The Best Modification for Small Spinnerbaits

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Bassmaster Elite pro Russ Lane keeps a good assortment of spinnerbaits handy, but sometimes all his variations of blade size, shape and color can still come up short. In many cases, modifying a small spinnerbait to fish for bass deeper gives him the perfect bait. 

With this simple adjustment, Lane can modify his spinnerbait for a heavier overall weight without sacrificing the appealing profile. For many of his spinnerbait applications, one of Lane’s go-to options is a 1/2-ounce Buckeye spinnerbait.

“Sometimes, I want this exact same profile spinnerbait to run a little deeper, cast a little farther, or fish a little faster,” he said. 

Lane accomplishes this by adding a lead sinker to the shaft of his spinnerbait hook, much like a keel-weighted swimbait hook. Cigar shaped rubber core sinkers (with the core removed) work fine, as do tab style sinkers. With either, Lane crimps the weight onto the hook shank for a streamlined profile that won’t mar the bait’s appearance.

“I’ll add a 1/4-ounce weight and turn my spinnerbait 1/2-ounce bait into a 3/4-ounce bait. They offer rubber core sinkers up to 1/2-ounce which give me the opportunity to make a little bitty 1/4-ounce spinnerbait reach deeper depths or burn better on the surface,” Lane said. “With this simple mod I can have a small selection of spinnerbaits in my box, and then just modify as the conditions dictate instead of having to carry lots of different expensive baits.”

Burning a spinnerbait is a classic presentation and one of Lane’s favorite applications for his heavier model is a shallow flat where he’ll target feeding smallmouth with the peppy retrieve. Being able to zip his bait through modest depths without worrying about the blades breaking the surface enables him to create a look that tempts the brown beasts.

Later in the year, when winter calls for a slower presentation in deeper water, Lane again finds the modified spinnerbait advantageous. Here, he’s looking at slow-rolling that bait deeper than everyone else is fishing while keeping a small profile which is often key in the winter. Here again, the crimped-on sinker on a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait makes all presentations possible.