Spinner Weight Question for the Spinner Experts - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Spinner Weight Question for the Spinner Experts

last year I started doing some spinner fishing and decided to build my own for this season. I was using a few handmade spinners a good friend had given me. Through trial and error he had come up with what he felt was the best setup for him weight wise. We mostly fish medium sized (30-50' wide) central PA streams so the spinners are a little larger than Frank's typical white bead gold. These spinners are made with a #2 blade and his weigh between 64 - 65 grains on my reloading scale. With the beads and blades i bought mine turn out to be 75-76 grains with a .025 thick brass blade. I have thinner .018 blades and with those my finished weight will be right around 68-69 grains. I made a few up with a larger last bead and their weight is 88 grains. I weighed a #2 mepps to get an idea on their weight and one of them is 71 grains. Has anyone else weighed their spinners and if so what is your preferred weight range for the streams you typically fish.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 04:00 PM
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Converting grains to ounces, a spinner that is 71 grains is a little over 1/8 oz. 1/8 oz. is the absolute smallest spinner I use. Spinners smaller than that don’t get deep enough and I never use split shot with spinners (or any artificial lure). That is typically a size #1 French blade or a #3 swing blade. I use those on small streams or in low water. Typically I use #2 French blades which is what you say you’re using. I like a little heavier spinners. Mine are typically better 1/5 and 1/4 oz.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 06:22 PM
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Whichever weight you go with, stick with one. It will dramatically improve your accuracy. Mine are all around 1/8 oz.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 10:02 PM
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I think "best weight" is just an opinion and therefore not necessarily the best for catching trout. If you asked fifty anglers what their favorite weight of spinner is you will get the whole spectrum of answers from feather-weight Roostertails and tiny Panther Martin's to bigger and heavier spinners from other manufacturers. I've seen questions like this asked and answered on here and on Facebook. There's never any consensus as to what is the best spinner. Every one of these anglers probably defines "best" by how many trout they catch or think they catch with them. The problem here is that one angler may legitimately think catching three trout in a morning with a light-weight Roostertail that he can cast only twenty feet is a phenomenal lure, while another angler would consider three trout in a morning to be poor fishing. Unless more information is provided, the answers are pretty much meaningless, in my opinion.

A better question would be, "What weight of spinner will catch the most (and possibly the biggest) trout in streams that are 30 - 50 feet wide?" If asked this way the answers would still be subjective because the size of the trout is important to many people. If Trout Traveler, a guy who is known for catching lots of hog trout, fishes a 50-foot wide stream with a 1/4th ounce spinner and catches 50 trout in 6.00 hours, with five of those trout being between 15" and 18", while I fish with him on the same day with a 1/8th ounce spinner and catch 70 trout in 6.00 hours with only one in the 15" to 18" range, which spinner is better? It's totally subjective. However, the answer takes on more meaning when numbers and sizes of trout are mentioned as I did here. I would summit that both of these weights of spinners are good for streams 50-feet wide because I think most anglers would agree that both Trout Traveler and I had good days in this example by their standards.

My White Bead Gold spinners weigh 55.7 grains per a guy I used to work with who also reloads ammunition. He weighed one spinner for me. A better way would have been for me to have him weigh ten at one time and then divide the answer by ten since when we are talking grains each spinner probably varies a little. There are 480 grains in an ounce; therefore, a 1/8th ounce spinner weighs 60 grains. I currently use larger clevises on my spinners than I did years ago when I had one weighed, so when I say my spinners weigh about 1/8th ounce I believe this to be accurate enough.

I fish many tiny streams, some having a flow only a few feet wide, to larger streams like the Little Juniata River, Spring Creek in Centre County, and Penns Creek. I've averaged 13.33 Trout Per Hour during the last 23 years on all streams combined, and one of these three larger streams is typically my top trout producer each year. I've never felt limited by fishing 1/8th ounce spinners on any of these streams. I can cast them about 80 feet if I use a little extra arm movement and I can set the hook well with an ultra-light rod and 4 lb. test line. If I used a heavier spinner I may have to use a heavier rod or heavier line in order to set the hook well. Either way, my conclusion is that spinners that weigh about 1/8th ounce are perfectly fine for streams at least up to 100+ feet or so. I don't have enough experience to offer an opinion on larger rivers.

I can be contacted at [email protected].

Last edited by FrankTroutAngler; 03-16-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:42 AM
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For years I fished 1/8 oz. Black Rooster Tails and did well with them.
Had many anglers tell me they were too big. To each his own but I won't use anything any lighter for the reasons stated above.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 11:57 AM
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While I agree that using one size spinner can improve your casting accuracy, you still have to adjust to changes in fishing conditions. Stream level, depth, velocity, width, cover, cloud cover, water temperature, and wind speed are all factors in catching trout, and a successful angler must adapt constantly. I have found that on larger, deeper, or in high water, larger spinners often work better for me. I usually can adjust to a change in lure weight within a few minutes.

Frank is right in that it’s different for every angler. Not everyone likes using the same type of rod, line, and reel, as you can see by reading the “What Are Your Trout Fishing Preferences” post, so it stands to reason that preferences on spinner weight will vary as well.

When I first started fishing with spinners, I read a lot of articles that advocated using size 0 or even 00 spinners. I used them and did catch some trout but had to resort to using split shot with them. Over time I found that spinners that were at least 1/8 oz. with no split shot, and no snap swivel worked best for me. That certainly doesn’t mean that one won’t catch fish using the other methods I mentioned.

It also depends, as Frank said, on your fishing goals or expectations. Do you want to catch a lot of trout, concentrate on catching big trout, or something in between?

You’ve made some spinners of different sizes. I recommend that you try different ones to see what works best for you. That’s the fun part.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 09:12 PM
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Best response is that it’s completely subjective. It’s whatever weight you feel most confident with to be honest. I usually fish small streams without a large gradient so the flows tend to be on the slower side, therefore I don’t need very heavy weight to get my lure to sink as the current won’t carry it much. I know how my lures cast and act in the water when using either a 1/12 or 1/8 oz spinner. On rare occasions, I’ll go up to 1/4 when fishing something large and fast but honestly, I haven’t seen that type of water in over 10 years.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:14 AM
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Whatever best suits the conditions of the stream that I am fishing on that day and even that can vary(shallow riffles vs a long deep hole). I've fished long enough to know my limitations and abilities so I'm proficient no matter what I tie on the end of my line.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:24 PM
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I make my own too for fun. I normally put something together and take them out for the day. If they throw nice and thump. I know I have a good combo and then look to start dialing in. One thing I have done is, use tungsten beads and worm weights to get a heavy spinner but small format.
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