- Spinners Are Winners

Special thanks to Mark Romanack for putting together this article on spinners!

Spinners Are Winners

           Here at Fishing 411 we carry a lot of different spinner rigs for catching walleye. The common walleye spinner or what a lot of anglers still refer to as crawler harnesses catch us a bunch of fish, but not all the harnesses we use are configured the same.

           To keep things in our boat ship shape and the right gear readily at hand, we organize our spinners into four different categories intended for completely different fishing presentations.


The foam leader boards produced by FishEng Products do a nice job of keeping walleye harnesses organized and ready for action. These Yakima HammerTime Walleye Harnesses have become the author’s favorite in recent years.



            The spinners we categorize as “open water” rigs are designed to be used on suspended walleye. Because these harnesses never get close to the bottom, we tie up our own custom rigs using components unique to targeting suspended open water fish.

            The leader itself is gin clear fluorocarbon and we favor a little heavier and longer leader than most anglers. Instead of the standard 10 pound test leaders most guys use, our spinner rigs are tied using 72 inches of 17 pound test that holds up well to the abuse of sharp walleye teeth and the more powerful open water fish we often catch.

            In our humble opinion, longer leaders separate the lure from the diver  better and helps us catch more fish when trolling in the often clear waters of the Great Lakes. Two hooks are snelled in place about three inches apart including a No. 6 Eagle Claw TK310 wide bend Trokar treble at the business end and a No. 2 Trokar TK400U Octopus hook to hold the nose of the nightcrawler.

            Next we thread on half a dozen No. 6 beads followed by a Quick Change plastic blade clevice. The plastic clevice allows us to change out blade colors and sizes quickly without having to cut the harness. Depending on the fishery and the mood of the fish, a No. 4, 5 or 6 Yakima HammerTime Colorado blade completes the rig.

            The heavier leader material and treble hook combine to make these spinners deadly effective for open water trolling using keel sinkers, Tadpole Divers, Guppy Weights, Jet Divers and Snap Weights.


            Bottom bouncing with a walleye spinner produces countless walleye and remains one of our “go to” methods for targeting walleye in the spring and summer months. While I don’t describe bottom bouncer fishing as finesse fishing, we do like to lighten up our gear a little when fishing walleye on the bottom or what many anglers simply refer to as structure.

            The harness we favor is the Yakima HammerTime Walleye Spinner. These spinners are factory tied using 60 inches of 15 pound test fluorocarbon leader material. The hooks are a pair of No. 2 Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Octopus hooks snelled about three inches apart. For fishing bottom structure I shorten the leader to about 40 inches to keep the spinner up off the bottom and my “go to” blade is the No. 4 Yakima HammerTime Colorado blade.

            The two most important aspects of the spinner rigs fished in combination with a bottom bouncer are leader length and blade size. If the leader is much longer than 40 inches the trailing harness will make contact with bottom and the hooks will foul on zebra mussels and other bottom debris.

            The No. 4 Colorado blade gets used primarily when fishing walleye on Great Lakes waters or the western impoundments where the average size fish can be three, four or even five pounds. For targeting in-land lake walleye, I favor a different approach.


            When targeting walleye in natural lakes, the bottom bouncer is hands down the work horse for structure fishing. Because the walleye found in natural lakes tend to be smaller on average and natural lakes are often plagued with aquatic weeds, the harnesses used fall into yet a different category.

            I like the pre-tied Yakima Bait Finesse Walleye Spinners. Tied on a 60 inch leader of 15 pound test fluorocarbon line and a pair of No. 4 Octopus hooks, I cut the leader down to about 40 inches.


Spinners are to walleye fishing what the “spinnerbait” is to bass angling. The Yakima HammerTime Walleye Harness is tied to the specifications of Fishing 411, making it one of the few factory tied harnesses that meet the needs of serious anglers.


            Finesse Walleye Spinners are available with either a No. 1 or No. 2 Colorado blade and I normally fish the No. 2 size. Finesse Walleye Spinners work very well in natural lakes where walleye get conditioned to feeding on smaller minnows.

            This two hook harness works nicely for fishing nightcrawlers or the back hook can be cut off when fishing leeches or minnows for bait.


            The Colorado blade and a nightcrawler are a combination that has produced countless walleye over the ages. There are however days when the blade doesn’t work as well as another iconic floating attractor known as the Yakima Spin-n-Glo. The Spin-n-Glo comes in hundreds of color options, plus white, black, glow in the dark, silver flash, chartreuse flash and pink flash wings.

