Of all the different baits that bass fishermen use, spinnerbaits have to be among the toughest to keep organized. There are a variety of boxes and systems to choose from. All have pros and cons. Spinnerbaits have considerations that many other baits don’t have – those rubberbands they put on the skirts, for example. Heat and sun rot the bands in a heartbeat, so you end up with loose skirt strands all over the place. Also, just the way the spinnerbait is made makes it hard to store it. It has that ungainly length and that big bend, plus those blades waving around. However, fishermen are inventive, so here are five ways to organize spinnerbaits.
1. Possibly the coolest way is with an RMD Revolution Spinnerbait Rack. These racks are anodized aluminum t-bars with holes for hanging baits. The holes are fitted with rubber gaskets to keep the baits from slipping and rattling. This rack has to be bolted to the inside of your locker lid, so there is a definite cool factor when you pop that lid, and that rack full of baits rises into view. I talked to George, who makes these things, and he said he recommends one per lid. Each rack holds 16 baits, and at half an ounce or so for each bait, plus the rack itself, two racks can overpower the gas rods on your locker and won’t stay open. The racks are $40 each, and you can get them by contacting him through his Facebook page, RMD Revolution Spinner Baits.
The pros to the rack system are:
- The rack has a cool factor.
- The baits dry nicely, hang straight, and do not bend while hanging on the rack.
- It holds a lot of baits and makes it easy to find the one you want.
- If you live in a hot place as I do, you can’t leave your baits in the boat locker in the summer. They’ll melt. Seriously.
- You’ll have to bolt the rack on.
- It costs $40.
Some anglers make their racks using L-shaped aluminum bars, but those typically didn’t have gaskets on the holes, so there would be quite a bit of rattling and slipping. The RMD racks come in colors, and they are very professional looking, but the homemade version remains a possibility.
2. Flat boxes are another way to store spinnerbaits. These usually look just like your regular tackle boxes, but instead of plain dividers, they have notches cut into them so you can line up the spinnerbaits in the box. I’m not a huge fan. Here are the pros and cons. Pros:
- These boxes can hold a lot of baits.
- The boxes can fit in the same space as your other boxes, which is excellent for those boats with the slots for boxes.
- The spinnerbaits were able to move around way too much. There may as well not have been any dividers in them at all.
- The spinnerbaits lay on each other, making it a pain to take them out and even worse to put them away.
- It can be hard to see each spinnerbait because they overlap, making it hard to pick out the one you need quickly.
3. Another option for the plastic boxes are the very deep ones with notched racks that the spinnerbaits hang on – blades on one side, heads on the other. These are pretty cool as long as the heat doesn’t warp the top. Once the top doesn’t close snug onto the racks, those baits are free to bounce around and change places when running down the lake in rough water. Pros:
- They hold a lot of baits and keep them nice and tidy.
- Plano boxes have drainage so your baits can dry out without tangling and rusting.
- Third, if you put the baits in right, the hooks and the blades stay away from each other, so you have fewer tangles.
- It can be hard to see and tell which blades are attached to which bait.
- The boxes are odd, so they don’t line up with the rest of your boxes.
- Once the lid warps, any bump will send your baits out of the box.
4. Soft bait binders are yet another way to organize and store spinnerbaits. This is the way I currently store my blade baits, including buzzbaits. Mine is an old Shimano bag I got at a tackle shop that went out of business decades ago. It’s still in good shape, though. One of the reasons I like it is that I can grab it out of the boat after every trip and toss it in the cooler to be stored in the house until the next time.
Summers here are hot enough to melt the skirts and fry the rubberbands on spinnerbaits, so we never leave them in the boat. The bag is easy to grab. Although this is my current system, I’m willing to admit that it has its disadvantages. Pros:
- You can store baits of the same color in the same bag or sort them by weight or blade type.
- You can see the baits as you flip the pages, making it easy to choose the one you want.
- You can store buzzbaits in the bags as well as spinnerbaits.
- First, the bags don’t allow for drainage. I’ve had many baits get rusty.
- The baits can get tangled together in the bag, with blades and skirts getting hung up together.
- Once you start getting a good collection of baits, the zipper will not close, and you’re faced with getting a second bag and trying to decide how to organize baits into two different bags.
5. A friend of mine uses zipper sandwich bags to store his spinnerbaits. He keeps them in a shoebox in his boat. He’s got the bags marked with blade type, weight, and color. He uses a separate bag for each spinnerbait. Pros:
- It’s cheap as heck.
- The baits don’t get tangled.
- First, it takes forever to find the right bait. It’s a box full of unorganized spinnerbaits in a big box.
- Second, the bags do not drain, which equals rust.
A combination of these systems would work better – like individual bags for each bait, which go into the bags in the binder system or the boxes. But again, you have that possible rust problem. If you never put a bait away wet, that would work. Another thing you need to remember when storing your baits is to remove any trailers you have on them. Sometimes skirts and plastic lures don’t play well together. I’ve had solidified puddles of worm and skirt in my spinnerbait box before. Not a pretty sight.
As a bonus system, Plano is coming out with the Z-Series Zipperless Wrap – it has pockets for baits and blades but no zipper – it just rolls up to store and rolls out when you need to choose bait. The beauty of this is that you can see them all simultaneously. If you’re like me, though, you’d need several of them – they each have just six pockets. Maybe one for each color or one for each size? Also, here’s a tip I came across on a forum: To keep spinnerbaits from tangling, pull back the blade and thread the hook point through the hole, catching the blade on the barb. This would work well in bags.
If you have a dynamite way to store and organize spinnerbaits, please let me know – I’d love to hear about it.