Spin Fishing For Predatory Fish A Guide


Spin fishing is very popular and those who have spent a few hours spin fishing will get an idea why fishing is also called angling. The big problem, especially for beginners, is when success is not quickly achieved. Because then many questions arise quickly: whether you are doing something wrong and why the fish don’t want to go fishing. Hopefully, this article will put an end to these questions, because it is supposed to be a comprehensive guide to spin fishing. If after reading the article there are still open questions, I would be happy to receive comments.

Table of Contents This is spin fishing – the basicsThe assembly and the leader for the spin fishing table: these are the lures to catch with these artificial luresThe best tips for spin fishingArt lures for spin fishing and their techniqueThe classics for easy castingSurface lures and jerkbaitsLures to hit – jerkbaitsRubber luresNatural luresJigging and cicadasSpeed jiggingFrequently asked questions about spin fishingAny questions about spin fishingThe right lure colourThe right lure shapeDo I have to mount a steel leader when zander fishing? The right bait sizeWhat to do with trailers?Where to go spin fishing?What is easy spin fishing?When to strike when spin fishing?What to take with you for spin fishing? The right equipment for spin fishingWhich fishing tackle to use for spin fishing?Advantages and disadvantages of spin fishing compared to sitting downThe advantages of spin fishingThe disadvantages of spin fishingThe disadvantages of spin fishing

That’s spin fishing – the basics

Spin fishing is mostly about casting and hauling in artificial lures such as wobblers, spoons or rubber fish and bringing them to life. Here the leadership style decides on success and failure, because some predators like it fast and others slow. You can also fish actively with natural lures such as the bait fish on the system or with the classic worm and successfully spin-fish.

In spin fishing there are many methods and special techniques for certain baits, but the target fish is usually a predatory fish like pike, pike-perch, perch or trout and catfish. Without question, fishing with moving lures is a lot of fun and sometimes more successful than sit-on fishing. The big advantage is probably the mobility and flexibility. Closely related to spinning fishing is fly and trolling fishing. However, these fishing techniques are somewhat removed from spin fishing so they are not mentioned here and will be given their own article.

The term spinning or spin-fishing comes from the English word “to spin”: to spin off. This is because the first artificial baits spun when they were caught.

The assembly and the leader for spin fishing

The leader and the assembly for spin fishing is actually very simple and not witchcraft. In principle you can also attach a swivel with snap directly to the main line – attach the lure and off you go. But most of the time you fish with a braided main line, which is also more conspicuous than monofilament. Here it’s usually worth taking a fluorocarbon leader, which is almost invisible in the water and very abrasion resistant. If pike are expected, there is no way around steel, fluorocarbon from 0.60 mm or hard mono.

The connection of the braided main line to the leader is now a problem because braided lines can only be knotted to a swivel with a greater loss of load capacity. The good knots for this are also quite complicated. I recommend here an improved polamar knot>>, which is still quite easy to tie.

The easiest and safest way is to use a knotless connector, which maintains the load bearing capacity quite well and is very easy to install. The disadvantage is that you can only fish shorter leaders and on really strong fish like catfish or strong predators the knotless connector is too weak almost no matter how thick! The solution I always prefer is to tie an FG knot>>, this also maintains the load capacity almost 100% and is suitable for any kind of fish. In addition, it can be thrown through the rings with only minimal loss of casting distance, because it is extremely narrow.

Table: these fish can be caught with these artificial baits

With the table you have to differentiate a little bit, because catfish can be caught with poppers but that is rather rare. It is also important that the lures are not good all year round. For example a popper is an excellent pike bait in summer, when other baits often fail it still catches well in shallow water. That is why it gets 3 stars. The size of the bait must of course be adapted to the fish. Also the guide can change depending on the target fish. An asp can be caught excellently with small pilkers, which are guided through the water at high speed. While perch and trout are caught while jigging vertically.

  • One asterisk * means this lure is OK for this fish;
  • Two asterisks ** means this lure is good for this fish;
  • Three asterisks *** means this lure is top for this fish.

The best tips for spin fishing

When spin fishing it is important to have confidence in your bait and its presentation. Some tips that helped me a lot to catch fish and trust in my lures.

