By: Shaye Baker
Asking advice on how to tie on a fishing lure is about like asking for directions. You ask five people and you’ll likely find out there are five different ways to get there. There are several good knots to use when tying on a spinnerbait. Some anglers will argue their preferred knot is stronger than others. Some will boast that they can tie a particular knot 0.7 seconds faster than another. And, while efficiency on the water is important, I can’t imagine those 0.7 seconds here and there really adding up to all that much in the grand scheme of things.
At the end of the day, there are several knots that work, so I’m just going to walk you through the one I use, step by step. If you have another knot that you prefer that works well for you, by all means stick with it. But if you’re having trouble finding a knot you trust, I’ve used this same knot for over 20 years to tie on 95% of the baits I use and it has an awesome track record. So let’s look at it now.
Modified Trilene Knot for Spinnerbaits
The knot I use for spinnerbaits and most other baits is basically a Trilene knot with one added step at the end. For starters, take into consideration that some spinnerbaits have a bend for the line tie while some other spinnerbait manufacturers create and eye by bending the wire of the arm into a loop. This doesn’t change much about how I tie this knot, but the existence of spinnerbaits with an eye like this rules out some of the other knots anglers use. Also, if there is no loop or eye for the line tie, I actually like to make one. But we’ll talk more about that later in this piece.
For now, whether your spinnerbait has a loop or bend for a line tie, there’s no difference in how you tie the knot. Start off by running the line through the line tie of the spinnerbait, with a bout 8 to 10 inches of line passed through the spinnerbait. We’ll call this portion of line your tag end. Now take the tag end around and back through again in the same direction to create a loop in the line.
Now bring the tag end of your line back up to where it’s running parallel to your main line. Create a second loop by twisting your tag end around your main line 6 or 7 times. You should be left now with two loops down at the line tie of the bait. Now take your tag end and run it simultaneously through the two loops that you have created. This is the point at which you would cinch down a Trilene knot and be done. The added step that I do is simple and just makes the knot slightly stronger and cleaner in my opinion. To finish the modified Trilene knot, simply take the tag end of your line and run it back up and through the loop that you just made. This will take your tag line back up towards your main line and have it running somewhat parallel to it again.
At this point, you want to lubricate the knot a bit and then begin to cinch it down by pulling the tag end of the line and the main line at the same time. The loops will all gradually get smaller at roughly the same pace. You may need to pull on one a little more than the other as the knot cinches down, and you’ll develop a feel for this over time. But essentially you just want to cinch the knot down til it’s nice and tight. Then cut off the tag end and you’re good to go. This is a great knot for spinnerbaits and one that’s served me well for dozens of years with numerous other baits as well.
Creating an Eye for Spinnerbaits
As previously state. I like to create an eye for spinnerbaits that don’t have one. I do this for several reasons. It makes the spinnerbait stronger by restricting the amount of bend the bait has. Oftentimes a hard fighting bass will destroy a good spinnerbait by bending the arm. If the arm bends and has to be bent back several times, it will often break. Creating an eye for a line tie also helps here, so that if the blade arm of a spinnerbait breaks off, there’s a chance that the knot won’t slip off the spinnerbait arm because of the eye you created. I’ve had this happen several times and it can help you land critical big fish, because the bigger bass are the more likely to break a spinnerbait anyway.
Creating an eye for the line tie is simple. Take a foot of braided line, tie a loop knot and then cinch that knot down around the base of the bend in the arm where you would tie on a spinnerbait. Then take the line and start wrapping it around and around the bend in the arm, applying a drop of super glue every 5 or 6 wraps. After 15 to 20 wraps, depending on the diameter of the braid, you simply tie a little over hand knot or two to secure the wraps and then cut the tag end of the line and allow the glue to dry. Now you have an eye on your spinnerbait that will greatly decrease the likelihood of breaking the bait and losing a big fish.
Every time I tie on a spinnerbait, I use this modified Trilene Knot. It’s a strong knot that has served me well for years. I try to find spinnerbaits that already have an eye formed from the wire but they are pretty rare these days. So quite often, I’ll make my own eye for the line tie using braided line. Reinforcing your spinnerbait this way and then using this knot is the best way to tie on a spinnerbait in my opinion. This method has served me well now for a long time and now hopefully it’ll help you catch more fish too!