What is the best size spinnerbait for bass? (5 Essential Tips)

PUBLISHED 20 JANUARY 2021

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by Robert Ceran

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Spinnerbaits have been successfully used to catch bass since 1951, when the first version of a spinnerbait was created using a safety pin. And while they have gone in and out of fashion several times over the decades, many anglers (including Elite Series pros like Kevin VanDam) swear by them, and have used them to win many tournaments.

So, given that they are among the most effective lures, it’s definitely a good idea to have them in your tackle box. But what size spinnerbait is best for bass?

Here’s the quick answer:

While spinnerbaits come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 3/16 oz to 1 1/2 oz, the best all around size for bass fishing is 1/2 oz. This size allows you to cover a lot of ground, and can be fished both shallow and deep, and either fast or slow. But in case you want to fish more shallow, then 3/8 oz is better for you, and if you want to fish deeper, 3/4 oz is the way to go.

Now let’s dig into the details, to give you a better understanding of which size spinnerbait to throw.

 

What size spinnerbait should you use for bass?

Best all around spinnerbait size for bass

The best all around size for bass is 1/2 oz. This size has great casting performance on most standard 7’ casting rods, which makes it ideal for covering a lot of ground. Because of this, it makes a great “search” bait, which can be used to cover a lot of ground until you find fish. 

See also: best spinnerbait rod reviewed.

Another advantage of the 1/2 oz size is that it can be fished either shallow or deep, and you can fish it slowly, or burn it at the surface. Also, you can combine it with different types and sizes of blades, which further adds to the versatility of its presentation. For example, a large colorado blade will create more resistance and slow it down, which is great for fishing deeper while a narrow willow blade is better for keeping it at the surface.

Spinnerbait size recommendation for shallow water bass

If you’re going to fish shallow water around 2’ to 4’, and want to keep your lure as high in the water as possible, then it’s better to go with a smaller size of 3/8 oz, or even 1/4 oz.

The 3/8 oz size is great for fishing over the top of cover, such as the branches of laydowns, or grass flats, which is why it is the most commonly used size after the 1/2 oz. In situations like that, you want to be able to throw your lure right into the cover, but then keep it high enough during retrieval to avoid getting snagged. 

Another reason why the 3/8 oz spinnerbait is perfect for fishing in and around cover is due to the fact that it is practically weedless, since its wire protects the single hook from getting caught on branches or grass blades.

Spinnerbait size recommendation for deep water bass

If you’re planning to fish in deeper water of 10’ to 15’ or more, then it’s best to go with a 3/4 oz or even 1 oz spinnerbait, which is much easier to maintain at that depth. Always keep in mind that you can also affect this by choosing different blade shapes and sizes. For example, a large round colorado blade is great for slowing down your lure during retrieval, which is perfect for maintaining its depth.

What size spinnerbait is best for burning vs slow rolling?

Another factor you should consider is that different spinnerbait sizes are better suited for different retrieval speeds. A common technique used with spinnerbaits is to burn them as fast as possible right underneath the water surface, which can trigger a reaction strike from a bass. The best lure size for this is 3/8 to 1/2 oz, since this size is easier to keep high in the water column.

See also: where should you throw a spinnerbait?

Slow rolling is another popular technique that involves using a very slow retrieval speed, usually while fishing deep. This is especially effective in winter, when it can catch trophy sized fish if done correctly. For slow rolling it is best to use larger lure sizes of 3/4 oz 1 oz, and to combine them with a large colorado blade to create more resistance in the water. 

What is the best spinnerbait size for big bass?

While it’s not always true that bigger baits catch bigger bass, this does apply to spinnerbaits, and when fished correctly, large 3/4 or 1 oz models are among the best baits to target big bass specifically. Especially when combined with size 5 or 6 willow blades, these lures will produce fewer strikes, but when you do get a bite, it’s often a trophy sized fish.

 

What spinnerbait blade sizes should you use?

So far we’ve only been talking about the size of the spinnerbait itself, which basically consists of a bent wire attached to a hook with a jig head. But, in addition to choosing different sizes for the main lure, you can also vary the sizes of the blades that are attached to the wire.

The three main types of blades are willow blades (which are by far the most popular), colorado blades, and indiana blades

Blades come in a variety of sizes ranging from 1 to 8, but the most commonly used blade sizes are 3 and 4, which are perfect for a 1/2 or 3/8 oz spinnerbait. You can also go up to blade size 5 or 6 if you’re throwing a larger spinnerbait, or if you want to slow roll it in deep water. 

Especially if you’re using colorado blades, the larger sizes create a lot of resistance during retrieval, which makes them great for slow retrieval. Keep in mind that the trailing blade should always be larger than the front blade, otherwise it won’t have a lot of vibration underwater.

It’s highly recommended to test different blade sizes, shapes, and colors. Unfortunately, this can be a little confusing for beginners, but don’t worry too much about that. You can start out with a few standard blade combinations, and once you have experience catching fish, then it’s time to start experimenting with different blades. 

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