How to Fish a Spinnerbait: A Beginner’s Guide

How is your fishing journey going? What kind of fish have you been catching lately?

One of the most common fish that fishing enthusiasts across the country hunt for is the bass. Is this fish on your catch list too? If it is, then you certainly need to learn how to fish a spinnerbait.

Thus, we are going to learn just that and more. We are going to talk about what a spinnerbait is, the different types of spinnerbaits, how to use it for catching bass. We are going to share with you some tips we have learned through years of experience on how to improve your spinnerbait game!

What a Spinnerbait Is

As the name suggests, a spinnerbait is a category of lure that uses metal blades to spin like a small propeller. It seeks to mimic small bait. Don’t worry; we are going to talk more about how it works in a bit.

What’s the difference between a lure and bait? A lure is a tool used to attract fish (like the spinnerbait), while bait is a substance (like worms or small fish) used to entice a fish to bite.

How Does a Spinnerbait Work?

 The secret of the spinnerbait relies on its components. First, the entire tool is held together with a bent wire, which is usually between 45 and 90 degrees. This wire allows the lure to spin the way it does. Then, it will attract the fish by sparkling or glinting in the water.

This twinkling light show is produced by the different metal blade attachments. More than that, they also help the lure in its motions. There are spinnerbaits that only have a single metal blade attachment while there are others with two or more.

Aside from the blades, it also comes with a “fish head” tipped by a skirt that perfectly hides the hook. This fish head is available in various colors. We recommend performing your own research on what color attracts the one you’re planning to catch best. You’ll want to make the most out of your spinnerbait.

Finally, aside from this visual stimulation, spinnerbaits work because of the movement they make. You see, fish can also “see” while feeling. They can sense the movements being made by the spinnerbait in the water. The bait is designed to create the same vibration signatures of smaller bait in order to efficiently lure the larger fish.

What Are the Different Types of Spinnerbaits?

First, we are going to share with you the three different types of spinnerbait blades:

  • Colorado Blades: These are the roundest spinnerbait blade you can get. It gives off a lot of vibration and movement but less flash and it usually hangs higher in the water. It’s great to use during winter months when the fishes you are trying to catch are feeling a bit lethargic.
  • Willow Blades: These blades are pointier so they make less movement, but they provide the best flash. They are the blades to get if you want a faster retrieval because their shape breaks up the resistance of the water.
  • Indiana Blade: The shape of this blade lies in between Colorado and Willow blades. It offers more flash than Colorado blades but provides more movement than the Willow. This is the perfect go-to blade if you’re indecisive on what to use or if one of your blades are not working and you’re thinking of switching them out.

As for the different types of spinnerbaits, here they are:

  • The In-Line: This type of spinner uses a central axis and weights in order to move; hence, the name. The problem with this type of spinnerbait is that it can rotate and cause tangles. This is the reason why you need to use swivels in tandem with them to prevent this motion.
  • The Safety Pin: Also known as the overhead arm spinnerbait, this lure is the most common type of spinnerbait. It uses a wireframe bent up to 90 degrees. The thing that we love about this lure is the ability to tweak it according to our needs. For instance, you can install two different blades to work with each other or attach different skirt options, and more!
  • The Tailspinner: As the name suggests, this is made of a lead body with a hook and a blade attached to its tail. It is not that popular among anglers due to its fast sinking and required faster reeling. As such, we only recommend this for more seasoned anglers who are up to the challenge.

Speaking of challenges, this might lead you to think that using a spinnerbait may be difficult to do. Don’t worry; we are going to share with you an easy-to-follow guide!

How To Fish A Spinnerbait 2

How to Fish a Spinnerbait

To fish a spinnerbait, just follow these steps:

1. Choose the Right Blade

Feel free to use the list of the different types of blades we’ve shared with you above as reference. Aside from that, here are a couple more tips to keep in mind:

  • For murkier waters or if you’re fishing at night, then use a Colorado blade. The movement will attract the fish regardless of the low lighting.
  • When fishing over thick vegetation where there are a lot of movements, then you’ll fare better with a Willow blade. We suggest fishing with ample lighting, though, to create more flash.

2. Assemble the Spinnerbait

Once you have chosen a blade, we are now ready to assemble. Attach the additional, colorful, fish-looking lure and hook to your spinnerbait. Try to hide the hook as much as you can.

3. Select Your Ideal Location

Know that the spinnerbait works best in shorelines or bluffs rather than in the middle of open water. Again, we recommend fishing in clear waters so that your flash will be more visible but again, you can tweak your blades and lure according to the situation.

