Understanding the Different Spinnerbaits & Blades

If all the different customizable that exist within the world of spinnerbaits give you anxiety, you’re not alone. Between size, color, blade size, blade type, blade color, trailer, and more, there’s a lot that goes into selecting the perfect spinnerbait. Today, we’re just talking about blades, but hopefully we can help get started in understanding how to pick the right type and color of blade. Let’s dive in. 

Quick Recommendation: Best All-Around Spinnerbait

Strike King Premier Pro-Model,Blue Glimmer Shad, 3/8oz
  • Premier Vibra-Max wire
  • Ball bearing swivel
  • Painted Diamond Dust head
  • Reflective eyes

Importance of water clarity

Spinnerbaits, because of their rotating blades, are some of the most efficient baits on the market at moving water. The significance of this relates to how a bass hunts, particularly in water with poor clarity. While the bass prefers to hunt with its eyes, the lateral line on the side of fish is actually an organ that helps it detect vibrations, which is put to use when poor water quality prevents effective sight feeding. Because of this, the spinnerbait is particularly effective in dirtier water. 

By no means does the water have to be muddy for a spinnerbait to work, but it really shines when the water has some turbidity to it. How much will help you decide on what color spinnerbait, what color blade, and what type of blade. 

Types of blades


A willowleaf blade is the longest and skinniest spinner blade, and it puts off the least amount of vibration of any of the options. For this reason, the willowleaf is at its best when the water has some clarity to it. A silver willowleaf will shine and flash real well, and despite the spinnerbait’s history as a muddy water bait, a double willow spinnerbait can be a killer in relatively clear water. 


The Colorado blade is the opposite of the willowleaf, featuring a big wide teardrop shape. The goal with the Colorado is to put off as much vibration as possible. The large thumping blade moves a ton of water, making it a great option when the water clarity gets real bad. A single big Colorado blade is actually a popular pick for the muddiest of water, and Jason Christie nearly won the 2016 Bassmaster classic on Grand Lake with such an approach after spring rains killed the visibility in the lake. 


An Indiana blade exists in the middle ground of a Colorado and a willowleaf. It won’t move as much water as a Colorado blade and won’t cause the bait to rise like it, but still puts out more vibration than its willowleaf cousin. 



While a spinnerbait is known for being a muddy water weapon, a silver double willowleaf spinnerbait can shine in some relatively clear water. 


Most anglers opt for a gold blade in dingier water. The silver reflects light better in your sunny, clear water, but the gold blade will provide a little more visibility for the bait when there is less light penetration. 


In really muddy water, colored blades begin to shine. Light penetration is so low that shine and reflection matter less when the water gets the color of chocolate milk. Bright colored blades, such as white, chartreuse, or even orange, provide the greatest amount of visibility to the bait. 

Experimenting is the only way to learn

If you’re new to spinnerbaits, this is a good place to start, but the rules are not hard and fast. Like anything in fishing, the only way to learn is to do it. Experiment, try different combinations of blades and colors, and see what works.

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