Best Spinnerbaits for Bass Fishing
Spinnerbaits have been one of the most successful bass lures of all time. Their success comes from their unique design. A spinnerbait looks similar to jig with a wire leading to blades attached above. These blades give the bait the flash and vibration that makes them so successful. One of the great things about spinnerbaits is you can easily swap the blades so you don’t need a lot of them. With a few variations of lures and blades you are set for almost any condition. Over the years I have tried many different spinnerbaits and have narrowed my selection down to just a few baits in each category. There is a time and place for both full size and finesse spinnerbait and below I break it all down.
Best Full-Size Spinnerbaits
River2Sea Bling Double Willow
The River2Sea Bling is a full size spinnerbait that has a lightweight wire and super thin willow blades. The light wire and thin blades allow you to fish it aggressively with rod twiches to get the bait’s wire to bend and pulse while the thin blades can spin very fast. Due to the lighter hardware this spinner bait is more ideal for open water fishing.
Revenge Double Willow
The Revenge Double Willow has slightly heavier wire and blades than the River2Sea Bling. This makes it much better suited for getting through cover.
Revenge Heavy Duty
As the name suggests the Revenge Heavy Duty is a heavy duty spinnerbait. This bait has thick wire and a heavy duty 6/0 hook and is designed for fishing even the thickest cover. This is the perfect spinnerbait for when the Revenge Double Willow just wont do.
Best Finesse Spinnerbaits
Finesse spinnerbaits shine in the springtime when shad are spawning. Early morning during their spawn shad will get up shallow and bass will follow them. During this time you can cover a ton of water by fishing super fast.
Megabass V-9 Double Willow
The Megabass V-9 has little tiny blades and a super tiny hook which lets you drop down to light 8-12 lb line and still be able to set the hook. The biggest downside to this bait is that it doesn’t have a bait keeper to hold on your trailers. You can overcome this by using a dot of super glue on the tip of the trailer when rigging it.
The Dimiki TOT is a finesse spinnerbait that has slightly bigger hook and blades than the Megabass V-9. This makes it a good in between spinnerbait that helps bridge the gap between finesse and full size spinnerbaits.
War Eagle Screamin Eagle
The War Eagle Screamin Eagle has downsized willow blades which allow you to speed it up. The biggest difference between this lure and the other two finesse spinnerbaits is it has a heavier wire hook. This makes it ideal when you get on bigger fish but still need the compact profile and fast retrieve.
Best Spinnerbaits by Situation:
- Bluegill Imitating Spinnerbait – Revenge Double Willow & Revenge Heavy Duty (Bluegill)
- Clear Water Spinnerbait – War Eagle Screamin Eagle & Revenge Deep Runner (Silver / White)
- Stained Water Spinnerbait – War Eagle Screamin Eagle & River2Sea Bling (Gold / Chartreuse)
My Favorite Spinnerbait Blades: Revenge Willow Leaf Blades
I stock sizes 4, 4.5, and 5 blades in Gold, Nickel, and White. You only will need size 5 if are imitating bluegill or are fishing in extremely stained water.
Best Spinnerbait Trailers
My go-to spinnerbait trailer is a Keitech Swing Impact Fat Swimbait. I use size 3.8 for finesse spinnerbaits and 4.3 for full size spinnerbaits. Any larger and you risk the tail twisting and getting stuck on the hook when you cast it. Keitechs give spinnerbaits a full complete profile. Bass are drawn in by the flash, vibration, and profile but when they get close they will target the swimbait.
Trailer hooks can help increase your hookup ratio, especially if bass are striking at the blades. I use a trailer hook when fishing spinnerbaits at night because during the night the vibration is what is drawing fish in. Because of this it is pretty common for bass to strike at the blades and miss the hook completely at night. Adding a trailer hook can increase your chances of them hitting a hook and getting stuck even when they strike at the blades. For trailer hooks I recommend using Gamakatsu 3/0 hooks.
The biggest downside to using a trailer hook is you lose the weedlessness of the bait. Additionally trailer hooks cant be used with other trailers without killing their action so during the day I almost never use a trailer hook. During the day bass bass may be drawn in by the vibration or flash but they almost always strike at your trailer.
