🐬  Spinner Bait Tools You Probably Might Have And Wire Bending  —  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 for your personal production of spinnerbaits, they are that easy to make.

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMFor 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.  Thats if they are not found in volume at your local better equipped tackle stores.  Not all coastal stores support fly fishing, lure building  or Tenkara fishing favoring salt-water inshore, off-shore, the gulf or Atlantic prey because of their closeness to salt-water here in Florida. It’s different in inland states with stream and lakes.

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMMy favorite on line for lure and rod parts is Jann's Net Craft, a warehouse of incredible numbers in this game and the usual and unusual available in stock.  And they are reliable, honest, and have a good delivery record.

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMAnother great website more of a specialist in Fly Fishing,  is J- Stockard.   I'm not saying other suppliers are bad, I just developed a good communication  with Jann's and Stockard — They know fly building and the entire fly fishing game. 

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMWire benders, you get older,  my veterinarian Dr. Arthur I Tuss, (I tell people I use a vet for health medicine since he treats me like a dog) , a bender might make things easier.  I wanted to build my own,  I saw many ideas on building a wire bender but unfortunately one guy required a complete machine shop with grinders, welders, drill presses, powder coating, a man Friday, patience and professional engineering and skills to do it, so you don’t commit Seppuku or burn the house down — ridiculous — 

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMAll kinds on the market,  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.  It was the one I made from a simple X-Acto tool. I used the pliers to make the initial wire circle and gripped it with the  X-Acto and made the barrel twist, did about a thousand like that. It gave leverage.  I opened up the slot in the x-Acto a hair to facilitate medium and larger hooks. 

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🐬  Some Things Can Be Found Locally Or Even Amazon —

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMThere 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.  Being in the Valhalla of fishing,  Tampa Bay, the stores and guides work fairly harmoniously.

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMTwo things, there is plenty of crap fishing gear out there and that means a few crap people that sell to go along with the gear.  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 sells is either not honest or not true. And almost 90% of the replies were just as bad.  Pictures on the web can be misleading, that large box with all those terminal pieces on the screen in reality can fit in the palm of your hand and you would have to look to find it. Size matters and pictures are misleading.

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMOne rule, we all have opinions, any conversation involving politicians or imbeciles is not allowed in this section. I am an investigative reporter specializing in the three greatest threats to our world.  Our Corrupt Fake Politicians, who have destroyed the Constitution,  Our Nether God’s Gift to us —  FakeMessiahs and Theologians who destroy Grandmas Bank Account , and Fake Corporate Corruption in Food where bad crap is processed into worse crap but more profitable and destroy our health.

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMI am challenged everyday with comments and occasional physical threats from idiots, and name calling ( the stupider side of a moron) because I write the truth about bad restaurants, TV religious frauds,  and Politicians, and for some it’s as simple as what you read or watch on TV,  fiction or non-fiction.    —  liars basically are cowards and those who follow them are equally  cowardice. 

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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.   Adding a good flush cutter.  I have been using hand tools for years, to make spinners and I had all the tools in box, just miniature  pliers made for jewelry/electronics and hobbyists — AMAZON had the best selection in all grades look at Brand BEADSMITH, looking very similar to the more expensive solutions. For spinners the Beadsmith in the center does a great job in preliminary forming of loops.  For bigger salt-water Haywire single strand a double round - nose can work better.  See below.

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There is a not as much science in making a spinner.  Wire looped on both ends with a myriad of bodies and attachments.   Unless you intend to go into production and market spinners, I like what I build with simple pliers and practice.   That was till I approached Octogenarian, I am 79 and a wee bit of arthritis in the hands.  I have about two hundred spinners in my collection.

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMI 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. 

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMTo make spinner baits,  of all kinds and sizes you need three or four hand good quality tools.  Avoid cheap Chinese crap. 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 .

Screen Shot 2022-04-27 at 6.23.42 AMBasically 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.   Two things are important in spinnerbait building —  

A)  Choose good components from reputable dealers,  Amazon has the good stuff but also carries lots of wanna-bees and lesser quality components. I have my share of split rings that once used never close properly, too soft,  poor plated blades, cheap clevises, It’s all out there but for  a dollar or two more get the good stuff.

B)  Component selection as to putting the right sizes together —  Rarely does mismatched sizes work, many species see  a lure and eventually especially in catch and release get smarter.  Color is a strong key especially in dark waters, visibility, action all play a roll if the lure is in balance.


For Those Who Want To Spend More  —  Depends On How Much — 

A big thing these  past two years has been a shortage of tools and equipment.  We are getting back to suppliers levels get shipments again of the wire bending units.  Bending wire fall into two categories.  I call them Haywire which are saltwater rigs and Spinner wire for lures.

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.

