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Questions about Underspins

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There was a thread a week or so ago about underspins & recommendations. One of the responses in that thread mentioned something about the importance of the gap or distance between the blade and swimbait. Being new to underspins this wasn't anything I had previously considered and I'm hoping to expand on a little. 

 

I was purchasing the BPS baitfish underspin jig last Summer into Fall and felt like I was catching a lot of smallmouths on them (paired up with Keitechs ranging 3.3 to 4.3). But after seeing that comment last week I've been rethinking and reconsidering what little I know about underspins. 

 

In the pic below I matched up a BPS Baitfish Underspin Jig with a VMC Underspin (the only other one I own). I can't say much about this particular comparison except that the BPS Underspin clearly does not have much of a gap. 

 

17f1w40.jpg

 

My questions are: 

1) Does the distance (or lack thereof) between blade and body have an impact on the action of the blade or swimbait?

2) What kind of gap is appropriate when one is trying to match up an underspin with a swimbait? Can there be too much gap?

3) Would the addition of a split ring (or two) between the jig head and the barrel swivel effectively add more of a gap? Or would the blade not spin correctly?

4) Are there any other key considerations or tips about underspin jigs I (or any other underspin amateur) may not be considering?  

 

 

I personally like those BPS Underspins for the very simple fact that the head of the jig is always a really good size match to the size of Keitechs I use. I ordered those VMC underspins online only to be completely disappointed by the size of the head; it's really huge and a total mismatch to the size of Keitechs I use (even a 4.8 Keitech looks silly on it). I don't even throw those VMCs. 

 

This is more a question about the properties of underspins not so much about particular companies - though feel free to mention brands as needed. 

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I make my own and it looks almost identical to the BPS version. I like the blade to be close to the body because it lets me fish it better. What has worked for me was reeling just fast enough that the blade was spinning and it was ticking the bottom every now and again. With the blade being close to the body it lets me know when I'm going too fast because the blade will hit the trailer and so far it has worked great. I got a couple to try before making my own, I found I didn't do really well in warm water but in water temps from 60 down to low 50s it is killer. The one issue I had was the Buckeye Lures Su-Spin had enough gap between the blade and the body that I had a tendency to fish it fast and I didn't get the strikes I was getting from the Swarming Hornet. So I decided to make my own and got a modified mold from a friend that was close to the original swarming hornet as the blade would ride close to the body at the perfect speed but if I go too fast it hits the body. I do so well that it has become my best fall lure and does well at certain times during the spring as well. The larger gap will give you more retrieve options since you will be able to fish it fast or slow but I had a tendency to go too fast so making it so I can only go so fast was perfect for me.

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In my experience when reeling in the bait, the jig head won't be parallel with the path of travel.  The tail of the bait will end up above the head of the jig, giving a bit of a nose down attitude.  This changes the relationship between the trailer and the blade compared to what you show in the pictures (opens the angle).  It makes contact between the trailer and the blade less likely.

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The BPS is a knock off of Sworming Hornet under spin except the original blade hanger swivel is about 1/4" longer or further away from the hook. The VMV is also a knock off of the Aaron Martens/ Blakemore Fish Head underspin that can accommodate swimbaits.

I would go with the VMC design or the originals.

Tom

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The underspins with the line tie 180 degrees from where the blade attaches seem to work the best. If you were catching smallies on it I'm sure you were fine. Just pay attention now and then to make the sure blade is spinning freely. From my experience when it is not the smallies wont bite.

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