As fishing lures become more and more mainstream, many anglers have adopted the practice of tying on what looks natural. In saying that, so much of us get caught up in trying to match the hatch that we sometimes forget about the lures that have produced some of the greatest results for us. We owe some huge thank yous to the spinnerbait and what it has to bring to the table. Success happens often with this lure style. Even so, spinnerbaits are often met with misunderstandings, especially from new fishermen who think that it will never catch anything because it looks weird. Although it is odd-looking and many anglers believe this would deter fish from biting, it is actually a very effective style of a lure as well as a very versatile one. The design and construction of the bait style are very unique. It typically consists of a lead or tungsten jighead with a wire arm molded into it. The wire arm holds the action. The blade. This blade moves and spins, attracting fish. There is usually a rubber skirt with many fibers on the back. This is usually silicone, latex, or some other flexible rubber. The blade is attached to the wire arm with a ball bearing swivel. They are generally easy to fish with and use but like all other lures, there are those extra things you can learn to do with them that will really crank up your fishing game. There are also specific brands and models that tend to work better than others. In this post, we are going to go over what those are and the features they offer. These features will ultimately be why we think so. We are going to review the best spinnerbaits for bass and other fish.
1. Strike King KVD Finesse (Our Top Pick)
The Strike King KVD spinnerbait is a bass catcher designed by the world-class angler and tournament bass fishermen, Kevin VanDam. Quite literally the best of the best tournament bass fishermen in the world by statistical numbers, he has manufactured a true spectacle in fishing lures. It is pretty awesome.
This lure has some awesome features that you are sure to love, right out of the box. First of all, it has a very thick, high quality, wire arm that makes it very hard to bend. That means you will rarely if ever have to bend it to get it fine-tuned or running true again, which can be a headache to many people. Next, it has one of the best heads that we have ever seen molded onto any fishing lure lead or otherwise. It is very even, balanced, and unique.
This design helps prevent the lure from ever rolling when you bring it across structures or submerged vegetation. You will also love the quality of hook that Kevin decided to go with. The one he opted for is a Gamakatsu brand jighead hook. We highly regard Gamakatsu to be the very best brand as well as hook manufacturers in all of bass fishing. Their hooks stick fish without any issues. A hook this incredible will ensure that it will last for a very, very, long time without much maintenance on your part.
Another great feature is the sheer amount of sizes and colors available to you, the angler. It doesn’t matter where you fish. This one has you covered. In addition to huge sizes big enough to target Pike and Muskie, it also has awesome color patterns like Chrome Sexy Shad, Gizzard Shad, and chartreuse. It does not matter if your local water has Shad, Bluegill, Round Goby, or Crayfish. You can imitate those with this one. One of the most interesting thing about this particular spinner is the addition of a longer middle skirt. It does a few different things that are helpful to every angler that chooses it.
This helps hide the hook just a little bit better which can help get you the bite on fish who have seen hooks before. Lastly, the price is not bad either. Only around seven bucks (give or take), this is a must have especially if you don’t want to break the bank. It is a great, affordable, and effective option to consider. If you can only purchase one, we recommend you start with this one and give it a fair chance.
2. Strike King KVD Mini King (Best For Panfish)
If you are just starting out with spinnerbait fishing, or if you want a great lure that will catch just about any smaller fish that swims, you should look no further than the Mini King model by Strike King.This one has some great features that anybody should love, especially if you fish for Bluegill, Redear, Pumpkinseed, Crappie, Yellow Perch, and the list goes on.
The bait features a great circle bend instead of one shaped like an R. That means that you get a much more secure line to lure connection when you tie your knot onto it. That means you can also use a loop knot or any other fishing knot with it. This is very helpful especially if a loop knot is all you know how to tie.
Aside from that, you will love the pointed head on this one. It will make it so much easier to bring it through the cover. Another thing that we absolutely adore is the hook it comes with. Surprise, surprise, Kevin VanDam went with a Gamakatsu brand. It is just exceptional in quality as these hooks just keep working and working for years to come, even with regular use.
Another great thing about it is how it casts. For a small panfish spinner, it casts decently well even if there is wind. You may or may not have to use a spinning rod to get it to where you want it, depending on how good you are with one. Finally, this is a very affordable bait. The cost so little that it doesn’t hurt to pick up 2,3, or even 6 just to have in your box. They are of great value.