🐬  Jann's Net - Craft Selection  —  They carry most of the semi-automatic wire benders for the guy who is in rapture and likes making his own, or in production for income, or has nothing better to do with his money,  or is just a fan of automation.  What ever the cause.  I have all four of these, the Little blue and Twistech are mounted on my metal desk and the netcraft on a base if someone needs to borrow it or a show, the wire former is in my bag.desk 

I judge these products four ways.  Ease of use, Versatility, Quality, Engineering —   A - B - C - D Just like a report card.

 D —   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.

B  — 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 medium or moderate sized saltwater fish.  

C —  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.

A — One of the best is the Twistech which was temporarily gone  because of COVID affecting their suppliers,  Jann’s told me they are starting shipping again and low and behold, mine came in the mail.    I waited six months, 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 of the Twistech spotted in Europe but I understand it is “ Junk” —  a Chinese word for knockoffs, cruise and sinking ferry boats and cheap junk they ship to the USA. It does not work well at all.

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 thinking my stash exceeds two hundred fifty spinners, COVID fears kept me away from stores, boats, confined areas,  and crowds while I fished the wadable flats instead.  Just me and a fly rod or spinner, a floatable tackle kit on a six foot leash, water,  and a life vest just in case. 

🐳 🐟 🐡 🦩 🐙 🐟 🐠 🦐 🦀 🐡 🐳 🦑 🐬


It’s not often I am blessed with guests other than business, and especially those with fishing skills so I invited  two local  Charter Captains, and two friends with boats I fish with for a chat and getting new idea's for the website, coming soon.  

After they saw how many lures I have in my collection,  all hand made, we talked about leaders and rigs like everything from Double Pompano to straight Tarpon hooks, and so forth and since the beer was on ice,  hot Chili and Wings, cool heads prevailed, and I learned a lot.  They know I am highly critical about stuff that promises a lot and delivers less.

The subject came around to the rigging of wire for spinners, leaders and the haywire twist.  ( I am Jewish and I can remember during the Holidays sitting around a table, all relatives, men discussing issues.  It where I first discovered a unique Jewish phenomenon, six men produced nine opinions.)  Back to Haywire twisting., same thing.  Sooner or later we had to talk Haywire as a zillion gurus all say the same thing on Youtube — ad nauseam —  Here is straight talk  —  

The Haywire twist is the  choice method used for single strand stainless wire for both freshwater and saltwater fishing when encountering something with teeth. The haywire twist is considered by big game fishermen to be the strongest connection for joining wire to a hook, lure or swivel. It can also be used to make a loop in the end of a wire leader. 

The first twists are called haywire wraps and the second twists are considered barrel wraps. It is the combination of the two that make the Haywire Twist so dependable.  ( Netknots.com

Crimping is reserved for mono ( usually fifty pounds or more) otherwise knots are preferred, snelling and loops. Also stranded wire ( seven or more ) is crimp able using good crimping techniques.

I had a kid I’m grooming for a mate job this summer come over with crimped fifty weight stranded and steel crimp.  My workbench has a hook holder and a scale and we tested his “  Super Leaders “, they all fell apart at the crimp, either end.

Poor technique, steel slick stainless stranded wire, crimp stainless, not a good combo, ten leaders all did not break the pulled out.  If he had a simple technique change  of making a simple overhand knot in the tag end, easy on thin 50 lb. wire, they would have not slipped open.

Many ideas and opinions came forth:  

A)  Most interesting is these skippers and charter guys tie a lot of short and long steel leaders ahead of time. Time on the water is expensive ( most get $500.00 ) for a half day.  So they pre-tie their rigs and hang them in the boat in a piece of foam ready to go.  They are also sometimes trolling five rods and again time is of the essence.  Re-rigging on a pitching boat usually nets the biggest haul of the day, somebody gets hooked and the ER.

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B)  Many do not use gadgets, they can tie a perfect haywire in their hands, of course years of strengthening finger grips help and they showed me hows really easy it is if you follow the rules shown below.

C)  I brought out the devices I do wire with and showed them how they worked —  Separating the  units best for spinnerbaits which is the Twistech and those I tie Haywire Twists with.  My plier collection, of round-nose, and flat pliers.  My Twistech can make small ends for swivels and hooks very nicely thank you.

D)  They were not impressed —  These are all Salt-Water guys and one said, “  I have enough simple tools, hook release tools, gaffs, crimpers, pliers and these two don’t speed things up” .   The KWIK TWIST lighter unit shown below even with a poorly made out of focus instructions and video we watched  — didn’t work at all and too complex on lighter wire. Maybe the heavier larger unit is the answer. 

E)   I have my two DUBRO’s and in a year can’t get them to perform,  I am sending both back to DUBRO, I bought them to test and they never answered my email, I wanted to exchange, not a refund and move up to the larger and try their heavier unit, let me pay the difference, or a courtesy discount  and just taking small space in my tackle box, they can sell them to someone else.  No answer.  I will give them away.  

