Types of Wire Baits

Most wire baits fall into one of five categories:

  • in-line spinners
  • in-line buzzbaits
  • buzzbaits
  • spinnerbaits
  • chainbaits.

Describing each category has become more and more difficult in recent years, as new entrepreneurs invent and release radically different versions of each of these. Nevertheless, we will attempt to provide an accurate description of them. We encourage you to view our member designed tackle for pictures of the different variations that are available.

Chainbaits (a.k.a. “beadbaits”)
Chainbaits are composed primarily of…you guessed it…chain! They typically have a small wire line connector attached to a ball or bead chain. The chain is then dressed with spinner blades, fur, feathers, or synthetic skirts. The action of these lures is primarily determined by the weight and size of the tail dressing. Good chainbaits will have a wide heavy tail that will move erratically when the lure is retrieved. The blade at the front of the lure generated additional vibrations and pushes water past the chains causing them to sway in the water. We have caught virtually every type of fish imaginable on these little critters. Note: All chainbaits should be made out of stainless steel ball chain. Other metals will rust, and plastic chains will break when a fish is hooked.

Spinnerbaits (a.k.a. “weight-below spinners”)
Spinnerbaits are the most popular type of wire bait. They consist of body arm with a hook and head, and one or more blade arms. The blade arm typically rides above the body arm and extends past the tip of the hook to avoid tangling the hook and blade during the presentation. This long arm also serves to protect the hook from underwater weeds and obstacles, making it semi-weedless. Spinnerbaits can be fished vertically, bumped along the bottom, ripped across the surface or crawled around heavy cover. They are excellent all-season lures.

In-Line Spinners (a.k.a. “spinner”)
In-line spinner have a rotating blade attached to a single straight wire shaft. The shaft usually contains a body of some sort (metal, beads, molded, …) and the hook is occasional dressed with fur, features or plastic tubing. The lure is typically retrieved quickly through the water to produce blade rotation around the shaft. The size and design of the blade will determine how deep the lure runs and should be carefully matched to the species of fish being sought and the type of water body being fished.

Buzzbaits (a.k.a. “buzzer”, “weight-below buzzbaits”)
Buzzbaits are characterized by their rigid “U” shaped wire bend. The long arm of the bend holds a lead head and skirt. The shorter arm rides above the long arm and holds one or more propeller blade that churn the water during a retrieve. The lure is fished only on the surface and is designed to mimic the sounds of frenzied baitfish. The sounds the lure produces can be altered by changing the blade material, number of blades, or rotational direction of the blades. Buzzbaits are most effective in warmer climates during daylight hours and are frequently used to cover large water areas and locate feeding fish.

In-Line Buzzbaits (a.k.a. “in-line buzzer”)
In-line buzzbaits were designed to reach areas where normal buzzbaits cannot go such as very shallow water and heavily weeded areas. The sleek design of the in-line buzzer consists of a propeller blade, a lead head, and a skirt all connected to the same straight wire shaft. The hook is hidden inside the skirt, but can still cause problems by snagging on virtually every obstacle it encounters.