—  Part One - Tools And Products I’m Wired In And  Use — 

Spinner Bait Tools You Probably Might Have  —  In this section, I mention some good companies,  I have dealt with for parts and occasional services.  Stuff you might already have or can modify.

I'm not saying others are bad… One in particular served me well.  My opinions may be taken with a grain of salt, two shots of vodka, and a twist, they may differ from you but we all have opinions and we are entitled to them.  

There are lots of great suppliers out there and great local tackle shops. The most important thing a shop you frequent, is bonding, that is communication, hints, suggestions and hotspots or baits that work.  I shop locally and on the web.

I do welcome ideas and suggestions in friendly discourse. That means talking nice for some of the imbeciles lurking on the web… why do I say this… because we do have quite a few imbeciles on the web… mainly hate groups and politicians…

Independent companies who specialize in truth and honesty tell us (there were more than two )  their checks and balances  indicated 56% of what on the web is either not honest or not true. And almost 90% of the replies were just as bad.

Any conversation involving politicians or imbeciles is not allowed in this section. I am challenged everyday with comments and occasional threats from idiots,  and name calling because I write the truth about restaurants and politicians, and for some it’s as simple as what you read, fiction or non-fiction. 

Inspite of the hail I will receive I am now disclosing the honest truth about something very dear to me  —  There is no “ tooth fairy”! 


For the average fisherman who makes lures like spinners only a few hand tools and good wire are needed, all the blades bodies and clevises are available on line in volume at your local better equipped tackle stores, my favorite on line is Jann's Net Craft, a warehouse of incredible numbers in this game and the usual and unusual available in stock.

I saw many ideas on building a wire bender but unfortunately required a complete machine shop with grinders, welders, drill presses, powder coating, a man Friday, patience and sanders to do it.  Plus the skills to do it, so you don’t commit Seppuku or burn the house down… I’m 78 years old and still bend wire by hand to make lures.  Not rebar,  just wire for fishing… 

  • To build Mepps Type Spinners  —  The whole wire bending thing revolves around a round nose, a flat nose and a small Chinese Mini Locking plier as shown. Lowes had them Christmas time for two dollars each and i Bought six. It was a good buy.  Adding a flush cutter and a special tool  I make from an X-acto knife for under five dollars. And you are ready to make spinners

  • I see many of these gizmos that will turn you into a wire bending fool with lots of spinners and no fish. There is a not much science in making a spinner as there is in making wood lures, its color, size, activity and enticement.  Unless you intend to go into production and market spinners, I like what I build with simple pliers and practice. 

  • I have seven 24 compartment lure boxes with close to 200 spinnerbaits.  ( OK mathematicians,  7x24 = 168, some are small and doubled up)   Boxes  filled with spinnerbaits in every size and color.  Thanks to COVID-19,  avoiding people and working home bound, caution, following rules, I made flies, streamers, spinners, combos and fish bait, and got my COVID shots and didn’t become fish bait. 

  • To make spinner baits,  of all kinds and sizes you need three or four hand good quality tools and I have been making my own “ specials” for myself and friends for ten plus years working in Soldering electronics, Arduino, Some Gunsmithing, Computers, tons of  Photo products and so forth.  My plier accumulation drawer has about forty-five pairs of specialized pliers.  You need three or four.  All available on Amazon under Jewelry making….  Jan’s has split ring pliers. Save those fingernails or sharpen that needle nose .

  • Basically in wire bending,  if you can follow instructions spinnerbait building is on the equivalent of ten year old fifth grade knowledge level, being that there are only four or five things you do.


For Those Who Want To Spend More  —  Depends On

Read On.  IF and it’s a big IF things go back to normal some of theses companies will get shipments again of the semi- automated wire bending units.  Bending wire fall into two categories.  I call them Haywire and Spinner wire.

If you are working salt water you will eventually run into toothy creatures and learn wiring, here are basics and then I will discuss how I do it because tools in this range of operations can be a cheap as twenty dollars and one can run in the  thousand range and the result will be the same.

