Reviewed by Capt. Mike Schoonveld
I was skeptical the first time I saw a “spinner” lure. It was probably in my grandpa’s tackle box and since he was mainly a bullhead fisherman, I don’t know why he had it. I knew the concept “big fish eat little fish” so I understood why a minnow-shaped artificial lure would catch fish. I knew bullheads eat worms, so I understood plastic worms. “What in the world swims through the water looking like a spinner? What sort of pea-brained fish would mistake a spinner for something it ought to eat?” I thought.
I still don’t have the answers, but I do know plenty of pea-brained fish have fallen for the spinners attached to the end of my line since then. Plenty of them have been coho and king salmon, steelhead and brown trout. Plenty of times, especially when fishing in dirty water, storm muddled or silty from tributary effluent dirty, I reach into my arsenal of lures and select a spinner and use them to fool the pea-brains swimming there hunting for something (that looks nothing like a spinner) to bite.
Among my favorite spinners are Mepps Aglias and though they’ve accounted for uncounted numbers of fish in their original versions, they’ve gotten better this year. The better is the hook on the end of them is now dressed with mylar tinsel from Flashabou instead of the traditional squirrel tail hair.
For years Mepps claimed nothing was better than squirrel tails for spinner hook dressing. Maybe for most fish, but the Flashabou dressed #5 Aglias I’ve been using this season are outproducing the squirrel tails seven days to Sunday. In the stained water (and because cohos in particular like to bite hot orange lures) the orange blade with orange/black hook dressing has been my top choice. The fire-tiger with fire-tiger(ish) mylar tail isn’t far behind.
I’ve caught a few fish on a double bladed model – one orange, one black blade, but so far, it’s not any better than its single bladed cousin. I suspect, the added noise may make it a better choice for steelhead.
I use them on both downriggers and behind Dipsey Divers. Be sure to employ a good ball bearing swivel. The Aglia Flashabou spinners may not be widely available this summer but you can always order them on-line at www. mepps .com.