What is Spinning Fishing Technique? [Guide for Beginners]

What is Spinning Fishing

Spinning is one of the most widespread and popular fishing techniques around the world that can be done in both saltwater and freshwater.

Sinning is basically a technique where anglers use their spinning rods and reels to cast lures and then reel them back in order to attract fish with the lure movement. Spinnerbaits have sets of blades that rotate and produce vibrations, fluttering and flashing, and are frequently used in this technique, however, other lures like wobblers, spoons or soft baits can be used too.

Spinning is also suitable for beginners because not a lot of equipment is necessary, and you will learn how to cast, reel in, and handle your equipment. Many predatory species will gladly bite the attractive lure, if you know how to do it properly!

So, to know more about what is spinning fishing and what kind of equipment do you need, read the following chapters.



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What Type of Fishing is Considered as Spinning Technique?

This sport fishing technique can be described as a method where anglers cast their lure and start reeling back in. By doing so, lures you are using will move through water and imitate movement of injured baitfish, or attract fish with vibrations, reflections, and fluttering movement.

Speed of the retrieval is controlled by the angler, and both faster and slower presentations have their benefits. Faster ones are mostly used when fish are feeding aggressively, while slower presentations are excellent for less active fish.

This may seem simple, but there is a big difference between beginners and experienced anglers. With experience, you will know exactly how to make lure movement irresistible to fish. Just reeling in at a steady pace may not bring good results, and instead, anglers often twitch, slow down, or speed up the lure to seem more natural.

Spin fishing enables anglers to cover large areas of water quite fast. It order to successfully provoke a bite, you should work the lure along areas where hungry fish are lurking from. You should start along covers or similar places where fish are most likely to be.

What is Spinning Fishing - Technique

What Gear Do You Need for Spinning Fishing?

Great thing about spinning fishing for beginners is that you do not need a lot of equipment to start ...

A basic spinning rod, reel, line, a few lures and a net are more than enough. I`ll tell you a bit more details about these items a bit later on.

Spinning gear is actually quite affordable, and entry-level rods and reels under 100$, or even fishing combos, can be bought for a very low price.

The best thing about spin fishing is that spinning reels are used and those are much easier to handle than baitcasters.

When choosing proper lures (and those are available in any tackle store) think about the fish you are trying to catch and about your rod and reel, to choose a proper size and weight.

Spinning equipment is actually very versatile, and can be used with jigs too, or even with various baits, although that is not considered to be spinning. Many anglers prefer light setups because when using it for spinning, you will be casting and reeling in all day long. It is important to have comfortable equipment.

I`ll give you more details about specific items in the following chapters ...

What is Spinning Fishing - Gear

What are The Best Spinning Fishing Lures? [Spinners]

Now when you know what is spinning fishing, you should know something about the lures too.


Spinnerbaits are known for their metal blades that revolve when lure is in motion (when you reel it in). This rotation makes a lot of vibration and flashes that attract fish. Besides blades, spinnerbaits have bodies that can resemble small baitfish, although not all are very realist-looking, and motion is what attract fish, not the appearance.

In line spinners have blades that revolve around the central axis. The biggest problem with these lures is line twisting, so swivels are used to minimize that problem.

Blade size and shape can vary a lot. Elongated blades require larger speeds to start spinning while circular and wider ones can be worked much slower.

Overhead arm spinnerbaits have a bit different design allow larger depth control, and although frequently presented below the surface, speeding up can make them stir up a surface. Short-arm options are better for more vertical presentation, while long arm ones are for horizontal.

What is Spinning Fishing - Spinnerbaits


Wobblers are also hard lures that imitate baitfish, although their shape can be a lot different. This term actually describes a variety of lures, and the most popular ones among these are crankbaits and jerkbaits. What they all have in common is a characteristic wobbling motion they make when retrieved. Their design determines the depth they will reach, and unlike spinners, they do not rotate upon retrieve.

Same as with any other lure, their shape, size and color should be choosen in accordance with the fish size, local baitfish, water clarity, time of year and other factor that influence fish willingness to attack your lure.

