Blades Make the Spinnerbait
The major concept to understand, the key to what makes a
spinnerbait work is that blades make the
spinnerbait. A spinnerbait without any blades is
rather unappealing to bass. If you remove the blades from a
spinnerbait wire, and fish with just the spinnerbait head and
skirt but no blades, you're not going to catch very much. If you
just pulled the painted head/skirt past a bass without any blades
on the arm, the bass may watch it go by, but may not take much
action. Now put a blade or two on the arm above the skirt. The
blades add the strike motivation in that the blades may appear as
smaller fish being pursued by a bigger fish (the bulkier skirt).
Thanks to the blades, the skirt now appears as a bigger fish
chasing smaller ones. Bass usually won't tolerate other fish
feeding in front of them, especially not subordinate size fish
brazenly feeding... and the bass may now take action to strike
the out-of-pecking-order skirt chasing the smaller blades. That's
one theory often recited about a spinnerbait, that with the
blades, it imitates a small school of baitfish.
But whether that's true or not, the point is the blades add
all the allure. The blades produce the strong vibration which
runs through the wire arm, the head, the hook and down to the
many skirt strands which all vibrate strongly. Due to the blades,
the whole lure vibrates, which excites fish. Without blades, the
lure wouldn't vibrate or flash.
Spinnerbait Blade Flash, Vibration, Spin and Motion
If you read the many articles on spinnerbaits, you are
certainly likely to hear how a Willow flashes most but vibrates
least, how a Colorado vibrates most but flashes least, and the
Indiana flashes and vibrates in between those two extremes.
That's all true to a degree. Bottom line
is that all blades all flash and all vibrate enough to attract
fish with both these properties. We wish to make neat
and repeatable rules for when one blade type will work better
than others, but truth is most blades will work most days, and
the rare times when one blade does work better than others is
often unpredictable. It often comes down to trial and error,
successfully catching a few fish with a certain blade
configuration, and gaining confidence in it. As long as a
particular blade shape/color/size keeps catching fish, it is the
right choice for that day.
In addition to flash and vibration, all blades spin and all
blades are in motion. You don't hear a lot about spin and motion,
but it is significant that a spinning blade has more and faster
movement than any other bass lure. No crankbait wobbles, no soft
plastic grub tail wiggles more or as fast as a blade spins. Even
when slow rolling it, a blade is usually a blur it moves so fast.
It almost creates a three dimensional shape hologram at times.
Other times, as the blade revolves 360 degrees, it can look like
several baitfish (one on top, one on bottom, to the right and to
the left) at once - a school unto itself. Whatever it may look
like to a fish, this extreme source of movement - a spinning
blade in blurring motion - is highly excitable to a fish's eye.
Whereas flash and vibration can attract fish from further away,
spin and motion are close-in, visual attractions.
Those are two things: 1) that blades make the spinnerbait, and
2) spinnerbait blade, flash, vibration, spin and motion to
understand first and foremost about a spinnerbait.
The Big Three Spinnerbait Blade Shapes
(Willow, Colorado and Indiana Blades)
Early Origins of Spinnerbait Blades
There's little documentation on the early origins of our basic
blade shapes, but some accounts say that in the late 1800's, John
Hildebrandt first hammered out the three basic blade shapes we
still use today. Legend says he started with a silver dime,
working it into the shapes he wanted. He studied how the blades
worked in the water until he felt he had perfected all three
blade shapes we still use more than one hundred years later:
- Colorado. Hildebrandt designed the Colorado with an
almost round shape in order to spin at the very slowest possible
speed and/or in the calmest, stillest water.
- Willow. The Willow was designed to be just the
opposite. The Willow would not spin as efficiently or slowly as
the Colorado. The slender, knife-like Willow shape was designed
to perform best at fast speeds and/or in fast current situations
due to the Willow's more streamlined shape.
- Indiana. The Indiana shape (Hildebrandt lived in
Indiana) was designed for moderate speed retrieves and moderate
water conditions. The raindrop-shaped Indiana bridged the gap
between the rotund, slow Colorado and the slim, fast Willow.
Today, over 100 years later, those three blade shapes are
mainly what we use on bass spinnerbaits. Yes, there are a handful
of other spinnerbait blade shapes too, but the Willow, Colorado
and Indiana are by far the most popular.
Let's start off looking at those three blade shapes first -
the Willow, Colorado and Indiana - since they are primarily what
you find on bass spinnerbaits.
Willow Spinnerbait Blades
By far the most popular blade style today. Many anglers use
nothing but Willow blades. The venerable Willow blade is often
talked about as if all Willows are all the same with identical
fishing properties. The truth is that there are many different
versions and variants of Willow blades on the market, more than
most people realize, and no two Willows fish quite the same. At
first glance, they may all look the same, but each has
differences in length, width, thickness, oval shape, degree of
cup, raw base material, stamping and plating that make otherwise
similar-looking willow blades behave differently from each other
in the water.
The Willow blades shown here turn more tightly, a little
faster and in a smaller degree of arc than many other willow
blades on the market. They create less torque or resistance when
pulled through the water, and that lets them run a little deeper
and truer than many other Willow blades.
These are superior performing willow blades. If I had to
choose just one Willow out of all the many versions and variants
that I've ever tried, this is the one.
Here are some (not all) tips for how to use these Willow
- Size #3-1/2 are best used
as front runner blades for small size spinnerbaits (say 1/4 oz).
Also as front runners on fast-moving spinnerbaits from 3/8 and
up. When moved at slow to normal speeds, a #3-1/2 front-runner
tends to stall, not spin and lock up under the wire arm. But if
you put the 3-1/2 on a fast-moving spinnerbait, it will spin
properly and add a shot of flash and color (if it's a painted
blade) to complement the back blade.
- Size #4, #4-1/2 and #5 are
the sizes you see on over 90% of all bass spinnerbaits that have
- Size #4 tends to be used
more often on 1/4, 3/8 and some 1/2 ounce spinnerbaits.
- Sizes #4-1/2 and #5 tend
to be used most often on 1/2 ounce and up.
- On double Willow spinnerbaits,
occasionally (and more often with a pair of #4s), both blades may
be the same size. But 90% of the time with double willows, the
front blade tends to be a half or full size smaller than the back
- Size #4 Willow blade can
also be productive as a front blade ahead of another blade type
(Indiana, Colorado, Oklahoma, etc.). I doubt you'll find many
spinnerbaits configured that way in a store or catalog, but you
can make them yourself with these blades. See if it doesn't work
- Size #5-1/2 and #6. These
larger size willows are not commonly seen on spinnerbaits, but
it's well worth your while to switch to some #5-1/2 and #6 willow
blades on your more stable-running spinnerbaits. These big blades
tend to produce fewer but larger bass. They are trophy bass sized
willow blades. So if you want to increase your odds of landing
bigger-than-average bass, it pays to use these
bigger-than-average size #5-1/2 and #6 willow blades.
