While there is a plethora of information available regarding the correct blade sizes and shapes for specific situations, the three-time Classic champion is quick to point out that selecting the correct spinnerbait trailer can also dictate success on the water. "You really have to look at the water clarity and the conditions to decide if you want a trailer or not," explains VanDam.
"The majority of the time, I don't use a trailer because I like to throw a spinnerbait in clear to stained water where I want the profile of my spinnerbait to be smaller." So, when does VanDam dress up his spinnerbait with a soft plastic trailer? "I like to add a trailer when the water is dirty or when the water is cold," he states.
"Both of those situations require a bigger profile and a slower retrieve. In these conditions, I want to add something that has some action so the bass really target the body of my spinnerbait." VanDam says the ideal situation for a beefy trailer is slow rolling a spinnerbait in deep timber during the winter months. "The trailer gives the bait more eye appeal and action," he says. When using a trailer, he favors a Strike King 3X 4-inch curled-tail grub, which he threads on the shank of his spinnerbait hook, making sure that the curl is pointing the opposite way of the hook point.
"You have to be conscious of how a trailer might affect the way the bait runs," says VanDam. "If you add a big curled-tail grub, it will often throw off the balance of the spinnerbait on a fast retrieve. That's why I use a trailer when I need to move the bait slowly."
When applying a trailer to his spinnerbait, VanDam places a drop of super glue at the head of the trailer, and then adds a trailer hook. "No matter what, I'm always going to add a trailer hook," he stresses. "In many cases you're going to get a reaction strike, and that trailer hook really helps." The Michigan pro usually uses a red trailer hook to increase the eye appeal of the offering.
Matching the color of the trailer to the skirt is another thing to take into consideration when throwing a spinnerbait. While a perfectly matched trailer and skirt combination may look good, VanDam says that contrast is important. Often, his go-to trailer color is chartreuse. "I prefer a mixture of baitfish colors for my trailer, but I like to use a little contrast between the trailer and the skirt. I use chartreuse a lot because it really seems to make the bass target the bait," he explains.
The next time you are looking to beef up a spinnerbait with a soft plastic trailer, rather than reaching for the first piece of plastic in the tacklebox, put a little thought into the decision and increase your odds for success.
(Provided by Z3 Media)