Spinner Fishing: How To Fish With A Spinner


When used the right way, spinners are capable of landing a wide range of fish species. Both expert and beginning fishermen prefer to use the spinners when going after bigger game fish, including pike, trout, bream, and walleye.

What makes the spinners extremely effective is the fact that they present themselves as fish food. This triggers the fish’s survival desire.

For you to catch trout and other fish species using the spinners, learning how to fish with a spinner is crucial. This article has everything that you would need to know about spinner fishing.

What Are Spinners?

The term “spinners” is used to refer to a family of fishing lures that feature a metal shaped blade(s) usually attached to a wire. When put in motion, the blades spin creating varying degrees of vibration and flash. These usually mimic small baitfish.

In clear or stained waters, the target fish is capable of seeing the flash created by the spinning blade. When a spinner fishing in murky or dark waters, the target fish will use its lateral line to feel the vibration created by the spinning blade.

Spinners are generally easy to use. They are capable of catching fish with a simple straight retrieve. When the fishes strike the spinner, they end up hooking themselves.

Basically, 4 spinner designs exist. These are:

  • Standard inline spinners – These feature blades which rotate around the straight wire via a clevis. Inline spinners usually feature a weight that makes casting easier.
  • Spinnerbaits – These feature a lead head molded on the lower arm. A spinner is usually attached to the upper arm via a swivel. Some spinnerbaits feature multiple blades usually attached to the upper arm using a bead stop and a clevis.
  • Buzzbaits – These resemble the inline spinner or a spinnerbait. The only difference is that they feature a rotating propeller which makes surface fishing much easier.
  • Live bait spinners – These use minnows or nightcrawlers on a hook series. They feature a spinner blade in front of the live bait.

How to Fish with a Spinner

Spinners, unlike the majority of other saltwater and freshwater fishing lures, are very versatile. You can use them to locate your favorite fish both in shallow and deep waters. They make it possible for you to cover a lot of areas within a short period of time. If the next time you wear your fishing shirt you intend to use spinners, read the tips in this section to learn how to fish with a spinner.

Count Down

A common mistake that anglers make is that they will begin reeling in their spinner the moment it hits the water. If your target fish is feeding on the surface, you may be able to reel in a catch. However, if the fish is hanging out deeper, you may end up complaining that you can’t catch fish.

Counting down your lure can make things much easier for you. In most instances, spinners are capable of sinking one foot each second. This speed may, however, depend on the size and shape of the spinner.

After casting your spinning rod, wait, and then count. This should give you an idea of how far the spinner is from the water surface.

You can reel in after 1 count initially. As you cast more, increase your counts before you start reeling in. Eventually, you should be able to focus on the whole water column. If you happen to hook your target fish at, say, the 6th or 7th count, you should be able to get the depth right the next time you cast.

Action is Necessary

Spinner fishing will only work for you if the blade is spinning. This means that after wearing your fishing gloves and casting, you will need to make sure that the blade is moving at all times.

If the blade happens to get stuck, you can solve the issue pretty easily. All you will have to do is give the lure a jerk with your saltwater fishing rod when you initiate the retrieve. The tension created on the fishing line by the short jerk and the rush of water over the spinner blade should force it to jump into action.

Triggering the Strike

As mentioned earlier, spinners have the ability to attract the attention of fish. If you visit your favorite spot armed with your spinning reel and spinners, you could end up forcing numerous fish to follow your lure. Unless you trigger a strike, landing the following fish may be impossible.

An ideal way of triggering a strike is by simply twitching the rod tip towards the lure. The slack created on your braided fishing line will cause the spinner to pitch to the side and also change its pace. This may cause the fish to strike.

It is worth noting that putting too much slack on the line is never a good idea. Excess slack may cause the blade to stop spinning. This will not just kill the action; it could also reduce your chances of hooking up the trailing fish.

Cast Upstream


When using your spinners in streams or rivers, casting upstream will increase your chances of succeeding. After casting, allow the spinner to swing around during the retrieve.

The major reason why casting upstream works is the fact that some fish species usually face upstream to fight the current. Additionally, all the food that your target fish may be interested in will be drifting downstream – this makes casting upstream a natural presentation.

When spinner fishing, casting upstream also makes it possible for you to get the spinner deeper. If you cast downstream, the current will force the spinner to rise and end up skipping along the surface. This means that landing fish holding deeper may be impossible.

Spinner Fishing in Covers

Spinner fishing is an ideal way of landing fish under banks, behind rocks, in trenches, and under logs. However, if you are not familiar with how to fish with a spinner in covers, landing fish may not be very easy for you.

A common mistake that anglers make is casting and dropping the lure on top of the cover. This generally causes the fish to spook. To avoid this, you should focus on casting past the cover and then use your rod tip to guide the lure to the strategic position.

Vary the Speed of Retrieval

Depending on how aggressive the target fish, varying the retrieval speed is often necessary. In cold waters, your retrieve speed is supposed to below. In warmer waters, you can increase the retrieve speed. Switching between reeling slow and fast can help you figure out the ideal speed for landing fish.

Color Selection

When spinner fishing, you can use these tips to select the ideal color depending on your situation:

  • In turbid or stained water, more flash is necessary. If you can’t size up the spinner, use a shinier blade.
  • In clear waters, either use a less reflective blade or reduce the size of your lure.
  • In cold waters, use a bigger spinner or use a shinier lure.
  • In warm waters, reduce the spinner size or use a less shiny lure.

Selecting the Right Blade

There are 3 main types of spinner blades. These tips will help you select the right blade:

  • Colorado – These are both large and slow-spinning. They are ideal for cooler, muddy waters.
  • Willow Leaf – These spin quickly. The long, slender blades are ideal when fishing in areas featuring a lot of grass.
  • Indiana – These feature average speed. You can use them in warmer and less grassy fishing spots.

Globo Surf Overview

Irrespective of the fish species you intend to go after, spinner fishing can help you land your game fish. When learning how to fish with a spinner, you need to focus on improving your presentation and triggering strikes. The fact that the spinners mimic baitfish means that your target fish may follow them. However, if you do not trigger a strike, landing fish will not be possible.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!