Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What’s the deal with Spinnerbaits? A basic breakdown

The spinnerbait is one of the lures I love to fish with but is not the number one fish catcher in my tackle box. One of the most complex lures to fish with has to be the spinnerbait. There are a lot of technical aspects that blur the waters for this lure in regards to precise rods, line weights and even reel types. Let’s brush all of that confusion aside and just focus on throwing the spinnerbait with what you are fishing with right now.

Below is a link to a video on my youtube page. Big fish love spinnerbaits. Yes sir!

Adjust speed for various presentations

The spinnerbait is the ultimate search bait in my opinion as you can test both speed and depth to it’s fullest depending on the retrieve. The spinnerbait has both weight and buoyancy allowing for long casts and shallow water coverage simply by adding a quicker reel pace. By the same token, the wire body and blade will sink down to virtually any depth as you slow the retrieve. And that is the key to the spinnerbaits versatility.

Most folks have one preferred speed for this lure and that is “ripping” fast. High-speed action is best when the fish are very aggressive. At other times the fish just won’t waste the energy chasing anything down. You practically have to nail them in the mouth while using the warp 5 retrieve. Mix things up a little especially when bites are slow or hanging in the No-Go section.

For example, the lift and drop method allows the lure to cover various depths by lifting the rod tip up and then lowering it. Slack is reeled in on the drop and then the lure is lifted again. The depth and speed is something the angler has complete control over as where other lures are designed to operate at specific depths.

(Above: This illustration is my attempt to show the rise and fall action that is created from the lift and drop method. Remember the amount of depth is something you can control.)

Another great spinnerbait presentation is called the slow roll. This method utilizes a very slow retrieve and is great for catching reluctant fish. The key is to give the lure just enough motion to keep the blade fluttering and the lure bouncing off of cover. This method requires a lot of patience.

(Above: The subtle movement of the slow roll presentation is shown above. Bouncing the lure off the structure will often trigger strikes.)

Blades, skirts, wires-All can be adjusted for optimum results.

The fluttering blade action is hypnotic. That flash of sparkly goodness attracts, delights and confuses fish to no end. The blade comes in many sizes and arrangements. Personally I use the “tandem” style most of the time. This type of spinnerbait has the Colorado blade and then an additional round blade below that.

The skirting material is crucial in regards to adding motion and color. Try to get skirting (as well as overall color patterns) to match the forage base as close as possible. Orange, yellow and green are some common panfish/baby bass colors that work well in most situations. White with a mix or black or blue can resemble crappie, shad or even trout patterns. Don’t be afraid to add or change skirting as needed to the “off the shelf” spinnerbaits that you use.

The formed wire that connects the blade and the body is pure genius. It could only be more perfect if it was completely invisible. But what many anglers may not know is that you can bend that wire in to create a smaller profile look. The factory will set the bend on this wire at a perfect 90 degrees when 60 degrees is more ideal in my opinion.

Trailers and spinnerbait combos

Lastly I want to cover an additional step in regards to pimping out the spinnerbait. Sure the spinnerbait works well out of the box but adding a pork or plastic trailer can add that extra element that kicks your catch ratio into high gear. Matching the color or even adding a two-tone look with a plastic grub, pork frog or other plastic bait can also add buoyancy and a bulkier look to the lure. This is a subject that I hope to go into more depth in another post. This post is getting too long already and most of the readers have lost interest by now.

Drawbacks to the illustriously amazing spinnerbait

The spinnerbait is an “obvious” lure to some fish and will not pass the snuff test under certain conditions. Ultra clear water with no wind and very wary fish spells trouble for wirebait, Confucius say.

Even though the spinnerbait is far more weedless than most anglers give it credit for, it still hangs up in moss, heavy weedbed and lumber where other lures may be more affective.

The blade and wire design comes with a minor flaw in the fact that the fish will sometimes strike the blade and thus miss the hook altogether. A trailer hook will minimize some missed strikes.

In conclusion, this was a lot of #$^&* work to put together. There is so much more to cover in regards to the preferred rods, reels and even preferred line types for the spinnerbait. Just throw the spinnerbait with what you got and hold on!

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

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