bass fishing spinnerbait blades

#11 – Spinnerbait

The spinnerbait: a classic fish-catching machine. It’s extremely versatile and easy to use. Fish it fast or slow, deep or shallow.

The basic parts of a spinnerbait have been labeled above. Although the lure may look complex at first glance, it’s fairly simple to understand. A bent wire arm connects one or more free-spinning blades to a weighted hook. The blades spin when moving underwater, creating flash and vibration that attracts fish. The hook is typically concealed by a silicone skirt attached at the head of the hook. The skirt provides added life to the lure as it moves in the water.

There are three basic types of blades used on spinnerbaits. Willow Leaf, Colorado, and Indiana.


The Willow Leaf (named for its shape) has a long thin contour that avoids grabbing onto cover and moves easily in the water. It runs quietly, creating minimal vibration in the water. It also provides the most amount of flash in clear water situations.

Quick Takeaways: Faster, Most Flash, Least Vibration, Deep, Clear Water
The Colorado blade has more of a rounded shape with a deeper concave. This creates a lot of vibration and noise with minimal flash. This blade also creates a lot of resistance lifting it closer to the surface of the water. These characteristics make it popular for shallow, murky, or dark water.

Quick Takeaways: Slower, Least Flash, Most Vibration, Shallow, Murky Water, Dark Water

The Indiana blade is more of a hybrid teardrop shape. It’s rounded like a Colorado, but a little longer and slim like a Willow. It creates moderate vibration and flash making it a good all-around blade to use.

Quick Takeaways: Moderate speed, medium flash and vibration, all-around blade  

These blades come in many different sizes, finishes and colors. Although no one type is perfect for all fishing conditions, spinnerbaits can be purchased or assembled with different blade combinations for whatever the circumstance may be.

So how do you use it? Start by simply casting it out and reeling it in to get a feel for it. Experiment from there:

  • stop ‘n’ go retrieve
  • lift ‘n’ drop retrieve
  • drag it across the bottom
  • pull it through grass
  • bump it into stumps, branches, rocks and docks
  • get creative

A&L will cover more advanced techniques and lure modifications for spinnerbaits in future posts. Until then, have fun! You WILL catch a bass on this one.