March 22, 2015
While tackle fads come and go, spinnerbaits have remained a staple of the bassin' trade for decades. And for good reason. Highly versatile, they're a stellar choice in a variety of fishing situations. You can crawl them through cover, burn 'em over a weedbed, dredge the depths, helicopter pockets — and that's just the tip of the presentational iceberg. Plus, they shine in muddy water, clear conditions, and everything in between. Much of the appeal lies in their flashing, thumping blades. But a bait's skirt, head design, and trailer are factors, too. Critical components including the hook, wire frame, and swivel also play a role. To help you sort through the options, we offer the following selection of top spinnerbaits sure to help you catch more bass on every trip.
Blue Fox Vibrax Super Bou
- If you're angling for the big bite, this 8½-inch, 2-ounce bait has slain its share of behemoth bass, along with giant pike and muskies. Sporting twin Colorado blades and a flashy, pulsating body of marabou, hackle, and flashabou trimmings, the Super Bou blends hard thumps and ample vibration with vivid visual cues. Crafted from super-duty stainless steel, the body features a safety-pin design for pulling through thick cover without losing its composure. Armed with a pair of sure-sticking VMC hooks, it's available in eight color patterns.
- I long ago lost count of the bass and other species of fish that fell to one of these baits. Designed by bassin' legend Jimmy Houston, it features Vibra-FLX wire that creates more vibration than standard stainless frames. The wire is also strong and durable, and resists getting bent out of shape, even after multiple bass battles. Other smart appointments include counter-rotating blades and a silicone skirt that undulates like rubber but is infinitely more durable. Available in 3/8- and ½-ounce sizes and a broad palette of colors.
Jackall Super Eruption
- A standout in low light or dirty water, the Super Eruption features two reverse-teardrop blades that thump hard and spin the second they hit the water. Plus, the frame's 0.8mm SUS304 stainless wire transmits vibrations and holds its shape bass after bass. We also like the unique head design, which bounces nicely off cover. Brandishing a heavy-wire Owner hook, it's available in 3/8- and ½-ounce sizes and a fistful of tasty patterns including Peanut Craw and Tidal Shad.
Johnson Beetle Spin 'R Bait
- After catching a bass on my very first cast with this adaptation of Virgil Ward's iconic Beetle Spin, I've given the bait a whirl in a number of situations and not been disappointed. It's available with a single hard-thumping, deep-cupped Colorado blade — which is my personal favorite — along with a more subtle willow-leaf option for days when less is more. Other amenities include a wildly flexible skirt, which replaced the original Beetle Spin's soft body, plus colorful spinner-arm beads and three-dimensional eyes. Look for a rainbow of colors ranging from Coleslaw to Racy Shad, in sizes from 1/16- to ¼-ounce.
Northland Tackle Reed-Runner Classic-Series Tandem
- Don't let the company's name fool you, this bait busts bass at all latitudes. Available in ¼-, 3/8-, and ½-ounce options, it combines the flash of a large willow-leaf with the additional thump of a smaller kicker. I've always liked the hammered metallic options, but the painted blades — available in a range of shades from high-vis to black — have applications, too. The bait's Crazy-Legs silicone skirt and blood-red Lip-Stick hook only add to the attraction.
- Brainchild of bassin' ace Ish Monroe, the Bling brings a vibration-enhancing light-wire frame and ultra-thin blades to the table. Other notable features include a premium ball-bearing swivel on the top blade, which aids rotation at slow paces; a flared head design for perfect balance and easy deflection off underwater obstacles; and an eye-catching Liquid Chrome paintjob. Available in 3/8- and ½-ounce sizes and six colors, in tandem Colorado/willow-leaf and Colorado/Indiana options.
Sebile Pro-Shad Finesse
- Thanks to its large, asymmetrically shaped blades and matching body, the Pro-Shad mimics a pint-sized pod of baitfish, not unlike a downsized umbrella rig. It also offers less water resistance than other designs, which is great for covering water, fast. Plus, the bait's a study in realism, sporting sweet detailing on the blades and a plastic-encased bismuth body. As a bonus, I've found the blades flutter seductively on the fall, allowing you to take the art of helicoptering to new heights. On the practical front, a rubber o-ring secures both arms, engendering the use of snaps without losing your pull point. Available in ½- and ¾-ounce sizes in a variety of catchy colorations such as Holo Greenie and White Lady.
Strike King KVD Finesse
- Designed by Kevin VanDam and Strike King engineers for tackling pressured bass, this finesse spinnerbait features a small profile, light-wire frame, and natural color schemes. Plus, the round-bottomed head bumps and crawls through gnarly cover. Look for 10 KVD-approved patterns, in ½-ounce double-willow and 3/8-ounce Colorado-willow configurations.
Terminator T-1 Titanium Twin Spin
- I love twin spins for practical and nostalgic reasons, and not just for bass. Dual-armed spinnerbaits are killers on a variety of other predators as well. And, while there are other options out there, Terminator's dually is hard to top. Along with the unique, double-barreled flash of paired Oklahoma blades honed with a fine bevel, the bait's matching SnapBack titanium arms withstand merciless abuse from hungry strikers. Other amenities include a scary-sharp VMC Needle Point hook and QuickSkirt exchangeable silicone skirting. Available in ½- and ¾-ounce sizes and a variety of colors.
- A jointed midsection allows the StrikeBack's posterior to swing 180 degrees, adding action to trailers and making it easier for bass to smoke and inhale — and more difficult for them to throw. Other high points include a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook, faceted, jewel-quality blades, and lifelike eyes. Comes in willow-Colorado combos and double Colorado options in three sizes and a variety of colors.
Freedom Tackle Live Action Spinnerbait
- In-Fisherman Senior Editor Steve Quinn praises this noteworthy design as the first to use a separate, interchangeable, and free-swinging hook that gives trailers such as small swimbaits additional action. 'The loose attachment also makes it harder for bass to throw the bait, ' he notes. As a plus, the system makes it simple to swap out hooks, allowing speedy hook and trailer changes without retying. Bristling with premium components coated in a durable, hardened epoxy finish, the Freedom Tackle Live Action Spinnerbait is available in four color patterns, all in 7/16-ounce sizes.
Eco Pro Tungsten Rapid Fire Spinnerbait
- Tungsten tackle is all the rage in jigs and sinkers, but slower to catch on in spinnerbaits. Eco Pro jumped on the bandwagon with this slick design, which fishes heavy for its size thanks to tungsten's admirable density. Thanks to the compact profile, the bait is ideal for pressured bass — yet still fuels long casts. The tricked out head is also finely balanced for true tracking. Other Rapid Fire accolades include cupped willow blades that come alive at a wide range of retrieve speeds. Look for 3/8- and ½-ounce options in four colors.
Mann's 'The Classic '
- This time-tested spinnerbait helped Hank Parker win the 1989 Bassmaster Classic and has been a solid contender ever since. One of its main selling points for many bass fans is the ultra-thin arm composition, which yield stellar vibration. Ball-bearing swivels aid the illusion, while chip-resistant finish helps keep its paintjob intact. Available with a Colorado and Indiana or willow-leaf blade in ¼-, 3/8-, and ¾-ounce weights. All come packaged with a custom Classic trailer.