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Inline Spinners, SMB, and equipment.

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I'm getting more and more into the River Smallies scene, whereas I've almost always been exclusively a pond and lake LMB guy. Inline Spinners are something I want to do more of. So, what equipment and what size spinners? Does a ML/F spinning setup with 6lb line sound good? And what size spinners for both numbers and quality?

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   I have no idea where you are. The gold standard for me is the #5 Mepps Aglia in shallower water, and the Comet in deeper water. I also make my own; 1/2 to 3/4 oz. won't drive Smallies away. Blue/silver, blue/white and chartreuse/white do it for me. But then, I'm fishing the Mississippi, and that's pretty muddy water. Clearer water could change that around a lot. Personally, I wouldn't use line lighter than 8 lb., and I use 12 much more often. That's because I have pike to contend with, no matter where in the river I fish. If I didn't have that problem, I might go lighter, but not much. I'd not go lighter than a #3 spinner, which is 1/4 oz. For 1/4 oz., I might drop down to 6 lb. line. But to me, that's crappie territory, not SMB. 1/2 oz. colored Panther Martin spinners -- the FishSeeUV with the marabou -- have been productive also. (I love it when some steelheader sees me using those and tells me that I can't catch bass with a steelhead lure. Don't believe all the negative things people tell you.) Whatever you choose to use, go slo-o-o-ow. If you decide to make your own, use two or three different body weights for a certain blade. The lightest will go slowest, the heaviest will go deepest. And don't think that you absolutely have to use french style blades. Indiana work well also. Good luck!  jj

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I really don't toss inlines. I'm more of a soft plastics guy...Tackle HD HiDef Craws. They're the truth in rivers. Smaller waters I like the 3" in green pumpkin and the brown and orange. I also have some of the bigger ones for lakes and bigger waters. They look real and the fish love it.

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I am primarily a plastics guy, but my confidence lure is a #4 mepps agila inline spinner in gold colour with a fenwick hmg 6'9 ml-f rod with 10 lb braid, sometimes with a 6-8 leader. Always use a snap swivel to avoid line twist. 

 

Sometimes I use a st Croix mojo 6'8 m-xf spinning rod as well. The xf action isn't usually recommended but loosen the drag and it seems to work well for me. 

 

Last time I went out to a local pond, I caught 4 large mouth bass in 20 mins.   

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I use in line spinners from time to time. I've started using Joe's Flies Spinners around here.

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11 minutes ago, volzfan59 said:

I use in line spinners from time to time. I've started using Joe's Flies Spinners around here.

So, I dont get any smallies down here in SE Louisiana, but I get their hard charging cousins the Spotted Bass in several shallow rivers.

 

I grew up in NW Illinois and spent A LOT of time fishing small rivers and streams for smallies in SW Wisconsin. I say this, because I use the same lures and tackle that I did 15 years ago in WI for bronze backs. As I do now for Kentucky/Spotted here in LA shallow rivers.

 

Last fall, I started using a 7ft ML fast with a Daiwa BG 1500 spooled with 8lbs NanoFil.

Im a fan of Rooster Tails in 1/16-1/8 oz varietys, but Mepps and a few Panther Martins are outstanding choces as well.

 

The first lure to be thrown, after a swimbait, for me.  A Rooster Tail in all white with a silver willow leaf in 1/8th oz and sometimes in 1/16th if I start on slack water. 

 

Last fall, when I got back into small river wade fishing. I hammered them on a 1/16th Rooster Tail in a Crawfish pattern.

 

In line spinners, have their place for smallies. I bought $150 worth of them back in February and plan to really try to master them...if there is a such a thing.

 

If you look at Rooster Tails, go direct through the manfactures website. They have all the sizes,colors, blade combos. It will take longer to get them, but worth the wait.

 

GOOD LUCK..I miss hooking into smallies.

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Own a couple of these from Blue Fox...use in ultra clear water...they catch fish...