  • Even though it’s tempting to change bait all the time with a full bait box you should give every bait a chance to be trusted;
  • Checking the hook sharpness: it’s really super annoying when the only bite of the day goes wrong because of blunt hooks;
  • Fishing in the right places and getting the bait fish or Where they are, the predators are not far away;
  • Do not let up. Hot spots should be fished extensively and straight pike do not bite during the first cast. I usually go to the next spot after 15-30 minutes.
  • Spin fishing with the rubber fish is a method to plumb the bottom of the water. An experienced rubber fish angler knows what the bottom is like. This way you know how deep the water is and whether the bottom is gravelly or soft and muddy;
  • Do not give up! Especially in our often overfished waters success is sometimes a long time coming.

Artificial lures for spin fishing and their technique

Correct spin fishing is often not that difficult, but the right technique and bait guidance is important. With almost all lures you can easily reel them in, but a varied style of fishing with short stops and jerks almost always catches more.

The classic lures for easy retrieval

Spinners and spoons are the simplest artificial lures but still very successful. With them you can catch your fish just by cranking them faster or slower through the water. Of course the catching speed plays a role. Here’s a simple rule: if the lure comes to the surface, you’re leading the lure too fast; if the lure often has basic contact, you’re leading it a bit too slow. But you get a bit more bites with a varied lure handling. For this you should make repeated stops of 1 to 3 seconds and let the lure sink to the bottom. You also search several layers of water, which leads faster to success. Again a guideline: 3-5 crank turns and then a short break. If you have basic contact you risk getting stuck and should make fewer stops and crank faster. These stops are generally also called spinning stops by anglers.

Wobblers also fall into this category, although they should be guided with a little more variation. Suspender plugs are plugs that float in the water and can be twitched very well, so you can catch them with strokes in the loose line. An extremely fun method and plugs are probably the most realistic replicas of real fish. Unfortunately plugs are not so cheap, but you rarely lose them.

Surface lures and jerkbaits

The best known surface lure is the popper. The artificial lures, which are particularly successful on pike and perch, are used for popping. Either with long or short strokes with the rod followed by a short break or with extremely short strokes with the rod and appropriate cranking. The floating lure makes a lot of noise and is a top lure especially in summer. Black bass can also be caught with this bait these fish are hardly used in Germany, but you can catch them in France or Spain for example.

At the sea, poppers are among the better baits, especially subtropical and tropical predators are easy to catch with them. They can also be led differently and for example simply be cranked in quickly. Spin fishing with big poppers for tuna, GTs and Co. is a world of its own (reasonable Popper rods for tuna fishing cost far more than 500 €).

Frogs are excellent lures for the weed and often have pre-mounted weedless hooks. These baits can be cranked in evenly or with slight short jerks with the rod. Pike like them very much.

Surface lures are particularly popular at sea. Anyone who has ever seen mullets and other small fish on the surface knows what I mean. Stickbaits move under the water surface almost as temptingly as a small fish looking for insects. Stickbaits do not have a diving shovel and are guided with jerky movements of the rod tip at very slow cranks. This guiding style is called walk the dog and is also used for jerkbaits. The stickbait should then glide from left to right.

The bites on surface lures are often brutal and are the real experience.

Lures to hit – jerkbaits

As just mentioned jerkbaits are hit. First of all you need a rod that is suitable for this purpose, because they should be about 2 m short and have a fairly taut blank. Ideally, due to the

continuous load, multi reels or extremely robust stationary reels (Penn) are used. Afterwards the jerkbait is brought to life with short blows downwards. Thereby the jerkbait, which resembles a wobbler without a diving blade, should also glide nicely in short pauses.

Rubber lure

The variety of rubber lures is overwhelming and the rubber fish is a classic that belongs to the best artificial lures. I have already explained the methods of guiding and setting up the lures here >>. But soon a detailed guide will follow. By the way, rubber lures can be used very successfully by almost all predators (except for zander, but exceptions confirm the rule) even in mid-water.

Natural lures

There are several possibilities to offer natural lures. Either on the drop shot system a real worm or bait fish or the classic alternative to the rubber fish: the Drachkovitch system. With this system the lure is jigged like a rubber fish with the big advantage that bites can come if you put the rod down for a short time.

Bait fish on a towing system are also very good lures in clear lakes. A classic for lake trout or large open water pike. The Swimbaits from Castaic simulate these bait fish systems, which are often equipped with a diving shovel.

Jigging and cicadas

By this I mean jigging with metal baits and not with the rubbers just mentioned. Jigs are popular for vertical fishing and are usually lowered to the bottom of the water and then quickly jigged upwards with the rod tip and then lowered again. Jigs and mormyshkas are also very successful in ice fishing. In my opinion, the latter correspond to jigging or gambling, even though they are usually equipped with a natural bait such as a maggot or a worm.


