Take the wrong type of spinnerbait out on the water with educated bass and you could come home empty-handed.
Our resident fishing guide Shawn Chapin has opened up his tackle box for you to reveal the five best spinnerbaits for bass in 2021.
Our top five picks for the best spinnerbaits for bass are listed here and read on for detailed reviews of each:
Shawn’s Best Bass Spinnerbaits
- Terminator Spinnerbaits – devastating on big bass
- Booyah Moontalker – designed for night fishing, but effective at any time
- Strike King ½ Ounce Tour Grade – a top-quality spinnerbait
- Booyah Pond Magic – perhaps the most popular spinnerbait on the market
- Northland Tackle Reed Runner – simply, cheap and bass love them
Best Spinnerbaits for Bass Reviewed
The Terminator line of spinnerbaits is one of the best and most popular on the market today for bass. And the Terminator has other features that put it in a class of its own and really help it stand out in the crowd.
The Terminator has a specialized head that is incredibly effective when running trailers. The head helps keep your trailer plastic “if you're using one” from dragging on the bottom and eliminating that extra teasing action whether you are using a paddle tail or curly tail style trailer. One of the features that really shines is the wireframe and the material used to make it. The terminator's wireframe has 30% better bend resistance compared to standard stainless wire.
The Terminator has incredibly flexible spring steel and is harder to come out of tune like other spinnerbaits on the market. It retains the memory of its original tuning and shape and, unless drastically bent, will always go right back in line and run true.
The blades have beveled edges for extra flash, which is a plus in stained water. The skirts are also completely replaceable, as well as having an amazing breathing action, glimmer, and holographic appearance on some of the color scheme options.
The Moontalker is a spinnerbait designed for a more niche application, night fishing. It’s a fairly simple design that is built with one thing in mind, vibration.
The Moontalker comes with either #5 or #6 colorado blades, pumping out a massive amount of vibration, which allows the bass to easily find the bait in the pitch-black depths of the night using their lateral lines.
All of the blades are chrome black, and all four color selections of the moontalkers are heavy on black with some contrasting colors. The contrasting colors are either chartreuse, red, or blue, and one variant that is pure black on black.
The reason for the heavy leanings towards black is due to silhouettes, and black silhouettes are the best in any water clarity conditions and light conditions.
But don’t think that this bait can only be fished at night. There’s absolutely no reason why this wouldn’t get crushed in the daylight hours as well as it is one the best spinnerbaits for bass.
The Strike King ½ ounce tour-grade features a great design that screams efficiency, it is a great bait to cover large swathes of an area quickly, and we as anglers know how important search baits can be when it comes to finding areas to spend more time picking apart.
The Tour Grade comes with a high-quality premium Gamakatsu hook molded into a weight-forward designed head to aid in coming through the thickest of covers.
The Strike King Tour Grade's double willow leaf blade design allows for the maximum flash potential to attract bass, and the wireframe is light, allowing for maximum vibration.
All these features are topped off by a pro-grade, hand-tied skirt. Some choices are incredibly lifelike in imitating baitfish like shad, bluegill, and golden shiners.
The Booyah Pond Magic is a downsized spinnerbait that is intended for use when conditions get tough and the big-bladed spinnerbaits just aren’t producing as they should.
Being a small-sized bait it still has ample fish-attracting tools at its disposal. With a small colorado blade for vibration coupled with the flashing pulse of the willow blade as well.
This popular spinnerbait also features a Mustad 1/0 hook, this hook is beefy and although the bait is small, you will have zero issues hauling in giant bass over 5 pounds.
The Booyah has some amazing color patterns and there is certainly no shortage of color selections to choose from. There are up to 20 different color patterns that are sure to match any hatch on your local lakes.
Simplicity at its finest, as well as being incredibly light on the wallet, the Reed Runner might not appear to have the frills of more expensive spinnerbaits, but in many ways that don’t really matter in terms of fish-catching abilities.
The wire of the spinner bait is a “super stainless” wire that provides up to 50% more vibration output compared to many other brands of spinnerbaits on the market and also makes it a breeze to work in heavy cover, with a closed tie on the eye, so there is no tangling of sliding of the line on the wire shaft during casting.
The spinnerbait is also molded with a blood-red lipstick hook to aid in fish triggering.