Spinnerbait Rod & Reel for Every Budget
Choosing the Best Size & Weight Spinnerbait
When choosing the size of a spinnerbait it depends on the depth you are fishing and how thick the cover is. If you are fishing shallow or trying to stay above cover ⅜ oz is a good choice. On the other hand, if you intend to fish deeper than 15 feet then I would go ¾ oz. If you are looking for a do-everything standard spinnerbait then ½ oz is the go-to size. You can fish it shallow by speeding it up or slow roll it to get it deep.
These factors include the depth at which you will be targeting and the speed of your retrieve. A heavier spinnerbait will sink faster allowing you to fish deeper while still being fished at a moderate retrieval speed. You can still fish shallow with a heavier bait by speeding up your retrieve. Likewise, you can fish a lighter spinnerbait deeper by slowing down your retrieve. If you are primarily targeting shallow then ⅜ oz is a good weight choice. Overall ½ oz is the most universal spinnerbait weight and the one I would choose if I could only have one. You can fish it just about anywhere by adjusting your retrieval speed.
Choosing the Best Spinnerbait Color
When choosing the best color it is important to understand what bass in the body of water eat and water clarity. In clear water, I tend to stick with more ghosty natural colors. In murky water, I like to use bolder colors like white or chartreuse to help the bass find the bait.
If you are fishing in a pond or a small body of water it is likely that the main forage will be bluegill. If you know this is the case for your fishery choose bluegill colors. For the rest of us targeting bodies of water where bluegill isn’t the main source of food, you need to match the hatch. If I had to choose one color it would be white/silver. There are however three color varieties that I keep stocked in my tacklebox to cover every condition. They are Chartreuse, white/silver, and gold.
For blade colors, I like matching painted blades during low light conditions and on sunny days I swap to either silver or gold to get more flash.
How to Fish a Spinnerbait
The early spring is the prime time to throw a spinnerbait but the fall can also be excellent. During these times are when giant bass are moving up shallow and are aggressive and easy to trigger. During the early spring when the water is rising you want to fish spinnerbaits as shallow as you can. As the water is rising bass will cruise the the edge hunting all the new ground that’s coming in.
Spinnerbaits should be fished with a steady retrieve and when the bait gets close to any cover give your reel a quick extra crank. You don’t need to stop or pause just speed up one crank. This will make the blades speed up and flutter. Doing this by cover is a great way to help fish to lash out and commit. If you don’t see any cover then you can still do it periodically spacing it out every 10-15 feet.
Types of Spinnerbait Blades
There are three types of spinnerbait blades: willow leaf, colorado, and indiana. These three blades all spin and flutter to create flash and vibrations. The difference between the different types is the shape of the blade. For most of the country and in most situations willow leaf blades will be your best bet. However, each style does have its own unique function that we will breakdown further below.
Colorado blades are round and cause them to displace the most amount of water. All of the water displacement causes this blade to be the slowest and create a distinctive thumping vibration. The thumping vibration can be sensed by bass from greater distances making colorado blades a good choice when visibility is low. Another effect of the round blades is the lift that they create. As a result these blades run shallower than their counterparts.
Indiana blades look like a combination of a willow leaf and colorado blade. They are long like a willow blade but wider and rounder like a colorado blade. This design displaces less water and allows the bait to run a little deeper than a colorado blade.
Willow blades are long and skinnier than the other two blades. This design allows the willow blade to move through the water easier, creating less vibration but making more flash. This allows them to be fished deeper than the other two blades. This blade is very effective in clear water where bass rely on sight for their hunting.
Combining different blade styles allows you to fine-tune your spinnerbaits performance. By experimenting with different combinations of blade styles you can find that perfect mix of flash and vibration for what works best for your body of water.
Spinnerbait vs Chatterbait
There is a time and place for both. Spinnerbaits are perfect for shad spawn beauce they produce a ton of flash and mimic a school of bait fish. Chatterbaits are all about the vibration, which bass can sense so its perfect for stained water.