By: Steven Narup
There are quite a few styles of spinnerbaits, including tail spinners, in-line spinners, and clothespin style spinnerbaits. Each style has there own time and place. The most widely used of these spinnerbait choices, is the clothes pin style.
Tail spinners can be a great choice when fishing for smallmouth bass and or finicky largemouth due to the bait’s compact size.
In-line Spinners became obsolete for many years by most bass anglers. Until now, they are slowly catching on to both Smallmouth and Largemouth anglers.
In-line spinners are a great bait when the fish are active but they can also be great when presented it other situations. Most people use in-line spinners when the fish are in a negative feeding mood, due to the bait’s smaller more compact size. There is one problem with in-line spinners, which keep the majority of people away from them, the fact that they will give you line twist. To help with this scenario try a high quality stainless steel ball bearing, this will cut back on the line twist. A ball bearing helps prevent line twist like so, when the bait starts to spin and twist in the water column the line will most likely twist without a ball bearing. However, if you have a ball bearing connecting the mainline to the leader, when the bait twists the ball bearing spins the line back so that the line will not twist as easily. If by any chance you do have line twist, let out a couple hundred feet of line into the water and turn your trolling motor on, this will get most of the twist out of your line. Another trick is the tie your line to a heavy object and stretch the line out by tightening your drag and pulling the line.
The clothespin style spinnerbait comes in many different combinations including blade size and style and different size heads. There are Steel and Titanium wires. The Titanium version is nearly indestructible, and needs little or no tuning at all. Titanium also lets off quite a bit more vibration then steel. The heads on clothespin spinnerbaits are starting to be produced with different materials as well, such as Lead, and Tungsten. Spinnerbait anglers are slowly starting to make the switch to Tungsten spinnerbaits, due to the fact the head is almost 3/4 the size of lead, making the bait work through cover almost effortlessly.
In general, spinnerbaits are a very versatile lure, which is one main reason why most bass anglers use them. Bass anglers have been using them for many years now and they still produce fish as if they came out yesterday, you just have to know the different ways to fish the bait.
Tail spinners can be great finesse baits and they can be fished shallow or deep, because the body of the bait is lead, with a little blade on the back. The majority of tail spinners come with a single treble hook, making them not as easy as the clothespin style spinnerbait when trying to fish through thick cover. To work the tail-spinner you can just reel the bait back to the boat, by doing this you will reduce the odds of catching more fish, but it does work. Instead, you should give the bait a little action. You can yo-yo the bait by letting the bait fall to the bottom, then pick your rod tip up to about a 10 o’clock position, just keep repeating this procedure unless you are not producing. On the other hand, you can do a combination of things, to give the fish something different to look at. You can yo-yo the bait during part of the cast, then reel, or twitch it back to the boat. One last way to fish this bait would be to vertical jig it, in deep, clear, cold water. This technique will work in different conditions, but works best in deep, clear, cold water. When you vertical jig a tail spinner you cast the bait out a few feet and let the bait fall vertically, on a semi-slack line then you slowly lift your rod tip and shake the bait, let the bait fall and keep repeating this process. I like to use baitcasting gear when fishing tail spinners, but there are times when you need to fish lighter baits and that is when spinning gear comes into play. I mainly fish Pflueger rods and reels. The rods are very nice they come with premium Fuji guides and a Fuji reel seat, making the rod one nice package. I really like the Trion Baitcasting reel because they come with five ball bearings, one roller bearing and a smooth multi-disc main gear applied star drag system, making this a great reel for mostly any type of fishing. The reel is great if you want to fish a lighter line, because you can set your drag and the drag is so smooth that when a fish pulls there will not be as much stress on the line itself.
In-line spinners have been around for over fifty years, and they are still going strong, Mepps has been in the in-line spinner business for a while now, and they still sell great. Most anglers do not use in-line spinners while fishing for bass instead they are using bigger in-line spinners fishing for pike or musky. However, I know they are missing a lure that can catch bass like it can pike and musky. I have had great success fishing in-line spinners in creek openings, where the creek empties into the main river, fishing for smallmouth bass. In-line spinners can be worked shallow or deep, they come with or without tails, painted blades or non-painted blades. When you work an in-line spinner, the best possible way to fish these is to reel them in. If you try to jerk the bait, you will lose a lot of action, because in-line spinners are not made for jerking. In-line spinners let off a lot of flash, and maximum flash happens when you just reel it in. When I fish in-line spinners I like to use spinning gear preferably the Pflueger Trion spinning rod in a 6 ½ foot medium action, with a Pflueger Trion spinning reel, because they come in a 6:3:1 gear ratio which will allow you to speed up the bait without getting as tired out. They are very smooth and cast light baits a mile.
Clothespin spinnerbaits are one of your more versatile baits in the spinnerbait family. You can work them quite a few different ways, and give the bait action if you desire. When I work a safety pin spinnerbait, I really like to use a Pflueger Trion Baitcasting rod, anywhere from 6-foot medium to a 7-foot medium heavy action. The 6-foot rod will help you when you want to make accurate casts, and the 7-foot rod will help when you want to get distance with your bait. With the Trion rods, they are extra sensitive high modulus graphite, which will give you the ability to feel the blades turn on your bait. I will throw the bait on 15-20 pound test Berkley Trilene XL. When you work a safety pin spinnerbait, you can just reel it in, but again you are going to be missing some fish. When I fish a safety pin style spinnerbait, I sometimes jerk the bait, doing this gives the bait sort of an injured baitfish presentation. You can also let the bait flutter down, then you pick up your rod tip, and repeat, doing this gives the bait a yo-yo type effect. If I am going to be fishing a spinnerbait in cold water, I will look for anything that lets off heat because this will warm up the water just a little bit, fish do feel the difference, and I will fish the bait around that. If the fish are just coming up and nipping at the bait, you may want to add a trailer hook for extra insurance. I will usually throw a spinnerbait with a trailer hook in any tournament situation. If the fish are coming up and hitting that bait and not taking it you can use a soft plastic trailer, I prefer the three-inch Bear Claw Grub from Bearpaws Custom Handpoured Baits. I like the Bearpaws grub because it comes with the scent baked right in to the bait, this will give you a definite edge on other anglers, because you will not need to use scent on the exterior of the bait.
Spinnerbaits are a great and versatile lure that have made a lot of many for companies in the fishing industry. The only thing I can leave you with is next time you go out on the water, I dare you to tie on a spinnerbait, and I know that you will not regret it.
To contact Bearpaws Custom Handpoured Baits please contact John Olsen at http://www.bearpawshandpouredbaits.com. If you are interested in any of the reels that Pflueger has to offer please go to http://www.pfluegerfishing.comWhen most people are asked, "what is a spinnerbait?" They will more then likely reply with this, "it has a hook with a wire attached to it, with a lead head and a silicone skirt, with either one or two blades." The majority of the time they will automatically describe the clothes pin spinnerbait. Well in essence, there is much more to that. There is more then just that style of spinnerbait, this is what most people do not understand. Two other spinnerbait types are just as productive when presented in the right situation. These two baits are the tail-spinner and the in-line spinner. These baits are slowly catching on to the clothespin spinnerbait.