Article: Chucking hardware, more than just ‘chucking’.

Posted: November 22, 2011 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Gear Fishing, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead
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Most of you All Around Anglers out there carry a little bit of everything in your gear bag on any given trip. Certainly everyone has their own favorite ‘go to’ methods they’ll usually start with based on water conditions….but most anglers will always have contingency plans. Unless you’re Sal Monid then your contingency plan is a colorado spinner under a bobber followed by a colorado spinner under a bobber.

But seriously. Dipping into your gear bag….far beyond your everyday holsters containing the drift and float weapons we all go to so often….lie some hidden treasures that just might save you day. Hardware. Spinners and spoons. Have ’em heavy and have ’em light because you won’t know what you need until your assessment is made.

I’m like most of you. If I can’t get my salmon on my eggs, which I have the utmost confidence in, I’m inclined to either move or deduce a dead bite. This is not necessarily the case, however. Depending on the line of travel the fish are taking…the afforementioned methods may simply not be allowing you to reach your target water or depth in the time you need to.

Once you’ve identified the path of travel it’s important to vary your techniques until you capture the proper method. Spinners and spoons might as well be apples and oranges. While they’re used simotaneously in conversation or reference…they’ve very, very different creatures. Methods may vary incredibly as well.

If you grew up bass fishing you’re more likely to cast and retrieve your hardware in a fairly straight forward fashion. This method is recommended if you’re casting into structured areas or spots that contain irregular depths without a traditional run, slot or hole. Vary your retrieve speed and rod tip placement to mimic injured fish. Like I said: “Bass Style.” There’s a reason bass fishermen make the best salmon and steelhead fishermen.

If your background has been primarily river drift fishing then it’s likely you’ll look for the same type of water you’re used to fishing to throw your hardware into. It’s common practice among steelhead hardware fishermen to ‘drift’ or ‘bottom bounce’ a run or slot with their hardware literally popping it along the bottom. This creates a flutter type action much different from the cast and retrieve method.

Your spinners will most likely be a lot lighter than your spoons. Depending on the blade style: French with clevis or in line without…’ll vary your hardware based on the following variables: Depth, water speed, water color, located path of travel for fish. Once you’ve figured out that a piece of hardware can save your day you’ll certainly add a rod to your bundle dedicated to just this. Three rod rotation. Remember?

H3llcat AAA & TeamSalmon Founder

  1. daheller says:

    I beg your pardon. I learned the fine art of spoons and spinners well before my discovery of the deadly colorado spinner under a float…….basically nymph fishing with a spinner. Always love catching coho on spinners. They swing around and stop like hitting a snag, set the hook and all hell breaks loose. Anyway, I agree with you that everyone should have these set to go when they hit the water for coho.


  2. Dumptruck says:

    I will say that since adding the art of spinner fishing to my arsenal, it has been a good thing!


  3. Ken Sheaffer says:

    Sick!! Very well said!! I am a hardcore hardware junkie who lives for a smashing spoon take!! Thanks Hellcat! Also got a great article on spinner methods over at! Many varying methods involved but all can be extremely deadly in the right situations!! Nothin’ better than feelin’ that spoon glide across the bottom and BANG!!! FISH ON!!!

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