Lets take a look at what makes a spinner tick....

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A spinnerbait refers to any style of fishing lure that derives its name from metal blades of various shapes and sizes that spin when the lure is being retrieved through the water.This creates flash and vibration that imitates small fish that larger sport fish feed on.

There are a number of styles of spinners which include but are not limited to;

French in-line style
Safety Pin style
Bucktail In-line Style


The French in-line spinner consists of a metal blade that spins around a wire shaped to form the lure. The blade is typically located at the leading edge of the lure, behind that are various beads. Some beads are for weight while others are for giving the lure the right look. The right look will be the bait fish that the lure is trying to imitate. At the tail end there will be either a plain or dressed hook in either single or treble form. Dressed hooks are hooks with marabou, or thread tied to the hook. This gives the lure more “body” and a little more natural movement when in the water. A French inline spinner is typically not more than about three inches in overall length. French in-line spinners can be used to catch almost every sport fish on earth. There are many exceptions out there now but most of these can be classified as bucktail spinners.

Inline spinners are a poor choice of lure when fishing in heavy weed cover, unless you want a water weed salad because all you’re going to catch is weeds. You should most certainly have a wide variety of French spinners in your tackle box, especially if you fish unfamiliar waters on a regular basis. They are one of the best multi species lures on the planet. And can help you figure out a lake rapidly.


A bucktail spinner is basically a larger French spinner. Bucktails are built to target large aggressive game fish such as Northern Pike, Walleye, and Musky. Bucktails are of the same basic design BUT are anywhere from three to twelve inches long. These lures use a much heavier gauge wire than traditional spinners. The wire body is formed in the same way as a smaller spinner. The blade is at the leading edge. But rather than beads in the center there is usually a large heavier steel tube weight painted in many choices of colors. Behind that there are one or multiple dressed treble hooks. They are dressed with enough bucktail to create a large thick body for the lure. Flashabou and marabou are also popular bucktail hook dressings.

If you fish any large, aggressive game fish you should have a box with a few different bucktail spinners. I have a wide variety and some days there is only one lure that will work and more often than not it is a bucktail that puts a fish in my boat.


This type of spinner is the most popular type of spinnerbait. This type of spinner is made from a wire frame that that is bent at a right angle; just behind the bend there is a lead or bismuth head. Straight back from the head is where the single hook is installed. The hook is covered by a Rubber, silicon, or marabou skirt. The skirt gives the lure the body and much of the color. The other arm of the lure has the spinner blades on it. Sometimes there are multiple blades on single spinner bait.

The skirt options are endless and depend on the desired action of the skirt, water body and game fish you are looking for. The skirt pulsates and flutters as the lure is retrieved and gives the bait an almost alive look. People often trim the skirts to get just the right action out of there lure.

These lures should run perfectly vertical and retrieve straight as an arrow. If they are out of “tune” simply bend them until they run straight again.


All Spinner type baits use various shapes and styles of blades. The blades used depend on how the lure will be fished and retrieved. Long narrow blades must be fished fast and large round blades slower.

Hammered blades have the most flash because the dents reflect light at more angles than that of a smooth blade. Painted blades are less flashy in daylight but often produce far more results at night. Glow painted blades work exceptionally well in the dark.

Apart from flash, the blades on a spinner also cause vibration in the water. Vibration is produced by real fish that get eaten so why not incorporate it into a fishing lure, right?

There are a few styles of blades that are used on most spinner baits.

Willow Leaf – These blades are long and skinny. Can you guess what it is shaped like? If you answered willow leaf, you would be correct. This type of blade produces a higher frequency vibration but no much of it. The blade produces very little lift so the bait must be fished fast to keep the blade spinning. It is more of a flashy blade. Good in water bodies that have fairly clear water, it is a lure the fish see rather than feel.

Colorado – These blades are round. They produce maximum vibration and fish can feel this for a very long distance. These blades provide a lot of lift and must be fished more slowly than other styles of blades. I use these blades in dirty stained water where fish have poor visibility.

Indiana – Indiana blades are right in between willow leaf and Colorado blades. This is my favorite blade. It is the perfect balance between flash and vibration. This lure is used on almost all inline style spinners whether bucktails or French.


I often attach a stinger hook behind the hook attached to my spinners. I use a leader attached to either the rear hook or the eyelet on the bait. The stinger hook follows the other hook and increases hookup percentage. Walleyes are notoriously late biters and a stinger can make your day.

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