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2,980 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I nearly strictly fish with the fly but all these posts of you all crushing with spinners has peaked my curiosity. I have never fished a spinner really and am curious your technique. Maybe it's a well guarded secret but if you guys wouldn't mind explaining how you approach a hole or run I'd be interested in knowing.

1,225 Posts

I've posted these tips many times on here. No secrets except stream names are rarely mentioned.

Many of my tips also apply to fly fishing.

Tackle, Tips & Technique

A good choice for a rod is a one-piece, graphite, ultra-light, cork-handled, 5', spinning rod.

Your rod should have a fast (stiff) action to facilitate hook-setting.

A rod with two movable vinyl rings to attach the reel is best (so the reel can be seated two inches from the rod's butt).

Shimano makes several quality open-faced spinning reels in a range of prices. Get one that weighs 8 oz. or less and
has a fast gear-retrieve ratio. Don't use a reel with a gear ratio of less than 5.2 : 1 because it will be difficult to
retrieve your spinner fast enough down through a riffle to avoid getting hung-up.

Clear 4 lb. test Stren is a good choice for line. Put new line on your spool after every two or three outings.

Spinner color does not matter to the trout (as long as it's reasonable, such as gold, silver, copper, black or white);
however, a spinner decorated with a white bead or blade makes visually detecting strikes much easier for the angler.

Avoid size 0 spinners. Your spinner should weigh a minimum of 1/8 oz. to facilitate casting. Never use split-shot.

A small needle-nose pliers comes in handy for quickly unhooking trout. It doubles as a good tool for crimping
down barbs if you're fishing a stream where barbless hooks are required.

To avoid inopportune line breakages, cut off your spinner and a few inches of line with a fingernail clippers about
every twenty minutes and retie (improved clinch knot) your spinner directly to the undamaged line. Don't use swivels.

Use a water thermometer and learn its value. Avoid water that is 70-degrees or warmer.

A diamond hook-sharpener is ideal for occasionally sharpening treble hooks. Ensure that no point-tips are broken.

Tips & Technique

Always wade and fish upstream so that you approach trout from behind where they are less likely to see you.

Wear clothing that blends in with the surroundings, preferably camouflage.

Eliminate all shiny objects from the trout's view (e.g., wrist watch, clippers, plastic license holder).

Wear amber-tinted, polarized sunglasses (and a camo hat) to minimize the glare on the water's surface and to
protect your eyes from treble hooks. DO NOT FISH WITHOUT EYE PROTECTION.

Casting accuracy is critical; it can make the difference between catching two or twenty trout per hour.

The rod should be held so that the butt of the rod is inside your wrist. This improves casting.

Use an underhand, straight-ahead flip-cast. The forefinger of your non-rod hand should control the release of the
line during the cast. This cast is one-dimensional -- only distance needs practiced.

Cast upstream well ahead of yourself (at least 30 to 50 feet) to avoid spooking trout.

Use spinners of the same weight and you'll become an accurate caster quicker.

Make only one cast to each spot. If a trout is going to hit a spinner it will almost always do so on the first pass.

Your first cast to each spot must hit its mark and surprise the trout. Otherwise, the trout will likely be alerted (but
not alarmed) and only chase your spinner (i.e., not strike).

Retrieve your spinner downstream toward yourself with the current or diagonally downstream across the current.

Use a steady retrieve and keep your spinner close to the stream bottom during all seasons of the year.

Line twist can be minimized by retiring spinners that cause line twist and by cutting off twisted line.

Keep your rod tip close to the water's surface during the retrieve to minimize vertical line drag.

Maintain a 90-degree angle (roughly) between your rod and line during the retrieve to minimize horizontal line drag.

Since trout rarely hook themselves, it's critical to stay alert for strikes (visually and tactually) during the retrieve and
instantly set the hook hard when a trout strikes. Hooking trout is spin fishing's biggest challenge.

