Different Types Of Lures | What Do They Do?

A selection of different coloured hornet lures

Back in my day as a young lad, I only really used two types of lures, a spinner, and a Big S plug. Though spinners and plugs are still readily available nowadays there is a vast amount of other different types of lures available as well. 

There are all sorts of lures for all sorts of different rigs targeting all types of fish. Due to the diversity of the lures out there it can get a tad confusing as to exactly what lure does what and how to use them. Coming in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colours choosing the right one really can be hard work.

In this article, I will take a look at the most popular types of lures and how to fish with them. 

The Mighty Spinner

A spinner to me is one of my all-time favourite lures to use. There’s something magical about seeing the flashes coming off the blade whilst it’s retrieved through the water. Spinners consist of a hook (usually a small treble) a body, a spinning blade, and a swivel. They are designed to send vibrations and flashes of light from the spinning blade to entice the predators to attack it.

You usually need a fairly quick retrieve to get the right action from most spinners. For this reason, I tend to use them in the slightly warmer months when the fish are more active and energetic. Mepps and Ondex are my all-time favourites and well worth investing in.

Be sure to vary your retrieve when using spinners. Do this by twitching your rod about gently and varying your speed of the retrieve until you figure out how they want it on the day.

A typical looking spinner


Crankbaits are available in a huge variety of sizes and colours. But as a general rule crankbaits are stubby type lures, usually with two treble hooks attached and a lip. The size and angle of the lip determine the depth the lure will go to whilst being retrieved.

The faster the retrieve the deeper the lure will dive under the water. So it is worth doing a few long casts first off to cover some water and getting the lure to dive some distance.

A straight forward retrieve can be enough to get a crankbait working and catching fish. But if this doesn’t work, as with almost all lures try varying your retrieve with some short tugs and pauses. Always figure out what kind of depth your lure is working at, in relation to what depth the fish are at.

Salmo is one of my personal favourites. 

A selection of Salmo lures.


Spinnerbaits are generally made up of a weighted jig head decorated by a brightly coloured skirt. Attached to that via a strong piece of wire will be a couple of spinning blades.

These baits are extremely popular in the Us for Bass, pike also find it hard to resist a good spinnerbait. In clear water, these lures really stand out. They are equally as effective in more murky water due to the disturbance and vibrations the blades create whilst being retrieved.

Like with all lures the retrieve is vital. Experiment with different styles, depths and techniques until you find what they want on the day. What they liked yesterday the fish may not like today.

A typical spinnerbait lure

Soft Plastic Lures

Soft plastic lures have made a huge impact on lure fishing across the globe in recent years. These soft rubbery types of molded lures come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. These include fish, crayfish, worms, grubs, insects, and amphibians. 

Usually, they come without hooks attached, so you can attach things such as jig heads, ned heads, or cheb weights. Drop shotting is also another way of fishing certain soft plastics. Just insert the hook from the drop shot rig and away you go.

They really are a very versatile type of lure that can be used for almost all types of lure rigs out there. A lot of people make their own lures this way and places like Facebook are a good place to find some good ones for sale at very affordable prices.

Lots of soft plastic lures


Although there are lots of different types of lures today for many years spoons have been one of my favourite types of lures to use for pike and big perch. As the name suggests, spoons are actually spooned shape, in fact, I used to make some out of my mum’s spoons in days gone by. 

At each end of the spoon, there is a drilled hole. At the top end, you will have a split ring and a swivel to stop the line twist. At the bottom end, there will be another split ring with a treble hook attached to it. I tend to use spoons in the warmer months when a faster retrieve is more likely to produce fish, another favoured method of mine is jigging them off a boat on waters such as Pitsford reservoir.

When the sun’s out and the spoon is fluttering along reflecting the rays, it really can be a productive way of catching predators.

Top Water Lures

These types of fishing lures do exactly what it says on the tin. They are a lure designed for catching fish off the surface of the water. In particular, pike and bass love a topwater lure.

Most topwater lures are designed to stir up the water’s surface and cause a bit of commotion, hoping to attract some predators from the water below.

This style of fishing works at its best during the warmer months when the fish are at their most active and frolicking around in the shallower waters. Try varying the retrieve and seeing what they want on the day, a good short tug followed by a brief pause is a good one to start off with.

Pictured below is the popular Savage Gear Fruck. These are well worth a try!

To Conclude

There are many different types of lures on the market nowadays, some really good ones and some not so good ones. Pretty much all lures will catch fish but not necessarily on the day, you are using them. Lure fishing really is a game of trial and error. Like I say so many times, what they want one day, they may not even look at the next day. 

Keep experimenting with different styles, colours and techniques until you get it right. Lure colours can be a vital piece of the puzzle. Even if you don’t get it right, at least you will have fun trying. Tight lines and may the fish gods be good to you.

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