 

Spinners and Spinnerbaits 1493: Blue Fox Vibrax Minnow Spin Tackle Minnow Silver 1 4, New -> BUY IT NOW ONLY: $114.37 on eBay!

 

rs.php?path=BFFMSP-S-1.jpg

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13 minutes ago, greentrout said:

Own a couple of these from Blue Fox...use in ultra clear water...they catch fish...

 

Spinners and Spinnerbaits 1493: Blue Fox Vibrax Minnow Spin Tackle Minnow Silver 1 4, New -> BUY IT NOW ONLY: $114.37 on eBay!

 

rs.php?path=BFFMSP-S-1.jpg

Lure Monkey is screaming at me...those look really good!

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My largest bass (5lb) last year was caught while tossing Mepps #1 Black Fury dressed. Used 8' Medium Light Moderate rod, 8lb nanofil, Daiwa RG-AB 2000 reel.

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The best luck I have ever had was this past 3 day Presidents Day weekend when the white bass came up in my cove and spawned. I caught 45 or so over 3 days fishing for a total of around 5 or so hours. The smallest one was 15" and the largest was 19". 

 

What did I use? I followed Dennis Christian's advice and tossed a Plain Mepps Aglia (no skirt) in a #2 size. Color? Silver for me . . . but Dennis uses white, too, at times.  He has an article published on the Mepps website and a YouTube video showing his technique fishing for them in deep water, not so much their annual spawn run. 

 

Along with the 45 white bass, I caught 4 LMBs (one photo'd below) and one crappie, so a fun weekend. Mepps are outstanding inline spinners. #2, #3 and #4 are all good sizes, so is the #00 for pan fish.

 

Photo of one below that from its mouth to its anal fin was as long as my 13" boot.

 

Brad

Bigger LMB 022218.jpg

13 Inch Boot.jpg

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Don't forget the old stand-by Snagless Sally.

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I love in-line spinners, I like the Mepps XD as well for a little thumping action. I throw them on a 6'6 ML/R spinning rod with size 2000 reel on 6lb fluorokote.

 

 

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I fish for river smallmouth quite a bit. Nothing can beat a nice warm summer morning, crack of dawn, slipping into my waders and hopping in the river. 

 

I use a rig similar to your description, except I use a Medium/Fast action Crucial rod paired with a 2500 Shimano Sustain. 

 

I waffle back and forth between 6lb Tatsu and 14lb YGK X-8

 

Tie on a #3 gold bladed Mepps and hang on. If the fish are in the mood you can't go wrong.

 

One thing to be sure of is stream flow. It's easy to track on the USGS website if your particular river/stream is tracked with stream gauges. There are even a few smartphone apps that can provide you with a quick real-time look at the data (depth and flow).

 

I only say that because at faster flow rates bladed lures are harder to use because it requires a faster and faster retrieve to engage the blades in fast current, which often ends up being a fast enough retrieve that your lure is back to you in seconds. Makes for exhausting and usually unproductive fishing vs using a bottom contact bait like a craw, tube, or Ned Rig. But if the flow is slow enough, experiment with the spinner, small spinnerbait, or shallow diving crank. You ideally want a slow enough current that you can get that nice good "thump" from your spinner and retrieve it somewhat lazy, give those fish a good amount of time to track it and hit it. 

 

Man now you've got me all watered up - ready for these spring rains to dissipate and allow me to get out there in the river! 

 

 

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 I am a big fan of the Sworming Hornet (underspin) with a LFT Live Magic Shad.

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Blue Fox Vibrax 3/8 oz. #4 in Silver has been a main stay in my lakes for many, many years.

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Mepps #3 & #4 are my choice.  Only a couple posters wrote about the line twist... listen to them, it's a real problem with this lure.  A swivel attached to the front helps but doesn't eliminate the twist.  This lure will grab and foul on absolutely everything in the water!  If a northern pike is within 6 miles of this lure it will find it!!!  Like RoadWarrior, I choose an underspin before I grab my in-line spinners.