Most often these lures have treble hooks.

What is Spinning Fishing - Wobblers


Spoons have a very simple look, and they are basically a metal, elongated, and concaved lures. This design enables them to flutter and reflect light when retrieved through water.

Their shape and size determine their motion ...

Casting spoons are one of the most popular, and are used to cast them a retrieve with a certain pace. Topwaters are made to be used on the surface, and weedless have wire guards to prevent catching weeds.

Jigging and trolling options also exist, but the ones mentioned above are used for spin fishing.

What is Spinning Fishing - Spoons


All of the above were hard baits, which means that they are made from materials like metal or plastic.

Soft baits have their bodies made from rubber or silicone, and some of them look very realistic. Most often, soft baits imitate worms and small fish, but various options exist on the market, like frogs, crayfish, and similar creatures.

These soft baits wobble and move in a way that is similar to movement of real prey. All of these are quite lightweight and suitable even for lighter spinning setups. Same as with all of the above, angler has to feel and control the lure movement and should try to make it realistic. Additionally, these lures are suitable even for the slowest presentations, unlike spinnerbaits that have to be moved at a certain speed to rotate.

What is Spinning Fishing - Lures

What is The Best Fishing Rod for Spinning?

What fishing rod to choose depends on a few factors ...

For smaller fish, anglers often choose very light rods that go well with thin lines, small reels, and finesse lures. These are basically very light lures used for spinning that wouldn’t work with heavier setups. Of course, you can choose a heavier option too if you need to.

Spinning rods come in various lengths, and again, choose the one that fulfills your needs. Some of the most popular models on the market have options in about 5-7.5 ft range.

Power of the rod depends on a fish you are trying to catch, and heavier ones are for larger predators.

Shorter ultralights are excellent for smaller trout, and medium to medium heavy, about 6-7ft long are great for bass. Longer and heavier are frequently used for large salmon or saltwater fishing.

When it comes to fishing rod action, for spinnerbaits, avoid slow rods and go for faster ones. Longer rods have one advantage, and bass anglers often mention it. It is that a bit longer rod picks up more line on hooksets. However, if you are a beginner, that may not have a great influence on you. Also, length makes casting a bit easier and enables you to cast it longer, and saltwater anglers sometimes prefer longer options.

Among popular models of rods are:

  • Shimano Solora 2
  • St.Croix Mojo Inshore
  • Daiwa Exceller

All of these are available in at least 2 different lengths and powers.

What is The Best Fishing Reel for Spinning?

Reel size has to match the rod, and the fish specie you are tying to catch ...

Lighter and smaller sizes are excellent for smaller fish, while for larger predators, you will have to go for a bit bigger one. For example, size 1500-2500 is enough for smaller trout, while for pike you will need about 3500 size.

Smaller reels are made to be used with thinner lines and lighter baits, so make sure that you don’t use heavy reels with tiny lures.

When it comes to gear ratio, go for a medium one. It is versatile, suitable for the lures mentioned in the previous chapters, and getting slow or fast option will not bring you as much success as using the medium one. Go for something around 6.1:1.

Shimano Stradic FL, Sedona and Sahara are among popular models, with a suitable gear ratio, and available in various sizes, from 1000 to 4000 (or 5000 for Shimano).

If you are having troubles pairing rods and reels, think about getting a combo.

What is Spinning Fishing - Rod and Reel

What is The Best Fishing Line for Spinning?

Anglers can choose between mono and braided lines ...

Mono lines are less visible but stretchy and have wider diameter than braided, which are not stretchy but are visible. For leaders anglers often use fluorocarbon. Mono is a popular option for beginners because it is cheap and tying knots is much easier than with braided ones.

But, which one is better for spinning?

When you reel in lures like large spinnerbaits, they create a lot of resistance. So, stretchy lines should be avoided. But braided lines that are not stretchy are visible, so fluoro leader has to be used.

Mono is fine with lighter setups and lighter lures, but try to find less stretchy models. Luckily, there are dozens of options to choose from. Spoons don’t create as much resistance when retrieved so mono may be used.