3. War Eagle Colorado Spinner (For Basic Fishing)
Next up on our list is a rather interesting offering that many anglers have yet to hear about. That is the War Eagle Willow Spinner. It has plenty of great things to consider, all of which are slightly different from traditional lures.
The first of those is the unique chrome head. It is very unlikely that you will find another bait of this quality with this unique feature. Unlike many other competing models, it is adorned with absolutely zero drops of paint.
This completely removes the angler’s worry about paint chipping off with use. If you use it a ton, you will end up with a dull rocky appearance instead, which does not affect the action one bit. That’s helpful. It holds up well.
Another great feature is the inclusion of custom skirts. Instead of having a uniform bait throughout, you get an uneven skirt pattern. This helps you hide the hook from the fish as well as show the fish something new. Something they have likely never seen before, depending. The way these skirts are attached to the bait is also really nice. The hook that is used is actually an Eagle Claw brand Lazer Trokar jig hook. For those unaware, Eagle Claw is 100% made in America. When looked at under a microscope, the Lazer Trokar hooks are the second sharpest ones in the world.
That means the hook is extremely good and will work wonders for you. In addition to a unique design and a great hook, the selection of colors is just incredible. Shad colors, chartreuse, blue and black, you name it. That means it will help you have a lure for absolutely any situation you could come across on the water. Last but certainly not least is the wire arm. It is also very unique. It is something different.
It is actually a polished piano wire. It is extremely thin so it makes a lot of thump in the water, but more than durable enough to catch and land much huge fish on. The price is slightly higher than some other options and the skirts can get tattered if you use it a lot, but it is so worth it. The skirts don’t come off the bait. They just become slightly uneven. From what we can tell, it makes it work even better.
4. Nichol’s Lures Pulsator Double Blade
The very first thing that you may have noticed about this particular bait at first glance is the visuals on it. This one is absolutely gorgeous! In addition to a normal paint job, it is all so elegantly coupled with a generous clear coat of reflective metal flake.
Not only is the flake on the head, but it also adorns the blades as well. They look exactly like fish scales. They shine like a beacon even in the smallest areas of sunlight. That makes this an incredibly effective dirty or murky offering. This particular line of lures are very special and hold a permanent place in my heart.
Why is that? Believe it or not, they are actually handcrafted by professional artists and fishing enthusiasts, one at a time. These are not manufactured in a factory, at least not in the same way the other ones are. The hook that Nichol’s Lures decided to go with is a Mustad needlepoint. Anybody who fishes should be familiar with Mustad and understand what a great company they are. If not they should and quick. They are some of the best ones at it and they have been ripping lips for a very long time. That means you can certainly count on them to get the job done when you need to stick your fish.
The wire arm is a thinner one but it is also very durable. That is good for bringing it through the cover as well as catching 10 plus Pounders on it. The head on it is very pointed but very balanced. That makes it ride true and straight just as you want it to. You will pay a little bit more for the craftsmanship. Since they do make them one at a time by hand as well as paint them with that metal flake, the price is slightly higher. Also, as everyone knows, pretty things just do not stay pretty forever. You may find that you lose a little bit of glitter here and there if you would like to bump rocks and bring it through the cover. This is just how it works. Should you consider this one, know beforehand that it is a great option.
5.Terminator T1 Original Titanium
Quite possibly the most exotic and durable fishing lure on this list, Rapala has created a fantastic product in the Terminator brand. The Terminator T1 with beveled blades. What I think is the most intriguing about this one is the wire arm on it.
No, it isn’t stainless steel nor is it some cheap guitar string from a bargain bin. They actually made it out of titanium. For anyone who knows what titanium is, they already pretty much know why this is a good idea.
Raw titanium is much stronger than steel but also weighs much less. When you cross that over into fishing, you are left with a wire arm that thumps and vibrates like a thin steel one but holds up really well. In other words, this is not disposable. It will last for a very long time before you need to replace it should you ever need to. Anybody who also loves using soft plastic trailers on their baits are in luck. While it doesn’t have a built-in crayfish or paddle tail (that would be epic!), what it does have is a longer skirt around the hook. Not only does that give a slightly bigger profile but it also provides more action.
