What's new with spinnerbaits

About the author

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick is better known to the bass fishing world as the Smallmouth Guru. He lives in Celina, Tenn., and is the owner of Punisher Lures.

Spinnerbaits are changing and in a big way. What I’m seeing will — I think — make a huge difference in how we fish with them. In some ways I’d have to say that they’re following the path of what I wrote about last week concerning crankbaits. They’re becoming very specialized.

The trend is to customize when you order, especially online. It’s no longer enough to order a 1/2-ounce, double willow leaf in chartreuse and white. Anglers want baits that are customized for their specific waters, their forage and their season of the year. As far as I’m concerned, this is a good thing that’s long overdue.

Let’s talk for a minute about what this will do. No longer will you order a big, heavy bait that only comes with big blades. Nowadays if you want something that’ll get down really deep, maybe 20 feet or more, but still have blades small enough that they won’t force the bait up shallow, you can custom order it. And you can have any combination of blades, head shape and skirt that you want.

Do you want a head shape that stays down in black with one gold blade and the other in black? No problem. What about the same thing with a white Colorado blade and a red skirt. No problem.

When I say that, however, I’m not telling you that there are a lot of new colors available because that just isn’t the case. At least if they’re out there, I sure haven’t seen them. You can mix colors up better than ever, but they are the same old standbys that have been around for years and years. In some ways that’s not a bad thing. It means they still work.

Another trend I’m seeing is a move towards smaller bait profiles. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but it also seems to be the trend with crankbaits. The spinnerbait bodies and the skirts that go with them are getting smaller. It may be that smaller profiles are a response to fishing pressure or it could be that it’s nothing more than a marketing move. Either way, it’s happening.

One thing I can say for sure is that smallmouth will hit either size. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — do not believe for one minute that a smallmouth bass won’t hit a giant bait. They will and they do. So don’t throw away your giant lures just yet. There may be a few good brown bass left in them.

The trend we’re seeing towards specialization is, overall I think, a good thing. It’ll make us more efficient anglers. At the same time, though, I think we need to be careful and not start thinking that we can’t fish unless we have all this new stuff. The old-fashioned standbys have been around for many a year. There’s a reason for that. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

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