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Bruce County Brook Trout

Tips on making small luers for trout, in rivers and creeks

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Hello everyone,

 I've been trying to make lures to target brook trout in rivers and creeks for a little over a year. I started with a dime, drilled it, bent up some wire, made the clevis out of wire, it was a homemade in-line spinner. It didn't work, it didn't spin. Since then I have learned a couple things about crafting small wire lures by making them, and testing. I've looked everywhere on the web for info, and tried to read it all. I'd like to share a little here, get some help/feed back, and hopefully help out a bunch of other people who are just starting out. A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this website over the years. I've spent many hours here reading in different forums, it's been great, Thank You, and the great people paying the bills and hosting this service.




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My favorite lure for Brook trout in small rivers and creeks is a tiny Panther Martin. Part of a series, my guess is that it's 2g or 1/16oz. The wire diameter is about .5mm or .0196". It has a  in-line Sonic blade that spins great. I've found some on the internet to purchase but none are exactly the same. It has a tiny hole and all the ones I buy, the holes are larger, and it seems to make the starting speed to get spinning, higher.

To throw small spoons and spinners I use a ultralight rod, lure weight 1g-7g, with a 2000 series reel. I put 10# braid with a double uni-knot to 10'-12' or 3m of 4# monofilament with a plastic bead and small snap swivel on the end.

I purchase stainless steel orthodontic wire in small coils from the internet to make my wire baits. I mostly work in sizes .5mm - .8mm or .0196" - .031". I cut it in small pieces and straighten it out by eye with my fingers. I bend the wire using jewelry pilers I bought online. I have one pair that has a rounded side and a cupped side. Originally the cupped side is machined with a hard edge, I took a file to it so that it doesn't pinch and score my wire when bending. I have a pair of cheap plastic safety glasses with bifocals built in, they really help.





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The first 4 on the left in the first photo are mine. I was able to order two sizes of Sonic blades, in silver and gold. You can see the next 2 are Panther Martins, and their blade is smaller. Mine spin very well, they start right away with little effort. I have a small light weight gold colour 2mm metal bead behind the blade then a plastic facceted gold bead and another 2mm gold bead. Together the beads weight next to nothing and it's the same for both of the sizes I have. No matter the light weight on these inline spinners they seem to want to spin. For the larger blades I used .7mm wire and .5mm for the small blades. I add a 3mm split ring then a EWG hook that I add soft plastics to. With the soft plastics on it or not they still spin nice, though the soft bait does help to slow them down with drag. I don't add a bead above the blade but I have. If the wire end's barrel warp is sharp and hooks the hole on the Sonic blade then the top bead will help. I also see that a 2mm bead on top of the Sonic blade fits into the dimple that is there and maybe it will help push out the blade away from the shaft when spinning creating more vibration.

I have made some spinners with these Sonic blades that did not spin. I had 3.5g lead tear drop shaped weights on the shaft and the shape of the tear drop just sat in the curve of the Sonic blade and they rode together through the water, the lead riding in a blade boat. The blades of any spinners definitely seem to need to be sitting open and free of the lures body so that water can easy move around the blade and up and under it to give it the lift and a easy first start. Possibly 3.5g is to much weight for these blades to, they seem to like a light weight spinner body.

The last two are Warden's rooster tails. Their blades are on a clevis and spin very nice. The blade is a thin, rounded, willow type, and I have a hard time finding something similar.

There are two main types of inline spinners, those with Sonic blades and the traditional clevises and blades. There's folded clevis and stir-up style clevis, I have both, and maybe the stir-up style is better. The diameter of the hole the wire passes throught seems smaller by design on a stir-up style clevis. I want the wire and the hole in the clevis to no have a lot of play between them. The extra room seems to allow the clevis to tilt on the wire shaft. The tilting clevis doesn't seem to spin well. The best fitting wire for the majority of stir-up clevises that I have found is .8mm or .0314" wire. With 8mm wire for this type of inline clevis there is not a lot of wiggle on the shaft.

I added a picture I found once of a different type of clevis that was supposed to help with early slow start spinning. The Clevis has a angle to it, I've never seen them for sale, but I could probably modify one that I have to match it.

Also added here is a picture of a type of spinner with it's attachment point bent in a way that is supposed to prevent the whole lure from spinning, and causing line twist. I haven't bent one up like this yet.





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Welcome to the site.

I makes spinners with a total weight from 1/4 oz trout spinners to 3 oz bucktails  (14g to 85g).   I mostly use French blades. They are easy to get to spin. I prefer the stirrup clevis. I can't help much on those small spinners.