Thats why I do my own thing because basic tools will do the job. And I have designed a tool of my own which works superbly/

Jann's Net - Craft Selection  —  They carry God only knows every slick semi-automatic wire bender for the guy who is either in production or has nothing better to do with his money or is just a fan of automation.

Reviews — 

1.—  Little Blue bender is just that a bender and does a good job at bending but not my choice for making spinner baits or barrel ends because it’s not made for that.  It just does nice bends but not barrel wraps…for lures… A pair of round nose (good quality) pliers does the same thing.  Great if you make your own R spinner baits or open spinnerbait shafts.

2.—  The NetCraft Tack-L-Tool is one of the least expensive barrel turners on the market  but you must have patience as it requires a learning curve and a lot of it is manually done when you get into thicker wire… It is available in two levels…. Just the tool itself and you can watch the videos by one owner on the you tube channels and he makes it look simple.

The second version comes with all you need, the tool, a great book with tips and ideas wire and the book alone is worth the difference.  It will handle most wire gauges in the spinner baits from crappie to moderate sized saltwater fish.  

I bought one   * * *   Mine has been modified since I suffer from “ Improvement-itus” and I took it apart, lots of rivet drilling, metal polishing for smoothness, and an interchangeable hook section allowing smaller eyelets for smaller Mepps spinners… plus a size reduction and use it for other purposes…  I still make my lighter major spin baits by hand…

For the small maker in self production it’s OK,  if you have patience but so is the tool below which has one great advantage… portability …I keep one in the car tackle box just in case… With hundreds of spinners in my collection I have not needed it.

3.—  This small pocket sized tool ( Simply called a Wire Former) is just that a small pocket sized tools for barrel wraps in the small sizes only topping out at .024.  This handy wire forming tool makes every bend and eye needed for spinners and spinner parts. “ How To” directions included.  Again Wire forming tool bends .024” wire and smaller. Not made for bigger gauges… unless you do a lot of pre-bending… It’s a hands on thing.  And it is portable and field useable.

4.—  One of the best is the Twistech but alas they might have fell behind because of COVID affecting their suppliers, they did not go under because of COVID due to the same problem I have in my battery business, suppliers with no supplies!  Jann’s told me they are starting shipping again and low and behold, mine came in the mail. I was delighted  —  

The TwisTech wire former is a high quality and extremely versatile wire bending tool. Use the Twistech wire bender to build spinners, spreaders, bottom-bouncers, spinner bait forms and most other wire-based tackle items requiring rounded bends and tightly wrapped eyes.  Lighter wires I do by hand as it is cathartic and for those not recognizing the word, it means The cathartic process is an attempt at self-healing through self-empathy.  Cleanses the brain.

It can handle stainless steel spring wire up to .037” diameter and easily accommodates hooks, split-rings and swivels in the loop wrapping process making this the perfect tool for the serious lure maker yet simple enough for even the occasional tackle hobbyist.

CAUTION:   There is a Chinese knockoff spotted in Europe but I understand it is “ Junk” … a Chinese word for knockoffs, cruise and ferry boats and cheap junk they ship to the USA. It does not work well at all.

5.—  They have other more expensive units but I saw no need to go commercial, I do this for relaxation. And using my hands helps with my arthritis. I'm think my stash exceeds two hundred spinners, COVID fears kept me away from stores, boats, confined areas,  and crowds while I fished the wadable flats instead, me and a fly rod or spinner, a floatable tackle kit, water,  and a life vest in case. 


The Haywire Twist And Tools For Spinnerbaits —  Dubro is known for making some of the smallest and slickest Tools For leaders and general wire work in the industry.  The most popular tools is the BuckTail Twister Tool.   This tool allows to build your own custom bucktail spinners with the colors, blades and beads of your choice.   Pre made Muskie and Pike Bucktails at the store gets expensive.  