Here is a comparison photo and size chart for these Willow
Double Willow blade spinnerbaits are more
popular than all other blade pairs.
Size 3-1/2 and #4 blades on 1/4 oz spinnerbait
A small front Colorado with a big back Willow
is the second most popular blade pair.
The overwhelming majority of spinnerbaits available today are
limited to the two Willow-based configurations shown above: 1)
double Willow blades, or 2) a small Colorado with a full-size
Willow. I estimate those two combos are over 75% of all bass
spinnerbaits on the planet today.
Slow Willow Spinnerbait Blades
There are numerous Willow blades on the market. They all look
the same but like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Slight
differences in shape, width, length, material and cup or
curvature make different Willows behave differently. It takes a
knowing eye to see the subtle behavior differences when Willows
move through the water, but it is there. The Slow Willow is one
that's so different it deserves special mention. Slow Willow
blades are the same length, width and exact oval shape as
standard willow blades. All the dimensions of standard Willow and
Slow Willow blades are identical - except the Slow Willow has
much less concave/convex curvature or cup than the standard
Willow. The Slow Willow has a shallow cup and looks flatter
compared to the standard Willow.
Slow Willow (left) and standard Willow (right) are the same
size, except for cup depth.
This difference, the shallower degree of cup, makes the Slow
Willow start spinning at slower speeds than a standard Willow.
When you start to retrieve a standard Willow at a slow speed, you
may have to jerk the bait and reel it faster at first in order to
get the blade spinning. On the other hand, with the Slow Willow
blade, there's not as much of a start-up problem at the beginning
of the retrieve. You get smoother, easier, better starts with the
Slow Willows during those first few important seconds of the
retrieve when aggressive, active fish will rush over eager to
strike if the spinnerbait looks appealing.
Likewise at the end of a retrieve, as a slow-rolled
spinnerbait gets closer to the boat, a standard Willow blade can
stop turning during the last leg of the retrieve. If you are
tuned in to the blade's vibration up the line, it's pretty
apparent when you feel it just go dead and stop rotating as it
nears the boat. Unfortunately that's a critical strike point
since following fish often react right when a slow-rolled
spinnerbait starts rising vertically toward the boat - but that's
just when a standard Willow tends to stop turning too. The Slow
Willow will continue to spin longer at the end of the retrieve
and it starts turning earlier at the start of a retrieve. A few
more seconds better performance may not seem like a lot, but
those are two high percentage strike moments - the very
beginning, and with slow-rolling the very end of a retrieve when
the blades are hesitant and having trouble turning.
So at the beginning and end of a retrieve, the Slow Willow
spins a little better. During the middle of a retrieve, it can be
fished a little slower than a standard Willow.
The Slow Willow blade also spins at a greater degree of cant
or skew from the wire arm axis. In other words, whereas the
standard Willow spins quite tightly, the Slow Willow spins in a
wider arc. This makes a Slow Willow appear a little bigger, more
visible and flashier than a standard Willow. Also more torque and
water drag result, which lets you fish the Slow Willow slower
than a standard Willow.
So that's why I say no two Willow blades work the same. We can
see here where only one property - the degree of cup - is
different, it causes a dramatic difference in how the Slow Willow
fishes compared to the standard Willow.
Here are a few (not all) tips for using Slow Willow blades:
- First and foremost, think slow-rolling and fishing
slowly with the Slow Willow.
- Enhanced lift at high speed. On the other hand, since
the Slow Willow has more torque, therefore more lift and rise
than a standard Willow, it can be used to help keep a speedily
retrieved spinnerbait near the surface. That sounds like a
contradiction, but the torque that lets you use the Slow Willow
more slowly is the same torque that lifts it higher on a fast
- Size #4, #4-1/2 and #5 are the sizes you see on over 90% of
all bass spinnerbaits that have willow blades. Actually, #4 and
#5 are by far most common.
- Size #4 tends to be used more often on 1/4, 3/8 and some 1/2
- Sizes #4-1/2 and #5 tend to be used most often on 1/2 to 1
- On double willow spinnerbaits, occasionally (and more
often with a pair of #4s), both blades may be the same size. But
90% of the time with double willows, the front blade tends to be
a half or full size smaller than the back blade.
- A small, light Colorado blade such as a #2 Colorado makes a
great front runner ahead of a Slow Willow.
Here is a comparison photo and size chart for Slow Willow
blades compared to standard Willow blades"
Slow Willows are the same size and shape as standard Willows,
except for the cup.
This spinnerbait has a Slow Willow blade. You
can really slow this spinnerbait down to a crawl for deep
slow-rolling. At the very start of a cast, this blade starts to
turn more easily. During the middle or main part of the retrieve,
it keeps turning at slower retrieve speeds than most other Willow
blades. At the end of the retrieve, most other slow-rolled
Willows stall and conk out. When a slow-rolled spinnerbait gets
directly under the boat, the angle of line pull changes, and the
spinnerbait starts to face up and rise up. That angle of change
is a high percentage strike point that occurs the instant when
the bait is almost directly under the boat and starts to come up.
Many bass are content for some reason to just follow along behind
slow-rolled spinnerbaits without making any effort to strike
them. They'll often follow slow-rolled spinnerbaits far from the
cover where the bass was holding, just trailing behind the
spinnerbait - until the bait changes direction directly under the
boat - and BAM! Unfortunately, many Willow blades give up and
just stop turning close to the boat. But the blade used on the
spinnerbait you see here will tend to still rotate at the key
strike point right under the boat.
Colorado Spinnerbait Blades
Nowadays, Colorado blades are rarely used as much as Willows.
That's all the more reason you should use them - because other
angler's won't be. Fact is, Colorado blades can work
magnificently anytime, anywhere, under any and all conditions,
either single or double Colorado blade configurations excel.
Yet most anglers will not use Colorado blades except at night,
in dark-colored or cold water when the thumping vibration and
slower speed retrieve required with Colorado blades are known
Most anglers don't realize that the heavy thump and vibration
of the Colorado blade also helps fish hone in on Colorado blades
around dense grass beds where visibility is limited in thick
Bottom line, if you want to be all you can be with
spinnerbaits, you've got to try tossing the Colorados under a
wide variety of conditions. At times, and often for no
explainable reason, bass will belt Colorados better than any
other blade styles.
A few (not all) tips for trying different sizes of Colorado
- Size #2. Tends to make a
small flash spot in front of any other style of bigger back
- Size #3. For slow-rolling
a 1/2 to 1 oz spinnerbait, I tend to use this blade as the front
runner ahead of a #4-1/2 or #5 Willow or Slow Willow
- Size #4. Tends to be the
size used more often on 1/4 and 3/8 ounce spinnerbaits.
- Sizes #5. Tends to be the
size used most often on 1/2 ounce and up.
- For fishing around thick grass, try double #4 Colorados on a
1/2 oz spinnerbait, or a #3 front and #4 back on a 3/8 oz bait.
