January 24, 2014
Decades ago the Charlie Brewer Slider Company created the Whirly Bee. It consists of a soft-plastic Beetle-style bait affixed to a jig, and to the bend of the jig's hook, a barrel swivel with a snap and small spinner blade are attached. The swivel is kept in place on the bend of the hook with a product that Brewer calls keeper tubing.
Since 2009 some bass anglers from Louisiana have been wielding something they call worm blades, which consists of a screw-in eyelet (such as TTI-Blakemore's HitchHiker), a No.2 ball-bearing swivel, a No.2 split ring, and a No. 1 Colorado spinner blade. This rig is attached to the tail end of a Senko-style bait.
On Feb. 24-26, 2012, Keith Poche of Pike Road, Alabama, used a similar rig to garner third place at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, which was situated on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. Now Humdinger Spinnerbaits of Donaldson, Louisiana, makes an apparatus that is called a Keith Poche Power Spinner. It is made with five different blade combinations: a No. 1 hammered-gold Colorado blade, a No. 1 hammered-silver Colorado blade, a No. 3 nickel Colorado blade, a No.2 nickel willow-leaf blade, and a No. 2 red Colorado blade. Besides the various spinner blades, the rig consists of a screw-in eyelet, a crane swivel and a split ring. A package of five retails for $3.79.
Besides Humdinger's spinner rigs, Dave's Tournament Tackle has a spinner combo that they call a Spin Rig for Senko Style Baits, and it consists of a Sampo ball-bearing swivel, two split rings, a screw-in eyelet, and either a gold or silver spinner blade. The spinner blades are available in two styles: Colorado and willow-leaf. Dave's sells a package of two for $5.99.
Throughout 2013, some Midwest finesse anglers began wielding a bait that we call a ZinkerZ spin, which is a 2 ½-inch Senko-style bait donned with a small Colorado spinner blade. It is similar to the Keith Poche Power Spinner, but we don't use a screw-in eyelet, and that's because they do not work efficiently with the ElaZtech material that Z-Man Fishing Products use to make the ZinkerZ. Therefore, some of us use a four-inch piece of 50-pound-test braided line, and we use a needle or a thin wire to pull the braided line from the tail of the ZinkerZ to its head. On the tail end of the braided line, we attach a No. 2 barrel swivel, and then to the other end of the barrel swivel, we attach a small split ring, and to the split ring, we affix a No. 1 spinner blade. The ZinkerZ spin is threaded on to a Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head Jig, and the portion of the braided line that extends from the head of the ZinkerZ is placed inside the loop of the knot that attaches the jig to the main line. Once the knot is pulled tightly around the eye of the jig and braided line, the spinner rig is solidly anchored, and the ZinkerZ spin can endure scores of donnybrooks with largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. This ZinkerZ combo is as alluring as the one that Poche employs with a Senko or other plastisol stickbaits, and what's more, it is exceptionably durable. This spinner rig also works well with Z-Man's Hula StickZ.
As for colors of the ZinkerZ spin, we use a gold blade and green-pumpkin ZinkerZ on cloudy days or at stained waterways. We work with a silver blade and watermelon-red ZinkerZ on sunny days. And there have been outings when we have had success wielding either a pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ spin, a watermelon/white ZinkerZ spin and a variety of other colors.
On most outings, we retrieve it by employing what we call the straight-swim retrieve. At times, we will retrieve it so that it creates a subtle wake along the surface. At other times, the pace of the retrieve will be slower, allowing it to swim from six inches to six feet below the surface. The pace and depth of the retrieve is based on the disposition and depth of the bass. There will also be spells when we enhance the straight-swim retrieve by shaking our rods, and there will be other times when we create a two-second pause in the retrieve, which allows the ZinkerZ spin to glide downward and the spinner blade to do what we describe as the helicopter motif.
Fastidious-minded anglers might find the long segment of braided line that extends beyond the head of the jig and ZinkerZ spin to be unattractive. But the largemouth bass in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas do not seem to view it with alarm. In the eyes of some anglers, it is seen as the ZinkerZ spin's antenna.
Some Midwest finesse anglers have created a homemade screw-in eyelet that works well with the ZinkerZ, and others use a needle and a piece of braided line to sew or affix the screw-in eyelet (such as TTI-Blakemore's HitchHiker) inside the tail of the ZinkerZ.
(1) For some information about Charlie Brewer's precursor to the Senko spin and ZinkerZ spin, see http://www.sliderfishing.com/Whirly-Bee_c45.htm
(2) For more information about Humdinger Spinnerbaits, see https://www.facebook.com/pages/Humdinger-Spinnerbaits/331691506853184
(3) For more information about Dave's Tournament Tackle's Spin Rig for Senko Style Baits, see http://www.davestournamenttackle.com/index.php/terminal-tackle/miscellaneous-tackle/spinnerbait-blades/daves-spin-rig.html.
(4) In the 1950s, the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City developed an early precursor to the ZinkerZ spin when he added a jig-spinner to his renowned Beetle. Of course, Woods' spinner was attached to the front of his Beetle rather than its tail. The jig-spinner rendition works well on a 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ that is affixed to a 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head Jig.
(5) The Road Runner is another bait that has a spinner attached to its head. It was devised by the late Bert Hall of Forsyth, Missouri, in 1958. He was motivated to create his bait after battling scores of line snarls when he used a typical jig-spinner rig with a vertical presentation. For more information about the history of the Road Runner and similar spinnerbaits, see http://www.in-fisherman.com/2013/06/04/spinners-for-panfish/.