The Roostertail blade is called a 'swing' blade.  Worth makes them if you are looking for bulk.  Barlows carries them in smaller quantities. You should be able to find them in a variety of finishes (painted, hammered, rippled, scaled, smooth) on eBay and elsewhere if you search for swing blades or swiss swing blades. 




The angled clevis looks interesting. I have tried the plastic quick change clevis that are angled but they broke rather easily on the size spinners I make. I don't use the plastic ones anymore. 

I like that 2-tone gold-silver French blade. 

The spinner at the bottom is the Shyster (or a knockoff) made by Luhr-Jensen (now owned by Rapala). I mentioned in another post. It does help reduce line twist.


I have become a fan of using soft plastics with an inline. I use weighted swimbait hooks with a corkscrew. On those small baits, you would probably have to use lead wire wrapped around the hook. The weight on the hook acts a keel and reduces twist. It reminds of when I was a kid fishing with a Mepps comet minnow.

Some of my smaller spinners have flies or streamers for the hook. I look for flies with a big hook eye that will take a small split ring. I also take the parts off  Joe's spinner flies and put them on a new shaft with beads and a body for casting distance. I found some of those on clearance at Walmart.

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Thank you for your reply.

Yes your right. The french blade is the way to go, it's the best spinning blade, on a clevis, on a inline spinner.

Thanks for the links. Those blades in your link to Barlows look like a exact match to the rooster tails, and around $7 USD for 50 blades is a good price.

Thanks for the link to the other thread there about blade thickness and it's effect on the slow thumping of a french blade spinning, and much more. You're very informative, I probably saw you mention that shyster lure here in the past. I've read a lot of great stuff here and I hope no one minds me repeating some of if. I read through the wire baits comments and saved a few I found interesting. I would like to post them all but it would be a lot. There's the bassdozer article about blades that everyone's probably seen.  http://www.bassdozer.com/articles/spinnerbait-blades.shtml

Here's a photo of the different blades I've bought.IMG_20210515_101705-1.thumb.jpg.6d59908bded5475233c5f871cc2a36c7.jpg



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You’re welcome.  I don’t mind if info gets repeated.  If someone is new to the site, it might be the first time they see it.  Sometimes,  I can’t find a post with either the search  on the main screen or the one under the ‘Activity’ tab.  The people on this site have been great in helping find the info.  As I read more and more of the posts going back years, I frequently can guess who made the post I am looking for and can find it under their user name. Some of the posters are incredibly knowledgeable on certain lure making topics. Before I found about this site, the only way I learned was through failed lures. This site has dramatically increased my successful lure rate.

The Bassdover article is a good one.  I have not tried whiptail blades yet.  I want to see those on an inline and a spinnerbait.  I like the royal blades on a spinnerbait. 

Dieter has some interesting spinner designs. On some spinners,  he uses a weight that looks like an inverted keel weight in front of the blade in an Eerie Dearie set up. You can see the weight at 3:20 in his video. 



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hello again. JD_mudbug

I'm very lucky that you responded here and to maybe have a bit discussion with me.

What your saying about a few things. your comments on this topic 

 You say the french blade is the best blade on clevis spinner. Then you rate all the other blades in spin and thump on a clevis. You say that a spinner bait will out thump, and possibly out spin any clevis. Nice spinnerbait you made. I don't know a thing about pouring lead or painting spinner baits, and haven't gotten around to dressings up and jigs.

You mention the spin being somewhat tight on the swiveled french blade and possibly the turbulence from the first blade on the clevis was helping do that. Yes possibly, because when I try a french blade by itself on a SB the same blade spins on a wider arch without the french blade infront of it causing turbulence. For me a single french blade on a swivel seems to spin and slightly wobble more. More off center thumping feeling when by its self. But I found out, like you did, that double french blade spinner baits are great!

The Sonic blades for me are better then any blade/clevis. The rotation around the shaft is also more like the SB blade/swivel rotation. Have you tried a large Sonic blade for pike lures?sp

I have 4 different french blades, two silver two brass. The largest brass one I have thumps best on a SB, maybe it's a #2. The next largest blade I have is almost as long but not as wide. This has me believing that the width to lenght ratio between different styles of french blades is going to be a major factor in how they thump underwater. Would a round french blade be the best thumping blade of all time? Maybe.

Here is a photo with 3 of my small double french SB in it. My photo includes some other blades I've tried to spin on that snap swivel SB in the top left.

The double blades together on a split ring do not work for me. I have seen a Filipino man on a Youtube video modify a top water frog with a rear spin blade, buy doubling them up, bending and curving the lower one a bit. He was able to get a very nice ringing, very quick pocket change like sound. It doesn't work underwater. I don't have frogs.

