Spinnerbaits are simple, reliable lures suitable for catching a variety of freshwater fish. These classic lures are best known for catching largemouth bass, but are actually an excellent choice for a variety of freshwater species. A variety of designs exist for fishing at the surface, mid depths, or along the bottom.
Sizes of spinnerbaits range from tiny panfish models to large, double bladed lures for bass fishing. Regardless of the design, all spinnerbaits combine a jig configuration and some form of rotating blade. The smallest models have a spinner and swivel attached directly to the jig head. These micro jigs are used for catching panfish such as yellow perch, sauger, bluegill, and crappie.
Slightly larger spinnerbaits incorporate a jig with a detachable arm. One end of the arm is equipped with a swivel and metal blade. The other end is equipped with a snap for connecting to the jig. These models have several advantages. Their main advantage is their modular construction, which allows anglers to easily change soft plastic lure bodies or even change entire jigs. These versatile setups are usually equipped with silver or gold blades and can be purchased with or without a jig. These models catch a wide range of species, from panfish to top level predators such as bass and pickerel.
Other spinnerbait models combine a jig, arm and spinner into a single lure. These usually come with vinyl skirts and are available in a variety of color combinations. Some models allow anglers to add a soft plastic lure body or strip bait as an optional enhancement. Other models have a bristle or other device cast into the head which covers the hook bard, making them weedless. These models make up the bulk of all spinnerbaits and are usually associated with fishing for largemouth bass.
Both the detachable arm and the integral arm spinnerbaits tend to be less prone to snagging on bottom obstructions that simple jigs. In areas where obstructions are a problem, spinnerbaits can make a big difference.
A specialized type of spinnerbait is called a buzz bait. Similar to traditional spinnerbaits, these models feature a combination jig and blade in a single unit. Unlike spinnerbaits that are designed to fished at mid-depth, buzz baits are retrieved across the surface. Their unique blades work like a tiny propeller, spinning right at surface level which creates a strong disturbance. Viewed from underneath, these lures resemble a frog or other land creature that is struggling to escape. Buzz baits often draw vicious strikes from hungry fish such as largemouth bass, striped bass, pickerel, and pike.
The last type of spinning lure is the traditional inline spinner. These have been around for centuries and continue to catch fish today. Most inline spinners feature a symmetrical body, with a blade rotating around its axis. Spinner bodies can be one-piece or made from a series of components. Coloration can be metallic, single colored, or feature combinations of patterns and colors. Traditional inline spinners almost always feature a trailing treble hook, either bare or dressed with hair, feathers or artificial materials.