How to fish with a spinner
Spinning lures are classic pieces of fishing tackle. Anglers have been catching fish with spinners for many years. Styles from the French spinner to the Colorado spinner are used all over the world.
A spinner basically consists of a body, a blade, a shaft, and a hook. The body gives the lure weight. The blade spins around the shaft attracting fish. The hook catches the fish.
Spinners come in a lot shapes and sizes. We carry a variety of spinners at Angler's Emporium. They range from the well known Rooster Tail to our very own Swiss Swing. We recommend starting out with the Swiss Swing as it is a very versatile lure that can catch all sorts of fish.
In this guide we will tell you how to fish with spinners. We will also tell you how to avoid some potential downsides of spinner fishing such as line twist and injured fish.
How to fish with a spinner
Fishing with a spinning lure can be as simple as casting out and reeling in. Spinners have a built in action triggered when the lure is pulled through the water. Though spinner fishing can also be as complex as any other style.
First you have to pick an appropriately sized and colored spinner for the fishing you are doing. Generally speaking colors like gold and silver work on almost any fish that will hit a spinner. Sizes should roughly match the bait fish your target fish eat on a regular basis.
In moving water like streams and rivers the best approach is "across and down." You cast across the stream and let the current help you. Let the current pull your lure down and across in a natural motion while reeling just fast enough to keep the blade on your spinner rotating. Fish will often strike as the lure reaches its most downstream point.
In still waters like lakes and pounds you don't have to consider the current as much. Instead cast out in a fan pattern to cover the most water. Start at your far left. Cast out and retrieve. Then cast a little to the right. Repeat until you've covered all the water in front of you.
No matter where you are fishing you will want to experiment with speeds and depths until you find what is working. On cold days you may want to reel as slow as possible. On warm days you may find that fast reeling is the ticket. Letting a spinner sink before you retrieve it can catch more fish than speeding the lure in just under the surface.
Spinners are also popular lures for trolling. This can be as simple as pulling a spinner behind a canoe as you row across a pond or as complex as fishing spinners on down rigger equipment in huge lakes.
Treble hook trouble
Most spinners come with treble hooks. The idea is that three hook points is better than one when it comes to catching fish. Though treble hooks can also cause damage to fish or ever gear. If you've ever had a loose treble hook in a fishing vest pocket then you probably know what we mean.
Some areas even go as far as prohibiting treble hooks. Especially if they require catch-and-release fishing. It is quite possible to release most fish caught on treble hooks if you use a tool like hemostats. Though we understand that treble hooks can make things more difficult.
There are single hook spinning lures available. We offer a Single Hook Swiss Swing along with Single Hook Rooster Tails and the single hook Spin Bias spinner. These can be easier on fish (and pockets).
Avoiding line twist
One unfortunately aspect of spinners is line twist. Fishing with spinners for an extended period of time can twist your line and cause tangles. Thankfully there are ways to avoid line twist.
Some Japanese spinners have built in swivels that prevent line twist from ever happening. These Japanese lures are great for trout but also catch fish like walleye and even bass.
If you use a more traditional spinner you can tie a swivel on to your line to limit line twist too. We like to tie a swivel about six inches up from the spinner. This helps eliminate line twist without impacting the action of the spinner.
Finally you can also rest your line. This means taking off the spinner every once in a while and fishing with something else. Some people even alternate between different size spinners to limit line "memory".
If your line does become twisted try cutting off the spinner and letting a good amount of line out into a stream or river. Then just hold the string there for a few minutes. When you reel the line back in a lot of the twist should work itself out.