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JDM Spinners

For years I resisted carrying spinners on When I was younger, my go-to lure was a Mepps spinner. I caught lots of fish with it. I also got enough line twist that I had to respool frequently. When I started I concentrated on spoons, which are also extremely effective but do not cause line twist if you fish them correctly. If you get line twist when fishing a spoon you are retrieving it too fast. With a slow retrieve, it will wobble rather than spin. At worst, it will spin one way, wobble a bit, then spin the other way. The alternating directions cancel each other out.

All of the spinners I fished, whether Mepps or Panther Martins or Rooster Tails, caused line twist - enough so that I gave up on spinners. I actually gave up on spinners just about the same time I gave up on treble hooks.

When I got an Aldebaran BFS reel I wanted to see how light a lure I could cast. I took one of my old size 0 Mepps spinners and went fishing. Before long, I caught the fish shown above. It managed to get all three points of the treble hook firmly embedded. It was almost impossible to remove the treble hook and although I finally was able to releas the fish, I am not at all confident that it survived.

Nearly all US spinners come with treble hooks. If you look hard enough, you might find some single hook spinners, but only with ungainly, large-barbed Siwash hooks. The hooks are not attached with split rings, so it is hard to replace the factory hook with a single barbless or micro-barb hook.

Also, spinners are not very popular in Japan. In Areas (private pay-to-fish lakes), micro spoons are much more popular. In streams, sinking minnow lures are much more popular. Concentrating on how Japanese anglers fished, I just didn't import spinners.

Here in the US, though, spinners are popular. much more so than either spoons or minnow lures. Basically, people here want to fish spinners, particularly when fishing for trout in streams. What finally convinced me to import some JDM spinners was an email from an angler I respect, one who is very knowledgeable about JDM fishing gear, who told me of a couple Japanese spinners that do not cause line twist. It turns out they come with single  hooks, so I decided to give them a try. I am now a believer.

The spinners I've chosen to carry have a different design philosophy than the spinners that are readily available in the US. All of them come with a built-in swivel to reduce line twist. All of them attach the hook with a split ring, so it is easy to change or replace hooks. Three out of the four models come with a single hook (one comes with a barbless hook and two come with a micro barb hook. The fourth comes with a treble hook, but it is attached with a split ring so it is easy to replace it with a single hook.

They are more expensive than the spinners you can buy in a big box store, but they're better spinners.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.