F)  Within a few minutes I came with an idea using the pliers I already had in my fifty specialized plier collection and found a pair or round nose, a little hacksaw work and polish and it works perfect so perfect there is a company called Toit Tools who makes a similar gadget.  More on them below, they might have the best yet. But if you look at the top of the page you will see similar tools at a substantially reduced cost.

G) You can blow a lot of money on these gadgets and two years from now they’ll either be used or another brilliant flame dies out and is laying on your bench.

Man Handling the Haywire Twist —  

  • No tools just a round nose or flat face pliers for grip.  
  • RULE ONE —  Thread the wire through the eye of the hook or swivel from the back. . Hold the loop between the first finger and thumb of the left hand, or even as some do, in a pair of pliers. Cross one strand of wire under the other strand. Grip the two strands between finger and thumb of the right hand and twist.
  • RULE TWO —  Make sure that the standing part of the wire and the tag end cross each other at an angle in excess of 90 degrees. This is the critical part of tying the Haywire. If they do not have sufficient angle, you will find that one wire is only wrapping around the other. 
  • RULE THREE  —  You also must twist both at the same time so that they are both crossing each other.   Make at least 3 1/2 haywire wraps.
  • RULE FOUR  —  After you have made the haywire wraps start to make your first barrel wrap. To do this, push the tag end until it is at a right angle to the standing part. Then make about five (barrel) wraps around the standing part with the tag end.
  • RULE FIVE  —  Bend the tag end into a little "handle" and use that to rock the handle back and forth until the wire breaks at the last barrel wrap.   Never cut the wire with pliers as that will leave a dangerous burr that can make a nasty cut to hand or finger.   If so, many use a Dremel or real close nippers and hammer it down, I use a small file sometimes.

🐬  The Haywire Twisters From Dubro

🐬 From Their Website —  ( Their words) 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

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.   (Too small, Useless)
  • #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 with teeth --
  • In Freshwater  for Muskie and Northern Pike
  • Tool fits easily in tackle box to make rigs anywhere

🐙  From My Testing and Opinion — Not My Favorite — 

  • The smaller version of these tools, not so easy to use, even less you have 20/20 short vision —  Get the big size — 
  • You need strong hands to keep the wire in place and to grip the thing — wet,  the tool becomes useless — 
  • Light wires get loose easy, and especially the hook end — it will be in perfect position to get you  —  
  • I have tried and over a year just thrown them back in the tackle box —  gave up learning — 
  • Too frustrating to use in the field and defiantly not on a boat moving around — 
  • When I see 100 YOUTUBES on how to use these gizmos, it tells me, they are not human compatible and fail in ease of use department.

🐬  DUBRO Tools For Spinnerbaits —  

Buck Tail Twister and smaller Spinner Twister — Dubro is known for making some of the unique fishing accessories in the industry and several general wire working tools..  

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.   

🐙  From My Testing and Opinion — Money better spent  

  •  I needed a dedicated vice for the setup if I used it regularly —  I hate taking down and starting up — 
  •   It’s a two -step process and complex if not aligned properly — 
  •  I found it slow — and too many steps —  I can accomplish a lot quicker with my Twistech.

🐬  E/Z Twist Pro (5-13 Gauge)  —  Too Expensive  — 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
  • For the same money you can get two Twistech’s, a regular and HD model and do it all including fifty dollar worth of wire.

🐳 🐟 🐡 🦩 🐙 🐟 🐠 🦐 🦀 🐡 🐳 🦑 🐬


Haywire Twist, if tied correctly, this connection will provide an almost 100% effective connection to any toothy critter leader. Not only does it look neat but also allows the hook, swivel, lure plenty of room to move. typically this connection is made using either a single or double piece of single strand stainless steel wire. take a look at the links below to find out more about out Toit Fishing Haywire Twist Tool, how to make a Haywire Twist and find out exactly how strong this connection truly is.

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Where Elegance meets Functionality!Tired of 'Multi' or 'All-in-One' fishing tools with compromised features and inadequate design? Take a look at our innovative designs; each tool is designed for optimal usage. Designed and engineered by a fisherman for a fisherman. Find the right tool for the right job.  ABOUT $35.00 PerTool

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There are some slick upgraded ideas here!

Tools sold at 

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🐳 🐟 🐡 🦩 🐙 🐟 🐠 🦐 🦀 🐡 🐳 🦑 🐬

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Wire I Prefer For Spinners  -  AFW PRODUCTS — 
I also have some 40-50 pound multi-stranded wire 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,  jerk-bait,  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. 

One answer is short wire leader tippet -  weight balanced ( In single strand wire)  in a dark color.

The other quick answer is that a leader isn’t necessary in most crank-bait 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 crank baits 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-offs are common. When jig fishing, a bit- resistant leader of some sort is almost mandatory.  We try not to harm whom gave us such pleasure — 

04/30/2022   aljacobsladder.com