Fish will hear the vibrations and barrel out of the grass to grab
Here is a comparison photo and size chart for the Colorado
blades shown here:
Blades. Photos not actual size. Photo not
same scale as each other photos.
A small Colorado may be used as a front runner
blade in front of many other blade styles. Here with an Indiana.
Small Colorado shown here in front of an Oklahoma.
Indiana Spinnerbait Blades
Along with Colorado and Willow blades, Indiana blades are well
over 100 years old. Nowadays, they are hardly used as much as
Willows or even Colorados. That's all the more reason for you to
use them. Indiana blades can work well anytime, anywhere under
any and all conditions.
Indiana blades are similar to the proverbial glass that is
half full, or would you say, half empty? Indianas do not flash as
much as Willows and do not vibrate as much as Colorados. That's
the half-empty attitude. On the other hand, Indianas flash more
than Colorados and vibrate more than Willows. That's the
If you need a little incentive or more confidence to make you
try them, keep in mind that a double Indiana blade spinnerbait
won back-to-back-to-back Bassmaster Classic world championship
tournaments in 1974, 1975 and 1976. That's quite a testimonial
for Indiana blades. So why don't you see them on the market
anymore? Well, you see them here, don't you? So why not pick up a
A few (not all) tips for trying different sizes of Indiana
- Size #2 and #3. These
small sizes are deeply-cupped so they tend to spin tight and fast
as front blades on small spinnerbaits. I often like them in front
of a back Willow to make a small, fast spinnerbait.
- Also on small spinnerbaits, I like a #5 Indiana in back of a
#3 Colorado blade.
- Try twin Indiana blades:
1) a pair of #5 on small to medium size spinnerbaits, or a pair
of #6 (or a #5 in front of a #6) on larger spinnerbaits
Additionally, they can be used in combination with other blade
styles, either ahead of or behind Colorado, Oklahoma and other
blade types. Two of my favorite configurations involve an Indiana
with a Willow.
- Willow/Indiana. A #4
Willow placed on a 1/2 oz spinnerbait well in front of a #6
Indiana presents a very smooth, fluid look. The blades achieve a
harmonious blended appearance. There's a lot of see-through the
blades effect on both blades. Overall, it's a non-intrusive,
non-alarming look that excels in clear or stained water with a
moderate to fast speed retrieve.
- Indiana/Willow. A #5
Indiana on a 1/2 to 1 oz spinnerbait placed well ahead of a #5
Willow lets the front Indiana blade spin in a wide arc and steady
rotation. Yet the back Willow blade gets lost in the Indiana's
wake. The Willow doesn't get a good water flow. It lollygags and
bumbles along in a more lifelike manner than displayed during the
normal steady rotation of Willow blade. The effect looks best at
slow speeds, but moderate to fast retrieves will give the same
but lesser effect.
Here's a photo of the Willow and Indiana sizes (described
above) that go great together. Don't neglect to give them a try!
A double Indiana blade spinnerbait won the
Bassmaster Classic world championship tournament in 1974.
A double Indiana blade spinnerbait won the
Bassmaster Classic world championship tournament in 1975.
A double Indiana blade spinnerbait won the Bassmaster Classic
world championship tournament in 1976.
Willow/Indiana blades are seldom seen together.
Nevertheless they present a fluid and blended appearance that
catches fish so good that it has become the favorite blade
configuration of many anglers who have tried it.
Willow Indiana blades present a very fluid,
smooth blade pairing that kind of blur into each other. It's
ideal for clear water.
Indiana/Willow Blades. This particular size
pairing/spacing of blades imitates mixed size shad or other
baitfish swimming together in a small pod. This blade pairing
appears as discrete individual fish, one smaller than the other.
The head and skirt appears as a third, larger baitfish. It will
work any time, but is quite successful in autumn when small
baitfish species spawned in spring and summer start to muster in
huge schools of mixed sizes in order to begin migrating en masse
off the nursery grounds where they were born, toward their first
season wintering grounds.
Other Proven Spinnerbait Blade Shapes
(Oklahoma, Deep Cup, Thumper, Fluted, Chopper and
In addition to the big three (Willow, Colorado
and Indiana), there are a handful of other proven spinnerbait
blade shapes. Most popular among these would be the Oklahoma
Oklahoma Spinnerbait Blades
Oklahoma blades run a little heavier, a little thicker than
your other standard bass blades. They have a tight, rapid
vibration too. They're popularly used in Northwest Pacific and
Alaskan ocean salmon fishing, and also on pike and musky
spinners. They're big blades with a lot of vibration, thump and
flash. Bass love them!
These Oklahoma blades have a creased centerline. This makes
two sides to the blade. Without the creased centerline, a
comparable blade would really only have one smooth side and one
flash. But these Oklahoma blades emit separate flashes off both
sides and a third flash emitted by the centerline crease itself.
Oklahoma blades are a great shape match for young-of-year shad
species, sunfish and crappie fry. They also present a rapid,
tight spinning motion that matches the tight vibrating swimming
movement of these deep-bodied bait species.
My favorite times to "match the hatch" with
Oklahomas are late spring through late summer. Starting in late
spring, dense sheets of newly-hatched sunfish, crappie and other
panfish fry are a phenomena that helps lure bass away from the
spawning shallows and out towards the post-spawn outer weed beds.
During that time of year, look for butterbean-sized sunfish and
crappie fry that seem to infest the offshore grass beds. You'll
know the bass are keying on them when you see sheets of sunfish
and crappie fry sprinkling out of the surface of the offshore
grass beds by the hundreds and thousands in unison. A passing
shadow or lunging bass may spook them. This happens especially on
overcast days, low falling barometers, and in the late afternoon
and early evening hours when the dense sheets of fry are more
inclined to rise toward the surface. Other times, the fry masses
may be laying low to the bottom, and slow-rolling an Oklahoma
blade spinnerbait pays off handsomely. But whether on the
surface, suspended or deep, the shape and flutter of an Oklahoma
blade mimics sunfish and crappie fry.
By late summer into fall, mixed sizes of shad become a reason
to use Oklahoma blades too. There can often be several mixed
sizes of shad layered together in schools. Under ideal
conditions, some adult shad can spawn every month during summer,
and that leads to mixed size schools of small shad. When you see
these mixed size schools or pods of small shad, they are often
layered. The smallest shad will be a few inches above the
mid-sized shad, and the largest shad will be on the lowest level
of the school - just like a spinnerbait! So 2 different,
graduated sizes of Oklahoma blades on a spinnerbait can mimic
these mixed size schools of shad.
