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Inline Blade Thickness

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Fished a river the other day. Had the most success by far using a #4 Mepps dressed Aglia. Combo: baitcast, 6' medium/fast, #15 braid with a 12" x #8 fluoro leader joined with a small swivel. Retrieved sweeping the current. After losing a couple #4's (if you're not losing some you're likely not fishing them right). I want to make my own if possible.

Researched a bit. Most french blades are .025" vs .032'? I would assume most online suppliers are selling the .025". I did find a site selling .032". Mepps using .032" on their #3 gold blade. Trout/salmon fisherman swear by the thicker blades especially in the #0 and #1 sizes. Better throb, stay down in faster water and rotate easier in slow water.

Talking bass, so #2 (1/8oz), #3 (1/6oz) and #4 (1/3oz) french blade inline spinners, have you tried the thicker blades? Measured a Mepps #3 blade, .032". Pictured is a repurposed #2 with a tied craft fur treble.

Bunch of questions:

What thickness of blade are you using? Dressed treble or not? Best dressing material? What about craft fur smalljaw? Pear shaped clevis or common stirrup? .030" shaft for #3 and larger? Silver or gold blade?

On a popular bass forum the guys seem to favor silver and undressed. Many reasons; cost, effectiveness and dressed treble prone to treble rust since they don't dry out very well. Welcome any comments. Thanks.

#2 Mepps.jpg

Edited by Tuna
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when you say inline this is what I think of....

Inline Spinner Blades Brass Finish Lacquer Coated Sizes 1 - 6 - Barlow's Tackle (barlowstackle.com)

blade thickness to me does not matter as much as target weight of the total spinner, I think that once you really get into building spinners instead of buying them, you will find blade size to weight is very important. it allows you to fish it the way you need to..... mass produced ones have a tendency to be just around what you need not dead on.

My .02

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I agree with Azsouth in looking at the total weight of the spinner compared to the blade size. I have a couple of size 4 and 5 French blade spinners with bodies that weigh over an ounce for fishing deeper water in reservoirs. These spinners would be useless in a stream and most rivers.

I prefer the standard thickness blades. I want the blades spin as easily as possible. I find the thick blades can be tough to get start spinning. The thick ones can spin lazily and look unnatural. I use the LPO regal finish blades and painted blades. I mostly use French blades as they seem to spin the easiest on an inline spinner and start immediately. I have a few with swing blades and a couple of with Colorado blades. I only use the .040 thick blades on big bucktails for musky/pike, just for durability. I have not tried any .032 thick blades. Those might not have the lazy spinning of .040 blades. The LPO blades are .025" thick which I am happy with. 

I like the common stirrup clevis. Just personal preference. 

.030" shafts are fine for size 3 blades. For size 4 blades, I use .035. For size 5 and 6, I use .040" shafts. For bigger spinners and bucktails, I go to .051" shafts. I tend to favor the thicker wire shafts as I frequently fish waters with bass and pike. 

For dressings/trailer, I have used just about everything from undressed, colored tube on the shank, flies and streamers put on a split ring, feathers, squirrel tail, craft fur, flashabou, bucktail, silicone skirt strands passed through the hook eye and held on with a small piece of shrink tube, grubs/ menace grubs/ thin bodied craws on straight shank hooks, and paddletail swimbaits on swimbait hooks with a corkscrew. They all have their time and place depending on the conditions.

On bluebird sky, clear water, calm no wind days, silver blade undressed hook may be the way to go. 

Clouds, slightly stained water, ripples on the surface, gold blade or copper blade with a subdued to moderate dressing.  

For rainbows and browns, I usually go with a undressed hook, a fly, or just a few silicone strands trimmed short for dressing. Typically, just 4-6 black strands to resemble a fly or bug.

Heavy chop, chocolate milk water, low light,  painted blades with a larger type hook dressing,  grub or paddle tail swimbait.

The better the chance the fish can get a real good look at the spinner the more I like a subdued presentation.  I keep switching up until I find the right combo.

