of the older lures in our modern day tackle boxes. This whole idea began with inline spinner baits. Inline spinner baits are making a resurgence now, as we anglers search for something different that the bass are not accustomed to seeing zip by. All of us are familiar with inline spinner baits and for those of us who live up north they never left the tackle boxes.

The spinner bait overall mimics baitfish or in the case of multi blade spinner baits, it resembles a school of bait fish. The spinner bait is really more complicated than just a piece of wire fastened to a hook with a skirt and a blade. There are subtleties which make each one different and therefore effective in different situations.

The old inline spinner bait usually had a treble hook and usually a hair skirt material trailing behind the body which trailed behind the actual spinner. This worked great until you needed to get into some brush or aquatic vegetation. The result was exasperating constantly trying to get the bait cleaned off or simply having to retrieve the bait from brush. From this exasperation the 'new' safety pin style spinner bait was formed.

As most of us are aware, the 'standard' spinner bait affords us the luxury of casting into brush or a weed line and never having the hassle of getting hung up or fouled. In the beginning, the spinner bait was a single length of wire which was twisted in the 'nose' to form a line tie. That has been changed in recent years to an 'R' bend nose to keep from pinching the line which was attached.

Spinner baits have several integral parts which, if any part is changed causes drastic changes in the entire function of the bait. The most obvious part of the spinner bait is the weighted head. And, of course you can get the bait in many different weights therefore varying the depth and the retrieve. In addition, the actual blade or blades of the bait determine how the bait rides in the water column and depending upon water clarity how effective it is at catching the attention of a bass. The hook portion was always taken for granted; yeah there was one there on the back. Today most spinner baits on the market have premium quality hooks. The skirt is the next thing we look at and the corresponding color. When I began fishing this type of bait in the 60's the skirts were turned just the opposite of what we turn them today. This was the way they came and we fished them never thinking to turn them backwards to give the bait more bulk.

Little attention is paid to the actual wire, which is the main foundation of a spinner bait. This portion of the spinner bait is probably the most critical. Not only the material the actual wire is made of but the length of both arms of the wire play a mission critical role in the effectiveness of the spinner bait. Have you ever wondered why one spinner bait caught fish and another seemingly same spinner bait did not? As well, have you ever had the thought cross your mind that some of these spinner baits are just too expensive, and after they are all the same anyway!

The difference in materials used and the design make a huge difference in effectiveness. This includes not only the wire used, but the blade design and the skirt material and color. Blades are basically four types; Indiana blade, Oklahoma blade, Colorado blade and willow leaf blade. A willow leaf blade creates less resistance in the water and flashes more and most believe that it is the blade of choice for clear water situations. On the other end of the spectrum is the Colorado blade, which puts out a tremendous 'thump' when retrieved, and a little less flash, therefore a better choice in stained or murky water situations. Obviously in the clear water situation the bass can actually see the bait and bite, whereas in the murky or stained water situations the bass must rely on its lateral line to feel the impulses put off by the 'thump' of the Colorado blade to find and bite the bate. The other blade choices fall in between and allow some compromise for those situations which demand subtle differences to entice a bass to bite.

Skirt material now is mostly silicone skirt material, but some still rely on the old round rubber skirt material claiming that it moves more in the water thus enticing strikes. Skirt material comes in all different colors across the spectrum, allowing the angler to choose which best matches the forage which is preyed upon at the time they are fishing.

The wire used in spinner baits will allow more or less vibration and this can be adjusted by the length of the arm to which the blades are attached. If you shorten the blade arm of the bait you create a stiffer arm which will, depending upon the blade selection create more or less vibration. The same can be said for lengthening the blade arm and the combination of the particular blade. The blade color used to be really basic; chrome or gold colored finish. Now there are any numbers of colors imaginable. Chrome seems to be the choice for more clear water situations and gold tones for murky or stained water. Fluorescent painted blades seem to work better in cloudy conditions whereas the chrome works better in bright sunny conditions.


Verse of The Day

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)

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