The Case for Closed-Loop Spinnerbaits

If you stock spinnerbaits with only an open loop, then you’re missing sales, especially in northern pike country.

The Case for Closed-Loop Spinnerbaits

Most spinnerbaits sold in tackle shops feature an open loop (left), but there’s a time and place for closed-loop spinnerbaits (right). Northland Tackle Company, which is headquartered in northern Minnesota — the heart of northern pike country — offers closed-loop spinnerbaits for anglers who wish to use a snap or leader.

Spinnerbaits come is every size and color combination imaginable, and while they are predominately seen as bass lures, they can be equally effective on northern pike and muskies. In addition, very small spinnerbaits will catch panfish. 

Walk the aisles of most tackle shops to examine their bass spinnerbait selection and one thing you might notice (if you look carefully) is all or almost all the lures on display feature an open-loop line tie. An open loop allows the spinnerbait to tumble in the air during a cast without your fishing line becoming looped under the wire. The design makes sense and works well. So why would anyone wish to cast a closed-loop spinnerbait?

In areas where bass and pike location overlap, it makes sense to use a leader on a closed-loop spinnerbait to avoid bite-offs. The author’s son, above, caught this Minnesota pike on a closed-loop spinnerbait with a wire leader. The author and his son have success on bass with spinnerbaits even while using leaders (below).
In areas where bass and pike location overlap, it makes sense to use a leader on a closed-loop spinnerbait to avoid bite-offs. The author’s son, above, caught this Minnesota pike on a closed-loop spinnerbait with a wire leader. The author and his son have success on bass with spinnerbaits even while using leaders (below).

As stated earlier, species other than bass will strike spinnerbaits, and the one in particular that really devours them is northern pike. Unlike bass, northern pike are toothy critters that can cut your line faster than the sharpest scissors. For this reason, avid northern pike anglers typically add a wire leader (or heavy fluorocarbon one) to any lure to prevent bite-offs. Using a leader is literally a snap when attaching it to a closed-loop spinnerbait. However, snapping a leader to an open-loop spinnerbait doesn’t work well because the snap can slide along the wire and up to the blades during a cast, ruining the retrieve. Not good.

Using a snap or leader with an open-loop spinnerbait (left) doesn’t work well because it slides up the wire. A closed-loop spinnerbait (right) is ideal for snaps and leaders.
Using a snap or leader with an open-loop spinnerbait (left) doesn’t work well because it slides up the wire. A closed-loop spinnerbait (right) is ideal for snaps and leaders.
When tied directly, fishing line can become looped under the wire of a closed-loop spinnerbait during a cast, causing a weak point in the line (left). For this reason, a snap or leader should always be used with closed-loop spinnerbaits (right). A snap also allows an angler to quickly change lures without having to retie.
When tied directly, fishing line can become looped under the wire of a closed-loop spinnerbait during a cast, causing a weak point in the line (left). For this reason, a snap or leader should always be used with closed-loop spinnerbaits (right). A snap also allows an angler to quickly change lures without having to retie.

It’s true that massive spinnerbaits designed specifically for pike and muskies feature a closed-loop design because of the leader requirement. However, spinnerbaits built for bass work well on these toothy predators, so it makes sense to stock closed-loop spinnerbaits in a wide variety of sizes and color combinations.

Make sure your sales team understands the difference in spinnerbait design and then passes on this knowledge to beginning anglers who visit your store. Sales tip: Place a selection of 6- to 9-inch wire leaders on pegs next to your selection of closed-loop bass/pike spinnerbaits so customers are reminded to protect their spinnerbait purchase.

Even in those areas where pike aren’t common, using a snap only (not a leader) on a closed-loop spinnerbait makes sense for bass. If you want to experiment with spinnerbait sizes, colors or blade combos, then you can quickly change lures with a snap vs. having to retie each time. For this reason, place a section of snaps on pegs next to your closed-loop spinnerbaits.



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