The hook yet again is one to be proud of. The manufacturer’s opted for a VMC hook because it is sharp enough to work but tough Enough to never fail on you. Finally, there is the addition of bevels on the blades. That is a great design. While willow leaf blade designs generally displace the littlest amount of water out of the three common varieties, having the beveled edges will really up their catching game.
It displaces a little more water than usual as well as makes it spin much faster. The result is an action that feels sharper to the fish without being intimidating. This is great for when you want to fish cold water and all you have to do is change the color of the blade. The devil’s give you a little more freedom without having to put on an Indiana blade. That is really helpful when you know you want a willow and need it to do just a little extra. It will add extra appeal to your willow blade without you having to retie.
Selecting A Spinnerbait
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing a lure that you should be aware of first. Look for baits that best match the situation that you are fishing in. Make sure to consider the blades, the hooks, and the thickness of the wire arm, in that order. Make sure to optimize your fish catching chances by carefully giving thought to each aspect before you fish with it. Ask questions like this.
Am I using the blade that the fish in this water want to bite? Are my hooks sharp enough to stick the fish? Should I add a trailer hook because of short striking? Would that cause me to snag up? Is this a situation where I would want to upsize my presentation? How much vibration will I get out of a thicker wire arm? Do I even need that vibration? These are the kinds of questions you should ask first.
I suggest asking yourself about ten of these before you tie one on. If you can ask and answer around ten of these with a good answer, try out the first choice that you have in mind. It is very likely to at least get you bit. After that, refine and adapt. Let the fish tell you what they want.
Picking The Right Blade Style
The first and most important of considerable factors is the blades. The blades are what provide most of the action, so choose them wisely. It can make or break your fishing day. There are three basic blades that you need to be aware of. The Colorado, the Indiana, and the Willow. They all essentially serve the same function. The only difference is the shape of them. All have their place in the tackle box.
It affects the speed at which they spin around as well as the amount of water that they displace. Another important factor is how fast they go. The blade style will even affect how fast the lure can be brought in and also plays a vital role in what depth the bait stays. For example, a Colorado blade stays near the surface a lot of the time while a Willow leaf is known for sinking easily.
Colorado Blade – For A Ton Of Water Displacement
The Colorado blade is the widest of the three available. It has the widest rotation pattern, the slowest turn speed, and the most vibration. The rounded shape of the Colorado blade causes them to catch more water as they are retrieved. The blade itself is very big and beefy. A very huge blade.
The best-case scenarios for using these or when the water is murky or stained. Whenever the bass or other fish stop relying on their site to feed, this is the one you should use. It provides more vibrations, water displacement, and even sound. This will help the fish find your lure a lot better and hone in on your bait. This is the one to pick up when visibility is much lower than normal.
Willow Blade – For A Little Water Displacement
Long, lean, and mean, the willow blade got its name because of its resemblance to a willow leaf. It is the longest of the blades but it also displaces the least amount of water. It also spins faster than the other two. This also makes them dive much deeper. The long leaf-shaped blade looks exactly like a shiner, a shad, a minnow, or other bait fish. That makes it ideal for clear water fishing or for when fish are actively chasing aggressive presentations. The thinner profile of the willow means that the fish will not be able to find it as easily. That means you should use one when the fish can see well.
Indiana Blade – For Medium Water Displacement
The Indiana blade is a little thinner than the Colorado blade but it is still not as thin as the Willow leaf models. It combines both of them to achieve a happy medium between water displacement, vibration, subtleness, and visual appeal. It is very useful in slightly stained to moderately clear water bodies. They are generally the most effective during temperatures of lukewarm water to cooler climates, although they can certainly still be used in warm waters too. The depth they tend to dive is generally somewhere in the middle too, although it will still depend on the size of the blade. They turn around faster than a Colorado and slower than a Willow leaf.
Single Blades Versus Tandem
Anybody who has seen any fishing lure supply store, sporting goods store or retail supply chain that sells these will notice something about the blades on different models. There are two! Three? Four? What gives? Well, the general idea behind adding more blades is to make them highly customizable. If you need more vibration from a Willow and cannot go up to an Indiana blade, you have the option of tying on one with a few Willows on it. They will bump into each other on the retrieve and create more noise without compensating the diving depth or other factors. You can do this with literally every type too. You can even mix and match blade types to experiment with what the fish want on any given day.