Braided lines enable larger casting distance, so keep that in mind when choosing a line. They are suitable for weeds too because weeds make them less visible.

It all depends on your preference and experience. If you can’t tie a knot on a braided line or you have no idea how to connect it to a leader, nothing stops you to fish with mono. But keep in mind that you may have problems setting a hook, especially with larger spinnerbaits.

Some anglers even use fluorocarbon as the main line. They are various types on the market, even the hybrid ones, that can be described like something between mono and fluoro. However, I would not recommend that on small spinning reels as these lines are very thick, can fall of a spool, and cause various problems. Although in theory, low stretch and invisibility may seem like a good idea for lures like spinnerbaits.

What Fish Species Can you Catch With Spinning?

Knowing what is spinning fishing means nothing if you don’t know what fish to target.

Luckily, this technique is suitable for a variety of freshwater and saltwater predators, including:

  • trout
  • salmon
  • perch
  • bream
  • pike
  • catfish
  • walleye
  • bass
  • saltwater bass
  • redfish

Of course, not all of them react the same to frequently used lures for spinning fishing.

Trout reacts excellent on smaller spinners and spoons, bass loves spinners, and wobblers will make walleyes go crazy. Of course, all of this depends on your local water and fish behavior.

What is Spinning Fishing - Fish-Species

What is the Difference Between Spincasting and Baitcasting?

The main difference is that for baitcasting, anglers use casting rods and baitcasting reels.

These reels have free spools and are mounted on top of the rod, which has line guides along the upper side.

Baitcasting reels are not the best option for beginners because handling them requires experience. Spinning rods have line guides below the rod, and the reel is hanging from below.

Baitcasting is excellent for heavier lines and lures, while spinning works wonderful with lighter lures. Baitcasting reels are prone to backlashes and various problems if you are using too light lures.

Both options enable anglers to cast the lure and reel it in while the lure they are using makes certain motion, and both of these can actually be used with same lure types, like spinnerbaits. Larger ones should be chosen for baitcasting. For example, large swimbait for bass goes better with a baitcaster, but small spoon for trout goes excellent with light spinning setup.

What is Spinning Fishing - Vs Baitcasting

Other Best Spinning Fishing Tips!

Here are a few more general tips for successful spinning fishing:

TIP #1: Always have a variety of lures suitable for spinning in your tackle box. Even if something worked yesterday, that doesn’t mean it will work today, so you may have to change it on the spot. Have different sizes, colors, and shapes.

TIP #2: Although you can slower down or speed up the presentation, the thing is, biting a moving lure requires certain activity from the fish. Some fish species are much less active in winter, and using these lures and technique may not be the best option in winter months, especially if you are a beginner. Gain some experience in warmer months first.

TIP #3: Casting spinners over the weed and then reeling it back is not an easy task. You need it to be light enough not to catch the weeds but heavy enough to fly away over it. You will have to change a few until you find a perfect one for this.

TIP #4: Heavier lures are excellent if you are targeting fish that are deeper in the water, because they will sink deeper.

TIP #5:If using spinnerbaits in heavier flow, go for heavier ones, because light ones will be carried round a lot and influenced by the water more than you can control it.

TIP #6: Perfect time to spin fish for trout is after long rainfall when the water level rises and the water gets a bit less clear. This overly-cautions fish won’t be able to detect that something is out of order, and you have higher chances for success.

TIP #7: Observe the water, figure out where the predators would naturally ambush their prey, and present the lure along these places.

TIP #8: If you are not sure about proper depth, start higher up in the water column, and go deeper on your next retrieves. You may need to change lures for that.


Learning what is spinning fishing is not that hard, at least in theory, so if you are interested in it, you should head out to the water and start practicing.

Equipment is mostly basic, you can choose among hundreds of lures, and this is one of the best techniques to learn how to cast properly.

All the predators you can catch are hard fighters and the experience you are going to get will be priceless.

And check the local rules and regulations about hooks allowed, because treble hooks that come with many lures for spinning are not always allowed!

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us


I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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