Last time we talked about blade baits. This week we’ll talk about a forgotten lure — the tailspinner. Do you remember the Little George from back in the 70s? Well, that style of lure will still catch ‘em in the winter. The difference is that we now have a modernized version made by Molix. It’s called the Trago Spin Tail.
There are three things that make this lure the best, in my opinion. The first is that, like the Trago Vib Blade Bait, it has a flat head. This gives it stability on the fall or retrieve and makes it run true but it also gives it an enticing wobble that makes it look real.
The second feature that makes it great is that it has an integrated hook keeper built right into the belly. This lets the hook move around but it keeps the line from wrapping around the hook and it keeps junk and debris from fouling its movement. A three prong treble hook is standard. If I’m fishing relatively open water, I leave it that way. But, if I’m getting snagged a lot, I clip off the forward facing prong.
The last thing I like about the Trago Spin Tail is the way the spinner is attached. The old models of this bait were a mess. They had a wire shaft and a cheap swivel on the back. The spinner didn’t spin right a lot of the time and everything in the water got tangled up in it. Things are different on the Molix model.
The wire is integrated. It’s molded right into the body of the lure and it’s recessed. This keeps the metal away from junk in the water. And, most important of all, there’s a really high-quality ballbearing swivel on it. It spins with just the slightest movement.
Besides those things the Molix Trago Spin Tail body comes in several weights, looks real and is available in a whole bunch of different colors. I pick my weight according to how deep I’m fishing and I have a simple way to choose my colors. I either go with something that looks like the local baitfish or I go with something that looks like a crawfish. I’ve said it a thousand times: Match the hatch and you’ll never go wrong.
As far as my tackle is concerned, I use exactly the same rods and reels that I described two weeks ago when we talked about blade baits. Reread that one and you’ll be good to go. I select my line based on the same factors I discussed back then, too. There’s no difference in any of this.
I do, however, fish my Spin Tail a little different because it’s a little different type of lure.
The thing to keep in mind about this bait is that the spinner is a Colorado style with a deep cup. That gives it a heavier vibration along with a lot of flash. That’s true for the lift and pull as well as for the fall. We need to keep that in mind when we decide how we’re going to fish it.
My number one way to fish it is with a slow roll. Basically all I do is fish it like I would a spinnerbait. I make long casts, let the bait fall to where the fish are holding and then reel it back with a slow crank of my reel handle. I do, however, pause for just a second or two every 10 or 12 cranks.
The beauty of this retrieve is that because this bait is small when they grab it they get it all. It’s almost a natural hookset. You don’t have to do much. They do most of the work for you.
My second retrieve I call the helicopter. It’s a hybrid between the stroke and the painting that I described last time. What I do is make a long cast — well past my target — and let my Spin Tail fall all the way to the bottom. I then bring it up between 3 o’clock and 12 o’clock but I reel as I lift the bait. That’s critical because it makes the blade turn a little stronger than it normally would — more flash, more thump.
Then, when I’m at 12 o’clock I let the bait fall down on a semi-slack line. And, I kind of bow towards the lure as it’s falling. The juice here is that the blade will helicopter on the way down. But, the way the blade is designed makes the bait fall slower than it otherwise would. That makes it super effective when the water’s real cold like it is now.
Some of your bites will come on the lift and some on the fall. But, like with the slow roll, when they bite it they will do most of the hookset work for you.
Tailspinners are super good lures in the winter that have been largely forgotten about in modern times. That’s a shame because they caught bass back then, and they’ll catch them now. Give them a try this winter and see if you don’t agree with me.
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