7 Brass Trout Spoons
By Allan Burgess
Here are 7 “Old School” brass trout spoons. They are mostly still available in New Zealand tackle stores and come in a range of weights and colours. All are concave – like a spoon – to some extent. The lure relies on the action of water moving across its surface to cause it to wobble. Hence they are also called “Wobblers.” Spoons must be retrieved at their ideal speed for best results. Too slow and they lose much of their flutter and flash. Retrieve too fast and they plane to the surface and often start skipping.
Spoons are generally easy to cast with most designs having their weight towards the rear to prevent fouling of the line during casting.
Spoons are a very old lure design less favoured by anglers these days. However, spoons are very good fish takers. They are reasonably inexpensive and are easily made at home.
In fact, spoons are probably the easiest trout lure for the home hobbyist to make. All you need is a sheet of brass or copper. Metal snippers and a spoon shape chiselled out of a block of wood (a desert spoon is about the right size). Place the “blank” over the hole in the wood and hammer it to shape with a ball-peen hammer. Don’t worry about the hammer marks, they will cause the light to reflect at different angles improving the lure’s attractiveness to trout. All that remains is to drill a hole at each end and attach split rings. Add a treble or single hook at the rear and a swivel at the front. Use a pot scouring pad to shine the back only just before you tie on your new spoon lure.
Many anglers fish soft baits nowadays. I get that. I fish soft baits as well. But I also enjoy catching fish on brass spoons too. In all the years I have been fishing I have caught a lot of trout on Toby lures in particular. Just because soft baits are popular it doesn’t mean “Old School” lures have stopped working!
Here are 7 Brass Trout Spoons for You to Try
The Toby, Glimmy, Zed Spinner and 7g Daffy are all readily available in New Zealand tackle shops.
I’m sometimes asked why spoons are painted on one side only. A spoon is more effective as a fish taker if you polish the back so it shines brightly. Otherwise, stick a strip of silver prism tape on the back. The reason you don’t want to paint the back is that there wouldn’t be any “flash.” As the lure is retrieved through the water there is an intermittent flash as each side turns or kicks over. It is this flash that helps trigger a strike.
Try this. Hold the head of the lure between your forefinger and the thumb of your left hand. Place the forefinger of your other hand on the tail end of the spoon and move it from side to side (at the rate it would be when retrieved). As you do this look at the lure from behind. This is the view that a following predatory trout would see. The lure appears to be alternating between its darker side and its flashing back to very accurately simulate the swimming action of a small bait fish. Painting the back would ruin the effect altogether.
I have used spoons, particularly Toby lures, for many years. The prism tape on the back really improves your strike rate. A spoon, when you compare it today with the ultra-realistic lures available, looks unlikely to fool a fish into striking. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Spoons work best in moving water or are retrieved at a faster rate so that they “kick” over regularly to produce flash.
Note that all of these brass spoons are excellent trout takers when slow-trolled behind a moving boat or kayak when lake fishing. They are also particularly good for casting towards the shoreline when drift fishing from a boat on our many lakes.
7 Brass Trout Spoons to Try this Summer
1. Daffy / Dandy
The Daffy is another from the ABU range from Sweden. It was later produced by Kilwell Sports of Rotorua under the name of Dandy. The Daffy has accounted for countless New Zealand trout. A notable feature is the little side fins. These were usually painted red and provided the added flash of colour that would cause a hungry trout to strike. Weight 7 grams. It is available in gold, silver or black and gold stripes. Not used by many anglers nowadays. The Daffy is one of the all-time top producers and is well worth inclusion in your tackle box. This lure was also made by Record in Sweden and was known as a Little Daffy coming out around 1950.
It is always worth giving these brass lures a quick polish to bring back their shine before fishing with them as they soon tarnish and become dull looking. The Daffy is still sold in leading fishing tackle stores in a range of 6 different colours. It is a very good trout spinner. Why not give it a go this spring and summer?
2. Zed Spinner
The Zed spinner is well known to South Island salmon anglers. It would be the single most popular salmon lure on the market. It accounts for almost all salmon caught on hardware upriver from the mouth. However, in smaller 7 and 12-gram versions it is also an excellent trout fishing lure.
Pictured is the popular plain brass Zed spinner with stamped fish scales. It has been painted on one side. It is readily available in a range of colours, including the ever-popular black and gold strip. Bright silver should only be used in discoloured water when fishing for trout. A red plastic attractor tag is often added to the rear split ring. Well worth a try! Available in New Zealand from Kilwell Sports and leading fishing tackle stores in 12g and at least 9 different colours. Available in packs of 2 lures or packs of 10 lures.
Kilwell also produces a very good 7g brass trout spoon called a Flamingo.
3. Tylo from Spinwell
This lure is very similar to the Record Little-Tilly that first came out around 1950. It was made from brass which was often polished to a bright reflective shine with the aid of a piece of cloth and Brasso carried for the purpose. Later versions like the one pictured were painted to resemble small bait fish; this one is a rainbow trout.
The action is a slow wobble. It was available in several weights 7, 10 and 14g. This is another of the old brass spinners that isn’t seen much anymore. It is almost flat with a bend near the tail. You could make something similar to this in a home workshop from sheet brass! The 7g model is an excellent choice for casting over shallow weed beds.
4. Halco Wobbler
Halco is an Australian-owned and operated company based in Fremantle, Western Australia. They make a wide range of excellent fishing lures from both fresh and saltwater species. The Wobbler is a small fish-shaped brass spoon. It weighs 10gm.
The lure is compact and easy to cast. Though the Halco Wobbler in the picture is of plain brass with an embossed eye, fins and scales, it is also available in painted versions to represent various small fish. Overall, the length is 5cm. The best trolling speed is 3 kph. The Halco Wobbler is almost identical to Al’s goldfish which first came out around 1949. They are very good trout lures.
5. Glimmy Brass Spoon
6. Joho Spoon
7. Toby / Turbo
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