Fishing Bass with a Spinnerbait

4 Ways to Make Your Spinnerbait Better


Spinnerbaits are extremely effective and very versatile lures. They can be fished shallow and deep and used to mimic a wide variety of baitfish. And though not all spinnerbaits are created equal, they can all be enhanced. From literal decades of personal trial and error and little tweaks along the way comes this quick list of four ways that you can make your spinnerbait better.

Add a trailer to your spinnerbait

Add a trailer

Picking some sort of complimentary soft plastic to go on the back of your spinnerbait is a great way to make it look that much more appealing to a bass. There are lots of options to choose from here, but split tail trailers, swimbaits and grubs are certainly among the top contenders.

To put a trailer on your spinnerbait, first take the bait and put it beside the hook shaft, with the nose of the bait up past the barbed trailer keeper where it will end up. Gauge where your hook point needs to come out of the bait so that your trailer will fit well without being scrunched up.  

Then take the hook point, insert it into the center of the nose of the bait and run it through the bait until you finally bring it out at the place you previously determined. Your bait should end up fitting snugly over the bait keeper and straight on the hook. If this is not the case, pull the trailer off carefully and repeat this process.

Add a trailer hook to your spinnerbait

Add a trailer hook

Once you’ve slid your trailer up onto your bait, it’s a good idea then to add a trailer hook. Though the hook on a spinnerbait is typically pretty effective, adding another small trailer hook to the back gives you the best chance of catching a bass that’s simply swiping at the blades of the bait.  

You’ll want to slide the trailer hook eye over the point and barb of the main hook, making sure they’re oriented in the same direction. Then you’ll need to add some sort of keeper onto the main hook to ensure the trailer hook doesn’t come off. Small pieces of rubber band or surgical tubing will do the trick. These also work well.

Tie and eye on your spinnerbait

Tie an eye

Spinnerbaits attract bass using color, flash and vibration. The vibration they put off is likely the most significant attractant, especially in muddy water. But as the blades thump, the wire of a spinnerbait arm wiggles back and forth constantly. With bigger blades, this is exaggerated even more. These tiny repetitive movements will actually weaken the wire over time, causing it to break. Especially when a few particularly feisty fish bend the blade arm and you have to bend it back a few times.  

The worst case scenario has happened to my dad and I a few times, and the blade arm has broken while fighting a big fish to the boat. A broken arm usually doesn’t equate to a broken heart, but in this case it does. You can alleviate the concern of this happening to you by creating a line tie eye at the bend of your spinnerbait. Just take a short piece of braided line, tie a slipknot and cinch it down around the bend of the arm.  

Add a drop of super glue and start to wrap the braid around and around. After about 6 or 7 rotations, tie a couple simple over hand knots around the line wraps, snip off the tag end of the line and add another drop of super glue. Let all of this dry and now you’ve effectively created an eye for your spinnerbait that will be much less likely to bend, and eventually break.

Zip tie skirt on your spinnerbait for bass

Zip-tie skirt

Though some spinnerbaits today use a nice hand-tied wire to secure their skirts, many still use old fashioned rubber bands that rot and deteriorate over time. If you have such a band on your spinnerbait and it sits in the box for a while, you may go to reach for it only to find the skirt in a pile and no longer attached to the bait.  

You can avoid this frustration by taking a small zip-tie and cinching it down over top of the rubber skirt collar. This will hold your skirt in place even when the rubber collar inevitably rots and falls away. These small zip-ties come in a a variety of colors, so you can choose one that matches your bait well if you’d like. Just cinch it down around the collar and snip off the excess and you’re good to go.  

Hopefully these four tips will help you get more life out of your spinnerbait as well as help you catch more fish. Adding a trailer and trailer hook make your bait more appealing and effective. And you can prevent a lot of breakage by making your own line-tie eye. Then make certain the skirt will last for the life of the spinnerbait using a simple zip-tie. Keeping these four things in mind, take a look through your spinnerbait inventory and see if you can’t beef it up a bit.  

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