Another popular tool is our Lure and Leader Twister Tool which allows you to make the smaller Meps (TM) type in-line spinners.   It also lets you build the perfect wire leaders.   


Using our Kwik Twist Tool allows you to make your own professional leaders with ease. Making barrel wraps has never been easier than with this simple tool. 

  • This is great for the angler who wants to make custom length single strand wire leaders for a fraction of the cost of pre-tied leaders.
  • Short learning curve, good strong hands required, small and efficient. Follow size guidelines, two versions
  • I use these for leaders, my spinnerbaits require a different process.

From muskies to marlin now anyone can make their own single strand haywire twist leaders stronger than the pros. Our E/Z Twist is available in two sizes and comes complete with easy to follow instructions.

  • #1095 - Small: For 3-8 gauge wire (.012 - .020 dia. wire) or 32- 86 pound test.
  • #1096 - Medium: For 9-13 gauge wire, .022 - .031 dia. wire, or 105-195 lb. test.
  • Create prefect haywire twist wire leaders
  • Use for saltwater fish like kingfish and more
  • Great for Muskie and northern pike
  • Tool fits easily in tackle box to make rigs anywhere

E/Z Twist Pro (5-13 Gauge)  —  So many species of fish require a wire leader, but buying pre-tied leaders can be very expensive.  You can save yourself a great deal by making these leaders yourself!  The E/Z Twist Pro is so simple to use, you will be able to make hundreds of leaders in no time. In fact, some of our customers have sold their leaders to tackle shops to generate extra income. No longer will you search for the perfect length leader for your rigs, simply make your own and always have them ready when you are.

* Wraps are consistent and look professional.
* Make the eye right on the unit, no extra tools needed.
* All replacement parts available. (see below)
* Make wraps "loose" or "tight" depending on preference.
* This model wraps wire from 5 to 13 gauge. (see chart below)
*Includes #1, #2 & #3 heads    
$ 274.99  $ 324.40   In stock

Wire I prefer for Spinners  -  
I also have some 40-50 pound class … I use with toothy fish in Salt Water.

Spinner Bait Favorite:  #11 Tooth Proof Stainless Steel 

Single Strand Leader,

 🐡  140 lb (64 kg) test, .026 in (0.66 mm) dia, Bright, 1/4 lb (114 g)
SKU: S11T-.25#  Our Price  $13.49  ( In Stock)

🐠 174 lb / 79 kg test, .029 in / 0.74 mm dia, Bright, 1/4 lb / 114 g

SKU: S12T-.25#   Our Price  $13.49



Anyone who has encountered the northern pike or muskie has also encountered the dreaded “bite-off,” so common when these fish come unglued on a bucktail, jerkbait, jig or spoon. Combine a bone jarring strike with a mouth full of dagger-like teeth and it’s no wonder anglers everywhere have openings in their tackle box where their favorite lures used to be.

Not only do pike and muskie have a major case of overbite, they can bite through just about any fishing line short of steel wire.  No doubt this is why the common coated steel leader is considered standard equipment by many anglers.   If not using a leader means fish lost to bite-offs and using a leader means no bites, what’s an angler to do? The answer depends a lot on the lure type and presentation involved. 

The quick answer is that a leader isn’t necessary in most crankbait trolling situations. Usually when trolling with crankbaits, fish are lip hooked. This happens in part because a fast-moving lure on a steady course is hard for the fish to fully engulf down its gullet. 

Most of these fish caught while trolling have the lure lodged firmly in their mouth, but not buried so deep that the fish can shear off the line.    If big crankbaits help to reduce bite-offs, which lure group suffers most from the sharp teeth of these fish? The short answer this time is jigs.   Jigs dressed in various soft plastics or with live minnows tend to get sucked right down the stove pipe, and bite-offsare common. When jig fishing, a bit- resistant leader of some sort is almost mandatory.

Jan 2, 2021, 5:57 P

06/04/2021   aljacobsladder.com 

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