Here are a few more (not all) tips for Oklahoma Blades:
- Double Oklahoma Blades. Any time of year, a #3
Oklahoma spaced well ahead of another #3 or #4 Oklahoma gives a
spinnerbait the appearance of a pod of small deep-bodied
baitfish. The same baitfish pod effect is achieved with a #4
spaced well ahead of a #4-1/2 Oklahoma on larger 3/4 to 1 oz size
- Single Oklahoma Blades. A single #4 or #4-1/2
Okalahoma (without any front runner blade) is awesome used on the
drop. Just let it helicopter down next to some form of cover, a
ledge or bluff wall, and pop the rod tip occasionally. Bass will
belt it on the fall or as it lays on the bottom, bass will scoop
- A #2 Oklahoma can be quite useful as a front runner
ahead of most any other blade type. You'll typically see a
small Colorado used this way, but the #2 Oklahoma makes a great
alternative instead of the customary small Colorado front runner.
- Oklahoma/ Royal Blade Combos. Oklahoma and Royal
blades go great together. I tend to like a wider spacing if a
smaller Oklahoma is used in front of a relatively bigger Royal. I
tend to like a moderate spacing when a smaller Royal is used in
front of an Oklahoma. Either way, Royal and Oklahoma blades go
A #2 Oklahoma can be quite useful as a
front runner ahead of most any other blade type. You'll
typically see a small Colorado used this way, but the #2 Oklahoma
makes a great alternative instead of the customary small Colorado
Double Oklahoma Blades. These blades beat hard,
fast and tight. I often like to use the double Oklahoma pair of
blades when fish are busting schools of shad. The double Oklahoma
blades "match the hatch" when mixed sizes of shad are
present. Shad may spawn several times during the summer months.
That means mixed and multiple sizes of small shad start to tack
up in the same areas in autumn months. Multiple sizes of shad in
autumn will swim together in "layered schools" with the
layers of smaller shad staying higher up. Middle size shad in the
middle layers, and bigger shad comprise the bottom layers of
these stacked shad assemblages. I often feel a spinnerbait like
this one imitates three sizes of shad: 1) small blade, 2) big
blade, and 3) head/skirt swimming together in a pod.
Oklahoma blades, when widely-spaced to help create the illusion
of individual baitfish in a small pod. To me, the frantic, fast
vibration of an Oklahoma blade appears more shad-like than any
other blade type. The deep-bodied Oklahoma shape presents a
rapid, tight motion that matches the tight, fast, vibrating
swimming appearance of frightened shad.
It's not widely-known that a single big
Oklahoma blade makes a great deep slow-rolling spinnerbait. The
big heavy Oklahoma has a tendency to hug the bottom better than
other blade styles. Whatever level you let it sink to, including
the bottom, the Oklahoma will track closely to the target depth
better than many other blade styles.
#6 Oklahoma Blade. The huge #6 Oklahoma blade
has a larger presence in real life than the photo depicts. This
heavy monster blade will vibrate not only your rod tip but your
entire arm right up to your shoulder will feel like you're
pounding a jackhammer into a concrete slab. There's hardly any
other spinnerbait set-up or barely a big-billed crankbait that
vibrates as much. Fish love it.
Deep Cup Colorado Spinnerbait Blades
These Deep Cups have similar features to standard Colorado
blades except the cupped lip creates less torque and decreases
water resistance when reeling them in, so they won't physically
exhaust you as quickly, especially with bigger-bladed, heavier
spinnerbaits. The Deep Cup Colorado blades have slightly less
(but still a ton of) vibration and can be reeled faster and
easier than standard Colorados. Importantly, the Deep Cups are
still Colorado blades, therefore the Deep Cups give you more
vibration than most any other blade shapes.
Deep Cups are rarely used and relatively obscure. About the
only usage you'll see with some regularity is a small size #2 or
#3 Deep Cup Colorado as a front runner blade. The merits of this
are that a small Deep Cup does not influence or interfere with
what the back blade is doing as much as a standard Colorado
interferes with and influences the action of the back blade. So a
back blade acts more like an independent single blade with a
small Deep Cup than with any other front-runner.
Deep Cup Colorado Blades. Whenever a fish's
visibility may be limited, I like this blade pair. What
conditions come to mind immediately are dingy water, dark skies,
low light or night fishing. Those are good moments when limited
visibility offers opportunities to try double Deep Cup Colorados.
Visibility is also limited in thick grass, simply due to the
dense weed growth that can block a fish's ability to see very far
even in clear water under bright skies. Double Deep Cup Colorado
blades excel anywhere that heavy grass or other thick cover
hampers the ability for a bass to see a bait, they can still
feel, find and explode on this throbbing spinnerbait due to the
powerful vibrations the blades emit.
You can't run this bait straight through the grass or it will
bog down badly in a ball of weeds. It's best to have a few inches
of open water above the grass. A heavy downpour is something that
may raise the water level a few inches above the top of the grass
beds for a few days. That's the perfect opportunity to run this
spinnerbait in the skinny inches of open water over the grass
where you really were not able to fish before the sudden
downpour. A bounty of fresh bass, often big ones, will barrel up
and out of the thick grass to grab the spinnerbait scurrying in
the open inches of water overhead.
Seasonally, one great period to use these spinnerbaits begins
about mid to late August. This is when grass beds have reached
their maximum summer size, and then begin to atrophy and shrink
in size. Green canopies that had been luxuriously sprawled across
the surface all summer will start to collapse and
"fall" under the surface, leaving sunken pools of water
caving in across the grass beds. Even a few inches is enough to
run one of these spinnerbaits across the sunken grass pools. Bass
will tend to strike when the spinnerbait approaches the
"banks" or edge walls of these sunken pools of water in
the grass. Just before the spinnerbait hits the impenetrable
green edge of the pool where it will be smothered in grass,
that's a high percentage strike instance.
In spots where the grass doesn't sink to form pond-like pools
or "salad bowls" in the grass, the thinner sections of
greenery will still recede and withdraw in irregular ways,
leaving more isolated clumps or "bastions" of grass
that emerge and appear more prominent as the thinner grass around
them withers away. With semi-open water emerging around them,
these residual clumps become safe bait havens and therefore
magnets to bass. Bass that were spread out in the grass during
summer will cluster on the emerging clumps in early autumn.
That's the time to work one of these spinnerbaits right around
these newly-emerging grass clumps that can become red hot spots
for bass and anglers. Double Deep Cup Colorado blade spinnerbaits
will draw a lot of strikes when pulled closely past these grass
Around these vestigial clumps, over the shallow pools and
salad bowls, in the thin open bands and skinny rims of water,
concentrate to keep your spinnerbait running free of grass. No
matter how good you are, you'll spend a lot of time pulling grass
off your blades. But do it right, and you'll spend lots of time
pulling bass off your spinnerbaits too.
An important aspect of this particular blade
pair is the sizing/spacing. You rarely read about blade pair
silhouette and the overall appearance that blade pairs present to
fish. These double Deep Cups have been sized and spaced to
optimize their silhouette and appearance together.