Another somewhat exotic technique, but by far my favourite way of spin fishing. Unfortunately it is not used to catch anything in the Mediterranean or in all tropical and subtropical countries, but it is a very successful technique for catching big sea predators. The method is also quite exhausting and can end in a material battle. It gave me the first 1.5h drills with hard fish and I even caught a St. Peter’s fish (Zeus Faber). I will come back very soon and present my Lielingsmethode in detail.

The technique also works on cod and saithe in Norway.

Frequently asked questions about spin fishing are answered

The right lure color

In general you never do anything wrong with natural colors. Otherwise, in clear water you should use muted and natural colours such as silver and white. In turbid water bright colours are a good choice.

The right lure shape

This one is best oriented towards the prey fishes found in the water. If there are many arbours in the water, I use the slim and elongated model. If there are many roaches in the water, it may be thicker.

Do I have to install a steel leader when fishing for zander?

Not always, but if there are pike in the water it is hard to recommend and anything else is grossly negligent. Alternatives to the steel leader are still really thick hardmono. Also, and especially when fishing for bait, a soft 7×7 leader doesn’t bother the careful zander at all, and the risk of a pike getting the line between its teeth is high.

The right lure size

Here the same applies as for the lure form: orientate yourself in the water for the most common prey fish and you’re not wrong. Of course the bait must be manageable for the predatory fish, but even that is not always a criterion. Especially small pike and perch sometimes rush for bait that is almost as big as they are. Big lures are especially successful in winter, while small brood fish catch big lures better in spring.

What to do about followers?

Followers are fish that follow the bait but do not attack. This can have many reasons and most of the time the fish seem to be just curious and not hungry. Sometimes fish can make the lure move slower, sometimes it is advisable to accelerate the lure. It is also possible that the fish have seen through our game. Then I often use a finer fluorocarbon leader (if the pike allow it).

Where to go spin fishing?

The best place to try spinning is at hot spots – places where there are often fish. Alternatively, look at where the prey fish are and try it there.

  • You can find a list of hot spots here >>

What is easy spin fishing?

Light spin fishing is spin fishing with light bait and rods and reels adapted to it. A typical light spinning rod has a casting weight in the 5-30g range. One step lighter is ultralight fishing with small lures and super fine rods.

When do I have to cast when spin fishing?

It’s not always necessary but mostly recommended. Pike and zander in particular have a hard mouth and a strike should be strong here. On perch you should use a softer stroke, while at a distance you should always use a stronger one.

What to take with you for spin fishing? The right equipment for spin fishing

Apart from your spinning rod and reel I always take the following with me on the water:

  • A wading net – link to my recommendations >>
  • Leader material mostly fluorocarbon for pike in water always steel!
  • Meanwhile I go out with as few lures as possible especially if I know the conditions on the water, because you can only fish one spinning lure at a time anyway → ergo only one or two boxes with lures;
  • Small parts or terminal tackle: usually some no knots and swivels;
  • Other accessories: a pair of pliers, a knife and the legally required: fish killer and tape measure.

Which fishing tackle for spin fishing?

Line: in general, braided line is the better choice, unless you are fishing in extremely clear water or for trout, in which case fluorocarbon or monofilament line is the way to go! But for trout I prefer FC or mono line. Here are the lines I use for fishing >>

Rods: In general, somewhat faster rods are preferable. The requirements of the different methods and species of fish vary widely – a good all-round spinning rod is not easy to find. I have some recommendations for different applications on this page:

  • pike-perch spinning rods >>
  • pike spinning rods >>
  • trout spinning rods >>
  • travel rods >>
  • telescopic rods >>

reel: I have also written a lot about the right spinning reel and afterwards some recommendations for good reels

  • Top Spinning Reels >>

Terminal Tackle: Small parts, some reliable swivels, snaps and no knots.

Advantages and disadvantages of spin fishing compared to sitting up

The advantages of spin fishing

  • You can search large areas of water for hungry predators more quickly;
  • and you are more flexible;
  • you are more active and move more (should also be healthy);
  • You notice more of the water (e.g.
  • In spin fishing you can quickly adjust to different conditions;
  • No bait search and you keep your fingers clean until you catch the fish (only when buying).

The disadvantages of spin fishing

  • To be honest, spin fishing is more expensive than natural bait fishing;
  • Most artificial baits have no smell.

Still open questions? I am always happy to receive questions, criticism and suggestions.

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