WHAT ARE SPINNERBAITS? GUIDE TO THIS VERSATILE LURE
There are a lot of fishing lures that allow you to catch fish, but none are as unique as the spinnerbait. Even though they don’t look like the baitfish that many species love to prey on, spinnerbaits are nonetheless effective. Before you incorporate them into your arsenal, however, it’s good to familiarise yourself with the different types of spinnerbaits. So, what are spinnerbaits exactly? Here is my introductory guide to this very versatile lure.
WHAT ARE SPINNERBAITS?
A spinnerbait is comprised of a wire frame that looks like a safety pin opened to 90 degrees. On one side, there is a weighted hook that’s typically dressed in a rubber skirt. This dressing produces a pulsating action in the water. The other end has one or more spinner blades attached to a rotating swivel. The blades produce a fluttering motion on the water. The spinnerbait wire form is also snag-resistant, so it’s suitable for areas with structure.
In terms of appearance, a spinnerbait isn’t a lure that mimics any prey. It has an unnatural appearance and doesn’t resemble baitfish at all. Rather, it works by producing flash and vibration that appeal to predators.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPINNERBAITS
Spinnerbaits can vary when it comes to the jig-like head and blade style. The lure’s weighted head can have a thin and elongated shape, which allows it to move quickly or a curvier and thicker shape that’s effective when bumped into cover. You can also vary the weight of the head. The heavier it is, the faster it will sink into the water.
As previously mentioned, spinnerbaits can attract fish because the blade produces vibrations akin to a distressed baitfish. This lure produces different speeds and vibrations depending on the style of the blade it has. The blade is usually made from stainless steel or nickel to produce flash and shine underwater. There are three basic types of blades: Willow, Colorado and Indiana. Of course, there are many more types of blades with many different names and new blades coming out all the time. However, these are the basic styles to understand.
The Willow blade is long and thin, and it’s the fastest among the three blades. However, it produces the least amount of vibration. This will only attract fish that are relatively near your lure. You can use this lure in clear water as predators can still rely on their sight to detect prey. You don’t want the fish to be up close though as it might see the spinnerbait’s unnatural appearance. You should be far enough and quick enough that all the fish see is the lure’s flash as is flurries along underwater.
The Colorado blade has a rounded shape that creates the most water disruption when it spins. Though it is the slowest among the three blades, it has the strongest vibration. Its shape also means that it runs higher in the water column. This makes it suitable for shallow water and subsurface fishing. The Colorado blade is also most effective in murky water or at night.
The Indiana blade is somewhere in the middle of the Willow and Colorado blades. It has an oval shape and produces moderate speed. It’s suitable for different water depths and is typically used in slightly stained water.
Apart from the main blade, some spinnerbaits also have a secondary blade. Some even combine different blades to take advantage of their respective benefits. For example, a Double Willow allows for faster retrieves, while a Double Colorado creates a lot more vibration. A Colorado and Willow tandem is also popular for having both flash and vibration, while the Colorado and Indiana tandem is a subtle but effective combination. There are just so many names and variants on the market, it is impossible to list them all.
Even though you can use a spinnerbait with a basic retrieve technique, you also have to consider how the behaviour of fish changes depending on the weather and water conditions. Thus, you’ll have to mix up your presentation when the fish become finicky or if you’re fishing in less than ideal conditions. Spinnerbaits can be used in so many ways. It is up to you to experiment.
Introduce some variety into your basic spinnerbait retrieve by giving your rod a jerk. It’s best to do it when you’re passing by vegetation or hard structure. As you hit something, allow your spinnerbait to lie motionless for a second and then give it a quick jerk. This sudden and erratic movement can be enough to trigger a reaction strike.
If you see baitfish feeding just below the surface of the water, it’s usually a good time to throw a spinnerbait. When retrieving your lure, keep your rod tip high and keep the spinnerbait’s blade close to the surface. This technique creates a lot of vibration on the surface of the water and is bound to gain the attention of predators.
In colder water, fish tend to be inactive or lethargic. You can use to yo-yo method to catch their attention. You throw a spinnerbait and make it move up and down like a yo-yo. As the lure sinks to the bottom, lift it up and down while reeling in the slack. This technique is useful when used in areas with vegetation.
Aside from the usual spinnerbait styles and techniques, anglers have also come up with some modifications that will make the lure more effective. If you want to adjust your retrieval speed, you can adjust a spinnerbait’s wire form to be either wider or narrower than the original 90 degrees. If you want your lure to go slower, open the wire form wider. Conversely, if you want the spinnerbait to move faster, make the opening narrower.
Since spinnerbaits are fast-moving lures, there are times when you fail to hook the fish. A solution for this is to add a trailer hook. You slide it over the main hook, and this gives the spinnerbait a larger profile. This modification will help increase your hookup ratio.
Another modification is to trim the spinnerbait’s skirt. This will also make your retrieve speed a lot faster. By reducing the lure’s drag, you prevent it from tilting from one side or rolling over.
Unlike most lures, spinnerbaits don’t resemble baitfish all that much. Nevertheless, they produce action and movement that still make them irresistible to fish. Spinnerbaits come in such a wide variety, it’s great to have a stack with you to see which is best to catch fish on that day because you can use them for a wide variety of fishing conditions. Now that you know how great spinnerbaits are for fishing, it’s time to test out your skills out on the water.
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