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Anatomy of a Quality Steelhead Spinner

by The Addicts

4 years ago

What makes a Steelhead & Salmon spinner good? There are a hundred spinners out on the market today, many of them quality, some of them sub-par. Surely spinners are a standby of Steelhead fishing just as they are for trout, swung through small creeks enticing up aggressive rainbows and “cutties.”coho salmon silver spinner

Spinners must first do what their name implies – they must spin! One of the ultimate frustrations with a spinner is when it will not create that “whirring” spinner action immediately upon hitting the water. For this reason I stick with a few specific spinners for my own tackle box. Blades must be optimized for the type of water you fish, with the right weight so that it spins immediately upon water entry.

The ideal spinner “hovers” almost. I think specifically of the RVRFSHR Rvrwhirlers. I first started using these for Fall Coho in tidewater. Spinner fishing is very common for tidewater coho so I decided to test the Rvrwhirlers in combination with “pink worm trailers” as an added contrast/attractant. Silvers keyed in on the pink worm tail and the steady action of the Rvrwhirler blade. Results were chrome, hot, and tasty on the barbecue. I really developed a ton of faith in this lure over the fall.


After having a blast throwing these spinners for fresh silvers, I decided to take them out on a low clear water Summer Steelhead trip. Small stream spinner fishing can be really effective. I’ve fished small blue-foxes and other “trout spinners” for summer steelhead in low & clear water. Those small spinners can work great but can sometimes be overwhelmed by the flows and current of some of the larger rivers.

I waded out with a silver Rvrwhirler tied on to 10 LB Maxima Ultragreen leader. I casted slightly upstream into a slow pool with approx. 8-10 ft of depth. After the spinner hit the water I reeled slightly back and applied pressure. Immediately the spinner reacted and started its deadly flash. As the spinner spun and swung through the pool my rod doubled over and line shot upstream. I saw a nice healthy summer crash the surface of the water after annihilating the spinner. After a great game of tug-of-war I landed the summer, got a picture snapped and let him return to spawn. There’s nothing like the way they hammer a spinner!

native summer steelhead spinner fishing

A good steelhead and salmon spinner should do a number of things. They should have the right weight to ensure good casting and be heavy enough to get down to the “strike zone.” The blade should spin well and evenly. Most of all it should catch fish, the true test of a spinner is how the fish reacts to it.

TIP: All colors are not created equal when it comes to spinners. Some “dull” varieties such as copper can be very effective in clear water. Blues, silvers purples, blacks, brass…those are few great options for Steelhead. As you explore “greener” or water with less visibility, it can be good to branch out a bit more into some other brighter colors.



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