Spinnerbaits are a fast and fun way to fish. I love taking my rod and few spinnerbaits down to the dock and casting beside the weeds. When ripping the lure back quickly through the water, you can feel the extra drag on these lures that comes from the large skirt and double blades they have. The added drag works to create a lot of action in the water that draws quick strikes from the fish. The best line for spinnerbaits depends on how you use your spinnerbait lures.
You can use a monofilament line with spinnerbaits if you are working the short game and casting close to the dock or boat. However, for those longer casts that fall beside the weeds, a drop off under the water, or other cover for the fish, the lower stretch and visibility of fluorocarbon will work better. Finally, if you are working the spinnerbait through heavy cover, you will want to use a braided line, the fast retrieval through the cover will help hide the high-vis braided line from the waiting fish and the added abrasion resistance will mean less broken lines.
You can use spinnerbaits with a variety of line types depending on where you intend to cast them. In this primer on the best line for spinnerbaits, we will cover these different use cases and review some of the best brands that the top fishers prefer to use when casting spinnerbaits. At the end, I will give you a few more tips to get the most out of your spinnerbaits and review a few other tackle considerations. With this knowledge, you will soon see success when hitting the water with your spinnerbaits.
Use Fluorocarbon Line for Open Water & Near Cover
Unless you are retrieving the line through thick cover, fluorocarbon is generally going to be the best line to use with spinnerbaits. Fluoro strikes a great balance between stretch and visibility.
Spinnerbaits are designed to create a lot of drag in the water as you reel them in quickly. The speedy retrieval combined with the pull and flash from the blades and skirt help to create the noise and commotion that attracts quick strikes from hungry fish.
If your line has too much stretch, such as with a mono line, you aren’t going to get the same effect in the water, and the number of bites will decrease. Fluorocarbon line is also going to give you a lot of sensitivity on the line, which is paramount when using a single-hook lure setup
These lures create a lot of action as you reel them in quickly through the water, which serves to excite the fish and entices them to strike as they think food is zipping past quickly.
Because these lures are noisy and create a lot of visual cues in the water, they can work well in open water. However, where you will really see their potential realized is if you pull them quickly past places where fish like to lay in wait for baitfish snacks.
Casting them beside a weed bed or near a drop off and retrieving it at a good pace is an effective way to draw these strikes.
You can also cast them over a weed bed or some fallen logs and pull them in quickly over the top of the cover with a fluorocarbon line. Just remember that if you want to run the lure through a bed of milfoil, hydrilla, or other weed covers, you want to switch to a braided line for added abrasion resistance.
Here are a few of my favorite fluorocarbon brands to use with spinnerbaits:
This line definitely earns its title; once it is in the water, it is virtually invisible.
This full fluorocarbon line has low stretch, good knot strength, and an excellent ability to stay supple at lower temperatures. It is less prone to coiling and will sit nice and flat on the spool, which will lead to less backlashing.
With a decent resistance to abrasion, this line will serve you well when casting beside and above the cover of weeds or fallen trees.
Another pure fluorocarbon line, Super FC Sniper will help reduce coiling and twisting on your reel. This will give you an enjoyable baitcasting experience and help prevent backlash, which discourages most people when it comes to baitcasting.
The very low stretch of this line gives you superb sensitivity allowing you to feel every bite on the line.
The high abrasion resistance rating means you can cast near submerged logs or other thick cover with added confidence.
This line is not strictly a fluorocarbon line, as you might have guessed from the hybrid name. It is a mix between a nylon and fluoro line.
However, this means it has a small diameter with very low visibility in the water. It also has minimal stretch, again giving you improved sensitivity.
The nylon helps to prevent tangles on the line while the fluorocarbon reduces the stretch and adds abrasion resistance.
The only downside to this line is that it has more memory than other recommended lines, which means that if you spool too much of this line on your reel and it doesn’t get used regularly, it can start coming off in a coil formation.
As a bonus, this line is also quite inexpensive, with a 600-yard spool costing significantly less than some of the other big brands on the market.
While many of these fluoro lines offer decent abrasion resistance, if you are consistently ripping that spinnerbait through thick weed beds and near large submerged structures, you will probably want to switch to a braided line.
Use Braided Line in the Weeds
Braided lines are much higher vis in the water. However, because you will generally use a braided line with a spinnerbait in heavy cover areas and because you will retrieve it quickly, the fish won’t usually be able to spot the line.
The lack of stretch also means you have a very high degree of sensitivity. The result is that you will be able to feel any bite on the line, and even if you didn’t hook the fish with the first retrieval, you know where they are and can cast back to the same spot for another chance to reel ‘em in!
While persistence could pay off when using a highly visible braided line in open, clear water, you will benefit the most when using it in conditions that help to hide the line from the fish. In general, this means through cover as the high abrasion resistance of the braided line is used to its fullest here. Murky waters can also help camouflage things.
Here are a few recommended brands:
Spiderwire offers an excellent strength line with good sensitivity. They also have a few different colors to help reduce the visibility of the line. I recommend green as you will likely be pulling this line through weeds most of the time.
Sufix also makes a superb lo-vis line in green, which will help keep things hidden in the cover of weeds.
They have partnered with the makers for GORE-TEX to craft this high-quality line from the GORE material, which gives supreme abrasion resistance in those densely covered areas. This material also helps to reduce the vibration on the line, which will increase your ability to feel bites when using spinnerbaits to create that fish-attracting turbulence in the water.
Now that we have looked at which type of line to use let’s discuss poundage.