In my photo is also another SB with a snap swivel and a clear plastic earring keeper that I can slide on and off the wire. With two I can add/subtract weight and move it up and down on the lower wire. These earring keepers are good for me and 100 or more for a $1 at the dollar store.

I tried adding tiny blades to larger blades to get more flash or thump it didn't work at all for me. Moving them around the blade or different types, no good. Any interference for a blade or imbalance and no good.

The colorado blade SB down the right side of my photo thumps so well for me. I used that blade on a few different diameters of wire there and a long arm short arm. They all spin great, I guess it's really about where the hooks going to end up in relation to the fish and any interference for the blade. Here's a link for anyone the blades they're cheap and take 60 day to arrive.


Now I think I'm moving away from Brook trout in my lure building. Are they going to want a thumping mini SB? maybe because there's the beetle spin? Best all time thing for Brook trout is probably a worm some people will say a fly. It keeps me busy.

In the second photo, I found some tiny buzz blades and started experimenting, along with some crazy inline spinners. The orange one I was thinking wolly bugger, the green one grasshopper, and black and white is spider. I never put hooks on them but when I took the orange to the water to test I had very excited dragonfly chech it out immediately. The tiny buzz baits I can't figure out.

At the bottom I was trying out a fixed hook. I managed to get the wire through the eye hook and wrapped around the shaft very tightly. But there's no weight. I should have added a metal bead before wrapping the hook. Garbage now.



Edited by Bruce County Brook Trout
Forgot to mention something and I corrected a few errors
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I try to avoid pouring lead because of the health risks. I use LPO unpainted frames when I am not getting them from a local company. The LPO frames are good quality. The one in that pic is an LPO frame painted with nail polish in blue glitter on top of silver glitter polish. I clear coat them with either epoxy thinned with denatured alcohol or a few coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails clear nail polish. For hard baits made out of wood or PVC, I use the Bullet Weight lead coils for ballast. I just drill the ballast hole to the diameter size of the coil.

I don’t have any sonic blades big enough for pike. I bet they would work.  I have always had luck with the French blade. So, I mostly stick with those on inlines. The big thing for me is that the French blade starts immediately to spin on the retrieve. When you cast to a target like a log or weed edge, jerking the lure to get the blade spinning can take the lure out of the fish’s strike zone.  I hate wasted casts where I can’t get a blade to spin.

Yes, the length to width ratio of the blade will affect the thump. The amount of the depth in the cup of the blade will too. Most of my blades came from LPO. All my French blades in a given size have the same dimensions . The blades that I have found to have the most thump are flat Colorados like the one made by Hildebrandt. Hildebrandt Colorados have almost no cup. I have some nearly flat royals that are close to the flat Colorados in thump. I have not had much luck with the flat blades on inline spinners. They sit against the shaft and act like a sled. I have to pop them at the start of the retrieve to get them going. They work great on spinnerbaits.

I have not had luck with 2 blades on a split ring either, with one exception. On a pike spinnerbait, I have some with a tiny orange blade on top off the rear blade for a bright flash of color. For example, the front blade on the spinnerbait is a copper size 4 on the clevis, the rear blade is a gold 5 with a small fluorescent orange blade on top of it on the split ring on the swivel. I don’t really know if the small orange blade makes a difference.

Adding 2 small blades to a larger blade will hurt or stop the spin. Dardevle has 2 small blades on their Klicker spoons. Those spoons don't spin. They rock back and forth and the little blades make a clicking sound.

I have had luck with mini spinnerbaits on browns and rainbows. I pattern mine after the Super Rooster tail. They would work on most fish. I have used up-sized beetle spins on bass with success. I have used some with paddletail swimbaits on them.

For the mini buzz baits, you could try an inline design with the head on drop down bend like a Molix Super Squeaky buzz bait . You could also try one like Strike King’s Swinging Sugar buzz bait which can be made with a bullet weight. A couple of the buzz baits in the pic may not run right like the ones were the wire is bent up before the hook (diagonally above the wheat penny to the right and the one on the far right). They look like they would roll over. I would have the wire drop down the hook to have it act as a keel. After you make the line tie loop, bend the wire back to hook so it is parallel to the part of the wire going to the hook. Then bend the wire close to vertical after the loop, angled slightly back towards the hook. Then bend the wire at right angle to put the blade on. The LPO design in the link is a good one to copy. I usually start with a proven design and modify to fit whatever my needs are.