Fishing Spinnerbaits Explained
Spinnerbaits are one of the most effective fishing lures ever devised for a wide range of species, including pike, musky, and especially the bass species. Their ease of use, versatility, and predatory fish-triggering attributes are what have kept this type of lure in the top echelon of tackle for decades.
Let’s take a closer look at the 5 best spinnerbaits for bass and see what makes them tick when to use them, and their design features.
Key Parts of a Spinnerbait
Spinnerbaits have some key features that make the lure special, although they are considered to be part of the same family as inline spinners, they look drastically different, even if the core fish-attracting characteristics are the same.
Blades are one of the most critical features of a spinner, they create flash and/or color to attract fish but more importantly, they create tremendous amounts of vibration which is the biggest aspect of spinners to attract feeding fish.
Spinnerbaits can also vary in the type and amount of blades features depending on the brand or model, with some only featuring one, while others may feature as many as 5. Blades tend to be divided into the long and thin willow leaf type and the more rounded Colorado blade. The Indiana blade falls somewhere in the middle. Whether you choose a spinner bait with willow leaf blades or the other types largely depends on retrieve speed – the thinner the blade the faster the retrieve in general. Some spinnerbaits incorporate a mixture of willow leaf, Colorado, and Indiana blades.
The wire frame of a spinnerbait is what makes it unique over a standard inline spinner. The wire frame protects the single hook and allows an angler to work the bait in extremely heavy cover, where inline spinners or other baits would get fouled with weeds or snagged.
The construction of the wire frame may vary between brands, and some may come out of tune more frequently through the vibrations of the lure and any wear and tear it receives and will need to be adjusted depending on the quality of materials used.
Head and Skirt
The head of a spinnerbait is also something that has variations from brand or model. With different shapes aiding in different fishing presentations and tactics. Mostly these head differences boil down to size, obviously with smaller lead heads being lighter and larger being heavier, enabling the user to fish deeper quicker, or shallow more easily. If you have a good baitcasting rod and reel in a combo it will be able to cast all normal spinnerbaits and you can choose your weight around the depth you want to fish and how long you want to be able to cast. Generally speaking, a heavier spinnerbait can be cast further and will run deeper.
Skirts are what give the bait its baitfish appearance, the pulsating of the skirt simulates a moving fish flashing in the sunlight and fin action. Skirts can be made from many different materials with silicone being the most common, but they can also be constructed from flashabou, marabou which is made of feathers and incredibly popular with pike and musky anglers, and the musky guys sure love their old-fashioned actual bucktail skirts, or skirts made from the tails of deer and dyed to various colors. To increase your chances, don’t be afraid to add one of the top scents or attractants for bass to the skirt.
Spinnerbaits have a jig head style hook covered by the skirt. Some designs have another trailer hook, which can be helpful when you are getting so-called short strikes when the bass hits the bait without it converting to a hook up.
In What Situations Do Spinnerbaits Work Best?
Spinnerbaits work great in a variety of situations. The most popular tactic to fish spinnerbaits is to use in and around heavy cover where other lures struggle, this cover fishing can also be done at virtually every depth with minimal to no fowling or snagging of the lure if used properly.
Spinnerbaits are also great lures for covering water quickly in order to find active fish, due to being easy to use and quick to retrieve. Using a spinnerbait as a search bait allows anglers to find areas with multiple actively feeding fish, and when these “pods” of fish are found they can switch tactics or lures, slow down and fish the area thoroughly. In many situations, spinnerbaits will out fish jigs and other lures for bass such as worms.
Are Spinnerbaits Better Than Inline Spinners?
This is a personal preference question to many anglers I’m sure. But in my opinion, I do not think that a spinnerbait is more appealing to a fish when compared to an inline spinner.
My argument for this answer is simply one of experience on the water. They perform essentially the same way at their core, vibrations and flash with a baitfish-imitating skirt.
The only difference here is that spinnerbaits are better in areas like heavy cover, where they outshine inline spinners, but if we take bass out of this equation, inline spinners are highly effective for a wide range of predatory species like trout, salmon, pike, crappie, muskies, and more, and I would bet they have caught more fish by number than spinnerbaits when all species are considered over the last 50 years.
Bass anglers may disagree, but one must ask how often they actually have used inline spinners to fish for bass over a spinnerbait.
Spinnerbaits are a highly versatile lure for bass, and you probably already have multiple in your tackle collection. If not, the spinnerbaits featured in this article are a great place to start if you’re new to bass fishing, or are looking for great lures to target this favorite sportfish.