Hey everyone, Brandon Palaniuk here and we're going to talk about the underspin jighead. You may already know what an underspin jighead is. If you don't, it is exactly what it sounds like: it is a jighead with a little spinnerbait blade underneath it. This spinning blade is attached with a barrel swivel. It's going to spin parallel with the bait as it's moving through the water column. Typically, you've got a little bit of an arm that comes down off that jig head to hold that blade down away from the bait.
You can run several different types of baits on an underspin jighead. Most of the time they're going to have a 90-degree line tie. They come in different shapes and sizes and weights. You want to match those up to the bait that you're fishing and the depth that you're fishing. So, general rule of thumb; the deeper I go, or the deeper I want that bait to stay, the heavier the underspin I'm going to go. That applies with any jighead. And then the shallower that I want to fish that bait, or higher up in the water column, I'll go with a lighter underspin.
So what bait do you choose and how do you choose it? Really, there are just two styles of baits that I throw. Either I use just a straight minnow style bait like the Hot Shot Minnow, or you can go with a paddle tail swimbait style like the Mini Swammer and, obviously, you can upgrade the size of the bait depending on where you're fishing or the time of year. Generally, when I'm fishing an underspin, it's often early in the year, those fish are suspended and chasing a lot of smaller bait. That's usually when I reach for the underspin or where it seems to shine the best. It doesn't mean that you can't catch them in other situations. You can catch them in the summer with an underspin, but for me it's my preferred bait in the early months.
Rigging this bait is very simple. You just want to make sure that it is very straight just like anything we rig on a jighead, so you go right through the nose of the bait with it. Continue to push through that bait and watch as that bait starts to roll up over the hook point or the shaft of that hook. Push out through the back of the bait and work it up right up against that jighead so you have a nice straight profile. It is very important that this bait doesn't have a big bow in it, and that it's not crooked because you want the blade to spin vertically underneath. If it's crooked, that bait may want to run to the side either direction. It's just not going to look as natural, and you're not going to get as many bites.
I like to cast it in and let it sink down to the depth where the fish are. Then I just wind it in slowly. Generally, I'm throwing this either on a spinning rod or, if I'm throwing it on a baitcaster, I throw it on pretty light line, such as a 10-pound fluorocarbon. It's going to help keep that bait down. I use a 6.3 to 1 gear ratio reel so it's just crawling and that blade is doing the work. When those fish are really finicky and they want something more subtle, go with the straight tail. If they want something a little bit more aggressive, or maybe you're fishing in a little bit dirtier water, you can go with the Paddle Tail swimbait that's going to add a little bit of action in there. Just make sure that it's not too much action to the point of kicking that blade around and throwing it off center.
It's a very versatile technique. Like I said, I use it mostly early in the year, but you can fish it when it's warm, sunny, later in the year when those fish get out around brush piles and ledges. Just make sure that you're selecting the right bait, the right jighead and size to the situation so that you have the most success while you're out there on the water.--Brandon Palaniuk