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Spinnerbait Setup Guide for Better Performance

​Spinnerbait Setup

Despite their rather strange appearance spinnerbaits are some of the most effective lures on the right day with the right conditions.

​If you decide to one of them then you’ll need to make sure that your spinnerbait setup of rod, reel and fishing line are perfectly balanced to give the very best casting and hook up performance. 

​Spinnerbait Setup

​An ideal spinnerbait rod and reel setup is a 6 to 7 foot casting rod with a baitcasting reel and either flourocarbon or monofilament line between 10 and 15 lbs in breaking strain.

You can use a spinning setup but only if you are using very small finesse spinnerbaits.

The sane choice is a baitcasting combo, they are easier on the arm when working a lot of water and the thumb control on the spool is a big advantage when working close to cover or structures.


The best spinnerbait rod will have enough backbone to handle the drag that the blades and skirts create when retrieved and also still have a precise casting ability especially of your are mostly making short casts.

​A lot of fishermen neglect the long game when ​fishing a spinnerbait, but covering a lot of open water can be an excellent tactic if a more targeted approach is failing.

Look for a rod that falls somewhere in the following ranges of specifications:

  • ​Type – casting rod
  • Length – between 6 and 7 feet
  • Power – medium/heavy to heavy
  • Action – fast action

​You’ll usually be fishing spinnerbaits either close up or covering lots of open water.

Close up or playing the short game means casting close to structures like docks or drop offs and all kinds of cover such as weed beds or lilies.

The short game needs a shorter rod, a even foot rod might prove a little too awkward when you are right up next to where you are casting.

Conversely a short rod of six feet will not have the same kind of casting range that a longer seven foot rod will have.

If you find yourself predominantly fishing close in then the shorter rod is best.

As a compromise a 6’6″ rod can work in both scenario’s if you do not want the added expense of buying two rods for the same type of fishing setup.


​Given the drag that these types of lures generate when moving through the water a lighter rod will not really have the backbone to keep up.

Stick to a rod with a least a medium/heavy power rating. If you are fishing very large spinnerbaits then you may need to bump it up to a heavy power rating.


​You need a fast action for better sensitivity especially when you are using single hooks. With a fast action the natural bend in the rod will start much higher up the rod blank in the last one third towards the tip.

This means better feedback through the rod and tip sensitivity in general. You will also have a quicker reaction time when striking.


The best spinnerbaits will cause a lot of drag through the water so a beefier reel is advised.

​When hauling spinnerbaits a baitcast reel is without doubt the choice to go with. If you are casting short distances then a regular reel ratio of 5 to 1 is fine. If you are covering a lot of open water then a faster retrieve can be an advantage so opt for some thing with a higher ratio like 6:1 or higher.

Any modern baitcaster is fine. Although a quality reel is a good investment so buy what you can afford. All of the big name brands like Shimano, Abu Garcia and Daiwa are generally reliable. 

Avoid cheap reels of you can, spinnerbaits do put a large strain on your reel so a highly durable reel with high quality internals is a must. 

Size wise a 200 or maybe even a 300 if you are using larger lures with heavier line.

You don’t need a low profile baitcaster either. A round baitcaster like a Shimano Calcutta is just as good.


​For most setups the best line for spinnerbaits will be flourocarbon or sometimes monofilament. Braid has its fans but not that often when using spinnerbaits.

You’ll need a breaking strain somewhere between 10 and 15 lbs depending on how heavy your lures are.

  • Updated October 16, 2021
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