Edited by JD_mudbug
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Hello Bruce

I grew up on the west coast of BC where trout and salmon fishing are king. I think I was about 6 years old when I built my first in line spinners. I now reside is Alberta and don’t fish trout near as much and when I do it’s browns, bulls, and Lakers mostly. Usually targeting larger fish

I have never been big on fishing ultra light spinners. Personally feel people under estimate trout as a predator. One of the smallest spinners I use is a #15 panther Martin. I kinda go the opposite direction in the size department then you. But in the end whatever catches fish is the best choice for an angler 

Yes the big sonic blades work for pike. Panther Martin does sell some bigger dressed spinners geared to the pike market. They work for pike but I find they are on the small size. Deadly for big brown and bull trout though 

These days I don’t build many trout spinners and when I build in-line spinners they are usually for pike. Most  of the time I am playing with 9# blades with lots of dressing or big bodies 

I don’t have any made at this time but I did create an in-line spinner that was extremely effective on trout when I fished them more. I would basically tie an epoxy minnow fly on the wire and a couple brass beads combined with an Indiana blade. I used lead wrap inside the epoxy minnow body to reach desired weight 

It is a bit of a time consuming design and takes some fly tying skills but it works 

I have made a lot of effective in-line trout spinners in the past but my lure building has gone in a different direction for the most part

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21 hours ago, JD_mudbug said:

You’re welcome.  I don’t mind if info gets repeated.  If someone is new to the site, it might be the first time they see it.  Sometimes,  I can’t find a post with either the search  on the main screen or the one under the ‘Activity’ tab.  The people on this site have been great in helping find the info.  As I read more and more of the posts going back years, I frequently can guess who made the post I am looking for and can find it under their user name. Some of the posters are incredibly knowledgeable on certain lure making topics. Before I found about this site, the only way I learned was through failed lures. This site has dramatically increased my successful lure rate.

The Bassdover article is a good one.  I have not tried whiptail blades yet.  I want to see those on an inline and a spinnerbait.  I like the royal blades on a spinnerbait. 

Dieter has some interesting spinner designs. On some spinners,  he uses a weight that looks like an inverted keel weight in front of the blade in an Eerie Dearie set up. You can see the weight at 3:20 in his video. 



Have you heard from Dieter recently?  He used to be a regular here on TU, but not any more.


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Unfortunately, no. Dave spoke to him in November 2020.

My lure making is all over the map much like Dieter's is, from trout inline spinners all the way to hard musky baits. I miss his insights. He had quite a variety of builds. He has inspired me build lures I never thought of trying to build. I still comb through his old videos looking for ideas.

For anyone interested, here is a link to his videos on Youtube. If the link doesn't work, his channel name is 61diemai


Btw, I like your Speed Trap builds. The Speed Trap works well in the northeast on largies and smallies. The metallic perch color is deadly here. Luhr Jensen discontinued that color a while ago. I have a supply of them that I repaint but green gold chrome on the metallic perch is hard to duplicate.  The all black Speed Trap is also very effective.


I have spoken to Diemai over the last few days, just to say hello and ask about his TU absence.

Dieter admits that his enthusiasm for lure building has waned in recent years mostly due to family issues. He still experiments with fishing equipment in his workshop as the innovator that he is, but not so much on lures. European fishing is somewhat different than USA fishing, it is more about bait fishing than lures.

Dieter says ‘Hi to y’all’ and hopes, as I certainly do, that he will be back on TU sharing his knowledge and skills in the not too distant future.



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Thanks for the buzz bait tips, and design leads. I was trying anything with those in the photo. Your right, they'll need a major tune up. I had one spin opposite the other. It made a nice V wake. I read about a single going off to one side. Also smaller spinning opposite a slightly larger one behind it. Also something about benefiting from a stiffer wire. I got those tiny blades so cheap, so light weight I blow them around on a wire at couple 1000 rpm. When winter comes around and things are frozen again I'll hit the testing tub.

Photos attached of the two you mentioned. Strike King’s Swinging Sugar buzz bait and the Molix Super Squeaky buzz bait. I'm going to start up again like these.

Best thumping on a spinner bait = Hildebrandt style colorado (no cup)

on a inline spinner that same blade, not good, no spin. Best is a french blade. 

Maybe I'll carve out a shallow circle in some wood and shape some pop can french round blades.

I don't have experience with a lot of blades, but again my link above for those flat colorado blades is a good one.

The third photo is that super rooster tail you mentioned. Hybrid. Thanks again for info.

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download (1).jpeg

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Hillbilly voodoo thanks for your reply and advice.

Yes I'm targeting the smaller size trout. 100m from my house in a small river.  I'm going to work way up to the larger ones. This photo would be the average size Brook trout that I catch. Everyone I see here uses worms. I think the river is to overgrown for a fly rod, but I've ordered and received a tenkara rod, I bought some WalMart cheap flies to try, when the bugs start, and I can see the fish jumping, I'm hoping to catch the limit.


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