Use a 17- to 25-Pound Line For Fluoro & 40- to 65-Pound Line for Braided
I will usually use a heavier line with these high-drag lures as you are reeling them in quickly, sometimes through cover. The drag on the line, combined with the pull from the cover and the quick strikes these lures draw means you want some extra cushion room on the poundage.
Plenty of people use a 15-pound test, but I have lost a few fish at this weight when the line snaps, which is why I will go for a 17-pound line.
Depending on where you fish and the conditions, you may want to go up to 20; but, I find 17- to 18-pound to be the sweet spot. You may want to buy a few different weights above the 15-pound mark and experiment with them to see what brings in the fish.
For braided lines in heavy cover, go with a 40-pound test or higher, some go as high as 65-pound test depending on the conditions. The same advice applies here as for fluorocarbon, you are fishing in more substantial cover and want that added security you get from higher poundage. There is nothing worse than losing a fish to a broken line!
Now that you know what line you need when you are using your spinnerbait, we can look at a few other tips to increase your chances of catching fish.
Other Tips for Making the Most of Your Spinnerbaits
Cast and retrieve is the go-to method when using a spinnerbait as this is where you get the best action from the flash and noise of their skirt and blades. Both factors of the spinnerbait can be modified to suit the conditions in which you are fishing. Here we will review the basics of a spinnerbait setup, including the type and color of the blade and the colors of the skirt.
Three Blade Types & When to Use Them
There are three common types of blades when it comes to spinnerbaits. Each of them differs in size, which alters the amount of drag, vibration, and flash.
From largest to smallest, the three types of blades are:
Colorado blades, being the largest of the bunch, create the most amount of drag, which results in more vibration and noise as you reel them through the water. Because of the added vibration and noise, they work well in low visibility situations like murky waters or at night.
The added drag also means you can reel them in slower, making them great for colder waters when fish are moving slower.
Indian blades fall in the middle size-wise; they do not create as much vibration as the Colorado blades nor as much flash as the willow-leaf. Their spinning speed also falls in the middle between the other two varieties of spinnerbaits.
These factors make them great for hot summer days when you want a fast retrieval but need to avoid the flashier baits that can spook the bass.
These are the least common of the three lure types and are generally used in more narrow circumstances.
Willow-leaf blades, sometimes just called willow blades, are much narrower. The result is less drag creating less vibration and noise in the water. However, their thin blade also gives them a faster spin resulting in more flash. That means these spinners rely mostly on the visual cues. These lures are the most common of the three varieties.
With a willow blade, you will have a quicker retrieval, which means you do not want to use them when the fish appear to be sluggish. Use them on warmer days when the fish are more active. Cast them in deeper waters or in and around weeds where the lure’s flash will draw quick strikes from the fish lying in wait to catch a quick baitfish snack.
The Color of the Skirt and Blades
Like most bass lures, spinnerbaits come in a variety of colors to suit the conditions in which you may be fishing. I find that more natural colors tend to work best, but if you are fishing in darker or murkier waters, you may want to opt for something more vibrant.
When the water is really clear, it is best to keep the colors more subdued, go for something more natural as bright colors in clear waters can scare the fish away from striking the lure.
The blades are doing most of the work in attracting those strikes, and if you go for vibrant, bright, artificial-looking colors, the fish are not going to be as willing to strike on those bright, clear, calm days.
On darker days, or in stained waters, you can experiment with brighter colors which the fish will be able to see in these conditions.
Keep these color recommendations in mind for both the blades and the skirt of the lure. Some blades also have patterns that can help increase visibility in dark or murky conditions.
Best Weather for Spinnerbaits
One of the best things about spinnerbaits is that they can generate bites in all weather conditions.
As we have mentioned above, there is a lot of variation in blade size and color. You can fill your tackle box with lures for any occasion, from cold, murky waters to warm, clear waters.
I have had the most success with these little beauties on low-light days with a bit of wind because the turbulence and flash help to draw the attention of the fish.
However, by following the advice above regarding line type as well as blade type and color, you can be successful at any time of year in any conditions using a spinnerbait.
Other Tackle Considerations
We’ve covered the best types of lines and given you some tips for when and how to use your spinnerbait, but you want to make sure the rest of your tackle is providing the best chance for catching fish.
I stick with a casting setup when using spinnerbaits and avoid spinning gear. For your rod, you are going to want something that has fast action with a medium to medium/heavy power rating. I use a 6’6″ rod, but you can go up to 7′ in length.
Spinnerbaits are a highly versatile lure, and with a bit of consideration, you can catch a lot of bass using these attractive baits combined with the right type of line.
Because these lures rely on quick retrieval and use drag to create flash and noise in the water, you want a line with low stretch. Stick with fluorocarbon or braided line. The less stretch your line has, the more sensitivity you have. Added sensitivity results in more catches, even if you don’t hook them on the first run, cast back to where you felt that nibble, and you will be able to trigger another bite.
Fluorocarbon line works well in open waters or when you are fishing above weed beds and other cover.
Braided lines will give you added security when it comes to abrasion resistance, but they have increased visibility in the water. This type of line works best when zipping those lures through the weeds or other dense cover.
Because you are fishing in and around cover, opt for a slightly heavier test line than you might otherwise. 15-pound is a popular option, but I recommend going with something closer to 17 or above as this will lead to less lost fish.
Use more natural colors and tones for your lure on those bright, calm days as more vivid colors will turn away the fish in clear waters.
In low light or darker waters, you can step up the vibrancy on the colors so that the fish can better spot and then strike the lure.
Keeping these tips in mind when choosing your line, your lure, and setting up the rest of your tackle will lead to many successful fishing trips and a lot of fun, especially for the young fishers who love to cast and retrieve with speed.