Best Spinnerbaits for Every Situation
By: Nick | Updated: December 16, 2023
Spinnerbaits are one of the staple bass lures that have been around for ever. For many, it’s the lure they caught their first bass on, or even their go-to now. It’s a great lure that every angler should have in their tackle box.
It’s a huge category though, with almost unlimited options out there. Over the years I have tried many different spinnerbaits and have narrowed down my selection to just a handful of baits. Below, I simplify it for you and share my favorites for different scenarios and situations.
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- Best Overall – Megabass SV-3 Double Will
- Best Full-Size – Nichols Catalyst
- 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)
I use smaller finesse style spinnerbaits about 80% of the time. I’ve found the smaller blades, hooks, and lighter line get a lot more bites than larger sizes. I think the more compact size better mimics the smaller bait fish that are more common in most bodies of water.
Thinner wire can also add secondary vibration from the wire bending and pulsating. This makes the vibration vary and and less monotone as you would have just from the primary blade vibration. I’ve also noticed the smaller profiles tend to get fewer blade strikes.
For this style, I am mostly switching between the Megasbass SV-3 or Shimano Swagy. If I need a small profile but heavy wire to withstand heavy cover I swap to a War Eagle Screamin Eagle. I also keep the Damiki Tot as my in between lure when I need something in between a finesse and full size spinnerbait.
1. Megabass SV-3 Double Willow – Best Overall
The Megabass SV-3 is my favorite spinnerbait. It has tiny blades and a small hook which lets you drop down to light 8-12 lb line and still be able to set the hook. It has a single barbed bait keeper and great quality skirt. It also has 4 longer strands that extend past the rest of the skirt. This is great for those that to prefer to use a trailer hook instead of a bait.
2. Shimano Swagy – Runner up
The unique thing about the Swagy is it has a thick wire connected to the jig and a lighter wire running to the blades. This gives you a solid steady movement on the bait while allowing the blades to have a lot more flex and movement. So it’s less likely to bend at the head connection.
It has slim small blades which allows the lure to move faster. It has a bigger hook than the SV-3 so it needs slightly heavier line like 10-14lbs.
3. War Eagle Screamin Eagle – Small profile for heavy cover
The War Eagle Screamin Eagle has downsized willow blades that 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.
4. Damiki TOT – Fills finesse to full-size gap
The Dimiki TOT is a finesse spinnerbait that has a 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.
I use full-sized spinnerbaits when the water visibility has recently dropped or I know bass are targeting larger bait fish like bluegill, panfish, shiners, or gizzard shad. In these situations, I will use either a Nichols Catalyst or a Terminator P1 Spinnerbait. Both of these are unique in their own way and standout as full-sized.
1. Nichols Catalyst – Best Full Size
The Nichols Catalyst is my go to full-size spinnerbait. The blades and head are plated, so they put out a ton of flash regardless if you gold or silver. The skirt is simple but durable. It has a great bait keeper which is often overlooked but makes a big difference in keeping your trailer on.
The Catalyst was built for handling bigger fish with it’s thick wire and stout hook. It’s a great spinnerbait and the first one I tie on when I need a full-size.
2. Terminator P1 – Runner Up
The Terminator P1is another great full-size spinnerbait. It has lighter wire, thinner blades, and a smaller hook than the Catalyst. Although the hook is smaller, it’s an O’Shaughnessy hook, so it’s really strong despite it’s smaller size. It also has an excellent bait keeper.
3. Revenge Heavy Duty – Full size for heavy cover
As the name suggests the Revenge Heavy Duty is a heavy-duty spinnerbait. This bait has a 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 won’t do.
Choosing the Right Blade Size & Weight
You want to pick your spinnerbait weight based on the depth and cover you are fishing. For a do-everything spinnerbait, ½ oz is my go-to size. You can fish it shallow by speeding up your retrieve or slow roll it to get down deeper. If your fishing from the bank or will need to stay shallow, ⅜ oz is a good weight. For getting down deeper than 15 feet bump the weight up to ¾ oz.
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 Replacement Spinnerbait Blades: Revenge Willow Leaf Blades
Spinnerbait Colors That Work the Best
- Clear water – Natural colors such as ghost and silvers.
- Murky water – Bold colors like white or chartreuse.
- Ponds – Bluegill colors work great for small bodies of water where bluegill are the main prey.
For blade colors, I like to use painted blades that match the skirt during low light conditions and in sunny conditions, either silver or gold to get more flash.
To learn more about how or when you should fish a spinnerbait read our in-depth guide.
For trailer recommendations, check out our spinnerbait trailer guide.