I mostly use black nickel hooks. I think they look better in addition to lasting longer.

Using any bait such as a inline spinner with a dressing, spinnerbait, buzzbait, jig, or anything that can trap water, the key is to let it dry before putting it away. I always try to carry an empty hydroflow plano 3505 box to hold baits like those while fishing. I keep an empty one in my boat. It's like a hanging dry rack. Never put wet baits back with dry gear until the baits are fully dry. Once I get back from fishing, I can dry them with a paper towel and lay them out to dry completely somewhere. I usually remove any soft plastic trailers (grubs, chunks, swimbaits) before putting the baits away. The salt in trailers can corrode hooks.

 If you have an unused plano box or want a smaller hanging  dry box, just take your unused box or buy a cheap 3504 box and drill a bunch of holes in it. Remove any gear from the box before drilling. I only say this because an idiot friend of mine drilled the holes in his Plano box without removing the gear inside and ruined a crankbait he liked.

Some more info in a past post: 





Edited by JD_mudbug
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Azsouth, have you determined a weight ratio blade : weight?

JD_mudbug, thanks for the info. Appreciate the information in your reply. Have you made any double inline spinners, using size 2, 3 or 4 french blades with enough drag to be a near surface lure? What about hook size for spinner weight balancing? Making all the size 2 and 3 with .032 because I have a bunch of these shafts on hand. Plan to make #4's and doubles with .039 shafts.

I'm also experimenting with incorporating a buzzbait rivet pinched to shaft and riding against the clevis to cause a sweak vs. a bearing.

Agree Mark with the use of BN trebles but like the looks of bronze and have a bunch left over from crank making.

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You can have a range of overall weight to blade spinners and still have the spinner perform. The weight range will give you the ability to have spinners that run higher or lower in the water column. I have some size 4 blade spinners with 1/4 to 3/4 oz weights. I sometimes troll spinners and spinnerbaits. I use the different body weights and blade sizes to get the bait to the depth I want.

Generally, it looks like I use size 6 trebles on size 2 blade spinner. On size 3 and 4 blade spinners, I use a 4 treble. On a few size 3 blade spinners, I have a size 6 treble (mostly for trout). On some size 4 spinners, I upsize to a size 2 or short shank 2 treble on colors like red white and fire tiger that are just as likely to get a pike as well as bass. On size 5 spinners, I use a number 2 treble. You can downsize the hook for stream fishing. You can upsize when snags won’t be an issue and when big fish are possible.

The chart from Jann’s  can be useful. I wouldn’t just go with the standard spinner setups. Experimenting is the key to finding the most successful spinner.


Just wait until you start using Siwash hooks or weighted swimbait hooks. That throws a lot more variables into the mix.

I have made and purchased some double 4 and 5 French blade spinners. I have not any more luck with those compared to a single blade.  The double blades do run shallower. You can get them to run just below the surface with the rod tip up. On a double bladed spinner, I like using 2 clevises that are overlapped as opposed to the one piece S shaped clevis. I like the look of the 2 overlapped clevises in the water. I catch more fish on the 2 clevis setup, but it could just be a confidence thing that causes me to fish those more.

I have not built a ‘staggered’ double blade spinner yet, 2 different types of blades or different sizes of blades (ex. a size 4 French with a size 5 French, or a Indiana with a French blade). The staggered blades setup has become popular for muskies. I wonder if a downsized version will work for bass.

If you have a stockpile of bronze, you can use those for undressed, tubing, and silicone strand dressed hooks. Use the bronze for the dressed hooks that will dry the quickest. Use the black nickel of the fur dressed hooks.

I do have a spinner with a rivet. It don’t know if it squeaks.  I never thought about the squeak.  I was short on beads and used a rivet. I can’t hear it as it is under water. It doesn’t seem to be any more or less effective.

In addition to properly drying spinners, I like to keep mine in a ze-rust or rustrictor plano type box. You can also buy the anti-rust tabs to put in any box. They do seem to help.

Edited by JD_mudbug
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