Use A Great Hook
Regarding your use of hooks in this sport, you will want to select a lure with a great one. Unlike crankbaits or poppers which typically have two or three treble hooks, spinnerbaits have one point of impact instead of six or nine. That means you will want to use a hook that is tried and true to maximize your hookup ratio. You can add a trailer hook to double this percentage but it does make the bait more prone to snagging. A great rule of thumb is to select fishing hooks from reputable brands in the industry. Brands like Gamakatsu, Mustad, VMC, and Owner are all great choices to look for.
Regarding Trailer Hooks And Their Use On Spinnerbaits
What on Earth is a trailer hook? To be honest, it is exactly what it sounds like. A trailer hook is another hook that is connected to the main one. Adding one of these will increase your hookup ratio by twice the amount it was originally. That means you stick around twice as many fish.
This is actually quite demonstrable. For those who do not yet believe in this, they should fish with one on and compare it the same lure without it. Most will find that around half of the fish will be pinned only on the trailer hook, completely missing the main one. It drastically decreases the chances of fish escaping due to short striking the main hook. These are added for the same reason that barbs are on fishing hooks. To make it much harder for the fish to pop off during that tough fight.
You can attach one to any bait you have available as long as the eye of the trailer hook can fit over the point, barb, and shank of the main one. You can catch fish on it this way but it is not recommended. The trailer can slip off very easily unless you have a rubber sleeve to prevent this. Basically, a thin rubber tube goes on the hook above the trailer. It prevents the hook from slipping.
Wire Arm Thickness Matters
The thinner the wire arm is on the fishing lure, the more vibration and thumps you will get out of it as it is retrieved. This extra action also comes with a negative side. More action from a thinner diameter often means a wire that is not as durable. If you are looking to fish with really thin diameter wires, you need to be aware that these will lose their strength over time and that after a while, it may need replacing. Exactly like a mouse or rat trap, you can only bend the steel so much before it just snaps in your face. Choosing a thicker wire will mean that it will hold up for much longer but it reduces the amount of vibration you can get out of it. You have to decide which one you want more of.
Regarding Soft Plastic Trailers
A soft plastic trailer is nothing more than a soft plastic lure that is hooked onto the main body of the hook on the spinnerbait. It does a few things. First of all, it gives off a bigger profile in the water, depending on which one you use. This is just excellent for when you need to upsize without changing baits. Second, the trailer has its own action. Assuming that you use something like a paddle tail swimbait, a curly tail grub, a ribbon tail worm, a craw, or anything else with moving parts, those will be added to the lure when hooked on and fished. Also, you have the added advantage of adding more color to the bait as well which can help in cases of poorer water clarity. There are many types of different options to consider when picking a trailer, some of which were made for nothing more than this very purpose.
Why A Trailer Hook Is Helpful
What on Earth is a trailer hook? To be honest, it is exactly what it sounds like. A trailer hook is another hook that is connected to the main one. Adding one of these will increase your hookup ratio by twice the amount it was originally. That means you stick around twice as many fish. For those who do not yet believe in this, they should fish with one on and compare it the same lure without it. Most will find that around half of the fish will be pinned only on the trailer hook, completely missing the main one. It drastically decreases the chances of fish escaping due to short striking the main hook. These are added for the same reason that barbs are on fishing hooks. You can attach one to any bait you have available as long as the eye of the trailer hook can fit over the point, barb, and shank of the main one. You can catch fish on it this way but it is not recommended. The trailer can slip off very easily unless you have a rubber sleeve to prevent this. Basically, a thin rubber tube goes on the hook above the trailer. It prevents the hook from slipping.
It is all too often that many anglers decide to put down their spinning lures because they want to match the hatch better than other people. I believe this may be a slight mistake. There will either throw a soft plastic, a jig, or some other bait when the bite gets tough.
When they do that, they are forgetting just how effective some of the best spinnerbaits for bass and other fish are. Many forget that you can match the hatch as long as you change to the right color and retrieve it correctly.
It does not have to look exactly like the real thing to catch those huge females. It can still have a blade, a wire arm, a skirt, and a funny look to it. It can still catch fish effectively if you fish it right. That is primarily why we suggest you throw one more often.
What has been your experience with spinnerbaits? Have a favorite one? A Story you would like to share? Leave a reply in a comment below this post so we can hear what you have to say!