Most things you read about spinnerbait blades
talk about two properties - flash and vibration - that all blades
have to different degrees. You rarely read about motion and
action in spinnerbait blades, meaning the combined movements that
blade pairings/spacings present to fish. The Deep Cup Colorado
blades shown here are pair-sized and spaced to maximize the
motion and action these two blades jointly present to fish.
It's common to call any single Colorado blade a
"thumper" blade. The blade described here, however, is
no ordinary Colorado. It is the ultimate Thumper.
What makes it thump more than any other Colorado blade is
first, it is a thicker, therefore heavier blade. Thicker material
(stamped brass stock) is used - but that's not all. The cup
or concave/convex curvature of the special Thumper blade is
shallower (less cup) and flatter than ordinary Colorado blades.
The shallow cup, flattened blade and thicker material causes it
to thump to the maximum degree.
Try one of these, and you'll never call an ordinary Colorado
blade a thumper again.
Original "Helicopter Lure". One thing
that a single Thumper blade does exceedingly well is for the big
blade to "helicopter" when it free-falls. Whether it's
pitched in shallow cover, dropped down rock walls, worked up and
down stairstep ledges, or with a lift-drop technique in deep
water, the Thumper blade helicopters, hovers and parachutes
better, descending more slowly than other blade shapes on the
fall, which is when many bites happen. Even during a steady
retrieve, it is a high percentage move to suddenly pause and let
it 'copter a moment. You'll get a high percentage of strikes
Arm Colorado. The spinnerbait market today is
limited in terms of style and variety. That wasn't the case in
days gone by. There were many more styles of spinnerbaits in use
at one time or another, but they have all faded into relative
obscurity. Nowadays, ninety percent of the spinnerbait market is
either double willow blades or else a small Colorado in front of
a willow. One of the "fallen stars" not often seen
anymore is the short arm Colorado. It's specialty lies in slow
bottom-bouncing, slow-rolling in deep water, and vertical jigging
where you can use a lift/fall retrieve or yoyo it in deeper
water. It also excels as a dropbait in shallow cover, and can be
used like a jig pitched and flipped into weed, wood and rock
cover. It's deadly to bounce it through the limbs of flooded
trees. Be ready to get bit the instant it bumps its way free of a
limb. The wire arm diameter is often heavier because they can be
used in heavier cover with heavier rods than usual for
spinnerbaits. Unfortunately, the short arm spinnerbait has become
a forgotten lure to many anglers.
Fluted Spinnerbait Blades
Blades. These work superbly, but are rarely
ever used on bass spinnerbaits. That's puzzling because Fluted
blades are the most popular and productive blade worldwide for
pike and musky spinners. It gets its name from the Fluted tail
which gives a fish tail or fish fin look, reflects light in
varied directions, and causes rippled turbulence not found in
perfectly smooth blades.
Since most of a Fluted blade is smooth, you still get a larger
flash off it, but many smaller flashes off the fluted tail. Keep
in mind, there are also Willow and other blades that have this
fluted tail stamped on them, but those are not the classic
"Fluted blade" as we talk about it here.
One can see where the Fluted blade may have shared its early
origins with an Indiana blade, but it's not correct to call the
Fluted blade a sub-variety of an Indiana blade. The Indiana blade
is over 100 years old, and has changed very little over the
years. The Fluted blade is almost equally as old to begin with,
and there isn't one dimension or property of a Fluted blade that
hasn't been optimized into the oversized pike and musky blade it
was way back when - and still is today. It's really the one blade
that pike and musky anglers use most, so there's been a lot of
For bass anglers wanting to gauge size comparisons, a #2
Fluted equates to a #4 Indiana, and number #4, #5 and #6 Fluted
blades equate to #6, #7 and #8 Indiana blades respectively. These
sizes of Fluteds make great bass spinnerbait blades.
A few (not all) tips for trying different sizes of Fluted
- The #2 Fluted blade makes a great front runner ahead of the
#4 or #5 Fluted or ahead of other blade styles.
- The #4 can be used in pairs (two #4) or combine a #4 in front
of a #5 or #6.
- A single #6 Fluted blade makes a great night fishing blade or
use the single #6 any time you want to get the biggest trophy
Those are just a few suggestions. Try this super pike and
musky blade for bass. You'll not be sorry.
Here is a comparison photo and size chart for the Fluted (and
Indiana) blades shown here:
(IN) and Fluted (FL) Blades. Photo not actual
size. Photos not same scale as each other.
A pair of Fluted blades.
Other Fluted Spinnerbait Blades
Actually, there are two different meanings of fluted blades:
- First, there is the "Fluted
Blade" itself. This venerable old style is
unique. Although shaped somewhat like an Indiana blade, it is not
an Indiana. Historically and presently, the "Fluted
Blade" is and always has been popular on musky/pike lures
(but not on bass lures).
- Second, other fluted blades (Willow, Oklahoma, Royal, etc.)
may have fluted or scalloped tails stamped on one end. Compared
to a perfectly smooth blade, the fluted tail does break up the
flash and it ripples the reflection a little. Yet it is hard to
say there is any substantial advantage or disadvantage of the
fluted tais. One thing fluting may give is the impression (at
least to me) of fish fins or fish tails. So I like to add fluted
blades on spinnerbaits to suggest a fin/tail effect.
Mostly, I consider other fluted blades to be a fine folk art
embellishment rather than anything strategic. If you ever see
antique spinners from the late 1890's or early 1900's (eBay is a
good place to see vintage spinners), many of the earliest
spinners had fluted blades. The Fluted Blade or other fluted
styles (Willow, Oklahoma, Royal, etc.) provide a
"retro" or nostalgic look to me because fluted blades
were some of the earliest of all blades. Please enjoy.
A Fluted blade ahead of a Fluted Willow.
Double Fluted Willows.
A #2 Fluted blade makes a great front runner ahead of a Fluted
Fluted blade ahead of a Fluted Royal blade.
Fluted blade ahead of a Fluted Royal blade.
The rayed tips of Fluted blades may give the impression of
baitfish fins or tail.
Fluted Royal and Fluted Oklahoma blades
Double Fluted Royal blades
Chopper Spinnerbait Blades
This completely flat blade has no concave cup, except for a
cupped lower edge. The shape is remindful of the Shannon Twin
Spinner that used blades like the Chopper as early as 1915. This
blade spins smoothly with low vibration, almost a finesse effect.
I tend to use the Chopper for flat calm water or for highly
Blades. These spinnerbaits have a unique blade
pair that is remindful to the human eye of a fish body (Willow
blade) with a fish tail (Chopper blade). On a spinnerbait wire
arm, the two blades look to be on different planes on the wire
arm. In the water, however, the blades align one behind the other
on approximately the same plane. They spin very well
together, at approximately the same rate, presenting the overall
illusion of a singular minnow body and tail. Due to the wide
angle of rotation, they plump up to resemble a full-bodied minnow
Another big merit of this blade pair is both blades spin very
easily even as the lure is falling through the water. That is not
always the case with other blade pairs. Often, the front blade
stops spinning on the fall. In some other combos, the front blade
impedes the ability of the back blade to spin on the fall. But
those problems are not as bad with the Willow/Chopper combo. It
is one of the most easy-turning, free-spinning combos on the
fall, which is a high percentage strike moment. It is also very
easy to start turning right away as soon as your spinnerbait hits
Blades. The biggest merit of this blade pair is
both blades spin very easily even as the lure is falling through
the water. That is not always the case with other blade pairs.