 

oe

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On April 16, 2018 at 9:51 PM, Armtx77 said:

Im a fan of Rooster Tails in 1/16-1/8 oz varietys, but Mepps and a few Panther Martins are outstanding choces as well.

 

Rooster tails are an excellent choice.  White body/dressing with silver blade is good, however, my best luck is with the watermelon pattern (pink and green body and pink/green dressing) with the gold blade. Rainbow trout color pattern.

Panther Martins are also a staple for just about everything, the old standard yellow body with red dots and silver blade is the best option most of the time, or the black body with yellow dots and gold blade.  If you use a snap swivel,use the smallest size possible.

 

Throw upstream (toward the direction the water is coming from) at a 45% angle toward the far shore.  This is especially important if the current is fast. The spinner will tumble in the water and spin as it goes downstream.  Reel in the slack as it is moving.  Throw a size that's heavy enough to get down in the water column.  You will get hung up on bottom occasionally.  If that happens, just walk back upstream toward the direction that your lure traveled into the hang up and you can generally free things up.

 

Have fun and good luck.

 

 

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+1 for the Rooster tails. 1/4oz in white or black has always worked well for me in the rivers. I throw them on a 7' medium action rod with 8 or 10lb. line. The areas that I fish have quite a bot of cover so I use a little heavier setup. A ML action rod would work well in areas where there's not so much cover. I'd still stick with no less than 8lb. line.

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I'm in Central Illinois. Our river doesn't see monster SMB, but they can be big. Our river also doesn't have a ton of heavy cover, but it does have some cover. We have a lot of wood and rocks, though, and getting snagged is to be expected as much as any other river. It's also not extremely deep. 4-8 feet usually, with a lot of 3 feet and less areas, and some areas upwards of 12 to 15 feet deep. Pike and Muskie isn't a problem, not that I would truly consider them a problem.

 

I decided on a 6'6" M/F spinning outfit with 8lb mono and 8lb fluoro leader. I picked up a bunch of 1/4oz Rooster Tails in white with a silver blade as well as Fire Tiger. Wish me luck!

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Medium/Moderate Fast or Medium/Fast Spinning outfit.....8lb Monofilament tied to a small barrel swivel and a one foot 8lb monofilament leader to a Blue Fox Super Vibrax Mid Depth In Line Spinner Size 3 in Gold with Gold Blade or Silver with Silver Blade. This approach will get plenty of baitfish following on the barrel swivel , and I think this actually adds to the attraction of the presentation, along with eliminating line twist. If the smallmouth are in the mood to chase bait, this is effective and very good when fished over the top of large submerged boulders. When that inline rolls over the back side of a boulder, be ready.

 

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On 4/17/2018 at 8:34 AM, Preytorien said:

a nice warm summer morning, crack of dawn, slipping into my waders and hopping in the river.

Waders on a warm summer day??? Yuk! Although I'm guessing wet legs aren't possible where you are talking about 

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2 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

Waders on a warm summer day??? Yuk! Although I'm guessing wet legs aren't possible where you are talking about 

They're pretty breathable, but yet they do tend to get warm. Orvis Silver Sonic Guide waders. 

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4 hours ago, Preytorien said:

They're pretty breathable, but yet they do tend to get warm. Orvis Silver Sonic Guide waders. 

 

What's more fun than bare hairy legs and a bunch of shiners tugging at you?

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56 minutes ago, The Bassman said:

 

What's more fun than bare hairy legs and a bunch of shiners tugging at you?

    According to the WHO,    ......" There is an increased risk of infection of water-borne diseases contracted through direct contact with polluted waters, such as wound infections, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and ear, nose and throat infections. "     The water where you fish is probably pretty clean, but unfortunately it's not where I fish. The Mississippi has more in it than just mud. That's another of the reasons I practice catch-and-release.   jj

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