4. Fish!

We are now ready to start casting and reeling. Cast it for at least 30 feet from the shoreline and reel it parallel to the shoreline. Don’t let your lure sink deeper than three feet as it will lose its flash.

Other than that, all that’s left for you is to practice your spinnerbait game. While you’re at it, you might want to keep in mind the tips we are going to share with you below.

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips 

The steps on how to fish a spinnerbait won’t be enough for you to succeed. There are other things to consider, including:

1. Keep Your Set-Up Simple

Let’s admit the fact that it is easy to go a little bit overboard when it comes to planning your spinnerbait assembly. We recommend keeping it simple especially at the start. As you gain more experience, you will also gain the know-how required to improve your set-up over time. You can reach the sweet spot without going overboard.

2. Have Several Blades at Your Disposal

While you shouldn’t go overboard, it still wouldn’t hurt to have various blade selections in your kit. Use the blades for your practice and experiment. Take note of the ideal combinations you have discovered for each scenario, and use them in your next fishing adventures.

3. Selecting and Using the Right Colors

For us, white is still the best because it works best in different light situations, even low-lighted ones. If you really want to add a pop of color, though, then we have found chartreuse or a neon green color efficient even in murky waters.

On the other hand, cooler colors such as blue and darker shades of green are not advisable. If left with no choice, just get the brightest color option you can get your hands on.

4. Bigger Blades = More Movement; More Movement = More Vibration.

More vibration means that more fish will be able to sense your lure and be tempted by it.

5. Don’t Forget the Skirt!

You can choose one in a lively color too, but allow us to share one of our secrets with you. We actually attach the skirt upside down. That’s because it will allow our skit to float better and give the lure more lift.

6. Take Advantage of the Wire Arm

Did you know that smaller wires create more vibration? Not only that, we love using thinner yet durable wires because of their flexibility. It reduces the pressure on the fish upon contact and increases the chances to capture it.

7. Take Note of the Lighting Condition

We have already mentioned the different types of lighting situations. You can probably tell by now how important this element is to spinnerbaiting.

What’s interesting about this topic is the fact that our experienced friends all have differing opinions about it. Some of them say that fishing during low-light conditions is better while others suggest the exact opposite.

As for us? This boils down to the spinnerbait blade that you are using.

8. Practice Your Sinnerbait Technique

Here are some of the methods you can practice on your own:

  • Contact

On a shallow creek, identify your target and cast past it. Start retrieving your spinnerbait slowly while trying to knock it against the elements in the water like floating logs or stumps. This will create a more realistic movement and can often trigger a catch.

  • Wake

In murky water, cast over a heavy cover and reel in quickly. This will make your lure rise to the surface. Slow down your retrieve once you feel that the blades are about to break the water.

  • Buzz

In murky water, cast your line in a way that will let the blades splash and break the water, creating an attention-grabbing ruckus.

  • Helicopter

This is a personal favorite when fishing in steep banks or deeper water since there is no need for fancy swings or forms. All you need to do is to drop your lure and allow it to rotate naturally as dictated by gravity.

Once you feel it hit the bottom, start reeling it back up ever so slowly. If it hasn’t’ attracted any attention, just raise the rod slightly and allow the lure to drop again. Just repeat the process until it triggers a catch.

There you have it! These are the different tips we have in order to help you improve your spinnerbait game. Also, please don’t be limited to the methods we have shared with you above.

Feel free to develop your own techniques and we’re sure that you will fare better with them. There is no “absolute secret” to fishing, after all. We’re all practicing our personal “secret” and techniques that work best for us, as well as the fishing gear that we own and our favorite fishing location.


If you do try out any of our tips above and they work, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and visit the other articles we have posted on the website. Here’s a short summary of the things we have talked about today:

A spinnerbait is a type of lure designed to spin in the water and reflect light in order to attract fish, specifically bass. It is made up of wire, a single or a combination of metal blades, another lure (usually a fish head and a skirt), and a hidden hook. The mechanism of these wires and blades allow the spinnerbait to move and spin, creating vibrations in the water that fish can feel and be attracted to.

There are three types of blades: the Colorado, the Willow, and the Indiana but the first two are more popularly known. Colorado blades are good to use if you require more movement while Willow blades do well in well-lighted locations.

It’s easy to use spinnerbaits. All you need to do is assemble it, attach it to your reel, choose a proper location, and enjoy. Anyway, thank you so much for reading all the way throughout the article, and we hope you have learned a lot from it. Please feel free to visit our other articles for even more info and tips. See you in the next one!

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