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Cast it out, crank it back, it catches fish. Spinnerbaits are likely the most versatile bass baits in the box. They can also be the most confusing and can be assembled in hundreds of ways. The presentations are equally as flexible. The little known and lesser used in line spinner has a place in the box of kayak anglers in search of panfish, trout and bass, the jumbo size model is a staple for the serious musky hunter. For the sake of this discussion we will limit the scope to the most common model, the “safety pin” style of spinners.

Kayak FIshing Spinnerbait Specifics
Confusion comes from what seems like endless possibilities. Bait weights, blade configurations, sizes, shapes, colors, skirts and more. You can stick with basics and be moderately successful. With a little imagination and experimentation you can take your spinnerbait game to the next level.
First let’s clear the air about performance. Spinnerbait blades DO NOT vibrate. The arm of the spinner transmits the vibration. The size and shape of the blade does determine the amount of vibration and flash the bait produces.

With that being said if you have any interest on being a lure designer or minimally a customizer the spinner is the artist’s pallet you’ve been dreaming of. Here’s the abbreviated list of components that lend themselves to producing the kayak anglers one of a kind spinnerbait. The actual weight of this style of bait helps in casting distance but also in the sink rate of the lure. You can get find weights varying from an ounce or more and down to tiny 1/8 ounce versions. I’m a fan of the 3/8th ounce spinners. (One of my secrets to casting accuracy is to throw everything the same weight. A 3/8th ounce spinner, jig, Texas rigged plastic, buzzbait or cranking type lure all have the same feel even if they look different. This allows for a consistent control and cast.)

Arm size isn’t mention much but there are times when I find a short arm spinner preferable. The short arm model has a unique capability. When you cast it out, start the retrieve and stop (kill) the bait as it falls it “helicopters” down and to a bass looks a lot like the dying flutter of a bait fish, shad, bluegill or similar forage foods. Injured, falling helplessly it looks like an easy meal. This is a deadly tactic in the fall when shad are schooled up or when water temperatures sink below 40 degrees and shad die off. Normal arm length is adequate most of the time and adds to the snagless quality of the standard spinner.

Kayak FIshing Spinnerbait Specifics
The simplest choice you can make is the skirt. My belief is the skirt matters more to the fisherman than to the fish. In clear water, a white or light color skirt, in water of normal clarity a two tone shad or bluegill look is fine and in dirty water a fire tiger, lime green, red and orange is logical. An underutilized and misunderstood skirt color is straight black. It works at night, early morning and in discolored waters.

Here’s where it gets crazy. The blades change the look and performance most dramatically. There are single bladed spinners and I’ve seen as many as five blades on some others. Depending on who you talk to, listen, watch or read from there are several blade styles. The two typical are the Colorado (round) and the willowleaf. Less common but still part of the conversation are the Indiana blade (tear drop) turtle shell, and many more that can be used singularly or in conjunction with the others. A simplification is that the Colorado gives the bait the most amount of vibration and the least amount of flash. At the other end of the spectrum is the willowleaf, it gives the most amount of flash and the least amount of vibration. The Indiana blade is somewhere in between the two. (time to reach for the aspirin bottle) Consider the conditions. In clear, cold water a single Colorado bladed bait is used most often. In muddy water the willowleaf blade should be tied to you line. Willowleaf produces the most amount of flash, most desirable in muddy water for sight feeding fish. I often use a double willowleaf bait equipped with one gold blade, one nickel blade. In murky, moderate temperature water a willow, Colorado combination. Starting to make sense? In heavily pressure waters, places that get pounded by other anglers the Indiana blade gives them a different look and vibration.

Kayak FIshing Spinnerbait Specifics
You can see now understanding the performance of each component helps. Does it make a difference? It’s the difference in catching “cookie cutter” bass and a true trophy. With any amount of wind the spinnerbait rod is either in my hand or close by. My targets are aquatic weed beds, submerged wood, boat docks, rock piles, underwater stumps, shoreline cover and anything that’s different. My retrieve varies. The fish will always tell you when you’re getting it right. In clear to slightly stained water a slow retrieve with intermittent pauses is a good start. In muddy water and low light conditions a slow steady retrieve makes it easier for the fish to locate the bait. The lateral line on a bass’ side is primarily to sense any vibration in the water, just perfect for tracking down a spinner. I prefer baitcasting equipment, a medium retrieve speed reel and a seven foot medium action rod . The reel is spooled with 12 pound test monofilament. Most of the spinnerbaits in my boxes are Strike King models, high quality components, sharp hooks and track straight right form the package. I do alter many of my baits with blade changes and use the replacement skirts offered by Strike King.

Not my favorite bait, but I never push off and begin to paddle without a spinnerbait already tied on to one of my rods. Have a few standard models and some that you have personalized for your type of water and the conditions that you may encounter. Spinners are for winners.

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