Ways & Means
The single-spin class

By Michael Jones
BASS Times, March 2003

On average, you don’t hear much about single-spin spinnerbaits, especially those rigged with Colorado- or Indiana-style blades.

Most of the talk seems centered around willowleaf combinations or the venerable Colorado/willowleaf setup, a middle-of-the-road spinnerbait that’s become a medium speed jack-of-all-trades.

Like so many artificial lures, the single-spin has always suffered from its designation as a “situational” lure, a bait that only sees daylight when all the right factors align in the cosmos. Remembering to pull it out at the right times is certainly a start, but why not look for more situations where it can excel?

Most fishermen have heard the phrase “pattern within a pattern,” a reference to the subtle opportunities that exist within the larger framework of a broad pattern. The very same logic can be applied to spinnerbait strikes. Finding “situations within situations” involves nothing more than being alert to your options and then employing the proper tool.

For instance, spinnerbait fishermen often have to deal with changing conditions that produce varying degrees of aggression in bass and target opportunities that shift with every press of the trolling motor pedal. On the subject of aggression, short-striking fish, or ones that merely slap at the lure, may need something more than a simple change in retrieve speed. At times, “killing” the lure (stopping it suddenly and then letting it waft downward seductively) can make all the difference.

And what of shorelines that offer everything from grass to rocks to docks to floating logs? While burning a willowleaf blade through the grass and along the edges of cover can be effective in drawing out active feeders, what about the other opportunities that exist next to dock pilings or near timber?

Targeting these “situations within the situation” is clearly where single-spin spinnerbaits come into play. A second rod rigged and ready to go seems like pure common sense, yet scant few anglers fish this way.