By Montana Grant

Posted: May 1, 2021

Using a spinning rod takes practice. Most anglers start with simple reels like Zebco, push button reels. Others evolve to open face spin reels. Whatever your choice, practice how to use the reel. Find a fishing Mentor to show you the ropes.

When spin fishing, select a great reel. The rod is not the most important part of the outfit. You can get a functional rod cheaper. If it breaks, get a new one. Expensive rods are a treat to use but maybe wait until your skill lever grows. Most rods break at the top 6 inches, near the tip. Using a case will save the rod. Most breaks happen during transport.

The Reel must have a great Drag! The Drag is adjustable and allows the line to pull off when a fish makes a strong run. Thanks to the reels drag, the line will give rather than break. Reel maintenance is critical. Pay attention to simple loops in your line before they become big loops and tangles. Keep your eyes on your gear. A Safety Pin is a great tool to untangle your line.

Quality fishing line is important. I prefer colored monofilaments like Golden Stren or Trilene Solar green. I can see where my line is and where it is going. Super clear lines are invisible. Use clear tippets attached to your colored lines. Connect them with a small swivel or a proper Blood Knot. Fill the spool with line so that your distance and accurate casting will not be impaired.

Retail stores like Bob Wards, sell balanced outfits already loaded with line. This great value is hard to beat. For most fishing, a paired rod and reel should be lighter than heavier. A heavy rod and line will catch less fish than a lighter one. Again, the reel’s drag will compensate for the lighter gear, which is more Sporting and fun! Depending on what species of fish, you may need line that is from 4–10-pound test.

Practice. Practice, practice. You should be able to place a lure into a 5-gallon bucket at 20 yards. Use a hookless spinner to practice. Watch You Tube videos or listen to your Mentor for tips. When I teach kids to cast, I place several candy bars into the bucket. Once they connect, they get to choose a treat.

Spinners come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some have hair, rattles, vibrators, or are in gold/silver. Generally, the old timer’s rule is to use Silver in the clouds and gold in the Sun. Make sure that the hooks are sharp. I sharpen then often, and right out of the pack.

For most spin fishing I use a Mepps, Blue Fox, Panther Martin, or Super Duper. Rarely do I prefer hair on the hooks. Sometimes I replace the treble hooks with a sharp single hook. You can also add a stinger hook, or a short leader attached wet fly to a treble hook, if the fish are short striking or just nipping at the spinner.

Learn and remember. Every time that you head afield, try to retain, and remember what you learned. Repeat what you had success with. Eventually, using bait will compliment using spinners. Small crankbaits are also in your future along with jigs, darts, and other lures. Each has its place and specific presentation.

Try spin fishing soon!

Montana Grant