Why spinnerbaits are weedless and how to keep them from getting stuck

There are a lot of reasons you should be fishing with spinnerbaits. They have been a fish catching lure for decades. They work in a lot of water conditions and times of the year. And maybe best of all, they’re one of the most weedless lures you can use.

Weedless is a term that fisherman use to denote how likely a bait is to get stuck on weeds, grass, trees, or really anything in the water. Spinnerbaits are a very weedless bait because they are not likely to get stuck in almost any of these things that may be in your fishery.

But why? And how can you make a spinnerbait more weedless?

Why a spinnerbait is weedless

The main reason that a spinnerbait is weedless is because of the metal arm that protrudes from it’s blades and connects to the head of the bait. 

This metal arm is great at knocking twigs, grass, or anything out of the way as it moves through the water column. It’s also good at deflecting the rest of the bait away from heavy stumps or brush piles, preventing your hook from embedding itself in it which makes you get stuck.

spinnerbaits weedless get stuck

Additionally, a spinnerbait is uniquely weedless because of it’s hook. If you look at a jerkbait, crankbait, or most other moving baits they have very exposed treble hooks. Which means they have 3 points that can get stuck at any time. If they have 2 hooks, it’s 6 points.

A spinnerbait has one single hook, sometimes two if it has a trailer hook. This by itself severely diminishes your chances of getting stuck on anything while fishing.

But the hook position is also unique in that it doesn’t hang freely from the bait. It is in line with the metal arm, directly behind the head. This again makes it less likely that a hook will happen to grab something on the lake bottom. It stays in line with the arm, which knocks everything out of it’s way. 

The metal arm tied with this unique hook design is what really makes a spinnerbait so weedless, especially compared to other moving baits.

Why am I getting stuck with a spinnerbait?

The moniker of any bait being truly “weedless” is false. Everything can get stuck. A weedless bait is just much less likely to do so.

So if you have lost a spinnerbait to the bottom of your lake you may not have done anything incorrectly. Sometimes this just happens in fishing, no matter the lure you’re using.

But if you’re losing multiple spinnerbaits then you have a problem that shouldn’t be happening. So let’s look into a couple of the reasons you might be getting stuck with spinnerbaits. And how to fix them!

You're not reeling a spinnerbait through cover correctly

The most common reason that fisherman get spinnerbaits stuck is because they aren’t fishing them through pieces of cover like wood or grass correctly.

Many people feel the tension of their line from hitting a piece of wood or rock and then immediately jerk their rod towards them to try and pop the bait off it. This is actually the complete wrong way to get a bait out of a tight spot.

Jerking the bait makes it much more likely you will get stuck. This is because you are quickly forcing the hook into the wood, grass, or whatever thing you’re stuck in, likely embedding it so deep you can’t get it out.

fisherman spinnerbait getting stuck

Instead, you need to just gently pull it over the piece of cover you feel. As I’ve mentioned previously, a spinnerbait has a metal arm that diverts the hook from trouble areas. So when you feel something on your line it’s likely the arm of your bait has just started hitting it.

If you just slowly lift your rod tip up and pull the bait steadily over the cover, the metal arm will protect the hook completely and you’ll never give enough force to actually get the hook stuck into anything. Once you feel the bait break loose, you can just keep on fishing.

It’s a hard habit to break, but if you stop yanking as soon as you think you might be getting stuck and instead lift your rod tip over it slowly – you’re likely to stop getting stuck as much.

Trailer hooks will get stuck more

To trailer hook or not to trailer hook… that is the question.

I mentioned above how the hook position of a spinnerbait is what makes it so weedless. But if you put a trailer hook on your spinnerbait, that takes this completely out of the equation.

A trailer hook is simply a second hook that connects to the hook protruding from your spinnerbait that hangs more loosely from it. So if your spinnerbait has one hook, it doesn’t have a trailer hook. If it has two, more than likely it does.

This free swinging hook is much more likely to get stuck in grass, wood, or any other debris because it is not in line with the metal arm like the main hook. So it doesn’t get everything knocked away from it, and can end up getting stuck much more easily.

Additionally, you’re adding in another hook point that can get stuck. So instead of only one hook point that can get stuck, you have two. This by itself doubles the chances of getting hooked into something besides a fish.

So why do people even use trailer hooks if they’re so much more likely to get snagged?

A trailer hook greatly enhances the chance of hooking into everything – fish included. So many fisherman that are getting bites but can’t catch fish opt for trailer hooks for a better chance at hooking fish.

Ultimately, it’s a trade off you have to decide for yourself. But if you’re fishing in areas where you can get stuck very easily I recommend going without a trailer hook. You may miss more fish than if you had one – but you’re going to lose less spinnerbaits to the lake too.

Bent metal arms will make spinnerbaits get stuck

Another reason you could be getting stuck more than you should is if your metal arm is bent slightly away from the hook.

We mentioned before that the arm protrudes directly in front of the hook and diverts it from harm. But if the arm ends up slightly off center from the hook it does the exact opposite. It brushes whatever is in front of it to the side right where the hook is, almost guaranteeing you end up stuck.

So if you’re getting stuck a lot with a spinnerbait make sure that the metal arm is directly in front of the hook point. If it is even slightly off center, this could be the source of your issues.

Get a pair of needle nose pliers and gently bend it back to its original location directly in front of the hook point. It may take some fine tuning, but is absolutely something you can do in just a few minutes. Most metal arms are flexible enough and not very easy to break if you’re being careful.

Also, pay attention to how you store your spinnerbaits if you noticed this is an issue for you. The arms on quality spinnerbaits shouldn’t have this issue out of the box or even with heavy use. Usually it comes from how you’re storing your spinnerbaits.

Most fishing retailers will sell specific spinnerbait cases like these which are very effective at protecting their arms and making sure they don’t get bent when thrown in with the rest of your tackle. 

Buy a better quality spinnerbait

A final reason you may be getting stuck more often is that you’re buying cheap spinnerbaits that aren’t built as well.

Spinnerbaits aren’t all made equal. If you look at the metal arm on many low-dollar spinnerbaits they are very easy to bend and extremely fragile. 

This makes it much more likely it will get bent, not be strong enough to diversify debris from the hook, and just lead to higher potential of getting snagged.

So if you’re buying bargain bin spinnerbaits because you keep losing them, try upgrading to a quality spinnerbait like the War Eagle Spinnerbait and see if your problems continue. I’m betting the more quality lure won’t give you as much trouble.

Conclusion

A spinnerbait is one of the most weedless baits you can use. I recommend using them anytime you’re around cover that may be too thick for a crankbait or other open hooked bait. You can get through almost anything with them and they will catch a ton of fish.

But there are lots of things that could be making your spinnerbait get snagged on lake bottoms. And even with the most weedless of baits, you’ll have bad luck from time to time and lose a few lures. Hopefully after reading this article you feel more confident throwing your spinnerbait into brush piles and the tightest of places. After all, that’s where the big fish are!

If you at to keep reading about spinnerbaits, take a look at this article which goes over everything you can catch with spinnerbaits!

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