Often, the front blade stops spinning on the fall. In some other
combos, the front blade impedes the ability of the back blade to
spin on the fall. But those problems don't exist with the
Colorado/Chopper combo. It is one of the most easy-turning,
free-spinning combos on the fall, which is a high percentage
strike moment. It is also very easy to start turning right away
as soon as your spinnerbait hits the water. It is a great blade
combo to pump, lift-and-drop or yo-yo because the blades turn
easily both when pulled or reeled up and when allowed to fall.
There are many small start-and-stop movements with such tactics.
Many other blade pairs fail miserably with these tactics, but not
the Colorado/Chopper combos you see here. It's the perfect for
Ripple Spinnerbait Blades
Ripple blades are rarely seen on spinnerbaits, even though
they produce great catches.
Ripple blades don't come in larger sizes and therefore work
best on smaller 1/4 and 3/8 oz spinnerbaits. I tend to use a #4
Ripple as a front runner ahead of a #5 Ripple blade on both 1/4
and 3/8 oz spinnerbaits.
Ripple blades have an oval shape similar to Willow blades, but
Ripples are rounded at each end, not pointed on the ends like
When putting a Ripple blade on a clevis, unlike other blade
types, the cupped edge of a Ripple faces out. The cupped edge
does not face in like other blade types.
Why try Ripple blades? What Ripples do is to create tremendous
vibration and lots of lift, due to water pressure against all the
ripple planes and the cupped edge. True to its name, it ripples
through the water. It's a very noisy blade that attracts a lot of
attention without a lot of bulk. In that regard, it is
approximately the same profile as small Willow blades, but the
Ripple has much more lift, lots of vibration and rippling
Comparatively speaking, a #4 Ripple is about the same size as
a #3-1/2 Willow, but a bit wider with the pointed ends rounded
A #5 Ripple is about the same width but shorter (due to the
rounded ends) that a #4 Willow.
Here is a comparison photo and size chart for these Ripple
blades. A #3-1/2 and #4 Willow blade are shown to help you gauge
Ripple blade size compared to Willow blades.
The Latest Spinnerbait Blade Shapes
(Royal, Serrated and Whiptail Blades)
Willow, Colorado, Indiana, Fluted, Chopper and Deep Cup
Colorado blade shapes (covered in earlier chapters) are all over
100 years old. The Oklahoma shape isn't a century old, but it's
certainly not a recent newcomer like the Royal, Whiptail and
Serrated blades which hit the market during 2007 and 2008.
Royal Spinnerbait Blades
The Royal blade was a new shape introduced for the 2007
This is a modern "creased" blade shape. The
centerline crease causes a better spin, a flash off both sides
and a third flash off the centerline itself.
The Royal blade was developed for inline pike and musky
spinners, but it does work wonderfully for bass spinnerbaits.
You should try them because they do something no other bass
spinnerbait blades do well. The double Royal blade configuration
(when spaced properly) almost constantly keeps both blades
turning. Even just with a tight line glide so the bait slowly
descends and pendulum falls forward toward you on a tight line or
super slow-rolling retrieve. When you kill the spinnerbait and
just let it deadfall, both Royal blades rotate on the fall better
than any other blade pair combination. Especially the front blade
stalls on many other blade types. When the retrieve is paused,
stopped or too slow, most any other front blade stalls or stops,
and on a very slow roll, the back blade can stall or stop too.
But not the Royal blade. The Royal blade pair hardly ever stops
turning, no matter how slow you go or on a deadfall, and that's
the reason you should use it.
Pair of #4 Royals go together swell when spaced
You may catch a lot of fish with a #4 Royal
spaced as shown in front of a #5.
Blades Make the Spinnerbait! Oklahoma
and Royal blades behave together exceptionally well.
In the sizing and wider spacings like shown below. Oklahoma/Royal
blade pairs have got that certain something.
Serrated Spinnerbait Blades
Blades. Brand new design for 2008. The
manufacturer describes the Serrated blade as a Willow blade that
they put a bit of a turbo charge in it. The manufacturer sculpted
an aggressive notched outside edge to add more turbulence as it
slices through the water. The cupping on the blade in conjunction
with the notched edges gives the Serrated blade a very tight
rotation and distinctive vibration as the blade cuts through the
water says the manufacturer.
Serrated blades (#4 and #5) compared to same size smooth Willow
Serrated Blades. Since the Serrated blade spins
in a wider arc, the spacing above and on the photos below has
been pulled a little closer together than usual on this pair. So
the head of the back blade tucks up under the tail of the front
blade. This is possible due the the wider arc of the front
blade's tail, and it helps the two blades blend together closely,
possibly giving the impression of a single larger baitfish or a
singular spinning, flashing mass. That is, it doesn't appear as
much to be two separate blades, since the head of one is tucked
under the tail of the other, so they tend to blur into each other
as they spin.
Pair of #4 Serrated blades tend to match nicely with lighter
weight spinnerbait heads of 1/4 or 3/8 ounce.
Pairing #4 and #5 Serrated blades tend to be a better match for
1/2 ounce and up.
Whiptail Spinnerbait Blades
The Whiptail blade shape is new for 2008. Please enjoy!
The manufacturer describes the Whiptail as having baitfish
details, and when used in tandem, as having a swimming baitfish
school resemblance. Probably the most important aspect of the
blade design is the vibration created by its aggressive tail
cupping and unique curvature. The Whiptail has a tight rotation
and a distinct thumping vibration says the manufacturer.
Close-up of #3 and #4 Whiptail spinnerbait blades.
Close-up of #4 Whiptail spinnerbait blade.
Whiptail blades (#3 & #4) compared to standard #4 & #5
Whiptail Blades. The Whiptail blade is scuplted
with baitfish details, a scaled back, smooth belly, and engraved
jawbone, eye, gill and fin. When used together in pairs, spaced
wide apart, there's a swimming baitfish school resemblance. Due
to the uniquely hooked blades as they rotate, it may appear at
times as there's more than two baitfish (although what a fish
sees is anyone's guess), but the rotation casts off a lot of
images on both sides of the wire arm remindful of a movement of
several baitfish in concert. Probably the most important aspect
of the blade design is the vibration created by its aggressive
tail cupping and unique curvature. The Whiptail has a tight
rotation and a distinct thumping vibration. When the blades slow
down, the curvature creates a left hook or kick out move to the
side, and a singular thump can sometimes be felt in the rod tip
when the spinnerbait is close enough to watch and feel that
happen. Because one edge of the blade is scaled and the other
edge is smooth, there is a dual visual dimension to the spinning
blade flash. This dual dimension adds something that's just not
possible with either an entirely smooth or an entirely scaled
finish blade. Even using one smooth and one scaled finish blade
wont achieve the same effect combined in the Whiptails. The
asymmetrical curved or hooked tail creates the flickering
illusion at times of a swimming, jumping or flexing baitfish
movement that's just not possible with most other symmetrical
straight blades like Willows, Indianas, etc.
