How to Make Mono Spinners (Soft Spinners)
by George Krumm
Every angler knows what a spinner is, but not nearly as many know what a mono spinner, sometimes called a soft spinner, is. Simply stated, a mono spinner is what it sounds like—a spinner built on monofilament (or fluorocarbon) instead of wire. In this video, Fish Alaska Editor George Krumm explains the versatility of mono spinners and shows you how to tie them.
Who knows when the first angler decided to build a spinner on monofilament line? What we do know is that in the past seven years or so, anglers in the Lower 48’s Columbia River began using mono spinners instead of wire spinners behind Pro-Troll-type flashers in an effort to find a hook configuration that was more effective and versatile than the usual treble hook found on wire spinners. Initially, the use of mono spinners was kind of an underground movement, but it’s moved into the mainstream now.
Mono spinners have several advantages over wire spinners. First, there is no wire to get bent up. Second, they are extremely easy to make. Third, you can easily change the hook configuration and spacing to fish the spinner naked, or with a small bait such as a herring strip or coon shrimp, or with a larger bait such as a plug-cut or whole herring. Fourth, the plastic clevis allows you to change the spinner blade without having to cut and re-tie.
To tie a mono spinner, you’ll need monofilament or fluorocarbon line (25- to 50-pound-test; we generally lean towards heavier line as long as it will fit through the hook eye), hooks (size 1/0 to 4/0 depending on what we’ll be doing with the mono spinner), 6 mm and 4 mm plastic beads (your choice of colors), plastic spinner clevises, size 3.5 Colorado or Cascade spinner blades, and size 4 Duo-Lock snaps. Additional materials that can be very useful include 1.5” Gold Star hoochies, 1/8” fluorescent red, pink or green surgical tubing, Hawken Fishing Wild Wings, and Mack’s Lure Smile Blades.
We have used mono spinners for Chinook and coho salmon in a variety of freshwater and saltwater fisheries up and down the West Coast. Mono spinners are extremely effective fished behind Pro-Troll-type flashers (Pro-Troll ProChip 11, Shortbus Super Series, and Brad’s 360 Evolution are good examples) for both Chinook and coho. Incidentally, we’ve also caught large numbers of saltwater pinks and some chum salmon on them. Fished behind this type of flasher, they are extremely effective for maturing coho in August at virtually every saltwater port in Alaska, especially with a sliver of herring fillet on the top hook.