What is Spin Fishing?

Spin fishing is a different type of fishing than bait fishing, the method usually thought of when fishing is mentioned. Instead of live bait, the hook is a lookalike that has the potential to attract more fish.

But what is Spin Fishing? Spin Fishing is a method of fishing that uses lures, or fake bait, as the main way to attract fish. The reels vary from those of other types of fishing. Spinning rods require the rod to be attached on the underbelly of the rod. Spin fishing is a more active way of fishing and has less of the waiting around that other types of fishing has.

Casting the lures is easier than the other methods. If your knots are secure enough, you won’t have to worry about the lures flying off mid cast as you sometimes do in bait fishing.

Spin fishing has a lot of components and a lot of information to know to be successful. One lure will not work in every location. If a lure would work catching bass, that same lure would probably have a hard time trying to catch a salmon or trout.


Reusable and easy to cast, lures are a family friendly choice, but still has the potential to catch your biggest fish yet. The many types of lures out there allow for fishing in the most diverse places, as well as the chance to catch most types of fish.


Spinners have three parts to them. The hook, the blade, and what I call the arm. There are two ends to spinner lures. On one end is the hook. The hook rarely moves as it travels through the water. This is, hopefully, where the fish will bite first.

The other end has the blade on it. The blade is a piece of reflective metal that attracts the fish towards the spinnerbait. The blade swivels around on a small ball bearing.

To cast these, just attach them to your leader and cast out downstream from you. As you reel it back in, the blade will spin in the water. Watch out for plants under the water as you reel it in.

Diver Bait

Some locations have very deep waters that harbor a lot of fish. Fishing these places can be tough because getting your lure deep can be tough to do accurately with the current usually around the deeper parts of a river.

More aggressive fish bite quite frequently at these kinds of lures.

There is a specific type of lure invented specifically for diving deep into waters. The diver lures have three parts to them: the body, the hooks, and the bill.

The body is usually in the shape a quickly swimming fish or other aquatic animals would look like. Attached to the body would be anywhere from 1 – 4 hooks. The largest I’ve seen had 6, but it was meant for a very large fish with a very large mouth.

The bill is located at the front of the body and is specially designed to guide the lure in a dive as it’s reeled in. The line is attached to the other side of the bill, across from the body.

I’ve had some pretty good luck with these. Since they nearly perfectly imitate a small fish or crawdad, more aggressive fish bite quite frequently at these kinds of lures.

To cast these, you’ll need to know where you want the lure to be at its lowest. When I first started casting divers, I lost one because I had it dive under too early.

Overcast on your target about 1-5 feet depending on the size of your diver, and then reel in quicker than you normally would. You’ll feel the lure dive and give a little resistant.

After a few seconds, allow yourself to slowly start to reel in a little slower until the resistance of the diver is at a minimum. Doing this will keep the lure low in the water with a small incline until it reaches back to your rod.

Cast out again until you catch a fish.

Jig Lures

Jigs, or crankbaits, are more realistic looking lures. They usually include some part of an animal that will look appealing to a fish. They are similar to a fly used in fly fishing, but usually include a little more weight to them.

The main benefit of using a jig is the setup. There isn’t too much that can go wrong setting it up. After buying jigging lure, simply tie it onto a leader that’s connected to your line.

This type of lure, as well as the next, require a little more active role in the fishermen’s side of things. Slightly jerking the rod in varying directions can help attract the fish’s attention.

Cast out regularly as you would with any type of lure, giving enough distance to be able to catch the interest of a fish and allowing them time to decide to bite. The goal is to act as much like a living thing as possible.

Spoon lures

My personal favorites, spoon lures, can be used year round with wonderful results. These types of lures require a lot of movement and constant line tension between the rod and the lure.

These are simple looking lures but are very effective. The body is a small piece of metal that is connected to the hook on the end. A bearing is attached to the body, which allows for the blade, or spoon, to spin around the hook and body.

The spoon successfully covers the hook enough that from any angle, except directly behind it, it seems as if there is only a flash of light from the scales of whatever swims in the water.

The metals of the blades come in many different varieties, and each of the varieties excels in a field that should be carefully considered. Some are more flashy, some are louder, and some are better in certain types of weather.

Casting is the same as crankbaits, but require that the lure is always moving and always has a certain amount of tension on the line. This will help with knowing for sure if a fish was caught or not.


Rivers – Rivers are a great location for lures. Smaller rivers tend to have a lot of undergrowth, so lures meant to be flashing fish at the surface tend to better. Diver usually won’t have enough room to work without an appropriate amount of diving room.

Larger rivers can handle almost every type of lure. The deeper parts of the rivers will have to be explored with the divers or another type of deep water lure, but the surface and the middle parts can be easily fished with the spoon baits or any kind of jig.

Lakes – Lakes are fun to fish, but I’ve had the best experience fishing from a kayak and dropping different lures until I find one that works. Trolling with a lure or diver behind you also works well.

Who Likes What

It should come as no surprise that different types of fish like different types of lures. There are some fish, like bass, that will go for everything, but then there are the ones that will only bite a certain lure that is a specific color and type of metal.

Bass – Largemouth bass, in my experience, will bite anything moving in the water. The spoon baits are really good for catching largemouth as well as smallmouth bass.

Trout – Dropping a wedding ring in the center of a lake’s deep spot usually gives me good results with rainbow trout, but they tend to like different types of bait, such as power bait or glitter mellows.

Salmon – Spoonbaits or spinners work wonders with salmon. Something about the movement of the lures and the shine attracts salmon pretty quickly. I average around 3-4 salmon on a spoon bait an hour, and usually a few keepers an hour.

Related Questions

Do you use bait with spinners? Spinner lures work best alone. Adding bait the hook of any lure is usually a bad idea. It messes up the presentation and usually the movement as well.

How is spin fishing different than fly fishing? Fly fishing relies on a technique called false casting to get the line out into the water, while spin fishing relies on one cast each attempt. The lures are a little different as well. Fly fishing uses flies, small realistic hooks, while spin fishing usually focuses more on lures that attract fish by reflection of light.

Tim Butala

My name is Tim and I have been a fisherman my whole life. My favorite fish to go after is a Striped Bass.

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