Pair of widely-spaced #4 Whiptail blades.
Combo of #4 and #5 Whiptails.
Metallic Spinnerbait Blade Finishes
(Nickel, Gold, Copper and Genuine Silver Blades)
Nickel and Gold Plated Blade Finishes
The huge majority of all spinnerbaits blades worldwide are
Brass. Solid brass stamped stock that is polished
smooth and free from scratches, then nickel-plated for a highly
reflective finish. The combination of a good grade of brass and
heavy nickel plating makes them highly corrosion and rust proof
shine for that extra sparkle in the water. Nickel-plated blades
are often called silver, but they are nickel which has a darker
shine than genuine silver.
Gold Plated Brass. Solid brass stamped stock
that is polished smooth and free from scratches, then
nickel-plated, followed by a layer of 24K gleaming gold plate
jewelry grade finish that won't tarnish or discolor.
The top shelf, highest quality or premium spinnerbait blades
are stamped from marine brass stock, then nickel-plated.
Gold-plating would be an additional layer on top of the
Some blades are also stamped from steel (not brass) stock, and
then nickel-plated. Steel blades are rarely gold-plated. Steel
blades are more economically-priced, but nickel-plated steel
blades won't have the rust-resistance of brass stock. Otherwise,
well-made steel blades can work perfectly fine. I've never known
a fish to turn down a blade because it had a little rust spot. So
don't sweat it.
However, the majority of nickel or gold blades on the market
today are brass (not steel) stock.
Gold or Nickel ~ Which One to Use When?
With the two most popular blade finishes, you have four
- Double nickel blades
- Double gold blades
- Front gold / back nickel blades
- Front nickel / back gold blades
More often than we may suspect, the choice of blade finishes
may come down to a fashion statement. Some people like gold
jewelry. Others favor silver. It just suits their fancy. And
whether one favors gold or nickel spinnerbait blades may be a
similar personal preference. There are some anglers who favor
double gold blades. Some put their trust in double nickels.
Others are happy as long as one gold and one nickel blade are on
a bait. There is merit in all these choices. If a resident expert
tells me that big smallies in Canada clobber double gold blades,
you can bet that's what I'll use there. If a super sharpie
someplace else favors double nickel blades on his home waters,
then I'm heedful of the wise advice.
Left on my own, however, I tend to favor gold blades with
darker skirts - black blues, black reds, greens, browns. More
often than not, I tend to go for the gold in darker water. I also
like the gold blades on panfish color skirts. Whether it's yellow
perch, crappie or sunfish, these panfish tend to have more gold
than silver sheen. Many fish, even carp or catfish can have a
gold or silver sheen or other metallic sheen to them. So most
every fish has some sort of metallic flash it emits, regardless
of water clarity. Whether a spinnerbait flash mimics a fish flash
- or whether it's 100% just an attention-getting flash (like the
flashing lights atop a fire truck or emergency vehicle), who can
say. Not me. All I can say is I tend to use gold blades in darker
water, with darker skirts or to imitate bottom-hugging or
cover-oriented baitfish like panfish fry. I tend to match silvery
nickel blades with lighter color skirts, in clearer water or to
imitate open water baitfish or shad, shiners, minnows and such.
These are just rules of thumb, not absolutes.
What I really like best is to use two blades - one gold, one
Keep in mind, the front blade is often smaller than the back
blade. A smaller front blade adds an accent flash whereas a
larger back blade throws the primary flash.
In a shad type spinnerbait, I'll tend to use nickel for the
bigger back blade, gold for the smaller front accent blade. In a
darker spinnerbait, a smaller nickel accent blade with a bigger
Well Then, When Should You Use...
A front nickel blade with back gold blade?
A front gold blade with back nickel blade?
Double nickel blades?
Or double gold blades?
Why not try all these options and let the fish decide? It's
not hard to make a few casts with each.
Chances are, most any fishing trip, you can catch fish on
double gold, double nickel or with one gold and one nickel blade.
If you start to suspect that you are attracting more fish with
one particular finish versus the others, it just makes sense to
continue using that as long as the fish oblige.
Half Gold / Half Nickel Blades
What may be the best of both worlds are the half gold / half
nickel blades. No matter which flash the fish favor, you are
using both at once in the same blade. This is the ultimate peace
Ever face those difficult days you can't decide
whether to use a gold or nickel blade? Now you can confidently
use both gold and nickel in the same blade. One half of each side
of the blade is genuine 24 karat gold plated. The other half of
each side is nickel plated. Both the front and back of the blade
Half gold / half nickel blades have more of a
flickering action compared to one full gold and one full nickel
As the blade spins, the half-and-half colors
sparkle on, then off, sort of like the blade is blinking. The
gold color kind of winks "on-and-off" more than solid
gold or solid nickel blades.
Even with a single blade spinnerbait, you can use both gold and
nickel in the same blade.
This is "the best of both" gold and
nickel finishes in the same blade.
Copper Spinnerbait Blades
In addition to gold and nickel finishes, copper is a very
distant third. You truly don't see copper blades much - but they
Genuine copper blades usually aren't just a thin copper
plating. More often than not, they are genuine 100% copper
through and through. They're coated on both sides with a tough
clear finish to seal in the original shine and deter tarnish.
Even still, copper blades will tarnish in time, but that's just
fine. Bass love copper blades, whether they're as shiny as a new
penny or tarnished, bass still love to whack them.
Here now's a valuable tip to tell you what is the very best
time to use copper blades. Copper blades often work on tough days
when gold or nickel blades seem ineffective. So if it's a
struggle to catch fish on gold and nickel blades, give copper a
try. It's been a smart move that has saved the day for me many
I tend to dress copper-bladed spinnerbaits in jig-colored
skirts - browns and greens - and use them close to the bottom,
even bottom-bouncing them almost like jigs on rugged bottom. So I
am often breaking out of the mindset of baitfish-colored
gold/nickel thinking. When I switch to copper blades, I switch my
entire approach to a crawdad, a sunfish or bottom-skulking
"Float like a butterfly. Sting like a
bee," is what this darling finesse spinnerbait is all about
Genuine Silver-Plated Blades
Genuine silver-plated blades are rarely used on spinnerbaits.
Now you may be thinking, I use silver spinnerbait blades all
the time. But actually, most all silver-looking spinnerbait
blades are nickel-plated, not real silver.
There are two reasons why real silver blades are seldom seen.