            The No. 6 or No. 8 sizes are the most popular with walleye anglers who know that the Spin-n-Glo has great action and flash at slower speeds than can be fished with a traditional blade.

            Yakima produces pre-tied Spin-n-Glo walleye rigs, but I tie up my own rigs using 10 to 12 pound test fluorocarbon leaders about 60 inches long. When fishing in clear waters I like to leave the leader full length, but cut the leaders down to about 40 inches when fishing in stained water.

            For fishing the Spin-n-Glo with nightcrawlers I like a pair of No. 2 Octopus hooks. For using leeches as bait a single No. 4 Octopus hook is best. When targeting walleye on Spin-n-Glo rigs with minnows a No. 2 or No. 1 size hook is the perfect choice.


            To store all these walleye rigs, we find that the FishEng Products foam leader boards work perfectly. Three large 7-3/4 inch by 13-1/2 inch boards fit nicely in a standard 3700 deep open style utility box.


To organize the many spinner rigs the “Fishing 411” crew uses in the course of a year they find that the FishEng Products foam boards are the best option for keeping gear organized and easily accessible. These foam boards fit nicely into clear plastic utility boxes making it easy to spot the gear you need at a glance.


            To keep things even more organized, we mark on the outside of the box what kind and length of spinners it contains. That way I don’t have to take the time to unwrap a spinner to determine it’s length and best fishing application. When it comes to catching walleye during the spring and summer months, spinners are winners in our book.


How this fisherman is tackling a common problem.

Click the image to catch the video of Sabastian on King5 news. 

Click the image to catch the video of Sabastian on King5 news. 

Sabastian Chick is fisherman on a mission and he's not letting his age stop him from tackling a problem any avid fisherman runs into while out enjoying our lakes and rivers looking for that next fighter only to reel in someone else's trash that ended up in the water instead of the trash can where it belongs. Some will just ignore it and keep on fishing, others will go the extra mile and get it out of the water and into the trash, Sabastian decided to take it to the next level. 

Check out the video below courtesy of King5 news featuring Sabastian and how he has not only become a solution to this problem, but also a 6th grade entrepreneur. Make sure to visit his GoFundMe page as well and support him if you have the same passion to clean our rivers!

To help Sabastian achieve his goal, visit his

Gofundme Site:




The "411 On Fishing" : Tackle Storage Solution

Tackle Storage Solution

By Mark Romanack

The “411 On Fishing” : Tackle Storage Solution


Show me a fisherman and I’ll show you a guy or gal who’s frustrated with how to best store their coveted fishing gear. Some of the most difficult to store terminal tackle falls into the “rig” category. This broad based term can mean a lot of things including crawler harnesses, trolling flies and squids, herring harnesses, sardine heads, slip sinker set ups, diver leaders, meat rigs and much, much more.

All of these items are tough to store because they involve leaders of various line diameters and overall lengths. To neatly store this kind of gear requires a system that makes it easy to wrap up and just as importantly unwrap these leaders. Most of the solutions in this category come in the form of “leader wheels” that wrap up the line so tightly it quickly gets memory coils. Also, some rigs like “downrigger sliders” and “diver leaders” just don’t wrap well on leader wheels because they don’t have any hooks on them to stick into the wheel.

I have always disliked leader wheels because they also tend to crush hard to store rigs like my Spin n Glo collection. The wings on the Spin n Glo are easily crushed and most storage systems just don’t work well for these rigs.

Recently I discovered a new way to store fishing rigs from a company called FISHENG Products. The brainchild of fishermen Dave Eng these storage systems come in various sizes, but all feature flat foam sheets with pre-cut slits that allow all sorts of rigs to be wrapped on these boards and then stored in the provided utility box. Depending on what kind of rig is being placed on the boards, two or three of these boards can easily be stored in one utility box.

I just finished converting all my walleye rigs over to the FISHENG system and will soon do the same with my salmon trolling harnesses and rigs. To find out more about FISHENG products I suggest visiting There are also some interesting videos on YouTube that further explain how to get the most from these ultra cool rig storage systems.

Finally I can sleep at night knowing my Spin n Glo rigs are stored safely and ready to do battle at a moment’s notice. Also, I don’t have to worry that my diver leaders are coming uncoiled. In short, the FISHENG system is something I wish I would have thought of. These rig storage boards are a great idea and a great product.