The strike from a large trout is usually softer than from a small trout and therefore more difficult to feel. (Big trout
often just close their mouth on the spinner without turning their head and body.)

On a small stream it's common to cover one-half mile of stream per hour. (The more unalerted trout you present
your spinner to the more trout you will catch.) If you want to minimize your walking, fish large streams.

To catch a lot of trout with spinners you must fish over an undisturbed population of trout. This is critically important.

Get a book or two about Pennsylvania's freestone and limestone trout streams and learn the differences.

Stream choice can make the difference between catching zero or 100 trout in a day.

It's wise to give a stream or stream-section a two-week rest between fishing trips because trout definitely get
accustomed to spinners and become spinner-shy.

Please practice catch and release because wild trout are too valuable to be caught only once.

Compiled by Frank R. Nale (P.O. Box 7, Tipton, PA 16684) E-mail: [email protected]

2,980 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Wow very cool frank! Thanks for the great info. Guess I'll have to keep my eyes out for a small ultralight outfit.

541 Posts
I learned a couple of things from your post. First I learned the purpose of the white bead. I thought for a while that the bead was used to enhance the attraction of fish to the spinner, but it sounds like the purpose is merely as a visual aid to the fisherman. Second, I learned why you use solid brass beads instead of hollow beads. You want all the weight in the spinner so you don't have to use any split shot. Good Post!

387 Posts
Search franktroutangler. He has posted his spinner recipe a bunch of times on this site, I think he even did in a post thats probally still on the first page

1,225 Posts
Below is my recipe for a White Bead Gold spinner copied from an Excel spreadsheet. The prices are a little outdated.

I believe I designed this spinner in 1982 and have been using it ever since.

Spinner Construction

This example is for making one #1 White Bead Gold spinner (approx. weight: 1/8 oz.).

Cost Per
Supply Item Spinner
1. Single Strand Wire (Diameter .026)
H 548 Foot Coil for $14.15 (makes approximately 2,192 spinners) $0.00646

2. Beads
H 1/8" $55.26 per 1,000 (Solid Polished Brass) $0.05526
H 3/16" $62.99 per 1,000 (Solid Polished Brass) $0.06299
H 7/32" $78.69 per 1,000 (Solid Polished Brass) $0.07869
H 1/4" $94.95 per 1,000 (Solid Polished Brass) $0.09495
H 6mm $16.48 per 1,000 (Plastic Simulated Pearl Bead - Size 6) $0.01648

3. French Spinner Blade
H Size 1 $47.51 per 1,000 (Polished Brass) $0.04751
Note: If bought at Cabela's a size 2 is actually the equivalent of a size 1 Mepps blade.

4. Folded Clevise
C Size 1 $1.99 per 50 (Nickel) $0.03980
Note: A size 1 at Hagen's is a little smaller than a size 1 at Cabela's and a size 2 at
Hagen's is a little bigger than a size 1 at Cabela's. Cabela's doesn't sell brass-colored

5. Treble Hook
H Size 10 $98.74 per 1,000 VMC Bronze 9650BZ $0.09874
Cost per spinner (excluding postage and labor): $0.50088

6. H Hagen's Professional Wire Former $144.15

H Hagen's Prices are from the Hagen's 2013/2014 Fishing Components catalog.
3150 West Havens
Mitchell, SD 57301
Phone: 1-800-541-4586
Fax: 605-996-8946

C Cabela's Prices are from the Cabela's 2014 Fishing catalog.
One Cabela Drive
Sidney, NE 69160-1001
Phone: 1-800-237-4444
Fax: 1-800-496-6329

Note: The above prices for Hagen's parts include a 10% excise tax where applicable.

Hagen's sells parts in bulk, typically 1,000 pieces. However, they will sell smaller quantities
for a small additional charge of $1.00. For example, if the bulk price is $10.00 per 1,000 and
you wanted to buy 200, the price would be $2.00 plus a $1.00 charge.
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