First they cost more, but the real issue is that silver tarnishes
- and that doesn't sit well with many anglers. Even in a brand
new package on a store shelf, silver will tarnish slowly - and
even faster with usage.
Genuine silver plated blades are usually coated on both sides
with a tough clear finish to seal in the original shine and deter
tarnish. Despite the clear coat, genuine silver will tarnish or
spot. You'll get a pale tannish tarnish, usually in random spots
on the blade, even on a new, unused spinnerbait. That discourages
most anglers, but even with tarnish, genuine silver-plated blades
have more flash, are brighter and reflect best of all blade
finishes. Silver plated blades are visible further underwater,
more noticeable, and fish have a better chance to see your lure
from a distance.
Genuine 24 karat gold plate is second only to silver in
brightness and flash.
Nickel, what most anglers incorrectly refer to as silver,
falls much further down on the brightness scale. Nickel blades
emit a dark black flash whereas genuine silver blades give off a
bright white flash.
The brighter, whiter flash of genuine silver may pay dividends in
murky water or when trying to attract fish from further distances
- such as in deep water. The brilliant shine and flash of genuine
silver is something fish rarely see in a bass lure.
Silver literally outshines everything else, yet it is rarely
used. Most every silver-looking blade on the market is in fact
nickel, not silver.
When it's time to shine, silver's flash and reflection can be
seen from a further distance under lower light conditions at
deeper depths than most any other blade finish.
Hammered Spinnerbait Blades
Smooth-surfaced spinnerbait blades are by far the most popular
finish on bass spinnerbaits. They emit a lot of flash, which
makes smooth blades appear larger than they really are. The vast
majority of bass spinnerbaits today have smooth blade finishes.
Fluted blades are mainly smooth blades with a fluted fin ray
section toward the blade's tail end.
In addition, there are a number of hammered or textured blade
- traditional hammered finish
- diamond pattern finish
- hex pattern finish
- scale pattern
- rib pattern
- ripple pattern
Hammered blades and textured patterns look nice. Most days,
hammered blades may seem to produce as well as smooth blades.
However, hammered and other textured blade finishes are not
very popular on bass spinnerbaits.
Hammered finishes give off less flash than smooth blades, and
therefore appear smaller. Visually, they tend to present a fish
scale appearance or a tiny bait pod appearance in motion.
I tend to prefer hammered finishes when I want to make blades
seem even smaller or to make blades appear more separate.
Hammered finishes tend to break up the large flash of a blade (or
pair of blades) into a number of smaller flashes, more like a
bait school, less like a singular large baitfish
Scale pattern blade finish gives a baitfish scale effect.
Hex Blades. The six-sided scale (hex) finish breaks up the
reflection and the appearance of the blade, something that a real
baitfish coloration is designed to do - break up the appearance
of the bait. The natural-looking hex finish blends into the
Lobed Indiana Blades. The Indiana blades used here have a more
modern feature - a unique crease straight down the center that
effectively subdivides the blade into two separate lobes.
The crease on these Lobed Indiana blades makes these blades look
more like a vee-hulled boat shape rather than a perfectly round
tablespoon. The centerline enhances the action and flash of the
blade. You get a distinct flash off both the right and left lobe
of each blade, plus a third flash off the centerline itself.
Indiana Willow Combo. This particular blade sizing and spacing is
fine-tuned to give the impression of three different sizes
of shad "stacked" in a mixed size school. The Indiana
blade, the medium-sized Willow blade, and the bigger skirted head
represent three sizes of shad mixed together, a common schooling
occurrence especially in autumn.
Wet Look Spinnerbait Blades
These blades aren't painted, just clear-coated which creates a
hazy, soft, wet look.
These spinnerbait blades have a clear coat finish on both
sides. Additionally, the front side of each blade has hologram
sparkle dispersed in the clear coat. The clear coat gives the
blades a kind of subdued flash, and the hologram glitter adds a
The Style N spinnerbait head above and below is
also heavily coated with fine hologram glitter, same as the
The gel-like coating on both sides of the blades gives an
overall "wet look" that softens the underlying
nickel-plated flash. I like the toned down flash especially in
These spinnerbaits have nickel-plated blades with a hazy
"wet look" gel coat on both sides of the blade. The
durable, clear, hard gel coat gives a slick wet look to the
nickel-plated finish. The flash is not as harsh nor as bright as
a plain nickel finish. The gel coat tones down the harshness of
the flash. It's a more subtle, kind of muted flash, ideal for
Lesson in Flash. The two spinnerbaits above
both sport a little larger than normal front Colorado blade. Sage
fishing writers and wily pundits often endlessly recite to us the
"fact" that Willow blades flash the most and Colorado
blades flash the least. Have you heard that? I'm sure you have.
Yet I'm not so sure it's true. The larger than normal front
Colorado in this configuration flashes like the dickens. That
makes me think that flash is a function of a blade's surface area
(not its shape). More blade surface equals more flash. Honestly,
when you study the configuration shown here in the water, it
seems to me the front Colorado flashes more than the back Willow
- or it creates a brighter, more blinding flash spot than the
Willow in this configuration.
The front Colorado, being a bit bigger than usual, also
starves the back Willow for water to spin in. So the back Willow
spins more feebly than usual. That looks good.
But the thing I like most is both these blades work in tandem
to throw tons of flash down directly onto the skirt, and the
skirt lights up like a Broadway marquee on opening night. So make
sure both blades are always positioned directly above the skirt,
which tends to make the skirt glow and shine so brightly it
practically appears like an incandescent light bulb under water.
The front side of the blades has a crystal hologram glitter
effect. The embedded grains of crystal hologram refract
(separate) sunlight (or any ambient light) into the full spectrum
of many individual colors. The colors being refracted constantly
change as the blades move through the water. The holographic
colors reflect the present water and light conditions and also
provide the illusion of excited baitfish that are
"flushing" and emitting color signals. The most common
colors refracted by the crystals are pale purple, blue, green and
chartreuse. This is a subtle effect, not bold nor flashy. When
the blades are spinning quickly, the holographic crystals are
less visible than when the blades stop or stall momentarily (a
high percentage strike trigger).
Luminous Glow Spinnerbait Blades
A little magic moon glow's been sprinkled on these spinnerbait
blades. But never you mind about that. Used under normal daytime
conditions, the blades appear as an ordinary flat pastel color.
The luminous effect cannot be seen under normal fishing
conditions, and the pale colors flat out catch fish even under
bright, clear conditions. But that's not all! When you pull this
spinnerbait out of sunlit water and into the dark shadow behind a
rock, beneath a weeping willow, below the shadow line of a deeply
undercut ledge or the shady side of a dock, you get that sudden
shimmer of pale moon luminescence that's like turning a lamp on
in a dark room. It's a sudden strike trigger that causes savage
reaction strikes at the moment of color change.
Front blade is luminous. Orange-tipped back blade is not.